The Silmarillion Writers' Guild--An Online Community for Silmarillion Study and Fan Fiction


Newsletter: August 2017

Table of Contents

SWG News

Akallabêth in August

August is the month when the SWG revisits Númenor and the Second Age. In our Archive we have a veritable trove of classic stories that span from Elros’s reign to the always fascinating making of the Rings of Power. Don’t miss them, they’re worth rereading or discovering!

Additionally, we have put together a list of Second Age stories, poems and essays archived in the last year. If you've archived a Second Age story and it's missing from the list, please let us know at and we will correct the list. Read the list of Second Age stories in our Akallabêth in August section below.

Silmarillion 40th Anniversary Compilation

On September 15, 2017, The Silmarillion will celebrate its 40th anniversary of publication. It was Tolkien's life's work, it took more than his lifetime to publish, and it is the reason we are all gathered here, so we cannot let this occasion pass without a celebration.

In honor of The Silmarillion's 40th anniversary, we will be putting together a compilation of stories, poems, and artwork about--what else?--The Silmarillion. More specifically, we will post a story and/or artwork each day for forty days, beginning on September 15, giving a fannish retelling of this book that we all love.

How to Participate

In the next few days, we will post a list of forty important events from The Silmarillion. If you want to participate, you may choose one event to create a story/poem around and/or one event to create artwork around. (If you want to sign up for both a story/poem and art, you do not have to choose the same event for both.)

Your fanwork should be set roughly in the time period of that event. That's the only requirement! Your fanwork does not have to be specifically about that event. For example, if you claim the prompt "Lúthien Dances for Morgoth," you can write about Lúthien actually performing that dance. Or you could write about what Melian is experiencing as her daughter faces down the Dark Lord. You can write about what is going through the Fëanorians' minds as their long-thwarted objective is achieved by a girl dancing. Or you can write about what's going down in Ossiriand with a bunch of Wood Elves who don't even know who Lúthien is. Just as long as the fanwork occurs around the time of that event, you are free to be creative!

We will leave initial sign-ups open for one week. After that week passes, you will be able to claim additional prompts from those that are still available, if you want to.

Please note that each prompt has a due date associated with it. You must send your fanwork to us at on or before that date. If we don't receive your work on time, we will reassign your prompt to a pinch hitter. We will post your fanwork to the Silmarillion 40 webpage and our archive on the reveal date. If you are unable to complete your prompt, please let us know as soon as possible so that we can find a pinch hitter.

If you're not familiar with the concept of a fanworks compilation--it's been a while since we've done one--you can check out past examples here: Akallabeth in August | SWG Fifth Birthday

Other Details

Please read these carefully before signing up.

  1. A compilation is a permanent collection. It is like having your work published in an online magazine. We will not update or change works in the compilation, and you will not be able to self-edit your work. Please make sure you read the section on rights acquired below before agreeing to participate.
  2. You must have or be willing to allow us to create an account for you on the SWG archive. All fanworks created for this project will be crossposted to our archive so that you will be able to receive comments on your work. You will have free control to edit, delete, and update your work on our archive. Please note that changing your work on the archive will not change it in the compilation, and Rule 1 still holds true.
  3. The fanwork you create must be unpublished (online or in print) prior to being published in our compilation. Once we post your work to our site, you can crosspost it as freely as you want.
  4. The fanwork you submit must be able to stand on its own. It's fine if it's part of an existing verse or series as long as readers can understand it without reading your prior work. Works-in-progress are fine as long as the section you submit can stand on its own as a satisfying fanwork. (Once you finish your story, we will add the full story to the compilation if you want us to do so.)
  5. All genres, ratings, and pairings are welcome. You can stick as close to canon or wander as far from it as you want. All relationships--gen, het, slash, or poly, canon and not--are welcome. Alternate universe (AU) and crossovers are fine.
  6. There is no length requirement for stories, but if you end up attempting a novella or a novel, please make sure to adhere to Rule 4.
  7. You do not need to have a beta reader, but if you want one and need assistance finding one, please let the mods know.
  8. If you can't complete your prompt, please let us know as soon as possible. If you suspect you might not be able to complete your prompt, please let us know as soon as possible. If you need to be late, please let us know as soon as possible. We will not hold it against anyone who needs to drop out or be late. We all have busy lives and know how Real Life sometimes mobs you right when you have a deadline to meet. However, participants who simply fail to turn in their work without notifying us may not be permitted to participate in similar events in the future.
  9. We will promote and link fanworks created for this compilation on our communities on Dreamwidth, LiveJournal, and Tumblr. If you are not comfortable with your works being linked on one or more of these spaces, please let us know when you sign up.

