Laura Atkins - Author
1420 1/2 Hopkins Street
Berkeley, CA 94702
Preferred method of contact: email
Books for Children
Genres: Picture Books & Middle Grade Non-fiction/Biography
Titles: Sled Dog Dachshund, Fighting for Justice: Fred Korematsu Speaks (Feb. 2017), Biddy Mason Speaks up (2018)
Books are available through Minted Prose, Heyday Books, IPG, PGW, Ingram
Available for Bookstore Programs
Has worked with Book Passage Children's Writers & Illustrators Conference; Kidlitcon: Blogging Diversity in YA & Children's Lit (Sacramento); Association of Children's Librarians of Northern California Institute (2015), Bay Area Young Adult Librarians, (San Leandro Public Library), Mendocino Coast Writers Conference (2016)
Available for school presentations.
Experience running smaller workshops as well as giving more public lectures, including presenting to first/second and third grade classes at Jefferson Elementary School in Berkeley.
For younger children (up to 8 years old) Laura can read from the picture book, Sled Dog Dachshund, and then talk about how picture books are made, including an exercise to help the children come up with their own ideas to begin to generate a picture book about animals/pets. She draws on her experience as both an author and a picture book editor to talk about the format of the picture book, the number of spreads one has to tell the story, and gives tips to focus one's ideas to make an effective book. She leaves tools with the teacher in order to help the children finish their books - to publish in the classroom if they want.
Laura can also run a workshop with a class of children focusing on writing non-fiction/biography, which includes a look at drawing on primary sources in order to put together a story about a living person. She draws on the research done to write Fred Korematsu Speaks Up, including a look at interviews and finding documents that underpinned the book. She invites kids to think about someone important in their lives, and to generate ideas about how they might create a book about a person. She discusses different ways to approach telling a story about a person - what biography is and can be. This can work with a group of up to 30 children.
For a larger public lecture, Laura can share parts of the Fred Korematsu book, looking at the history of discrimination and civil liberties struggles in California. This can include visuals/videos to help keep the audience engaged, as well as a question and answer portion.
Honorarium: 1-hour for one class: $250; 1-hour presentation for up to 100 children: $350; 1-hour presentation for 100+ children: $500; Half-day visit (3 hours): $750; Full-day visit: $1500
Size of audience: Up to 200
Equipment needed: Laptop, projector, microphone if speaking to 50 or more.
Laura Atkins is an author, teacher, and independent children's book editor with twenty years of editorial experience. Her first published children's book will be from Minted Prose, LLC, launching in the Fall of 2016. Her second book, the first in a series of biographies, comes out from Heyday Books in February 2017.
As an editor, Atkins has worked with various book publishers, helping to produce winners of the Coretta Scott King Award and ALA Notable Book selections, among others. She holds an MA in Children's Literature from National Centre for Research in Children's Literature in London and an MFA in Writing for Children and Young Adults from Vermont College of Fine Arts.