TheSilmarillionWriters'Guild

Newsletter: April 2015

Table of Contents


SWG News

Happy Anniversary, SWG!

The SWG celebrated the tenth anniversary of its founding on March 15, 2015. While the group was founded on March 15, we did not begin seeking members until late July, so watch this space for more information on our birthday festivities as the date draws nearer!

This is a big milestone for our group, and it is truly an honor to have been a home for discussion, writing, and learning about The Silmarillion for almost a decade now. We raise our glasses to the many mods, volunteers, and members who have made the SWG all that it is and look forward to another ten years!

If you want to know more about how the SWG was founded and what happens behind the scenes on a day-to-day basis, check out Dawn's In a Stone House by the Sea: The Founding and Governing of the Silmarillion Writers’ Guild in the Signum University Eagle, published just in time for our anniversary.

International Poetry Month

Our archive has always hosted poetry among the many forms of writing we accept. This year, for International Poetry Month, why not check out one of the more than one hundred Silmarillion-inspired poems on our archive?

We also encourage our writers to try their hand at poetry during April, even if it's not a form they usually practice. Need some resources to help you get started? The Word Shop has an extensive list of poetic forms and terms. Bartleby.com has an impressive collection of poems and poetry anthologies. The Academy of American Poets has still more. And, of course, Tolkien was an avid poet as well. Find a collection of Tolkien's poems on Poem Hunter.

Back to Middle-earth Month: Middle-earth Marketplace Is Closing!

The end of March has brought the end of this year's event, which as we've become accustomed, brought lots of wonderful stories and fanworks. Like any well-stocked marketplace, there are plenty of goods from all across the Legendarium. The activities are not over of course: the prompts are yours for the taking and more stories will surely be produced. Remember that the community never closes, so B2MeM-inspired stories are welcome year-round, and we hope to see Silmarillion-inspired pieces shared here on our archive as well.

If you've missed any of the activity you can check the B2MeM community on LiveJournal. If you need inspiration, be sure to check out the B2MeM 2015 prompts in all their incredible, amazing, inspiring, thought-provoking, head-scratching, giggle-inducing, and jaw-dropping glory.

New York Tolkien Conference

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The SWG will be represented at the upcoming New York Tolkien Conference, which will take place on June 13 at Baruch College. Dawn will be presenting a paper on historical bias in Tolkien's books and how this can serve as an inspiration and motive for creating transformative works, and several other SWG members will be in attendance (and perhaps presenting?) as well. There may be an opportunity to share fiction; as we hear more details, we will post updates on our website and various satellite groups. For full details on the conference, please see the New York Tolkien Conference homepage. If you plan on attending, you must register for the New York Tolkien Conference here; admission is free (yes, really!), but you must be on the registration list or campus police will not allow you to enter the building.

Submissions for paper proposals are still being accepted until April 7. Both first-time and experienced presenters are welcome. See the New York Tolkien Conference call for papers for full details.

If you plan on attending, please email Dawn at DawnFelagund@gmail.com; we may try to organize dinner or drinks after the conference if enough SWG members will be in attendance. At the very least, we SWGers can meet up at the conference!

Welcome to Our New Members!

This month we welcome Earwen, acromantulabtch, stef188875, and loxias to the Silmarillion Writers' Guild.

We wish you enjoy reading the stories, poems, and reference material, and listening to the podcasts you can find in our site. If something moved you or gave you food for thought, write a review to let its author know. If you are a writer, we hope to see you posting soon.

What brought you to the Silmarillion fandom, and to the SWG? If you wish to share your Tolkien-related interests, or tell us a bit more about your fandom persona, go ahead and update your bio.

Our Frequently Asked Questions provide a lot of useful information about the archive, like challenges, reviews, ratings, our definition of "Silmfic", and much more, but if you can't find what you are after, do not hesitate to contact the SWG mods at moderator@silmarillionwritersguild.org.


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New at the Archive

B2MeM 2015

At Tharbad's Spring Faire by My blue rose [General] (1062 words)
Summary: Maglor and Daeron are plying their trade at the annual Tharbad Spring Faire and have a discussion about Quenya idioms and their meanings. Written for the Back to Middle Earth Month 2015 prompts.

Fëanáro by Silver Trails [Teens] (461 words)
Summary: The first days of Nerdanel's marriage with Fëanor

Lost by Silver Trails [Teens] (683 words)
Summary: A lost Elf comes to Elrond's house

Lover Boy by Makalaure [General] (1134 words)
Summary: Fëanor struggles with his feelings.