Rights Acquired

The SWG obtains one-time publication rights for work submitted to projects like Silmarillion 40. What this means in plain English is that you are granting us permission to put your work up on our site for this single event. You will maintain all rights and copyrights to your work, including the right to have it removed from the site at any time by contacting the SWG moderators. We ask that contributors to Silmarillion 40 avoid publicly posting their work before it is revealed as part of the project; after that, of course, you are welcome and encouraged to post it wherever else you'd like. We also ask that authors consider their participation in the project before committing to it; if you do not expect that you will be happy having your work on the site in a year or ten year's time, this challenge will not be a good fit for you. Our volunteers put a lot of time into putting together projects like these, so we prefer work not be withdrawn after publication. Authors who ask that their work be removed from the compilation may be asked not to participate in future compilations.

Watch our site and our Dreamwidth community for the prompt list within the next few days.

SWG July Challenge: Just an Old-Fashioned Love Song

For this month challenge, we ask authors to choose from a list of popular love songs as prompts to inspire a fanwork about romantic or sexual love. You can check the list at

More than one participant can choose the same song and you may use any aspect of the song – the title, the lyrics, the mood or style of the music or the music video – to inspire your response. You don’t need to claim a prompt or do anything else. Any pairing or poly relationship is acceptable.

The due date for stamps will be August 11 2017. As always, late responses are welcome but will not receive a stamp.

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 and we'll try to include your challenge in our next newsletter!

Welcome to Our New Members!

Four new members joined the Silmarillion Writers' Guild during July: Lydwina Marie, lightofthetrees, Phillipflopp, and erlkoenig. We welcome them both to our community.

We hope you have already stated to read, review or post at the archive. If you are still exploring the SWG site or unsure about how things work, you may wish to browse our Frequently Asked Questions. We'd love to hear what brought you to the Silmarillion fandom and to the SWG, so why not share a little bit about your fandom persona by updating your bio? Anytime you need help, please contact the SWG mods at

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New at the Archive

Completed Works

Hypotheticals by grey_gazania [Author Chooses Not to Rate] (1178 words)
Summary: Word of the coronation of Fingon's child reaches the Sons of Fëanor, and Maedhros is shaken by a realization about himself.

Leaves in the Wood by Zdenka [General] (1673 words)
Summary: After the fall of Doriath, Nellas seeks a new land to call home.

Legolas of Gondolin by Silver Trails [General] (708 words)
Summary: This is an introduction to my view of Legolas of Gondolin, based on Oshun's detailed bio. Thanks for writing it!

New Directions by hennethgalad [General] (4438 words)
Summary: the friends of Eärendil, returning from Valinor + mystery guest...

Of Huor of the House of Hador by StarSpray [General] (616 words)
Summary: Six moments in the life of Huor son of Galdor

Of Voronwe's Parents by Himring [Teens] (1150 words)
Summary: Two vignettes featuring the parents of Voronwe of Gondolin. Inspired by Oshun's bio of Voronwe's father Aranwe, which is here.

Ride the Night to the End by Silver Trails [Teens] (1210 words)
Summary: My entry for the July 2017 challenge: Jut an Old-Fashioned Son. I picked "I want to Spend My Lifetime Loving You", by Tina Arenas and Marc Anthony.The story is set a few days after the Battle of Unnumbered Tears. It's written from Maedhros' POV.

Such Great Deeds by Himring [Teens] (12709 words)
Summary: A friendship fic featuring Beleg and Fingon, from the Mereth Aderthad to the Dagor Nirnaeth Arnoediad. With guest appearances by Mablung, Cirdan and Gwindor and a great deal of conversation on a great many subjects. Now added: Last One Standing (a double drabble on Mablung's death)

Sunset to Sunrise by Tyelca [General] (1986 words)
Summary: A quiet night at home for Arien, Bearer of the Sun.

The End of Days by Silver Trails [General] (1047 words)
Summary: And old story about the Dagor Dagorath and Melkor's destiny.

