Annual Writer’s Event in February

| January 7, 2014 | 0 Comments


Anne Lamott, whose best-selling books include “Bird By Bird,” will speak at the Symposium. Photo courtesy of Sam Lamott.

Anne Lamott, whose best-selling books include “Bird By Bird,” will speak at the Symposium. Photo courtesy of Sam Lamott.

Anne Lamott and Jeannette Walls Headline

You know that novel you keep intending to write, or that collection of poems you keep saying you’ll start, or that blog you keep thinking about developing, or that memoir your family keeps telling you to do, but you just haven’t gotten that final push to get going? The push is heading your way in a few weeks.

Some of the nation’s top writers will be coming to San Diego February 20 through 28 for the 19TH annual Writer’s Symposium By The Sea at Point Loma Nazarene University. Dean Nelson, the Symposium founder and director, can almost guarantee it will make you stop thinking about writing and will get you to actually write.

“I saw it with my own eyes after my interview with Ray Bradbury,” Nelson said. “My wife, who is an accountant, had never shown any interest in writing until then. But when Bradbury was done, she went home and wrote.”

Bradbury was a guest at the Symposium in 2001. He died in 2012.

The Symposium coming up includes Anne Lamott, whose best-selling books include “Bird By Bird; Operating Instructions”; and more recently “Help, Thanks and Wow; Stitches; Traveling Mercies”; Plan B; and several novels.

In addition to Lamott, the Symposium will include Jeannette Walls, whose book “The Glass Castle” was on the New York Times bestseller list for 100 weeks. It is being made into a movie starring Jennifer Lawrence.

Samuel Freedman, a New York Times religion columnist, will also be at the Symposium. His most recent book is “Breaking the Line,” which chronicles the football season of two black colleges that changed both the sport and the civil rights discussion in America.

Also appearing is Siddhartha Mukherjee, a Columbia University cancer researcher, who won the Pulitzer Prize for his book on cancer, “The Emperor of All Maladies.”

Donald Miller, author of Blue Like Jazz, will conduct a two-day conference called Storyline, at the end of the Symposium.

The format for most of the events is conversational, with Nelson interviewing the writers about their work and their craft. Most of those interviews are broadcast on UCSD-TV.

Past guests have included Bill Moyers, Billy Collins, Mary Karr, Luis Urrea, Garrison Keillor, Dave Eggers, George Plimpton, Roy Blount Jr., Rick Reilly, Chitra Divakaruni, Kathleen Norris, Joseph Wambaugh, Christopher Buckley and dozens of others.

There will also be practical writing workshops during the Symposium. Tickets and more information are at

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