I love talk­ing to chil­dren and adults about books, writ­ing, and being an author! Please see the descrip­tions of avail­able pro­grams below, or let me know if you’d like some­thing dif­fer­ent. I’m always refin­ing or adding pro­grams, so don’t hes­i­tate to ask! Con­tact me with any questions.

In-Person Visits

Please con­tact me with any ques­tions or to sched­ule an in-per­son presentation.

Virtual Visits

After any of my books has been used in a class­room, I glad­ly offer a free 15-minute vir­tu­al “Q&A with the Author.” Sched­ule yours here!

I also offer all of my full pro­grams online via the plat­form of your choice at 50% off my in-per­son rate. Please con­tact me with any ques­tions or to sched­ule a vir­tu­al presentation.

For a select list of past appear­ances, please vis­it my Press Kit page. 

A classroom of students holding Be a Changemaker book in front of their faces.

Author Visit Programs

A “Let’s Pre­tend!” Storytime

30 min­utes
grades PreK‑1
class­room or assembly

I’ll get lit­tle ones up and mov­ing with a live­ly inter­ac­tive read­ing of your choice of one of my books from the Meet Your World series: You Are a Hon­ey Bee!, You Are a Rac­coon!, or You Are a Robin! Your stu­dents will be wig­gling and gig­gling, but they’ll also be get­ting a close-up look at how ani­mals sur­vive and thrive in the wild. They’ll learn what makes the ani­mal unique, but they’ll also see how much we have in com­mon with them: we all have fam­i­lies, we all need food to eat and a place to sleep, we all grow and change, we all want to be safe, etc. In this way, stu­dents will be left with a sense of con­nec­tion to the nat­ur­al world and to each oth­er, inspir­ing both stew­ard­ship and empa­thy. There will be time for ques­tions and answers.

You Are a Honey Bee!

You Are a Raccoon! book cover

You Are a Robin book cover

Emmanuel’s Dream: The Sto­ry Behind the Story

40–60 min­utes
grades 2–6
class­room or assembly

In this pre­sen­ta­tion, I’ll read from my award-win­ning pic­ture book biog­ra­phy, but with a twist: I’ll anno­tate each spread as I go, adding insights about my research and writ­ing process­es and shar­ing addi­tion­al facts and infor­ma­tion that did­n’t make it into the book. Stu­dents will learn about the work that goes into writ­ing a non­fic­tion book and hear how an author makes deci­sions along the way. They’ll come away with a deep­er appre­ci­a­tion for the sto­ry itself as well as books in gen­er­al. There will be ample time for Q&A about Emmanuel, the book, or writ­ing in gen­er­al. Note that this pre­sen­ta­tion works best if stu­dents are already famil­iar with the story.

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)

Truth and Lies: Can You Tell the Difference?

40–60 min­utes
grades 3–8
class­room or assembly

Two Truths and a Lie: It's Alive!In this pre­sen­ta­tion, 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, and I’ll show them how to eval­u­ate infor­ma­tion and sources using the SIFT method. Final­ly, I’ll share addi­tion­al tricks on how to avoid get­ting fooled by less-than-fac­tu­al infor­ma­tion. Stu­dents will leave with a height­ened sense of skep­ti­cism and new­found self-suf­fi­cien­cy, both as con­sumers and as pro­duc­ers of information. 

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… 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

30–60 min­utes
grades K‑6
class­room or assembly

I will read from Emmanuel’s Dream and use it to show how we make our writ­ing more rel­e­vant to both our­selves as writ­ers and to our read­ers. This author vis­it offers a glimpse of my writ­ing jour­ney from inspi­ra­tion to pub­li­ca­tion and dis­cuss­es grit and let­ting go of per­fec­tion­ism. Stu­dents will leave know­ing we are all writ­ers and that shar­ing our sto­ries mat­ters for each and every one of us, whether we’re pro­fes­sion­al authors or not.

You Can Be a Changemaker

flex­i­ble length
all ages
large or small groups, option­al hands-on work­shop elements

Be a ChangemakerDraw­ing on my age-appro­pri­ate books (either Be a Change­mak­er or Emmanuel’s Dream or Eliz­a­beth Warren’s Big, Bold Plans), this author vis­it pre­sen­ta­tion will intro­duce youth to the idea that, in today’s world, every­one can—-and should—-strive to be a change­mak­er. I present real-world exam­ples of young peo­ple who had made their marks on the world. I also inspire stu­dents to dream big and take pos­i­tive action in their com­mu­ni­ties and beyond. Final­ly, I give stu­dents prac­ti­cal tips for suc­cess in their own future change­mak­ing efforts. For small­er groups and/or old­er stu­dents, hands-on work­shop ele­ments can be included. 

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 Work­shop: Where Do You Get Your Ideas?

30–60 min­utes
grades 1–6

You Are a Honey Bee!First, I present an overview of the steps in the writ­ing process: ideas, research, planning/outlining, draft­ing, revis­ing, and edit­ing. I think it’s impor­tant for stu­dents to hear that pro­fes­sion­al authors fol­low the same steps being taught in school! Then, I’ll dig deep­er into where I find my ideas and we’ll do some exer­cis­es to help stu­dents make their own unique idea lists. Final­ly, I’ll share some tips for becom­ing a bet­ter writer in any genre.

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, first grade teacher, Woodridge Ele­men­tary, Belle­vue, WA )

Adult Programs

Writ­ing to Save the World

flex­i­ble length
teens or adults

This is an inspi­ra­tional and explo­rational pre­sen­ta­tion for adult writ­ers of all gen­res and skill lev­els. I share quotes about the impor­tance of writ­ing and writ­ers along with exam­ples from my own pub­lish­ing jour­ney. I also help par­tic­i­pants tap into their cre­ativ­i­ty and pas­sions to dis­cov­er their true writ­ing pur­pose through sev­er­al short, sim­ple writ­ing exer­cis­es. Par­tic­i­pants should walk away with a greater sense of con­vic­tion about the val­ue of their work in the world as well as new tools to help them keep it mov­ing forward.

Writ­ing Non­fic­tion for Kids | Overview and Resources

30–90 min­utes

In this pre­sen­ta­tion for adult writ­ers, I pro­vide an overview of the mar­ket for non­fic­tion for chil­dren, includ­ing mag­a­zines, edu­ca­tion­al/­work-for-hire, and trade mar­kets for pic­ture books as well as mid­dle-grade and young-adult non­fic­tion books. I 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 the depth desired, this pre­sen­ta­tion can be 30–90 min­utes long.