Educating and Empowering Writers Since 2010
               Because We All Have a Voice Children's Book Writers of Los Angeles
 
 
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Upcoming events

    • 14 Aug 2022
    • 1:00 PM - 4:00 PM
    • Online (Zoom)
    • 6
    Register

    ONLINE CRITIQUE SESSION
    FOR CHILDREN'S BOOK WRITERS

    Calling All Children's Book Writers: Picture Book, Early Reader, Chapter Book, Middle Grade, Young Adult, New AdultAll genres welcome

    Whether you’ve written a just handful of pages or you’re putting the finishing touches on your opus magnus, getting another set of eyes on your manuscript is a wise course of action.  At our critique sessions, you'll get constructive feedback for your manuscripts, meet potential critique partners and make new friends.


    THE VALUE OF A CRITIQUE SESSION

    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.





      • 10 Sep 2022
      • 1:00 PM - 4:00 PM
      • Online on Zoom
      Register

      Story + Character Arcs = Tensionwith Nancy Ellen Dodd


      The tension in a story is what keeps your audience engaged. Without tension, the energy flattens and you will have a snoozer rather than a page turner. The story arc and the character arc must imbue tension for the reader to become involved and care what happens to the character and the outcome of the story. When does tension occur? Tension occurs when your characters disagree, even when they like each other; when the events and obstacles in your story go against your character's goals and desires. In this discussion we will look at examples of how to create tension and challenge the audience to participate in creating their own examples of tension.


      ABOUT THE SPEAKER

       

      Nancy Ellen Dodd earned an MPW (master’s in professional writing) and an MFA (in playwriting) from the University of Southern California. Her book, The Writer’s Compass: From Story Map to Finished Draft in 7 Stages (Writers Digest), covers the creative storytelling process. She teaches advanced screenwriting at Pepperdine’s Seaver College and has published more than 130 articles in local and national publications. Previously Nancy was academic editor and editor-in-chief of the peer-reviewed Graziadio Business Review at the Pepperdine Graziadio Business School for 17 years and where she taught electives “Presentations & Stories” and “Business Storytelling.” Currently she is earning her Ph.D. in Global Leadership and Change focusing on spark—the moment that ignites creativity.

      She is the author of The Writer’s Compass: From Story Map to Finished Draft in 7 Stages.


      ABOUT THE WRITER'S COMPASS


      Map out your idea and finish your story in 7 stages!

      This book will show writers how to develop their ideas into a finished novel by working through it in 7 stages, while learning how to mapping out their story's progress and structure so they can evaluate and improve their work. It teaches writers to visualize their story's progress with a story map that helps them see all the different components of their story, where these components are going, and, perhaps most importantly, what's missing.

      The book simplifies Aristotle's elements of good writing (a.k.a. that each story should have a beginning, a middle and an end) into easily applicable concepts that will help writers improve their craft. The author helps readers strengthen their work by teaching them how to focus on one aspect of their story at a time, including forming stories and developing ideas, building strong structures, creating vibrant characters, and structuring scenes and transitions. Thought-provoking questions help writers more objectively assess their story's strengths and weaknesses so they may write the story they want to tell.

       

      • 01 Oct 2022
      • 1:00 PM - 4:00 PM
      • Online via Zoom
      Register

      Three Character Revealing Secrets
      That Make Editors Swoon

      with Catherine Linka & Tami Lewis Brown

      Whether you want to publish fiction or non-fiction, a picture book or novel, your story needs to connect with agents and editors. To accomplish that your characters need to feel real and even in quiet stories, must be compelling. 

      As writers, we make our characters unforgettable when we reveal who they are at the core. 

      In this workshop, picture book and middle grade author, Tami Lewis Brown, teams up with YA author, Catherine Linka, to show how the answers to three revealing questions can help writers turn a character into one who readers, agents and editors can’t resist.

      Intended for writers of picture books and picture book biographies, middle grade and young adult novels. Lecture will alternate with writing exercises. Attendees should bring a few sheets of plain paper, pencils and erasers and have their work-in-progress easily accessible. 

       

      ABOUT THE SPEAKERS

      CATHERINE LINKA

      Catherine Linka is the author of three young adult novels, including the award-winning feminist dystopian A GIRL  CALLED FEARLESS and the sequel, A GIRL UNDONE. Her contemporary novel set in an art school, WHAT I WANT YOU TO SEE, was included in the 2021 Best Books of the Year for 14+ by Bank Street College of Education.


