Upcoming events

    • 14 May 2016
    • 8:00 AM - 6:30 PM
    • Torrance Municipal Airport Meeting Room 3301 Airport Drive, Torrance, CA 90505
    • 14

          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 one year of completing the workshop!

    See our first two books: Story Sprouts Writing Resource and Anthology (Volume One and Volume Two: Voice). Our third and fourth books will be published in late 2015 and early 2016. Stay tuned for links.

    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 the group novella and the CBW-LA Story Sprouts Anthology, Story Sprouts: Conflict. All submissions will go through thorough developmental, content, 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 Diverse Voices Scholarship (open to all writers who speak from a minority voice).


    • 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.

    • 04 Jun 2016
    • 1:00 PM - 4:00 PM
    • TBA

    BEYOND THE HERO'S JOURNEY: Other Powerful Mythic Themes and Trends for Children's and Young Adult Storytelling

    with Kathie Fong Yoneda

    & Pamela Jaye Smith

    Are you frustrated because your Children's or Young Adult story doesn't fit the storytelling pattern of the Hero's Journey?

    Did you know there are dozens of other powerful Mythic Themes you can use like The Wakeup Call, Search for the Soul Mate, Search for the Promised Land, Don’t Ask – Don’t Tell, Stealing Fire From Heaven, and many more?

    And what exactly have the agents, editors and publishers been excited about most recently?

    Authors and storytelling/media specialists Pamela Jaye Smith and Kathie Fong Yoneda will tackle those questions and more, while showing you:

    *           How to align your project with timeless Mythic and Universal Storytelling Themes.

    *           The importance of creating the 3 Mythic Statements to make your story memorable.

    *           How to utilize your presentation skills to agents, editors and the public.

    *           How to select the Plot Points best suited for your style, genre and time period while retaining your own unique style.

    Use the Mythic Themes and Statements to tap into our collective unconscious and create what we all yearn for in stories: familiarity and surprise. The familiarity comes from using these inherent universal patterns. The surprise comes from telling the stories and crafting the characters with your own unique style and vision.


    Pamela Jaye Smith is a mythologist, writer, international consultant-speaker, and award-winning writer-producer-director with over thirty years experience in the media industry. Her Cuban Circuitscript was a recent winner at the Bahamas Intl. Film Festival.  Pamela authored 5 books for media-makers, is co-author of two children’s books, Petra Volare and Skruffy, writes short stories and articles and teaches online for writers groups. Her company MYTHWORKS helps people improve their stories, live their personal myths, and better present their projects.  Pitch Materials  PitchProxy Pros. She is co-founder of Alpha Babe Academy and Mythic Challenges – Create Stories that Change the World.

    Kathie Fong Yoneda is an entertainment consultant specializing in development and marketing of live action and animated film, television, literary, and web projects. A former exec at Disney, Touchstone, Island Pictures, and Disney TV Animation, she has taught workshops worldwide.  Her clientele includes several award-winning writers and she is the author of The Script-Selling Game. Kathie serves on the board of directors for Imago (French production company) and The LAWEBFEST and she co-exec produced the cable series Beyond The Break and teaches a popular online class, Pitch & Presentation, for Screenwriters University. Kathie can be reached online at


    Having trouble making your story fit the pattern of The Hero's Journey?

    Can't quite make those paradigms match your own characters and plot?

    Maybe that's because your story is actually based on a different pattern.

    Contrary to popular opinion, The Hero's Journey is not the only Mythic Theme. It's certainly a good one but it is only one of many.

    A few years after the publication of Hero With a Thousand Faces, Dr. Joseph Campbell modified his position and observed that for different times and places there were different mythic structures and archetypes.

    This book introduces you to many other powerful Mythic Themes ranging from "About Face" to "Damsel in Distress", from "Stealing Fire From Heaven" to "The Wakeup Call".

    Each Mythic Theme is explained and explored via:

    * Media Echoes - other media on the same theme

    * The Myth itself

    * Mythic Meaning

    * Symbols, Analogies, Metaphors, and more

    * Plot Points - guidelines for your own story

    * Mythic Statements - Theme, Mission, and Lesson

    Using the guidelines in this workbook you can:

    * Refine and focus your story theme.

    * Select an appropriate sub-plot to enhance your story.

    * Use the Plot Points as guidelines for plot drivers, incidences, and scenes in your story.

    * Use symbols and images to spark audience recognition.

    * Maintain your originality while tapping into the timeless power of these classic myths.

    * Take your place in the long line of myth-makers who create moving and memorable stories that engage and entertain your audience.

    Add Beyond the Hero's Journey to your writing library today!

    The Script-Selling Game is like having a mentor in the business who answers your questions and provides you with not only valuable information, but real-life examples on how to maneuver your way through the Hollywood labyrinth. While the first edition focused mostly on film and television movies, the second edition includes a new chapter on animation and another on utilizing the Internet to market yourself and find new opportunities, plus an expansive section on submitting for television and cable.

