Here’s what’s possible.

As a debut author, I had no idea what steps to take next to help build my career outside of writing books. Arree's Author Business class series helped to break down different paths of action, lessening the overall sense of overwhelm so many of us feel. 

Nell Cross Beckerman
Author of Down Under the Pier

Member Success Stories

Nadia Salomon

Author, Goodnight Ganesha

“Everything is done with heart first. A gentle hand and they all share Arree’s nurturing quality and that voice that always challenges you to do you, do your best, while at the same time guiding you.”

READ STORY

Todd Sturgell

Author, Except Antartica

“I would not be a published author without Storyteller Academy. I like to say that before SA, I didn’t know how much I didn’t know. Arree’s Making Picture Books class set me on the path that has led to my book launch in just a few weeks!”

READ STORY

Laurie Elmquist

Author, City Baby

“Instructors at Storyteller Academy have introduced me to so many mentor texts. It’s like having a best friend who is super knowledgeable and just piles up your arms with good books. And I don’t just mean the books that have won awards. I mean the books that kids love.”

READ STORY

Katy Tanis

Illustrator, I Am The Jungle

“The most valuable part for me was when Ariel and Melissa would share their enthusiasm for a book. It gave me insight on how you might hook an editor–what takes them from liking a manuscript to being in love with it!”

READ STORY

Lily LaMotte

Author, Measuring Up

I love how supportive Arree, Myrna, Jim, and the community are of each other. It’s a wonderful space to learn from and belong to.

READ STORY

Charlotte Watson Sherman

Author, Brown Sugar Babe

“I've benefitted most from the flexibility of being a Makers Pro member. As my work and life schedule allows, I can dip in and out of workshops, take intensives, listen to replays at my leisure, plus download course materials and work on them at my own pace.”

READ STORY

Little Wins Lead to Big Victories

Brian Song

Kristy Nuttall

Grace Nall

Member Testimonials

I have been a member of the Storyteller Academy since 2017. Being a part of such an amazing group keeps me moving towards my goals. There is such a wide variety of course selections. I want to learn it all. But I struggled. I struggled with finding the time for the workshops within my time zone. So when Arree offered the Makers Self-Study membership, I was thrilled! Suddenly I was able to take all the courses I wanted at my own pace. Waiting at the doctor's office or hair salon are now opportunities for me to keep on learning this wonderful craft of storytelling.
All the classes have helped hone my writing craft especially the first class I took at Storyteller Academy with Jim Averbeck which helped me understand the fundamentals of good picture book writing. I've taken his class twice and recommend it highly.   I also met one of my critique partners through an introduction by Arree Chung and she has been an invaluable teacher, motivator, and emotional support through the querying and submission process.
Thanks to Storyteller Academy, a group of really nice people with differing backgrounds but similar heartfelt aspirations meets twice a month to share stories. Using principles of Storyteller courses, our writing is progressing and we appreciate belonging to Storyteller Academy!
This community is positive, encouraging, and welcoming to all! My motivation tank is filled weekly by the team's inspirational posts, LIVE workshop encouragement, or critique group feedback. Navigating the kidlit world is complex. Storyteller Academy has given me the tools and resources to break it into pieces of measurable success. Trust the process. Join and don't look back! Keep learning and honing your craft, one class, one critique, or one manuscript at a time.
Arree has put together a team of picture book authors, illustrators, and editors who have a passion for what they do, perform at the top of their field, and have the ability to distill the essence of how they perform at that level. Instructors deliver it in a digestible and practical way to help others develop the same skills. Storyteller Academy is THE place to go to accelerate your storytelling and picture book writing and illustrating skills.
Arree has put together a team of picture book authors, illustrators, and editors who have a passion for what they do, perform at the top of their field, AND have the ability to distill the essence of how they perform at that level. Instructors deliver it in a digestible and practical way to help others develop the same skills. Storyteller Academy is THE place to go to accelerate your storytelling and picture book writing and illustrating skills.
Michael English
Storyteller Academy has given me the confidence to pursue my dreams even when I thought they were impossible. Also, my critique group is an amazing rag-tag group of authors/illustrators that I adore.
 I am very privileged to have worked with amazing authors for my illustrative projects. Doing Storyteller academy has been my highlight – learning a lot from all the classes and fellow friends here who have the same struggles and joy as me.
I love how supportive Arree, Myrna, Jim, and the community are of each other. It’s a wonderful space to learn from and belong to.

