Get that story idea out of your head
and turn it into a children's book!

Makers Pro gives you everything you need to learn how to write, illustrate, and publish your children's book.

(Even if this is your first time writing . . . you don’t know how to draw . . . or you feel like you NEVER have time.)

Quick Question . . .

Do you dream of writing a children's book but wonder if you have the time and are capable of making something great?

We'll let you in on a little secret. That is how everyone feels at the beginning of their creative journey. The very first step to creating your children's book is believing you can do it. You'll fit right in here if you are . . .
little sister
  • a dreamer who longs to write or illustrate children’s books but also has to maintain a “real job.”
  • a parent deep in the trenches, spending hours reading children’s books, and needing to tuck anything for yourself inside a hectic schedule.
  • an educator who knows exactly what types of books the classroom (and world) needs.
  • a writer or artist who wants to hone your skills for the children’s market.

Imagine children reading your books.

But how do I bring my story to life?

Dreaming about your story isn’t going to make it happen. Learning from published professionals will give you the skills and confidence you need.

Inside Storyteller Academy, award-winning authors and illustrators teach you their storytelling techniques and tips. Our curriculum takes you from having an idea to getting an agent and publishing your book.

You’ll get all-access to classes and resources, live workshops and replays, and a creative community designed to help you achieve your goals.

If you’re ready to make your children’s book dream into a reality, join us inside Makers Pro.

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Did you know?

Taking courses on writing and illustrating puts you in the top 3% of people trying to get their children’s book published.

How It Works

What's included in your membership:
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1. Choose your course(s) to reach your goal

Select the course that's perfect for your skill level!

What are your creative goals? Whether you’re a beginner or more advanced, each course at Storyteller Academy is designed to help you with a specific goal. Choose your course and start learning.

Each course takes a deep dive into the creative process with six learning modules, printable handouts, guides, and resources.

Clear action items following each lesson (homework!) allow you to implement the lessons through your story immediately.

2. attend live workshops during the term!

Apply your newfound skills and ask your questions.

Storyteller Academy runs three terms each calendar year. 

Instructors teach live workshops for courses. During the workshops, instructors review core concepts, critique  student work, and answer questions.


2023 Live Workshop Schedule

Term 2 2023

May 31 - August 5

Drawing 1
Alex Leon

Picture Book Wordsmith
Carter Higgins

Writing Picture Book Manuscripts
Jim Averbeck

Making Picture Book Dummies
Arree Chung

Illustration 2
Julie Downing & Isabella Kung

Rhyming Picture Books
Baptiste and Miranda Paul

Submission Workshop Series (NEW)
Amy Flynn, Cindy Leopold-Ritsko, and Myrna Foster

Term 3 2023

September 13 - November 18


Drawing 2
Alex Leon

Graphic Novels
Ken Lamug

Writing Picture Book Manuscripts
Jim Averbeck

Picture Book Production Design
Arree Chung

Illustrating with Collage
Vanessa Brantley-Newton

Illustration Workshop Series (NEW)
Arree Chung

Revision Workshop Series (NEW)
Carter Higgins

Term 1 2024

Tentative Schedule

Illustration 1
Julie Downing & Isabella Kung

Revision Workshop Series 
Jim Averbeck

Submission Ready
Ariel Richardson & Melissa Manlove

Character Design
Vanessa Brantley-Newton

Self-Publishing Picture Books
Darcy Pattison

Crafting Picture Book Stories
Arree Chung

Plotting your MG Novel
Katherine Jacobs

Online Writing Community


Find your people!

At the end of the term, we place members into peer critique groups. Connect with other creatives, share feedback, and support each other’s creative journeys.

You can also join a mentored critique group, a group of five students led by one of our instructors, for an additional price.

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textures in your illustrations
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Social Media

4. 35+ craft-based mini-classes

Advance your skills year-round.

Mini-classes are bite-sized, skill-based courses designed to focus on a specific element of writing, illustrating, or business.

While all mini-classes are available for self-study 24/7, each month we feature a mini-class with a live review taught by the instructor. For each live review, you’re invited to submit your work for a chance at live feedback!

