Story Coaches, Instruction, and Guides to
Help You Reach Your Creative Potential


Here's What You'll Get and More...

Access to 6 Signature Courses taught by Published Professionals

A Library of Craft-Based Intensives with a New Intensive Each Month

Step-by-Step Guides, Checklists, and Workbooks

Access to Our Private, Members-Only Community

Elaine’s Success Story

“By making the dummy, however, I could see exactly how my manuscript was working and where it wasn’t working.”

Your Story Coaches and Instruction

Signature Courses

Arree Chung

Author & Illustrator

Crafting Picture Book Stories


  • Learn how to develop and evaluate ideas for picture books.

  • Develop stories around a proven story framework.

  • 6 Modules, 6 PDF Assignments, Community Forum

Jim Averbeck

Author & Illustrator

Writing Picture Book Manuscripts


  • Learn how to develop ideas and write manuscripts for picture books.

  • Build an emotionally satisfying ending with setups and payoffs.

  • Learn how to self-edit and revise your story with advanced revision strategies

Arree Chung

Author & Illustrator

Making Picture Book Dummies


  • Learn how to tell a story visually and how to make a dummy.

  • Optimize your page turns and cut unnecessary words.

  • Revise your story through the dummy making process.

Arree Chung

Author & Illustrator

Drawing Bootcamp

  • Learn fundamental drawing concepts

  • Learn how to draw with simple shapes and build mental models.

  • Draw from your imagination. By the end of this course, you'll be able to invent characters and start making your own stories

Vanessa Newton

Author & Illustrator

Character Design

  • Learn how to design characters for children's books.

  • Build a unique character with its own character model sheet.

  • Learn how to stylize, accessorize, and color your character

Melissa Manlove

Senior Editor at Chronicle Books

Ariel Richardson

Children's Editor at Chronicle Books

Submission Ready

  • Learn what editors look for in submissions.

  • Develop your storytelling skills under the guidance of Ariel Richardson and Melissa Manlove. 

  • Use their submission checklist and plan to submit your stories with confidence.

Craft-Based Intensives

Creative Focus & Habits

Get clarity on your biggest creative goals and establish habits to achieve them.

Writing Voice

Learn how to craft voice for picture books with picture book author extraordinaire, Carter Higgins.

Build an Author Website

Build the author website you've been putting off. Ken Lamug walks through every step, from getting a domain to building your WordPress website.

Photoshop Basics

Learn the tools of Photoshop and practice making characters.

Writing Natural Rhyme That Sells

Learn how to rhyme properly for picture books.

Adobe Illustrator

Learn the tools of Adobe Illustrator and practice making characters and props.

Storytelling in Rhyme

Identify and avoid pitfalls while building strong foundation for our rhyming stories to stand and succeed.

Shapes & Textures

Learn how to design shapes and how to create textures for your illustrations.

Symbolism & Storytelling

Learn how Kathryn uses symbolism to make powerful picture books that reach kids.


Learn how Jessixa uses watercolor in her picture books. Experiment with her techniques, and make beautiful watercolor illustrations.

Teach, Don't Preach

Learn how to tell stories with messages that don't preach down to children.

Business Basics

Learning the 5 pillars of business will change the way you think about your author business. Learn how to create an author business that supports your creativity.

How It Works

1. Choose Your Track.

Take the assessment quiz and determine your track. We'll help you determine where you are in your creative journey and find the right class to help you grow.

2. Start Your Class.

After determining your track, find the right class and get started. In Makers Self Study, you can work through the coursework at your own pace.

3. Share Your Work.

Work through the coursework and learn by doing. The most important aspect of learning is in the doing. Share your work in our course forums and get social with members inside the community

4. Continue Learning.

After you finish your course, start the next course on your track. There are also specific craft-based intensives to help you continue to grow.

Your Publishing Success Plan

1. Make a Great Story

Everything starts with story. Our courses and intensives will help you become an expert storyteller. You'll learn the ins and outs of writing stories, making dummies, crafting voice, and improving your work with revision. Our creative coaches will share their creative secrets and years of experience with you.

2. Make Good Art

Contrary to belief, there is no such thing as natural talent. You can learn how to make art for children’s books. If you want to illustrate your own books and become a visual storyteller, we'll teach you! So dive in, and you'll discover your unique style and voice.

3. Submit Your Work and Get an Agent

You've got a great story and art to go with it. Great! The next step is to submit your work. You’ll only have one chance to make a first impression. We'll help you get ready for submission so that you can find representation.

4. Build Your Author Business

Achieve creative freedom by building your author business. Raise awareness for your books with content marketing and social media. Diversify and expand your income with school visits and partnerships.

Who should join Makers Self Study?


If you have ideas that pop into your head for stories, or if you want be more creative, Storyteller Academy is the place for you. We'll help you learn how to turn your ideas into stories.


At the heart of Storyteller Academy is storytelling for children. If you're a writer making stories for children, you belong here. Our story coaches will help you develop your stories and hone your skills.


As an illustrator, you already are a storyteller. We'll help you craft words to compliment your storytelling.

Vicky’s Success Story

“Since taking the class in 2017, I'm excited to say that I've signed 3 book deals with a total of 7 books coming out, including board books, a picture book, and an early chapter book series!”

Abi’s Success Story

“As it turns out, Arree is one of my People Angels. And thanks to Arree and Storyteller Academy, I have my first picture book coming out from Viking Children's Books in 2020, with a second book to follow in 2021!”

Join the Makers Self Study Waitlist

We will notify you when enrollment is open.

Frequently Asked Questions

Makers Self Study is perfect for storytellers who want to work through the course material on their own. You get access to all of the courses and intensives inside Storyteller Academy.
For storytellers who want more in-depth training and support, Makers Pro is the perfect option. You get everything in Makers Self Study, but you also get to participate in course workshops and intensives reviews.
Makers Pro members also get the benefit of being placed into critique groups. Critique groups with 3 or more Makers Pro members are eligible for a free Zoom link for their meetings through Storyteller Academy.
To enroll, just click here. Then enter your payment information. You will be charged just $1.00 to start your trial. Cancel before the 14 days are up, and your card won’t be charged again. At the end of 14 days, your card will be charged the $37 monthly fee.
After checking out, you will receive an email to set a password. After you set your password, you can immediately begin your classes.
We are working on a trial offer that will be available shortly. Sign up for the waitlist if you would like to join the trial. Makers Pro is only open for enrollment a few times a year and does not include a trial.

Our courses are designed to be completed over a 9-week period if you’re allocating an hour or two a day to the course materials. You can complete the courses over 7 days if you are consuming the content full time.

Our intensives are designed to be completed over a 2-day period.

All of Storyteller Academy’s training occurs online. To access courses, you will need a personal computer or tablet. We hold LIVE workshops on Zoom. We recommend having a computer with a camera and microphone for an optimal experience in workshops.
Workshops occur weekly, and intensives are published monthly! But don’t feel like you have to consume everything the moment it’s released. Everything we create is archived in the members area, so there’s no rush or pressure to access it in “real time.” Think of your Makers membership as the Netflix for storytellers. 🙂
Makers Self Study is a self-study program and does not offer individual feedback. If you would like more support, you can purchase additional coaching.

Storytelling Guide for Picture Books

If you have story ideas and want to learn how to make a picture book, click below!
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