Manning was born in St. John, New Brunswick and attended Kings College in Halifax, Nova Scotia. In the 1920s he moved to the United States, living initially with his great uncle, Craven Langstroth Betts, the noted Canadian poet<1925 New York State Census, Richmond, New York, US>. In the USA, he lived in Manhattan before moving to Staten Island in 1928, where he began writing short stories for several pulp science fiction magazines. After teaming with SF writer Fletcher Pratt in "City of the Living Dead" in the May, 1930 issue of Science Wonder Stories, he wrote "The Voyage of the 'Asteroid'", which appeared in the Summer 1932 issue of Wonder Stories Quarterly, and The Man Who Awoke, a series of stories that was later published as a novel. He also translated at least one German-language story for Hugo Gernsback's magazines (this may have been the translation of his popular story The Man Who Awoke, published as Der Jartausendschlafer (The Millennium Sleeper).
Manning gave up his successful writing career at the end of 1935 and devoted his time to a mail order nursery business he owned and managed. Apart from several short stories in the 1950s (Good-Bye, Ilha!, Mr. Mottle Goes Pouf, Men on Mars), he never wrote any more science fiction. However, he was the author of a successful book on gardening, The How and Why of Better Gardening (1951), Van Nostrand & Co.
He was a founding member of the American Rocket Society, serving as both president and editor. For his involvement in the Society, Manning is recognized by the Smithsonian's National Air and Space Museum as an early rocketry pioneer. Manning retired from the American Rocket Society in the mid-1940s, stating that rocketry had 'grown up', and was no longer a place for amateurs. In 1961, Manning was awarded a lifetime membership in the Society, that award being presented by then Vice President of the US Lyndon B. Johnson.
Manning married Edith Mary Finette Burrows in 1928 and had three children: Helen Louise, Dorothy, and James Edward. His daughter Dorothy has mentioned that Lawrence was not only a skilled writer, but a pianist as well. He composed his own pieces, primarily as Music Director of his church, though never published any. He also smoked pipe. He lived in Highlands, New Jersey from 1951 until his death in 1972.
- Elaiah, an Easter Story (American Forests and Forest Life)
- Fuzzy (American Forests and Forest Life)
- Several articles in Better Homes and Gardens (Need Volume/Issue Numbers)
- City of the Living Dead co-authored with Fletcher Pratt (May, 1930 Science Wonder Stories), reprinted by Gernsback Publications in 1939
- The Voyage of the Asteroid (Summer, 1932 Wonder Stories Quarterly)
- Wreck of the Asteroid, Part One (Dec, 1932 Wonder Stories)
- Wreck of the Asteroid, Part Two (January, 1933 Wonder Stories)
- Wreck of the Asteroid, Part Three (February, 1934 Wonder Stories)
- The Man Who Awoke, Part 1 (March, 1933 Wonder Stories)
- The Man Who Awoke, Part 2 (April, 1933 Wonder Stories)
- The Man Who Awoke, Part 3 (May, 1933 Wonder Stories)
- The Man Who Awoke, Part 4 (June, 1933 Wonder Stories)
- The Man Who Awoke, Part 5 (August, 1933 Wonder Stories)
- The Call of the Mech Men (November, 1933 Wonder Stories)
- Caverns of Horror (March, 1934 Wonder Stories)
- Voice of Atlantis (July, 1934 Wonder Stories)
- The Living Galaxy (September, 1934 Wonder Stories)
- The Moth Message (December, 1934 Wonder Stories)
- The Prophetic Voice (April, 1935 Wonder Stories)
- Seeds From Space (June, 1935 Wonder Stories)
- World of the Mist, Part 1 (September, 1935 Wonder Stories)
- World of the Mist, Part 2 (October, 1935 Wonder Stories)
- "Laurence (Edward) Manning" Contemporary Authors Online, Gale, 2004.
- Dictionary of Literary Biography, Volume 251: Canadian Fantasy and Science-Fiction Writers. A Bruccoli Clark Layman Book. Edited by Douglas Ivison, University of Western Ontario.
- Works related to Laurence Manning at Wikisource
- Laurence Manning at the Internet Speculative Fiction Database