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               Because We All Have a Voice Children's Book Writers of Los Angeles
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Character and Conflict
for Picture Book, Middle Grade, and Young Adult Authors
with Catherine Linka

To Register for this Workshop, click here: 

Character and Conflict for Picture Book, Middle Grade, and Young Adult Authors

Whether it’s a 500 word picture book or a 90,000 word novel, conflict is what takes a story from dull to memorable. What a character wants and the conflict they must resolve to achieve it are at the core of every story. 

But writers, even experienced ones, often struggle to pin down what their character wants so they miss opportunities to use conflict to make their story unforgettable.

In this workshop, we will begin by looking at classic and recent PB stories to identify what the character wants and how that generates conflict in the story. We’ll then move on to examining more complex conflict in middle grade and young adult novels.

Writers will learn how to create a “conflict map.” Meaningful conflict emerges when friends, family members, authorities and antagonists support or oppose the protagonist’s efforts. Workshop attendees will be able to use the conflict map to identify opportunities, holes and missteps in their own work.

Attendees should come with:

Several sheets of blank paper (larger paper might be helpful)
Pencils with eraser 
A manuscript they may be working on
OR a MG or YA novel they read recently

NOTE: This workshop will be hosted over Zoom. Attendees will receive the link once they register for this event. 



CATHERINE LINKA  loves when readers confess they stayed up way too late trying to finish her book. She’s the award-winning author of three YA novels, including 2020’s WHAT I WANT YOU TO SEE, the story of an art student so desperate to hold onto her scholarship that she becomes a pawn in a masterful crime. Catherine earned her MFA at the Vermont College of Fine Arts and estimates she’s spent over 300 hours critiquing and begin critiqued since her writing journey began. 

To Register for this Workshop, click here: 

Character and Conflict for Picture Book, Middle Grade, and Young Adult Authors

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.


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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