Course Testimonials

SIGNATURE COURSE

Submission Ready

with Melissa Manlove and Ariel Richardson

Melissa and Ariel are kind, direct, and incredibly helpful.  The most impactful lesson (of many) for me is that it is more important to be good at revision than it is to write "perfect" first drafts. That lesson, and this course, has changed how I approach the entire writing and submission process!  I encourage you to run, jump, and leap at this unique opportunity for an inside look with these seasoned professionals!

Carole Meyer-Rieth

This is one of the richest, most comprehensive classes I've ever taken in the 6 years I've been writing. Melissa and Ariel, you were not just teachers, but coaches, making us feel empowered to move forward to submissions.

Kathy Halsey

Ariel and Melissa, you were so insightful, encouraging, wise, funny, and delightful throughout. Myrna, you did a wonderful job moderating and addressing my questions.  I also really like the Storyteller Academy environment and will take more courses and set up a critique group. This was just the pick-me-up I needed!

Cynthia Way
SIGNATURE COURSE

Writing Picture Book Manuscripts

with Jim Averbeck

I learned so much from Jim Averbeck’s class; he changed the way I think about writing. Jim’s critiques are invaluable. I gained just as much seeing him break down a manuscript as the online syllabus he wrote. I hunkered down the entire 6 weeks and turned an idea I’d shelved years ago into a fleshed-out dummy! Jim has the innate ability to pinpoint the core of a story and provide suggestions on how to strengthen the storytelling. I highly recommend it!

Jim's course gave me so many wonderful tools to use for developing story ideas, for revising, and for fine-tuning them. I came up with three manuscripts I'm excited about and, although they are not all complete, I know how to approach them. The best part is that I feel more capable than I did before the course, more eager to revise, and extremely lucky to have had this opportunity.

Ronna Mandel

Jim's course gave me so many wonderful tools to use for developing story ideas, for revising, and for fine-tuning them. I came up with three manuscripts I'm excited about and, although they are not all complete, I know how to approach them. The best part is that I feel more capable than I did before the course, more eager to revise, and extremely lucky to have had this opportunity.

AJ Irving
SIGNATURE COURSE

Drawing 1: Drawing with Mental Models

with Arree Chung and Alex Leon

As a more detail-oriented illustrator, taking Drawing Bootcamp was a refreshing get-back-to-basics course with an eye towards the current children's book illustration market. The concept of using big, medium, and small to emphasize design was valuable in developing characters. I enjoyed the range of daily drawing assignments and the hands-on approach to teaching in the online workshops.

When I met Arree, his first question was, "How is your drawing?" I replied, "I do vintage stick figures." His reply was, "It’s not that you can’t. You just have never been taught how." I signed up for my first Drawing Bootcamp. For the first time in my life, the self doubt was not present. I had someone who believed in me and believed I could learn, and I did! I take Drawing Bootcamp every term because I learn something new every time.

Nancy Howson

Arree's Drawing I class was super helpful to me. It convinced me that drawing really IS a skill and that means I can practice and learn it. The workshops are hands-on, non-judgmental and encouraging no matter what your skill level.

Debbie Arnn
SIGNATURE COURSE

Character Design

with Vanessa Brantley-Newton

This class has truly been a learning experience. Vanessa's teaching style is very welcoming and inspirational, and the time and dedication she took to making sure each student felt included and heard, is truly a testimony to her wonderful personality and knowledge. I started this class feeling like, I didn't really know how to draw like the Picture Book Illustrators, but would watch and learn. I finished this class showing artwork that "I created!"

Cathy Lee Patterson

Vanessa’s art class on Character Design really set me on the path to wanting to illustrate my own stories. Her enthusiasm made it easy to stay engaged, especially for someone who had never taken art classes before! Between the workshops and the accessible way she broke down the lessons, I’ve learned so much. I’ve taken the class twice now and plan to take it again!