Moving On by Silver Trails [Teens] (735 words)
Summary: The time to start a new life has come

my blood approves by Agelast [Adult] (6133 words)
Summary: Fingon's lives and loves.

Reel On, Love! by Agelast † [Adult] (4140 words)
Summary: Fingolfin adjusts to new realities and Fëanor tests boundaries until they break.

What if Arakáno didn't die? by Silver Trails [Teens]> (560 words)
Summary: A young Glaurung comes to attack the Noldor encampment

Completed Works

After the fire by Amarie Vanyarin [Teens] (3161 words)
Summary: It has been three and a half thousand years since her husband and sons departed. A long time to be alone and strong.

Stand Against The Storm by Amy Fortuna [General] (702 words)
Summary: Idril and Huor, on top of the highest tower in Gondolin, defy a weather metaphor.

Thine In All Ways by Amy Fortuna [Adult] (2436 words)
Summary: Artanis Nerwen of the Noldor is eager to learn all that Melian of Doriath has to teach.

Windborne by Keiliss [Teens] (5421 words)
Summary: In the lands that are called Undying, Elwing still trusts her gut.

Works in Progress

Bloody silmarils by Dilly [Teens]
Summary: In Gondolin, Turgon is depressed...
Chapters added this month: The miller of Gondolin and Blasé.

Bringing Trouble to Barad-dur by Aiwen [Teens]
Summary: In the Halls of Mandos, Celebrimbor and Gil-galad receive a unique assignment: go as ghosts to Barad-dur and distract Sauron from his war against the free peoples of Middle-earth. MEFA 2010 Humor Incomplete 3rd place winner.
Chapters added this month: The Great Ring Robbery, A Challenge Offered and Accepted, But Will it Do Any Good? and Sauron Strikes Back.

Maudits silmarils : maudits bonus du livre 1 by Dilly [Teens]
Summary: Bonus nawak à "Maudits silmarils".
Chapter added this month: Onanisme.

Mereth Aderthadby Oshun [Adult]
Summary:The story of the events of the Feast of Reuniting. A continuation of my interpretation of the tales of the Noldor in the First Age, focusing principally, but not solely upon Fingon and Maedhros.
Chapter added this month: Promises and Negotiations.

One Star in the Sky by VCalien2015 [Teens]
Summary: The Dagor Dagorath approaches, and nearly all of those slain in the wars of the past Ages have been reborn to prepare themselves for the Last Battle. Among them is Curufinwë Fëanáro, last to leave the Halls of Mandos and tasked with earning his redemption. Fëanáro and his kin begin together the days which will lead them to the End, the guilt of the past mingling with joy long-lost, recalling at last what it is to truly live.
Chapter added this month: Formenos - Part III.

The Golden and the Black by Amarie Vanyarin [Teens]
Summary: Glorfindel is not the only one of the rebodied to be sent by the Valar back to Middle Earth. After being mired in the Halls of Mandos for six millenia, Maeglin is sent back as well, though it is uncertain how much he welcomes the move. Especially as Iluvatar has decreed that the dark soul of the traitor of Gondolin be rebodied as an elfmaid. A story of redemption and of love.
Chapters added this month: Chapter 27: A Journey to the Greenwood, Chapter 28: All in the Family, Chapter 29: Children of the Morning and Chapter 30: Winds of Change.

The Greenbook of Tuckborough by Chiara Cadrich [Teens]
Summary: A tribute to Tolkien, with most of the exercices in style we owe him, but contradicting none of his writings: an adventure starting on a porch in the Shire, hobbits, giants, dunedain, goblins, elves, ents, trolls, eagles…, a visite to Imladris, an epic story about duty and fate, riddles,… and a ring!
Chapters added this month: Back in his abodes, Epilog and An introduction to wizards.

The Third Finwë by jesatria [Adult]
Summary: An account of the reign of King Nelyafinwë Maitimo, 3rd High King of the Noldor. AU, WIP
Chapter added this month: The Memorial.

Short Works

Numbered Tears by Friendsheyho [General] (683 words)
Summary: “They were right. The Valar were right all along.” Maglor watches Maedhros mourn.

The Havens by MaedhrosFeanorian [General] (617 words)
Summary: Maglor makes a rare venture out of his solitude to bid a private farewell to Elrond, but ends up finding an unexpected connection with a certain halfling...