The Manly-hearted Woman by oshun [Teens] (4373 words)
Summary: This is a story of Haleth. The challenge it meets requires that one write a story based upon one of the SWG bios about a character one has never written before. I owe many writers for my inspiration, but mainly those who have written Caranthir/Haleth stories I have read and enjoyed over the long years I have been reading Silmarillion fanfiction. I did write the original SWG bio of Haleth, but I wrote it so many years ago that I thought someone else might have written it, until I opened it to consult it for source material (it’s definitely one of mine). This is a story complete in itself, but I do reserve the right to add an epilogue. And once again, I must thank IgnobleBard for his Beta read at the last minute!

The Road Not Taken by Tomour [General] (824 words)
Summary: Tuor and Veronwë reach the old road, and find Orcs block the way.

The taste of sulphur by Harnatano [General] (2015 words)
Summary: The siege has just been broken and Curufin must deal with a certain amount of contradicting feelings and fears.

Your Song by Kaylee Arafinwiel [Teens] (1159 words)
Summary: "But Lúthien came to the halls of Mandos, where are the appointed places of the Eldalië, beyond the mansions of the West upon the confines of the world. There those that wait sit in the shadow of their thought. But her beauty was more than their beauty, and her sorrow deeper than their sorrows; and she knelt before Mandos and sang to him..."

Works In Progress

A Second Chance by Grundy [Teens] (1709 words)
Summary: "She whom he had loved was Amárië of the Vanyar, and she was not permitted to go with him into exile." 

And They Looked Up and Saw a Star by grey_gazania [Author Chooses Not to Rate] (4817 words)
Summary: After the Third Kinslaying, Maedhros and Maglor take Elwing's twin sons captive.

By Love or at Least Free Will by grey_gazania [Author Chooses Not to Rate] (4312 words)
Summary: Short scenes in the life of Fingon and Ianneth, his wife.

Daughter of Kings by grey_gazania [Author Chooses Not to Rate] (9587 words)
Summary: Fingolfin has been killed by Morgoth, and Fingon finds himself the High King of a people still reeling from the carnage of the Dagor Bragollach. Concerned for the safety of his family, he arranges for his daughter, Ereiniel, to move to Círdan's coastal city, Eglarest. A Gil-galad genderswap AU.

Drabbles by Grundy [Teens] (596 words)
Summary: Any and all Silmarillion drabbles I have written will be posted in this story. May or may not fit in with anything else I've written.

Drabbles: The Silmarillion, part 2 by Zdenka [Teens] (1597 words)
Summary: Tolkien drabbles set in the First and Second Ages of Middle-earth. (Exactly 100 words as counted by MS Word.) Please see table of contents for individual summaries and warnings.

I'll Be Yours If You'll Be Mine by NelyafinweFeanorion [General] (68227 words)
Summary:   Modern setting AU. Maedhros/Fingon. Maedhros owns a bookstore. Fingon is in grad school. Expect appearances from varied members of the House of Finwë. Except Finwë--he's already dead in this story. This is a modern take on how Maedhros and Fingon meet and develop a relationship. Brothers, sisters, family and roommates--the gang's all here! Cover artwork of Fingon and Maedhros by the incomparable cinemairon. So grateful, humbled and awed to have this amazing art be part of this story of mine. Check out the tumblr at

Loyalty: A Tale in Three Voices by grey_gazania [Author Chooses Not to Rate] (9429 words)
Summary: Who were Ulfang's people, and why did they betray the Elves? The truth as seen by Uldor, Caranthir, and Ulfang's granddaughter.

Maps by grey_gazania [Author Chooses Not to Rate] (11386 words)
Summary: Fingon, Caranthir, and the aftermath of Maedhros' capture by Morgoth.

Maudits silmarils : maudit AU by Dilly [General] (7965 words)
Summary: Recueil de mini-épisodes et drabbles dans un univers alternatif moderne de la fanfiction Maudits Silmarils. Nouveau chapitre : Les Mains II.

Morning Mist and Silver Sun by StarSpray [Teens] (6182 words)
Summary: A place to store drabbles and ficlets, mostly written for various prompts.

One Hundred Words About Maedhros by Himring [Teens] (796 words)
Summary: Drabbles in my 'Doom' series. Not necessarily gloomy! 100 words according to Word. LATEST: Balcony Scene.

