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$5,260 pledged of $25,000 goal
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$5,260 pledged of $25,000 goal
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About

Is this the year you go to Wizard School?

Train to be a Superhero?
Follow your business Muse to the Marketplace?
Discover a Genie's Treasure?  

What stories will YOU tell in 2016?

We are TreeHouse Books in Ashland Oregon and we want to help you tell amazing stories with The Secret Book Club, our online Storytelling Game that uses story, life skills and DIY projects to bring your best stories to real life.

The Secret Book Club is a new kind of writing called StoryJournaling, casting YOU as the hero of your life story!

Our Kickstarter campaign is to raise the money needed to complete our online platform. This includes:  

1. The Secret Book Our StoryJournaling software at the heart of The Secret Book Club

 2. The Secret Artifacts  The Secret Artifacts are the apps that make StoryJournaling a fun and immersive game.

 3. Technology & The League of Extraordinary Developers

Once upon a time...  

Our club began when some kids came into TreeHouse asking for books for 'real wizards.' The books didn't exist and so the club formed to write them. What started as Wizard School in the Book Vault at the back of our store, evolved into monthly place-based stories about Time Travelers at the Ashland Springs Hotel, Mystery Sleuths at ScienceWorks Museum, Fairy Tale Heroes at Oregon Shakespeare Festival and more.

 Our town of Ashland Oregon had become a story landscape.

Secret Book Club members introducing the Oregon Shakespeare Festival StoryGame
Secret Book Club members introducing the Oregon Shakespeare Festival StoryGame

A Story Landscape  

Books and stories have been doing that forever, right? Haven't we all visited the story landscapes of Narnia or Wonderland or Oz? But this is where our problem sometimes lies. We call it the 'Pied Piper' syndrome of entertainment — where imagination becomes an ESCAPE from reality. 

When we feel overwhelmed in a rapidly changing world of too much information, too much challenge — even too much opportunity — we can find ourselves disappearing into books & video games. The most sensitive and creative of us can end up living more often in our imagination rather than in our lives.

Imagination Becomes Engagement  

In any great story the treasure of opportunity is hidden inside of the challenge. This opportunity is to transform Imagination into ENGAGEMENT. So we created this game board...

A Storytelling Gameboard  

The Hero's Journey is the basic premise of most popular books and movies. It contains 10 steps and these 10 steps represent classic story questions like: What do I want? How can I get it? Who can help me? What stands in the way? 10 x 3 = both the 30 days of an average calendar month AND the 3 act story structure. 

A Calendar of Story Months  

Next we assembled a seasonal calendar of 12 story genres — a different story genre for each month of the year. January is Time Traveler Month, a time for choosing the future; October is Scary Stories and the month for taming our Monsters; December is our Gnome in the Home holiday storygame. 

Each genre relates to a different facet of life. Science fiction helps us imagine the future. Mystery helps us learn how to decipher clues and solve problems. Fairy tales show how to pursue happiness, overcome obstacles, and so much more. 

Each monthly storygame becomes a chapter of the story of YOUR life.

"TreeHouse Secret Book writing prompts have been an amazing resource for my homeschooled children's group. The prompts have challenged my children to create their own stories and have inspired them to read theme related books. Thank you for your great community resources." - Liz Bianco (Liz’s daughter who is deaf wrote a story reminiscent of the graphic novel El Deafo during the Superhero Academy StoryGame.)

An Online Platform Starring YOU! 

The Hero's Journey is the classic storyline of growth and change.... AND it is not complete until the hero returns to the community and shares the treasure. This treasure? The treasure of YOUR imagination. With The Secret Book Club you get to share this treasure with your community.

The Treasure of Your Imagination  

Just like fitness apps, meditation tools and brain games make it easier to strengthen our minds and body, The Secret Book Club nurtures the habit of writing to strengthen the connection between our imagination and our lives. This is a NEW melding of story with journal writing, gameplay, and other creative mediums. Our StoryJournaling chronicles your imagination EMERGING in your real life... just a little bit each day... YOUR opportunities, your challenges, your supporting characters ... told through a storyteller lens:

You are the Time Traveler creating the future.

Your mind is the Mystery Detective solving problems.

Your heart is the Hero generating more happiness and love that the world needs NOW.

