Mike Artell

Mike Artell Logo

Basic Information

Address: P. O. Box 3997 Covington, LA 70434
Phone Number: 985 789-3423
Fax Number: 985 875-9413
Director: Mike Artell

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Mike Artell
Mike Artell
Mike Artell
Mike Artell

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Additional Information

Focus: Thinking, writing and drawing with humor
Grade Levels: K-5, 6-8
Length: 50 minutes


Pricing: $1500 for three (3) presentations - 50 minutes each. Travel/lodging/meals additional

Think funny, Write funny, Draw Funny (students)
Writing/illustrating Master Class (for groups of up to 15 students)
Reaching the reluctant writer (teachers)
Rock your read-alouds (teachers)
Classroom cartooning for the artistically-challenged teacher (teachers)
Wastes time, Annoys others (Conference keynote)

Residencies: Author/illustrator in residence. One-week workshop during which every student writes and illustrates an original picture book.
Setup: 20 minutes
Takedown: 10 minutes
Equiptment: Mike brings his own Windows laptop and graphic drawing tablet. School provides LCD projector with cable (HDMI preferred but VGA will also work), a large screen, a microphone (hand-held preferred), table and chair. Every student will need three sheets of plain, white copier paper on which to write/draw and a pencil with a good eraser.
Special Requirements: See above

Mike typically visits K - 5 or K - 6 schools however it's not uncommon for Mike to speak to groups of Middle School, Jr. High or even High School students. Naturally, the subject matter and interactivity is different for each group, but here's a basic outline of what Mike does when he speaks with kids:

Mike starts with a PowerPoint presentation showing pics of himself, his family and where he's from. Many of these PowerPoint slides are very funny and the humor sets the stage for the rest of Mike's presentation. Next, Mike shows images from several of his books. The first images are from some of Mike's non-fiction science books. Next, Mike engages the kids in some wordplay from his joke, riddle, tongue twister books. Mike then moves on to his Cajun books. Mike reads from one or more of the books using his authentic Cajun accent. Most kids have never heard a Cajun accent so this is a real treat for them.

Depending on the group, Mike might read from some of his other books or he might engage the kids in some interactive "brain games" that challenge the kids to think in ways they may find unusual and great fun. Mike also talks about the different kinds of writing he does (fiction, non-fiction, biographies, etc.) as well as advertising copyrighting, greeting cards and other forms of writing that kids don't often hear about.The highlight of Mike's presentation is always the step-by-step cartooning instructions. Mike shows every student (and teacher) how to create great little cartoons and how cartoons can help improve reading, writing and thinking skills. Not to mention improving everyone's ability to express themselves more visually. EVERYONE DRAWS ALONG - little kids, big kids and teachers too.

Finally (if time permits), Mike will close with some music. Mike has been playing music professionally since he was a teenager and he loves to get the kids singing. He might even get someone from the audience to dance with him.

You probably want to know how much Mike charges for his school visits, right? The short answer is $1500 plus travel (from New Orleans), lodging and meal expenses. For many schools, that is well within their budgets. However, many other schools cannot afford that much for an author visit. In those cases, Mike suggests that two nearby schools "partner" and split the day (and the expenses). Mike usually does three presentations per day - so that would mean one school would have Mike for two presentations and the other school would have Mike for one presentation. If both schools want Mike to do two presentations on the same day, Mike is happy to oblige, but he does charge an additional $500 for the extra presentation. That means each school would pay $1,000 and half of the expenses. If you have a special situation, please let Mike know. He can get pretty creative when it comes to working within a tight budget and he won't let a little thing like money come in the way of him visiting your school. {ahem}

Mission Statement:

To help students realize how naturally creative (and funny) they are and how they can use their sense of humor to think more innovatively and approach problem-solving in new ways.

Philosophy/Belief Statement:

My basic philosophy/belief statement is that we should not spend too much time pondering our philosophy and instead go out and DO SOMETHING to make things better.

Program History:

I've been visiting schools (more than 1,000) and keynoting educational conferences (many, many) since the late 1980s.

Testimonials: We have had authors here for the past 17 years. By far, Mike Artell was the best author we have ever had. You will absolutely LOVE him” Principal, Elementary School, New York Thank you for visiting our school and inspiring our students. Both students and teachers loved your presentation!! I am still getting comments like, “Will he be back next year?" and "Best visit yet! He'll be hard to beat!" Students are asking for your books every day! Teacher Librarian, North Carolina I wanted to take a moment to thank you on behalf of myself and the entire Young Authors Team. You were able to engage the entire audience, kids and adults simultaneously! I loved that you took the time to greet each student by name, personalize their books with not only your signature but a drawing (who does that?!), and pose for pictures. WOW! Young Authors Conference Chairperson - Elkhart, IN “The kids LOVE Mike Artell. He uses humor, drawing and non-fiction to get kids into reading” Library Media Specialist, Kansas City, KS Mike is a wonderful motivational speaker. I had him come as a keynote for our Tennessee Department of Education state-wide Reading Summit with over 2000 teachers and administrators ( K-12) and he was excellent. I have had him with our Young Authors and teachers several times and he is always the first name to be requested back. Curriculum Supervisor, Sevier County (TN) Schools