The Inklings were an informal literary discussion group that met in the 1930s and 40s in an Oxford pub called The Eagle and Child. Its members included several noted authors, most famously C. S. Lewis and J. R. R. Tolkien. Poet Hugo Dyson, author Charles Williams, philosopher Owen Barfield, and historian Warren Lewis (the other Lewis's brother) were also members. Dorothy L. Sayers is sometimes referred to as a member, but, while she was friends with Lewis and Tolkien, university literary groups in that era were male-only.
Readings and discussions of members' works in progress was the primary purpose of the group. As a result, many works, including The Lord of the Rings, were first shared within this group of friends. Because of this close association between the authors and their familiarity with each other's work, influences can be seen between them and even shoutouts to (at the time) unpublished works.
Not to be confused with that race of humanoid squid who spray multicolored ink everywhere.