By Morgan Smith, Faith Editor
“Write about what really interests you, whether it is real things or imaginary things, and nothing else,” C.S. Lewis.
For years, science-fiction and fantasy writers have taken inspiration from “The Chronicles of Narnia” author C.S. Lewis and J.R.R. Tolkien, the author of the “Lord of the Rings” series.
English professor Dr. Lindsey Panxhi was recently inspired by the authors to start a new group on campus, known as Inklings.
“The name comes from an original group of writers and authors who would meet in Oxford,” Panxhi said. “Two of the most famous members of the group were C.S. Lewis and J.R.R. Tolkien.”
Inklings hosted its first meeting at the end of the Fall 2016 semester, and has continued to meet every two weeks since the beginning of the Spring semester.
In keeping with the spirit of the original Inklings, meetings alternate between reading and discussing well-known works of science-fiction and fantasy as well as original fiction written by members.
“When I came to OBU I wanted to create a group were people could meet together and discuss the works of those writers, but also continue in their legacy of writing fantasy and Christian literature as well,” Panxhi said.
Inklings is open to all OBU students.
Anyone interested in participating in the group can e-mail Dr. Panxhi at firstname.lastname@example.org.
“As long as you’re interested in these subjects and want to be writing in the Christian fantasy, science fiction genre we’d love to have you join and visit a meeting, even if you’re just curious,” she said.
Panxhi said she hopes to provide encouragement for new writers, while also helping them to develop their stories.
“I think that often times if writers try to go out on their own, eventually they lose the will and focus to do it, but I think the accountability of a group is a great help,” Panxhi said.
Creative writing majors Andrew Wright and Sarah Combes are two of the students who have been involved in Inklings since its formation.
For Wright, Inklings has been a good follow-up to his creative writing classes.
“I’ve already finished all of the core writing classes at OBU, and I have really missed the workshopping,” he said. “It’s really awesome to get involved with another group of like minded writers.”
Combes said she has enjoyed being a part of group.
“Being a part of Inklings has been great,” she said. “I’m not a part of many groups or clubs, but I am incredibly happy that I chose the Inklings because of the people.”
Like Wright, Combes said she enjoys the feeling of community within the group.
“It’s so much more than what it might seem,” Combes said. “It’s a group of readers and writers that long for good communication between similarly minded students.”
Panxhi said she hopes to continue Inklings in the future, but said it may have to divide into two groups if it grows large enough.