Latest from the Blog

Awards and Media!!!

The 2020 American Fiction Awards have been announced and I’m absolutely elated to share that Film won in the category of “Inspirational Fiction” and Candy Floss Collection (3 novels) won in the category “Anthologies.” Film was also honored as a finalist for the International Book Awards in the category of “Inspirational Fiction.” I’m proud of these books and truly humbled by this incredible, unexpected recognition. These books cap off a decade of my fiction writing, before turning to a new style and genre, in the Tess Lee and Jack Miller serial. I’ve also been told I’m the first novelist to win back-to-back American Fiction Awards for Inspirational Fiction (2019 for Spark, 2020 for Film). I’ve always simply written what will hold my hand. If my work has done that for others, I’m truly touched. I’ve loved writing more than anything since I was a little girl. Spending my days in imaginary worlds is a dream come true. This recognition, well, it’s icing on the cake. I’m grateful beyond words.

I also want to thank those book bloggers and online media platforms who have helped spread the word about my latest novel, Shooting Stars, during a time when in-person book events have not been possible. The first novel in the Tess Lee and Jack Miller serial, this little book came from the deepest part of my soul. I love it more than I can possibly say. Wandering Educators called Shooting Stars, “one of the most important books you’ll ever read.” Here are a few of my online interviews and book spotlights:

We Are the Real Deal Interview:

Wandering Educators Interview & Review:

The Sociological Cinema Interview:

Chick Lit Central Book Spotlight:

Roses are Blue Book Spotlight:

Heartfelt thanks to early readers. Your kind notes have meant more to me than I could ever say. Many of you have said you read it in one sitting because you couldn’t put it down, that it moved you deeply, and that you can’t stop thinking about it. Thank you, thank you, thank you. Shooting Stars came to me in a bolt and embraced me in the warmest of hugs. Of all my books, it’s the only one I sit down to read myself when I want to feel some of that warmth. It’s a love letter to love. Love heals.

These past months have been enormously difficult as we all try to navigate this pandemic. Like most, I’ve had tremendous personal and professional challenges. All my speaking events and book signings for 2020 and at least half of 2021 have been cancelled. It’s been an incredibly challenging time to release books, especially ones that I hold so dear. I’m profoundly grateful to those in the media who have tried to help spread the word, to early readers for their generous support, and to the awards committees that have bestowed such lovely honors on my work. We all still face many challenges ahead. I’m getting through it the best I can by crawling into a creative writing hole. I feel called to create and I look forward to sharing what comes from these times.

Love and light,


Shooting Stars is out!!!!!

My new novel Shooting Stars is out! To say this was an unexpected project and a gift, would be an understatement. I’d like to share how this love story came to be. This fall through spring I had a creative burst like nothing I’ve ever experienced before. A novel came to me in a complete, immersive way I can only describe as spiritual. I didn’t speak to anyone, respond to emails, and I hardly slept. Ten days later, the novel was drafted. It was the most joyful, engaging, and cathartic experience of my life. I didn’t know what to do with myself, so after a day passed, I began writing again. Fourteen days later, the second novel was drafted. Fast forward, there are now five in total. They’re unlike anything I’ve done before. It’s a love story that came straight from the deepest part of my soul. Really, it’s a love letter to love itself, in all its forms. Each book takes place a year after the last and explores love and another topic. The first novel, called Shooting Stars, explores love and healing. I’ve never been more excited to share something. These characters have embraced me in the warmest hug I’ve ever felt. I hope they do the same for others.Shooting Stars front cover

Here’s a synopsis:

Tess Lee is a novelist. Her inspirational books explore people’s innermost struggles and the human need to believe that there is light at the end of the tunnel. Despite her extraordinary success, she’s been unable to find personal happiness. Jack Miller is a federal agent. After spending decades immersed in a violent world, a residue remains. He’s dedicated everything to his job, leaving nothing for himself. The night Tess and Jack meet, their connection is palpable. She examines the scars on his body and says, “I’ve never seen anyone whose outsides match my insides.” The two embark on an epic love story that asks the questions: What happens when people truly see each other? Can unconditional love change the way we see ourselves? Their friends are along for the ride: Omar, Tess’s sarcastic best friend who mysteriously calls her Butterfly; Joe, Jack’s friend from the Bureau who understands the sacrifices he’s made; and Bobby, Jack’s younger friend who never fails to lighten the mood. Shooting Stars is a novel about walking through our past traumas, moving from darkness to light, and the ways in which love – from lovers, friends, or the art we experience – heals us. Written as unfolding action, Shooting Stars is a poignant novel that moves fluidly between melancholy, humor, and joy.

