School Visits & Events
I love connecting with readers! I offer free 20-30 minute virtual visits that include a short reading and Q&A. I also offer longer presentations (currently virtual only, on the videoconferencing platform of your choice) for which I charge a fee or require book purchases. Please contact me at lauriemorrisonwrites [at] gmail [dot] com to inquire about cost and availability. I hope we can set something up!
Presentation Options (all 40-60 minutes and ideal for grades 5-8):
The Story of Saint Ivy: From a Flash of Inspiration in 2011 to a Published Book in 2021
This presentation chronicles my journey as an author—from a kid who loved to read novels but didn’t think I was creative enough to write them to an adult who found the courage and inspiration to try. I share my experiences of persevering through many, many rejections and disappointments before my first book sold. I then show the initial page of a story I wrote in 2011, which had several key elements in common with Saint Ivy, and take them through the false starts and different versions I tried out before I got the story right. I also share a behind-the-scenes look at the editing and publishing process for the book.
Rejection, Resilience, and Recycling Ideas: A Behind-the-Scenes Look at Up for Air
This presentation chronicles my journey as an author—from a kid who loved to read novels but didn’t think I was creative enough to write them to an adult who found the courage and inspiration to try. I share my experiences of persevering through many, many rejections and disappointments before my first book sold, and I walk students through the story of Up for Air, which spun off from a different novel I’d written, in which Annabelle was a secondary character. I emphasize the power of resilience and flexibility as I show kids how I “recycled” characters and ideas I believed in when I let go of a book that hadn’t sold and crafted something new. I also share a behind-the-scenes look at the editing and publishing process for the book.
Writing Workshop: Crafting an Intriguing Beginning
Before the workshop, students will read my first draft of the first chapter of Up for Air (provided as a PDF) alongside the first chapter of the published book. During the workshop, we will discuss the editorial comments that led me to write a new beginning, and we’ll consider what makes the revised first chapter stronger than my first draft. I will share intriguing beginnings from other novels as well, and together we will come up with a list of techniques for crafting an effective opening to a story or novel. We will then create a character and situation together, and students will have a chance to write story beginnings.
August 8, 2021 10am EST (on YouTube)
Middle Ground Book Festival
Open Book: Behind the Scenes of Being an Author, with Nicole Mancini, Amy Makechnie, Mae Respicio, Jarrett Lerner, Leslie C. Youngblood, and Laurie Morrison
July 15, 2021
June 12, 2021
NCTE On-Demand Virtual Panel about Upper Middle Grade: The Confluence of MG and YA
September 26, 2021
Maplewood South Orange Book Festival, Maplewood, NJ
October 2, 2021
Collingswood Book Festival, Collingswood, NJ