The Desert Nights, Rising Stars
Writers Conference

Picture of Cecil Castellucci

Cecil Castellucci

Desert Nights Rising Stars Writers Conference Faculty, 2018

Cecil Castellucci is the award winning author of books and graphic novels for young adults including Boy Proof, The Plain Janes, The Year of the Beasts, Tin Star, and the Eisner nominated Odd Duck. In 2015 she co-authored Moving Target: A Princess Leia Adventure. Her latest Graphic Novel is Soupy Leaves Home. She is currently writing Shade, The Changing Girl, an ongoing comic on Gerard Way’s Young Animal imprint at DC Comics. Upcoming in 2018 is Don't Cosplay With My Heart. Her short stories and short comics have been published in Strange Horizons,, Apex Mag, Black Clock, The Rattling Wall, Womanthology: Space, Star Trek: Waypoint and Vertigo SFX: Slam! She is the Children’s Correspondence Coordinator for The Rumpus, a two time Macdowell Fellow and the founding YA Editor at the LA Review of Books. She lives in Los Angeles.

Selected Media

"The Sound of Useless Wings." Cecil Castellucci, Tor.Com (Jan 28, 2015).

"In this prequel to Tin Star, we meet Heckleck, the Hort alien who befriends Tula Bane on the space station Yertina Feray in her fight for survival. In his modest beginnings, Heckleck is raised to understand that breeding and propagating his own kind is the sole reason for living. When he is called upon to settle on a new planet, he meets the daughter of a politician, Goglu, with whom he falls helplessly in love, and is determined to win over. But nothing is easy in love and space exploration, and when his plans become thwarted, he must find a new way of life."

"The Ides of March." Cecil Castellucci, Rookie (Feb 27, 2013).

 "Late already. And I even woke up early today. Blame something. Blame daylight savings.

Was going to do homework. Forgot. Watched too much YouTube. Just can’t get enough. Science will prove, I’m sure, that I learned more by surfing the web.

“Siwan! Are you going to school in that? At least brush your hair,” Mom says as I grab a banana, kind of mushy, from the fruit bowl.

“Can’t stop.
     Going to be late.
       Growing dreads.
         Quiz first period.
           Party at Mia’s tonight.
             Home late.
               Don’t wait up.
                 Bringing cell phone.
                   Batteries almost dead.”

I am out the door. Was going to run. Too beautiful. Sky too blue. Skipping shortcut. Taking long way. Slowing down. Smelling the roses.


"DC's Young Animal Mixtape." DC Comics (Jun 15, 2017). Shade: The Changing Girl begins on p. 16.

"'"Thanks for seeing me on such short notice, doc. . . . I know it's pretty late in the day.'

'Well, I am neck deep in new responsometers, but the world's greatest mechanical engineer can make a little time for the world's greatest "Rock Person"--Luckily, you were pre-approved access to my bootleg Boom Tube, making your journey to the lab instantaneous--now hold still while I scan your eye--'"

"Watch: Writer Cecil Castellucci on Writing, Princess Leia, Fantasy Comic Shade." Ernie Estrella, SYFY Wire (Apr 14, 2017). Features video.

"Castellucci chatted about her small role in the legacy of Princess Leia, and how the tragic passing of Carrie Fisher affected her. She touched on what it was like to tell her own story in the Star Wars canon. We also chatted with Castellucci about Shade, The Changing Girl, which features an alien with the power of madness who sets up shop in the body of a teenage girl. The first story arc is complete and Castellucci shares what's in store for the second story arc and beyond."

"Cecil Castellucci Explores Depression-Era Teen Wanderlust Soupy Leaves Home with Jose Pimienta." Steve Foxe, Paste (Apr 17, 2017).

"I came up with the character of Soupy in 2008 when I was going through a really rough time and dealing with some dark life stuff, and just kind of wanted to disappear from myself and the situation I was in. There was something about hobo life that appealed to me as I was struggling to figure out my way forward. The lure of leaving and wandering and somehow giving oneself some space to heal from the brutal bruises that life gives you really captured my imagination."