My heart is filled from the praise we’ve been receiving. Early reviewers have called Shooting Stars “beautiful,” “resonant,” “haunting,” “one of the grandest love stories of all time,” and “Leavy’s most powerful work to date.” One reviewer wrote, “The deepest cuts came from Leavy’s frankly audacious creation of space for trauma processing and healing.”

I’m in love with these characters and the message of this novel. Now, more than ever, we need to feel closeness and connection. That’s what these characters have brought me and I hope they do the same for others. Please pick up a copy at amazon:

As for what’s next, I have two nonfiction releases later this summer: the second edition of The Oxford Handbook of Qualitative Research and the third edition of Method Meets Art. As for fiction, there are four more novels in the Tess Lee and Jack Miller serial. I’ve loved following these characters on their journey and I hope you do too. I’ll let you know all about the second release when I’m able to. Until then, back to my writing hole… who knows what I’ll come up with next.

Love and light,

Candy Floss Collection!!!!!

I’m absolutely delighted to share my latest release, a long-time in the making. Candy Floss Collection is a set of three previously released novels: Low-Fat Love, Blue, and Film. Together these novels create an overarching message about what it truly means to live a “big life” and the kinds of relationships we need with others and ourselves along the way. This is not a traditional trilogy. I view this collection as installation art. In this collection, we follow each female protagonist and cast of offbeat characters as they search for love, friendship, and a sense of self. The characters must learn to mind the gap between their lives as they are and as they wish them to be, to chase their dreams even as they stumble on their insecurities, and to never settle for low-fat love. Along the way, characters are imaged in the glow of television and movie screens, their own stories shaped and illuminated by the stories in pop culture. Set in contemporary New York and Los Angeles, with special tributes to 1980s pop culture, each novel questions and celebrates the ever-changing cultural landscape against which we live our stories, frame by frame. There are many messages in this collection, but the overarching statement is: we are possibilities.9789004428256_pb_cover_cmyk.indd

I put this collection out for both old and new readers. The novels have each been revised and there’s a new preface and afterword. Beyond those revisions and additions, there are nuances in each novel that are signposted in the others—so you see more, when you read them as a collection. Moreover, there is a larger story and message—an arc— that is only revealed when all three are experienced chronologically. Putting out this book completes a work, a decade of writing, and a lifetime of thinking about certain themes. I’m very grateful my publisher, Brill/Sense, allowed me the opportunity to present my full artistic vision. It’s rare for authors. When you think about it, other artists do this all the time. For example, musicians often put out different versions of their work, whether it’s new recordings, live recordings, cover songs, or boxsets or other “greatest hits” compilations. We accept that a song with good bones can be interpreted in different ways. This is true for every art form, fiction included. I’ve rewritten or retooled my fiction before. For example, this collection actually includes the third published version of Low-Fat Love, and each one is different. I think it’s easier for us to accept with music perhaps because of its ephemeral nature. Fiction is printed in black ink, but the possibilities are endless.

Please pick up a copy at Amazon.

For me, this collection puts an exclamation point on a decade of my work. I’m so excited to share it in this special format. And I can’t wait for what’s next. Stay tuned… and thank you from the bottom of my heart for coming along with me on this journey.

Love and light,

Handbook Release & More!

