Registration is open for 6th Annual CCA Writers’ Conference

Canyon Crest Academy’s Creative Writing Club recently announced that registration is open for the 6th Annual Canyon Crest Academy Writers’ Conference, which will be held on Saturday, March 11, 8 a.m.-4:30 p.m..

All high school students are invited to this free conference which is the only one of its kind in the country. Because of the generous donations by Gold Sponsors -- IDW Publishing, Hamilton College Consulting and Chipotle Carmel Valley -- and Silver Sponsors --High Bluff Academy and PrintNET – and extensive fundraising by the CCA Creative Writing Club, students will enjoy writing workshops by 22 speakers and receive a program, handouts, paper, pen, and even a free lunch.

“This year’s line-up of speakers is incredible,” notes CCA Creative Writing Club president Julia Camilleri. “Attendees will be able to hear from New York Times bestselling and award-winning authors, graphic novel authors creating state-of-the-art work, a Hollywood screenwriter, an Emmy Award- winning creative director/producer, an innovative digital producer for companies around the world, an award-winning journalist, poets, and more.”

More information about the following speakers can be found at:

1.  The morning keynote address will be by Mary E. Pearson, the New York Times bestselling and award- winning author of young adult novels, novellas, and short stories. Her works include the recently completed trilogy, The Remnant Chronicles, which in a starred review, Publisher’s Weekly called “masterfully crafted.” The first book in the trilogy, The Kiss of Deception, was chosen by teens as a 2015 YALSA Top Ten title. Her novel, The Adoration of Jenna Fox, has won numerous awards, is used in classrooms across the country, and has been optioned for film and slated for theaters in 2018. Mary will present Answering the Call: The Fearless Act of Writing – Saving the World One Word, One Voice at a Time.

 2. Cecil Castellucci, author of graphic novels, DC comics, and young adult novels, including The Year of the Beasts, Tin Star, Stone in the Sky and Eisner-nominated Odd Duck, as well as co-author of Moving Target: A Princess Leia Adventure, will present Modern (Super) Heroines.

3.  Kendall Sherwood, LA-based playwright and screenwriter of Major Crimes, a spin-off of TNT’s hit crime series, The Closer, will present Writing for TV.

4.  Harley Jane Kozak, award winning and bestselling author of Dating Dead Men and much more, and actress (Parenthood, Arachnophobia, When Harry Met Sally and more), will discuss Everything You’ve Always Wanted to Know About Writing a Novel but Were Afraid to Ask.

5. Jonathan Maberry is a New York Times bestselling novelist, five-time Bram Stoker Award winner, and comic book artist. His books, Extinction Machine and V-Wars, are in development for TV and movies. He will present The Horror! The Horror!

 6. Chris Hamilton, CEO of Hamilton College Consulting, will present Six Secrets for Great College Essays.

7.  Igor Goldkind, author, lecturer and producer of advanced media technology innovations around the world, will present Speculative Realism.

8. Jim Pascoe is the author of many Buffy the Vampire Slayer comics, 10 novels and the upcoming graphic novel Cotton. He’s also the creative director/producer on Disney/ABC Cable Network Group’s interactive TV program JETIX Cards Live, which won an Emmy award. He will present Writing the Graphic Novel.

9. Viet Mai, educator, artist, consultant and award-winning spoken word poet, will be the Inspirational Speaker of the conference. He will present Life is Poetic.

10. Sylvia Mendoza, award-winning journalist and author of The Book of Latina Women: 101 Vidas (Lives) Passion, Strength and Success and more, will discuss Do You Have What It Takes to be a Journalist?

11. Henry Herz, author of children’s science fiction and fantasy novels Little Red Cuttlefish, Cap’n Rex and His Clever Crew, will present Fractured Fairy Tales.

 12. Courtney Kilian, writer, gentle yoga teacher and founder of Om & Ink: Live, Breathe, Write, will present Giving Your Characters Unique Voices. 

13. Natalie Lakosil, literary agent at the Bradford Agency, will present Getting Published – Query Letters and Agents.

14. Chris Marie Green, author of over 80 works, including contemporary romance, new adult, and paranormal novels, will present Head Over Heels: Everything You Wanted to Know About Romance Writing.

15. Matt Wolf, bestselling author of the young adult fantasy series The Ronin Saga, will present Grand World Building in Fantasy.

16. Greg Van Eekhout, award-winning author of six published novels, including the Daniel Blackland series and two dozen short stories, will present Friends and Enemies and Everyone in Between.

17. James Matlack Raney, award-winning author of the Jim Morgan series and Lord of the Wolves, will present Fast and Furious: Writing Great Action Scenes.

18. Lisa Kessler, Amazon bestselling and award-winning author of dark paranormal fiction, will present Hone Your Craft with Flash Fiction.

19. Aleta Barthell, award-winning playwright, teaching artist, drama teacher and founder of the youth theater education program Kids Act, will present How Do I Start My Play? A Picture is Worth a Thousand Words.

20. T. Greenwood, award-winning author of 11 novels, including Bodies of Water and The Golden Hour, will present Whose Story is This? Point of View and Narrative Voice.

21.  Laura Preble, award-winning author of the Queen Geek Social Club series and Out, will present The Plot’s the Thing.

22.  Esteben Ismael, award-winning poet, editor and writing instructor, whose work has appeared in many literary journals, will present Through the Eyes of a Poet: Powerful Observations, Strong Voices. 

Registration is required and students can register at

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.