What we're about

Originally called the Torrance Children’s Book Writing Group (later on shortened to Torrance Children’s Book Writers), the Children’s Book Writers of Los Angeles (CBW-LA) is a non-profit, 501(c)3 organization founded in 2010.

Our primary and official website www.cbw-la.org (http://www.cbw-la.org/joinua).

We would like to encourage you to sign up at www.cbw-la.org (http://www.cbw-la.org/joinua) to avail of our full membership for $30/year or $50/two years.

This group is run by volunteers who work for FREE. Your membership fees are meant to fund all the expenses necessary to keep this group afloat, and to help us organize even more helpful writing events and programs for all.

As a full member, you will receive the following benefits:

1. FREE RSVP’s to all our Critique Sessions/ First Pages Critique Sessions every other month.

Non-members (those on meetup who haven’t registered at cbw-la.org) will have to pay $10 for every critique session they wish to attend.

If you are a member, you automatically save $30 if you wish to attend all our critique sessions.

2. Access to a more regular critique group.

Members who fill out our Critique Group Form will be organized into regular critique groups based on their genre and location.

3. Discounted Price to all our workshops.

Regular workshops are priced at $20. Non-members will pay the full $20.

Members who register early for these events will pay only $10.
Members who choose to pay at the door for the workshop will pay only $15.

4. As a member, you are entitled to the following resources, available ONLY on our www.cbw-la.org website.
• Check out writing contests, challenges and prompts in our Writing Resources section.
• Read summaries of past events and workshops on our Blogs tab.
• RSVP to workshops, panels and critique sessions, using your CBW-LA member discount.
• Check the Events section for other local writing events, including book signings and writing conferences.
• Use the Members Only section to:
o Post any questions about the craft and business of writing on our Forum
o Download copies of Scribblers Scoop, our quarterly newsletter
o Download the latest handouts and worksheets
o Network with other members through the Directory

Once you have registered and paid for your membership at www.cbw-la.org, you will receive a welcome packet containing more information on how to make the most of your CBW-LA membership, along with a complimentary CBW-LA Button and Pen (and tote bag, if you paid for the 2 year membership).

Again, we encourage you to sign up as full CBW-LA members. Through our writing community, you’ll acquire a wealth of knowledge to help you attain your goals, and discover new friends who will accompany and support your budding writing career.

We promise you’ll find your CBW-LA Membership a rewarding experience.


Upcoming events (3)

Online Critique Session

Link visible for attendees


Please register at: https://www.cbw-la.org/event-5080272
to get the zoom link.

This event is Free for registered CBW-LA.org members, and $10 for non-members

Calling All Children's Book Writers: Picture Book, Early Reader, Chapter Book, Middle Grade, Young Adult, New Adult… All 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.


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.

If you are new to critique groups, please read the following:

  1. Our group provides some guidelines and handouts to help you get the most out of the critique. The handouts will aid you in your own revision process by teaching you what to look for while critiquing your own work as well as the works of others.
  2. If you are a CBW-LA member (meaning you have registered and paid for membership via www.cbw-la.org), you may download the critique handouts under the Members Only section on the cbw-la.org website.

If you are not a CBW-LA member, please sign up via cbw-la.org under “Events” and pay the $10 fee.

  1. Please take note of the following policies:

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).

If you wish to attend, please register so we can send you the link. If no one registers by the previous Friday night, we will cancel the event.

If you are going to be late to, or unable to attend our session for any reason, please email us at [masked]. Otherwise we will be unable to read your work that day.

Write a Novel in a Month

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Is it possible to write a novel in 30 days or less? Absolutely!

CBW-LA Critique Leader and prolific writer Glenn Jason Hanna takes on the NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month) almost every month, producing several manuscript drafts of picture books, middle grade and young adult novels as well as graphic novels. In this 3-hour workshop, he will share his techniques, tips, and tricks for getting a manuscript draft done quickly.

Wearing Your Character in Meditation with Henry Lien & Jerry Lee Davis

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Wearing Your Character in Meditation
with Henry Lien & Jerry Lee Davis

Please note that only those registered for this event at www.cbw-la.org will receive the Zoom link and handouts.
*Official CBW-LA Members get a discount on the workshop fee
Register for this event at: https://www.cbw-la.org/event-5242629

Meditation practice for writers usually only involves the writers themselves. However, fictional characters can benefit from meditation as much as their authors can. This workshop has writers role-playing and adopting the persona of their characters as they undergo meditation. The workshop will apply a blend of Eastern meditation techniques to help fictional characters relax emotional muscles they didn’t realize they were clenching, and break on through to deeper truths about themselves in order to enlighten their authors. The workshop utilizes specific, playful, gentle guided meditation exercises paired with writing exercises. This course is co-taught by writing instructor Henry Lien and author, playwright, and meditation instructor Jerry Lee Davis. This workshop is designed to make fictional characters feel seen and make writers more aware of their characters’ inner lives.


Henry Lien is an author from Taiwan, now living in Hollywood, CA. He is a graduate of St. Paul’s School, Brown University, UCLA School of Law, and Clarion West Writers Workshop. He is the author of the award-winning and critically-acclaimed PEASPROUT CHEN middle grade fantasy series. Henry also teaches writing for institutions including UCLA, the University of Iowa, and Clarion West. He previously worked as an attorney and fine art dealer. He is a four-time Nebula/Norton Award finalist and won the UCLA Extension Department of the Arts Instructor of the Year award. Hobbies include writing theme songs for his novels and losing Nebula/Norton Awards. www.henrylien.com

Jerry Lee Davis is a meditation instructor and writer from Appalachia. He is the founder of Meditative Intuitive Sessions in Los Angeles. His first novel TWIN CITY was nominated for the Townsend Prize for Fiction and the Georgia Author of the Year award. In addition, he has written several plays that have received successful stage productions, and has had several of my screenplays optioned.

Register for this event at: https://www.cbw-la.org/event-5242629

Past events (167)

Finding the Story Structure Method that Works For the Story You Want to Tell

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