After seven years of labor, I’m delighted to announce the release of The Oxford Handbook of Methods for Public Scholarship. This is a one-of-a-kind collection for students, professors, and researchers across the disciplines who are looking to make their research accessible to audiences outside of the academy. I extend my profound gratitude to the incredible contributors for generously sharing their expertise and wisdom. This handbook is a stand-out because of them. I’m also grateful to Oxford University Press for their continued support and for pushing the bounds with this publication. As always, heartfelt thanks to the world’s best assistant, Shalen Lowell, who has labored on this for many long years.
OUP handbook pub methods

Here’s what reviewers have said:

“…this handbook demonstrates how the power of research and scholarship can be held in the hands of many rather than in those of a select few.” — Joe Salvatore, Clinical Associate Professor of Educational Theatre, New York University Steinhardt

“This handbook contributes greatly to the growing movement to make research relevant, accessible, and useful.” — Rosemary Reilly, Professor, Applied Human Sciences, Concordia University

“Editor Patricia Leavy assembles some of the most notable writers in public scholarship for this authoritative collection… This important handbook comes at a critical time when academia must embed itself deeply in the local and global communities it serves to collaboratively create positive social transformation.” — Johnny Saldaña, Professor Emeritus, Arizona State University

“Patricia Leavy has done it again — created a research methods work of importance and relevance and authenticity, with acuity and a keen sense of just what is needed for the field, in this case the field of public scholarship. This is the first comprehensive overview of public scholarship methods — something which Leavy has always pioneered, most particularly with her recent beautifully crafted work of social fiction and tenacious and inclusive leadership” — Alexandra Lasczik, Associate Professor, School of Education, Southern Cross University

Please pick up a copy of the handbook for personal use (it’s an awesome reference), ask your library to buy a copy, and/or consider it for course adoption. Please use promo code ASPROMP8 at the Oxford University Press website for 30% off:

The handbook is also available at Amazon:

As this new nonfiction work is released, I’m in the middle of two special fiction releases. As you know, Spark was released in March. I’ve had a wonderful time at book talks and signings and virtually joining classes and book clubs. If you’re a professor adopting Spark as a required text and you’d like me to Skype into your class, please email me. I’m more than happy to do so pending scheduling. Likewise, I want to thank the many colleges and universities considering Spark as a part of campus-wide reading programs. That’s an honor beyond words. Of course if Spark is selected, I’d be honored to visit your campus in-person or virtually, if we can work out the scheduling and logistics. I’m forever grateful to the world-class team at Guilford Press for all they have done to help get this book out into the world. And I have some lovely news. I’m elated to share that Spark won the American Fiction Award for Inspirational Fiction and was an honored finalist in the category of Adventure Fiction. I’m humbled beyond words. I’m deeply moved readers have found Spark inspirational, which was my fondest hope. I’m also stunned and thrilled to share that Spark also won the Living Now Book Award gold medal for adventure fiction. I’m just floored by all of this incredible recognition. I’m truly grateful beyond words.

As for what’s next, I’m releasing a new novel—something very special to me—in a matter of days. I’ve never released two novels so close together, but these just poured out of me. My forthcoming release, Film, follows three women who moved to Los Angeles to pursue their dreams and carries undertones of #MeToo. With a tribute to popular culture, set against the backdrop of Tinseltown, Film celebrates how the art we make and consume can shape our stories, scene by scene. Reviewers are calling Film “a tour de force” “gorgeous” “a love letter to popular culture” “a feminist fist bump” and “Leavy’s bravest novel.” More very soon…

Thank you for your support on this journey. It means the world to me.
Love and light,

Spring/Summer Round-Up

It’s been an incredible few months since the release of Spark. Now that things have calmed down I’d like to take a moment to thank you all. I’m enormously grateful to everyone who has picked up a copy, said a kind word, interviewed me about the book, or hosted me at their bookstore. Here’s a snippet of a review from Wandering Educators.

“One of the best books I’ve ever read, Patricia Leavy’s Spark is, you guessed it, a story that you can’t put down, so plan on staying up until you finish… I won’t give away the ending, but I will say this: READ THIS BOOK. You’ll think about it for the rest of your life…it’s that good.”

Yeah, that made me blush. Here are some highlights from my Spark journey.