Outrun, Outlast by StarSpray [Teens] (7699 words)
Summary: Stay alive until this horror show is past Eregion has fallen; Sauron is closely pursuing Elrond and Celeborn’s forces, who desperately need somewhere to hide.

Picking Up The Pieces by Grundy [Teens] (2931 words)
Summary: After the Fall of Gondolin, Maeglin's more than a little broken. Is there any hope for him?

The Snakes and the Flowers by Lyra [General] (796 words)
Summary: A young Vanyarin poet makes some clever observations, the relevance of which only grows apparent in good time. Inspired by Oshun's character biography of Barahir, and written for the "New Directions" challenge... and a different character altogether.

There a Pretty Lady Is by StarSpray [General] (1447 words)
Summary: Nellas meets the River-daughter.

Yours Forever by Silver Trails [Teens] (4357 words)
Summary: The Dagor Dagorath is over. Sauron is back in Aule's household. Melkor has been reborn with no memories of the past (see The End of Time). This is a new version of an old fic.

Short Works

Annael's Reunion by Kaylee Arafinwiel [General] (335 words)
Summary: After far too long, Annael of the Grey-elves reunites with one he thought lost.

Dancing in the Shadows by Zdenka [Teens] (249 words)
Summary: While dancing at night in the woods, Lúthien meets a shadowy stranger. (Lúthien/Thuringwethil)

For Love of Silver Stars by LadyBrooke [Teens] (300 words)
Summary: The sun’s dying rays faded over Doriath for the first time, and Lúthien looked at Nimloth. 

For Those Who Hold a Silmaril In Their Hands by LadyBrooke [General] (172 words)
Summary: Erellont is young when Finrod leaves, and his uncle goes with him. 

Messengers of Light and Dark by Zdenka [Teens] (250 words)
Summary: Varda's handmaiden and Sauron's messenger encounter each other in the night. (Ilmarë/Thuringwethil)

Akallabêth in August

Works Completed 2016-17


Three Sentence Fics: Tolkien by Zdenka

Cast all Away by Zdenka

Flowers of Vardarianna by Zdenka

(the rings of) Power by just_ jenni

Of the Last Alliance by just_jenni

A Different Kind of Peace by Tyelca

Beast With A Human Face by hennethgalad

Circus by hennethgalad

Creepy Basement by hennethgalad

Sauron by hennethgalad

The Temple of Melkor by hennethgalad

The Witch-King of Angmar by hennethgalad

Mordor by hennethgalad

Dol Guldur by hennethgalad

The Last Ship by hennethgalad

Shelob by hennethgalad

Bringing Trouble to Barad-dur, by Aiwen

Faithful by Fernstrike

Romennie by Kaylee Arafinwiel

The Battles We Choose by Hoglorfen

Wolves and Shattered Shields by Hoglofren

Numenor That Was by Himring

Three by the Door by Himring

The Embalmer’s Apprentice by Lyra

And Last of All by Elleth

Fee of Passage by Elleth

Let Us Sing Together by StarSpray

Like a Shooting Star by StarSpray

Outrun, Outlast by StarSpray

The World Ahead by StarSpray

Silver by inglodamn

Not Wholly Fruitless by maeglin

Drabbles for Tolkien Weekly by Ysilme

AfterWinter, There Comes Spring by Ysilme

Something Spicy by Ysilme

Just Desserts by Lingwiloke

Love Over Gold by Keiliss

Lalwen’s Box by Silver Trails

In Lindon by Silver Trails

Laying the Foundation by Lotrfan

The Decadent Queen by Scribe of Mirrormere

Voices of the Sea by The Wavesinger

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Character of the Month Biography




Haldad is the first named leader of the second House of the Edain, the Haladin. He came over the Ered Luin into Beleriand from the east in the year 312 of the First Age. He fell, together with his son Haldar, fighting against an onslaught of Orcs against the Haladin in 375,1 which culminated in the Battle of the Gelion-Ascar Stockade. Haldad is most often remembered by aficionados of Tolkien’s legendarium as the father of Haleth the Hunter: "Haldad had twin children: Haleth his daughter, and Haldar his son."2 Haleth survived to follow her father as Chieftain of the Haladin and became the most famous leader of their people.3

