Canyon Crest Academy’s Creative Writing Club announces 11th Annual CCA Writers’ Conference keynote speaker

Keynote Speaker Michael Gaulden
Keynote Speaker Michael Gaulden

Canyon Crest Academy’s Creative Writing Club recently announced that author and public speaker Michael Gaulden will be the keynote speaker for the 11th Annual CCA Writers’ Conference. It will be held in person on Saturday, March 19 and online on Sunday, March 20, 2022. This event is the only free writing conference for high school students in the country. Registration will open in January 2022.

Gaulden says, “It is an honor to present for the 11th Annual CCA Writers Conference! I wish I was fortunate enough to attend such a wonderful opportunity in my adolescence. I believe it is imperative for the youth of today to learn about the importance of storytelling. Even more so about the significance of writing their own story and subsequently being the author behind their own fate. Writing is a journey that will take you places. I am excited to share my own story. I am thrilled to see how far our next generation of writers will go.”

Michael Gaulden received his bachelor of arts degree from the University of California, Los Angeles. He is a former qualitative and quantitative researcher for UCLA’s Black Male Institute, a research institution. He is the current CEO of Creating First Impressions, a communications and work readiness organization for homeless, foster care, juvenile courts, and all disadvantaged youth. Creating First Impressions also focuses on homeless outreach. Gaulden is a professional public speaker and the debut author of “My Way Home” a memoir that chronicles growing up homeless in the inner-city. Gaulden’s debut picture book is slated to be released in apring 2022.

The co-presidents of the Canyon Crest Academy Creative Writing Club are excited for this year’s event. Isabella Hirst said, “We’re so grateful to be continuing the conference for its 11th years, and eager to take what we’ve learned in past years to hold both a virtual and in-person conference.

Abigail Tangonan noted, “We’re so happy to have the inspirational Michael Gaulden give our keynote address. His determination to escape homelessness and build a successful life for himself and his family is a story everyone should hear.”

The CCA Writers’ Conference was started in 2012 by a student who attended the SDSU Writers Conference and wanted to bring the same inspirational and educational workshops to her peers. It has become an important institution in the San Diego area, regularly welcoming over 200 students from up to 40 high schools.

In order to continue to provide this free experience to high school students, 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.

Students interested in the conference should follow @ccawritersconf on Twitter, @ccacreativewriting on Instagram, or CCA Writers Conference on Facebook.

The conference will take place in the Educational Center, Canyon Crest Academy, 5951 Village Center Loop Road, San Diego, 92130. Registration is required.