I can think of only one place where you’ll find three of the most important cultural voices of our time, all in one location. People expect us to bring in good writers for our annual Writer’s Symposium By The Sea, but do they expect us to bring in three in a row, all at this level of quality? We may have outdone ourselves this year.

Dave Eggers almost never gives public interviews. But he’s coming on Feb. 29, and he’s letting me interview him in front of an audience of about 350. Those tickets are almost gone. It won’t be videotaped, either, so it’s a once in a lifetime event! It will be heartbreaking! It will be staggering! It will be genius! (I channelled him a little just now.)

Chris Hedges is a fearless reporter who has covered wars in Somalia, Central America, the Balkans, the Middle East and Asia. He has been captured and imprisoned twice. He and I both spoke at an event a couple of years ago at Amherst on The Future of Journalism, and I thought he was incredible then. He has since been very involved in the Occupy Wall Street movement and he recently sued President Obama for keeping suspects in remote prisons around the world, without bringing charges against them. He was trained at the Harvard Divinity School, and now speaks out about war, love, fascism in America, literacy, spectacle vs. substance, and on and on. He’s one of the most fascinating people you’ll meet. He’ll be here on Feb. 28.

And starting off the Symposium on Feb. 27 is Rachel Held Evans, a brilliant writer and thinker who writes about faith, science, fundamentalism, womanhood, with a boldness that is refreshing. She has gotten into some very public debates with bullies of Christian faith, and she gives encouragement to those who are willing to ask tough questions.


Also, there will be workshops on writing about True Crime, and about the future of publishing.

Most of our past Symposium events are available through our media partner, UCSD-TV. Are these events popular? They have been downloaded from the UCSD site more than 1.3 million times. We even have a fan in a monastery in southern France.

Tickets are available here.