His people were referred to as the Haladin, later to be called the House of Haleth or Halethrim,4 to honor their favorite daughter and beloved leader. In The Silmarillion, when Bëor met Finrod Felagund, he described to him how the Haladin were smaller in stature than the Bëorians, presumably with the same dark hair and dark eyes. He further remarked that they were a people who "used few words, and did not love great concourse of men; and many among them delighted in solitude, wandering free in the greenwoods while the wonder of the lands of the Eldar was new upon them."5

The Customs and Languages of Haldad’s People

One point of agreement which persists throughout all accounts of the House of Haldad (the most detailed of those are to be found in The Silmarillion and Unfinished Tales) is that they were self-conscious isolationists: "The Folk of Haleth were strangers to the other Atani, speaking an alien language; and though united with them in alliance with the Eldar, they remained a people apart."6 They took orders from no one, not even having designated leaders until harassment by the Orcs had reached a critical stage when combined action became indispensable for their survival.7 We read that the "Haladin did not live under the rule of lords or many together, but each homestead was set apart and governed its own affairs, and they were slow to unite."8 It was under the circumstances of an all-out offensive against them that Haldad was chosen as the first Chieftain of the Haladin. After much insistence in the texts upon the value the Haladin placed upon their separation, however, we are then told in Unfinished Tales that they were multilingual:

Among themselves they adhered to their own language, and though of necessity they learned Sindarin for communication with the Eldar and the other Atani, many spoke it haltingly, and some of those who seldom went beyond the borders of their own woods did not use it at all.9

We also discover that, alone among the Atani, the Haladin maintained a special relationship with a people of a wholly different kind, the Drúedain. One of Tolkien’s more interesting and unusual flights of imagination is the development of a close relationship between this "unlovely"10 people, who nonetheless were considered to be "of great service to those among whom they dwelt, and they were much sought after; though few would ever leave the land of the Folk of Haleth."11 In the time of Haleth, an "emigrant branch of the Drúedain" followed them into the Forest of Brethil at the end of the First Age.12 They were to remain a small but noteworthy element attached to Haldad’s otherwise inward-looking followers.

The status of women within a community tells us something about a people and also reveals something about their leader, in this case Haldad. It is well known that the People of Haldad had a tradition of shieldmaidens among their people, of which Haleth is only the most outstanding example:

One of the strange practices spoken of was that many of their warriors were women, though few of these went abroad to fight in the great battles. This custom was evidently ancient; for their chieftainess Haleth was a renowned Amazon with a picked bodyguard of women.13

Tolkien, with his fascination for all things Northern, would have been well aware of the legendry surrounding the shieldmaidens in Norse mythology and other Scandinavian sagas. One does not have to look far for various possible models for Haleth’s women warriors. It is interesting, if only as an aside, that in telling the story of Haldad’s people there is no attempt within Haleth’s saga to tame the wild shieldmaiden, as is done with Éowyn in The Lord of the Rings. Haleth is rewarded for her determination with a lifelong position of leadership and respect. And she is permitted, within her narrative, to fulfill this role with wisdom and grace.

Haldad’s Defense against the Orcs and his Death

Early in the third century of the Years of the Sun, Orcs began to overrun the eastern part of Thargelion where the Haladin dwelt, posing a clear threat to their survival as a people. Morgoth "sent out an Orc-raid, and passing east it escaped the leaguer, and came in stealth back over Ered Lindon by the passes of the Dwarf-road, and fell upon the Haladin in the southern woods of the land of Caranthir."14 Haldad rallied his able-bodied warriors around him and built a stockade:

. . . he gathered all the brave men that he could find, and retreated to the angle of land between Ascar and Gelion [rivers], and in the utmost corner he built a stockade across from water to water; and behind it they led all the women and children that they could save. There they were besieged, until their food was gone.15

There is no detailed description of this fortress in The Silmarillion. We can only extrapolate how it might have been constructed and what it must have looked like from examining what we know of real world defensive structures in a similar landscape. When one thinks of early defensive structures discovered in the British Isles, for example, one thinks of the stone and earthwork hill forts. These were often made of stone and their construction would have taken considerable time and skill. Since the Haladin are described as a woodland people, it is unlikely they engaged in stonework or complicated construction of defensive structures. (Although we do read that the early Edain, presumably including even the "less eager for lore" Haladin, "learned swiftly of the Eldar all such art and knowledge as they could receive."16) Fleeing with Orcs on one’s heels, with children and the elderly, makes even rudimentary stonework seem unlikely. It might be easier to imagine the simplest of barricades, with walls constructed of upright logs and perhaps a fortified tower or two.

