Nance Donkin is best known as a writer of historical fiction for children. Her earliest story to be published appeared in a weekly newspaper when she was eight years old. At sixteen she was employed as a social reporter on the Maitland Daily Mercury and later became social editor and film reviewer for the Newcastle Morning Herald.
Donkin was President of the Victorian Branch of the Children's Book Council of Australia from 1968 to 1976. She contributed reviews for children's books to the Melbourne Herald from 1970 to 1985.