Shiell, Mike (Georgetown, ON)

Mike’s books have received numerous awards and commendations including being shortlisted for the Red Cedar award (2021 & 2023) and the Hackmatack award (2023).

In person visits: $300 for 1 session, $550 for 2, $750 for 3 and $900 for 4/full day (may be shared with a neighbouring school), + travel (50 cents per kilometer, round-trip).

Virtual Visits: $200, for one session, 60 minutes, $175 for each additional session on the same day. For virtual sessions, mornings; 9am – noon ET is preferred but he is flexible on this.

Mike was a guest speaker at the 43rd edition (2022) of the Toronto International Festival of Authors for both “Linty: A Pocketful of Adventure” and the “Gross Science” Series with writer Edward Kay.

In addition, Mike has over 25 years’ experience working as a director, animation supervisor and animator. He has directed and supervised a number of children’s shows including the Emmy awarding winning, “The Backyardigans” and “Mike the Knight”.

Mike is the author and Illustrator of “Linty: A Pocketful of Adventure”. “Linty” is a hilarious and offbeat graphic novel for early readers. Silly and engaging with loads of heart, it’s the perfect book to place in the hands of any reluctant or emerging reader. Every day is pretty much the same for Linty: Some cardio. Sightseeing (“So blue!”). Solo Marco Polo. Until one day, everything changes! The relatable emotions of the lovable main character as portrayed in the story and the expressive illustrations support social-emotional learning with themes of making friends, embracing what life throws at you, and finding the courage to try new things.

Mike is also the illustrator of 7 other titles published by Kids Can Press.

Presentations by age:

5 – 10yrs: “Linty: A Pocketful of Adventure”

Mike aims to make his presentations as fun, positive and interactive as possible. Mike’s sessions include; “draw-along-with-Mike”, selected readings of Linty, showing animated clips of Linty and a question and answer period. Mike also talks about what inspired him to create Linty, the creative process when writing and illustrating children’s books and also what it’s like to be a full-time author, illustrator and animator. Mike’s Linty presentations include lots of fun and laughs but there are also some educational and inspirational moments to take away.

Group size: Any but 15 – 30 is ideal especially for the segment where he asks volunteers to come up and draw with him

A/V and other needs for in person: Monitor/Projector to present animated clips (MP4s) and images, smart board or white board, paper and coloured pencils and a drawing surface for each child, either a clipboard or table and a microphone will be needed for larger groups.

A/V and other needs for virtual visits: Students should come ready to draw and ask questions! 

10 – 15yrs: What It’s like to be a writer and illustrator and how I got here.

For all those aspiring writers and illustrators, Mike does a 1 hour session (workshop) in which he discusses the inspiration that lead him to create Linty, his creative and writing process and his path to becoming a full time living as an author, illustrator and animator and what that career is like. At the end Mike opens up the floor for questions and further discussion.

Group size: Any but 15 – 30 is ideal.

A/V and other needs for in person: Monitor/Projector to present animated clips (MP4s) and images, smart board or white board and a microphone will be needed for larger groups.

Needed for virtual visits: Students should come ready to talk about their work, their inspirations and aspirations to ask lots of questions! 

Contact Mike to book a visit:

    Lordon, Claire (Vancouver, BC)

    Claire Lordon

    Claire Lordon is an author, illustrator and Writers Union Member based in Vancouver, BC. Her presentations are in English. She presents to K-5.

    Her school visit rates are $150 for a half hour virtual presentation (for grades K-1), $200 for a 50 minute virtual presentation $250 for one 50 minute in person presentation $450 for two 50 minute in person visits $675 for three 50 minute presentations.

    GST is extra. Travel fees are extra except for the greater Vancouver area.

    Claire is the author-illustrator of one book, and the illustrator of five more. She is an experienced school speaker who loves presenting to schools. Her presentations and workshops are upbeat and fun and can be catered to your group’s needs.

    Here is a typical talk:
    Presentations include a reading, a discussion about being an author-illustrator, process sketches, how she comes up with ideas, and a fun interactive drawing game. There is also a Q&A.

    In addition to schools, she also gives presentations to libraries, conferences, organizations and more.

    Additional Presentations and Workshops:

    •How a Picture Book is Made
    Good for grades K-5

    •How Claire Became an Author-Illustrator
    Good for grades 3-5

    •Class-Created Picture Book Story
    Good for Grades 1-4

    •Professional Workshop: Create a Submission-Ready Book Dummy.

    For adults. Note this workshop is either two one-hour sessions or one 90-minute session. Priced at $500 plus GST (if applicable).

    Maximum size for presentations: 35

    Equipment needed: Drawing easel and markers, a projector and screen for some presentations.


      Bender, Rebecca (Burlington ON)

      Author-Illustrator. Burlington, ON. Writers’ Union Member. Blue Spruce winner. Mainly K to 3, but also any age.

      In-person: $350 plus HST for 1 session, two for $600, three for $800 and four for $1000, + travel for destinations further than 50 km.

      Virtual visit: $200 plus HST for one session, 20-60 minutes, and $150 for each additional on the same day.

      Rebecca’s goal is to inspire children to imagine their own characters and stories and to act on it! The students will take part in creating illustrations, drawn live before their eyes, that will bring forth story ideas and animated discussion. She shares her journey of becoming an author-illustrator and her process for coming up with ideas. Rebecca requires an easel, chart paper, table, and a chair and prefers a maximum of 65 students per presentation.

      For larger groups, a variation of this presentation is done with slides. Please note a projector and sound system is required for this option.

      Rebecca also offers a workshop on jump-starting a picture book. She shows the students how to go from creating a strong central character to a solid story idea. For this, tables or clipboards and basic drawing supplies are necessary.