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Short bio:

Pat McCaw writes books for children. She has earned her MFA in Creative writing for children from Hamline University, and has her Medical Degree currently practicing family medicine in Eldridge, Iowa. Children are her passion, and she believes picture books can be therapeutic. Books provide an escape into the pages, and children can use this imaginary world to help their anxiety, grief, first day of school jitters, and many other worries. Pat writes middle grade novels, picture books and young adult literature, and would love to talk about the craft of writing or read with the children any day.

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About { me }.

About { me }.

Welcome to my webpage!  I divide my time between writing children’s books, practicing medicine and loving up my two beautiful daughters and husband. I live on a lake in Eldridge, Iowa, where I enjoy fishing, kayaking, paddle boarding and floating in the sun. Solitude is my happy place.

In high school, I recall telling my English teacher, Mrs. Ferrier, I wanted to publish a children’s book someday. My writing journeys took backstage to science at the University of Iowa as I got my medical degree. But a dream cannot be crushed despite critics, and a passion cannot be quelled despite distractions.

After years of practicing family medicine, destiny knocked – or pounded – on my door. A friend challenged me to Nanaowrimo and I wrote a 50,000 word children’s fantasy novel in 10 days.The words poured out my fingertips and I began an adventure. My brain was freed to let my imagination run wild without boundaries. My destiny charted.

And so I began again . . .

Realizing my skills needed fine tuning, I went back to school and received my MFA in Writing for Children and Young Adults from Hamline University. A decision that changed my life and opened my eyes. Writing is not for publication or for anyone else’s approval – I write for me.

Currently I have many picture book projects in the works as well as middle grade novels. I have a young adult thriller cooking. Stay tuned for projects as I grow as a writer and visit my blog to journey with me!

{ I believe } books can be therapeutic.

{ I believe } books can be therapeutic.

Children struggle with stress, anxiety, identity issues, grief, and fear just like adults. As a physician, I see children present to the office with symptoms of tummy aches, headaches, and illness when emotions are the main concern. Picture books can help children recognize their feelings by identifying with a character in a book with similar struggles and help them to cope and persevere.

At Hamline University I wrote: It’s a Scary World Out There: Crafting Picture Books to Help Anxiety and Fear (click here to read this extended critical essay). In this essay I provide examples of picture books that allow children to access their feeling through the eyes of a scared squirrel or a lost bear. When a child sees their own stress mirrored on the page, it also shows them that it is possible for them to cope and survive just as their favorite characters did.

I am working on two specific picture books that address anxiety and courage in the face of adversity. In Jimmy and His Worry Monster, Jimmy tries to summon the courage to attend his best friend’s birthday party while he battles his worry-monster constantly babbling his worst fears into his ear. In Manatees Have Spots Too, a young girl afflicted with vitiligo finds courage to battle the school bullies when she discovers her spirit animal – a manatee.

Stay tuned for more!

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