Meet Changemaker Edward Jiang, founder of StudentRND

Edward Jiang

This is the sec­ond post in the series intro­duc­ing the amaz­ing young peo­ple who are pro­filed in my upcom­ing book, BE A CHANGEMAKER: HOW TO START SOMETHING THAT MATTERS (Beyond Words/Simon Pulse, Sep­tem­ber 2014). Today I’m intro­duc­ing Edward Jiang, founder of Stu­den­tRND, and giv­ing some behind-the-scenes details about our in-per­son interview.

Edward Jiang
Edward Jiang

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Meet Changemaker Charles Orgbon III, founder of Greening Forward

Be a Changemaker cover

Today, I’m kick­ing off a series of blog posts that will intro­duce you to some of the amaz­ing young peo­ple who are pro­filed in my upcom­ing book, BE A CHANGEMAKER: HOW TO START SOMETHING THAT MATTERS (Beyond Words/Simon Pulse, Sep­tem­ber 2014). Each of the 18 chap­ters in the book includes a short piece about how one or more young peo­ple changed the world and their expe­ri­ences with the chap­ter top­ic, in par­tic­u­lar. I was able to inter­view most of them in per­son, via Skype, by phone, or by email, and I have so much more great stuff about them than would fit in the book–sort of like out-takes, only bet­ter! I hope you’ll enjoy “meet­ing” them here and read­ing more about them and their work.

Charles Orgbon III
Charles Org­bon III

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Exciting BE A CHANGEMAKER book news!


I’ve had some recent excite­ment! In case you missed it over at Emu’s Debuts today (where I blogged about the duel­ing feel­ings of ela­tion and ter­ror that come with it all), here’s a quick recap…

  • I fin­ished the final author query round for BE A CHANGEMAKER:
Not many tabs–yay!
  • I got per­mis­sion to share the cov­er for BE A CHANGEMAKER:BE A CHANGEMAKER cover
  • Friend and fel­low non­fic­tion author Mary Cronk Far­rell told me she down­loaded the advance read­er copy of BE A CHANGEMAKER from Net­Gal­ley, which means peo­ple are already read­ing it!

Things just got a lot more real, folks, in the best pos­si­ble ways. 🙂

2013: What a year!

EMLA Client Retreat group photo

I haven’t post­ed here for way too long, but 2013 turned out to be quite a year. I did man­age to squeeze in a few posts over at Emu’s Debuts, so I thought I’d share them here as a sort of roundup (and to par­tial­ly explain where I’ve been since the last post)…
In July, I had the amaz­ing expe­ri­ence of attend­ing my sec­ond Erin Mur­phy Lit­er­ary Agency client retreat, this time in Big Sky Mon­tana. Words can’t real­ly describe how won­der­ful these retreats are, but I post­ed a bit about it here.

EMLA Client Retreat group photo
The whole EMLA retreat gang (except me!)

Aside from that trip, I spent the sum­mer writ­ing, research­ing, writ­ing, inter­view­ing, writ­ing, revis­ing, writ­ing, revis­ing, revis­ing, and revis­ing to deliv­er the final man­u­script for BE A CHANGEMAKER. I wrote a bit about the process here.
A screen shot of the developmental edit
Tracked changes in the devel­op­men­tal edit stage

Despite the mad race to the fin­ish line, I feel real­ly good about how it all came togeth­er. And here’s a post about how it felt to get to THE END.
Then there was the dread­ed author pho­to, which actu­al­ly turned out to be sort of fun (and decent enough to share with the world, thank goodness!).

Laurie Thompson head shot

Oth­er news and high­lights from the year?

  • I got to see an ear­ly study for a scene from the pic­ture-book biog­ra­phy of Emmanuel Ofo­su Yeboah, illus­trat­ed by Sean Qualls.
  • The above book also FINALLY has a title, EMMANUEL’S DREAM!
  • I also got to see pre­lim­i­nary sketch­es for MY DOG IS THE BEST (sor­ry, I can’t share them here, but Paul Schmid’s illus­tra­tions are ADORABLE!).
  • I fin­ished anoth­er fic­tion pic­ture book man­u­script and it will soon be going out on sub­mis­sion (fin­gers crossed!).
  • I par­tic­i­pat­ed in and fin­ished PiBoId­Mo 2013.

