Writing From- and For- your Life - Rancho La Puerta
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Writing From- and For- your Life

Week of May 11, 2019

If you have ever wondered whether you had a story to tell, something to say, some memories to explore, a desire to write a memoir, family history, or anything else, this workshop will give you the tools to overcome your resistance and fear, help you see more clearly that we all have stories to tell, and awaken the writer in you. We will do some kind of writing in each session, and explore stories that are done well.

What is a Story, Why Do Stories Matter, and Why Does YOUR Story Matter?

What Keeps Us From Writing? What Should You Write About? There Are Many Reasons to NOT Write. We’ll Face Them and Defuse Them.

What Makes a Good Story Good? And How Do You Apply Those Principles to Your Own Stories?

Are There Any Tools and Rules? Of Course There Are. We’ll Learn Them and Break Some Of Them.

Advice, Inspiration from Great Writers, and Making a Plan. Your Writing Life Has Just Begun!


Dean Nelson is the founder and director of the journalism program at Point Loma Nazarene University in San Diego. He writes occasionally for the New York Times (mostly travel writing), the Boston Globe, San Diego Magazine, Sojourners, and several other national publications. He has won several awards from the Society of Professional Journalists, and has written or co-written 14 books. Nelson is a frequent speaker at writing workshops and retreats. He has traveled throughout the world covering stories of human interest — India, where he wrote about the slums of Mumbai; Kosovo, where he interviewed and wrote about victims of terrorism; Tanzania, where he wrote about members of the Black Panther Party who live in exile; Tibet, where he wrote about religious persecution; Central America, where he wrote about poverty and contaminated water; New Orleans, where he wrote about the immediate aftermath of Hurricane Katrina; Haiti, where he wrote about the aftermath of the 2010 earthquake; Iceland, where he wrote about the literary scene there; Croatia, where he wrote about a part of Europe that is trying to reinvent itself after the breakup of the Soviet Union; Rome, where he wrote about the Canonization of Mother Teresa, and elsewhere.   His book on the seven sacraments, God Hides in Plain Sight: How to Find the Sacred in a Chaotic World, was published by Brazos Press in 2009. His most recent book is Quantum Leap: How John Polkinghorne Found God in Science and Religion, published in 2011 by Lion-Hudson Press of Oxford, England.  In addition to directing the PLNU journalism program, Nelson also hosts the annual Writer’s Symposium By The Sea, where prominent writers come to discuss the craft of writing. Many of those interviews are available for viewing on UCSD-TV’s website. They have been broadcast worldwide.