Educating and Inspiring Writers on the Road to Publication Children's Book Writers of Los Angeles


Upcoming events

    • 28 Feb 2015
    • 1:00 PM - 4:00 PM
    • LA Public Library - Harbor Gateway Branch 24000 S. Western Ave., Harbor City, CA 90710
    • 6

    Calling All Middle Grade and Young Adult Writers!

    Join this 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:                      

    1. Please bring the first chapter of your manuscript or the chapter with which you need the most help (the first 5-7 pages, unless there are fewer than 10 attendees). 

     The general rule is that you must bring copies for every member who has signed up for the session. 

    *Please wait for the final email from the organizer before printing copies, so you know exactly how many to print.*

    2. A voice/tape recorder if you wish to record the critiques.

    3. A notebook/pad and pen to use for your critique notes.


    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 1pm. 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.

    • 14 Mar 2015
    • 1:00 PM - 4:00 PM
    • El Segundo Library 111 W. Mariposa Ave, El Segundo CA 90245


    With Kathie Fong Yoneda
    and Pamela Jaye Smith

    In the last several years, the fantasy and mythic genres have enjoyed great success on the best-selling book lists and on multiple media screens.  This workshop will focus on some of the ways to take your creativity to a higher level of effectiveness by helping you to define and enhance your plots, characters, worlds and action with classic myth-making and fantasy story-telling tools.

    Noted mythologist Pamela Jaye Smith and former Disney studio exec Kathie Fong Yoneda will introduce you to the internal and external rules and challenges that will balance and complement your manuscript, by applying your own unique perspective, allowing you to present your project to publishers, editors, agents and producers in an attention-getting way that will hook their interest.

    It’s no fantasy -- your project and your presentation will improve with the inspiration and information you’ll learn in this ground-breaking workshop.

    There’ll be some time set aside for a limited number of authors to give a 5-minute pitch for feedback from Kathie and Pamela Jaye.


    Kathie Fong Yoneda is an entertainment consultant specializing in development and marketing of live action and animated film, television, literary, and web projects. A former exec at Disney, Touchstone, Island Pictures, and Disney TV Animation, she has taught workshops worldwide.  Her clientele includes several award-winning writers and she is the author of The Script-Selling Game. Kathie serves on the board of directors for Imago (French production company) and The LAWEBFEST, co-exec produced the cable series Beyond The Break and teaches a popular online class, Pitch & Presentation, for Screenwriters University.

    Pamela Jaye Smith is a writer, international consultant-speaker, and award-winning producer/director with over thirty years experience in media from major studios to wildly independent projects. Pamela authored 5 books for media-makers, is co-author of two children’s books, Petra Volare and Skruffy, writes short stories and articles and teaches online for writers groups. Her company MYTHWORKS helps people improve their stories, live their personal myths, and better present their projects.  Pitch Materials  PitchProxy Pros. She is co-founder of Alpha Babe Academy and Mythic Challenges – Create Stories that Change the World. 

    Date: March 14, 2014, Saturday

    Time: 1 - 4 PM

    Venue: El Segundo Library, 111 W. Mariposa Ave., El Segundo, CA

    *$10 Discount for CBW-LA Members when you pay online

    *Fee includes workshop materials, handouts, worksheet and copies of the speakers' books 


    Having trouble making your story fit the pattern of The Hero's Journey?

    Can't quite make those paradigms match your own characters and plot?

    Maybe that's because your story is actually based on a different pattern.

    Contrary to popular opinion, The Hero's Journey is not the only Mythic Theme. It's certainly a good one but it is only one of many.

    A few years after the publication of Hero With a Thousand Faces, Dr. Joseph Campbell modified his position and observed that for different times and places there were different mythic structures and archetypes.

    This book introduces you to many other powerful Mythic Themes ranging from "About Face" to "Damsel in Distress", from "Stealing Fire From Heaven" to "The Wakeup Call".

    Each Mythic Theme is explained and explored via:

    * Media Echoes - other media on the same theme

    * The Myth itself

    * Mythic Meaning

    * Symbols, Analogies, Metaphors, and more

    * Plot Points - guidelines for your own story

    * Mythic Statements - Theme, Mission, and Lesson

    Using the guidelines in this workbook you can:

    * Refine and focus your story theme.

    * Select an appropriate sub-plot to enhance your story.

