We (Torrance Children's Book Writers) had our first ever Holiday Party on December 10th, 2011. It was a potluck affair, and everyone brought special dishes to share with the group.
Wonderful potluck food
We all sat around the table getting to know each other in a more social setting, and exchanging tales of writing woes and writing joys.
Once we were all stuffed to our ears, we started our program. We began by introducing ourselves to the group. I thanked everybody for making time to join us despite their busy holiday schedule. We had some new faces in that day, so I also introduced our officers so they would know who to approach if they needed something.
I also told our newer members a little about the group's history and what we do. I told them that I had started the group a year and a half ago because I was pining for a writing group in the area that would support people like myself, who aspire to be published in the world of children’s books. I wanted a group that would provide mini-class sessions to teach me not only about the publishing industry, but also about writing itself. Since there were none in our neighborhood, I decided to create one to see where it would take me. My teaching experience kicked in and I figured I could maybe learn more about writing by teaching about writing.
Our writing group has grown and with it our dreams. There's so much more we want to do for our members including more class sessions, more helpful handouts and worksheets and more writing events. This takes a lot of time, which we are more than willing to give--and money, which unfortunately we don't have much of. We've already started the process of applying for a nonprofit status, and we hope that once that has pushed through,we can start trying to get a little bit of financial help so we can do more for our members.
My officers and I have kept busy while waiting for that nonprofit status to come through. We've come up with a new slogan and logo for our group based on our group's new name (which I had used when I sent in the non profit application).
At last Saturday's party, we launched our new name, logo and slogan.
Presenting our new slogan and logo
Next year, our name will officially change from Torrance Children’s Book Writers to Children’s Book Writers of Los Angeles, or CBWLA. This is the name we are using in our current nonprofit application, and the name which we hope future authors in our group will mention as inspirational in their careers.
After presenting our new logo and slogan, we moved on to the fun part of the party---the games.
The first game was human bingo and our members had to scramble all over the room asking people to sign in squares describing a certain trait they might have.
playing human bingo
The amazing Lucy finished all her squares first and won the tote bag. Amazing, considering she won the game while holding her daughter Ella (cutest baby ever!)
Lucy won the tote bag for human bingo
The second game was the funnest ever. The Gift Wrap Race rules were simple: form a group of three and work together to wrap the box as quickly as possible. The catch? They had to do it one handed!
The Gift Wrap Race
The winners of the race received this stainless steel water bottle with our name and logo.
The final game was a bit more challenging. Each group was given a riddle sheet. The riddle contained words with alternate titles for several well-known Christmas songs.For example, I Spied My Maternal Parent Osculating was also another name for I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus. Each group had 8 minutes to fill in the proper title beside the riddle.
Members playing Yuletide Carol Riddler
The group with the most number of correct items won the prize--mousepads!
Yuletide Carol Riddler Winners
Our program ended with the white elephant gift exchange. White elephant is a gift game that involves picking a number, opening your chosen present in front of everyone else, and waiting nervously to see if someone else would steal the cool present you got or if they'd go for a new one.
white elephant gift game
The holiday party was a fun success and I only wish more people could've come! The food was yummy, the games entertaining, the prizes worth keeping and the people worth knowing.
And we got to help our local library by donating old books!
Books our members donated for the holiday book drive
Here's hoping next year will be just as fun!
Torrance Children's Book Writers soon to be Children's Book Writers of Los Angeles