School Visits and Workshops

I love talking to students of all ages! Please see below for available programs. My standard rate is $1500/day (4 presentations maximum), with half days or $400/hour single sessions available within a 1-hour drive from the Seattle/Eastside area. Discounts may be available depending on the situation, and book sales are strongly encouraged and much 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. NOTE: LIMITED SPOTS STILL AVAILABLE FOR THE 2018-2019 SCHOOL YEAR. Thank you!

If teachers or students are using one of my books for a project or classroom activity, I gladly offer a free 10-minute virtual Q&A session via Skype, Google Hangouts, FaceTime, etc. Longer virtual presentations are also available, at a rate of $200 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. To book an online visit today, please visit

Truths and Lies: Can YOU Tell the Difference? (for grades 3-8)

I’ll introduce concepts of information literacy and effective research techniques through my TWO TRUTHS AND A LIE books (co-authored with Ammi-Joan Paquette). Students will learn why being able to spot fake news and question truthfulness is important as well as how to go about doing that. They’ll then learn how to evaluate sources, whether their own or others. Finally, they’ll learn additional tricks for not getting fooled by less-than-factual information and, hopefully, leave the presentation with a heightened sense of skepticism as well as newfound self-sufficiency as both consumers and producers of information. Length is 40-60 minutes, for large or small audiences.

Testimonial: “Thank you so much for coming and talking to our 6th grade students! They really enjoyed meeting you and hearing about your writing process. Thank you for reviewing how to find credible resources and spot fake news! The acronym for evaluating research – current, relevant, authority, accuracy, and purpose – will stick with them. They loved reading the book for science, and it has been a favorite for informational reading. Sorry we were unable to spot any tree octopods during your visit.”
— Brooke Hendry and Jessica Bruning, Jefferson Elementary 6th grade team

Writing from the Heart (K-6)

I’ll read from my books Emmanuel’s Dream and My Dog Is the Best and use them 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 share a glimpse of my writing journey from inspiration to publication (and everything in between!) and discuss grit and letting go of perfectionism. Finally, I’ll leave the kids with inspiration that we are ALL writers and that sharing our stories matters for each and every one of us, whether we’re professional authors or not. This workshop can be for large or small groups and runs between 40-60 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/or older students, it can include hands-on workshop elements. Length is 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 Workshop: Facts Are Fun! (for grades 1-6):

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. I’ll share techniques for becoming a better writer in any genre. I will share excerpts from my work as examples, and ask students to volunteer to share their thoughts as well. Students will leave the workshop with a list of their own ideas for future nonfiction projects and an opening paragraph for at least one of those topics. This workshop can be 40-60 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 your 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.

Writing to Save the World (for adults)

This is an inspirational and explorational presentation for adult writers of all genres and skill levels. I share many quotes about the importance of writing and writers and help participants tap into their creativity and passions to discover their true writing purpose. There are several short, simple writing exercises, and I’ll share personal examples from my own publishing journey as well. Participants should walk away with a greater sense of conviction about the meaning of their work in the world as well as some new tools to help them move it forward in positive directions.

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 your needs. Please email me with any questions or to schedule a presentation!