    * Use the Plot Points as guidelines for plot drivers, incidences, and scenes in your story.

    * Use symbols and images to spark audience recognition.

    * Maintain your originality while tapping into the timeless power of these classic myths.

    * Take your place in the long line of myth-makers who create moving and memorable stories that engage and entertain your audience.

    The Script-Selling Game is like having a mentor in the business who answers your questions and provides you with not only valuable information, but real-life examples on how to maneuver your way through the Hollywood labyrinth. While the first edition focused mostly on film and television movies, the second edition includes a new chapter on animation and another on utilizing the Internet to market yourself and find new opportunities, plus an expansive section on submitting for television and cable.

    • 25 Apr 2015
    • 8:00 AM - 6:00 PM
    • Torrance Airport (Zamperini Field) Meeting Room 3301 Airport Drive, Torrance, CA 90505
    • 26

    Each fall, the Children's Book Writers of Los Angeles release a highly-rated Writing Resource and Anthology called Story Sprouts created by YOU.

    We invite you to take part in our Story Sprouts series through registration for Writing Day 2015. Every author who attends this workshop will walk away not only with a bevy of inspiration and writing lessons and an expanded writing community, but with a guaranteed publication with YOUR name—and story—THIS fall!

    Join your fellow writers on the road to publication for an intensive day of creative writing, and see your work published in the Story Sprouts Anthology (Volume One and Volume Two: Voice) in October. 

    CBW-LA Founder and President Nutschell Windsor and Publications Director Alana Garrigues will lead attendees on a whirlwind adventure through the writing process, complete with prompts, tips, games, time for reflection and revision ... along with food and socializing along the way! Nutschell's positive, organized and inspirational approach to working with writers has resulted in dozens of glowing reviews on

    This year's theme is SETTING! So get ready to learn techniques and writing exercises designed to help you weave time, place and location seamlessly into your stories. Setting is often referred to as the silent character, shaping your story with its own tale. Many authors have created entire books around a SETTING: James Michener, Edward Rutherford and Ken Follett to name a few. 

    By the end of the workshop, you will have a minimum of two pieces ready for publication in this year's CBW-LA Story Sprouts Anthology.

    All writers will receive one complimentary print copy and one complimentary digital copy of the finished product - and additional print and digital copies will be available through Amazon and at future CBW-LA events! It will make a great stocking stuffer for your biggest writing fans on your holiday shopping list. Anticipated publication date Sept. 30, 2015.**


    Register early. Space is limited! Payment required to confirm your reservation.

    The Details

    Date: April 25, 2015

    Time: 8:00 a.m.–6:00 p.m.

    *Registration & Socializing begins at 8:00 a.m.

    *Workshop will start promptly 9:00 a.m.

    Place: TBD


    Great Discount

    Students SAVE with registration code! (Send proof of student status to to request discount code and register at Story Sprouts alumni price for only $125! Email us to find out about our Young Writer Scholarship.)


    • Full day writing workshop
    • Lunch, snacks and beverages throughout the day
    • 1 print copy of the finished anthology
    • 1 digital copy of the finished anthology
    • Professional editing, formatting & book design
    • Handouts, Workshop Materials & Swag
    • FREE door prizes
    • Inspiration and publication!
    • YOUR name and work in print!


    Ready to register?

    Visit NOW to complete your online registration.


    Story Sprouts Author Alumni: $125

    Members: $150

    Non-members: $175

    Writing Day refund policy: 

    We understand things come up, but we really hope to see you at the event. 

    After all, we're saving a space for you! 

    However, please note - if you must cancel, we offer a 50% refund until 30 days prior to event. No refund after March 25, but we will send a complimentary copy of Story Sprouts. 

    Thank you for understanding.

Past events

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
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
31 May 2014 Writing Day Anthology Workshop: Get Published with CBW-LA
29 Mar 2014 Novel Writing Bootcamp
22 Feb 2014 Honing Your Middle Grade Writing Voice: A Workshop with Author Kristen Kittscher
11 Jan 2014 Kickstarting Your Writing Career Workshop
02 Nov 2013 Anthology Launch Party & Year End Celebration
26 Sep 2013 The Write Stuff Children’s Picture Book Workshop
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
30 Mar 2013 The Author's Platform: Blogging with the Bird
12 Jan 2013 Kickstarting Your Writing Career Workshop & Lunch Social
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