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Wentzville School District artist honored at Family Stories Festival

Posted on Wednesday, June 27, 2018 at 1:58 pm

The artwork of incoming Holt High School freshman Janessa Hoffmann has been chosen for publication in Grannie Annie, Vol. 13, a collection of stories written by students across the globe about their families. The Grannie Annie Family Story Celebration is a nonprofit group based here in St. Louis that encourages 4th through 8th graders from around the world to discover, write, and share stories from their family history, and to submit them to The Grannie Annie for possible publication. Once the stories are chosen, local students are invited to submit artwork to illustrate those stories. Janessa made Grannie Annie history by becoming the first artist to have three illustrations published in one volume. Janessa’s illustrations for the following stories were selected for publication: “Sammy’s Rough Road Trip,” by Isabel Draper of Missouri; “SOS — Saving Our Sand Dune,” by Carolista Walsh of North Carolina; and “Candy Thieves,” by Ella Munz of Missouri. “Janessa strongly connected with each story she illustrated, and each of her illustrations effectively depicted a key element of the story,” said Fran Hamilton, Associate Director of The Grannie Annie Family Story Celebration. Janessa’s illustration for “SOS — Saving Our Sand Dune” was selected as the cover art for Grannie Annie, Vol. 13.


Janessa was honored at The Grannie Annie’s Family Stories Festival at the Missouri History Museum along with the other illustrators and authors on June 3rd. The event was presented in conjunction with publication of Grannie Annie, Vol. 13, recently released in paperback, eBook, and PDF editions. Other honored students came from New York, North Carolina, Nebraska, Ohio, and six other schools in Missouri. “The Family Stories Festival is one of the many priceless experiences made possible by The Grannie Annie each year,” said Connie McIntyre, Executive Director of The Grannie Annie. “Talented young people from near and far sharing their family stories and illustrations on the stage of the Missouri History Museum for an audience of supportive family members and friends is profoundly heartwarming.” Following the program, the students signed books for Festival attendees.


Over the past thirteen years, The Grannie Annie has published 455 stories, which have taken place in 64 countries on 6 continents over a span of nearly 400 years. The stories vividly depict unique events, while reminding readers of the fundamental experiences common to all. “Preserving a family story in written form creates a precious treasure for generations, and the process of illustrating a family story provides an opportunity for the artist to connect with that story in a special way,” said Hamilton. For these reasons, the Festival celebrated all 602 works that were submitted for possible publication in Volume 13.


The paperback edition of Grannie Annie, Vol. 13, is available from Left Bank Books and Digital editions are available from The Grannie Annie. Complete details about The Grannie Annie — and published stories and illustrations — can be found at Stories to be considered for publication in Grannie Annie, Vol. 14, must be submitted by February 1, 2019. There is no fee for students to participate. Art teachers interested in having their fourth- through eighth-grade students submit illustrations of stories to be published in Grannie Annie, Vol. 14, should contact