      You can purchase copies of Catherine's books using the links below:

      A Girl Called Fearless

      A Girl Undone

      What I Want You to See

      TAMI LEWIS BROWN

      TAMI LEWIS BROWN has written picture books, biographies and novels for children. Her picture book biography PERKINS PERFECT PURPLE (Little Brown Books for Young Readers) was a finalist for the Cook Prize and SOAR, ELINOR! (Farrar Straus and Giroux Books for Young Readers) won a place on the American Library Association’s Amelia Bloomer Project’s top 10 feminist books. Tami holds an MFA in Writing for Children and Young Adults from Vermont College where she served on the Board of Trustees for over a decade. After leaving a career as a trial lawyer she became the writer-in-residence and elementary school librarian. She now writes books for young people full time in Northern Vermont and Washington, D.C.


       

      You can purchase copies of Tami's books using the links below:

      ART IS LIFE: The Life Of Artist Keith Haring

      Instructions Not Included: How a Team of Women Coded the Future

       Perkin's Perfect Purple: How a Boy Created Color with Chemistry

      SOARELINOR!

      We Really Do Care

      THE MAP OF ME

    Past events

    24 Jul 2022 Online Critique Session: All Genres Welcome
    09 Jul 2022 Querypalooza: How to Write an Eye-Catching Query and Hook an Agent
    26 Jun 2022 Online Critique Session: All Genres Welcome
    15 May 2022 Online Critique Session: All Genres Welcome
    09 Apr 2022 Achieve Your Writing Dreams: How a Mom of Three Published a Picture Book that Debuted as a #1 Release on Amazon
    03 Apr 2022 Online Critique Session: All Genres Welcome
    19 Mar 2022 Does Your Story Have a Passport? Creating Universal Stories that Reach Wider Audiences
    13 Mar 2022 Online Critique Session: All Genres Welcome
    19 Feb 2022 Eight Precious Writing Tips No One Talks About
    06 Feb 2022 Online Critique Session: All Genres Welcome
    29 Jan 2022 JUMPSTART YOUR WRITING CAREER 2022: FIND YOUR PATH TO PUBLICATION
    09 Jan 2022 Online Critique Session: All Genres Welcome
    14 Nov 2021 Online Critique Session: All Genres Welcome
    17 Oct 2021 Online Critique Session: All Genres Welcome
    25 Sep 2021 Visually Sketching Out Your Plot
    12 Sep 2021 Online Critique Session: All Genres Welcome
    08 Aug 2021 Online Critique Session: All Genres Welcome
    11 Jul 2021 Online Critique Session: All Genres Welcome
    10 Jul 2021 The Joy of Revision: See Your Work Anew
    19 Jun 2021 Nonfiction Observation for Fiction Writers (or: Why Spying is Good for You)
    17 Apr 2021 SUBMISSION STUDIO: Writing Queries, Strategizing Submissions, and Ten Ways to Translate “No” to “Yes!”
    27 Mar 2021 Character and Conflict for Picture Book, Middle Grade and Young Adult Authors
    28 Feb 2021 JUMPSTART YOUR WRITING CAREER: FIND YOUR PATH TO PUBLICATION
    18 Oct 2020 The Magical Scene Trifecta and Other Strategies for Writing Scenes
    25 Jul 2020 CBW-LA Virtual Happy Hour: Are You Feeling All Write?
    18 Jan 2020 Jumpstart Your Writing Career: Find Your Path to Publication
    05 Oct 2019 Pitch Ready: How to Revise Your Manuscript and Get it Ready to Pitch to Agents and Editors
    14 Sep 2019 Inspiration, Imagination and the Creative Spirit
    27 Jul 2019 Novel Writing Bootcamp
    31 Mar 2019 Sunday Critique Session: All Genres Welcome
    23 Mar 2019 The Building Blocks of Structuring Children's Books (Picture Books, Middle Grade & Young Adult Novels)
    26 Jan 2019 Jumpstart Your Writing Career: Find Your Path to Publication
    03 Nov 2018 Story-Telling for Social Justice & Advancement
    28 Jul 2018 Saturday Critique Session: All Genres Welcome
    21 Jul 2018 Learn How to Self-Publish a Picture Book in Two Days
    28 Apr 2018 Saturday Critique Session: All Genres Welcome
    24 Mar 2018 Saturday Critique Session: All Genres Welcome
    10 Mar 2018 Crafting & Writing Your MG/YA Series in 12 Months