Penned within their makeshift fortress and running low on food, Haldad led an ill-fated sortie against the Orcs and was slain.17 Then young Haldar, rushing out "to save his father's body from their butchery, was hewn down beside him."18 With the death of Haldad, the tale turns to the account of Haleth’s valiant defense of their stockade. Haleth continued to fight off the Orc troops for nearly a week, although many had lost hope and some even threw themselves into the rivers and drowned.19 "But seven days later, as the Orcs made their last assault and had already broken through the stockade, there came suddenly a music of trumpets, and Caranthir with his host came down from the north and drove the Orcs into the rivers."20 Haleth’s meeting with Caranthir became for many readers one of the most beloved stories of the First Age and a rare one in that a self-determined woman is the principal actor.

As for Haldad, the relatively unsung father of this much-admired woman character (quite a switch for Tolkien), had also played a significant and honorable role in the future of his people—strong and respected, loyal to friends and stalwart against his enemies. Following his example, his people stuck to their roots. That became, for good or ill, his legacy:

They did not willingly adopt new things or customs, and retained many practices that seemed strange to the Eldar and the other Atani, with whom they had few dealings except in war. Nonetheless they were esteemed as loyal allies and redoubtable warriors, though the companies that they sent to battle beyond their borders were small. For they were and remained to their end a small people, chiefly concerned to protect their own woodlands, and they excelled in forest warfare.21

Works Cited

  1. The War of the Jewels, The Grey Annals.
  2. It is through the descendants of Haleth’s nephew Haldan, the son of Haldar (who had sired a son before his early death), that Elrond traces his lineage back beyond Eärendil into the line of the Chieftains of the Haladin. The Silmarillion, "Of the Coming of Men into the West."
  3. The Silmarillion, "Of the Coming of Men into the West."
  4. Unfinished Tales, "Index."
  5. The Silmarillion, "Of the Coming of Men into the West."
  6. Unfinished Tales, "The Drúedain."
  7. Ibid.
  8. The Silmarillion, "Of the Coming of Men into the West."
  9. Unfinished Tales, "The Drúedain."
  10. Christopher Tolkien notes that "[t]o the eyes of Elves and other Men they were unlovely in looks: they were stumpy (some four foot high) but very broad, with heavy buttocks and short thick legs." Their wide faces distinguished by "deep-set eyes with heavy brows, and flat noses," may not have been considered attractive among the Edain, but they were revered for their good nature and certain magical skills and other uniquely developed attributes, including foresight. (Their use of that in Númenor is a story in itself.) Unfinished Tales, "The Drúedain."
  11. Unfinished Tales, "The Drúedain."
  12. Ibid.
  13. Ibid.
  14. The Silmarillion, "Of the Coming of Men into the West."
  15. Ibid.
  16. The Silmarillion, "Of the Coming of Men into the West."
  17. The Peoples of Middle-earth, The Quendi and the Eldar, §25.
  18. Ibid.
  19. Ibid.
  20. The Silmarillion, "Of the Coming of Men into the West."
  21. Unfinished Tales, "The Drúedain."

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View all archived stories about Haldad.

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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 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.

The Heretic Loremaster: Tolkien Fan Fiction Sources (Or, “The Silmarillion” as a Gateway Drug)

Dawn Felagund shares a further insight drawn from data from her Tolkien Fanfic Survey, this time about the sources used by authors in the Tolkien fandom. Read more at Dawn's Heretic Loremaster blog

"The stories we love best": Slashing the canon by exploring gender, sexuality and identity

Members of online fan-communities are a highly diverse crowd of people. These people are brought together across age, nationalities, genders, sexualities and class because of a common interest in items of fiction. These communities thus become platforms where enormous amounts of information and knowledge is shared between the different members, creating outlets for marginalized groups and voices to be heard and recognized. It is on these online fan-communities that fanfiction is written, and more specifically, also slash-fiction. Slash-fiction are stories written by fans that portray homosexual relationships and sexual intimacies in works of fictional canon. This paper looks at three works of fictional canon that have all been made into slash-fiction – the Lord of the Rings trilogy, the Harry Potter series, and the Disney-movie Frozen.

