Mary Laura Philpott travels nationwide to speak with audiences of all kinds — from ticketed luncheons for 100 women to ballroom keynotes for 500 professionals to cozy book-club discussions of all sizes in any setting: conference rooms, restaurants, living rooms, school auditoriums, bookstores, libraries, supper clubs… you name it. Give her a mic, gather up your colleagues / friends / book club / parents association / writing group / secret society / what-have-you, and she can speak from 20 minutes up to an hour (or other timing, depending on what you need).

Combining an inspirational talk with a “grownup storytime” live reading from I Miss You When I Blink — and incorporating audience Q&A and discussion whenever possible — Mary Laura brings humor, relatability, and meaning to every gathering. If you’re looking to liven up your event or offer your attendees a session that’s conversational, down-to-earth, fun, and refreshing, Mary Laura might be the speaker you’re looking for.


Topics include:

  • Imperfectly Perfect: A Message of Solidarity for Recovering (or not) Perfectionists
  • Lessons from the Lobsterman: Embracing Your Unique Perspective 
  • Try It Again, More Like You: Starting Over (and Over)
  • Creativity Crash Course: A Dozen Brilliant Creators for the Price of One

BONUS: What to Read — Having spent several years as a bookseller with one of the nation’s leading independent bookstores — as well as an Emmy-winning co-host of a literary interview show on public television — Mary Laura always has a list of great reads handy. She’s happy to tack a customized reading list onto any talk.

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Books: Mary Laura would love to connect you with an independent bookstore in your area to handle onsite book sales of I Miss You When I Blink or provide attendees with books in advance.


“As she spoke the last words of her talk about perfectionism, you could have heard a pin drop. Mary Laura had everyone in that room riveted. She spoke with a genuine intensity and levity so refreshing you couldn’t help but feel like you were listening to the story of a friend you had always known. Bravo!” – Dawn Pumpelly, Women’s Economic Development Council and The Scout Guide, Huntsville, AL

“Mary Laura was awesome. I have never heard a large room as intently focused as the lunchtime ballroom of our annual ERB conference while she read. Attendees were still talking the next day about it.” – Tom Rochon, CEO, Educational Records Bureau, New York

“We thought it was important to bring in an author who could speak to topics that our employees could relate to — such as the pressures of being perfect, the importance of balancing different aspects of your life, and the experience of thinking, ‘Who am I and what am I doing to do next?'” Mary Laura and I Miss You When I Blink were the perfect fit. Our employees loved hearing her speak and have raved about the book. We were so glad to highlight a woman that our colleagues could connect with by addressing issues that truly matter to them.” – Elinor Cleveland, Director of Corporate Events, Guggenheim Partners, New York

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BONUS: Are you looking for someone who makes faces and talks with her hands? You’ve come to the right place.

If you’re interested in booking Mary Laura to speak with your organization — or to receive further details on speaking topics — let’s talk! Start the conversation by filling out this form and sharing some information about your organization and event.