“Lisa’s books are excellent, fantastic, wonderful, terrific, super, spectacular, delightful, marvelous, magnificent, splendid, awesome!” – Kate, 3rd Grade

Lisa Jahn-Clough has published over a dozen picture books and three young adult novels. Her work has won awards from Child Magazine, Parent’s Choice, Bank Street, Raising Readers, and Entertainment Weekly. Her latest novel is Nothing But Blue. She is working on the text for a series of early-reader graphic comic books.

Lisa earned a BA from Hampshire College and an MFA from Emerson College and has been writing, publishing, and teaching ever since. She has taught at Emerson College, Maine College of Art, Vermont College of Fine Arts and Hamline University. She is now a tenured Associate Professor at Rowan University. Lisa also speaks to hundreds of elementary, middle and high school students and teachers as a visiting author.

She lives with her husband and their two dogs in Portland, Maine in a little yellow house in the summer, and across from a cornfield in southern New Jersey in the winter.

Lisa's Featured Titles

Petal And Poppy And The Mystery Valentine

Clarion Books |
Early Reader

On Valentine’s Day morning, Petal wakes up to chocolates. Poppy wakes to find flowers. What wonderful gifts for these best friends to give each other. But wait . . . Poppy forgot to get Petal a gift, and Petal forgot to get something for Poppy. So who is this mystery Valentine? With picture clues and simple text, this charming book brings the warmth of Valentine’s Day to burgeoning readers.

Petal And Poppy And The Spooky Halloween!

Clarion Books |
Early Reader

Halloween is here and Petal and Poppy are going to a party! But Petal’s scared. Halloween is too spooky. But Poppy assures Petal it’s all just pretend. There’s nothing to be afraid of. But then a haunted house scares Poppy. Maybe Halloween is a little spooky after all!

The writing level and picture clues will help early readers perfect their reading technique, while the wonderful story–with just the right amount of spookiness–will spark a love of reading that will last a lifetime.

Petal And Poppy And The Penguin

Clarion Books |
Early Reader

Petal and Poppy discover an uninvited visitor in their garden—a penguin! At first, Petal’s too afraid to let him in. But eventually not even Petal can resist this cute, friendly, and very talented little guy!

Petal and Poppy and the Penguin is the second Petal and Poppy book, told in graphic form. Word repetition, picture clues, and a simple plotline facilitate young readers in their development into lifelong lovers of reading.

Petal And Poppy

Clarion Books |
Early Reader

In Petal and Poppy, young readers are introduced to these charming characters. Petal gets very nervous when Poppy decides to go scuba diving. What if she’s eaten by a sea monster? Poppy thinks Petal is just being a worrywart. Perhaps. But maybe that’s a good thing. Because when Poppy does find herself in a little trouble, who comes to her rescue? Petal!

With simple vocabulary, short sentences, and ample picture clues, this new Green Light Readers series will inspire and instruct young readers on their journey to becoming lifelong readers.

Nothing But Blue

Clarion Books |
YA Novel

All dead. No one survived. All dead. This morbid chant haunts seventeen-year-old Blue as she trudges through the countryside with just the clothes on her back, heading to her childhood home on the ocean. Something absolutely awful has happened, she knows it, but she doesn’t know what. She can’t even remember her name, so she calls herself Blue. This gripping survival story—peppered with flashbacks to bittersweet times with her boyfriend, Jake—strips life down to its bare bones. Blue learns, with the help of a seemingly magical stray dog and kind people along the road, that the important thing is to live.

My Friend And I

Clarion Books |
Children’s Illustrated

Two small children become new friends and have wonderful days playing together with their toys. But when one friend gets a new toy that he is reluctant to share, the friends are no longer so friendly. This story, told in clear, simple dialogue with bright, childlike illustrations, gives straightforward insight into the complications that can threaten even the best of friendships. The youngest audience will delight in the simple resolution that mends these friends’ relationship as well as their toy.

Alicia Has A Bad Day

Clarion Books |

“The zany illustrations suit the amusingly outraged tone of the text. Funny and original.” —Kirkus Reviews

Bad days—we all have them. But what do we do about them?

Meet Alicia and her trusty friend, Neptune. Alicia is usually a cheerful child who likes to dance very fast and stand on her head. What will she do when she wakes one morning feeling miserable? At first, none of Alicia’s clever and quirky remedies, such as moping in her favorite chair and writing in her notebook, seems to cure her gloom. Then in a place least expected, a delightful surprise awaits, and Alicia makes a joyous discovery.

Lisa Jahn-Clough has created a unique character with a spunky spirit all her own. Alicia will charm her way into the hearts of readers young and old on any day.


How Early Stories Become Books

Many of the chapters in The Kids of Cattywamus Street are directly based off of stories Lisa wrote when she was 8 and 9 years old. She shares some of these early stories and compares them to the versions that are in the final book. She discusses how and why she changed certain things to make them “better.” Inspirational for young writers.


Two Halves of a Picture Book

In this presentation, Lisa discusses character and plot as they are created through both words and pictures. She dissects one of her picture books (usually Alicia Has a Bad Day, My Friend and I, or Little Dog) by showing early drafts of art, text, storyboards, and dummies. Then Lisa outlines the book into a storyboard grid, first with text and then with art to emphasize how all elements, including design and pacing, come together to create a “whole” book.

For the younger grades Lisa will draw her characters on the board (or newsprint), for older grades, she will concentrate on the business of publishing.

This presentation shows the importance of revision as Lisa shows how each storyboard or dummy book shows changes along the way.


Writing Workshop or Writing/Illustrating Workshop

This workshop begins with Lisa showing examples of her own writing life and process, and how she creates characters and plot. Then she helps students create their own characters and begin to develop a story with a conflict and resolution. Younger students may be able to work on making a picture book dummy with words and pictures, and older students may begin a longer story. With all ages, Lisa will give fun writing exercises to help generate ideas.


Art and Mood

Many of Lisa’s picture books use pictures to enhance the emotions of the main characters. In this presentation, Lisa shows how her art works to tell a story that the words do not. She gives illustration tips on how to use color and shapes to express an emotion. Her book that best captures this is Little Dog. Lisa draws on the board and gives art exercises that encourage students to play and explore with the creation of a character reacting in a variety of situations.


Creating Interesting Characters

This writing workshop begins by students brainstorming types of characters, then listing traits these characters can have. Students share these characters and then, in pairs, students write a short dialogue together using their character’s voice. This is a fun and interactive workshop that shows how unique character traits help develop stories.


How a Writer Works

In this presentation, Lisa shares her personal story of why and how she became an author and an illustrator. She spends the first twenty minutes or so showing work from when she was young and talking about her desires and passions, comparing that to how it actually worked out. Lisa will read excerpts from her picture books and her young adult novels and discuss how many of the themes relate to her own life, even though the subjects may differ. There can be ample time for questions and answers if students have prepared by reading some of Lisa’s work.


Writing Stories From Your Life

This writing workshop helps students use events from their own lives to create fictional stories.

Lisa’s Upcoming Events

Lisa’s FAQ

Honors, Awards & Recognition

Short listed for a BookPal Outstanding Works of Literature Award for The Kids of Cattywampus Street
Amazon Editor’s Pick
Amazon Bestseller
Child Magazine
Parent’s Choice
Bank Street
Entertainment Weekly
Featured in Maine’s Raising Readers Program

Media Kit

By clicking the link below you will be directed to a Google Docs Folder
where you can download author photos and cover images.

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