The Secret of The Secret Book Club

The secret of the Secret Book Club? You are guided to choose goals and habits and use storyrather than willpower — to put them into play in your real life .

This is an adventure we take together.... children and families and extended families, schools and communities. Everyone can join in and create the stories of their lives and world.

Play our guided online StoryGame to chronicle your months and year in story.

Beginning in March 2016, receive our monthly kits for Time Travelers, Wizards, Superheroes and more that guide story writing and creating.

Our story gameplay bridges the gap between ‘what is’ and ‘what can be.’ 

The Secret Book Club is the safe online community to create the more beautiful world we imagine. Together.

"TreeHouse Secret Book Club is a watering hole of creativity. It's a great to be surrounded by books on the outside that are a reminder of the books inside of you. It is an incubator of creativity."  - Tess age 11, creator of the business Puffle Pets during the Mythic Muse Marketplace StoryGame.

We Need YOU!  

TreeHouse is a TINY bookstore with a BIG dream of providing the StoryJournaling games and gear to help us thrive in a rapidly changing world. We need YOUR help completing our online platform.

Your gift helps us build The Secret Book Club storytelling platform to tell a better story, to live a better life, to create a better world. And you'll receive great treasure too! 

HOW WE WILL USE THE TREASURE

Our Kickstarter campaign is to raise the money we need to complete our online platform. This includes: 

1. The Secret Book The StoryJournaling software at the heart of The Secret Book Club has been prototyped and now we need the funds to build and scale it to meet the needs of our storytellers.

 2. The Secret Artifacts Our book is the StoryJournaling software, and The Secret Artifacts are the apps that make StoryJournaling a fun and immersive game. Collectible Story Clues, Thought Bubbles, Magic Mirrors, Time Traveling Telescopes are some of our virtual gear for storytellers. Each app gives you the tools you need to more fully inhabit the monthly StoryGame.

 3. Technology and The League of Extraordinary Developers Behind the curtain The Secret Book Club is a feat of technical wizardry. It requires dedicated practice of engineering magic from our League of Extraordinary Developers.

We’ve been hosting The Secret Book Club inside of TreeHouse Books as a labor of love for over three years now. That’s how much we believe in this project. We've set our target treasure goal just high enough to cover the software development for our 2016 beta test. Anything we raise beyond our goal will be invested in more feats of technology and artistic magic. Let's build The Secret Book Club TOGETHER! 

"TreeHouse Secret Book Club ...... brings literature to life, inspiring children to write and create their own stories as well as actively share what they are reading. My daughter and I love participating in the various projects they provide." Diana Taracena, Ashland OR

SHIPPING DATES for StoryYear 2016

Dec 31: Time Traveler Tower — Choose the Future

Jan 31: Care of Magical Creatures — Choose Kindness 

Feb 29: Wizard Academy — Choose Inspiration 

Mar 31: Mystery Museum — Choose Curiosity 

Apr 30: Fairy Tale Theater — Choose Happily Ever Actions 

May 31: Garden of Love — Choose Love

Jun 30: Super Hero Academy — Choose Super Power 

July 31: Campfire Forest — Choose Fun 

Aug 31: Mythic Muse Marketplace — Choose DIY 

Sep 30: The Monsters’ Ball — Choose Courage 

Oct 31: Treasure Bazaar — Choose Gratitude 

Nov 30: Gnome for the Holidays — Choose Home

"TreeHouse Secret Book Club is my sanctuary. When I walk through the door I feel calm and accepted and get to do all the things I love to do, read and create. It's the highlight of my week to be surrounded by books and creativity." - Lilli age 13, Her story was published in the Ashland Daily Tidings during the Time Travel Portal StoryGame.

Some of the Council members on a Winter Magic Mission
Some of the Council members on a Winter Magic Mission

WHEE THE MAGICAL PEOPLE!   

Secret Book Club is being built by a creative and dedicated team. Between us, we have decades of experience spanning startups, engineering, product design, game design, writing, publishing, film, art direction, and more. Our experiences have led us to believe in the power of story and community to help tell our best stories to live our best lives and create our best world.

LEAGUE OF EXTRAORDINARY DEVELOPERS

Robert Head (THE SECRET BOOK) Rob has worked with some of the biggest companies in the world including Amazon and Pivotal Labs, as well as smaller startups. His technical and game development skills will make our Secret Book extraordinary! 

