Fractal University hereby inaugurates the Inklings!

We’ll meet at Hungarian Pastry Shop on Mondays from 6-7:30pm for the duration of fall semester, September 25th to November 27th. Yes, to discuss each other’s work. But this is no ordinary writer’s workshop.

No! This is a meeting of peers who are excitedly involved in one another’s stories: co-brainstorming plot, fleshing out worlds, generally unblocking each other. (Famously – as part of the original Inklings – Lewis wrote feedback on Tolkien’s writing in the voices of Middle Earth characters like Samwise and Treebeard.)

We all need to be actually interested in each other’s work for this group to function! So: the application process will specifically select writers who we think will appreciate each other, regardless of genre.

Unpublished writers (like I, Tyler, the host) are especially encouraged to apply.

Apply with a writing sample by Monday, September 20th here.


What’s the structure?

There will be max six members – exactly how many people fit at a table in Hungarian Pastry Shop. Each meeting will begin at 6pm sharp. Best to plan on arriving at 5:45ish to use the bathroom and order coffee (there tend to be long lines for both).

In our first meeting, we’ll each introduce whatever we’re writing. Then we’ll set goals. What would you like to finish by the end of the semester? The second draft of your novel? A short story? A plot outline?

For subsequent weeks, a member will submit (a) a piece they want to workshop and/or (b) a question they want to solve (e.g., “How should I wrap up this plot arc?” “Which character should I cut?”) We’ll critique, encourage, and discuss!

This structure may be modified to fit members’ needs.

Who were the original Inklings?

An obscure group of dead writers in Oxford. Maybe you’ve heard of their outputs: The Lord of the Rings and The Chronicles of Narnia. While Tolkien and Lewis’s academic peers disparaged their stories, the Inklings influenced and enkindled them. Across the 1930s, Tolkien, Lewis, and other Inklings met in the Rabbit Room of The Eagle and the Child pub. There, they shared camaraderie as well as one another’s unpublished works. We’ll follow suit.

Fractal University?

Do you like the idea of community-led classes for people who love to learn? Then FU! (Fractal University 😛)

Hungarian Pastry Shop is so far from Brooklyn, where all the writers live. Why HPS?

Because it’s a holy place for writers. There’s good lighting and bottomless coffee. The walls are covered in the books that have been written on premise. Here’s a picture I just took:


The facilitator

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