Dean Nelson

Journalism, Science

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, The Boston Globe, and several other national publications. He has won several awards from the Society of Professional Journalists for his reporting, and he has written or co-written 14 books. Nelson has traveled throughout the world covering stories of human interest.

Some of Nelson’s books include Talk To Me: How To Ask Better Questions, Get Better Answers, and Interview Anyone Like a Pro (2019); God Hides in Plain Sight: How to Find the Sacred in a Chaotic World (2009); and Quantum Leap: How John Polkinghorne Found God in Science and Religion (2011). 

Nelson also hosts the annual Writer’s Symposium By The Sea, where prominent writers come to discuss the craft of writing. He has interviewed Amy Tan, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Ray Bradbury, and dozens of others. 

Nelson grew up in Minnesota and is a die-hard hockey player and fan. He is married to his college sweetheart, Marcia; they have two adult children, Blake and Vanessa.

Festival Years: 2012, 2010, 2016, 2018, 2020, 2021