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26th Annual Writer's Symposium by the Sea

Writer's Symposium stage



Interviews with David Brooks, Nadia Bolz-Weber, and Cornel West postponed until 2022. 

Due to COVID-19 and strict requirements for events in California, we have made the decision to postpone our events with David Brooks, Nadia Bolz-Weber, and Cornel West until 2022.

The wonderful news is that each of these writers has agreed to wait and join us! 

For more information about each of these writers, see below.

2021 Schedule update banner

Our plan for Spring 2021 is to coordinate Symposium events on the PLNU campus that will be available for streaming or viewing online. 

We are working on these logistics and we will send an update once details are confirmed. 

We are thankful for your support. We cannot wait to gather together again and to continue to discuss how writing changes people and makes our world a better place.

Writer's Symposium by the Sea, 2022

Coming in 2022 banner
David Brooks headshot


David Brooks is an op-ed columnist for the New York Times. He is a commentator on The PBS NewshourNPR's "All Things Considered" and NBC's Meet the Press.

His books include Bobos in ParadiseThe Social Animal and The Road to Character (a #1 New York Times bestseller). His latest book is The Second Mountain: The Quest for a Moral Life (also a #1 NYT bestseller).

He has worked for The Wall Street JournalThe Weekly Standard, and is a contributing editor for The Atlantic and Newsweek.

Nadia Bolz-Weber photo


Nadia Bolz-Weber is an ordained Lutheran Pastor, founder of House for All Sinners & Saints in Denver, Co and  the author of three NYT bestselling memoirs: Pastrix: The Cranky, Beautiful Faith Of A Sinner & Saint (2013), Accidental Saints: Finding God In All The Wrong People (2015) and SHAMELESS: A Sexual Reformation (2019).

 In 2017, she won the coveted Audience Award at the Nantucket Project. Bolz-Weber has been featured in The New YorkerThe Washington PostNPR’s Morning EditionFresh Air, More, and on CNN and the BBC World Service.

Her latest project is a podcast, The Confessional with Nadia Bolz-Weber, a partnership with PRX and The Moth, which released April 2020.


Film event to feature award-winning films, including interviews with their writers/directors.

Event also to include screening of PLNU Film Contest winners.

More details coming soon.

Cornel West headshot (color)


Cornel West is a prominent and provocative intellectual. He is Professor of the Practice of Public Philosophy at Harvard University and holds the title of Professor Emeritus at Princeton University. He has also taught at Union Theological Seminary, Yale, Harvard, and the University of Paris. Cornel West graduated Magna Cum Laude from Harvard in three years and obtained his M.A. and Ph.D. in Philosophy at Princeton.

He has written 20 books and has edited 13. He is best known for his classics, Race Matters and Democracy Matters, and for his memoir, Brother West: Living and Loving Out Loud. His most recent book, Black Prophetic Fire, offers an unflinching look at nineteenth and twentieth-century African American leaders and their visionary legacies.

Alice Walker at the 25th Annual Writer's Symposium

PLNU's 25th annual Writer's Symposium by the Sea drew a sold-out audience in Brown Chapel to hear Pulitzer Prize-winning author and poet, Alice Walker, talk with journalism professor and host Dean Nelson about a range of topics including her award-winning novel, "The Color Purple," her newest collection of poetry, stories of her childhood, her perspective on racial and gender equality, and so much more.

Watch Video:
Alice Walker at the 25th Annual Writer's Symposium

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Use the links below to follow us on our social media accounts:

Writer's Symposium Video Archive

Click here to view Writer's Symposium by the Sea interviews from past years, recorded by UCSD-TV.

PLNU CAMPUS INFORMATION: Parking is free for all events. Please note that campus parking is limited, so we suggest arriving early to locate a parking spot. Parking lots are indicated on this campus map.


2020 Writer's Symposium Donors

Writer's Symposium by the Sea continues thanks to the support of our donors, who believe in this event and provide financial contributions.

Thank you to the following: 

PLNU Department of Literature, Journalism, Writing, & Languages
Center for Justice & Reconciliation
PLNU Office of Diversity & Black Student Union
Society of Professional Journalists
Oarsmen Foundation
The Rasak Family
Dr. John & Lori Dedic
Mery Olive Bangs Endowment
Larry & Merlene Ellison
Lawrence & Suzanne Hess
The Larry & Kathy Willette Family
Ronald Lauderbach & Kathleen Hurder
Dr. David & Elizabeth Ostrander
Phyllis Skidgel
Daniel K. O'Neill
John Wyman
David & Elinore Vandegrift

Donations are tax-deductible.