Summer 2015 roundup

The days are (finally) getting cooler and damper here in the Pacific Northwest and most of the kids are back in school, so it seems like a good time to reflect on the summer.
I typically don’t get to do much writing-related work over the summer, since the kids are home from school and the sun is shining, but this summer was filled with fun and exciting author events!

2015-07-11 Andersons Bookshop kids books extravaganza 2First, I got to participate in a huge author panel at Anderson’s Bookshop in Naperville, IL. The kids’ books extravaganza on July 11th included some of my best friends in the industry, including Christine Hayes, Ruth Barshaw, Lynda Hunt, Keyan Atteberry, Jennifer Chambliss Bertman, Tara Dairman, Janet Fox, and Amy Finnegan. It was even more wonderful because I got to meet the very special someone who wrote one of my all-time favorite reviews Emmanuel’s Dream, Keegan Knott, and it was her birthday, too! I got a hug. It’s a day I won’t soon forget, let me tell you. Thank you Anderson’s and Keegan for the wonderful memories! =D

EMLA costume partyNext I headed to the Erin Murphy Literary Agency client retreat at The Abbey Resort at Lake Geneva. I can’t even begin to explain what a powerful, amazing this annual event is for me, and this year was no different. We do lots of fun, silly things like the costume party, but we also do a lot of learning, networking, sharing, connecting, growing, and more. I feel so blessed to be a part of this community!
2015-07-12 Mustard Museum2015-07-12 St LouisIMG_2675From there I continued on down to St. Louis to sign books at ILA and conduct a research trip. Our first stop was the National Mustard Museum.

What am I researching there, you ask? Well, you’ll just have to wait and see! St. Louis was beautiful, ILA was a lot of fun, and I even got to go to
Cynthia Levinson’s book launch party for Watch Out for Flying Kids while I was there. Plus, the research trip was a huge success. I can’t wait to get back to work on that manuscript!

I had the opportunity to appear at several summer camps, including one on being a changemaker and another on early literacy, which I loved, and I did interviews on two different live radio programs.

IMG_2956Last but certainly not least, I also spoke at the Pacific Northwest Library Association (PNLA) annual conference in Portland with two of my favorite nonfiction authors, Mary Cronk Farrell and Elizabeth Rusch, and I did my first storytime for My Dog Is the Best at University Bookstore in Bellevue.
It was a busy, fulfilling summer, and now I’m looking forward to some quiet writing time!
 

Be a Changemaker wins COVR Book of the Year!

BaC at COVR awards-DSC_5012-2Each year the Coalition of Visionary Resources gives Visionary Awards to winners selected from the best products in the Mind/Body/Spirit marketplace. The 18th Annual Visionary Awards were announced at the INATS Awards Banquet on June 27, 2015.BaC at COVR awards-DSC_4627
I’m beyond thrilled to share that Be a Changemaker: How to Start Something that Matters was selected not only as the Best Children’s and Teen’s Book, but it was also named COVR’s Book of the Year!

BaC COVR BotY

 

Whitney Diffendorfer, Marketing Director at Beyond Words, with the award

Radio Interview: Sister Jenna's America Meditating

I had the great good fortune to be on another radio show a couple of weeks ago, this time with Sister Jenna on America Meditating.
I come on at about 15:28, talking about my writing journey, Be a Changemaker, and Emmanuel’s Dream.
I hope you enjoy listening!

Check Out Self Help Podcasts at Blog Talk Radio with America Meditating on BlogTalkRadio

 

Thank you to Sister Jenna and her assistant, Antonia, for the interview and also for their wonderful, positive energy throughout. It was a pleasure to participate!

 

Radio Interview: Brooke Taylor's A Special Connection

I recently had the honor of being interviewed by Brooke Taylor on her inspiring radio show, A Special Connection on WHKW AM1220 in Cleveland, Ohio. Brooke just happened to have stumbled across one of my books at her local public library and was moved by it, so she reached out to me to talk about it.
The whole show is fantastic, but if you’re in a rush, we start discussing Emmanuel’s Dream: The True Story of Emmanuel Ofosu Yeboah at about the 31:58 mark, and Be a Changemaker: How to Start Something that Matters at about 45:37.
I hope you’ll enjoy listening!
https://soundcloud.com/living-the-word/a-special-connection-with-brooke-taylor-july-25th-2015
What fun! Huge thanks to both Brooke and her producer, Brett Crowe, for making it such a pleasure.
I’ve got a couple more radio interviews in the works as well, so please stay tuned for more audio in the coming weeks!