Melissa Mwai

Vanessa Brantley-Newton’s class on character development gave me more confidence to pursue my characters in my own style. Start with rough sketches, it's okay! Just start.

Vanessa is a wonderful teacher who is very patient and gives great advice in the workshops. There is so much to learn in her Character Design class, I’ll be taking it again next term.

Lynette Oxley

Vanessa's class Character Design was much more than I expected. Vanessa opened my mind in ways I had never thought about to create A character! I love her process, no wonder she is such a success!  Vanessa's way of talking, and her endless kindness and wanting to help was a breath of fresh air. I am planning on retaking her class! She is truly an earth angel.

Fredette Forbes
SIGNATURE COURSE

Picture Book Wordsmith

with Carter Higgins

Thank you, Carter, and fellow story writers for such an encouraging class. Sometimes I feel like the development of my talent is rather hopeless as I'm surrounded by so many excellent creative people. Then I’m reminded, through instruction, encouragement and solid workshops, that this is a step-by-step process of refinement and there are those who will accompany me along the way. Thank you.

Patti Tomarelli

Wearing her librarian hat, Carter shares books that kids love and explain why they do. She provides tools to practice techniques that bring your writing to the next level. As an author, she understands the challenge of making every word count and demonstrates her process. She’s engaging on screen, gives thoughtful feedback, and includes a wealth of resources. I highly recommend the Picture Book Wordsmith.

Dee Knabb

Carter Higgins' direct feedback was invaluable for improving my writing. She shares her depth of knowledge in supportive and engaging ways throughout this course, at a pace that allows for real life. I now understand how to look at and analyze mentor texts using these tools. I gained skills even with the tools and devices I was comfortable with prior to the class. Interactions with Carter and classmates over many weeks helped me learn much more than I had from highly recommended books & webinars.

Charlene Avery

Carter's course offered me an insight into how to craft sentences. It took me along the Avenue of Anapests, Scansion Street, and around Lake Onomatopoeia. I only had an inkling before of the meaning of these literary terms. Her enthusiasm and sense of fun in the whole process of crafting stories is infectious.

Jane Sinclair
MINI-CLASS

Making Comics

with Ken Lamug

Before Ken's class, I had an idea for a graphic novel, but no experience on how to structure it for pitching to publishers. Ken's class was the perfect solution for my problem. He broke down all the steps on how to take my idea, and mold it into a script, and further how to design and structure comic book pages. After the class I had a script ready to go and 12 pages of sketches and finals ready to put into a submission packet. Ken really made it easy, and nothing felt overwhelming as we went step by step. I am so happy to share that we have already sold that book that I worked on in class, and I can't wait to share it with everyone when it comes out in 2023!

Ken is such a good instructor. He is thorough and articulate. He covers everything you could ever want to know about graphic novels/comics—from soup to nuts. His course was offered in a carefully ordered way that built on each previous lesson. What really blew me away was that Ken shared his actual Photoshop files with all his layers intact allowing students to go in and take their time to dissect what he actually did to create one of his books. Who does that? I cannot stress how valuable this class was to me. Ken covered EVERYTHING!

SIGNATURE COURSE

Crafting Picture Book Stories

with Arree Chung and Abi Cushman

Arree Chung's Crafting Picture Book Stories course has helped me in understanding what makes a good picture book. He has taught me how to conduct master studies so that I can identify elements of good storytelling. He encourages me to keep trying and to stay focused and patient with learning. Thank you for everything, Arree!

Kim Hoa

What makes Storyteller Academy stand out from the crowd is that it provides the tools to develop long-lasting careers as authors and illustrators. The various classes will teach you ways to consistently create powerful stories and illustrations that resonate with kids. But with instructors who are working authors and illustrators, Storyteller Academy also provides mentorship, real world advice on how to thrive as creative professionals, and business and marketing strategies for after that first book deal.

Abi Cushman
SIGNATURE COURSE

Drawing 2: Drawing in 3D

with Alex Leon

Alex Leon's Drawing 2 class is a two-fold exploration of perspective. He not only gave me the tools to improve upon the (admittedly intimidating!) craft of drawing in 3D, but he also inspired the confidence—the change in my own perspective—to do so.

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