Breakout Sessions (2019 ARCHIVED)

Breakout Session 1 (Saturday, 11:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.)

When Two Worlds Collude: Narnia & Middle-Earth

Joseph Pearce

In this session, we will look at the creative fruits of the friendship between Tolkien and Lewis, focusing on their shared philosophy of myth and how this manifests itself in their respective works.



Wisdom for the Journey from the Women of Narnia

Christin Ditchfield

Polly, Susan, Lucy, Aravis, and Jill — Lewis’s heroines are so much more than fairy princesses!

In their strengths and in their weaknesses, as they journey toward Aslan’s country, they set powerful examples that provide real-world wisdom for us all.


Scott KeyC.S. Lewis College Great Books Session: ‘What is Enlightenment’ by Immanuel Kant

Scott Key, Facilitator

In the short essay “What is Enlightenment?” the most important thinker of the 18th century, Immanuel Kant, provided a very revealing answer to this very important question. Kant’s answer shaped the thinking of the modern era. It is only in our day that the implications of his answer are becoming clear.

This seminar will examine Kant’s answer in light of a Biblically shaped worldview and in light of the ways his answer has shaped our own cultural moment.

Note: The essay should be readily available online. Each participant is encouraged to read the essay before attending the seminar.


The Apologetic Power of Friendship

Jason Smith

Our world is ever-more interconnected through social technology, yet studies report record levels of loneliness. We crave connection; we know the antidote is friendship; but for many of us, friendship has become elusive.

This session mines Chesterton, Tolkien, and Lewis for insight into finding good friends and becoming a good friend in order to serve our lonely world.

C.S. Lewis: A Writer’s Life

Lancia E. Smith

(Writers Session) After the dust of acclaim is wiped away and the accolades dim, what was the writing life for C.S. Lewis really like? Was it all pipes and pints with the Inklings at the Bird and the Baby? Was he just born with a photographic memory and a golden pen from which he blissfully inked the canon of his extraordinary work?

What part did suffering, death, duty, and discipline play in creating some of the most profound and influential literary works of the 20thcentury?  Lancia E. Smith, explores some of the least known elements of Lewis’s life and gives us a clearer understanding of the writing life of the man who gave us Narnia.

Special Writers Track Session (Saturday, 1:15 – 2:15 p.m.

The Writer’s Journey — A Creative Quest

Christin Ditchfield

Much like the hero’s journey, the writer’s journey begins with a call to adventure and leads to a series of challenges, trials and temptations — all to be overcome for the promise of victory and reward.

Drawing on decades of experience as a professional writer, Christin offers practical tips, tools, and techniques to help you succeed in your own creative quest!

This is a special extra session added for writers.


Breakout Session 2 (Saturday, 3:30 – 4:30 p.m.)

Joy in the Journey: The Creative Courtship of Mr. and Mrs. Lewis

Andrew Lazo and Patti Callahan Henry

In this interactive and highly engaging session, Patti Callahan and Andrew Lazo will talk about the relationship that made Joy Davidman Lewis’s last, and maybe most important, collaborative partner. They’ll reveal previously-unknown facts about the two authors and discuss their fascinating detective work while doing research into the literary love life of Davidman and Lewis.

Patti and Andrew will especially explore how the couple met and fell in love through writing to and with each other. They’ll also take questions from attendees as they share their deep love for Joy and her irreplaceable, irrepressible role in Lewis’s last years.


Past Watchful Dragons: A Writer’s Guide

Jason Smith

(Writers Session) Lewis & Tolkien are famous for authoring modern genre fiction that brims with smuggled theology. As anyone who has picked up a book by one of their unsuccessful imitators knows, that’s more difficult than the Inklings made it look!

This session explores their techniques for introducing readers to Christ through subcreated worlds where He is “known by another name.”

Scott KeyC.S. Lewis College Great Books Session – ‘Is Theology Poetry’ by C.S. Lewis

Scott Key, Facilitator

“Is Theology Poetry?” was first presented to the Oxford University Socratic Club on November 6, 1944. As Lewis tells us in the opening paragraph, this essay is in response to a question. This question reflects, in many ways, the modern world shaped by Immanuel Kant in his full philosophy and as reflected by his short essay, “What is Enlightenment?”

By the middle of the 20th Century, enlightenment had come to mean that theological assertions were not assertions about reality but, rather, were understood to be expressions of emotional feelings divorced from reality.

The question, Is Theology Poetry? Is intended to trap Lewis. If he argues that theology is not poetry then it must reflect an empirical encounter with the physical world which, at least on the face of it, seems ludicrous. If theology is poetry then it must reflect, at best, an emotional response to reality but, as such, it cannot be understood as true in any careful sense of the term.  So, Lewis faces a logical challenge.

This seminar will examine how Lewis addresses and answers this perplexing question.

Note: The essay should be readily available online. Each participant is encouraged to read the essay before attending the seminar.

melanie-authorCommunity Connections Every Writer Needs

Melanie Stiles

(Writers Session) A prominent quote from Lewis’ work, The Weight of Glory, reads, “We meet no ordinary people in our lives.” If we were to read on, we would learn the reference is intended to increase our focus on the God-image residing within each individual we encounter. All people can be considered unique, purposeful and extraordinary in some way.

With an eye for detail and an innate curiosity, most writers can’t help but recognize at least some type of beauty in every human. The real challenge comes in their attempts to recognize and find a specific community that supports, inspires and furthers their own particular creative pursuits. Not everyone can meet that criteria.

Join Melanie in an interactive session to identify the critical community connections you need to achieve your specific writing goals. Isn’t it time to gather your tribe?


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