Anderson began her career as a freelance journalist, and worked for a time at The Philadelphia Inquirer. In 1999, she wrote what is arguably her most famous novel, Speak, which won numerous awards and was a The New York Times best seller. Speak was adapted into a film in 2004, starring Kristen Stewart in the lead role of Melinda Sordino. The following year, Anderson wrote Fever, 1793, a historical fiction piece. In 2002, she wrote Catalyst, set in the same high school as Speak, and featuring cameo appearances from the earlier book's characters. A historical fiction book, Thank You, Sarah! The Woman Who Saved Thanksgiving was also published in 2002.Laurie Halse Anderson became a finalist for the prestigious National Book Award with her first work of fiction for young adults, Speak. That 1999 novel won an array of honors for Anderson, the author of three earlier picture books for younger readers, for its searing portrayal of a fourteen-year-old girl who becomes mute after a sexual assault. She was born October 23, 1961, in the northern New York town of Potsdam. Her father was a Methodist minister who wrote poetry on the side, and as a girl Anderson loved to play with his typewriter. She once commented, "I decided to become a writer in second grade. My teacher, Mrs. Sheedy-Shea, taught us how to write haiku. The giant light bulb clicked on over my head: 'Oh, my goodness! I can do this!' I hope every second grader learns how to write haiku."
Anderson published Prom in 2005, which appeared on The New York Times best seller list during early 2005, and in 2007 she released Twisted, which has won awards such as the National Awards: ALA Best Book for Young Adults 2008, ALA Quick Pick for Young Adults 2008, International Reading Association Top Ten of 2007, and New York Public Library Best Books for the Teen Age, and also became a The New York Times best seller. In 2008, Anderson published another historical fiction book, a narrative about a teenage Revolutionary War-era slave, entitled Chains. She is writing a sequel to Chains, entitled Forge, which will be released in 2010. She claims it will be followed by a third novel as well, which will "conclude the adventures of Isabel and her friends." Anderson's most recent novel, Wintergirls, was released in March 2009. Wintergirls has received five-star reviews and debuted on The New York Times Best Seller list.