Educating and Inspiring Writers Since 2010 Children's Book Writers of Los Angeles


Upcoming events

    • 22 Aug 2015
    • 1:00 PM - 4:00 PM
    • El Segundo Library 111 W. Mariposa Ave, El Segundo CA 90245

    Understanding and Unlocking Amazon and Online Marketing

    with Author & Illustrator A.J. Cosmo 

    What’s a marketing platform? How do you grow a Twitter following? Do you need an email list? Is there a secret to Amazon’s sales ranking? Is it worth it to buy Facebook ads? What makes a good cover? What in the world is copy? How do you get reviews?

    If you are a children’s book author, these questions are bound to come up.

    Whether you are self-published or have a three book deal with the big five, you need to understand modern marketing and what it takes to sell yourself as an author. This one day class will give you the tools necessary to start building your author platform and will offer insights into the changing publishing landscape. Amazon hasn’t just changed how we publish, it has changed what we publish.

    Interested in learning more?


    A.J. Cosmo is the full-time independent author and illustrator of over forty children’s books including the best selling “The Monster That Ate My Socks.” He is also a consultant and publisher to other independent writers and illustrators.

    Date: August 22, 2015, Saturday

    Time: 1 - 4 PM

    Venue: El Segundo Public Library

    Fee: $40

    *$10 Discount for CBW-LA Members.

    *Non-members pay the full amount.

    *Fee includes workshop materials, handouts, worksheet and a copy of the authors’ book SOAKED.



    What a way to start summer… I should have never stood up to that bully Jacob. It was just a water balloon thrown to save my friend’s behind during recess. Now we’re on a bus heading home and everyone gets the same text: “$500 gift card and full immunity to the kid that brings me Aiden- Jacob.” I’m Aiden by the way, and the entire fourth grade is staring at me. Hopefully, with my friend’s help, we can get off at the next stop, three miles from my house, and make it home before the entire neighborhood finds us. Soaked is the first middle-grade novel by author/illustrator A.J. Cosmo. Filled with humor and suspense, this surprising page turner is a tale of friendship, courage, and standing up for what’s right. For 3rd-5th grade readers.

    • 26 Sep 2015
    • 1:00 PM - 4:00 PM
    • El Segundo Library 111 W. Mariposa Ave, El Segundo CA 90245




    In this interactive workshop Eve Porinchak, of the Jill Corcoran Literary Agency (JCLA), will teach you the basics of how to write a QUERY LETTER – the most important step in landing your wonderful manuscript on an agent’s desk.

    During QUERYPALOOZA you will learn to:

    - Identify QUERY Do’s and Don’ts.

    - Write a One Sentence Logline whittling down your book to its main hook and theme.

    - Write a brief one-paragraph synopsis of your book.

    - Write a brief, intriguing and/or applicable bio.

    - Write a one-sentence explanation of why you are sending to a particular agent.

    - Pull all these pieces together to create a concise and killer QUERY that will leave an agent begging to read your entire manuscript!

    * Please bring a sample query letter you have written (it could be a quick rough draft, or one you’ve used in the past) and get ready to have it pulled apart, stretched, re-worded, chopped down, and critiqued in small groups. At the end of QUERYPALOOZA, you will have an edited, perfected one-page query letter, ready to submit.

    I’m looking forward to seeing you there! P.S. There may be cupcakes. Why? Because there should always be cupcakes!

    NOTE: Workshop attendees' will have an open window to submit to literary agent Eve Porinchak, and their submissions will be given priority. 




    A true omnivore (both literarily and gastronomically) Eve has eclectic tastes, with favorites ranging from THE STUPIDS STEP OUT to Walter Dean Meyers’ MONSTER. Eve is open to everything from picture books to adult novels, with special interest in Young Adult and Adult Fiction featuring younger main characters. Eve is especially fond of contemporary, realistic, edgy stories, speculative fiction, gang-lit, prison-lit, crime, and light magical realism, but is not a fan of high fantasy. A lover of psychologically intriguing plots, Eve loves “nothing is what it seems” themes, a la GONE GIRL. A world traveler and lover of fresh adventures, Eve will travel anywhere, read anything, and eat anything (except frog legs – EWH!)

