The Nature of Imagination: The Inklings Essay Contest

The Academy at HBU invites any Houston-area student in sixth through ninth grades to write and submit an original essay addressing some aspect of the Inklings’ use of or analysis of imagination. 

The novels, poems, translations and literary scholarship of the “Inklings” (C.S. Lewis, J.R.R. Tolkien, Dorothy Sayers, Charles Williams and Owen Barfield) left an indelible imprint upon the Western literary tradition. Their friendships with one another gave rise to imaginative projects that have become part of the Western canon. Their writings have inspired a wide array of fiction writers, literary scholars, historians, philosophers, theologians, and artists. Each of the Inklings, in his or her own way, explored the “nature of imagination,” what it is, how it is expressed, and what are its limitations.

Topics could include (but are not limited to):

  • Sources for the Inklings—what authors/works inspired them
  • Imagination in the life of an Inkling—how life experiences shape an Inkling’s imagination
  • Arthurian themes in the Inklings
  • Fantasy worlds in the Inklings
  • Scholarship and Imagination
  • Morality and Imagination
  • Original characters/themes in fiction
  • Less well-known works such as Dorothy Sayers, The Man Born to Be King; S. Lewis, Out of the Silent Planet; J.R.R. Tolkien, The Silmarillion; Charles Williams, War in Heaven; or Owen Barfield, Saving the Appearances

The deadline for submissions is January 15, 2019.

GRAND PRIZE: $250 + autographed book from an HBU author

Plus: additional prizes, including grade-level specific prizes, AND an invitation for essay participants and their families to attend an Awards Ceremony featuring a lecture by Dr. Louis Markos, Professor in English and Scholar in Residence at HBU.

Essay guidelines and submission details can be found here.

© 2018 The Academy at HBU