I love talking to students of all ages! Please see below for available programs. My standard rates are $300/presentation (1-hour maximum), $600/half day (up to 3 hours and 2 presentations), or $1200/full day (4 presentations maximum). I prefer visits within a 2-hour drive from the Seattle area, and book sales are strongly encouraged and appreciated. I am always happy to autograph books and eat lunch with students and/or faculty. Please email me any questions you may have or to discuss availability. Thank you!
If students are using one of my books for a project or classroom activity, I gladly offer a free 15-minute virtual Q&A session via Skype, Google Hangouts, FaceTime, etc. Longer virtual presentations are also available, at a rate of $150 for up to an hour. For more about virtual visits, including other authors who are comfortable presenting in this way, please visit Online Author Visits.
Writing from the Heart (all ages)
I’ll read from my books (whichever may be appropriate, depending on the audience) and use them as a springboard to talk about where good stories come from and how 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 run between 30-60 minutes, depending on your needs.
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
You Can Be a Changemaker (all ages)
Drawing on my age-appropriate books (either BE A CHANGEMAKER or EMMANUEL’S DREAM), this workshop will introduce youth to the idea that, in today’s world, everyone can—and should—strive to be a changemaker. I’ll present real-world examples of young people who are making their marks on the world, inspire students to dream big and take positive action in their communities and beyond, and give practical tips for success. This workshop can be tailored for large or small groups. For smaller groups and older students, it can include a hands-on workshop element. Length is very flexible, depending on your specific situation and 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
Nonfiction Writing: Facts Are Fun! (for grades K-8):
I’ll start by talking about where to find ideas and how to decide what to write about. Then I’ll move on to detail the process of nonfiction writing, including research, planning, drafting, revising, and editing. The presentation is very interactive, and I will bring excerpts from my Two Truths and a Lie series and visuals from some of my nonfiction articles to share as examples throughout. This workshop can be tailored from kindergarten up to eighth grade, and can be 30-60 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
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 or budget, I’m happy to discuss altering an existing program to better fit for your needs. Please email me with any questions or to schedule a presentation!