Laura Pedersen was the youngest columnist for The New York Times. Prior to that she was the youngest person to have a seat on the floor of the American Stock Exchange and wrote her first book Play Money about that experience, which received a starred Kirkus review and became a bestseller. Laura has a finance degree from New York University’s Stern School of Business.
In 1994 President Clinton honored Pedersen as one of Ten Outstanding Young Americans. She has appeared on shows such as “CNN,” “Oprah,” “Good Morning America,” “The Today Show,” “Primetime,” and David Letterman. She has also performed stand-up comedy at “The Improv,” among other clubs, and writes material for several well-known comedians.
Laura’s first novel, Going Away Party, won the Three Oaks Prize for Fiction. Her short stories and humorous essays have won numerous awards and been published in literary journals and magazines. Her second novel, Beginner’s Luck, was selected by Barnes & Noble for their “Discover Great New Writers” program, by Borders for their “Original Voices” program, and by The Literary Guild as an alternate selection. Heart’s Desire, the sequel to Beginner’s Luck, was also chosen for the Literary Guild. Additional writing includes the critically acclaimed novels Last Call, The Big Shuffle (featured by Target Stores as one of their best books for Fall 2006), Best Bet (a Next Generation fiction finalist), Fool’s Mate, and a collection of short stories called The Sweetest Hours. Laura’s humorous memoir Buffalo Gal (2008) won "Best Memoir" from ForeWord Magazine, an honorable mention for the Eric P. Hoffer book award, and an honorable mention at the New York Book Festival. Buffalo Unbound won the 2011 Indie Book Award in the category of humor/comedy and was an International Book Award finalist in the categories of Travel Essay and Humor.
Also, Medaille College chose Buffalo Unbound as their all-freshmen read. Pedersen's full-length play The Brightness of Heaven was the finalist in the Maxim Mazunder New Play Competition and a finalist in The Hudson Valley Writers' Center New Play Reading Series. Pedersen's one-act play A Dozen Perfect Moments was selected to be performed at the 2012 Midtown International Theatre Festival. A Dozen Perfect Moments was also a winner of the Doc Jim Martin Playwright Competition. Trains, Planes, and Auto-Rickshaws, a collection of humorous essays about traveling through India was released in May 2012.
Laura lives in New York City and teaches at the Booker T. Washington Learning Center in East Harlem. She is a member of the national literary association P.E.N. (poets, essayists and novelists).