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Character of the Month Biography

Írimë (Lalwen)

Oshun


Írimë is the younger of two daughters of Finwë, the First King of the Noldor, and his second wife Indis. She has a half-brother Fëanor and two full brothers Fingolfin and Finarfin. All three of her male siblings have large stories well-represented in the pages of The Silmarillion as edited by Christopher Tolkien. In addition, she has an older sister Findis who, like her, is given scant attention in the texts. Neither Írimë nor Findis made the cut to be included in Christopher Tolkien's published Silmarillion.

Since the first publication of The Lord of the Rings in 1954-55, many readers have considered the paucity of female characters in J. R. R. Tolkien's trilogy not only a disappointment but also a serious flaw in his work. Edith L. Crowe sums up this response when she writes, 'The most problematic aspect of Tolkien is indeed the disappointingly low percentage of females that appear in his best-known and best-loved works, The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings' (272).1

There are comparatively more major female characters in The Silmarillion than in The Lord of the Rings. One finds a greater variety and, one might argue, women with greater agency than those in The Lord of the Rings. (The Hobbit, of course, has none.) Without even flipping through the pages of The Silmarillion, several women come to mind, although most of them fare considerably better if one consults The Histories of Middle-earth. There are women who forge their own destinies or have distinct opinions and take sides on issues of importance. There are leaders, doers, wise women, thinkers, artists, craftswomen, independent women, and adventurers. An aficionado of Tolkien's entire legendarium beyond The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings might think immediately of Lúthien, Míriel Serindë, Nerdanel, Indis, Melian, Aredhel, Anairë, Elenwë, Galadriel, Haleth, Morwen, Finduilas, Andreth and so many more--this without touching a book--and not including any of the women who were named characters/major players, including ruling queens, in Númenórean history.

And yet, still, the number of women is small in comparison to men, and the stories of their lives and actions are less developed, with the exception of Lúthien. Although there were fewer female characters than male characters to begin with in unfinished drafts, Christopher Tolkien nevertheless greatly pruned the number of women, and the accounts of the deeds of the remaining ones, when he sat down to pull together a coherent version of The Silmarillion from all of his father's unfinished texts.

In Douglas C. Kane's book Arda Reconstructed: The Creation of the Published Silmarillion,2 the author documents many changes, big and small, from the original texts to Christopher Tolkien's finished Silmarillion, including what he considers large numbers of cuts relating to women characters and/or their stories. In an interview with Michael Martinez, Kane notes:

Just as I expected would be the case, the most controversial of the major changes that I detailed in the book has been my identification of the reduction of the role of female characters in the story. Some people have strongly agreed with me on this point, and others have strongly disagreed (particularly Carl Hostetter [linguist, author, and editor of Vinyar Tengwar journal published by the Elvish Linguistic Fellowship], as I note above), but either way it has certainly generated some forceful feelings. None of the lively discussion that I have had on this point has convinced me that my analysis is incorrect, but if I had an opportunity to do any major revisions to the book, I would probably try to rephrase some of that to make it more clear that I don't believe that there was an intentional action on Christopher Tolkien's part to reduce the roles of the female characters in the story. However, I still believe that that is a clear result of the editing process.3

In addition to this pruning of women and their stories, one of the major disappointments for many readers relates to the great number of textual ghosts* and/or women named only in footnotes or genealogies. Some might consider the daughters of Indis and Finwë among the most frustrating of those, in light of the prominence in the texts of their close male kinsmen. While these sisters are rarely mentioned in scholarly articles, the lack of their presence in The Silmarillion is often noted in fandom discussions.

The entire question of textual ghosts has been expanded upon by Elleth, a long-time and well-respected writer, artist, and researcher in Tolkien fandom circles. She notes:

*The term Textual Ghosts was coined by Dwimordene in a 2008 MEFA [Middle-earth Fanfiction Awards] review of Pandemonium_213's fic Moon of the Sea, describing "the women who litter the Tolkien histories as textual ghosts, artifacts deduced by the presence of offspring or perhaps a name".4

As the founder and principle author of "The Textual Ghosts Project," Elleth further notes in introducing her list of unnamed, unsung women in Tolkien's work that

