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laura the agent
 


 Event listings, photos & endorsements!

Laura has been a faculty member and presenter at writers' conferences, book festivals, and writing workshops throughout the United States and overseas. See the list here.

Laura would love to come to your school, library, writers' group, book club, mom's group, bookstore, museum... and magical kingdom to give presentations.

Since she is both a children's book author and a literary agent, she brings an unusual perspective to her work as an author. She can offer insight gleaned from her own experience as an author and from over ten years of working closely with successful authors. She draws on this wealth of experience to discuss where stories come from and to talk about the specific steps for how to move from inspiration, to story idea, to book. She sheds light on the writing process and provides concrete, hands-on advice for taking real life experiences and transforming them into fiction. She also gives a sneak-peek, behind-the-scenes look at how the world of book publishing works.

Laura gives presentations to audiences of all ages. She is happy to tailor a presentation to your group's needs and is comfortable speaking to any age and size audience. Her goal is to inspire, to teach, to entertain, and to help kids and grown-ups learn how to become better writers and perhaps authors themselves.

 Read endorsements from librarians and teachers.

 Host a Royal Princess Academy Party

 Random House Teacher's and Storytime Guide for DINO



WHERE BOOKS COME FROM
(talks for kids)

Here are some examples of talks she's given in the past (these talks have been adapted to different age groups)...

How To Hatch a Book

This presentation, appropriate for kindergarten and up, is an interactive one in which Laura uses the examples of her own books to take children through the process of finding the seed or inspiration for a work all the way through to writing the story. She reads BUYING, TRAINING, AND CARING FOR YOUR DINOSAUR and uses the book as a starting point to talk about what makes stories interesting and fun. She helps kids see how they, too, can take experiences in their own lives and real facts, add the key ingredient—THEIR IMAGINATIONS—and use these things to get Story.

The Secret Life of Authors

Have you ever wondered where authors get their ideas? What steps do authors follow to write a book, and how do they get their book published? What are their writing habits, the secret tricks they use when they get stuck, and how do they deal with it when someone tells them they need to make changes in their story? Laura draws on her own experience as an author to answer these and other questions about the secret life of authors. Any question goes! Laura has a wealth of personal experience to draw on—not only with her own books but also because she works so closely with many authors.

Happily Never After: Character plus Problem = Story

This is a hands-on workshop focusing on the fundamentals of story telling. Laura will use her own books as models and will elicit audience participation at every step of the way. She will include in-class exercises to help kids get going on work of their own.

 

THE CARE AND FEEDING OF CHILDREN'S BOOKS
(talks for grown-ups)

Presentations that are perfect for books clubs, mom's groups, and writing groups...

It's Just Bunny Eat Bunny Out There:
The Art of the Picture Book


Picture books look deceptively simple, but they're not. As both an author herself and a long-time literary agent, Laura is uniquely positioned to discuss the art and craft of picture book writing. She uses her own and other picture books as models to talk about what makes a picture book work and how to make your own publishable. This in-depth discussion focuses on the special requirements, challenges, and techniques for creating a picture book that readers and editors can't put down.

The Seven Deadly Sins of Writing

Laura uses her published books and other examples of books for young readers to tease out principles of what does and does not work on the page. She'll discuss the common errors writers make in their work and will help the audience generate a checklist of what makes for successful fiction, whether in picture books or novels, for future reference.

Under the Hood: The Nuts and Bolts of Craft

Laura lifts the hood and focuses on the key elements of the writer's craft: voice, great beginnings, characterization, narrative structure, plot, powerful endings. How do you establish your compact with the reader and then honor it? What makes opening pages irresistible and how do you sustain these page-turning elements throughout your work? What causes a reader to put down a book? If voice is that ineffable something you bring to the table, are there concrete ways in which you can work on it? What are the essential elements that go into the creation of round (E.M. Forster's terminology) characters, and how can you create these multi-dimensional, vivid characters? Come to Laura's hands on session and plumb these questions and others as she delves into issues of craft and technique, drawing on her ten years plus experience as an agent, on her years of experience as a professor English Literature, and on her own experience as an author.

Please contact Laura for availability and for information on fees.

 

FACULTY / PRESENTER

Laura has been a faculty member and presenter at writers' conferences, book festivals, and writing workshops throughout the United States and overseas...

Big Sur Children's Writing Workshop
Big Sur Fiction and Non-Fiction Writing Workshop
La Jolla Writers' Conference
San Diego State University Writers' Conference
Southwest Writers' Conference in Tucson, AZ
Cuesta College Writers Conference
Hilton Head Writers' Conference
Jack London Writers' Conference
San Diego State University
San Francisco State University
UCLA
Southwest Writers Conference
Pikes Peak Writers Conference
Pacific Northwest Writer's Conference
Texas Writer's League
Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators Conferences in all regions
SCBWI Summer Annual Convention
Central Coast Writers Conference
Book Passage Children's Book Writing Conference
California State University Summer Arts Festival
The Virginia Festival of the Book
Willamette Writers Conference
Backspace Writers Conference
Surrey International Writers Conference
Tokyo Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators
Hong Kong Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators

 

LINKS
Some useful links in the children's book world...

Andrea Brown Literary Agency
Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators
Miss Snark, the Literary Agent
Read Roger
Editorial Anonymous
Fuse #8 Production
Bookshelves of Doom
Alice's CWIM Blog
A Chair, A Fireplace, & A Tea Cozy
ShelfTalker: A Children's Bookseller's Blog
Brooklyn Arden, the blog of Cheryl Klein
Chicken Spaghetti
Book Buds

Some useful links in publishing, not necessarily children's books...

Barry Eisler—"For Writers" section
Buzz, Balls & Hype
Query Shark
Book Promotion 101
Publisher's Marketplace
Galley Cat
Pub Rants


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