Dawn McNiff

Dawn McNiff

CHILDREN'S AUTHOR. Sch / lit fest workshops based on new book about PET LOVE & PET LOSS. Also KS2 sessions on WORRY. Trained counsellor/play therapist

Booking enquiry
Dawn McNiff - author tools

Available for

Workshop, Talk, Reading, Interview, Commission a book


Age 5 to 7, Age 7 to 11, Adult


Fiction narrative, Magical realism, Picture book

Book types

Fiction for children, Picture book



Dawn is a trained counsellor / play therapist, and the author of several books for 0- 12 years old.

SCHOOLS AND LITERARY FESTIVALS.... Dawn offers fun, lively workshops and/or assemblies for primary-aged children on PET BEREAVEMENT / PET LOVE - based on her newest book 'Love from Alfie McPoonst - the Best Dog ever'.

She also offers sessions for KS2 on WORRY and worry management, based on her novel for 9-11 year olds - Worry Magic'

Sessions tailored to the age-group - readings, craft, writing exercises, author Q&A, and props. . . plus LOTS OF FUN!

Can also offer assembly and Q & A about my books; and the publishing world ('How do you make a book?')

'Dawn has visited our school more than once. All the staff commented on how good she was with the children. I would highly recommend Dawn to inspire children to get writing and be imaginative.' Rachel Morrison, Year Six teacher.

Dawn is based in Gloucestershire. She has an MA in Writing for Young People and is a trained counsellor. Relevant experience - grief counsellor, play therapist, children's book-seller and Teaching Assistant.

Dawn has an up-to-date DBS (subscribed to the online Update Service)

Costs are in line with the Society of Authors' recommended rates and expenses.


Books by Dawn McNiff

Dawn - a children's author and trained counsellor - has written several books for children under 12. Her latest picture book 'Love from Alfie McPoonst - the Best Dog Ever' - is about pet love and pet loss. Inspired by losing her own beloved dog, it will be a comfort for any adult or child who has ever lost a beloved pet. Dawn has also written three novels for 9-11 year olds. 'Worry Magic' is about a child who struggles with worrying.

Love from Alfie McPoonst - the Best Dog Ever

Love from Alfie McPoonst - the Best Dog Ever

Published by Walker Books - about PET LOVE / PET LOSS. Dear Izzy, I’m a Sky Dog now. I live in Dog Heaven, because I died. When Alfie the dog dies, he sends his owner Izzy letters in the post from his new address: The Nicest Cloud, Dog Heaven, The Sky. He wants her to know that he misses her – so much! – but his new home in heaven is BRILLIANT. There are postmen to chase, angels to tickle his tummy, and he never even has to take a bath! Can his letters comfort Izzy, who is feeling lost without him? Sensitively balancing humour and raw emotional truth, this is a beautifully observed tale sure to reassure children experiencing loss and grief for the very first time  
Worry Magic

Worry Magic

Novel for 9-11 year olds about WORRY & WORRY MANAGEMENT. Courtney is a worrier - she's worried about EVERYTHING, from her mum and dad's constant fights, to her Gran being ill, to the fact that her best friend Lois suddenly seems to be more interested in growing up and hanging out with mean girl Bex than with her. But then one day, during a particularly bad argument kicked off by her dad's discovery of a pig in their lounge (don't ask...), Courtney begins to feel a bit funny... a bit woozy... a bit like a dream is coming on - and then when she wakes up everything is better! Mum and dad are being nice to each other, the pig is going back to the animal shelter (really, don't ask...) and even Kyle, her older brother, seems to be making an effort. Courtney becomes sure that each time she feels woozy and has her dreams, she's magicking her problems and worries away. Her mum, dad and brother aren't so sure though. Can Courtney convince everybody that her worry magic dreams are the perfect way to solve her problems? Or should she learn to worry a little less and to ask for help in some non-magical ways? 
How Not To be Weird

How Not To be Weird

Novel for 9-11 year olds about TRYING TO FIT IN / BULLYING. Woody wants to get un-weird - and fast...like BEFORE he starts secondary school which is soon. He's forever worried about being different - a bit weird and a bit of a wuss - and two bullies Della and Casey make sure he doesn't forget that. It doesn't help that his mum is slightly bonkers. She dresses up as a sheep for a living - mostly for her job as a children's entertainer. That's when she's not busy buying Woody granny jumpers from the charity shop... Gooner the dog doesn't help either, always getting Woody in some awkward, smelly and rather messy situations. But Woody's got an un-weirding plan - just in time for his first day at secondary school. He starts off with some rules: 'Don't listen to Mum about anything to do with your life, ever' and 'don't wear old lady clothes'. And with the help of less embarrassing, but rather extravagant GlamMa, some good friends, and the discovery of his Dad's peculiar lucky charm, he finds a new sense of his own charm, acceptance of his 'weirdness'...but with a heap load of shenanigans along the way. 
Little Celeste

Little Celeste

Novel for 9-11 year olds about FRIENDSHIP, LOVE AND A MAGIC BABY. Eleven-year-old Shelley only leaves her bedroom for two tiny minutes, but when she gets back, there's a real, true-life, lavender-eyed BABY on her bed. It's way too noisy, smelly and heavy to be a ghost baby - so whose is it? It can't be her mum's - Shelley would've noticed. And it's not like her mum's around for Shelley to ask, anyway - she's too busy ignoring Shelley and crying all the time over her horrible ex-boyfriend Scott ('the Toadstool'). But someone's got to look after the baby, and give her a name. 'Celeste' sounds good (in fact, it sounds kind of magical). As her home-life goes from bad to worse, Shelley finds great comfort in caring for mischievous, funny Little Celeste. They get up to some rather messy adventures, and gain some new, surprising friends. And then Shelley discovers something which sends her reeling.. 
Mummy's Little Monster

Mummy's Little Monster

Picture book for 3-6 year olds about the JOYS of being BABYSAT. Tiny Troll loves his mummy more than anything, even puddles and earwigs. But when Mrs Troll begins curling her bristles, ready to go out, Tiny Troll bursts into tears. WAAAA! He wants to go too! What will it take for Mrs Hag, the babysitter, to settle him down to sleep? Patience, cuddles and mud-milk. And a goodnight kiss from Mum when she gets home.