Writer's Symposium by the Sea

Dean Nelson interviews Jeannette Walls at the Writers Symposium

Writer’s Symposium by the Sea is an annual event that brings interviews with innovative creators, life stories, examples of great writing, and evocative conversation to PLNU that inspire readers and writers alike. 

The evening interviews, conducted by symposium founder Dr. Dean Nelson, feature lively conversations about the stories behind the author’s stories. As a member of the audience, you will get to eavesdrop on these exchanges and perhaps even interact with the writer during a Q&A session. Specialized afternoon workshops, conducted by published writers, provide tips and insight into the writing process. You are invited to join us and listen in on what some of today’s cutting-edge writers have to say!

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Guests for the 2018 Writer's Symposium by the Sea include:

Deepak Chopra head shot

Deepak Chopra - February 19

Warwick's and the Writer's Symposium by the Sea present New York Times bestselling author & Integrative Medicine Pioneer, Deepak Chopra.

Event Time: 7 – 8:30 p.m.

Event Location: Brown Chapel

Event Details: Event to include interview. Book signing to follow interview.

Tickets: Click here to purchase tickets

Jane Smiley Headshot

Jane Smiley - February 20

Pulitzer Prize winning author of A Thousand Acres, Some Luck, Early Warning,The All-True Travels and Adventures of Lidie Newton, and Golden Age.


Event Time: 7 – 8:30 p.m.

Event Location: Crill Hall (located in Cooper Music Center)

Event Details: Event to include interview. Book signing immediately following interview.

Tickets: Click here to purchase tickets

Krista Tippett Headshot

Krista Tippett - February 21

Peabody Award winning author of Becoming Wise, Einstein's God, and Speaking of Faith, and host of the podcast "On Being."


Event Time: 7 – 8:30 p.m.

Event Location: Brown Chapel

Event Details: Event to include interview. Book signing immediately following interview.

Tickets: Click here to purchase tickets

Headshots of the four featured authors during one of the Writer's Symposium events.

Writing Workshop - February 22

Conflicted: Telling the Stories of Conflicts at Home, Abroad, and in the Heart

What does it take to tell the stories of war, life inside an occupied territory, or political, cultural, and racial upheaval within our own borders? We’ve assembled a panel of writers who have gone to the heart of these conflicts in order to tell us what we need to hear and have paid a price for doing it.

We’ll hear from Kelly McEvers, award-winning war correspondent for NPR and now co-host of the national program All Things Considered, and Al Letson, poet, playwright and host of Reveal, the Peabody award winning public radio program showcasing investigative reporting, and host and executive producer of the national program State of the Re:union. They will be joined by Iraq veteran and writer Brooke King, author of the forthcoming memoir Full Battle Rattle, and Jean Guerrero, author of the forthcoming Crux: A Cross-Border Memoir, and investigative reporter for KPBS’ Fronteras.

Why does someone choose to write the most difficult stories? What about the inner conflicts these story-tellers confront and how do these shape the stories they tell us? These are just some of the questions we will explore with our panel members who have experienced and written about some of our world’s most challenging conflicts for the page, theater, film, or broadcast — sometimes more than one of these.


Event Time: 1 – 4 p.m.

Event Location: Fermanian Conference Center

Event Details: Event to include panel, Q&A, and light refreshments

Tickets: Click here to purchase tickets

Kareem Abdul-Jabbar Photo

Kareem Abdul-Jabbar - February 22

After a legendary basketball career, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar has become a celebrated writer in many genres. His new book, Coach Wooden and Me: Our 50-Year Friendship On and Off the Court, reveals the depth of the relationship between player and coach. His columns in Washington Post and Time Magazine reveal the depth of his insight on social and political issues. His books on history reveal his commitment to telling stories that have been largely ignored. His mystery books reveal his unending imagination. He is one of the most sought after speakers in the world on multiple topics. He'll be at the Writer's Symposium to talk about writing.

Sponsored by The Society of Professional Journalists, San Diego Pro Chapter, and The Council on American-Islamic Relations, San Diego Chapter.


Event Time: 6 – 7 p.m. (Please note early start time)

Event Location: Brown Chapel

Event Details: Event to include interview. Book signing immediately following interview (hardcover books only)

Tickets: Click here to purchase tickets

Justin Skeesuck and Patrick Gray Headshot

Justin Skeesuck and Patrick Gray - February 23

Justin Skeesuck (PLNU alumnus) and Patrick Gray are co-authors of I'll Push You: A Journey of 500 Miles, Two Best Friends, and One Wheelchair. The book and accompanying documentary film are based on their extraordinary 500-mile journey on the Camino de Santiago by wheelchair. 


Event Time: 1 – 3:30 p.m.

Event Location: Crill Hall (located in Cooper Music Center)

Event Details: Event to include film screening, Q&A, and light refreshments

Tickets: Click here to purchase tickets

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 indicated on this campus map.

Tickets available now!

Thanks to local bookseller, La Playa Books for partnering with us! Check out their store to pick up books from our guest authors and get your books signed at the 2018 Writer's Symposium.