Explore our library of 35+ mini-classes to supplement your learning in between terms.

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5. Submission opportunities & More

Every day is a step closer to publication.

We always say that the first step toward publication is writing a great story, but once you’ve nailed that, you need to get it in front of agents and editors!

Each year, we host three children’s literary agents for a query/submission review and live Q&A session. Following the session, all Pro members have the opportunity to submit a story that matches the agent’s wish list.

Every January, we host a Pitch Party where members submit their story pitch, and a panel of agents select their favorites for an above-the-slush submission opportunity.

NEW 2023: This year, we will be hosting our first ever Storyteller Academy Student Showcase. Members will have the opportunity to submit their strongest story, and our team will choose the best ones to present to a list of invited children’s agents and editors.

Did you know?

56.9% of authors write 2-9 drafts before publication.

(14.5% write more than 20!)

What's possible?

inspiring girl character
Have you ever heard of a little-known author named Dr. Seuss? While he had his faults, Dr. Seuss dropped this bit of wisdom in his book, The Places You'll Go.

"You can get so confused that you'll start in to race down long wiggled roads at a break-necking pace and grind on for miles cross weirdish wild space, headed, I fear, toward a most useless place. The Waiting Place . . . for people just waiting."

You don't have to get stuck in the waiting place. The perfect moment to pursue your dream of writing a children's book is right now, when you are feeling that tug of excitement. When ideas are rattling around your brain. When you need to tuck your creating into the cracks and crevices of your busy day because your dream is too important to keep waiting.

With Makers Pro you can:

Imagine your book on bookstore shelves.

Foundational Courses

No more wondering where to start or feeling like you don’t know what you’re doing.

Our foundational courses are perfect for everyone dipping their toes into the children’s book pool for the first time. They are designed to answer all of your most basic questions and get you started on a path toward storytelling success.

  • Writing Picture Book Manuscripts
  • Crafting Picture Book Stories
  • Making Picture Book Dummies
  • Character Design
  • Drawing 1
  • Submission Ready
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Crafting Picture Book Stories
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Character Design
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“We started working on the manuscript for STRONG back in April of 2019. After completing multiple drafts, we finally got interest from an agent. She loved the story idea, but I wasn’t executing it right. Arree helped me rethink the approach and find the true heart of the story. The agent loved the revisions, and offered us a contract! After a few more drafts, we got a deal with Little, Brown Books for Young Readers, and our book, STRONG, comes out in May 2022! I couldn’t have done this without Arree and Storyteller Academy!” 

– Eric Rosswood, co-author of Strong

Advanced Courses

Courses that meet your needs as your skills improve.

As you master your storytelling skills, you can take advantage of our advanced courses, designed to polish your skills to a professional shine.

  • Picture Book Wordsmith
  • Picture Book Masters
  • Illustration 1
  • Illustration 2
  • Picture Book Production Design
  • Rhyming Picture Books
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Picture Book Masters
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Illustration 2
Rhyming Picture Books
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Submission Opportunities

Get your story in front of agents and editors.

In order to get your polished story traditionally published, you need to grab the attention of agents and editors. There is no better way to do that than above-the-slush submission opportunities. These learning events turned submission opportunities are sprinkled throughout each year.

Live Event

The Agent Series

After each term, we invite a children’s literary agent to participate in The Agent Series. Students are invited to submit their query to receive feedback as a learning opportunity.

Following the live event, all students are invited to submit their manuscript to the agent.

Pitch Event

Annual Pitch Party

Think American Idol for children’s books . . . 

Each January, we host three agents for a rapid round of live pitching. Storyteller Academy staff read short pitches submitted by students and a responding “thumbs up!” from an agent is an invitation for that creator for an above-the-slush submission opportunity.

Computer and Search = Do Research!


All eyes on your stories.

NEW! Each year we will be featuring our students’ best work in a virtual showcase. Chosen work will be presented to an expansive list of editors and agents to highlight those stories that have been polished and are submission ready.