As someone most comfortable at home in sweats writing away, I rarely do AERA 1
public book events, but I had fun doing a couple in support of Spark.
Thank you to Barnes & Noble and Burgundy Books for hosting me and huge
heartfelt thanks to everyone who stopped by! I also loved chatting with
friends, colleagues, and new readers at the American Educational Research
Association Conference in Toronto. Thank you, Guilford Press for hosting
a wonderful book signing!
BN 1
BN 3
BUrgundy 2

I’m also thrilled to know folks are using Spark in book clubs and professors are adopting it as required reading in a host of courses. If you’re using Spark in one of these capacities and you’d like me to Skype into your book club meeting or class for a Q&A, please message me on Facebook. I’m happy to virtually join groups when scheduling permits.

I’ve been privileged to have the chance to talk and write about Spark in different forums. This novel was a labor of love and also a special project, one that can’t be replicated, and I’ve enjoyed explaining the inspiration. Here are some blogs, interviews, and podcasts.

Interview with We Are the Real Deal:
Interview with the Salzburg Global Seminar:
Interview with The Sociological Review:
Interview with the Sociological Cinema:
Interview with Wandering Educators:
Interview with So Fi Zine:
Podcast with New Books Network:
Blog for Mogul “What’s My Spark”:
Blog for Mogul “Sparking Critical Thinking through Fiction”:

Finally, I’m overjoyed for the recognition this little novel has received. Spark was honored as an award-winning finalist by the International Book Awards in the categories Best New Fiction and Inspirational Fiction. I’m truly humbled. Spark has also been nominated for five American Fiction Awards… waiting for the results to be announced. I share all of this recognition with the incredible team at Guilford Press.

If you haven’t read Spark yet, Guilford Press is happy to offer 20% off and free shipping to folks in the US/Canada. Use promo code 7FSPARK here:

As for what’s next…

I’m looking forward to the American Sociological Association Conference in NYC. For those attending, please stop by for a chat or to pick up a signed book. I’ll be doing a signing for Spark and my other Guilford Press titles from 10:30-11:30 Sunday August 11th at Booth #329. I’ll be doing a signing for Privilege Through the Looking-Glass and my other Brill/Sense titles from 10:30-11:30 Monday August 12th at Booth123.

I’m also busy as ever with new projects. After 7 years of labor, The Oxford Handbook of Methods for Public Scholarship will come out in September. I also have a very special release coming in late fall, something I love more than I can possibly say… more on that soon. I’m also continually writing, both fiction and nonfiction, with many new projects in the pipeline. Thank you, thank you, thank you for your support on this journey! We are possibilities. A spark exists.

Love and light,


Spark has been released! I’m absolutely over-the-moon. Honestly, I’ve never been more excited to share my work. This was a special project from the outset. I’d like to share the inspiration behind this novel and what it means to me.

Four years ago I had the experience of a lifetime. I was one of fifty people invited to participate in a seminar on the neuroscience of creativity hosted by the world-renowned Salzburg Global Seminar in Austria. Receiving that invitation was like getting the golden ticket for Willy Wonka’s Chocolate Factory. The several-day seminar occurred at the actual Sound of Music house in Salzburg, an incredible castle over-looking pristine water and snowcapped mountains. I met incredible people. The participants included world-famous neuroscientists, artists, and others from around the globe. To say I felt I felt privileged to be there is an understatement. It was an extraordinary, life-changing experience, personally and professionally. While I was there, the idea for a novel began to take shape. I had long wanted to combine my love of writing fiction with my passion for the research process, but I didn’t know how to do it, or if it was even possible. In Salzburg, I figured it out. After the seminar I spent some time in Vienna which is where I wrote the outline. I put it in a drawer to allow it to stew. When I had met other commitments and felt the time was right, I began writing.