Why We Need Femslash

"The fight for equality in society is more prevalent than ever. Gay marriage is being legalized in more countries every year, celebrities seem less hesitant about coming out, and an increasing number of TV shows are including queer characters." This is the opening paragraph of "Why We Need Femslash", a Master’s thesis on Book and Digital Media Studies by Katie Wolters from the University of Leiden.

Mythmoot IV: Invoking Wonder

The Mythmoot IV event was held from June 1 – 4, 2017 at the National Conference Center in Leesburg, VA. A series of video recordings of the event can be found at the Signum University Youtube Channel.

Eternally inspiring

Tolkien artist Alan Lee speaks about his inspiration for his vision of the fictional realms of Tolkien's work, and in particular, for the illustrations he produced for Beren and Luthien. Read more here.

Why Doesn’t Ancient Fiction Talk About Feelings?

Julie Sedivy, the author of this article claims that Western literature has gradually progressed from narratives that relate actions and events to stories that portray minds in all their meandering, many-layered, self-contradictory complexities, and wonders if readers in the past were not interested in what characters thought and felt.

More on the Tolkien Biopic

Keep up to date with the upcoming Tolkien biopic movie, including information on the director and cast, through these links: The Verge, Variety, Deadline, The Mary Sue, and again on Deadline.


Middle Earth Festival (9th-10th September 2017)

The Middle Earth Festival is a family friendly annual event based around Sarehole Mill, Hall Green, Birmingham, the area where Tolkien played as a child. This year it will take place on 9th and 10th September.

Deutsche Tolkien Gesellschaft - Annual Seminar (October 2017)

Tolkien Society's sister society in Germany, Deutsche Tolkien Gesellschaft (DTG), is hosting its annual seminar from 27th to 29th October 2017 at Augsburg University with the theme “Literary Worldbuilding”. This is the 14th annual Seminar for DTG, supported by Walking Tree Publishers. To celebrate the 20th anniversary of the society, they have opened up two scholarships offering paid travel and accommodation for the duration of the event. Find out more at

"Celebrate Tolkien" event to be held in South Carolina (9th-10th November 2017)

A brand new event "Celebrate Tolkien", also announced by the Tolkien Society will take place at Greenville, South Caroline on the 9th and 10th of November 2017. Limited to 180 people, it will include two days of talks from artists, academics and performers, as well as games, themed-music and a pipe-smoking competition. More information also at

Innumerable Stars - Sign-ups Open

Innumerable Stars is a Tolkien fandom gift exchange for all works by Tolkien or associated with Middle-earth.

The Schedule for 2017 is:

Nominations Open: Sunday, 16 July 2017, 3:00 PM UTC
Nominations Close: Sunday, 30 July 2017, 3:00 PM UTC
Sign-ups Open: Sunday, 30 July 2017, 11:59 PM UTC
Sign-ups Close: Monday, 14 August 2017, 3:00 PM UTC
Assignments Out: Tuesday, 15 August 2017, 3:00 PM UTC
Assignments Due: Sunday, 08 October 2017, 3:00 PM UTC
Works Revealed: Sunday, 15 October 2017, 3:00 PM UTC
Authors Revealed: Sunday, 22 October 2017, 3:00 PM UTC

The Darkest Night - Sign-ups Open

The Darkest Night is a multi-fandom exchange fest celebrating dark themes in fanworks. You sign up with a list of fandoms and characters to create a fanwork (either fanart or fanfic) for another person, and someone else will do the same for you. This exchange is run on Archive of Our Own.

The Schedule for 2017 is:

Nominations open: July 9
Nominations close: July 23
Sign-ups open: July 28
Sign-ups close: August 11
Works due: September 30
Works revealed: October 5 (8:00PM EDT)
Creators revealed: October 12 (8:00PM EDT)

Fandom Growth - Sign-ups Open

Fandom Growth is a multifandom exchange for ultra-rare fandoms, relationships, and characters with ten or fewer complete fics (or five or fewer contributing authors) on AO3.