“I am grateful to Storyteller Academy for carving a clear path that showed me that my lifelong dream is tangible with actionable steps and building supportive relationships.”

– LaTonya Jackson, Author-Illustrator



Connecting to the kidlit creative village.

Imagine having an experienced community at your fingertips. Imagine having people there to answer your questions, give you feedback, encourage you through rejection, and cheer you on at each milestone. This is your creative village.

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Ask-Me-Anything Sessions

After each term, we invite an editor or an art director in as live learning opportunities for Makers Pro students.

Students are invited to submit their questions and have them answered live during the session. This is the perfect opportunity to pick the brain of an industry professional.

Online Writing Communities

Critique & Create Dates

Authors and illustrators no longer need to be holed up alone to create their masterpieces.

Critique and Create Dates allow you to take advantage of an active creative village, spending productive, companionable time online creating and receiving fresh eyes on your manuscript or illustrations every month.

Save money with a membership

We built Makers Pro because individually purchasing every resource can be costly. Instead, we give you access to everything. Any question you have, any skill you need to learn, is always at your fingertips.

  • 23 Signature Courses ($199 retail price/course)
  • 41 Mini-Classes ($99 retail price/course)
  • Live Workshops, Ask-Me-Anything Sessions, and Agent Series Events
  • Pitch Party
  • Peer Critique Group Placement
Value: $4,577
Value: $4,059

Value: $1,800
Value: $150
Value: Priceless!

TOTAL VALUE: $10,586

Black Friday Enrollment BONUSES

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How to Write (or Illustrate) Children's Books - THE WORKBOOK

Your ultimate, hand-on guide. Pulling together the best resources from our full length courses, our author and illustrator workbooks walk you step by step through your journey to publication. Each workbook contains over 200 pages of knowledge and exercises to help you craft your stories. These workbooks are the perfect companion to taking courses. Kiss printing PDFs goodbye.

A $35 value for FREE

This bonus is available for ALL new Makers Pro Members on BLACK FRIDAY ONLY!
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Free One-on-One Critique (Annual Memberships Only)

Get live feedback on your manuscript with a 30-minute critique via Zoom with any of our available instructors, agents, or editors. This is the perfect opportunity to polish your manuscript and ask any questions you have.

A $175 value for FREE.

This bonus is available for all new ANNUAL Makers Pro Members of BLACK FRIDAY ONLY!

Start your journey today.


Monthly Membership

  • Instant access to all of our 23 signature courses on writing and illustrating children’s books
  • Access to 41 craft-based, self-study mini-classes with a live review every month
  • Step-by-step guides, checklists, worksheets, and many other resources to help guide you through the creative process
  • Annual Pitch Party with three industry agents
  • Three Agent Series Workshops (with submission opportunities)
  • Three Ask-Me-Anything Sessions with industry professionals (submission opportunities possible, but not guaranteed)
  • Virtual live workshops each term with opportunities to have your work critiqued
  • A monthly mini-class live review
  • First access to buy a place in a mentored critique group or one-on-one critiques with instructors
  • Free placement in a peer critique group
  • Access to our community of storytellers!,


Annual Membership

  • Instant access to all of our 23 signature courses on writing and illustrating children’s books
  • Access to 41 craft-based, self-study mini-classes with a live review every month
  • Step-by-step guides, checklists, worksheets, and many other resources to help guide you through the creative process
  • Annual Pitch Party with three industry agents
  • Three Agent Series Workshops (with submission opportunities)
  • Three Ask-Me-Anything Sessions with industry professionals (submission opportunities possible, but not guaranteed)
  • Virtual live workshops each term with opportunities to have your work critiqued
  • A monthly mini-class live review
  • First access to buy a place in a mentored critique group or one-on-one critiques with instructors
  • Free placement in a peer critique group
  • Access to our community of storytellers!
  • BONUS: FREE Picture Book Written Critique



“I have been seeking to learn more about the process of writing and illustrating children’s books for several years, and have definitely made the most progress since joining Storyteller Academy!

