Samuel Freedman at PLNU Writer’s Symposium
By Amy Williams (SDWI Intern)
Every year students, writers and wannabe writers gather at Point Loma Nazarene University for the Writer’s Symposium by the Sea. Dean Nelson, the head of the journalism department at PLNU sits down with a writer each night for three to four nights and asks them about their craft and success.
Last week, a group of journalists gathered for a dinner with Samuel Freedman, a NY Times columnist, journalism professor at Columbia University, and an award-winning author of books such as “Jew vs. Jew,” “Upon This Rock,” “Who She Was,” and many more.
After finishing his meal in a matter of five minutes (a trait he said a lot of journalists develop), he opened his hands, looked around and said, “Who has the first question?”
He talked about his life, working for the NY Times and he talked about his passion for writing books. His wife sat beside him and helped him answer some questions about the small details.
This easy-going conversation is one that happens annually. Writers like Amy Tan, Anne Lamott and Ray Bradbury talk about their experience with writing, why they first got into it and what they still struggle with along with their successes and what gets them excited.
The main tip that I got away from him was to be totally invested in what I was doing. As a journalist, I need to realize that I’m a journalist. And it’s going to be my job to report on things and to make that my passion.
The best thing about going to one of these symposiums is how real all of the authors are with the audience. They don’t only talk about their success and what they like about writing but they also share how they struggle and how they get through those.
For those of you that are really interested in writing, I highly recommend going to one of these events. These intimate moments with these authors don’t come around often.
For more info on the Writer’s Symposium click here. Go to it next year.