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               Because We All Have a Voice Children's Book Writers of Los Angeles
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Building Those Writing Muscles:
Pre- NaNoWriMo Warm-Up

To Register for this Workshop, click here: 

November is just around the corner, and if you've been in the writing community for a while, you know what that means! It's time for the 50,000 word marathon known as NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month).

NaNoWriMo has been around since 1999, and it has kickstarted many, many authors' careers. The goal is to write the messy first draft of a novel... 50,000 words, which works out to about 1,667 per day.

So... how to start?

By writing. 

This is not a workshop on plotting or pantsing, story arc or character development. 

This is a workshop to write.

Bring a laptop or pen(cil) and paper, and get ready to put in some writing time.

We'll write and share, write and share, write and share, using loose prompts and story questions to get the words flowing and the story muscles moving. Use the prompts and questions as prep and background for your NaNoWriMo project, work on a current project, or simply enjoy making time to write together. 

And as we write and share, we'll make room for questions like: How do you form a writing habit? When do you fit in time to write? Why do you write? How do you get back into it after a long absence, or when revisions are done and it's time to write something new? Questions that build community and make us feel less alone in this often solitary vocation.

Attendees who do plan to participate in NaNoWriMo will be welcome to exchange contact information. Some ways to stay connected: follow each other on the NaNoWriMo site, or cheer each other on through email or text! 




Alana is an editor, a writer, an artist, and a former journalist who believes keen observation is a very useful tool in creativity and storytelling.

In addition to a double Bachelor's degree from the University of Washington, she holds a Copyediting Certificate from UC San Diego, and has spent the past decade writing and editing professionally. Her journalism work appeared locally in The Beach Reporter and Daily Breeze, as well as Torrance Memorial's Patron magazine, and her editing clients have won several awards for their work.

Alana serves as the Publications Director for the Children's Book Writers of Los Angeles, and has co-edited and co-produced the Story Sprouts series of writing resources, anthologies, and collaborative novels.

These days, Alana is focused on making art and diving deep into essay and poetry, and working on her Instagram challenge, the #40DayJournalForJustice.

She is very interested in encouraging writers and makers of all types to recognize the transformative power of their own creativity, and helping them tap into their artistic, playful nature.

Find her on the web:

Purchase her books here:

To Register for this Workshop, click here: 

Whether you seek a community of like-minded authors, dream of becoming a published author, or simply want to pursue and explore your writing hobby, joining a writing group like the Children's Book Writers of Los Angeles will help you.

CBW–LA offers critique groups and sessions, writing workshops, guest lectures, write-ins at local coffee shops, networking, writing support, and even publishing opportunities for our members and guests. Every month, there's something interesting on our calendar!

Once you've had a look around, be sure to check out OUR NEWSLETTER at for thoughts on writing.

Upcoming events

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Although the group's main focus is on writing for children, we welcome writers of all kinds, as well as those who love to read children's books.

Founded in 2010, we branched out to start publishing our members in 2013 through our annual Story Sprouts Writing Day Workshop. We have two Writing Resources and Anthologies under our belt: Story Sprouts and Story Sprouts: Voice as well as a collaborative Middle Grade novel called Kayla Wayman, Teen Time Traveler: Lost in the Stream. 

Story Sprouts: Setting and Story Sprouts: Conflict are currently in development, as well as a yet-unnamed Middle Grade collaborative novel about a boy who gets sucked into his video game. Look for those soon.

We encourage you to attend the annual workshop and buy a copy of the previous Story Sprouts; they make an excellent writing resource, brimming with high quality poetry, short fiction and nonfiction by our Story Sprouts authors.


Our workshops provide tips and lessons on the craft and business of writing. You'll learn how to create characters so real, they practically jump off the page, weave storylines to make an interesting plot, revise and edit your manuscript, write and submit query letters to agents and editors, and how the publishing industry works.

You can get helpful feedback on your manuscript through our critique sessions, and our creative writing sessions help in sparking the next great idea, or simply help you improve your writing skills so you can find your voice and style.


Events are open to members and non-members alike. Members get great discounts on our workshops and free access to our critique sessions. Be sure to RSVP to reserve your space at any event. We offer many takeaways and have limited space, so we want to make sure you get the most out of your experience.


(Online form currently down)

To send a check, download the membership form below and mail it along with your payment to:

P.O. Box 4376
Torrance, CA 90510

CBW-LA Membership Form


Kayla Wayman, 
 Teen Time Traveler: 
Lost in the Stream

A Story Sprouts 
Middle Grade
Collaborative Novel

Story Sprouts
CBW-LA Writing Day
Exercises and Anthology


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