About Ann McClellan

My Story

Author Ann McClellan is proud of her two cherry blossom books: The Cherry Blossom Festival, Sakura Celebration and Cherry Blossoms, The Official Book of the National Cherry Blossom Festival. In fact, she received a Certificate of Commendation from the Government of Japan for “promoting mutual understanding between our two countries through [her] great efforts and activities with cherry trees.”

She is equally proud of Bonsai and Penjing, Ambassadors of Peace & Beauty, a book that highlights the collections at the National Bonsai & Penjing Museum at the U.S. National Arboretum, how they came to Washington, D.C., and stories of the many people associated with their creation and care, sometimes over generations. Each of these diminutive trees is an expression of a living art form that has captivated people for more than a thousand years, and several of the trees at the U.S. National Arboretum are more than one hundred years old.

These three books and her related speaking engagements and other public activities have earned Ann further accolades from the Government of Japan: she was awarded the Order of the Rising Sun, Gold and Silver Rays in the 2021 Spring Conferment of Decorations because these books and her presentations and appearances, “ . . .she has imparted an appreciation and awareness of the art of Japanese bonsai and the history of the cherry blossom trees, which remain an enduring symbol of the Japan-U.S. friendship.”

Her life-long love of trees began in New Jersey where she was lucky enough to grow up at The Lawrenceville School, an arboretum-like campus laid out by Frederick Law Olmsted. She has held executive positions at the Smithsonian Institution, World Wildlife Fund, and the American Association of Museums among other prestigious organizations.
Today, she shares her writing and marketing skills and expertise with clients on a variety of projects, ranging from writing annual reports, speeches, and fundraising letters and appeals to developing personal history booklets.

She is also working on a novel set in 16th century France, involving King Francis the First and his last official mistress. Other projects are under wraps for now.

Books by Ann McClellan

Bonsai and Penjing: Ambassadors of Peace & Beauty

The Cherry Blossom Festival: Sakura Celebration

The Cherry Blossom Festival: Sakura Celebration

Cherry Blossoms: The Official Book of the National Cherry Blossom Festival

Cherry Blossoms: The Official Book of the National Cherry Blossom Festival

About Cherry Blossom History:

Ann McClellan has a rich knowledge of the National Cherry Blossom Festival, and she is the first person I think of whenever a reporter needs an expert to delve into its history. She is eloquent, methodical, and a joy to work with. I always look forward to our next project together.
Danielle Davis

Communications Manager, National Cherry Blossom Festival

Last year at a meeting of the Washington, DC French American Chamber of Commerce, I met Ann McClellan. We talked of past events. Hearing of my World War II travel from occupied France to the US, she urged me to write it down. I had thought of it and had been urged by my family to do so but never reached a decision. Ann explained to me how to get started, how to organize my work. Using her kind and very helpful experience, we did it and produced after her review a manuscript I am proud of. Working with Ann was a privilege. I could not have done it without her guidance.
Phillip L. Melville

About Editing Personal Histories:

Let me say at the outset that I could not be more pleased with the professional services of Ann McClellan. She is astute, thoughtful and meticulous, qualities which are essential in editing and production work. In addition she is easy to work with and understands as few people do the meaning of the word “colleague”.
A. Graham Down

President Emeritus, Council for Basic Education

This is a beautifully written and photographed book. I used it as a “welcome” gift for guests who were visiting me during the Cherry Blossoms. It is affordable and a great souvenir of a very special time — Spring in Washington DC

Maryland Reader