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I love talking with readers and having the chance to share my passion for history and research, writing, and my novels’ characters and themes. I learn something myself from the audience each time—a lovely and rejuvenating gift for any author.

Audiences large or small, young or “old,” in-person or virtual are equal delights for me. I have presented in formal situations like the National Gallery of Art or the Museum of the American Revolution; enjoyed the give-and-take of panels for organizations like the National Archives, NCTE, and literary festivals such as the Southern Festival of Books; and chatted with small, intimate gatherings of book clubs, library study groups, and writers’ workshops.  

I particularly relish talking with students and educators. My books range in reading level from Kindergarten to Twelfth Grade, and the majority fall into the 6th-9th grade curriculum in terms of complementing/contextualizing history, civics, and the English literary canon. (Several of my novels, for instance, explore WWII, the American Revolution, and the Cold War’s Red Scare and Berlin Wall.) I especially enjoy being with a variety of classes in one school when teachers have developed an interdisciplinary study unit. (One WWII unit pulled in the History, English, French, Music, Science, Art, and P.E. departments!)

While discussing the history and facts contained in my novels to give a quick overview of the time period, I also show students the treasure hunt joy of research and primary documents in creating stories. I do that with examples from my own works (Alexander Hamilton’s letters to Peggy, for instance) and then providing creative-thinking prompts during the Q&A conclusion of my talk. I come armed with plenty of visuals!

You can get a sense of my presentation style on these videos and in the photos on this page.

Some additional specifics:

School Visits

If you wish, I can jump centuries and novels from assembly to assembly, as grades may prefer to talk about different topics or eras. (I have gone from kindergarten with my picture books to high schoolers with the more advanced, older YA historical novels.) As a former magazine journalist, I can also address nonfiction writing and reporting techniques as well. It keeps the day interesting to have the variety! I am happy proof that once a person knows how to write, they can enjoy writing in multiple genres.

A full day includes up to three assembly presentations, a book signing, and an informal lunch OR after-school session with selected students or teachers (if desired). Workshops (see below) are also available.

The most rewarding experience for your students is if they have already read the novel I am to discuss, or had some exposure to it, although I am happy to introduce them to the topic while there. Please take a look at my section for lesson plans and discussion guides. Each individual book page also offers links to learning more, bios, pop culture of the era, etc. If you are teaching one of my books as part of your ELA, social studies, or history curriculum, please share your lesson plan with me and I will tailor my talk to those topics.

Books may be purchased from my publishers at a 40% discount when ordered for an author visit.

Virtual Presentations

I am happy to Skype or Zoom with students of all ages—that means adults and their book clubs, too! I can provide an hour-long session with a 30 to 40-minute presentation plus time for a Q&A.

I do ask a small fee for such presentations, but the amount is negotiable if you are doing an all-class or all-grade read of one of my books, or if my presentation is tied to a book fair where my works are sold. I ask you to guarantee that you will not record my presentation to share with others.

You can see examples at

Writing Workshops

Workshops can complement or be substituted for school assemblies or be offered as a stand-alone opportunity.

The Craft of Research and Writing

Focus on helping students understand how to “read” primary documents to both interpret history and to create stories. I display photographs or primary documents, ask students to tell me what they see, what they think it means, and then create a sketch, dialogue, or character study, using the photos as a springboard to both critical thinking and imagination. Emphasizing the most important “rule” of writing: show rather than tell.
This workshop can also be presented to teachers, providing educators with strategies for helping students analyze primary sources (and media) and techniques for promoting historical inquiry.

Creative Non-Fiction/ Reporting Stories

I was a magazine journalist for two decades, writing 5,000 word stories, covering women’s issues, mental health, and the performing arts. As such, I can talk about interviewing, reporting, how to spot a story, and how to distill a large, unwieldy topic into a compelling, human narrative—techniques of creative nonfiction. I focus on the importance of multiple viewpoints, corroborating sources, revision, and editing, as well as writing to space.

This workshop can also be presented to teachers, providing educators with techniques for teaching creative writing.


Fees for appearances or presentations at schools, public libraries, book festivals, and professional conferences vary depending upon the length of day and travel. Please contact me for more information.



Coming Appearances:



Online Writing Workshop: How to Write Exciting, Evocative, & Commercially Viable Historical Fiction Zoom Seminar.

Covered topics:

      How to envision/research a unique historical story.

      Finding character, themes, plot twists in primary documents.

      Creating authentic dialogue, true to the lingo and cultural milieu of an era.

      Avoiding historical cliché and “info dump.”

      Working in era-specific societal expectations/challenges your protagonist must face.

     Writing an effective query and selling yourself and your work. (this segment led by developmental editor & author 

Register here:




Wake Forest University 2:00 P.M. 
Alumni Lecture presented by Laura Elliott (’79): 
“Book-banning, Disinformation, and Coverups: How Historical Fiction Tackles Tough Topics”
ZSR Auditorium
Book-bans and disinformation, tribal-thinking and unsubstantiated innuendo, hate labels,
conspiracy theories, threats of political retribution.

Author L. M. Elliott (’79) discusses the hunt for truth and the battle for intellectual freedom during the Red Scare/McCarthyism and Cold War
Berlin, sharing history and unsung heroes from her award-winning “docudrama” novels Suspect
 and WALLS. She’ll also share echoes between 1973 and today, previewing her upcoming Truth, Lies, and the Questions in Between, set in the year of Watergate hearings and the struggle to ratify the ERA.



OCTOBER 18 VLA Conference

Norfolk, VA  9 AM presentation

How Did We Get Out of this Morass Before? (Hint: Librarians, a responsible press, and some very clever teenagers) 
Book-bans and disinformation, tribal-thinking, hate labels, and political threats. Author L. M. Elliott—winner of the Scott O’Dell and VLA’s Cardinal Cup for historical fiction--discusses the battle for intellectual freedom during the Red Scare/McCarthyism and Cold War Berlin, sharing history from her award-winning “docudrama” novels SUSPECT RED and WALLS.