SPRING TERM: JAN 28 (Week 1) - APR 21st (Week 12)
BREAK: APR 22 - MAY 19 (4 WEEKS OFF)
SUMMER TERM: June 3 (Week 1) - AUG 19 (Week 12)
BREAK: AUG 12 - SEP 15 (5 WEEKS OFF)
FALL TERM: SEPT 23 (Week 1) - DEC 16 (Week 12)
One class will be released each Saturday. Each week, you’ll complete a new step in the story making process and work on developing your story. On Thursdays, you’ll have an opportunity to participate in The Storyteller Workshop, a one hour online workshop or participate in a critique group.
WEEK 0: COURAGE, CREATIVITY & POWER OF WORDS
Before we dive into making stories and the creative process, we first need to address fear, failure and the inner critique. In this section, we’ll walk through the mentality and persistence that goes into becoming a published author as well as examine the creative habits of successful artists.
WEEK 1: JAN 28 - FEB 3
THE CREATIVE PROCESS & STORY
This is where it all begins! In this section, you’ll learn about the creative process and the stages of making a book. We’ll review the basic elements of story and dive deep into the structure of picture book stories. Arree reveals how he structured his picture books NINJA! and OUT! We’ll also share an awesome exercise to help you generate new story ideas and you’ll build a creative practice of your own.
*THE STORYTELLER WORKSHOP #1 WEBINAR ON THURSDAY
WEEK 2: FEB 4 - FEB 10
STORY STARTS AND CRITIQUE GROUPS
How do you start making a story? Arree shares insights on how to start developing your ideas. You’ll also learn the importance of embracing messiness and get over the fear of drawing. With drawing guides and embracing the idea of making rough drawings, you’ll develop ideas that become pieces to your story. We’ll also review the benefits of critique groups and how to be a part of an amazing critique group.
*CRITIQUE GROUP MEETING #1
WEEK 3: FEB 11 - FEB 17
DESIGN, CHARACTER PROBLEMS & PUTTING YOUR STORY TOGETHER
Discover how design plays a huge part of making a picture book. Learn how to use design principles in designing your picture book story. We’ll study characters from classic books and review how the story was built around the character’s problems. Arree will walk you through how to put together your story from the assets you’ve been building in your assignments. *STORY WORKSHOP #2 WEBINAR ON THURSDAY
WEEK 4: FEB 18 - FEB 24
MAKING A DUMMY AND CHARACTER DEVELOPMENT (NEW)
It’s time to start making the dummy! With a step by step guide, you’ll be able to assemble a picture book dummy. We’ll review the different personality types and look at how this can inform your creative process. In the last section, we’ll dive deep into developing characters and how to make memorable characters.
*CRITIQUE GROUP MEETING #2
WEEK 5: FEB 25 - MAR 3
CURIOSITY, FIRST PAGES, PAGE TURNS & MAKING A DUMMY
Rediscover your childlike curiosity and learn how to “daydream” on paper to generate ideas. We’ll also look at what makes a good first page as well as examining the title page and dedication pages. After setting up your first page, we’ll go into depth on how to make great page turns.
*STORY WORKSHOP #3 WEBINAR ON THURSDAY
WEEK 6: MAR 4 - MAR 10
INCITING INCIDENT, ESCALATION & STORY DEVELOPMENT
Learn more about setting up an inciting incidents and how master storytellers escalate the tension and drama in stories. We’ll go into depth on a few case studies, including my own picture book, Ninja! Attack of the Clan. You’ll identify what is the emotional heartbeat of your story and escalate the tension based the emotions. You’ll learn strategies on how to develop your story and see a demonstration on how Arree works on developing story ideas.
*CRITIQUE GROUP MEETING #3
WEEK 7: MAR 11 - MAR 17
CREATIVITY, BEGINNINGS AND ENDINGS & STORYTELLING WITH WORDS & PICTURES
We’ll look deep into creativity and gain valuable insights how artists make art. With those insights, we’ll work on capturing magical moments of a story. You’ll learn how the beginnings of stories usually relate to the endings of the story and you’ll learn how to tell stories with words and pictures that work together.
*STORY WORKSHOP #4 WEBINAR ON THURSDAY
WEEK 8: MAR 18 - MAR 24
PACING, PICTURES & PERFECT WORDS (NEW)
With your picture book dummy built, it’s time to do an audit to see where we can improve. We’ll examine the pacing of the story and look closely at the relationship between words and pictures. Arree shows specific examples of how words and pictures were changed to improve the storytelling.
*CRITIQUE GROUP MEETING #4
WEEK 9: MAR 25 - MAR 31
REVISIONS + TOOLS + PRESENTATION
Revise your story efficiently and learn the tools that will help you clean up your drawings to make them presentation ready. We’ll also run through a checklist to make sure that we have a solid story that kids will love.
*STORY WORKSHOP #5 WEBINAR ON THURSDAY
WEEK 10: APR 1 - APR 7
THE BOOK BUSINESS & YOUR CAREER
Gain valuable insights about the children’s book industry. You’ll learn the economics and the numbers behind the picture book industry. Arree also shares what he’s learned and gives good practical advice for planning your career.
*CRITIQUE GROUP MEETING #5
WEEK 11: APR 8 - APR 14
AGENTS + EDITORS
With a polished story, you’ll be ready to seek representation from agents and having your story seen by editors. We’ll get your story ready for submitting to an agent and share strategies on how to research and connect personally to editors and agents. The children’s book publishing industry is really small and relationships are extremely valuable.
*STORY WORKSHOP #6 WEBINAR ON THURSDAY
WEEK 12: APR 15 - APR 21
MARKETING, WEBSITES & SOCIAL MEDIA
In the world of publishing today, storytellers must leverage technology to help market their books and build an author platform. This can sometimes be overwhelming and distracting to being creative. You’ll learn who you are marketing to and what to focus on so that you can spend your time wisely and not be overwhelmed.
*CRITIQUE GROUP MEETING #6