See, what I figured out in Salzburg was that to really work, it would have to be a novel that worked on two levels: one for students and one for general readers. The result is a novel that explores the research process, interdisciplinarity, and critical thinking. Simultaneously, it’s very much a simple adventure story about learning to see differently—ourselves, others, and the world. Although I had the idea four years ago, I wrote most of it over the last two years, and there’s no doubt that changes in the US and abroad influenced me. Spark is a counter-narrative to the divisiveness we’ve experienced. Here’s the official synopsis:

Professor Peyton Wilde has an enviable life teaching sociology at an idyllic liberal arts college—yet she is troubled by a sense of fading inspiration. One day an invitation arrives. Peyton has been selected to attend a luxurious all-expense-paid seminar in Iceland, where participants, billed as some of the greatest thinkers in the world, will be charged with answering one perplexing question. Meeting her diverse teammates—two neuroscientists, a philosopher, a dance teacher, a collage artist, and a farmer—Peyton wonders what she could ever have to contribute. The ensuing journey of discovery will transform the characters’ work, their biases, and themselves. This suspenseful novel shows that the answers you seek can be found in the most unlikely places.

This book was a big leap for me, and for my publisher. This is the first novel Guilford Press has ever published. To say I’m honored they took a chance on this book is an understatement. They were the only spark-coverpublisher I wanted to work with on this book. They did not disappoint. When you hold the book in your hands, you’ll see the incredible love and care they put into it, from the stunning, timeless cover created by Paul Gordon to the beautiful interior design details created by the production team. Working on this book with Guilford was another one of the greatest privileges of my life.

I also want to give a huge shout-out to the incredibly generous reviewers. I’m blown away by the early response to Spark. Here are a few snippets:

“Thought-provoking! Intriguing! Clever! A read that absolutely left me wanting to live in the world that Leavy created–a world of beauty and possibilities.” Robin Patric Clair, PhD, Purdue University

“Who, today, is not wondering, “How will our social and political differences ever get resolved?” In a highly-original and compelling novel, Spark, Patricia Leavy, gently leads us to answers… If I ran the world, I would make this book required reading.” Laurel Richardson, PhD, The Ohio State University

“A thoroughly enjoyable and thoughtful read! Spark is not only a page turner, but also an intellectual treasure that will stick with me.” Christine Sleeter, PhD, California State University, Monterey Bay

“This intriguing novel illuminates the blinding force of presumptions–about one’s own capacities, about other people, and, not least, about the ‘requirements’ of legitimate intellectual inquiry. Perhaps more fundamentally, it is about the possibility of transcending oneself, seeing people for who they truly are, and thinking beyond disciplinary silos.” Mark Freeman, PhD, College of the Holy Cross

“This is a sensational book and should be everyone’s freshman read.” Eve Spangler, PhD, Boston College

You can read more reviews as well as a sample chapter here:

I truly love this book and I’d be so grateful if you’d pick up a copy. Guilford Press is happy to offer 20% off and free shipping in the US/Canada. To take advantage use promo code 7FSPARK at their website:

Spark is also available at amazon:

As for what’s next, I’m looking forward some spring/summer conference travel as well as a tour of Iceland in September, including a lecture at Iceland University of the Arts. I’m super excited. I’m also busy writing as usual. I’m nearly done with another novel which I hope to release in late fall. I have a few nonfiction projects in the works too. More soon. In the meantime, I hope you’ll give Spark a read and that perhaps it reignites your own spark. I’d like to leave you with the opening words:

a spark exists
within, between, among
and within that spark,
entire worlds of possibility

Love and light,

USA Best Book Awards!!!!!

I’m absolutely over-the-moon. The 2018 USA Best Book Awards results were announced. Privilege Through the Looking-Glass is the winner in the category anthologies nonfiction. It’s also been honored as a finalist in the categories multicultural nonfiction and education/academic. This honor belongs entirely to the contributors. Their brave, bold, and brilliant writing inspired me and it’s clearly inspiring others. I extend my sincere thanks to the publishing team at Brill/Sense for their continued support of justice-oriented, creative, scholarship. I also have to say that during this particular historical moment, in which social injustice, hate, and intolerance are increasingly commonplace, I’m especially heartened by this recognition. The contributors in this volume show the very human side of issues related to privilege, oppression, and injustice. This is an open-hearted book that helps build a bridge forward. Above all, I think the authors show the importance of compassion and empathy. By shining a light on this book, the awards committee has made a beautiful and much-needed statement about respecting differences.