    Eve graduated from UCLA with a Bachelor’s degree in Psycho-Biology. She earned a degree in Early Childhood Education and also attended medical school, anticipating a career in Pediatrics, but decided she loved sleep and creative outlets too much to continue doctoring (not to mention those white lab coats - such a fashion DON'T). Eve has always worked with children in some capacity. She has taught Preschool, Kindergarten, and First Grade, was a foster care case manager in Vermont and court-appointed Guardian ad Litem, currently teaches creative writing to incarcerated teens in Los Angeles, and serves as an aid worker in Tijuana orphanages.

    A writer and active member of SCBWI for 13 years, Eve worked as Jill Corcoran’s assistant (reading thousands of queries) before being promoted to Agent.



    Books I Wish I had Represented: 

    • THE OUTSIDERS by S.E. Hinton
    • TRUE NOTEBOOKS by Mark Salzman

    Favorite Movies:

    • The Breakfast Club (Pure brilliance!)
    • The Blue Lagoon (Don't judge)
    • Kings of Summer

    Dream Job: Quality Control Tester at Cinnabon

    Death Row Meal: Anything cake related: cupcakes, bundt cake, ice cream cake

    Likes: Books, movies, running, golf, tennis, travel, cupcakes, puppies, cows that run

    Dislikes: Frogs, snot, eyeballs (Please don’t send me your book about a snotty-nosed frog with conjunctivitis—sorry!)

    * If interested in querying Eve Porinchak of JCLA, please submit a brief query letter with short bio and synopsis, and the first 10 pages to

    Date: Saturday, September 26, 2015

    Time: 1:00–4:00 p.m.

    Venue: El Segundo Public Library

    Fee: $65

    *$10 Discount for CBW-LA Members.

    *Non-members pay the full amount.

    • 10 Oct 2015
    • 1:00 PM - 4:00 PM
    • TBD

    Sparkle and Shine: 

    Edit Your Way to a Polished Manuscript

    with CBW–LA Publications Director

    Alana Garrigues

    Whether you write fiction or non-fiction, picture books or 100,000-word novels, work for a newspaper or a magazine, plan to self-publish or traditionally publish ... if your story is going to reach an audience, it needs to be edited.

    The best authors go through a mix of self-editing and professional editing. In fact, books generally go through up to a dozen edits (or more!) before going to print.

    A standard path might go from first draft, to second draft, to critique group (fellow writers who can help you identify where you need to make changes), to third and fourth draft (self-edited or revised), to a developmental editor, back to the author for revisions, to a line editor, back to the author for revisions, to a copy editor, and on to a finished product.

    Why so many steps? Because creativity takes time. It takes practice, and it takes someone challenging you to rise up and improve your work.

    In this hands-on, interactive workshop, we will first define the different types of editing (developmental, line, copy and content) and professional editors. We will identify editing methods to employ in our own work, and writing pitfalls, and then we'll put those lessons to good use and edit several published and unpublished writing samples individually and as a group.

    We'll also look at the sometimes adversarial, generally supportive relationship between writer and editor. We'll talk about what to look for in an editor, and what to avoid, and hear from a few of the greatest authors what they had to say about their editors.

    Participants are welcome to bring a "trouble" page or passage for feedback and group advice. We'll make time for questions and direct feedback!

    Please bring a laptop or a pen and paper, and at least two printed copies of any page that you'd like advice on how to edit.

    This workshop also includes handouts and original exercises, in addition to the 2015 Story Sprouts novel, KAYLA WAYMAN, JUNIOR TIME TRAVELER: LOST IN THE STREAM and a FREE developmental and/or line edit for up to ten pages in your manuscript. (Full picture book manuscript ok.)

    About The Speaker
    Alana Garrigues is a journalist in the South Bay; she has been writing news and feature stories for The Beach Reporter since 2010. Her stories have run the gamut from light to heavy edits over the years ... most of them light. She knows why editors make changes and can help writers avoid common mistakes in both grammar and storytelling. She is also co-authoring a full-length travel memoir and working on a book of humorous, yet thought-provoking poetry for children.

