Canyon Crest Academy’s Creative Writing Club announces 8th Annual CCA Writers’ Conference


Canyon Crest Academy’s Creative Writing Club recently announced the 8th Annual CCA Writers’ Conference which will be held on Saturday, Feb. 23, 8 a.m.-4:30 p.m..

High school students from all over San Diego County and neighboring areas are welcome to this event, the only free writing conference for high school students in the U.S. Every year, over 200 students attend from Chula Vista to Oceanside, La Jolla to Santee, and even as far away as Ramona. Attendees will even receive a free lunch from Jersey Mike’s Subs.

Creative Writing Club co-president Prisha Kukkal notes, “Writing conferences normally cost hundreds of dollars. The club works hard all year long so that we can offer this great event for free to attendees.”

New speakers are added every year and 2019 is no different.

Nick Zayas

Nick Zayas, a writer for both film and television, will present: Writing for Film and TV. A graduate of Florida State University’s film school, Zayas spent years working for legendary film producer Scott Rudin before transitioning to TV. He spent three seasons as a writer on the TNT drama Major Crimes, and currently writes on the upcoming Star Trek: Picard from CBS All Access. This year, he sold his feature Time Central to Netflix, where he is currently doing a rewrite, and also has a development deal with AMC.

Stephanie Diaz, author of the Extraction series, a young adult sci-fi trilogy published by Macmillan, will present Building a Sci-fi World. Diaz lives in San Diego with her husband, writing stories and working as a freelance editor. She graduated from San Diego State University with a degree in film production.

Margaret Dilloway and Barrie Summy will present: MG vs. YA Cage Match: Which One Are You Writing, and How Can You Tell? Dilloway writes both fantasy and contemporary middle grade novels. Her first, Momotaro: Xander and the Lost Island of Monsters, published by Disney-Hyperion, won the ALA’s Asian/Pacific Librarians Honor Award for Middle Grade Literature. She’s also the author of four critically-acclaimed women’s fiction novels, and won the ALA’s Literary Tastes Award for Best Women’s Fiction.

Summy, the author of The Disappearance of Emily H., and the I So Don’t Do mystery series (all from Random House), earned degrees in French, Canadian literature, and speech/language pathology before realizing she wanted to write middle-grade mysteries.

Shaina Krevat, author of Tales of Mundane Magic, will present Shaina’s Declassified Self-Publishing Survival Guide.

Krevat, a graduate of CCA, is a software engineer at YouTube, living the dream of working for the company she used to upload to when she thought she was going to be a film director/YouTube creator. She graduated from UC Berkeley with a bachelor of arts degree in computer science, which she views as a perfect metaphor for the combination of art and programming in her life.

The club is delighted that some speakers return year after year, inspired by the attendees who love writing so much that they are willing to spend their free Saturday in writing workshops.

Six-time speaker Greg van Eekhout, author of seven novels for audiences ranging from adult to middle grade, including his latest science fiction adventure, Voyage of the Dogs, will present: Seeing the World Through Your Character’s Eyes. van Eekhout’s work has been nominated for the Nebula Award for Best Short Story and the Andre Norton Award for Best Science Fiction and Fantasy.

van Eekhout says, “San Diego is going to have more than its fair share of published authors in the future because of this conference.”

Students should follow the CCA Writers Conference on Facebook to learn when registration will go live and to keep up to date as speakers are added.

The CCA Creative Writing Club is looking for individual and corporate sponsors. Individuals can sponsor a student for as little as $25, or become a Gold Sponsor for more. Sponsors can email for more information on how to contribute.

The Mysterious Galaxy Bookstore will sell speakers’ books with a portion of the proceeds going to the conference.

The conference will take place in the Proscenium Theater and Media Center, Canyon Crest Academy, 5951 Village Center Loop Road, San Diego, CA 92130. Registration is required. The event is for high school students only, and is free.

Stephanie Diaz
Barrie Summy
Margaret Dilloway