The women listed here are the "known unknowns", meaning that it can be reliably assumed that a woman in their position must have existed, but even so the Tolkienian genealogies are overwhelmingly male-dominated, as they invariably describe patriarchal systems - as such, there must also be "unknown unknowns", that is, daughters, sisters, aunts and other female relations who were completely erased (not even recorded as [x number of] daughters), further upping the tally of invisible women.5

This is not likely to be the best forum in which to resolve the question of the role of women or, by contrast, the concept of masculinity in Tolkien's work (if ever either could be resolved), but it is impossible not to raise it when one encounters the erasure—by Tolkien himself or Christopher Tolkien—of Finwë's daughters. One cannot but consider the myriad ways both subtle and dramatic in which this alters the tone of the tales. Both fan fiction writers and published writers of fantasy note the lack of women and the restriction of their roles in Tolkien's work.

Although the women fantasists accept some of Tolkien's premises, they differ strongly with him on the subject of women's roles. The most obvious "anxiety" for women writers results from the presumption that female characters in the Secondary World must be restricted to the roles played by women in our primary world's medieval romances--object of the quest, mother, temptress, witch--or else absent, as in epics such as Beowulf or the Song of Roland. The late twentieth-century writers are unanimous in believing that Tolkien should have swerved from this presumption in his attitude toward women, whether expressed overtly in characters such as Rosie Cotton or Arwen, or implicitly by their absence. They ask: Where are the Dwarf women?"6

But to return to the account of these two daughters of Finwë, we will find the latest reference to them in The Shibboleth of Fëanor. Earlier, one reads as well of a third daughter, Faniel, who is apparently, however, dropped by Tolkien before his latest drafts.

In The Lost Road and Other Writings, Finwë and Indis are said to have had, in addition to their sons, three daughters called therein Findis, Faniel, and Finvain.7 It seems one of the daughters was lost before the latest versions. Tolkien drafted several genealogies in the 1950s, relating nearly exclusively to Finwë's descendants, which still contained three daughters. Christopher Tolkien notes that:

26 At least eight years and probably more divide them from the present 'excursus', whose date is fixed as not earlier than February 1968; but my father clearly had them in front of him when he wrote this, and alterations made to the latest of the four agree with statements made in it. In all these tables there are still three daughters of Finwë and Indis: Findis, Faniel, and Írimë (see X.207, 238, and also X.262, where Finvain appears for Írimë), and no correction was made. In the excursus Faniel has disappeared, and the younger daughter appears both as Írimë and Írien (see note 28).8

In a footnote (28) to The Shibboleth of Fëanor, Christopher Tolkien explains why he thinks his father included both of the names Írimë and Írien to refer to the second daughter of Finwë and Indis.

28. [It is strange that my father should give the name of the second daughter of Finwë as both Írimë and Írien within the space of a few lines. Possibly he intended Írien at the first occurrence but inadvertently wrote Írimë, the name found in all the genealogies (note 26).]9

The name Írimë and not Írien is the one commonly used in references to this daughter, unless her mother name Lalwen is used. Although Tolkien scholarship largely ignores the daughters of Finwë, admirably, Tolkien commentator Michael Martinez does not. He writes of them in his popular article, "It's All in the Family: The Finwëans," even mentioning Faniel.

Originally, Finwë was to have three daughters by Indis. Christopher Tolkien mentions that, from 1959 through 1968, this was the case in the several genealogies his father prepared for the Finwëans. However, the second daughter, Faniel, is never mentioned in "The Shibboleth", and it may be that Tolkien intended to drop her from the family. As provided in the Shibboleth, Írien (originally called Írimë, the third daughter) was born between Fingolfin and Finarfin. She was also called Lalwendë, and it was this name which was Sindarinized into Lalwen. She and Fingolfin were very close and she accompanied him into exile.10

The Shibboleth of Fëanor is the source for the mother-name for Írimë, which is Lalwendë, shortened form given as Lalwen. It is said to be the name by which she was generally known.11

All we are told of the life history of Írimë/Lalwen is that she was close to her brother Fingolfin and went with him to Middle-earth. We know nothing of her life there or where she might have lived, although we may assume with Fingolfin. Michael Martinez mentions speculation about possible scenarios for her life based aroundthe note that mentions that she and Fingolfin were close and that she accompanied him into exile.

