I currently offer the following programs, but I’m always willing to discuss how I might design a presentation to better meet your specific needs.
Writing from the Heart (all ages)
I’ll use my books (whichever may be appropriate, depending on the audience) to talk about where good stories come from and how to make we can all make our writing more relevant to both ourselves as writers and to our readers. I’ll talk about the writing process from inspiration to publication (and everything in between!) and demonstrate why sharing our stories matters for each and every one of us, whether we’re professional authors or not. This workshop can be tailored for large or small groups and last between 30-90 minutes in length, depending on your needs.
You Can Be a Changemaker (grades 5-12)
Drawing on my how-to book for teens, BE A CHANGEMAKER, this workshop will introduce youth to the idea that, in today’s technology-driven world, everyone can—and should—be a changemaker. I’ll present real-world examples of young people who are making their mark on the world, inspire students to dream big and take positive action in their communities and around the world, and give practical tips for success. I’ll also talk about the writing process, and share ways they can become better writers and use their writing to make a difference. This workshop can be tailored for large or small groups, for ages 10 and up, and from 30-90 minutes in length, depending on your needs.
Testimonial: “Laurie Thompson is a thoughtful, clear and engaging presenter. She spent an hour with our 5th and 6th graders as a culmination to our Lucy Calkins TCRWP unit on informational writing. We used both Emmanuel’s Dream and Be a Changemaker as mentor texts for the Teen Activism topic. There is nothing better for the variety of writers in a classroom—emergent, reluctant and proficient—than to hear a published author talk about the struggle and time it takes to create a published piece. The message that writing is ‘never done’ was professionally and perfectly conveyed to students. If you’re looking for ways to engage your students in writing and in making a difference, Laurie Thompson will share her passion with them!”
— Maureen Juenger, 5/6 Grades, Sunrise Elementary, Redmond, WA
Writing Nonfiction is Fun! (for grades K-5):
I start by talking about where to find ideas for what to write about. Then I move on to detail the process of nonfiction writing, including research, planning, drafting, revising, and editing. The whole presentation is very interactive, and I will bring visuals of some of my nonfiction articles to use as examples throughout. This workshop can be tailored from kindergarten up to fourth grade, and can be 30-90 minutes in length, depending on your needs.
Testimonial: “Thanks so much for your visit to our classroom. It is so important for kids to connect their work in the classroom to authentic, real-life writing that people do in the real world. Your visit was so different from our typical author-visit… we hardly ever get to meet real authors who write non-fiction! The kid-friendly articles you shared fit in perfectly with our study of non-fiction text features, and the tips on generating ideas, conducting research, and then actually writing and publishing your work were all things my 1st graders could really connect to. The students were very engaged throughout you entire talk. Thanks so much for bringing the real world to our classroom, and sharing all your interesting articles!”
— Michal Friesen, 1st Grade Teacher, Woodridge Elementary, Bellevue, WA
Testimonial: “I am so deeply thankful for your visit with our students in Discovery Club this summer. The students’ eyes were glued on you, and they were just soaking in your every word as you told stories about researching and writing a book! I could tell they felt very special to get a sneak peek of your soon-to-be published books. They were truly captivated by your time with them, and you intuitively found ways to show them that all of their questions and ideas were important. We would love for you to visit our students again next year!”
— Teddy Dillingham, Lead Educator, Imagine Children’s Museum
Writing Nonfiction for Kids — Overview and Resources (for adults)
In this presentation for adult writers, I provide an overview of the market for nonfiction for children, including magazine articles, educational/work-for-hire markets, and trade markets for picture books as well as middle-grade and young-adult nonfiction books. I’ll discuss how to break in and build a career in each of these areas, as well as provide my favorite resources for all writers of nonfiction for children. Depending on depth desired, this presentation can be 30-90 minutes long.
If you’re looking for something a little different from what I’ve outlined here or have a specific curriculum need, I’m happy to discuss designing a custom program that will be a better fit for your classroom or event. Please email me with any questions or to schedule a presentation!
Note: I live in western Washington State, so I am most likely to accept school visits in the Pacific Northwest region. I will consider other offers, however, and I also love doing virtual visits via Skype!