Be a Changemaker wins a Crystal Kite Award!

Be a Changemaker cover

Be a Changemaker coverIt’s a huge honor to announce that Be a Changemaker has won the Society of Children’s Book Writers & Illustrators’ (SCBWI) Crystal Kite Award for the West division, which includes Washington/Oregon/Alaska/Idaho/Montana/North Dakota/South Dakota! This award is voted on by other SCBWI members, who are also authors and illustrators, so it’s especially rewarding to be recognized.
Winning is a bit bittersweet, though. First, there were so many great books in the overall list of eligible titles (including the one I voted for, which didn’t make the finals). Second, the other three finalists are all fantastic books, written by a trio of lovely authors whom I’m glad to call my friends. I honestly would’ve been just as happy to see any of these fine books win as I am to see my own. If you haven’t seen these yet, please check them out!

This year’s Crystal Kite Award announcement was exciting for another reason, too. My friend and agent-sister Tara Dairman won the Southwest division with her book, All Four Stars! I love All Four Stars, and I’m thrilled to see it get this recognition. Congratulations, Tara!

It was also pretty great to see so many awesome nonfiction books making the list this year. Here are some of my favorites:

California/Hawaii New England New York

 
Thank you to all who voted! For a complete list of all the 2015 winners, click here.

How has volunteerism impacted you–what's your story?

Happy National Volunteer Week!CelebrateService logo
According to the Points of Light website, “National Volunteer Week, April 12-18, 2015, is about… taking action and encouraging individuals and their respective communities to be at the center of social change – discovering and actively demonstrating their collective power to make a difference.”
That sounds a whole lot like the message behind Be a Changemaker, don’t you think? I thought so, so I decided to help spread the word about an initiative associated with National Volunteer Week called “What’s Your Story?” The purpose of that effort is to celebrate people who are doing awesome things and encourage others to get involved. You can play along by sharing your story, tagging friends and asking, “What’s Your Story?” and use #NVW2015 in hopes of getting #NVW2015 to trend on Twitter.
As for me personally, my most recent volunteer work was yesterday, helping to stuff 370+ attendee folders, organizing handouts, and getting prepared for the SCBWI Western Washington’s annual conference for writers and illustrators. It was hard work, and the group of a dozen or so of us were focused and busy for four hours, yet there were hugs, and laughter, and doughnuts, and it felt absolutely wonderful to be a part of. The conference itself kicks off on Friday, and I’ll be busy participating in and volunteering at it for three days straight. It’s an amazing experience every year. I can’t wait!
For more information on National Volunteer Week, the “What’s Your Story” campaign, or how you can play along on Twitter, Instagram, and/or Facebook, visit the Points of Light web page here.

 
 
 

Announcing the book giveaway winners!

Be a Changemaker cover

A couple of weeks ago I announced giveaways here and on Goodreads for both Be a Changemaker and Emmanuel’s Dream. We have winners!
From my list of newsletter subscribers, chosen by Random.org, the winners are…
Be a Changemaker coverJim McGinley wins a signed copy of Be a Changemaker! I swear it was completely random, but this is just so perfect. Jim was one of the very first people to help and encourage me on my quest to write this book, and his early support meant a lot to me. He’s even mentioned in the acknowledgements. Sometimes fate is hard to deny, you know?
Emmanuel's Dream coverThe winner of a signed copy of Emmanuel’s Dream is Lindsay Fouts! This seems like a great fit, too, since Lindsay is both a picture book writer and the mother of a young son. I hope they enjoy the book.
And on Goodreads, the winners were far flung: Adage from Romania won Be a Changemaker, and Jessy from India won Emmanuel’s Dream. Yes, it’ll cost me a little extra in postage, but it’s exciting to know that my books will be traveling around the world!
Finally, in case anyone is curious, some giveaway stats from Goodreads…

  • 1004 people requested Emmanuel’s Dream and 464 added it to their To-Read shelf, and
  • 1441 people requested Be a Changemaker and 610 added it to their To-Read shelf.

 
 
 

Let's celebrate with a giveaway (or four)!