    Alana is the Publications Director for CBW–LA. She co-facilitates the annual Story Sprouts Writing Day Marathon and co-edits the Story Sprouts series with President Nutschell Windsor, and runs thorough developmental and line editing of all of the authors' submissions prior to publication (before passing the entire manuscript on to a copy editor). Story Sprouts: Setting is due out in November; Story Sprouts and Story Sprouts: Voice have earned five-star ratings on Amazon. Alana also edits and contributes to Scribblers' Scoop, the official CBW–LA online newspaper.

    Alana also holds a Poynter ACES Certificate in Editing and is enrolled in the University of California, San Diego Certificate of Copy Editing for professional editors.

    She has an addiction to red pens, and has been scribbling all over friends' homework since high school.

    As an editor, her goals are to nurture and strengthen voice, ensure consistency, and shine a light on the inner talent that every human possesses to tell a tale.

    Connect with Alana on Facebook, on Twitter, or on LinkedIn (but be sure to include a note to make a LinkedIn relationship..."editing workshop" is fine!).

    Date: Sat., Oct. 10, 2015

    Time: 1:00–4:00 p.m.

    Venue: TBD

    Fee: $40

    *$10 Discount for CBW-LA Members

    *Fee includes workshop materials, handouts and worksheets and the 2015 Middle Grade Story Sprouts Novella:
    Kayla Wayman, Junior Time Traveler:
    Lost in the Stream

    Alana will also provide a complimentary developmental and line edit using Microsoft Word tracking for up to ten pages (double-spaced) anywhere in your manuscript. Please allow 2–4 weeks for turnaround. Quality cannot be rushed!
    • 07 Nov 2015
    • 1:00 PM - 4:00 PM
    • TBA

    Take a Scene from Ho-hum to Holy Crap!

    Writing that Gets an Editor’s Attention

    Award-winning author Catherine Linka and former St. Martin’s Press editor Mollie Traver are back with a workshop on writing knock-your-socks-off scenes that elevate a book and grab the attention of agents, editors, and readers alike. Drawing on their extensive writing, editing, and publishing industry experience, Mollie and Catherine will take you through the crucial elements of a great scene, questions to ask yourself as you write and revise, how to recognize and revive a scene that’s not working, and more—with plenty of insider tips along the way. They will then provide specific feedback on scenes that workshop participants have written. Participants will be asked to turn in the scene that they would like critiqued (five double-spaced pages or less) two weeks beforehand, by Oct. 24th, as well as a brief plot synopsis (450 words or less). 

    *Fee includes workshop materials, handouts, two copies of your scene marked up by Catherine and Mollie, and a copy of Catherine’s book A GIRL CALLED FEARLESS or A GIRL UNDONE.



    CATHERINE LINKA  is the author of the young adult novel A GIRL CALLED FEARLESS and its sequel, A GIRL UNDONE. A GIRL CALLED FEARLESS was the winner of the SCIBA Young Adult Book Award 2014, an ABA Summer Kids Indie Next Selection, and finalist for the SCBWI Crystal Kite Award. An MFA grad of the Vermont College of Fine Arts, Catherine was also the Children's and YA Buyer for an independent bookstore in Southern California, and has spent almost 100 hours listening to tweens and teens talk about what they love and hate in books. Learn more about Catherine at

    MOLLIE TRAVER is a freelance editor and writer and a former editor at St. Martin’s Press, where she specialized in young adult fiction of all kinds, and worked with a host of wonderful authors, including Catherine Linka, Amy Kathleen Ryan, Jenna Black, and Jana Oliver. Mollie graduated from Stanford University with a degree in creative writing, a serious relationship with black coffee, and a passion for helping shape other writers’ work. Learn more about Mollie at


    A GIRL CALLED FEARLESS and A GIRL UNDONE are a two-book series set in LA today, but ten years after the deaths of fifty million US women from hormones in beef. Teenage girls like Avie are the most valuable commodity in the country, and multi-million-dollar marriage Contracts make it almost irresistible for fathers to sell their daughters into marriage. The only way out for Avie is to make a life-threatening run for Canada where she can be free to go to college and love who she wants.


    Date: November 7, Saturday

    Time: 1 - 4 PM

    Venue: TBA

    *$10 Discount for CBW-LA Members when you pay online

    *$5 Discount for CBW-LA Members when you pay at the door 

    *Fee includes workshop materials, handouts, two copies of your scene marked up by Catherine and Mollie, and a copy of Catherine’s book A GIRL CALLED FEARLESS or A GIRL UNDONE.


