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               Because We All Have a Voice Children's Book Writers of Los Angeles
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Unlock Your Novel: Middle Grade and YA Critique (11am- 2pm)

  • 09 Sep 2017
  • 11:00 AM - 2:00 PM
  • Harbor Gateway Library- 24000 S Western Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90710
  • 11


  • Fee is nonrefundable

Registration is closed

Unlock the story you want to tell with the keys to fiction: Character, Plot, Structure, Conflict, Setting, Voice, Tone, Dialogue, Pacing, and Theme.

Writing a novel is a big task, and critiquing a novel in a short amount of time is an equally big challege. We understand that, which is why, going forward, the middle grade and young adult novel critique sessions will be

Each critique, we will focus on a specific key or set of keys so that we can give you helpful feedback on the excerpt you bring, which you can take home and apply to other scenes in your novel. 

This month's key: Plot and Structure

Bring in pages from your novel or even an outline you're working on. All middle grade, young adult and new adult genres welcomed: Sci Fi, Fantasy, Realistic Fiction, Historical Fiction, Non-Fiction, etc...

Join this open 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 5-10 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.


September – Plot and Structure

October – Setting and Tone

November – Conflict and Theme

December – Dialogue, Voice and Pacing

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 via under “Events” 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.

Can't wait to see you there!


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