Instructor Stories: Melissa Manlove
We're thrilled that Melissa Manlove is returning to teach live Submission Ready workshops for Term 1, which starts on January 25. She will also be teaching a new class in Term 3, which I'll talk more about later, and she's mentoring two critique groups for us this year, one during Term 1, the other during Term 2. (If you're in Makers Pro, watch your email for more information. Those spots will sell out quickly.)
I paid to be in Melissa's mentored critique group last year, and she gave intelligent, thoughtful feedback on all of our stories. I highly recommend her as a mentor.
Melissa is a senior editor at Chronicle Books. She acquires both non-fiction and fiction. Melissa looks for fresh takes on familiar topics, as well as the new and unusual.
She also works as a bookseller and teaches at conferences. We got to hang out in person a little bit at the annual SCBWI conference in Los Angeles last summer.
Melissa and Ariel Richardson (also an editor at Chronicle Books) launched the class together last year, and the recorded video lessons for Submission Ready are still taught by both of them. We're hoping Ariel will be back next year, and if she is, she'll get her own blog post.
If you want to get a taste of their teaching styles, some of my best posts include highlights from last year's workshops. You can learn from them about a variety of topics:
- Comp Titles
- Rhyming Picture Books
- How Illustrators Are Chosen by Publishers
- Voice and Tense Choice in Picture Books
- Back Matter
- Revision Tips
- How to Make Your Picture Book Stand Out
- How Editors Think
- Using Multiple Hooks
- When an Author Should Submit a Dummy
And Submission Ready covers SO MUCH MORE. They walk you through the whole process in an accelerated fashion. They'll have you coming up with ideas, writing new manuscripts, pitches, better titles, etc. They share tips on how to research literary agents and publishers, and they walk you through the process of writing cover letters and queries.
Best of all, if you're a Makers Pro member or pay for the live workshops, you can ask Melissa any questions you have.
Some Books That Melissa Has Edited
Melissa has been editing books at Chronicle for awhile now, so I'm just going to list some of my favorites.
Picture Book Masters
In Term 3, Melissa will be teaching a new writing class for Storyteller Academy. Most of our classes can be taken by beginners, but this class is an exception. If you want to take Picture Book Masters, you'll need to take Submission Ready first.
Melissa will be using mentor texts to help students study and try some more advanced of writing techniques, such as:
- Meta Narrative
- Syllabic and Accentual Poetry
- Scanning Prose for Rhythm
- Narrative Arc in Nonfiction
- Internal Logic
- The Spectrum of Catharsis Across Genre
Like Submission Ready, students who put in the work can expect Picture Book Masters to offer new insights and level up their writing skills.
Book Giveaway Details
For the book giveaway, the winner can choose any book (under $25) published by Chronicle Books. To enter, tell me which book you’d choose in the comments of this post. For additional entries, you can share the post on social media and post a link to where you’ve shared in the comments (preferably as a comment to your original comment so that all of your entries are grouped together).
If you share your experience of learning from Melissa, either through Storyteller Academy or a conference, I'd be happy to give you another entry.
I’ll close the contest at midnight PST on January 18. Thanks for reading and sharing!
Myrna Foster writes and edits content for Storyteller Academy and the WriteRiders Newsletter for SCBWI Nevada. She has spent a lot of time teaching and coaching children, including five years as a preschool teacher. She's also worked as a journalist, and Highlights High Five has published six of her poems.
Arree Chung is an author/illustrator and the founder of Storyteller Academy. Arree’s Ninja! series has received starred reviews from Kirkus and School Library Journal. Kirkus also gave a starred review to Mixed, which recently won the FCGB award.
Today Arree lives a creative life, making stories for children. Arree spends most of his time making picture books, writing middle grade novels, and sharing his love for art, design, and storytelling with kids and dreamers everywhere.