    • 14 May 2016
    • 8:00 AM - 6:30 PM
    • TBD (Anticipated: Torrance Municipal Airport Meeting Room)
    • 33

          CBW-LA Writing Day Marathon 

    Join us for a Writers' Marathon
    ! This is high impact, high intensity writing at its best. You will be challenged. You will feel a rush. For just over ten hours, you will be fed high quality writing lessons on the topic of Conflict, which you will turn into fiction and non-fiction stories on your own and in writing groups by following new, original Story Sprouts exercises. Not for the faint of heart, this is a major commitment to yourself and your writing goals.

    It is a supreme mental workout, and by the end, you will have a minimum of three pieces ready for publication in our fourth annual Story Sprouts Writing Resource and Anthology.

    As one of our 2015 Story Sprouts Authors put it, "
    5,596 words today at Story Sprouts!!!! Exhausted but exhilarated. Thank you CBW–LA for putting this amazing event together."

    Your Invitation

    We invite you to take part in our Story Sprouts series through registration for Writing Day 2016. Every author who attends this workshop will walk away with a bevy of inspiration and writing lessons, an expanded writing community, and a publication in two books (a group novella and the full Story Sprouts Writing Resource and Anthology) with YOUR name—and story—within six months of completing the workshop!

    After an intensive day of creative writing, see your work published in the Story Sprouts Writing Resource and Anthology (Volume One and Volume Two: Voice) in the fall. Story Sprouts Volume Three: Setting is due to be released on September 30, 2015.

    About The Facilitators

    CBW-LA Founder and President Nutschell Windsor and Publications Director Alana Garrigues lead attendees on a whirlwind adventure through the writing process, complete with prompts, tips, games, time for reflection and revision ... along with food and socializing along the way! This is Nutschell's fourth year and Alana's third facilitating the highly rated workshop that former authors have called "an awesome and fun day," "spectacular," "delightfully surprising," "encouraging and motivating," and "well done."

    About the Book

    Children's Book Author J. Enderle said of Story Sprouts: Voice, "Applause for both the authors who gathered all this information and put it in understandable context as well as to the workshop writers who allowed their spur-of-the-moment work to be used as learning examples. Impressive! Definitely worth the money."

    About the Workshop

    This year's theme is CONFLICT!

    We will teach you how to move your story forward with a plot that employs just the right amount of tension, twists and turns to keep your reader on the edge of their seats, aching to turn the page for more information.

    Learn about different types of conflict that appear in stories, how to hook your reader, the best way to write a cliff-hanger

    This workshop is geared toward children's book writers, and you will explore Middle Grade and Young Adult levels, but it is open to anyone. The lessons will carry across genres and audiences. We only ask that you come prepared to write at a PG-13 level or below.

    What's New?

    Every year we innovate our approach, based on self-assessments and workshop evaluation forms. Look for a streamlined collection process ... and more goodies and innovations that we'll announce as we finalize details.

    Publication Process

    By the end of the workshop, you will have a minimum of three pieces ready for publication in this year's CBW-LA Story Sprouts Anthology, Story Sprouts: Setting. All submissions will go through thorough line and copy editing prior to publication.

     Register early. Space is limited! Payment required to confirm your reservation.

    The Details

    Date: Saturday, May 14, 2016

    Time: 8:00 a.m.–6:30 p.m.

    *Early check-in opens at 7:45 a.m. Arrive early and enjoy a light continental breakfast and some chit chat while you set up your writing space.

    *Workshop will start PROMPTLY 8:30 a.m.

    *There will be a group photo, so we'll provide the shirt, but you may want to bring something to freshen up after lunch.

    *PLEASE BRING A LAPTOP if possible! We welcome your handwritten submissions and we will transcribe them for you, but it will be easier for you to edit and revise your work on a computer.

    Place: TBD (Anticipated: Torrance Municipal Airport Meeting Room)

    Great Discount

    Students and Returning Authors SAVE with registration code! Send proof of student status to to request discount code and register at Story Sprouts alumni price for only $125! Returning authors, if you misplaced your email discount code, let us know and we'll send it your way. Email us to find out about our Young Writer Scholarship (open to high school and college students up to age 25).


