Dave Shelton

Dave Shelton


Booking enquiry
Dave Shelton - author tools

Available for

Workshop, Talk, Reading, Interview


Age 5 to 7, Age 7 to 11, Age 11 to 14, Age 14 to 16, Age 16 to 18+, Further Education, University, Adult


Comedy, Crime, Fiction, Fiction narrative, Horror, Humour, Mystery, Short story

Book types

Fiction for children, Fiction 5-9, Graphic novel


  • Branford Boase Award
  • Carnegie medal
  • Costa prize
  • Greenaway medal
  • Leeds Graphic Novel Award



I'm an author, illustrator, comic-maker and occasionally a cover designer for books for children ranging from middle grade to young adult. With a decade's experience of visits to schools, libraries, colleges and festivals I very much enjoy my days of talking, running workshops, and meeting readers of all ages.

The most usual sessions I offer are: 

A talk about my work, and how I came to be a writer at all having started out as purely an illustrator. Usually this is 45 minutes long plus 15 minutes Q&A, but content and length can be tailored to suit the audience of any particular session. Audience can be any size and any age from 5 up. I show accompanying illustrations via a Powerpoint file brought on a USB drive, so the means to display this (laptop, projector, screen) should be provided by the host.

Cartooning workshops. These usually task the pupils with creating their own double act of comic strip characters and then (at least starting) drawing their own comic story. Given the mystery theme of your week we could make the double acts specifically detectives and/or criminals in this case. Again, usually an hour, but can be shorter. Suitable for all ages and groups of up to 30. I usually give a brief introduction using a Powerpoint if possible, though this is not absolutely essential.

Writing workshops. These are best suited to older classes. Ideally they run for an hour for a group of 24 or fewer, but shorter sessions and larger groups can also be accommodated. Most usually students are given a task relating to one of my own books, e.g. writing a ghost story, or coming up with a pair of characters and imagining them trapped together in an enclosed space. 

Improvised storytelling sessions, in which I improvise and illustrate (rapidly and sometimes embarrassingly badly) a story based on suggestions from the audience. This is a good fun option for younger classes but can be a bit raucous. Works best if there’s a visualiser I can use, so I can draw small and the image is projected on a screen big enough for all to see, but a flip chart is a workable alternative.

Books by Dave Shelton

Dave Shelton is the author and illustrator of A Boy and a Bear in a Boat (winner of the 2013 Branford Boase Award), Thirteen Chairs, and two books featuring Emily Lime, Librarian Detective: The Book Case, and The Pencil Case. He also created the canine comedy noir comic strip Good Dog, Bad Dog, as seen in The DFC, The Guardian and The Phoenix, and collected in book form in two volumes from David Fickling Books: The Golden Bone and Double Identity.
A Boy and a Bear in a Boat

A Boy and a Bear in a Boat

A boy and a bear go to sea, equipped with a suitcase, a comic book and a ukulele. They are only travelling a short distance and it really shouldn't take long. But their journey doesn't quite go to plan . . . Faced with turbulent storms, a terrifying sea monster and the rank remains of a very dangerous sandwich, the odds are against our unlikely heroes. Will the Harriet, their trusted vessel, withstand the violent lashings of the salty waves? And will anyone ever answer their message in a bottle? Brilliantly funny and tender, this beautiful book maps the growth of a truly memorable friendship and explores how, when all else is lost, the most unexpected joys can be found. 
Thirteen Chairs

Thirteen Chairs

Jack stands in the dark on the landing of the old house, and looks at his feet - He has been here for minutes, his hand on the door handle, debating whether or not to go in. A high-ceilinged room lit only by candles. Thirteen chairs, one empty. Twelve ghostly storytellers, waiting to begin. Come in! Take your place. We have been expecting you. Do you dare to listen to our stories? Do you dare to tell your own? Jack is a curious boy. Are you curious too? 
Emily Lime, Librarian Detective: The Book Case

Emily Lime, Librarian Detective: The Book Case

EMILY LIME is the one and only Librarian Detective! As Assistant Librarian (and a pupil!) at St Rita's School, she's got the sharpest mind going. And she's going to need it! There's been a bank robbery in town, a break-in at the school and a dastardly villain is on the loose. With the help of new girl, Daphne, and George (the only boy), Emily is determined to get to the bottom of things, with surprising and very funny results . . . 
Good Dog, Bad Dog: The Golden Bone

Good Dog, Bad Dog: The Golden Bone

Kirk Bergman and Duncan McBoo are pedigree police: the finest canine cops in all Muttropolis. And they're never short of work. The Golden Bone of Alexandria has been stolen by malevolent mongrels and our doggy duo are the perfect pooches to take on the case. Criminals Beware: Bergman and McBoo are on your tail! 
Good Dog, Bad Dog: Double Identity

Good Dog, Bad Dog: Double Identity

Muttropolis is movie central, and there's been a killing in Collie-wood. This calls for Kirg Bergman and Duncan McBoo, the craftiest cops around! The city is full of mean mongrels who are determined to stop them sniffing out the truth. But they haven't reckoned with the finest milkshake-fuelled minds in the force! Criminals beware: Bergman and McBoo are on your tail!