– Cathy Wu, winner of Little, Brown Emerging Artist Award for 2021

Frequently Asked Questions

Makers Pro is the best option for those of you dedicated to continually improving your writing and/or illustrating skills as you pursue publication.

We don't lie to you. Writing children's books is not easy. It takes time, creativity, and thought, but it is a skill you can learn.

If you have a story and the desire to bring it to life, then your story will be good enough.

Inside the Makers Pro membership, you'll discover what makes a great story and how to improve your story.

You'll sharpen your creative skills and turn your hobby of writing or drawing into a life-long, successful career.

You will learn how to write and illustrate children's books. You'll also learn how to get an agent, self-publish, and build a successful business. Basically, it's everything you need to know. All in one place.


Occasionally we sell our individual courses, but the Makers Pro membership was built to give you access to all of the information you need, whenever you need it. Each course you take, every skill you master, will leave you hungry for the next one. Every term, we have live workshops of our signature course that you could attend. These live workshops deep-dive to what you need to learn on how to write, illustrate and build your author business.

Our signature courses dive deep into the craft of writing and illustrating. Each course contains pre-recorded lessons and handouts designed to improve your craft one module at a time. 

Our mini-classes are bite-sized, skill-based courses designed to focus on a specific element of writing, illustrating, or business. Ranging from 30 minutes to 8 hours, depending on the topic, mini-classes are pre-recorded and available on demand.

All of Storyteller Academy’s courses can be accessed ONLINE. We recommend that you have a personal computer or tablet for an optimal experience.

While Makers Pro is completely online to allow for unrestricted access to resources, technology does come with the potential for headaches.

Our student support team will walk you through any technical knowledge you need to know. Our staff is there to answer questions whenever they arise.

Makers Pro members can submit their work for review during live workshops, but there is no guarantee that your work will be chosen. If you would like more support, you can purchase more direct feedback through a mentored critique group or one-on-one coaching.

You can cancel anytime. And there's a 30-day money-back guarantee, so you can try it risk-free. You can sign up to renew monthly or annually.

You get access to our 23 signature courses and 41 mini-classes. You'll also receive access to all NEW courses and mini-classes as they are released throughout the year for as along you are member.


Signature Courses:

Build a Lead Magnet

Build and Test FB Ads

Character Design

Crafting Picture Book Stories

Drawing 1: Drawing with Mental Models

Drawing 2: Drawing in 3-D

Find and Build Your Audience 

Graphic Novels 

Hire a VA and Build a Team

Illustrating with Collage

Illustration 1 

Illustration 2

Illustration Workshop Series (2023)

Making Picture Book Dummies

Picture Book Masters

Picture Book Production Design

Picture Book Wordsmith

Plotting Your MG Novel

Picture Book Revision Workshop Series 

Rhyming Picture Books 

Self-Publishing Children’s Books 

Submission Ready

Submission Workshop Series (2023)

Writing Picture Book Manuscripts

Writing the Middle-Grade Fantasy Novel 



Adobe Illustrator

Best Creative Year Ever

Build an Author Business

Building an Author Website

Crafting a Strong Beginning

Creating Atmosphere 

Creating Characters

Creative Focus and Habits

Drawing People for Children's Books 

Find My Art Style

Graphic Memoirs (2023)

How to Query Agents

Illustrating Novelty and Board Books

Illustrating Early Readers

Illustrating Middle Grade Covers 

Making Comics


Middle Grade Novel in Verse (2023)

Nailing Your Middle Grade Voice

Nonfiction Picture Books

Overcoming Fear

Painting People with Acrylics

Perspective and Point of View 

Photoshop Basics

Picture Book Story Frameworks

Pitch Your Story

Presenting a Winning Portfolio

Picture Book Biographies

Query Your Middle Grade Novel (2023)

Revise Your Novel 

Social Media 

School Visit Presentations 

Storytelling in Rhyme

Symbolism & Storytelling

Textures in Your Illustrations

Unlock Your Maker Mindset


Writing Chapter Books

Writing Early Readers

Writing For the Educational Market 

Writing Humor

Writing Natural Rhyme That Sells

Writing Nature with All 5 Senses

Writing Voice

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