Dr. Matthew Beers (SECRET ARTIFACTS AND RESEARCH) Matt has been leading development teams around the world but his real passion is for creating tracking tools and features that improve our lives. His expertise will be especially appreciated by teachers when they use the Teacher Desktop that makes it easy for them to assist their students. 

Adam Treister (COMMUNITY GAME PLAY) Adam grew his software Flowjo into a global company. His expertise in building community around learning can translate to global gameplay. 

THE COUNCIL OF MAGICAL CREATURES

Jane Almquist, Laura Knapp, Dirk Price & Cynthia Salbato (STORY & COMMUNITY GAME PRODUCERS) As curators of TreeHouse Books, a 36 year old childrens bookstore, we’ve produced 13 storygames, 9 DIY kits and countless community events between us.

Shannon Bodie (ART DIRECTION ) The founder of BookWise Design, Shannon has specialized in books and publishing for over 20 years. Shannon’s super power is her ability to make stories and their authors shine their brightest!

Dr. James Bower (ON-LINE LEARNING & ENGAGEMENT) is the founder of Whyville.net the FIRST virtual learning world for kids. Under Jim's guidance Whyville continues to be one of the leading sites for innovation in game-based learning.

Alan Parowski (CURRICULUM) Founding curriculum developer for Tree Frog Treks and owner of Liftoff Events, Alan is celebrated for his spectacular real world events. He recently turned his creativity to developing cutting edge curriculum for high schools. Alan’s super power is his ability to make learning relevant to real life!

Ray Mikota & Aaron Moffatt (VIDEO) The dynamic duo behind our Kickstarter video, these renaissance guys are also accomplished technologists, web designers and musicians. Their daily video prompts will inspire your writing.

Talen Heater (MUSIC & VIDEO) Our secret weapon, Talen’s monthly theme songs are infectious! Whether our game is Wizard Academy, Superhero Bootcamp, Monster Ball or Muse Marketplace you’ll find yourself happily humming each of Talen’s songs as you go about your day.

Misha Hernandez & Danielle Torme (SOCIAL MEDIA) The newest members of our team, Misha & Danielle are working their networking and artistic magic on TreeHouse Secret Book Club.   

THE CONSULTING CONSORTIUM

Robert MacLellan (BUSINESS) The CEO Coach! After founding some of the most successful restaurants in Oregon, Robert now mentors dozens of startups and founded the Columbia Pacific Foundation that provides educational scholarships for single moms.

Oregon Story Board (STARTUP) Oregon’s very own startup accelerator program with a huge heart. They took a chance on our tiny bookstore with a big dream.

Suzanne Mathis McQueen (AUTHOR) serial entrepreneur and author of 4 Seasons in 4 Weeks, Suzanne will be the first author to use The Secret Book Club platform for her Moon Maiden StoryGame in June 2016.    

Patti Halprin (GAME DEVELOPMENT) Educational game developer and the founder of Diamondtime, a mobile application that The Secret Book Club has used for several storygames.

Ginny Auer (NETWORKING) The founder of Live Huge Productions and Director of Southern Oregon Film and Media is also mom of Nicole, a Secret Book Club member who also stars in our Kickstarter video.

Alena Almquist Heater (STORYGAME) The founder of Healthy Living Dreams is consulting with us for our Superhero Bootcamp StoryGame.

THE TEAM OF TEEN TESTERS

Jade Head

Xander Collins
Kip Parowski
Gabe Neimark
Lilli Morrish
Nicole Hemmerling

And maybe YOU!

Risks and challenges

The foundation of The Secret Book Club — our monthly storygames — have already been designed and tested. Our software team has the knowledge and skills needed to transport us online. The only thing that has been missing until now is YOU. One of the fun parts of participating in a beta is that as challenges arise we get to create solutions together and then watch those solutions be put into play right before our eyes!

And we are just the team to do this. Our founding Council of Magical Creatures and League of Extraordinary Developers has a combined 35+ years of experience with building online and ordinary world products and startups. We have our 36 year old bookstore that grounds us in the world of story AND community. We have worked together for over 4 years and make a great team.

Even the catastrophic dangers of meteor strikes, extreme weather changes, or the zombie apocalypse can be handled when we all play together. We are resourceful (we've been playing storygames) and we are fast on our feet (we've been to Superhero Bootcamp.) We believe we can deliver your best StoryYear no matter what!