The Schedule for 2017 is:

Nominations open: July 17th at 11:55 PM UTC
Nominations close: July 31st at 11:55 PM UTC
Sign-ups open: August 3rd at 11:55 PM UTC
Sign-ups close: August 17th at 11:55 PM UTC
Assignments sent: August 22nd at 11:55 PM UTC
Default deadline: October 8th at 11:55 PM UTC
Assignments due: October 22nd at 11:55 PM UTC
Works revealed: November 3rd at 11:55 PM UTC
Authors revealed: November 8th at 11:55 PM UTC

Femslash Exchange 2017 - Nominations Open

Femslash Exchange is an annual fanart and fanfic exchange for fans of femslash, all fandoms and original work welcome.

The Schedule for 2017 is:

26 July-10 August: Nomination Period
13-23 August:: Signups open
26 August: Assignments will be sent out by this date
7 October: Fanworks due
13 October: Archive goes live (or as soon as everyone has a gift)
21 October: Creators revealed

Calls for Papers

TWC Special Issue CFP: Fans of Color, Fandoms of Color (3/1/18; 3/15/19)

The editors invite the submission of short and long scholarly essays by and about people of color who self-identify as fans (“fans of color”), and about fan communities that have formed around media characters and texts that predominantly or prominently feature characters of color (“fandoms of color”). The editors are particularly eager to review contributions that involve methodological innovation, and/or draw on sources from historical periods other than the contemporary.

As both the scholars and objects fan studies have, to date, been predominantly white, we seek work from fan scholars of every ethnicity about their own experiences, and the experiences of people of color, in and with fandom.

Due date is March 1, 2018, for estimated March 2019 publication. For Submission Guidelineas and more information, visit Special Issue CFP at TWC Tumblr.

TWC Special Issue CFP: Tumblr and Fandom (05/01/17; 06/15/18)

This special issue of TWC seeks to explore Tumblr as a (not infrequently contested) fandom platform, in which cultures of age, gender, sexuality, race, dis/ability, class, nationality, religion, language, and so on connect and sometimes clash in the contact zones of fandoms.

Due date is May 1, 2017, for estimated June 2018 publication. Symposium essay can be submitted through September 1, 2017. For Submission Guidelineas and more information, visit the journal of Transformative Works and Cultures.

CFP: Tolkien at Kalamazoo 2018

The conference will take place May 10 – 13, 2018 in Kalamazoo, Michigan, US, including four sessions on Tolkien. More information at

CFP for Tolkien Studies at Popular Culture 2018


Presenting at PCA/ACA:

For information on the Tolkien Studies area, please contact:

Robin Anne Reid
Department of Literature and Languages
A&M University-Commerce
Commerce, TX 75429

Or check the Tolkien Studies at Popular Culture Public Group on Facebook.

The Tolkien Studies Area welcomes proposals for papers or sessions in any area of Tolkien Studies (the Legendarium, adaptations, reader reception and fan studies, source studies, cultural studies, tourism studies, literary studies, medieval and medievalist studies, media and marketing) from any disciplinary or interdisciplinary perspective. Sessions are scheduled in 1½ hour slots, typically with four papers or speakers per paper session. Roundtables may have five-seven speakers. Currently proposed sessions we are especially interested in filling are: Queer Tolkien Studies and The Future of Tolkien Studies.

To submit your paper or panel proposal, go to and follow the instructions for creating an account and making your submission. ALL submissions must be made through the conference submission site.

For individual papers, please submit a title and 100-word abstract with a working bibliography. For roundtables or complete paper sessions, please submit titles and abstracts for all papers, along with a paragraph describing the central theme and the names of chairs, participants, and respondents (if any). For each participant, please provide a mailing address, institutional affiliation, and e-mail address.

Key Dates:

Jul 1 - Database Opens for Submissions
Oct 1 - Registration Opens
Oct 1 - Deadline for Paper Proposals
Oct 15 - All Sessions Entered into the Database by Area Chairs
Nov 15 - Early Bird Registration Rate Ends
Dec 1 - Preliminary Program Available
Dec 15 - "Drop Dead" Date: Participants Not Registered Removed from Program
Jan 1, 2018 - Final Program to Publisher

Around the World and Web is provided for our members to inform them of events in the larger Tolkien community. SWG is not affiliated with and does not endorse the groups that we feature in Around the World and Web, and we are not responsible for content on sites outside of our own. Please use discretion and caution when visiting unfamiliar sites on the Internet.

Would you like to see your group or event featured on Around the World and Web? See our Promotions Page for more details or email us at

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