    20 Jan 2018 Jumpstart Your Writing Career Workshop + Author Headshot Day
    09 Dec 2017 Unlock Your Novel: Middle Grade and YA Critique (11am- 2pm)
    02 Dec 2017 Saturday Critique Session: All Genres Welcome
    18 Nov 2017 Unlock Your Novel: Middle Grade and YA Critique (11am- 2pm)
    28 Oct 2017 Saturday Critique Session: All Genres Welcome
    14 Oct 2017 Unlock Your Novel: Middle Grade and YA Critique (11am- 2pm)
    07 Oct 2017 FIFTH ANNUAL CBW-LA Writing Day Marathon—Story Sprouts: Fables, Fairy Tales and Folk Tales (Workshop + Anthology)
    30 Sep 2017 Saturday Critique Session: All Genres Welcome
    23 Sep 2017 Kickstarter Crowdfunding Success Strategies
    09 Sep 2017 Unlock Your Novel: Middle Grade and YA Critique (11am- 2pm)
    26 Aug 2017 Creative Meditation: Generating Story Ideas Using Mindful Practices and Other Creative Processes
    12 Aug 2017 Saturday Critique Session: All Genres Welcome
    22 Jul 2017 Revision Strategies for Novel Writers: From Line Edits to Queries
    10 Jun 2017 How to Write a Query Letter and Find a Literary Agent with Seth Fishman of the Gernert Company Literary Agency
    03 Jun 2017 Saturday Critique Session: Middle Grade & Young Adult
    08 Apr 2017 Structure, Structure, Structure! Creating Detailed Outlines & Engaging Pitches
    04 Mar 2017 BEYOND THE HERO'S JOURNEY: Other Powerful Mythic Themes and Trends for Children's and Young Adult Storytelling
    18 Feb 2017 Creative Writing Exercise Extravaganza 2
    10 Dec 2016 Creative Writing Exercise Extravaganza
    12 Nov 2016 QUERYPALOOZA 2: HOW TO WRITE AN EYE-CATCHING QUERY AND HOOK AN AGENT WITH EVE PORINCHAK OF THE JILL CORCORAN LITERARY AGENCY
    22 Oct 2016 Saturday Critique Session: Middle Grade & Young Adult
    15 Oct 2016 Critique Session: Picture Books, Early Readers, Chapter Books!
    08 Oct 2016 Publishing Your Book on Kindle:The Complete Process
    17 Sep 2016 Critique Session: Picture Books, Early Readers, Chapter Books!
    27 Aug 2016 Saturday Critique Session: Middle Grade & Young Adult
    13 Aug 2016 Critique Session: Picture Books, Early Readers, Chapter Books!
    06 Aug 2016 How Fiction Writers Can Use Poetry Techniques to Amp Up Their Prose
    23 Jul 2016 Twenty Reasons You're Not Getting Published with Literary Agent Steve Hutson
    25 Jun 2016 Author Marketing Secrets: How to Authentically Connect with your Readers through Social Media & Beyond
    14 May 2016 CBW-LA Writing Day Marathon—Story Sprouts: Conflict (Workshop + Anthology)
    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 2016
    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!
    26 Sep 2015 QUERYPALOOZA: HOW TO WRITE AN EYE-CATCHING QUERY AND HOOK AN AGENT WITH EVE PORINCHAK OF THE JILL CORCORAN LITERARY AGENCY
    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 2015
    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
    14 Jun 2014 PICTURE BOOK/CHAPTER BOOK/EARLY READER CRITIQUE SESSION
    31 May 2014 Writing Day Anthology Workshop: Get Published with CBW-LA
    19 Apr 2014 MIDDLE GRADE/YOUNG ADULT CRITIQUE SESSION
    29 Mar 2014 Novel Writing Bootcamp
    22 Feb 2014 Honing Your Middle Grade Writing Voice: A Workshop with Author Kristen Kittscher
    08 Feb 2014 PICTURE BOOK/CHAPTER BOOK/EARLY READER CRITIQUE SESSION
    11 Jan 2014 Kickstarting Your Writing Career Workshop 2014
    09 Nov 2013 MIDDLE GRADE/YOUNG ADULT CRITIQUE SESSION
    02 Nov 2013 Anthology Launch Party & Year End Celebration
    05 Oct 2013 NONFICTION/ MEMOIR CRITIQUE SESSION
    26 Sep 2013 Picture Book Workshop: The Power of Critique Groups & Writing Tips I’ve Learned Along the Way
    07 Sep 2013 PICTURE BOOK/CHAPTER BOOK/EARLY READER CRITIQUE SESSION
    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
    13 Apr 2013 CRITIQUE SESSION
    30 Mar 2013 The Author's Platform: Blogging with the Bird
    12 Jan 2013 Kickstarting Your Writing Career Workshop & Lunch Social 2013

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