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Support

  1. Select this reward

    Pledge $5 or more About $5

    THE SECRET BOOK HERO receives The Secret World Map & Guidebook, a digital download of our creative planning tool. This storyteller's version of a planner+journal helps readers and writers navigate the Secret World of their own lives. Start your Story Life January 1!

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    Pledge $10 or more About $10

    THE SECRET TIME TRAVELER receives a 1-month Secret World Passport + Companion Passport + The Map & Guidebook to our January storygame: The Time Travel Tower (The passport is your beta access pass that opens up our Sci-Fi-Create-the-Future StoryGame. You can start playing January 1 and invite a friend to join you!)

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    Pledge $25 or more About $25

    THE SECRET ENCHANTER 3-month Secret World Passport + Companion Passport + The Map & Guidebook. (Your Passport includes Time Travel, Care of Magical Creatures and Wizard Academy StoryGames.)

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    Pledge $50 or more About $50

    THE SECRET SEER 6-month Secret World Passport + Companion Passport + The Map & Guidebook (the above StoryGames plus The Mystery Museum, Fairy Tale Theater, and Garden of Love.)

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    Pledge $75 or more About $75

    THE SECRET SUPERHERO. 1-year Secret World Passport + Companion Passport + The Map & Guidebook (the above StoryGames plus Superhero Bootcamp, Campfire Forest, Muse Marketplace, Monsters Ball, Treasure Bazaar, Gnome for the Holidays.)

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    Pledge $100 or more About $100

    THE SECRET KEEPER Our Backstage Pass for time traveling artists, musicans, storytellers, and filmmakers who can help create the future of The Secret Book Club. Join as a Secret Keeper to get all the swag from THE SECRET SUPERHERO PLUS preview all new products, alpha test new features, participate in secret meetings and communicate with The Council of Magical Creatures. You will be added to our new website under the Secret Keepers, You will also get a special stamp on your Secret World Passport showing everyone that you are one of our Secret Keepers.

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    Pledge $250 or more About $250

    THE SECRET ALCHEMIST - 4 one-year Secret World Passports + The Map & Guidebook. Exclusive Founding Member Alchemist status in the Secret World plus you and up to 5 of your friends and family get to attend a special Google Hangout where Owl and Raven (and maybe some surprise visitors from the Council of Magical Creatures) share lessons, advice, techniques for getting the most out of The Secret World.

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    Pledge $500 or more About $500

    THE SECRET FAMILY OF MUSES - A Story Year just for your family and friends (up to 10 Story Avatars** .) You receive exclusive Founding Member Muse status in the Secret World plus Bonus Bling = Open a Portal from your Family Secret World into the Secret Book Vault at TreeHouse (you choose your location, name and what happens when it opens.) Your portal is inserted into the official storyline, connecting your Secret World with The Secret Book Club.

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    Pledge $1,000 or more About $1,000

    THE SECRET CLASSROOM GENIE - A Story Year just for your students, family or friends (up to 25 Story Avatars.) You receive exclusive Founding Member Genie status in the Secret World. Bonus Bling = Open a Portal from your Classroom Secret World into the Secret Book Vault at TreeHouse (you choose your location, name and what happens when it opens.) Your portal is inserted into the official storyline, connecting your classroom with The Secret Book Club.

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    Pledge $2,500 or more About $2,500

    THE SECRET SCHOOL WIZARD - A Story Year just for your school (up to 125 Story Avatars.) You receive exclusive Founding Member Wizard status in the Secret World. Bonus Bling = Open a Portal from your school into the Secret Book Vault at TreeHouse (you choose your location, name and what happens when it opens.) Your portal is inserted into the official storyline, connecting your school with The Secret Book Club.

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    Pledge $5,000 or more About $5,000

    THE SECRET TOWN SOVEREIGN - A Story Year just for your town (up to 250 Story Avatars.) You receive exclusive Founding Member Sovereign status in the Secret World. Bonus Bling = A Portal from your town is inserted into the official storyline, connecting your town with the Secret Book Vault at TreeHouse (you choose your location, name and what happens when it opens.) Your portal is inserted into the official storyline, connecting your town with the Secret Book Club.

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Funding period

- (30 days)