Stay tuned for my next post on how I plan to tack­le 2014. 🙂

Just keep writing, just keep writing…

Wow, have I neglect­ed this blog in recent weeks (okay, months), or what? I’ve been fever­ish­ly focus­ing on knock­ing out the CHANGEMAKERS book, which also meant I was fever­ish­ly focus­ing on find­ing a method to the mad­ness of knock­ing out the CHANGEMAKERS book. I wrote a bit about my strug­gles over on the Emu’s Debuts blog.
Lindt A Touch of Sea Salt dark chocolate barThanks to the sup­port of my fel­low EMu’s fol­low­ing that post, I’ve since hit a pret­ty good stride and am feel­ing much more com­fort­able about my abil­i­ty to fin­ish the book with­out let­ting it kill me. I’ve got a dandy col­lec­tion of spread­sheets to track my progress by word count, by chap­ter, and by research. I’ve got some reward sys­tems in place (i.e. Lindt’s A Touch of Sea Salt bars).
So, things are flow­ing much more smooth­ly now with the writ­ing part, and I am thrilled that the inter­views are rolling in as well. I can’t wait to share what some of the sto­ries about what these ven­ture teams are doing! I’ve known I want­ed to write this book for years, but now that I am actu­al­ly doing it, I’m hav­ing even more fun than I thought I would. Hear­ing these teenagers talk about their ideas, their goals, their suc­cess sto­ries: WOW! It is so inspir­ing, and on so many dif­fer­ent lev­els. When­ev­er I start to think maybe I can’t do this, that this book is too ambi­tious or the dead­line is too short, I just think about what some of them have done. If they are chang­ing the world at the age of 18, or 15, or 10, sure­ly I can write one lit­tle book, right? And if my lit­tle book can help just one more teen pull off even a tiny frac­tion of what these kids are already accom­plish­ing, then I know all of my efforts will have been worth it.
After the book is done, I hope I will be able to share with you here some snip­pets of the inter­views and out­takes from the pro­files I’m work­ing on, because these young peo­ple will blow you away, and in the best pos­si­ble kind of way. I hope my read­ers will be as affect­ed by learn­ing about these teens’ ven­tures as I have been.
When we watch the TV news or read the news­pa­per head­lines, it’s easy to get dis­cour­aged about the state of the world. But writ­ing this book is the com­plete oppo­site expe­ri­ence. It’s hard to get dis­cour­aged about where the world is head­ing when there are so many young peo­ple like the ones I am writ­ing about out there.
And now, back to work! Please for­give me if I’m a lit­tle qui­et for the next few months. 😉

Another book deal: a how-to guide for teen changemakers!

Europa Park Roller Coaster Up
Although we recent­ly spent a week in Dis­ney­land, last week was def­i­nite­ly the big­ger roller coast­er ride for me: I had surgery on Tues­day, then my sec­ond book deal was announced on Thurs­day! There’s noth­ing like good pub­lish­ing news to cheer up a writer who is feel­ing down, and noth­ing like a book sell­ing on proposal–with a short deadline–to make her want to recov­er as quick­ly as possible.
Here’s the announce­ment from Pub­lish­er’s Mar­ket­place:

Lau­rie Thomp­son’s CHANGEMAKERS, a teen hand­book for social activism and how to effect change, with tips, instruc­tion, and prac­ti­cal case stud­ies, to Nicole Geiger at Simon Pulse, by Ammi-Joan Paque­tte at Erin Mur­phy Lit­er­ary Agency (World English).

And here’s the fab­u­lous write-up my amaz­ing agent put up on the agency web­site:

Quick show of hands: Who here has ever dreamed of chang­ing the world? Okay, now one more: Who’s actu­al­ly sat down and put togeth­er a spe­cif­ic plan for chang­ing the world, com­plete with guide­lines, prac­ti­cal tips, and hands-on expe­ri­ence from those who have gone before and actu­al­ly done it?
Let me intro­duce you to Lau­rie Thomp­son. Last year, Lau­rie’s first pic­ture book was signed on by Schwartz & Wade. This week, Lau­rie has accept­ed a pub­li­ca­tion offer for her newest book, a non-fic­tion man­u­al for teens and pre­teens, ten­ta­tive­ly titled CHANGEMAKERS. Focus­ing on the expe­ri­ences of teens and young peo­ple who have made a con­crete dif­fer­ence in their own neigh­bor­hoods, coun­tries, and across the world, CHANGEMAKERS will be the defin­i­tive guide for kids who want to make a dif­fer­ence but don’t know how to get start­ed. And I have a feel­ing the rest of us non-kids will enjoy it too!
This book was enthu­si­as­ti­cal­ly signed on by Nicole Geiger at Beyond Words Publishing/Simon Pulse, and is slat­ed for pub­li­ca­tion in Fall 2014. Huge con­grat­u­la­tions, Laurie!

Even though this is my sec­ond book deal, it looks like it will actu­al­ly be my pub­lish­ing debut. My first book, a pic­ture book, isn’t sched­uled to launch until spring 2015, but this one is sched­uled to come out in fall 2014. Since this one sold on pro­pos­al, how­ev­er, I have a lot of work to do in a short amount of time if that is going to hap­pen. So, please for­give me if I’m even qui­eter than usu­al for the next few months.  As soon as I am recov­ered enough, I’ll be back on my tread­mill pound­ing out words!