Kid Mediation in 5 Easy Steps



Children Mediating

I believe in empowering children, in giving them the tools they need to successfully mediate conflicts on their own. So, Using the Dean and JoJo Anti-Bullying DVD of one man’s friendship with a wild-bottlenose dolphin named JoJo I work with students engaging them in activities to create positive conflict resolution. They create Peace Cards with positive alternatives to conflicts and share them with one another as well as engage in writing and role playing activities to model good communication. With this program I have helped other educators teach children how stop bullying, avoid arguments, and maintain healthy friendships.

Dolphin Mediators are a group of 5th and 6th grade students who have volunteered to act as a go-between for other kids who might be having a conflict. With Mrs. Woodward as the faculty advisor, they use a prepared script to help others learn to take turns, communicate with “I feel” messages, and come up with win-win situations.  At recesses they walk around, clipboards in hand and offer advice, guidance, and rewards to those who resolve conflicts peacefully.

If you’d like to learn more about how to implement anti-bullying activities on your campus, contact me. I love to share!

Dolphin Legacy Contract!

I just signed a publishing contract with Creativia for The Dolphin Legacy, one I co-wrote with dolphin naturalist Dean Bernal.

Imagine ocean swimming in crystalline waters. All alone. Then three small dolphins join you. They’re all splashing, clicking, and whistling but one young male keeps staring as if he has known you since the days of Atlantian myth.

That’s what happened to Dean Bernal in the turquoise waters off the Turks and Caicos Islands. In that moment, his friendship with a wild bottlenose dolphin, named JoJo, began. He didn’t know it then, but their relationship would become world famous, inspiring millions.

After the death of his two dolphin companions due to human ignorance, JoJo grew closer to Dean. This lone, social dolphin introduced him to the waters and fellow creatures of his ocean realm and provided me with an extraordinary gift previously bestowed to no human: the secret life of a wild dolphin.

Making Mom Proud

“Laurie, guess what was in my inbox?” She barely waited for me to ask what before giddily telling me she’d gotten an Amazon ad with my book at the top.

“My daughter, the star,” she said giggling.

It looks like my publisher is hard at work again.  Promoting its authors. Well. Thanks Creativia Publishing.  It’s nice to know that even at my age I can make Mom’s proud.



In the Hot Seat with Jay Asher

” I wanted to see if you are able to attend the 9/12 SLO Nightwriters meeting? It promises to be a good one and your input would be invaluable – which I and others would greatly appreciate it if you can make it.”

When I got this email from my publicist, I had no idea what I was getting into. I imagined a meeting, like before, where I’d help critique various pieces of work. But when I arrived and was asked to put my name on a slip of paper, I was confused. Then, Susan explained that the names were going into a can to be pulled out randomly during the meeting for a hot seat session with Jay Asher.

Public speaking has always been my greatest fear so I tried not to let my shy side take control and give me a panic attack as I took my seat among other Central Coast writers.  Over the next hour, names were called as I focused on calming my breathing for when my turn came.

“Laurie Woodward,” my publicist, Brian Schwartz announced.

Go for it. I told myself, holding my recently published Artania high as I giddily approached the hot seat.


Jay w - Laurie-4Jay chuckled as we said hi. As soon as I looked in his kind face, my nerves calmed.  I’ve known Jay for years, since well  before either of us were published. Long ago we were both attendees looking for agents at various writers’ conferences and other events in California. Long before his Thirteen Reasons Why became a New York Times bestseller and Netflix series. And he has always been good people. Unassuming. Humble. Accepting.

Jay looked over his list of questions and asked, “What sort of a writing schedule do you have?”

I sighed. That was easy to answer. “I get up every day and write for at least an hour. No matter what. That way I get to start the day in my head.”

Then he asked me to describe my book.

And I froze.

“Umm. Artania is where all art is alive….” I stuttered my way through a confused explanation, kicking myself for not remembering my pitch.

I saw the sympathetic faces in the crowd. Feeling sorry for me. And I realized that these people were no threat.

I took a deep breath and imagined speaking to a group of parents or my students. Thought about Artania’s theme.

“I believe that we all have a special part of ourselves,” I said turning to the audience. “Our artistic side. For some, like you, it’s writing. Others it might be painting or dance. But each is absolutely unique. And what I try to do in Artania, is honor that beautiful part of us.”

Jay w explain


Like all writers do.

Even when they’re in the hot seat.

365 Challenge: Day 237 – Practice

A simple reminder that in all things it is the PRACTICE that leads to excellence. Thank you James.

This Is My Truth Now

Practice: (a) the actual application or use of an idea, belief, or method as opposed to theories about such application or use, or (b) repeated exercise in or performance of an activity or skill so as to acquire or maintain proficiency in it


There are times in life when you do something new. Sometimes those things excite you. Other times they scare you. As I said earlier this week, just because it’s strange doesn’t mean it’s bad or frightening. I have two new activities coming up in the month of November that I’ve never done before. Both are a bit intimidating, but I know that I’ll figure out how to make it best work for me before the reality happens. Over the next few weeks, I’m going to practice until I am comfortable with what I’m doing. You’ll all have an opportunity to witness the end result, but for now…

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My Publisher Chose Artania!

I recently got this exciting email from my publisher.

“Your following titles have entered the Creativia Funnel:

Artania – The Pharaoh’s Cry

This self-evolving platform is the next step in Creativia’s path to capture both niche markets and larger categories in the Amazon marketplace. While all of our books receive ongoing marketing (through AMS, BookBub and our 70+ partners), this is the first time we’ve combined all of our marketing functions together into one seamless platform. No further action is necessary from your part, but here are some things you can do to ensure that your book will get the maximum benefit:

– Make sure your book has as many reviews as possible in the marketplace (the funnel works best with books with 100+ reviews)

– Ensure that your author photo in Amazon is of high quality, and that your Amazon Author Central information is complete (incl. editorial reviews, if any). For great examples on author bios and photos, please have a look at the Amazon Top 100 authors.

– Spread the word about your discount and free promotions

Congratulations, and good luck!”

Yahoo! And thanks to Creativia Publishing for believing in my work!