Janet Sumner Johnson
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Author Visits

JanetJohnson.AuthorPicHi! I’m Janet Sumner Johnson, Author of THE LAST GREAT ADVENTURE OF THE PB&J SOCIETY (Capstone Young Readers, April 1, 2016). As a middle grade author, two of my favorite things are books and writing. I would love to work with your students and share my enthusiasm on these subjects!

Presentation options are listed below and while they are geared towards students in grades 4-8, they can be adapted for older or younger students on request. We can also design a custom program to fit your needs.

The Sky’s the Limit: Achieving your dreams:

Walt Disney said, “All our dreams can come true if we have the courage to pursue them.” In this presentation, I’ll talk about the pursuit of my own dreams and the work it took to get there. I’ll encourage students to work through failures and to never be afraid to try, just because something is hard. A Q&A session will conclude this presentation.

Suggested audience size: Small to large groups (appropriate for assemblies).

The Path to Publication:

In a tell-all, I’ll talk about the steps (and missteps) that led me to signing with an agent and being offered a publishing contract. We’ll discuss the various paths that lead to publishing a book and I’ll offer ideas of what they can do right now to start achieving their dreams. We’ll conclude with a Q&A session.

Suggested audience size: Small to large groups (particularly appropriate for writing classes).

The Serious Workshop on Writing Humor

Bob Hope said, “I have seen what a laugh can do. It can transform almost unbearable tears into something bearable, even hopeful.” But while most people can recognize good humor, writing it can be hard. In this presentation, we’ll discuss ways to infuse humor and fun into your writing. Using books from well-known middle grade authors, we’ll find examples from hyperbole to parody. We’ll conclude by writing our own humorous lines from writing prompts.

Suggested audience size: Small groups.

A Day in the Life

Authors such as J.K. Rowling and R.L. Stine are revered by readers and have given many children and adults alike the desire to follow that path to become authors themselves. But what does that actually mean? Do authors get to wear pajamas all day and write? Are they required to change their name to initials upon signing their first contract? Using a picture-heavy slide show, I’ll reveal the secrets of what authors really do all day, and will conclude with a Q&A session.

Suggested audience size: Large or Small groups.

At Second Glance: Tips and tricks for revision:

Making changes to a story can be one of the hardest parts of writing . . . but it’s where the real magic happens. First, I’ll give some insider information about changes that took place during the revision process of THE LAST GREAT ADVENTURE OF THE PB&J SOCIETY (adding and deleting scenes, changing the entire POV, rewriting for clarity). Then we’ll use specific techniques they can use to improve their own writing.

Suggested audience size: Small groups.

Creating Memorable Characters:

As authors, we build characters from scratch, just like Dr. Frankenstein, choosing all the best parts for our creation. This is one of the most exciting parts of writing, but it is all too easy to stick to stereotypes instead of making our characters unique and memorable. In this interactive workshop, we’ll discuss all the possibilities for character creation using the three levels of characterization—surface, personal, and nitty-gritty—all the while building our very own unique character as a class. Students should come with their imaginations fully revved and ready to participate!

Suggested audience size: Small groups.

Interested in bringing me to share and learn with your students?

FANTASTIC! Here’s what you need to know:IMG_1572

~    My honorarium for 2020 is as follows:

Full-day visit: $700.00 + travel.* (This includes 4 50-minute presentations of your choice, an author lunch, and a book signing.)

Half-day visit: $500 + travel.* (This includes 2 50-minute presentations of your choice, 1 30-minute presentation, and a book signing.)

Single presentation: $350 + travel.* (This includes 1 50-minute presentation, and a book signing.)

–  The honorarium is due on the day of my visit.

*For visits outside of northern Utah, schools will be responsible for round trip airfare (or mileage reimbursement if within driving distance), hotel, $40/day per diem, and local ground transportation. This cost can be split with other schools. 

** If you have special circumstances in regards to budget, I will be happy to negotiate fees based on your school’s needs.

~    I would love for you to send home information about purchasing my books. Schools receive a discount when ordering directly through my publisher in conjunction with an author visit. Another great option is to partner with a local book store to coordinate sales. Autographing time will be built into the schedule.

~    Students should be prepared! The author visit day will be so much more meaningful if the students have read and discussed THE LAST GREAT ADVENTURE OF THE PB&J SOCIETY.  Author Dan Gutman has some great tips for making the most out of author visits here.


AUTHOR VISIT NOT IN YOUR BUDGET? I offer FREE 20-minute Skype visits to classrooms, after school clubs, girl scout and boy scout troops, and book groups who are reading my book. I also offer 45-min. Skype presentations for $100 per session (see above topics).