I can’t believe it, but the good news doesn’t end there. The Handbook of Arts-Based Research is the winner in the category education/academic. It’s also been honored as a finalist in the categories anthologies nonfiction, art, and performing arts. Again, this honor belongs entirely to the contributors. Their creative, innovative, and border-crossing work is changing the research landscape for the better. These folks inspire me beyond words and I know their work inspires countless others. I’m enormously grateful to the publishing team at Guilford Press for their exemplary work on this book, their support of the arts, and their kindness towards me over the many years we have worked together. And again, I have to say, the timing of this award and the category in which we were recognized, is extremely meaningful. At a time when the arts and artists are under attack, this is a most welcome nod. It’s particularly meaningful being selected as the top education/academic book. handbook-arts-based-research-cover

It’s truly an embarrassment of riches and I’m enormously grateful. These books were labors of loved worked on over a period of years. We didn’t do this work for awards and had no expectations. Even after the nominations, we all felt these were underdogs to receive any recognition, let alone all of this. It’s tremendous.

Awards aside, this fall has been a busy time. I’m the November blogger for the National Art Education Association Monthly Mentor Blog. My four short blogs are all about different aspects of arts-based research. You can follow the blog here:

mcgill signingI also delivered a keynote address at McGill University last month at the “Arts as an Agent for Social Change” Symposium. I had an absolutely wonderful time and want to thank the Artful Inquiry Research Group for hosting me and the bookstore staff for running my book signing. I looooved speaking with so many researchers, artists, and students at the book signing. Thank you, thank you, thank you to everyone who waited in line to chat with me, get a book signed, and take a photo. I had a blast and left inspired beyond words. McGill line

As for what’s next, right now I’m busy writing and gearing up for the March 1 release of my novel, Spark. This book is like nothing I’ve done before and I’m completely in love with it. Can’t wait to share more. In the meantime, thank you from the bottom of my heart for coming on this journey with me.

Love and light,

Spring/Summer Roundup

I had such a busy spring traveling to conferences and book events that I’ve taken the summer to hideaway with my loved ones, reading and writing. I’ve already read eight novels and I’ve nearly written one of my own. I’ve been delinquent on keeping up with my blog. I hope you understand. But it’s been an exciting time so I’m thrilled to share some highlights. AERA brill book signing

AERA award

In April I attended AERA in my favorite city, New York. I had a wonderful time meeting readers at both my Brill/Sense and Guilford Press book signings. Huge thank yous to everyone who attended! I was also profoundly honored receiving the AERA Significant Contribution to Educational Measurement and Methodology Award for Method Meets Art Second Edition. The timing made it all the more meaningful. In this time when the arts and artists are under attack and yet needed perhaps more than ever before, I’m enormously grateful and humbled the AERA Division D decided to honor arts-based research in this way. Method Meets Art just turned 10 too, so this is quite the birthday celebration. MMA2 has just been translated into Polish too! I’m so grateful to the translators and foreign publishers around the world that I’m blessed to work with.
ICQI Taiwanese friends
May was also a wonderful time to connect with friends, colleagues, and readers from around the globe. Thank you to everyone who waited in line at my Guilford book signing at the ICQI conference in Illinois! I was thrilled to meet so many interesting scholars and readers from South America, Europe, and Asia, as well as those from closer to home. I’m also grateful to the folks who attended and participated in our session celebrating the Handbook of Arts-Based Research. I had a wonderful time doing a workshop on writing fiction as research later in May at the Narrative in Music Education conference in Boston. It was my first time returning to Boston University, my alma mater. Huge thanks to everyone who attended my book signing! I felt like I was meeting old friends.

