Fill an auditorium with journalists, bloggers and aspiring writers and what do you get? Probably a whole lot of questions. In this case, that’s the point.

Chapman University’s journalism program, English Department and the Wilkinson College of Arts, Humanities and the Social Sciences are hosting the second annual Orange County Press Club Excellence in Journalism Day conference on Saturday, Sept. 26.

The conference not only brings local talent and national industry speakers together, but serves as a way to build bridges and share ideas between professional and student journalists, and writers, as well as readers, should they care to join. Highlighted this year is the large number of Pulitzer Prize winning reporters and editors speaking, as well as an Emmy-winning multimedia reporter and news editor.

The free conference is supported by the Orange County Press Club, the Los Angeles chapter of the Asian American Journalists Association and the Orange County Register.

“Last year’s event was beneficial for me as a recent Chapman grad, a young writer and working journalist,” said Alyssa Duranty ’14. “I was able to learn techniques from some of the best professionals in the field, became inspired to try new styles of writing and had the opportunity to network with writers across the country. There’s no event like this locally and it would be a huge missed opportunity for students who don’t make it out.”

The conference starts at 9 a.m. in Memorial Hall and there are workshops scheduled in Argyros Forum’s second-floor classrooms throughout the day covering topics like investigative reporting, narrative writing, broadcast journalism, digital journalism and specialty topics.

A special panel discussion – “An Editors’ Conversation: Facing the Future” – will take place in the Memorial Hall auditorium from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. Joe Mathews of Zocalo Public Square in Los Angeles will moderate panelists Rob Curley, editor of The Orange County Register; Jeff Light, editor of the San Diego Union-Tribune; and Mark Katches, editor of The Oregonian will be the panelists. A question-and-answer session will be part of the presentation.

Confirmed featured speakers so far are:

  • Mark Katches, editor, The Oregonian, Pulitzer Prize winner
  • Susan Kelleher, staff writer, The Seattle Times magazine, Pulitzer Prize winner
  • James V. Grimaldi, staff writer, The Wall Street Journal, Pulitzer Prize winner
  • Evelyn Iritani, author, Pulitzer Prize winner
  • James Neff, reporter/author, The Seattle Times, Pulitzer Prize winner
  • Rebecca Kimitch, Torrance Daily Breeze, Pulitzer Prize winner
  • Rob  Kuznia, Torrance Daily Breeze, Pulitzer Prize winner
  • Tom Hallman, The Oregonian, Pulitzer Prize winner
  • Gary Metzker, journalism professor, Chapman University, Pulitzer prize winner
  • Jeff Light, editor, the San Diego Union Tribune
  • Liz Pulliam Weston, author, Ask Liz Weston columnist
  • Doug Barden, news director, KSBY-TV, San Luis Obispo, Emmy winner
  • Rob Curley, editor, OC Register
  • Denice Rios, NPR West Coast editor
  • Martin Reynolds, Local News editor, The Oakland Tribune, representing the Maynard Institute
  • Kimberly Kindy, accountability reporter, The Washington Post
  • Joe Little, multimedia reporter, ABC/10 News, San Diego, Emmy winner
  • Teri Sforza, OC Watchdog columnist, OC Register
  • Rick Young, Watchdog Team editor, San Diego Union Tribune
  • Mary Plummer, education reporter, Southern California Public Radio
  • Martin J. Smith, author, editor, Orange Coast Magazine
  • Darsha Philips, reporter, KABC/7, Los Angeles
  • Dorothy Lucey, Chapman broadcast professor, former Good Day LA host, KTTV/Fox 11, Emmy winner
  • Samantha Dunn, staff writer, author, writing coach, OC Register
  • Claudia Koerner, breaking news reporter, Buzzfeed LA
  • Mark Willard, Fox Sports radio
  • Norberto Santana, publisher, The Voice of OC
  • Gustavo Arellano, editor, OC Weekly
  • Cindy Carcamo, immigration reporter, The Los Angeles Times
  • Cathryn Michon, actress, filmmaker, standup comic, author, Grrl Genius
  • W. Bruce Cameron, columnist, NYT best-selling author, 8 Simple Rules for Dating my Teenage Daughter, A Dog’s Purpose