CBW-LA: Children’s Book Writers of Los Angeles

Last June 2010 (partly because I was missing our SCBWI Westside Schmooze and partly because I wanted to join a writing group close to home), I went on meetup.com and started looking for writing groups near where I lived. I saw a couple of groups close by and decided to check out their webpages. The groups I found seemed interesting and very helpful, but I wanted something a little bit more focused on writing for children.

Toni Morrison said: “If there’s a book you really want to read, but it hasn’t been written yet, then you must write it.” I thought the same idea would apply to a writing group.

So, since I couldn’t find writing groups for children’s books writers close to my home, I decided to organize one, and the  Torrance Children’s Books Writing Group was born.

Of course, I didn’t know I had to pay just to organize a group on meetup. I thought, what the heck—I’ve already spent all this time filling out the forms and thinking of what the meetup group would be about, I might as well go through with it. I opted for the monthly payment of $19.99 instead of the discounted annual rate. I figured, well, if nobody’s interested in joining, at least I can say I only spent 20 bucks.

I was so happy, when days later, eight people joined in. I had no idea that a year later, our membership would expand.

We’ve had all sorts of meetings — from creative writing sessions, to critique group sessions, to sessions on plotting, rewriting and writing query letters. While most of our sessions are like mini workshops or classes (complete with handouts and worksheets), every meetup is different. On several occasions, we’ve even had various authors as guest speakers.

Our group meetings are designed to accommodate all of our members needs–whether they are beginning writers who want to know how to start writing a novel, aspiring authors who want to know how to get published, or published authors who want to crossover from their current genre to children’s book writing.

I started the group  in the hopes that I could find kindred spirits, and in the hopes that we could all help each other grow and succeed as writers.  A year later, the group has surpassed all of these expectations and we’ve become more than fellow writers. We’ve become a driven bunch, determined not only to support each other, but to help each other get published.

Early in 2011, we shortened the name Torrance Children’s Books Writing Group to Torrance Children’s Book Writers. As of October, 2012 our group has 260 members and we hope we continue to grow.

We’ve since changed our name to the Children’s Book Writers of Los Angeles (CBWLA) and we’re now officially a nonprofit organization.

You can learn more about us at www.cbw-la.org. You can also check out our various events and activities on our meetup webpage.

cbw-la home page qr code


In case you’re curious about what we do in our meetups, you can check out the following links below.

July 20, 2010 – TCBWG First Meetup

Aug. 11, 2010 (Second Meetup): Writing Workshop and Critique Session Prepping

September 4, 2010 (3rd meetup): Critique Session 1

September 30, 2010 (4th meetup): Creative Writing Session 1

October 23, 2010 (5th meetup): Using Technology To Organize Your Writing Process: Software You Can Use Before, During And After Writing Your Bestseller

November 17, 2010 (6th meetup): Overcoming Writer’s Block

January 29, 2011 (7th meetup): Rewriting Your Manuscript

March 5, 2011 (8th meetup): How to Write a Smashing Query Letter

March 13, 2011 (9th meetup): Leeanne Krusemark Talks About Getting Published

April 23, 2011 (10th meetup): Aura Imbarus Talks About Her Journey to Publication

May 28th, 2011 (11th meetup): Re-energizing Your Writing Passions

July 23rd, 2011 (15th meetup): All About Plotting

August 13, 2011 (16th meetup): Johnny Covey, on Finding The Answers

August 24, 2011 (17th meetup): An Insider’s Look at the Family Entertainment Market/ Symbols and the Dark Side in Children’s Entertainment, Yes You Need Them

November 12, 2011 (20th meetup): Picture Book Bootcamp

December 10, 2011 (21st meetup): First Holiday Party & New Name & Logo Launch

January 14, 2012 (22nd meetup): Get On Your Write Path: Plan Your Writing  Goals & Your Writing Career

March 10, 2012 (24th meetup): Creative Writing Session: Find Your Voice, Style & Learn the Art of Description

July 26, 2012 (30th meetup): Myth, Magic & Madness: Writing for the Children’s Market

August 18, 2012 (31st meetup): What I Wish I’d Known: Avoiding Publishing Pitfalls from Draft to Deal

October 13, 2012 (33rd meetup): Author Chris Lynch on Self-Publishing

March 30, 2013 (42nd CBW-LA meetup): Blogging Workshop with Arlee Bird

May 25, 2013 (44th CBW-LA meetup): Queries, Blurbs, & Loglines: Oh My with YA Author Samantha Combs

June 22, 2013 (45th CBW-LA meetup): Writing Day Anthology Workshop 

July 20, 2013 (46th CBW-LA meetup): Writing Between the Lines: Multiple Revisions Workshops with Carmen Rodrigues

August 17 2013 (48th CBW-LA Meetup): Potent World-Making: What’s Myth Got to Do With It?

September 26, 2013 (50th CBW-LA Meetup): The Write Stuff: A Children’s Book Workshop

January 11, 2014 (54th CBW-LA Workshop): Kickstart Your Writing Career

February 22, 2014 (55th CBW-LA Workshop): Honing Your Middle Grade Voice with Kristen Kittscher

March 29, 2014 (56th CBW-LA Workshop): Novel Writing Bootcamp






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One Response to “CBW-LA: Children’s Book Writers of Los Angeles”

  1. RK Sangha says:

    I like your desire to express yourself and to write. My best wishes and blessings.