This has also been a humbling time. I’m elated to share that the International Book Awards were announced and the Handbook of Arts-Based Research was honored as an award-winning finalist in four categories: anthologies– nonfiction, art, education/academic, and performing arts. It’s an embarrassment of riches because the American Fiction Awards were just announced and my novel Blue was honored as an award-winning finalist in two categories: inspirational fiction and chick-lit/women’s lit. Low-Fat Love Stories was honored as an award-winning finalist in the short story category. I love writing fiction and these were special projects for me, so I’m truly grateful for the recognition.
NYC Guilford lunch
I’ve also had two wonderful visits to the Guilford Press office in NYC. I can’t overstate what a privilege it is to work with such an outstanding publishing team. They are brilliant and their support means the world to me. I had the best time during both of my visits: signing a new contract, picking up page proofs for my forthcoming novel, Spark (it’s gorgeous), and having lunch meetings with the trade marketing and sales teams. We are all so excited about our plans for releasing Spark (coming March 1, 2019). It’s their first novel and it’s unlike anything I’ve written before. I’m madly in love with it and just buuursting to share it.

In the meantime, I have a new book coming out in a matter of days. My coauthored book Contemporary Feminist Research from Theory to Practice is a one-stop shop for readers interested in engaging in feminist research. We cover history, theory from around the globe, ethics, methods and research design, writing for academic and public audiences, and activism. We also provide a range of additional resources. I’m especially proud that the book applies an intersectional approach, uses non-binary language, has contemporary examples throughout, and includes digital feminism and other current developments. I honestly think it’s a terrific textbook or resource for the bookshelf of any researcher. I’m thrilled Guilford Press once again priced it affordably with students in mind without sacrificing production quality (honestly, it’s gorgeously produced). This is my 25th book publication! It’s hard to believe, but it feels like a milestone worth enjoying. I’ve done an in-depth, exclusive interview that I’ll share on my social media once it’s released. We looked at the new book, my entire catalogue, and covered ground including what I’ve learned about publishing, mistakes authors make, academic critique, the academic award system, social media snark, and more. Look forward to sharing it.

You can see I’ve been busy! That said, I’m looking forward to spending the rest of the summer reading and writing. I hope you’re all having a wonderful, inspiring summer too, or whatever season you find yourself in.

Love and light,


I could sum up how I feel so far this year with one word: grateful. Last year I had to cancel all of my professional appearances in order to have back surgery. I was devastated. One year later I find myself attending a slew of conferences and much to my surprise, picking up some incredible honors along the way. The truth is, it’s been an embarrassment of riches and I’m at a loss for words. The American Journal of Nursing selected Research Design as one of their best books of the year, in the category of Nursing Research. Research Design is one of my proudest achievements and I’m over-the-moon. I share this recognition with the incredible team at Guilford Press. But as it turns out, this was only the first of many surprises. My publishers and colleagues also teamed up and as a result I was honored by the National Women’s Hall of Fame. Wow. It’s just so lovely. Then on March 10th I traveled to SUNY-New Paltz to deliver the opening keynote address at the Arts-Based Research Symposium. I loved my keynote conversation with conference host Dr. Michael Viega, which we both agreed to record so anyone who wishes can watch it on YouTube. Boy did they have a surprise for me after the keynote. They have established “The Patricia Leavy Award for Art and Social Justice.” They gave me a beautiful plaque and then presented a student with the inaugural award. The award will be given annually. I have no words to describe how honored and humbled I am. For me, research practice is and should be intertwined with our value system so the spirit of the award moves me deeply. I also recognize how few women have awards bearing their names. I take that responsibility and honor very seriously. I had a wonderful time at New Paltz. My heartfelt thanks to everyone who waited in line to speak with me. I’m enriched by each of you. new paltz pl award

new paltz award winners

new paltz book line

I was floored to learn that I’m also the recipient of the American Educational Research Association Division D Significant Contribution to Educational Measurement and Research Methodology Award. They’re honoring Method Meets Art Second Edition because they believe it will “have a lasting influence.” I share this honor with the world-class publishing team at Guilford Press, including my incredible editor and friend, C. Deborah Laughton, without whom, this book would not exist. I will accept this award in person, on behalf of arts-based researchers. I’m elated that the committee chose this historical moment to recognize ABR. As I write this, I’m also preparing to head to the National Art Education Association conference to receive my Distinguished Service Outside the Profession Award. I’m honored to serve as a representative of the ABR community.

