Akallabêth in August
This month, we focus on one of the most tumultuous times in Arda's history: the Second Age and the rise and fall of Númenor. But even as Númenor was the central player during these times, the whole of Arda was affected by the events that affected the prideful and unfortunates alike of this doomed island.
Any story that is or might conceivably be part of the Akallabêth is acceptable for this challenge. If it's been a while since you've read the tales of the Second Age of Arda, why not crack open this oft-neglected chapter and see if inspiration finds you? Here are a few plotbunnies that might find a home in this challenge:
- Elrond and especially Elros are important players in the Second Age, and they set the stage for Tolkien's later mythology as well. But behind these mythical figures are two brothers who made the choice to be parted in life and in fate. How did the brothers make their decision and deal with being parted? Did they see each other after Elros was established as the king of Númenor? What was this visit like?
- The Elves of Avallónë lost not only allies but also friends when the Númenoreans turned against the people of the west. Follow an Elf of Tol Eressëa as he or she strikes up friendship with the new neighbors, grows accustomed to losing friends to mortality, and then loses them for good when the kings of the House of Elros rebel against the west.
- Dare to step into uncomfortable shoes and ponder why the kings of Númenor chose the road that they did and followed Sauron. Ar-Pharazôn felt doubts as he moored off the coast of Aman, so it is likely that those who came before him also felt uncertainty along their treacherous road. Did they question the justice of what they were doing? Did they ever fear the retribution that they knew would come? What were the private thoughts and counsels of Arda's most wicked kings?
- What was Amandil's fate? The Silmarillion doesn't tell us what became of him or even if he was successful in his quest. Consider what might have happened: Did he make it to Aman? Speak to the Valar? Or was he lost along the way? Take your readers on a daring journey as one man dares to defy the gods to save his people.
Hot Summer, Hot Stories
As much of the world experiences one of the hottest summers in history, we turn up the heat in our stories for this challenge. Whether the literal heat of Glorfindel's battle with the Balrog or the figurative heat of Nerdanel and Fëanor's steamy romance, this challenge asks you to create a story worthy of the most sweltering summer!
The Quote of the Month Challenge
The Quote of the Month challenge asks you to write based on the themes and thoughts the quote inspires or about the event in which the quote occurred. You may write in any format--poem, story, essay, or drabble--with any characters, genre, or rating.
“'But be comforted; for I return to Nargothrond of the house of Finarfin, and you shall come with me, and be healed and renewed.'”
-Gwindor speaks to Túrin following Beleg's death, The Silmarillion, “Of Túrin Turambar”
Character of the Month: Elu Thingol
This August, we honor Elwë Singollo, or Elu Thingol. We hope that this white-haired, “tallest-of-the-Elves” and ruler of Doriath, Lúthien’s father—the only Elf to marry a Maia and possessor of one of the Silmarils (albeit briefly)—and reason for much of the conflict between the Sindar and the Dwarves will inspire new stories and discussions! Thingol is one of the most controvesial characters of The Silmarillion: What do you think of him? What did he do well and what did he do wrong? From Melian to Eöl to Beren, few characters have had as many profound and ardent relationships as Elu Thingol.
News and Announcements
Changes to Challenges
Jenni (Digdigil) will now be organizing and creating our challenges. Does this mean that members no longer create the challenges? Not at all! But for the months when we receive no member input, Jenni will be the mastermind behind the month's challenges, and you should feel free to contact her with your ideas.
Some of you might also have noticed that we have begun having a Character of the Month. This began when I teasingly suggested that January should be Finarfin Appreciation Month, and the idea caught on. We will feature a new character each month. As with challenges, we would love to hear which of your favorite characters you would like to see featured next!
So how will we honor the Character of the Month? Feel free to drag out your old stories that feature this character or write new ones; non-fiction and essays are always welcome as well. Take the opportunity to learn something new or find fresh inspiration from a character you might not have considered before.
In order to contribute an idea for the monthly challenges, the quote of the month, or the character of the month, please leave a comment to this post, post your ideas to the Yahoo! group, or email Jenni, our new challenge coordinator
Happy Birthday, SWG!
As of 31 July, the Silmarillion Writers' Guild is one year old! One year ago, Uli and I began pestering our friends to join our new group. In the past year, we have grown to almost forty members on our Yahoo! list and many more follow our LiveJournal; we have shared stories and wisdom, ideas and challenges; and we are in the process of getting our own website, discussion forum, writer's workshop, and story archive in an effort to provide an online home for Silmarillion enthusiasts and fan fiction authors around the world. A lot has happened in a year, and I thank you all for your help and support and look forward to a great second year!