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School Visits

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Book an illustrator visit for your school

(K-Grade 5)

In large assemblies or a single class, I love meeting with young artists and writers! 

We begin with a behind-the-scenes look at an artist's studio, exploring the creative process from inspiration (often a single phrase or a doodle) to a finished book. 

I introduce students to the concept of visual storytelling by showing a simple series of images, which conveys a short story. Then, in another series of images, I add the text, showing how pictures and words work together to expand our understanding (and enjoyment) of the narrative.

I then do a read-aloud from one of my books (projected on screen for larger groups) followed by a live drawing session (projected) and Q&A.

The typical length for an assembly is one hour (slightly less for very young audiences).

I am happy to sign books during my visit. I do not sell books, but orders can be placed directly from the publisher (at a discount) or through a local bookstore.

Contact Terry Shay at School Visit Dot Connector for availability and rates.

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University lectures

I am equally comfortable lecturing in a college environment. 
As an adjunct faculty member in the illustration department at Rhode Island School of Design, I worked with undergraduate students (sophomore through senior year), constantly pushing them to expand their range, overcoming their hesitation to experiment, going beyond their comfort zones, and ultimately — honing their skills as visual communicators.
During my tenure, I was nominated for the Frazier Award for Excellence in Teaching (nominations are brought forth and voted on by the students).
Since then I have been a visiting critic and guest lecturer at RISD, Mass College of Art, and the University of Massachusetts.
Participation in a classroom critique and/or a limited number of portfolio reviews can be included.
Contact Terry Shay at School Visit Dot Connector for availability and rates.

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Other speaking engagements

I am also happy to speak at your conference, retreat, or to your critique group.
I have been a guest speaker at a number of conferences and venues, including the SCBWI regional conference, the Connecticut Children's Book Festival, the Rhode Island Festival of Authors and Illustrators, The Creative Talent Network Conference in Burbank, and the esteemed Kindling Words writers retreat.
These speaking engagements can include many of the same topics included in my university lectures but they can also be tailored to address the specific needs of your group. 

Additional topics might include:

• A broader discussion on the philosophy of picture making, focusing on the “why” as opposed to the “how.”
• A more specific discussion of the craft of picture book making with a focus on pacing, character development, and style.
• In-depth individual critiques of book dummies and works in progress.

Contact Terry Shay at School Visit Dot Connector for availability and rates.


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