    • 25 Jun 2016
    • 1:00 PM - 4:00 PM
    • TBA

    Author Marketing Secrets: 

    How to Authentically Connect with your Readers through Social Media & Beyond

    Best-selling independent author Sheri Fink will share marketing strategies to build awareness of your book and cultivate relationships with your readers. Learn what to do, what not to do, what works, what doesn’t, and how to make marketing and social media rewarding so you can have fun doing it and then get back to your writing. Whether you’re traditionally published, independently published, or hoping to one day be published, you don’t want to miss this insightful, strategy-packed session.

    Speaker's Bio:

    SHERI FINK is an inspirational speaker, #1 best-selling author, and the creator of “The Whimsical World of Sheri Fink” award-winning brand. She creates books, products, and experiences that inspire and delight kids of all ages while planting seeds of self-esteem. All 5 of her books have become #1 best-sellers, including The Little Rose which was a #1 Amazon Best-seller for 60 weeks. Sheri has expanded her inspirational brand with books, live events, beauty items, and music all designed to create magical experiences for her Fans. CBS Los Angeles selected her as one of the top 3 authors in her local area, a distinction she shares with Dean Koontz. Her brand is the recipient of the prestigious Mom’s Choice Award for the best in family friendly entertainment.

    Date: June 25, 2016, Saturday

    Time: 1 - 4 PM

    Venue: TBA

    Fee: $45

    *$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 LITTLE FIREFLY.

    About The Little Firefly:

    ISBN: 978-0983408963

    The Little Firefly is an enchanting tale about a late-blooming firefly who can't wait to be all grown up. When all the other fireflies are glowing except for the Little Firefly, she discovers that true friends will love and support her just the way she is. This charming story helps kids learn about love, friendship, and acceptance.

    Themes include: Shyness, Popularity, Growing Up, Maturity, Love, Acceptance, Tolerance, Friendship, Sports

    Written by Sheri Fink and Illustrated by Mary Erikson Washam,

    • 09 Jul 2016
    • 1:00 PM - 4:00 PM
    • TBA


    ( Or Twenty Reasons You're Not Getting Published) 

    with Literary Agent Steve Hutson

    So, you want to get published? WAIT! Today’s publishing market is more competitive than it has ever been, and millions of new authors rush in without educating themselves. Learn how to avoid the rookie mistakes:

    • You’re not just writing a story; you’re running a business.

    • The industry hasn’t changed as much as you think.

    • Self-publishing is not the liberating experience that you expect.

    • Agents and publishers aren’t as evil as you’ve been told.

    • You might be looking for love in all the wrong places.

     In this 2-hour discussion, we will examine the workings of the publishing industry. Writing, editing, acquisitions, agents, editors, copyright, platform, contracts, self-publishing, and more. Why do some books succeed, while so many fail? Bring your questions, your thick skin, and your hard-learned lessons. 

    NOTE: Workshop attendees' will have an opportunity to pitch to Literary Agent Steve Hutson in 10 minute sessions. Please download and print his official query form in advance.




    Literary Agent, WordWise Media Services

    Steve is a native of Los Angeles, a child of the sixties, and a storyteller almost from birth. (He’s convinced that the Wimpy Kid books are based on his childhood, but he can’t prove it.) After several years of freelance editing and directing a writers’ conference, he branched out as a literary agent in early 2011. He has placed his clients’ works with Dutton, Thomas Nelson, Tyndale, Potomac, David C. Cook, Praeger, Writer’s Digest Books, and others. Several clients have won prestigious awards for their works. He speaks frequently at writers’ events and writes an eclectic blog.

    Date: Saturday, July 9, 2016

    Time: 1:00–4:00 p.m.

    Venue: TBA

    Fee: $65

    *$10 Discount for CBW-LA Members.

    *Non-members pay the full amount.

Past events

23 Apr 2016 Beyond the Book Deal: Charting the Path Ahead
16 Apr 2016 Date Change: Saturday Critique Session: Open to All! (1-4pm)
26 Mar 2016 Novel Writing Bootcamp
19 Mar 2016 Saturday Critique Session: Middle Grade & Young Adult
27 Feb 2016 The Secrets of “Show Don’t Tell”
27 Feb 2016 CBW–LA Write-In Session
20 Feb 2016 Saturday Critique Session: Open to All! (1-4pm)
23 Jan 2016 Kickstarting Your Writing Career Workshop
19 Dec 2015 Saturday Critique Session: Open to All! (1-4pm)
05 Dec 2015 CBW-LA Co-op at the Author Alley
14 Nov 2015 Collaborative Novel Launch Party & 5th Year Anniversary Celebration
08 Nov 2015 SUNDAY Critique Session: Middle Grade & Young Adult
07 Nov 2015 Take a Scene from Ho-hum to Holy Crap!: Writing that Gets an Editor's Attention
24 Oct 2015 From Kickstarter to Good Morning America: One Writer Shares Her Secrets to Success
17 Oct 2015 Saturday Critique Session: Open to All!
05 Sep 2015 Critique Session: Middle Grade & Young Adult
29 Aug 2015 Critique Session: Open to All!
22 Aug 2015 Understanding and Unlocking Amazon and Online Marketing
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
Copyright 2013 Children's Book Writers of Los Angeles. All rights reserved.

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