Lamar Giles

Lamar Giles is an author, speaker, founding member of We Need Diverse Books (, a non-profit dedicated to changing the face of publishing, and a faculty member in the Spalding University MFA program. His love of stories and storytelling began at an early age in his hometown of Hopewell, Virginia. After graduating from Hopewell High School in 1997, he attended Old Dominion University in Norfolk, Virginia. It was at ODU where he decided to pursue writing as a career, making his first professional short story sale at the age of 21.

His debut Young Adult novel, FAKE ID, sold to HarperCollins in 2011, and since its publication in 2014, has gained national acclaim. Among its many accolades are a 2015 Edgar® Award nomination from the Mystery Writers of America, and the Virginia State Reading Association’s 2015-2016 Readers Choice Award. In 2016, his second novel, ENDANGERED, was a finalist for the 2016 Edgar® Award. And his latest novel, OVERTURNED, was touted as “an utterly compelling whodunit” in a starred review from Kirkus Reviews.

Lamar has spoken and taught at a number of middle schools, high schools, and for prestigious conferences and organizations, including the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators, Virginia Children’s Book Festival, and BookExpo America. His work also has been featured on NPR, the New York Times Book Review, CNN, Publishers Weekly, Kirkus Reviews, Flavorwire, Mother Nature Network, etc.

His books for young readers are represented by Jamie Weiss Chilton of the Andrea Brown Literary Agency, and he lives in Chesapeake, Virginia, with his wife.


KEYNOTE: WRITE YOU – Geared towards teens, this keynote focuses on Lamar discussing his path to becoming a professional writer. He will give insight into his youth, his inspirations, struggles, and how he overcame years of rejection to achieve his goal of scoring a major publishing deal and seeing his novels in the hands of loyal, encouraging readers.

BREAKOUT: STORY STARTERS – For aspiring fiction writers. Ideas are everywhere; we must train ourselves to recognize them. In a series of short, fun exercises, student writers will use photos, props, and personal experiences as the basis for their own epic tales.

BREAKOUT: STAY TUNED – For aspiring fiction writers. Each time a section/chapter ends, readers are provided with a natural break point, a moment where he/she can put down the book for an hour, or an evening, or forever. This session will help keep readers tuned into your work by examining exciting techniques from popular novels, TV, and movies and finding ways to inject the same thrills into your writing.


Availability and Honorariums

For rates and availability, contact Carmen Oliver.