It’s been an exciting and humbling whirlwind. Since I was a little kid I’ve loved writing more than anything. Discovering the world of research methods and arts-based research was a blessing beyond words because it provided a purpose to my creative impulse. So I was already incredibly fortunate to be able to spend my life doing work that love. To receive this kind of extraordinary recognition from my peers is beyond words. I’m truly grateful. But many others could also benefit from the kinds of honors I’ve received and so I’d like to make a statement about awards moving forward. I will always be glad to accept recognition from outside of the arts-based research world because I can use it to promote the field of ABR, which is much bigger than my own work. Likewise, I’ll always be grateful for any accolades my books may be fortunate to receive, because books result from the invisible labor of many and I’m always glad to celebrate the hard work of my publishing teams. However, moving forward, I no longer wish to be nominated for any career awards expressly from arts-based groups (so I’m permanently removing myself from consideration for the ICQI lifetime achievement & AERA Tom Barone awards). Let’s spread it around and hopefully go well beyond “the usual suspects”. There are many scholars doing important work worthy of praise. For example, women often do so much work for so little recognition. I can think of a long list of women and non-binary individuals from different racial and ethnic backgrounds who ought to have their work honored. I plan to use any influence I may have to shine a light on their efforts.

At the end of the day, it’s really about writing and I’ve been busy. I published a piece about what it means to be a woman in the arts with Grammy-winner Paula Cole. My teenage-self thought that was pretty cool. I secretly finished my next novel—by far the most special thing I’ve ever worked on. It’s a new genre for me and the first novel Guilford Press will publish. I’m excited to meet with the trade team in New York City next month. The book will be out in early 2019. Can’t wait to share more details. I’m also immersed in writing another novel, one that is a return to my roots. Details soon. Thank you so much for all of the good energy and support. I’m grateful to be on this journey with all of you and hope to see you at spring conferences and book signings.

Love and light,

Late 2017 Highlights

I’m over-the-moon to announce the National Art Education Association has selected me to receive the 2018 Distinguished Service Outside the Profession Award. Looking at the list of previous recipients, which includes Jacqueline Kennedy, Nelson Rockefeller, and a host of governors, senators, and CEOS, is humbling. I have a deep love and respect for art educators so to receive this nod from them is truly lovely. I see this as recognition of arts-based research and less about my own work. Although the NAEA doesn’t invite acceptance speeches, please know when I accept this award in March I will be doing so on behalf of the arts-based research community.

It’s been an embarrassment of riches as I also learned Research Design has been honored by the 2017 USA Best Book Awards (hosted by American Book Fest) as research-design-cover an “honored finalist” in the category Education/Academic. I wanted to write this book for nearly twenty years. It was a total labor of love and I feel it’s the most important book of my career. I’m thrilled for this recognition. I extend a spirited thank you to the entire team at Guilford Press. They are the best of the best and this book would not be what it is without their talent, time, and generosity.

With lots of travel at the end of the year, Ningbo, China was a highlight I’ll never forget. I was honored to deliver a keynote address at the 6th World Chinese Art Education Symposium. It was an extraordinary experience of pageantry unlike anything I’ve been a part of before. Media lined the giant ballroom as we spoke. There was even a drone flying in the room. I was thrilled to meet with Li, the Chinese publisher for Method Meets Art and grateful to do some media promo in advance of the release. I’m forever grateful to Tihao Zeng, my guide and translator on this journey.
China PL speaking
China media

Despite the highs, this has been an overwhelmingly difficult year for me. I suffered a serious and painful injury to my spine which forced me to cancel a host of book events. I underwent surgery, lifestyle changes, and continue with daily physical therapy. Politically and socially, it’s also been enormously challenging. With so much darkness, I’m more grateful than ever for the rays of light. Wishing you all a peaceful end to 2017 and triumphant 2018.

Love and light,