We hear nothing more of her, but some people have wondered if Aranwë, the father of Voronwë, might not be Lalwen's husband or son. Presumably, Lalwen settled in Hithlum and may have been slain or captured after the Nirnaeth. And since she was close to Fingolfin, she may have actively supported his claims to the kingship.12

One guess is as good as another as long as it does not directly contradict canon texts. This one apparently does not. But neither is it any more authoritative than many other speculations made without hard evidence. The reader never learns whether Írimë/Lalwen survives the Wars of Beleriand and the War of Wrath. In the final analysis, her choice to accompany the Noldorin exiles to Middle-earth tells us that Írimë has an independent mind. No husband is mentioned, so one assumes that without having formed that bond, her loyalty was her own to give, her choice was independently made. Therein must lie a story, but the story is never told. Írimë disappears into that vast ephemeral crowd of "Textual Ghosts."




Author's Note: I would like to thank Elleth for inspiration, Ignoble Bard for reading a very rough draft of this copy, and Dawn Felagund for her usual quick and thorough copycheck.




Works Cited

  1. Leslie A. Donovan, "The Valkyrie Reflex in J. R. R. Tolkien's the Lord of the Rings," in Tolkien the Medievalist, ed. Jane Chance (London: Routledge, 2003), page 106. Accessed April 1, 2015.
  2. Douglas C. Kane, Arda Reconstructed: The Creation of the Published Silmarillion, Bethlehem, PA: Lehigh University Press, 2009.
  3. Interview with Douglas Charles Kane by Michael Martinez, November 18, 2011. Accessed March 30, 2015.
  4. Elleth, The Textual Ghosts Project. Accessed April 1, 2015.
  5. Ibid.
  6. Faye Ringel, "Women Fantasists: In the Shadow of the Ring," in J.R.R. Tolkien and His Literary Resonances: Views of Middle-Earth, ed. George Clark and Daniel Timmons (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 2000), page 166. Accessed April 1, 2015.
  7. The Lost Road and Other Writings, Part Three: "The Etymologies."
  8. The Peoples of Middle-earth, The Shibboleth of Fëanor, footnote 26.
  9. Ibid, footnote 28.
  10. Michael Martinez, It's All in the Family: The Finwëans. Accessed April 1, 2015.
  11. The Peoples of Middle-earth, The Shibboleth of Fëanor.
  12. Michael Martinez, It's All in the Family: The Finwëans. Accessed April 1, 2015.



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View all archived stories about Írimë (Lalwen).


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Current Challenge

Crime and Punishment

Throughout The Silmarillion, we see glimpses of justice, crime, and punishment in action. This challenge asks writers to tackle these topics head-on. Perhaps you want to write about a canonical incident that involves topics related to crime and justice: the imprisonment of Melkor, the exile of Fëanor, or the murder of Saeros. You could also approach the challenge by exploring how a group or culture handled crime and punishment. This challenge also begs for mystery fiction, in which characters investigate and solve a crime.

Challenges Revisited: April's Fool

All around the world--and on the Internet--on the first of April, people celebrate April Fools' Day by playing pranks on their friends, family, and associates. This lighter challenge asks you to write a story, poem, or vignette in which a character tricks or plays a prank on another. While this challenge may suggest itself to humor and parody, The Silmarillion is also full of more nefarious tricks played by characters such as Morgoth. Your piece can be as close to canon or as AU (alternate universe), as serious or silly as you'd like.

Quote of the Month

"We owe it to each other to tell stories."

~Neil Gaiman

Want more challenges? Check out our complete challenge listing for more than three years' worth of challenges to inspire your writing!

Have an idea for a challenge? Some of our most popular challenges have been created by you, the members of SWG! If you have a plotbunny gnawing at your ankle, a favorite quote, or a favorite character that you think might inspire others as well, please send an email to moderator@silmarillionwritersguild.org and we'll try to include your challenge in our next newsletter!


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Around the World and Web

Articles of Interest

Each month, the SWG newsletter features links to articles that our members might find interesting. Do you have something you'd like to suggest? An interesting essay or discussion going on in your journal or blog? Drop us a line at moderator@silmarillionwritersguild.org and we'll add your article, essay, or post to our next newsletter!

It should go without saying, but just in case it bears repeating, any opinions expressed in these links are not necessarily that of the SWG and its moderators.

Was Tolkien Sexist?

Tolkien's views on men and women, while typical of the times he lived in, would be classed as sexist by today's standards. How about his works? This essay posted by SWG member Marta at Tumblr looks at his concept of gender and at his treatment of key female characters from the different races of Middle-earth in order to formulate an answer to this invariably controversial question.

