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The Inklings—Creativity, Collaboration, and Community

MAY 1–2, 2020

The Inklings was a literary discussion group that met between the 1930s and the 1950s. C.S. Lewis, J.R.R. Tolkien, and the other writers would meet weekly at a pub in Oxford, England called the Eagle and the Child. Many of the famous works of literature we know them for today were a result of these friends reading and critiquing each other’s early manuscripts.

Our Square Halo Conference is inspired by this robust fellowship. Our time together will reflect on their creativity, collaboration, and community, while also providing creative and collaborative experiences throughout the event.

Featured contributors to this event include:

  • Bonnie Bosso, director for Servant Stage and Lancaster Academy for the Performing Arts, as well as Theatre Production & Public Relations Manager for Franklin & Marshall College

  • Graham Dennis, Dean of Students and Secondary School Omnibus teacher, Veritas Academy

  • Matthew Dickerson, author of Ents, Elves, and Eriador: The Environmental Vision of JRR Tolkien

  • Hannah Eagleson, author of Walking to Wisdom literature guides to Tolkien, Lewis, and Sayers with Classical Academic Press, and assistant director of InterVarsity’s Emerging Scholars Network

  • Andrew Peterson, singer-songwriter and author of The Wingfeather Saga

  • Christine Perrin, poet and author of Bright Mirror

  • Christie Purifoy, author of Placemaker: Cultivating Places of Comfort, Beauty, and Peace

  • Shawn Smucker, author of The Day the Angels Fell 

  • Donald T. Williams, author of Deeper Magic: The Theology Behind the Writings of C.S.Lewis 

The conference will be held in The Trust Performing Arts Center (37 North Market Street, Lancaster, PA), in collaboration with The Trust Performing Arts Center, The Row House, and Reverie Actor’s Company.

Part of the event will include an exhibition of Inklings-inspired art. More information can be found HERE. If you would like to be considered to be in the show, please contact the Square Halo Gallery.

As an added bonus, Hearts & Minds Bookstore will have one of their incomparable book tables on site to enjoy thoughout the conference.


Tickets are $175 each but on sale for $150 until January 2020 (available to attendees age 13 and older—no childcare is available). To order tickets, CLICK HERE.


The conference is being held walking distance from several fine hotels, including Lancaster Marriott at Penn Square, Holiday Inn, the Lancaster Arts Hotel. There are other quality hotels in driving distance as well as local AirB&Bs.

FRIDAY | May 1, 2020

6 pm — Registration
7 pm — The Row House Forum: Matthew Dickerson | Great Hall
Community, Art, and Meals in Middle-earth: J.R.R.Tolkien’s Response to Gnosticism
9pm — Pub Night Gathering 

SATURDAY | May 2, 2020
8:15 — Breakfast
9 — Plenary Session 1: Donald T. Williams
10 — Coffee Break
10:30 — Breakout Session 1
Hospitality in Middle-Earth: The Welcoming of Strangers Versus the Building of Walls with Matthew Dickerson | Great Hall
Poetics of the Inklings with Christine Perrin | Square Halo Gallery
The Man Born to Be King drama workshop | Board Room
Leaf by Niggle dramatic reading by the Reverie Actor’s Company | Black Box Theater
11:30 — Breakout Session 2
Following in the Inklings’ Footsteps: The Experiences of a Fantasy Writer with Matthew Dickerson | Square Halo Gallery
Writer’s Workshop with Shawn Smucker | Board Room
Leaf by Niggle dramatic reading by the Reverie Actor’s Company | Black Box Theater
12:30 — LUNCH | Box Lunch (provided)
1:15-2:45 Free Time 
Afternoon Tea Gathering | Board Room
Pop-up Printmaking Workshop with Ned Bustard | Trust Foyer
Gallery Art Talk with Katie Joy Nellis | Square Halo Gallery
Leaf by Niggle dramatic reading by the Reverie Actor’s Company | Black Box Theater
3:00 — Plenary Session 2: Donald T. Williams 
4:00 — Breakout Sessions 3
Inklings and Friends: Dorothy Sayers and Other Creators in the Inklings Community with Hannah Eagleson | Great Hall
Discussion with Christie Purifoy | Board Room
CS Lewis and the Space Trilogy with Graham Dennis | Square Halo Gallery
Leaf by Niggle dramatic reading by the Reverie Actor’s Company | Black Box Theater
5:00 — DINNER | On your own at local restaurants

7:00 — Plenary Session 3 (Closing Comments)

8:00 — CONCERT | Andrew Peterson

SUNDAY | May 3, 2020
The Row House will be hosting a “Hobbit Hike” along local trails with Matthew Dickerson Sunday afternoon for any attendees who stick around (lembas bread not included).

Note: This schedule is tentative and subject to change. Additional lectures and activities are currently being planned. If you have specific questions about the conference, please email: