Who we are
and how we got this way
it's a long story
I help people build their creative confidence and give voice to their stories.
If you could name one thing--just one thing that never bores you, what would it be?
For me, the answer is: stories.
Stories have always mattered to humans and for the past 20 years, my life's work has been giving voice to as many stories as possible. Business stories. Personal stories. Success stories. Failure stories. They all count.
Jill Pollack & StoryStudio Words for Work
We’re creating a Communications Revolution by teaching the art and science of telling a good story. And just in time, too.
The story a company (or a person) tells isn’t about a skill or product; it’s about who they are. That story can either earn you confidence and trust, or a swipe into the trash.
I’m Jill Pollack, the Chief Story Wrangler of StoryStudio Words for Work and Stories Matter Foundation. These days I create and collaborate with my talented friend and longtime colleague, Beth Nyland We call our collaboration: Story Mode.
I’m a true believer in the intense power of stories to change the world. The crossroad between creative and business writing has always interested me, noticing how each artistic discipline blends and bleeds into the other.
I’m also a writer, an artist, an entrepreneur, a connector, and the proud founder of StoryStudio Chicago, a creative writing school.
Most of all, I’m a teacher, cheerleader, and creative coach. I’ve been leading and inspiring storytellers of all stripes for almost 20 years and I’m on a mission to rid the world of boring business communication.
We love possibility…and collaboration.
About Story Mode
We like to say Story Mode is pure freakin’ magic.
Jill Pollack of StoryStudio and Beth Nyland of Spencer Grace Communications joined forces to bring storytelling and creativity into the workplace.
You might know us from our webshops and workshops on business writing, storytelling, and presenting. Or, you may have worked with us on instilling a story-sensibility to your workplace. Perhaps you’ve been coached by us in a professional leadership program or heard us on a podcast.
We like to say, Love the Limitations, and Covid-19 brought us a lot of ‘em. Like most limitations, we’ve only gotten more creative in how we work with our students and clients.
The secret to our success? We instill creative confidence and remind students that everyone is a storyteller.
We really are like no other company. Our teaching methods are an incredible mix of action, adventure, imagination, improv… all using plain old pen and paper, creativity, and clear language.
Read more about Story Mode and the many ways in which we can work you.
Creative Writing at Work
Just like the best stories, StoryStudio is always growing and changing. What started as a school for creative writers morphed into a storytelling home for all types of creators working on personal and professional projects. (Read more about StoryStudio’s creative side of life.)
Words for Work brings those lessons of creative writing to the people at corporations, creative agencies, nonprofits, and innovate businesses who want to rise above the noise and truly connect with their customers and stakeholders.
Our commitment to our students and clients is matched only by our commitment to making our world a better place. StoryStudio was certified as a B Corp in 2013, is a woman-owned business, and a champion of small businesses and entrepreneurs near and far. In 2019, StoryStudio’s creative writing school became Stories Matter Foundation, a nonprofit that is now able to reach many more communities and give voice to many more stories. The Foundation is growing quickly and brings together the school, The Chicago Review of Books, Writers Festival, and outreach programs.
“We were never being boring.” Pet shop boys
What makes us tick?
A note about luck
I was once asked if luck has played a meaningful role in my life and business.
I responded by admitting that I don’t know how luck works. But, I do believe that we create our own opportunities by stating our goals and dreams out loud, and by meeting people and getting involved in projects larger than ourselves.
And, by saying Yes at the right moments.