Michael Shay

Published Work: The Home You Left Behind

Michael is a graduate of Institute for Children’s Literature. View Course Catalog >

Welcome to the Winner’s Circle where we celebrate the success of our ICL students. Today we are celebrating published author Michael Shay!

FlashcoverWhat is the name of your book (or books)? Who is the publisher?
A Flash in Time, published by Sunstone Press

Tell us a bit about your path to publishing, from idea to submission to published book.
My ICL instructor challenged me to write about my passion for hiking in the canyons of the Southwest. Many of the events in the book actually happened. The challenge was to use those experiences as a springboard for fiction.

How long have you been writing?
I first got published as a child. I wrote an article about the Lincoln Penny and won a free trip to Springfield, Ill, home of Honest Abe!

What’s your favorite genre to write and why?
I enjoy writing historical articles for adults and adventure fiction for children.

What ICL courses have your taken?
I completed two courses about writing for children (Writing for Children and Teens and Writing Children’s Books) and one course about writing for adults (Breaking into Print).  All three proved to be excellent–totally worth the time and money.

How has taking our course helped your writing and/or career?
Both courses led directly to publication.

Have any of your class assignments been published?
One of the articles I wrote in the writing for adults course got published in Oregon Coast Magazine, where I have become a regular contributor. I developed the manuscript for A Flash in Time during the advanced course for children’s writers.

Do you have a favorite writing tip you’d like to share?
Be bold. Stay confident. Never give up.

If you could travel back in time and give yourself one piece of writing advice, how far back would you go, and what would you tell yourself?
I would visit myself as a young man and tell myself to follow my dreams. 

Tell us about your favorite place to write and what time of day you are most productive in your writing.
I write in a small study in my home, on a computer devoted to my writing projects. I generally write in the afternoon, after my morning walk. But I usually develop new material in the evening–to be polished the next afternoon.

Please tell us the best or most valuable thing you learned from your experience with ICL.

The most valuable thing about the courses was the critique my instructors provided. I have always been a good writer. They challenged me to stretch further.

What is your next project?

I am working on a picture book called Patches. It’s a sweet story about a little girl and her lost cat–a story about sadness tempered by hope.



A former elementary and middle school educator, Michael Shay is living his dream on the Oregon Coast, writing historical articles for adults and fiction for children.

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1000 N. West Street #1200, Wilmington, DE 19801

© 2024 Direct Learning Systems, Inc. All rights reserved. 

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