Instructor Stories: Melissa Manlove

instructor photo: Melissa Manlove


We're thrilled that Melissa Manlove is returning this year (2022) to teach live Submission Ready and Picture Book Masters workshops. which I'll talk more about below. I paid to be in Melissa's mentored critique group in 2019, and she gave intelligent, thoughtful feedback on all of our stories. I highly recommend her as a mentor.

Melissa has been promoted from Senior Editor to Executive Editor at Chronicle Books since she started teaching for us. 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 in 2019. 

Submission Ready

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. Ariel will be teaching live workshops with Melissa in Term 2, which starts in May of 2022.

If you want to get a taste of their teaching styles, some of my best posts include highlights from their workshops. 

  1. Comp Titles
  2. Rhyming Picture Books
  3. How Illustrators Are Chosen by Publishers
  4. Voice and Tense Choice in Picture Books
  5. Back Matter
  6. Revision Tips
  7. How to Make Your Picture Book Stand Out
  8. How Editors Think
  9. Using Multiple Hooks
  10. 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. In addition, 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 who attends the live workshops, you can ask them 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 1, which starts on January 19, Melissa will be teaching our most advanced picture book course. 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, and you'll need to be in a critique group.

Melissa will be using mentor texts to help students study and try some more advanced of writing techniques, such as:

  1. Retellings
  2. Meta Narrative
  3. Syllabic and Accentual Poetry
  4. Scanning Prose for Rhythm
  5. Narrative Arc in Nonfiction 
  6. Stakes
  7. Internal Logic
  8. The Spectrum of Catharsis Across Genre
  9. Theme
  10. Thesis

Like Submission Ready, students who put in the work can expect Picture Book Masters to offer new insights and level up their writing skills.

Thanks for reading!

Have you taken a course with Melissa in the past? What was your experience?

Or do you have a favorite book from Chronicle that you'd like to shout out?

Blog Contributors

Instructor Photo: Myrna Foster

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.

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