StoryStudio Chicago Words for WorkStoryStudio Chicago Words for Work


At StoryStudio Chicago, we help writers hone their craft, express their creativity, and communicate with confidence. Each year we help more than 1,200 writers improve their storytelling skills.

StoryStudio’s creative writing school has been teaching and inspiring storytellers for over a decade. Our Words for Work business writing program uses that same expertise to build training and development workshops for teams from large corporations, creative agencies, non-for-profit organizations, and innovative businesses.

Our mission is simple: teach the art and craft of writing in a positive, open, and encouraging community where students can develop their unique voices. Our business writing and storytelling clients are among our most creative and eager students.

Our commitment to our students is matched only by our commitment to making our world a better place. StoryStudio is proud to be a certified B-Corp, a WBE, and a proud member of the National Gay & Lesbian Chamber of Commerce, Greater Ravenswood Chamber of Commerce, and Ideaction Corps.

Read more about the founding of StoryStudio Chicago.


StoryStudio Chicago is involved in every aspect of storytelling and creating story artists. In addition to our Words for Work and Creative Writing programs, we are the founders of the Chicago Literary Alliance, and big supporters of Live Lit and performance-based storytelling.

Year We Were Born


Writers we trained last year


Pots of Coffee each month


Creative and Words for Work Instructors

Our Team

Jill Pollack

Chief Story Wrangler

The founder of StoryStudio Chicago, Jill oversees story training for more than 1,200 students each year. She is a presenter on the power of stories in our personal and professional lives and was again included in the Newcity Lit Top 50 list of literary leaders in Chicago.

Beth Nyland

Corporate Poet

Beth demonstrates that “creative business writing” need not be an oxymoron. Her experience includes both agency and corporate roles, all focused on raising the quality of internal and external communications, often with global teams.

Ian Belknap

Improv & Story Overlord

Founder of WRITE CLUB, Ian is a prolific writer and storyteller performing in shows across Chicago. Ian teaches nationally and is a guest lecturer at Columbia College Chicago and DePaul University.

Jackie Loewe

Relationship Building Guru

Jackie is a recognized relationship building expert and business development consultant within the professional services arena. She teaches and speaks nationally on marketing professional services.

Scott Onak

Scott Onak holds an MFA in fiction from the University of Idaho and has published stories in Mid-American Review, Willow Springs, and Quick Fiction. He teaches creative writing and works as the Program Manager at StoryStudio Chicago.

Janna Sobel

Janna Sobel has been teaching improvisation and storytelling for more than 17 years and is spoiled by the way these forms complement each other and deliver quick results. Janna teaches at The Second City training center and performs in theatre, improv, and Live Lit shows. She produces the storytelling show ``Here, Chicago.``