MY DOG IS THE BEST cover

I’m so happy about the recent accolades my books have received that I’ve decided to host not just one giveaway–but FOUR!
To celebrate the fact that BE A CHANGEMAKER: HOW TO START SOMETHING THAT MATTERS was a finalist for the Cybils awards, I’ll be giving away a signed copy of the paperback edition on Goodreads, here:

Goodreads Book Giveaway

Be a Changemaker by Laurie Ann Thompson

Be a Changemaker

by Laurie Ann Thompson

Giveaway ends April 02, 2015.

See the giveaway details
at Goodreads.

Enter to win


To celebrate the starred review from School Library Journal for EMMANUEL’S DREAM: THE TRUE STORY OF EMMANUEL OFOSU YEBOAH, I’ll be giving away a signed copy on Goodreads, here:

Goodreads Book Giveaway

Emmanuel's Dream by Laurie Ann Thompson

Emmanuel’s Dream

by Laurie Ann Thompson

Giveaway ends April 02, 2015.

See the giveaway details
at Goodreads.

Enter to win


AND, I’ll give away a signed copy of either one (winners get to choose!) to two random subscribers to my mailing list. If you’re not a subscriber yet, just sign up below. (I only send a short newsletter once/month.)

Subscribe to my mailing list

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MY DOG IS THE BEST coverFinally, School Library Journal recently called my upcoming release “well-executed and charming.” I can’t give this one away just yet (it will release on June 9, 2015), but feel free to share the MY DOG IS THE BEST love by adding it to your Goodreads shelf and/or pre-ordering it at one of the following links:
My Dog Is the Best


Be a Changemaker is a Cybils award finalist!


I woke up this morning to news that Be a Changemaker made the list of finalists for the 2014 Children’s and Young Adult Blogger’s Literary Award, better known as the Cybils, in the Nonfiction for Young Adults category. What a way to kick off 2015!
The nominations in this category were varied and impressive, and the books that made the finalist list are truly among the best I’ve read all year. It’s an incredible honor to have my book in such amazing company!

Alice + Freda cover Alice + Freda Forever: A Murder in Memphis by Alexis Coe
Be a Changemaker cover Be a Changemaker: How to Start Something That Matters by Laurie Ann Thompson
Beyond Magenta cover Beyond Magenta: Transgender Teens Speak Out by Susan Kuklin
Popular cover Popular: Vintage Wisdom for a Modern Geek by Maya Van Wagenen
Family Romanov cover The Family Romanov: Murder, Rebellion, and the Fall of Imperial Russia by Candace Fleming
Freedom Summer Murders cover The Freedom Summer Murders by Don Mitchell
Port Chicago 50 cover The Port Chicago 50: Disaster, Mutiny, and the Fight for Civil Rights by Steve Sheinkin

Thanks, Pat Zietlow Miller, for nominating it in the first place. Thanks, Stephanie Charlefour at Love. Life. Read., for the finalist write-up, and to the entire panel (also including Aaron Maurer from Coffee for the Brain, Michelle Lockwood from Blogs Like a Girl, Karen Ball from Mrs. B’s Favorites, and Danyelle Leach from Bookshelves in the Cul-de–Sac) for reading, considering, and ultimately selecting it. I’ve been a first round Cybils judge twice and am a second round judge in a different category this year, so I know what a lot of hard work and dedication goes into it! Finally, thanks to the people who keep the Cybils running. It’s one of my favorite awards in children’s books as a reader, author, and judge. I’m always glad to be a part of it, so having my own book make that finalist list means even more to me. Kidlit bloggers ROCK! 🙂

Need a gift idea for a teen in your life?

Be a Changemaker gift wrapped

Last Friday, I had the great pleasure of participating in the Annual Holiday & Benefit Party at Parkplace Books, a lovely independent bookstore in Kirkland, WA. The event was festive and well attended, and I had the chance to talk with some of my favorite local authors as well as many of the customers who came in to see us.
I also got to sign a lot of books: it seems Be a Changemaker is a hit for holiday gift giving!
Be a Changemaker gift wrapped
For the teens (and adults) on your list, you can buy BE A CHANGEMAKER at your local independent bookstore (find them on IndieBound), or online at Amazon.com, Barnes & Noble, or Powell’s.
And, if you need more bookish gift ideas for teens this holiday season, check out this post from the Teen Librarian’s Toolbox on how to buy books for the teens (or anyone, really) on your shopping list.
Happy holidays!

Bow image originally from Joanne, on Flickr: “02/05/2014: Brown bow tied onto package”.

 

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