PLNU ‘Writers Symposium by the Sea’ to celebrate the storytellers
by Mariko Lamb
Published - 02/07/13 - 09:59 AM | 6986 views | 0 0 comments | 6 6 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Midwest humorist, author and radio star Garrison Keillor will be the featured speaker on Feb. 14 at Point Loma Nazarene University as part of the annual “Writer’s Symposium by the Sea” event hosted by the university. Courtesy photo
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Nearly two decades ago, Dean Nelson, founder and director of Point Loma Nazarene University’s (PLNU) journalism program, launched “Writer’s Symposium by the Sea” with an aim to inspire student writers outside the classroom through engagement with the great literary geniuses of this generation.

Over time, the symposium grew into multiple days of lively interviews and practical workshops targeting writers who hoping to rub elbows with successful writers, become inspired to create their own literary works or simply learn about the power of the written word.

“The evening interviews are more like ‘Inside The Actor’s Studio’ and the afternoon workshops are much more practical and applied,” said Nelson. “Several of us throughout the university brainstorm all year long, and the sentence usually begins with a statement like, ‘Wouldn’t it be great if we could get …’ and then the conversation takes off from there.”

After a lot of dreaming, networking and phone calls, the all-star lineup of writers for the symposium is set for the highly anticipated event. This year, the symposium will feature interviews with award-winning religion columnist Cathleen Falsani, U.S. Poet Laureate Billy Collins and PLNU alumni and singer-songwriter Bryan Bangerter, among others.

“When the final event of the symposium is over, I hope members of the audience will be better readers and writers. I hope they will see how much better the world is when people can articulate how beautiful and messy and complicated and scary and deep and wonderful it is to be a human being,” said Nelson. “Good writing connects humanity in a unique way. And if we inspire someone to become a great storyteller, that would be success for us.”

This year’s symposium will kick off on Thursday, Feb. 14 with an evening of monologues and anecdotes by Midwest humorist, author and radio star Garrison Keillor at PLNU’s Brown Chapel. Tickets to the event are $35 to $55 and are available online at www.pointloma.-edu/event/garrison-keillor-returns-plnu-valentines-day-2013 or by calling (866) 745-0575. The event begins at 7 p.m. and doors open at 6 p.m.

But wait, there’s more to come ...

FEB. 25, 7 p.m.

Cathleen Falsani, $10 general admission, students free

FEB. 26, 7 p.m.

Billy Collins, $15 general admission, $5 for students

FEB. 27, 7 p.m.

Acoustic Alumni: An evening conversation with PLNU alums, $10 general admission, students admitted free

All evening interviews will take place at PLNU’s Crill Performance Hall. Tickets are available at or by calling

(866) 745-0575.
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