The push is heading your way shortly.
Some of the nation’s top writers will be visiting Point Loma Nazarene University from Feb. 20-28 for the 19th annual Writer’s Symposium By The Sea. Dean Nelson, the symposium’s founder and director, said he can almost guarantee the event will make aspiring writers stop thinking about the job and spur them into actually writing.
“I saw it with my own eyes after my interview with [legendary science-fiction writer] 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 PLNU symposium in 2001. He died in 2012.
The latest symposium features 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. Her most recent book is “Silver Star.”
Samuel Freedman, a New York Times religion columnist, will also be present. 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. He has written several books on both race and religion.
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, Anchee Min, Chris Hedges, Rob Bell, Bill Mckibben, Michael Eric Dyson, Gay Talese, Otis Chandler and dozens of others.
“It’s a little like ‘Inside the Actor’s Studio,’ only it’s about writing,” Nelson said. “Our goal is to inspire, encourage and model great writing.”
There will also be practical writing workshops during the symposium.
For tickets and more information, visit www.pointloma.edu/writers.