Society of
Children's Book Writers
and Illustrators

PAL Presentation: Janna Matthies

Date(s) - 08/27/2022
10:00 am - 11:00 am


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What’s in a Word: Making Every Word Count in Picture Books

Date & Time: Saturday, August 27, 2022; 10:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m.EDT

Thanks to a generous grant from SCBWI, we are thrilled to be able to again offer the PAL Presentation series in 2022.


Zoom Info:

* Your link to join the live webinar will be sent by 6:00 p.m. EST August 26, 2022 (the day before the event).

* The recording will be sent to all registered participants a couple of days after the webinar and will be available for re-watching for 30 days.



In poetry and in picture books, every word has always needed to pack a full punch. But with trends in picture books tending toward “less is more,” it’s increasingly essential that we consider the importance of every word we write. The picture book format also requires that we leave room for an illustrator to tell the “other half” of the story. In this webinar we’ll explore how authors can make the most of their word choices, whether in rhyme or prose, fiction or informational/nonfiction.


Janna Matthies is a picture book author and early-elementary music teacher in Indianapolis. Her books include the forthcoming BABY, LET’S GO TO THE ORCHESTRA (Creative Editions, fall 2024), HERE WE COME! (Beach Lane Books/S&S); GOD’S ALWAYS LOVING YOU (WorthyKids); TWO IS ENOUGH (Running Press Kids), THE GOODBYE CANCER GARDEN (Albert Whitman) and others. When she’s not reading, writing or making music, Janna can be found digging in the garden, walking her husky, and hanging out with her husband and three mostly-grown kids.

EXTRA! Critiques available:

Janna is offering written critiques of picture book manuscripts at $60 each. If you would like to purchase a critique, you need to do so at the time of registration.

Manuscripts should be 600 words or less. The critique includes a detailed editorial letter and in-line comments on a Word or Google doc. These could be emailed to Janna (jannamatthies (at) gmail (dot) com) one week after the webinar (so that webinar content might be considered before submitting the piece for critique). Her turn-around time is 2-3 weeks.


Cancellation Policy & Trouble-Shooting:

Since this is an online event with a recording available for one month afterwards to watch at your own pace, there will not be any refunds issued.

Please add and to your email contact list. Webinar invites and recordings are sent through the SCBWI email system. Sometimes they are blocked by filters. Send us an email if you do not receive your links by the dates noted at the top of the page.

If you encounter any problems during your registration process for this event or have any other questions, contact Diane Bradley-Kantor, or Teresa Robeson, and we will be happy to assist you.