If you’ve taken Storyteller Academy classes, then you already know they’re worth every penny you pay—probably more! Arree came up with two memberships (Makers and Makers Pro) for this year to both generate income for more classes and to make taking those classes more affordable.
Let's go over some of the new opportunities that will be available this year.
I’m really excited about these mini classes. Once a month, Storyteller Academy will offer an Intensive taught by an industry professional on a subject that is one of the professional particular strengths. Do you need a website but aren’t sure where to start? I’m right there with you! Ken Lamug is teaching that one in March, and yes, I linked to his website. These aren’t the in-depth classes Storyteller Academy has been known for in the past. They’re smaller projects that you can spread out over a few weeks or—if you set aside a chunk of time—maybe knock out in a weekend.
Schedule for Intensives
On the first day of each month, an Intensive instructional video will be available to Makers and Makers Pro members. Anyone who isn’t a member will be able to purchase individual Intensives. Then on the last Saturday of each month, Makers Pro members will be able to attend a live workshop (referred to as the Intensive Review) with the professional so that they can ask questions.
If the Intensive Review dates change, I’ll update this post.
New Instructors and Classes
Melissa Manlove and Ariel Richardson, editors at Chronicle Books, are teaching a Submission Ready class that starts on January 26th. Their mentored critique groups are both already full, but they’re teaching six live workshops over the course of their nine-week class. And yes, they’ll be answering questions at those workshops.
Alex Leon will start teaching Drawing Bootcamp with Arree on January 26th. He’ll take over teaching Drawing Bootcamp after this term. We plan on adding a second level Drawing Bootcamp, where Alex will teach 3D construction, style development, how to invent from your head, composition, and storytelling. They’ll also teach six workshops and mentor a small critique group.
Vanessa Brantley-Newton will start teaching Character Design on April 27th. Among other things, she’ll cover character shapes, help you design clothing, and show you how to explore character personalities and expressions. Vanessa will also offer a mentored critique group and teach six live workshops.
This year, Arree Chung is splitting his Making Picture Books and Dummies into two classes: Crafting Picture Book Stories and Making Picture Book Dummies. He's adding more material and allowing more time for students to develop their stories. It also means he’ll offer a mentored critique group and teach six workshops for each class. Win. Win.
Jim Averbeck will also be returning to teach Writing and Revising Picture Book Manuscripts, in which he covers story shapes, revision strategies, and writing techniques. He also shared an assignment that helped me come up with a cool idea for a story when I took his class.
As someone who has taken and is still taking Storyteller Academy classes, I highly recommend that you take classes with workshops over taking self-study classes. (If you’re buying a membership, that would mean buying the Makers Pro membership, instead of the Makers membership.) The self-study classes are good, but Storyteller Academy workshops are amazing opportunities to interact with and learn from industry professionals.
I also recommend paying extra for the mentored critique groups if there’s an instructor you’d love as a mentor. My critique group (that Arree mentored for 12 weeks in 2016) is still helping me develop into the author/illustrator that I someday want to be, and Arree is still pushing me to excel nearly two years later.
Arree has recently put together some suggested tracks for authors and author/illustrators. These are just going to grow as we add more instructors and classes.
You are, of course, welcome to pick and choose and take classes in any order you’d like. These are just suggestions to get the most out of your membership. Makers and Makers Pro members get to take four classes as part of their membership each year.
Arree’s membership offers for Makers and Makers Pro end at midnight PST on Thursday, January 10th. These are such a great deal that he can only offer them for a limited window every year. Next year, with more classes available and more instructors to pay, the price for a membership will be a little higher—unless you’re already a member. Prices won’t increase for those who keep their memberships current. I hope you find a way to take advantage of this opportunity.
Let me know if you have any questions!