Develop Your Story and Revise with Vision, Using a Picture Book Dummy

Cut Words and Save Time through the Dummy Making Process!


  • How to Thumbnail Your Story
  • What Makes a Great Story
  • How to Make a Dummy
  • Page Turns and Pacing
  • How to Convey Emotion Through Background Color and Typography
  • How to Submit Your Manuscript or Dummy


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.

Arree Chung

Author/Illustrator & Founder of Storyteller Academy

Published Books


Course Details

In this 9-week course, you'll learn how to make a picture book dummy! Making a dummy is the only way to see whether or not your story will work as a picture book. You'll also learn a lot about design elements and how to make a really great story.

Module 1:
Capturing Magical Moments

Lesson 1: Introduction
Lesson 2: Story Review
Lesson 3: Finding Magical Moments
Lesson 4: Supplies, Inspiration, and Getting Started

Module 2:
Make The Dummy​

Lesson 1: Introduction
Lesson 2: How to Make a Dummy
Lesson 3: The Index Card Dummy & Starting Small
Lesson 4: First Drafts

Module 3:
Visual Storytelling & Composition

Lesson 1: Introduction
Lesson 2: Design & Storytelling
Lesson 3: End Pages to the Hook
Lesson 4: Composition
Lesson 5: Page Layouts
Lesson 6: Page Turns

Module 4:
Voice, Paneling, & Pacing

Lesson 1: Introduction
Lesson 2: Voice & Typography
Lesson 3: A Visual Transformation
Lesson 4: White Space & Paneling
Lesson 5: Pacing Your Story

Module 5:
Revision with Vision​

Lesson 1: Revision Through Vision
Lesson 2: Less Is More
Lesson 3: Endings
Lesson 4: The Messy Middle & How Many Drafts
Lesson 5: Covers

Module 6:
Preparing Your Dummy for Submission

Lesson 1: Introduction
Lesson 2: One Story, One Dummy Away
Lesson 3: Submitting Your Dummy
Lesson 4: Going Pro
Lesson 5: Final Thoughts

Everyone Has a Story to Tell

Hear from Amy Flynn

Hear from Kristy Nuttal

Hear from Brian Song

Hear from Grace Nall

Hear from Ann Gronvold

Who Should Take This Class?

Just Starting...

Study story and design elements to develop your own unique story.

Intermediate Storytellers

If you've never made a dummy before, you'll be amazed by how it helps you simplify your story.

Advanced Writers

Does your story have the emotional heart and it-factor to hook readers? Make your story more kid-relatable by studying story and design. Nail your page turns!

Advanced Illustrators

Learn how to write great stories, while improving the design elements. Writing and illustrations should work together!

Frequently Asked Questions

Formal training in drawing is not a requirement, but the willingness to draw is. Many writers who don't consider themselves visual artists have benefited from making dummies. This course will give you an understanding of visual storytelling and help you cut words from your manuscript.

You can either continue working on your story or start with a new story. It's up to you. We also recommend a few stories to work on if you only want to make a dummy.

The course is completely online. You can log in any time and watch at your own convenience. During the term, you can join the live workshop sessions if you are part of the Makers Pro membership, or if you add the workshops to the purchase of the course.

Literary agents will have their own specific instructions on their websites. But in general, you will need a cover letter and a manuscript. The most important aspect of your submission is your story. You can go over the checklist to see if your story is ready.

The ability to tell a story is the most important skill to have as an author or illustrator. You will need to develop unique concepts for stories and be able to tell the story simply. If you are illustrating the book, you will need a strong art style and a good sense of design, in addition to storytelling.

Yes! A great story is often built on a character and the character's problem. We will work on developing your character through a variety of exercises and build the overall narrative arc of your story around your character.

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