Registration is open for online CCA Writers’ Conference

Author Abdi Nazemian

Author Abdi Nazemian

(Marc OHrem-Leclef/Marc OHrem-Leclef)

Canyon Crest Academy’s Creative Writing Club recently announced that registration is open for the 9th Annual CCA Writers’ Conference which will be held online on Saturday, May 23 and May 30.

Students will be able to participate in multiple workshops including: characterization, horror writing, flash fiction, plotting murder mysteries, playwriting, college essay writing in the time of COVID-19, and more.

Sophie Camilleri, president of the Creative Writing Club, said, “I am thrilled that we were able to continue with the conference despite the current situation. It was so disappointing to have to cancel the event, and I am beyond grateful that so many authors and students were willing to support an online option for this year. Due to the online format, the conference will now be accessible to students in grades 7 to 12 throughout the country. I hope many students are able to take advantage of this resource and take the time to improve their writing skills through our inspirational workshops.”

Many of the speakers who were scheduled to speak in March are presenting their workshops via Google Meet:

Aleta Barthell, a playwright/screenwriter/teacher. Her play, Night Witches: Flight Into Fantasy, was a part of the New Village Arts Theatre’s “2019 Final Draft Festival.” She is a teaching artist with Playwrights Project and founder of the youth theater education program, Kids Act, at New Village Arts Theatre. She will present: Playwriting - Where to Start?

Cecil Castellucci, the New York Times bestselling author of books and graphic novels for young adults including Shade, The Changing Girl, Boy Proof, Soupy Leaves Home, The Year of the Beasts, Tin Star, The Female Furries, and Odd Duck. She will present Creating Comic Books and Graphic Novels along with:

Alonso Nunez, founder and executive director of Little Fish Comic Book Studio, a nonprofit comic art studio and advocacy group, and a graduate of the School of Visual Arts, majoring in comic illustration. A third generation San Diegan, Nunez has always had a passion for the comic art form in all its various styles, genres and applications; he channels that now as a comic professional and an advocate for the comic medium.

Christopher Hamilton is the CEO and Head of Faculty at Hamilton Education, which offers a full-range of educational services for students in grades 5-12, including test Prep, college counseling, AP help and more. He will present: College Essays in the Time of COVID-19.

Kathy Krevat, author of the bestselling Chocolate Covered Mystery series and Gourmet Cat Mystery series, will present: Let’s Plan a Murder (Mystery).

Natalie Lakosil, an agent at Bradford Literary Agency who represents all ages (PB, chapter book, MG, YA) of children’s literature (fiction and nonfiction), adult cozy mystery/crime, female-driven thrillers, and upmarket women’s/general fiction. She will present: Publishing Your Writing.

Jonathan Maberry, a New York Times bestselling author, 5-time Bram Stoker Award-winner, and comic book writer. His vampire apocalypse book series, V-Wars, starring Ian Somerhalder (Lost, Vampire Diaries) premiered as a Netflix original series in 2019. He writes in multiple genres including suspense, thriller, horror, science fiction, fantasy, and action; and he writes for adults, teens and middle grade. He will present: The Horror! The Horror!

Abdi Nazemian, author of two young adult novels, Like a Love Story and The Authentics. His novel, The Walk-In Closet, won the Lambda Literary Award for LGBT Debut Fiction. His screenwriting credits include the films The Artist’s Wife, The Quiet, and Menendez: Blood Brothers, and the television series The Village and Almost Family. He has been an executive producer and associate producer on numerous films, including Call Me By Your Name, Little Woods, The House of Tomorrow and Scotty and the Secret History of Hollywood. He will present: Using Personal Experience in Your Writing.

Laura Preble, author of the new novel Anna Incognito and award-winning author of the young adult series, Queen Geek Social Club (Penguin/Berkley Jam). She will present: Main Character Meet and Greet.

Marivi Soliven, author of 17 books. Her debut novel The Mango Bride (Penguin, 2013) won Grand Prize at the Palanca Awards, the Philippine counterpart of the Pulitzer Prize, and has been translated into Spanish and Tagalog. To highlight the need for Own Voices stories, she organized Centering The Margins: Conversations with Writers of Color in March 2019. She will present: Done in a Flash – Flash Fiction.

Nick Zayas, a writer for both film and television. 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. Last year, he sold his feature Time Central to Netflix, and also has a pilot script deal with AMC. He will present: Writing for Film and TV.

Students can register and see more information at

The CCA Creative Writing Club works year round to raise funds to keep the event free and appreciates the support of its sponsors: Fairmont Grand Del Mar, Hamilton Education, San Diego Writers and Editors Guild, UC San Diego Extension, Jimbo’s… Naturally!, San Diego Book Awards, and Doubletree by Hilton – San Diego-Del Mar.

Speakers’ books are available on the Mysterious Galaxy Bookstore website at: Mysterious Galaxy has supported the CCA Conference since the conference began in 2012.