To popular culture, the C.S. Lewis we all know and respect was an impressive figure. Inspiring writer, revolutionary thinker and moral Christian scholar, we often place C.S. Lewis on an inaccessible podium with lifetime achievements and cultural influence unimaginable to the ‘normal’ person. However, delving slightly deeper into C.S. Lewis’ life and background you may find your initial assumptions of him may be slightly skewered.
“Experience: that most brutal of teachers. But you learn, my God do you learn.”
Born on 29 November 1898, Clive Staples Lewis grew up in Ireland. He found himself unhappy at school following the tragic loss of his mother at the age of 10. He went on to fight in the front line during the First World War where he was wounded in the trenches and ended up losing one of his best friends in the conflict. What’s more, although being brought up a Christian, Lewis drifted from faith at age 15, only returning upon his role as an academic at Oxford University.
“Hardship often prepares an ordinary person for an extraordinary destiny.”
Surprisingly, C.S. Lewis’ life wasn’t filled with spectacular moments or strokes of good fortune. He struggled with bereavement, doubt and poverty. Yet his published works have stood the test of time, continuing to captivate the hearts and minds of readers all over the world, influencing Christian apologists and scientists and inspiring new and emerging authors.
“There are far, far better things ahead than any we leave behind.”
Lewis marked his legacy through challenging the skeptics and the critics. He tackled issues that had never been so boldly and convincingly dissected; imprinting new thoughts into the reader and challenging ways to live. Maybe it was the challenges that Lewis faced that made him such a strong writer, maybe it’s because he himself drifted in and out of doubting his faith throughout his life. Maybe his feelings and experiences, appearing to be a stumbling block, were actually the keys to his success.
“Only a real risk tests the reality of belief.”
It’s to this introduction, that on 2 July 2015, GOODFRUIT is launching the C.S. Lewis Literary Contest in collaboration with threads. It’s a contest searching for the three writers who want to publish stories they have written or are working on. GOODFRUIT is a new way for culture-makers -like writers – to bring stories to life by raising seed-funding and a passionate team to help publish them. The C.S. Literary Contest will be calling for Fiction and non-Fiction writers to step into the shoes of C.S. Lewis, to write and publish books with imagination and meaning, to challenge the hearts of readers and to bring their stories to fruition.
With just over a month until the callout, now is the time to get thinking about that idea you/your friend/your aunt had for that book! Keep an eye out for more details later in the month!