A Well-Kept Secret: The Brighton Manuscript

According to an index card reportedly stolen from either the Bodleian Library at Oxford or the Marquette University Tolkien Archives, J.R.R. Tolkien allegedly sent a full manuscript to an address in Brighton in January 1973. The Brighton Manuscript is claimed to narrate the full story of Sauron's rise and fall from the perspective of the Maia himself. Read more at John Garth's blog and at Michael Martinez's blog.

27 of the Best Tolkien Quotes

To commemorate Tolkien Reading Day on 25th March, Deseret News have compiled a list of 27 (why not 25?) illustrated quotes. Most of them, if not all, will be recognised and loved by SWG readers, even if the quotes do not come from The Silmarillion. Here they are!

The Gordon-Tolkien Collection

A collection of letters, poems, and prose by The Hobbit creator J.R.R. Tolkien has been acquired by the University of Leeds, where he taught in the 1920s. They provide unique insight into the close friendship between Tolkien and Eric Gordon, who joined him in the English department at the University of Leeds in 1922. A catalogue and even one of the scanned manuscripts can be viewed from this page in the University of Leeds site.

Peter Jackson's The Silmarillion Behind the Scenes

We can't start the month of April without bringing to you this most exciting development, just when many Tolkien fans were beginning to lament the lack of a new installment of the The Hobbit movie marathon later this year. Meet Beren and Gollum amongst other key characters of this new production. Hear about the challenges of transferring Tolkien's master piece into film in this "Behind the Scenes" short video presented by Peter Jackson himself.

Michael Drout: "Lexomic Analysis of Beowulf and J.R.R. Tolkien's Scholarship on the Poem: A Confluence"

Don't run away scared by the title: This lecture by Tolkien and Anglo-Saxon scholar Michael Drout is not aimed at the specialist but provides a fascinating look at how statistical analysis of word patterns in a text can uncover that text's secrets. Lexomic analysis of Beowulf--Tolkien's translation and notes on which were published last year--shows that some of Tolkien's theories that have been long-abandoned by scholars may deserve renewed attention. Professor Drout also discusses how lexomic analysis can be used on texts like The Silmarillion to uncover clues to authorship. Download the video or the audio. And if you're tempted by Professor Drout's presentation to try lexomic analysis for yourself, check out Wheaton College's free lexomic analysis tools.

Announcements

Legendarium Ladies April

It's almost April, and that means it's time again to shine a spotlight on Tolkien's wonderful female characters! Whether you're a fan of The Silmarillion, The Hobbit, or The Lord of the Rings, whether you draw or edit or cosplay or write, this is the event for you to show your appreciation for the ladies of the legendarium.

Legendarium Ladies April is a fanworks-based fest on Tumblr for Tolkien's female characters. We'll be posting prompts on Mondays, Wednesdays and Saturdays throughout April, and of course you're more than welcome to take your own approach! Have a look around our blog and the Legendarium Ladies FAQ, and get ready! The tag for your fanworks is #legendarium ladies april, and we start on April 1!

"Tolkien Radical" Is Seeking Writers and Artists

The Tolkien Radical is a non-profit fanzine that has been in the works for nearly a year. This zine covers all sorts of topics involving the literary works of Tolkien, the Rankin-Bass films, the Peter Jackson films, and the fandom in its own right, as it has existed for decades. They are looking for writers and artists interested in contributing to the zine. Email the editor at danielle.m.romero@gmail.com with your ideas or to see which pre-planned articles still need writers.

Organization for Transformative Works: April Showers

In the month of April we hope you'll help us spruce up AO3 and Fanlore by posting forgotten works and dusting off neglected wiki entries. The OTW's April Showers hopes to do just that.

We are proud to be able to offer an archive for fanworks at Archive of Our Own and we invite you to take the time to post both new works and old works that are languishing in ancient blogs or buried in your harddrive. Add them to AO3 so other fans can enjoy them! You can even backdate them to show their original creation date, and use our pseud system to preserve old fandom aliases. If you're posting works, use the tag April Showers 2015 so that everyone can find them. Or, if there's a fanwork already on the archive that you think more people should see, bookmark it and add it to our April Showers Recs collection.

We also recognise that fandom history is far more than just fanworks - Fanlore records decades of fannish activity, from the days before the internet all the way to current events shaping fandom. If you have old zines, or fond memories of a long-ago convention, write about them on Fanlore. If there's new drama in your fandom, or a new trend in fanart, write about those too! Fanlore is open to everyone, and we encourage everyone to edit it and add their own experiences. Fannish history is our history.

