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


Upcoming events

    • 13 Jun 2015
    • 12:00 PM - 4:00 PM
    • LA Public Library - Harbor Gateway Branch 24000 S. Western Ave., Harbor City, CA 90710
    • 6

    Calling All Middle Grade and Young Adult Writers!

    (Please note the time change. We have extended the hours from 12-4pm to provide more time for individual feedback.)

    Join this EXTENDED-TIME critique session to:

    Get constructive feedback for your manuscripts, meet potential critique partners, and make new friends!

    *Critique will be at the East Conference Room, so there will be a limit of 10 attendees. Please look for the sign outside the door.

    What to Bring:                      

    • Please bring the first chapter of your manuscript or the chapter with which you need the most help (the first 5-7 pages). **We will read as much of your work as time allows**
    • Please bring a copy of your work for everyone to read (11 copies if the session is full), a notebook/pad and pen to use for your critique notes, and (optional) a voice/tape recorder if you wish to record the critique.

    If you are new to critique groups, please read the following:

    1.  Our group provides some guidelines and handouts to help you get the most out of the critique. The handouts will aid you in your own revision process by teaching you what to look for while critiquing your own work as well as the works of others. 

    2.  If you are a CBW-LA member (meaning you have registered and paid for membership via, you may download the critique handouts under the Members Only section on the website. 

    If you are not a CBW-LA member, please sign up and pay the $10 fee.


    As writers, we are very close to our work and oftentimes we miss certain details on story development or story elements like characters, setting, etc.

    Critique sessions allow other people with “fresh eyes” to have a look at your writing sample and read them as your future readers would, providing you with valuable feedback to improve your writing skills and get your manuscript submission-ready.

    In all our Critique Sessions, we give you feedback in the most TACTful way possible.

    TACT = Finesse, thoughtfulness or having a keen sense of what to say or do to avoid giving offense; skill in dealing with difficult or delicate situations.

    TACT is also the technique we use for our critiques:

    T = Terrific

    We share what we loved in your piece, what worked in your story and what we liked about your plot, setting, character, pacing, etc.

    A = Author Questions

    In the last few minutes of your critique time, we encourage you, as the author, to ask questions either about your story or to  clarify the comments you received.

    C = Constructive Comments We deliver, in the politest way possible, comments that are specific and helpful to help you improve your story. 

    T = Talent Talent can get you far, but hard work can get your farther. We always end by encouraging you, the author, to keep on writing. We remind you that we are here to help you achieve your writing goals.


    Please note, CBWLA's Critique Sessions will be implementing the following policy changes beginning January 1, 2015:

    • Cost: Critique sessions will remain free to members and $10 for nonmembers (Due to logistics, there will no longer be a pay-at-the-door option for nonmembers. Members are not affected).
    • No Show Policy: A $10 charge will be added for no-shows (both members and nonmembers) unless 24-hour notice is given to the facilitator: Since there is a limited number of spots available, please register only if you are sure you can attend the critique. If you are unable to attend for any reason, please email the facilitator immediately so that other interested members may be given the chance to participate.
    • Late Arrival Policy: Please arrive on time. The critique sessions will begin promptly at noon. The amount of critique time is determined by the number of participants present at the start time. If you know that you will be arriving later than 15 minutes, please inform the facilitator prior to the start time of the critique session.Otherwise we may be unable to critique your work that day.

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

    How to WOW Agents and Editors at Your Next Writing Conference

    with Jennie Nash, 

    Author and Book Coach

    Signing up to attend a writing conference is only the first step to launching your book career. Your next goal should be going into that conference with a finely honed pitch that will knock people’s socks off! After all, you’re going to have the chance to meet face-to-face with agents and editors who are dying for new authors with exciting projects.

    Don’t blow this golden opportunity

    The whole reason agents and editors attend these events is to meet authors – but not just any author. You want to be the author they can’t stop thinking about, the author whose manuscript they can’t wait to read, the author who gets to YES.

    This workshop is your key to being confident, prepared, and ready to WOW.

    We’ll walk you point-by-point through the 5 key steps you need to take to be prepared:

    1.      Develop a killer one-line description of your book that includes the secret element every agent is waiting to hear

    2.      Make sure your opening pages SING so that the agent will request your entire manuscript.

    3.      Research the agents who will be in attendance so you know who their bestselling authors are, what’s on their wish list, and what will turn them off.

    4.      Research the competition in your genre so you know how to talk about the universe of your book, and prove you understand the marketplace.

    5.      Create a strong brand of YOU through what you wear, what materials you bring to present, and your online presence.

    This workshop will prepare you to be at the top of your game.


    Jennie Nash is a book coach who gets into writer’s heads, and using a potent mix of tough love, proven strategy, and book-seeing super powers, inspires them to write something that matters. Her clients have sold books to Scribner, Simon&Schuster, Hazeldon, Norton and Ten Speed. Jennie is the author of four novels, including Perfect Red, The Threadbare Heart and The Last Beach Bungalow; three memoirs, including The Victoria’s Secret Catalog Never Stops Coming and Other Lessons I Learned From Breast Cancer; and The Writer’s Guide to Agony and Defeat. Jennie has been an instructor at the UCLA Extension Writing Program for eight years and is the Chief Creative Officer and Founder of the Author Accelerator, an online program to help writers get from inspiration to publication. Visit Jennie at

    Date: June 20 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 THE WRITER'S GUIDE TO AGONY AND DEFEAT



    The possibilities for agony and defeat lurk everywhere for a writer — at the start of the process when a book idea is forming in your mind and doubt is pounding on the door; in the middle of the process when you begin to show your words to the world and fear gnaws at you like a disease; and at the end of the process when you hope your work will find an adoring audience and must come face to face with how much greed and envy have taken up residence in your heart. It can be a brutal business. In The Writer’s Guide to Agony and Defeat, book coach and author Jennie Nash takes you inside 43 of the worst moments in the writing life. The enlightenment gurus say that you should “feel what you feel” and this book is designed to help you feel the gut-wrenching misery of the writing life – and then get over it.


    • 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

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 The Write Stuff Children’s Picture Book Workshop
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
Copyright 2013 Children's Book Writers of Los Angeles. All rights reserved.

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