Winners' Circle - Madeleine McLaughlin

October 25, 2019


Welcome to the Winners' Circle where we celebrate the success of our ICL students. Today we are celebrating published author Madeleine McLaughlin!

What is the name of your article? Who is the publisher?

"Backyard Bug Band" is a 500-word article published by Smore Magazine.

Give us a short summary of your article.

This article is about how certain insects found in North America backyards made their sounds—like the cricket.

Tell us a bit about your path to publishing, from idea to submission to published book.

My first idea was "how come insects don't hear woodpeckers coming for them?" but I found the answer was, "they do." That wouldn't make a good article but I did want to do something about sound and insects so I just kept looking up facts until I hit on the idea of a backyard bug band.
When finished, I sent it in.

How long have you been writing?

Since the 1990s but not really seriously until after 2011. 

What's your favorite genre to write and why?

I write picture books, middle-grade, and horror for grown-ups. They're all fascinating in their own different ways.

What ICL courses have your taken?

Writing for Children and Teens

How has taking our course helped your writing and/or career?

Put me on a path that I didn't even think of taking. I have found great enjoyment in writing magazine articles. I'm better at sticking to schedules, now, too.   

Have any of your class assignments been published?

Yes, "Freaky Eaters of the Deep" was my 4th assignment. It was published by Smore.

Do you have a favorite writing tip you'd like to share?

Read history, psychology, etc., to become better.

If you could travel back in time and give yourself one piece of writing advice, how far back would you go, and what would you tell yourself?

I'm not sure. Until the internet, I was not that good at sending out articles. I truly am an older person whose life was changed by the internet.

Please tell us the best or most valuable thing you learned from your experience with ICL.

There are so many things. One of them is the ICL world, the Writers' Block, and all the resources. Since I've taken the course, listened to the podcast, and joined the Writers' Block, I've met wonderful people and opened up the range of opportunities.

Are you happy with your progress?


Madeleine McLaughlin was born in Ontario but grew up in BC. She spent many days at the beach. Moving back to Ontario in 1979, she worked many jobs before coming to writing.

To start your own path to the Winners' Circle, show us a sample of work and let us help you become the writer you want to be. Click here.

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