- Community. To provide an online home for all persons interested in J.R.R. Tolkien's The Silmarillion, including writers, artists, researchers, and readers. We strive to create a place that is comfortable and useful for both newcomers to The Silmarillion and to those who are well immersed in it.
- Creativity. To establish a writing archive where writers of Silmarillion-based fiction, non-fiction, and poetry can collect their works, enjoy the writing of others, engage in discussion, obtain feedback, and connect with other Tolkien fans. To offer events and challenges that promote creativity in all art forms.
- Encouragement. To foster an environment that is supportive of all SWG members in their endeavors, no matter their experience, knowledge, or abilities. We strive to maintain a group where kindness and diplomacy are the norm, where drama and "wank" are discouraged, where authors and artists can be comfortable in honing their skills in their particular crafts.
- Understanding. To strive toward a better understanding of the works of J.R.R. Tolkien and our relationships to those works. Through our writings and discussions, we aim to encourage thoughtful assessments of canon, as well as the fandom culture in which our study and creativity occurs, and the intersection of the two.
- Knowledge. To create a reliable set of references to aid others wishing to learn more about Tolkien's works, the craft of writing, and fandom culture. Through these references, we seek also to encourage readers new to The Silmarillion to understand the beauty and wonder of this book that has captivated us.
- Connectivity. To recognize that we are only a single small group in a vast online community and to work toward connecting and sharing with the Tolkien fandom at large, as well as aiding members in finding groups and resources that meet their needs where the SWG cannot.
- Service. To recognize that the SWG's most basic and essential purpose is to serve its membership base. The SWG is nothing without its members, who choose to share their time, energy, and passion with us and deserve a group that first hears their voices and then meets their needs by offering user-friendly services.
The Silmarillion Writers' Guild was founded in March of 2005 by Dawn Felagund. An utter newbie to both Middle-earth and the slightly scarier realm of fandom, Dawn was probably the last person who should have announced her entrance into both by starting a group as ambitious as the SWG. However, in a fit of bravery--or foolishness--that is just what she aspired to do.
Having found her creative passion increasingly ignited by The Silmarillion--not the more-popular The Lord of the Rings--Dawn was perplexed by the fact that there was no single archive devoted to Silmarillion-based writing and art. The few groups devoted to The Silmarillion had grown by and large inactive. The most prolific and thoughtful Silmarillion writers were no longer saying much, and the remaining Silmarillion fans found themselves scattered between numerous Tolkien groups and archives with no home to call their own, often unaware of the existence of each other. So Dawn founded the SWG to fill this noticeable void in the Tolkien fandom.
In its first four months of existence, the SWG did little except huddle, awaiting discovery, in the dark corners of the Internet while Dawn completed work on her novel. It was eventually found, however, and by July 2005 had two members in addition to its founder. Flattered that her group had been discovered, Dawn asked these members for their thoughts on the direction they would like the group to take and found an enthusiastic and outspoken correspondent in Uli, or Ford of Bruinen. Realizing that Uli had years of experience in fandom to her … well, none, Dawn asked Uli if she would like to be a co-moderator of the group, and Uli (thankfully) accepted.
Somewhere around the end of July, Uli prodded Dawn--who was just now beginning to realize the enormity of what she'd done and was starting to get scared--to maybe let some other people know that the group existed. So both co-mods rallied all the Silmarillion writers they each knew--and since they came from opposite corners of the fandom, there was little to no overlap--and the SWG went from three members to almost twenty in about a week. Since the two halves of new members barely knew each other except by reputation, the first few months were not without hiccups. However, soon it seemed that people came to understand that the SWG wasn't about whether they came from HASA or OSA or wrote slash or hated it: It was about wanting to communicate and share with other fans who appreciated The Silmarillion as much as they did.
Because Dawn was an Internet neophyte--though quickly learning at this point--her plans for the SWG were never more ambitious than maintaining a Yahoo! discussion list and a LiveJournal community for posting stories. The suggestion to start a website and archive where the group's creative endeavors could be collected was made by the members, so Dawn set about learning HTML and CSS and, with the patient guidance of some of the members of the SWG, began researching archive software.
A little more than a year later, the webpage debuted and, a few months after that, in June 2007, the archive opened to the public. The group that made its home on Yahoo! and LiveJournal and started with three members (including its newbie founder) has come a long way in the last decade. Now, more than 700 people count SWG as one of their online homes. In the ten years, the SWG has collected more than 2,000 stories and has hosted numerous projects in honor of Tolkien, The Silmarillion, and the fans that keep his world alive.
So what is the next chapter in our history? That remains to be seen. So join a discussion, write a story, or leave a review--we need you to help us in writing it!
Frequently Asked Questions
What options are available for joining SWG?
Which groups should I join?
What are the posting requirements to share a story in the SWG? How does the SWG define 'Silmfic' or 'Silmarillion-based writing'?
Do stories have to pass review to be included in the archive?
Does SWG accept work rated for adult audiences?
What actions can I take if I feel that I am being harassed or "flamed" in SWG?
Who makes up the challenges and how do I suggest a challenge?
How long do I have to write for a challenge?
How do I choose the correct ratings and warnings for my stories?
Why is my account locked at registration? What is the account approval process?
Are anonymous reviews allowed on stories?
Can I delete my own reviews on stories?
Can I reply to my reviewers?
Can I privately contact another SWG author?
I have a lot of drabbles that I would like to post on the site. Should I post them all together in a single story or each as an individual story?
What is the difference between a story and a series?
The character that I want is not on the drop-down menu. Can I have a character added to this list?
What is a round-robin story? Can I edit a chapter that I posted to a round-robin story?
Can we include images in our stories? What are the guidelines for using images on SWG?
I want to copy a section from a story to copy and paste in my review, but when I try to select text in the archive, it selects the whole page. How can I stop this from happening?
What are RSS feeds? How can I use RSS feeds to get updates on the SWG archive?
Am I allowed to set up more than one account on the archive? What are the rules for pseud accounts?
What should I do if I forget my login or password? What should I do if the site won't allow me to register with my email address? What are the SWG's requirements for working email addresses?
Yahoo! Group FAQ
How do I join the Yahoo! group?
Do I have to receive emails from the SWG Yahoo! group if I join? How do I change my email delivery settings?
How do I search for old messages in the Yahoo! group?
What is your policy on off-topic (OT) messages on the Yahoo! group?
Am I allowed to promote my group on the SWG Yahoo! group?
May I promote/SSP my stories on the SWG Yahoo! group?
Do you allow--and should I make--an introduction post?
What's your policy on sharing adult-rated material and having adult-rated discussions?
I just made my first post to the SWG Yahoo! group. Why isn't it showing up right away?
Are my posts to the Yahoo! group visible to the public? Do I have to be a member of the Yahoo! group to read and participate in discussions there?
LiveJournal Community FAQ
Do I need to join the silwritersguild LiveJournal community to read, post, and make comments on entries?
How do I join the silwritersguild LiveJournal community?
How should I handle marking adult content in the SWG LiveJournal?
Can we include images in our stories? What are the guidelines for using images on SWG?
Have a question that you don't see here? Please feel free to contact us at any time at firstname.lastname@example.org.