In her talk at the Hall of Graduate Studies Tuesday night, author Sharon J. Smith FES ’12 told inspirational tales from the front lines of environmental activism — and offered advice for aspiring young authors.

In her first book, “The Young Activist’s Guide to Building A Green Movement and Changing the World,” Smith chronicles the lives of various young activists who, with passion and a clear vision, have become some of the world’s leading supporters of environmental progress.

“Environmental change usually starts small,” Smith said. “Oftentimes it’s a discussion among friends at a local coffee shop that sparks a movement.”

Smith’s book is essentially a how-to guide for young environmentalists. Whether you’re interested in proposing specific legislation, or just want to learn the basics of organizing social change, Smith’s guide is a treasure trove of practical information bulwarked by real-life heroics.

Smith also offered advice to young authors looking to publish their own work. Among her top recommendations were creating “a proposal that pops,” and finding an unsaturated market or unexplored niche. She said the key is “finding a great agent” — isn’t that the difficult part?

Overall, encouragement was the theme of the affair. “Be prepared to hear a lot of no,” Smith said, “but all you need is one yes.”