Mythgard Institute: Summer Courses on Tolkien's Poetry and the Fiction of H.P. Lovecraft

The summer courses for the Mythgard Institute are now available. Tolkien's Poetry, taught by Professor Corey Olsen, explores Tolkien's poetic corpus. Dr. Amy Sturgis is also teaching a course on the fiction of H.P. Lovecraft. The last day for registration is May 3.

If you've never taken a Mythgard course before, these are online courses that can be taken for Master's credit or audited. There are weekly readings and video lectures for all students, and students taking the course for credit also have a weekly preceptor session and papers. The Mythgard site contains more information about the courses and the experience of being a Mythgard student.

Mythgard Academy: Free Course on The Book of Lost Tales 2

The Mythgard Academy is offering another free, ten-week online course, this time about The Book of Lost Tales 2. Taught by Corey "the Tolkien Professor" Olsen, the course meets weekly on Wednesdays at 9:30 PM EST for live lectures, which can be attended by the first 100 participants to sign up. Three lectures have been conducted so far, and you can view the video, listen to the audio, and access the lecture notes for these.

Tale of Tinúviel, Part 1: video | audio | lecture notes
Tale of Tinúviel, Part 2: video | audio | lecture notes
Tale of Turambar, Part 1: video | audio | lecture notes
Tale of Turambar, Part 2: video | audio | lecture notes
Fall of Gondolin, Part 1: video | audio | lecture notes
Fall of Gondolin, Part 2: video | audio | lecture notes
The Nauglafring: video | audio | lecture notes

To attend a class live, access past lectures, and check out other course resources, visit the Book of Lost Tales 2 course page.

Surveys Galore!

Want to help some academic researchers better understand Tolkien fandom in the 21st century? Two big survey projects are ongoing in an effort to collect data and learn more about our fandom. Dawn's Tolkien fan fiction survey collects data on the habits, beliefs, and preferences of Tolkien fans who participate in reading and/or writing fan fiction. The World Hobbit Project is run by a team of media studies researchers who hope to glean more information on how audiences perceived the recent Hobbit films. Each survey takes about 20 minutes to complete.

Odyssey Writers' Workshop: Now Accepting Applications for 2015 Session

Each summer, writers of the fantastic come from all over the world to attend the Odyssey Writing Workshop. Odyssey is one of the most highly respected programs for writers of fantasy, science fiction, and horror. Only fifteen are admitted. Fifty-nine percent of graduates go on to professional publication.

Odyssey is for developing writers whose work is approaching publication quality and for published writers who want to improve their work. The six-week program combines an advanced curriculum with extensive writing and in-depth feedback on student manuscripts. Top authors, editors, and agents have served as guest lecturers, including George R. R. Martin, Jane Yolen, Terry Brooks, Robert J. Sawyer, Ben Bova, Nancy Kress, Jeff VanderMeer, Holly Black, Catherynne M. Valente, and Dan Simmons. This summer's workshop runs from June 8 to July 17, 2015 on Saint Anselm College's beautiful campus in Manchester, NH. Application deadline is April 8. See the Odyssey Workshop website for full information.

Calls for Papers

Mythopoeic Society. The 46th Annual Mythopoeic Conference will be held this year in Colorado Springs, Colorado, from July 31 through August 3, 2015. Paper proposals are being accepted through 15 April. Topics can range from Tolkien studies, Arthuriana, and fantasy studies. Papers by undergraduate and graduate students are welcome. See the full call for papers at the Myth-Con website.

Silver Leaves. Silver Leaves welcomes artwork submissions, and all academic, journalistic, reflective, and creative submissions pertaining to music in Middle-earth and fantasy music in general. There is also limited room for creative and non-fiction submissions relating to Tolkien's works, or to other fantasy works, which may fall outside of the theme of Issue 6. The deadline for all submissions is May 15, 2015. See the full Silver Leaves submission guidelines here.

The New York Tolkien Conference. The conference will be held on Saturday 13 June, 2015 at Baruch College, New York. The conference's theme is centered on Tolkien and they are open to discussions of Tolkien from the author's life to his works to his influences to the fandom surrounding his work. Accepted presentations range from 15 to 30 minutes in length. Deadline for Submissions April 7, 2015. See the New York Tolkien Conference website for full details.




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