    • Full day writing workshop
    • Lunch, snacks and beverages throughout the day
    • 1 print copy of the finished anthology
    • 1 digital copy of the finished anthology
    • Professional editing, formatting & book design
    • Handouts, Workshop Materials & Swag
    • T-shirt
    • FREE Launch Party Celebration to toast your success!
    • Inspiration and publication!
    • YOUR name and work in this year's Story Sprouts!


    Ready to register?

    Visit NOW to complete your online registration.


    Story Sprouts Author Alumni: $125

    Members: $150

    Non-members: $175

    Writing Day refund policy: 

    We understand things come up, but we really hope to see you at the event. 

    After all, we're saving a space for you! 

    However, please note - if you must cancel, we offer a 50% refund until 30 days prior to event. No refund after April 14, but we will send a complimentary copy of Story Sprouts. 

    Thank you for understanding.

Past events

25 Jul 2015 Picture Book Workshop: The Power of Critique Groups & Writing Tips I’ve Learned Along the Way
25 Jul 2015 CBW–LA Summer Write-In Session
20 Jun 2015 How to WOW Agents and Editors at Your Next Writing Conference
13 Jun 2015 Critique Session: Middle Grade & Young Adult
23 May 2015 Using a Story Map to Find the Holes in Your Story
21 May 2015 CBW–LA Third Thursday Weekday Write-In
09 May 2015 Critique Session: Open to All!
25 Apr 2015 Story Sprouts: Setting, FULL–DAY Writing Workshop and Anthology
16 Apr 2015 CBW–LA Third Thursday Weekday Write-In
11 Apr 2015 Critique Session: Middle Grade & Young Adult
19 Mar 2015 CBW–LA Third Thursday Weekday Write-In
14 Mar 2015 Presenting Your Fantasy or Mythic Story
07 Mar 2015 Critique Session: Picture Books, Early Readers, Chapter Books!
28 Feb 2015 Critique Session: Middle Grade & Young Adult
24 Jan 2015 Critique Session: Open to All!
15 Jan 2015 CBW–LA Third Thursday Weekday Write-In
10 Jan 2015 Kickstarting Your Writing Career Workshop
06 Dec 2014 Novel Critique Session
20 Nov 2014 CBW–LA Third Thursday Weekday Write-In
08 Nov 2014 Write the Truth: Creative Nonfiction and Real World Inspiration
16 Oct 2014 CBW–LA Third Thursday Weekday Write-In
11 Oct 2014 Story Sprouts 2014 Launch Party
04 Oct 2014 Baiting the Hook: Nabbing the Reader With Your First Page
27 Sep 2014 Write Stories That Change the World & Pitch Them to TV & Movie Producers
18 Sep 2014 CBW–LA Third Thursday Weekday Write-In
13 Sep 2014 Picture Book/Chapter Book/ Early Reader Critique Session
23 Aug 2014 Do You Give...Good Voice? How to Find (and Nurture) Your Writing Personality
09 Aug 2014 Novel Critique Session
12 Jul 2014 Establishing Your Independence: Marketing Secrets from a Best-Selling Independent Author
28 Jun 2014 Do You Give...Good Voice? How to Find (and Nurture) Your Writing Personality
31 May 2014 Writing Day Anthology Workshop: Get Published with CBW-LA
29 Mar 2014 Novel Writing Bootcamp
22 Feb 2014 Honing Your Middle Grade Writing Voice: A Workshop with Author Kristen Kittscher
11 Jan 2014 Kickstarting Your Writing Career Workshop
02 Nov 2013 Anthology Launch Party & Year End Celebration
26 Sep 2013 Picture Book Workshop: The Power of Critique Groups & Writing Tips I’ve Learned Along the Way
17 Aug 2013 Potent World-Making: What's Myth Got to Do With It?
27 Jul 2013 Query Critique Session
20 Jul 2013 Writing Between the Lines: The Power of Multiple Revisions A Workshop with YA Author Carmen Rodrigues
22 Jun 2013 Writing Day Anthology Workshop: Get Published with CBW-LA
25 May 2013 Queries, Loglines and Blurbs: Oh My! Workshop with Author Samantha Combs
30 Mar 2013 The Author's Platform: Blogging with the Bird
12 Jan 2013 Kickstarting Your Writing Career Workshop & Lunch Social
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