Fiction/Poetry, Two X Ottawa Book Award Nominee, Snow Willow Award nominee, eOne Television Adaptation Lab winner, Publishers Weekly BookLife Grand Prize winner, Twice named a Kirkus Reviews Best Book, and more. TWUC, SCBWI, and CANSCAIP. Ages 9+.
$150 per session plus a publisher book bundle (each curated bundle includes 5 middle grade, or 5 young adult novels), up to four sessions per day. Plus a travel fee of $0.50/km, if outside of Ottawa area. Virtual Visits: $100 for each session.
Michael tailors presentations based on the needs and desires of the group and can speak to any element of writers craft and process. He can do up to four presentations in the same school per day. As the author of middle grade novels, a middle grade novel in verse, interactive fiction, scriptwriting, and young adult novels, Michael enjoys working with students in workshop format, or as a presentation with a preference for audiences of under 60 students.
Presentations by grade (60 Minutes):
Michael always covers the top five questions (How did you become a writer? Where do you get your ideas? What’s the name of your cat?) quickly before delving into the presentation, always being sure to include: Why stories matter, why the students’ stories matter, and how knowing how to tell stories can help them be successful in any field.
Here are example themes by grade:
4-8: Let’s write a story: Using a super secret technique, Michael works with students to generate strong story concepts. This includes learning the elements of a story pitch and can end with delivering and whiteboarding pitch ideas to go deeper and inadvertently learn Aristotelian story structure.
4-7: Digital Resilience Through Poetry: Based on Michael’s novel in verse, Seeking Draven. This interactive presentation and workshop scaffolds student understanding of the internet, social media, and other digital literacies, while incorporating literary devices and poetry. If time allows, the students use prompts to develop their own poems.
7-9: The Heart of Structure: Using his novel Heart Sister, Michael explains how to use theme as a structuring tool, connecting this technique to popular books and movies. Further discussions explore students’ thoughts on organ donation, a central element to Heart Sister. Michael shares his family’s organ donation story and why he wrote the book. We explore common myths about organ donation and truths—completing a quiz as a class. Finally, we complete a private exercise in which the students explore the same questions Minnie asks other characters in the book, generally about self improvement. Heart Sister was named an official educational resource by Canadian Blood Services.
4-12: Michael can elaborate on any elements of craft desired, from character, setting, structure, and theme to humour and literary devices.
7-12: Emotion Driven Stories: In this interactive presentation, Michael shows the connection between emotion, stories, and healing ourselves. Using popular literature, movies, and his own books, Michael shows how powerfully resonant stories are based on therapeutic models we can use to create stories of our own.
9-12: Advanced Craft: In this workshop-based format, Michael will work with up to 12 students to refine their stories. Includes Michael prereading student work and identifying elements of craft tailored to the students’ needs. Multiple sessions available.
Grade 8+ School Anthology: Michael will organize a full grade (up to three classes) anthology of short stories. This includes a kick off session to identify the anthology’s theme, types of short stories, and what makes a strong short story. Later Michael will present techniques for successful self editing and peer editing, and tips on how to edit the work of others. After peer editing, Michael will assemble and format the ebook. Finally, students vote on preset cover options, and the book is launched on Amazon, allowing the students to try to hit number 1, while learning about the financial and marketing side of publishing. In total, this program includes 3 presentations, an ebook cover, ebook formatting, and ebook publication services. Please contact for fee.