TheSilmarillionWriters'Guild

Newsletter: December 2016

Table of Contents


SWG News

Challenges Will Become, Well... Challenging!

Our Challenges section has been an integral part of the SWG since 2005! The time has come to spruce it up and make it even more stimulating. As of January 2017, check it out. There will be surprises both for authors, readers and commenters. Don’t miss it!

The Library of Tirion is Back

Back in 2010 as the SWG reached two very significant milestones (our 5th birthday and our 1000th story), we, moderators, thought it a good time to look back to the time before us. So we started the Library of Tirion, a section in our Archive devoted to all the writers and stories that were written before 2007 when the SWG Archive was made available as the single Silmarillion only site. Thanks to the invaluable help of people who had been around at the time, the Library of Tirion got off to a very successful launch and 47 stories were uploaded during the following two years. Throughout that time, our members’ input was key to rediscover representative authors and so be able to track and contact them.

With the closure of Henneth Annun Story Archive and the loss of such a big repository of classic Silmfics, the need to make these stories easily available became more pressing so we’ve decided to ask for your aid again.

If you'd like to suggest an author for inclusion in the Library of Tirion project, please see our Library of Tirion page.

We look forward to receiving your contributions!

Ten Things You Wish the SWG Archive Could Do …
(… That It Actually Does!)

Recently, we asked you to share your thoughts in a survey about our group and what we could do to improve the SWG. An important part of our mission has always been working to keep the site friendly and accessible to as many Silmarillion fans as want to use it. My comods and I have been going through the survey results with a mind to how we can make the site more convenient, useful, and fun for all of our members.

One thing we asked was about a sort of wish list for the archive. If you could wave a magic wand over the site and make it do anything at all, what would you have it do? The suggestions we received are illustrative of something we've known and have been discussing for a while now: The site is badly in need of an upgrade. It simply cannot compete with sites like AO3 that have entire development teams to keep it not just modern but functional. The software our site is built with has not been updated in a long while, and we have begun looking into options for what we might use instead of eFiction.

Any decision on this issue requires a lot of planning and consideration and won't be accomplished overnight. But while pondering the direction we will be taking in the next few years, a handful of wish-list items jumped out at me, mostly because the SWG site actually already does a lot of what people are asking to see! In some cases, they aren't intuitively located or are easily overlooked; in all cases, they are possibly things that can make the site more useful for you right now.

1. I wish I could get email alerts when someone comments on my story.
Switching on email notifications for new comments is literally three clicks away. Go to Account Info -> Preferences and tick the first box ("Contact for new reviews") and click the Submit button at the bottom of the page.

Want email notifications when someone replies to a comment you've left? Click the second box as well ("Contact when author responds to review") and then the Submit button.

2. I would love to make rec lists for my favorite stories.
All members have a Favorites list, and each story has a link at the bottom to add it to your favorites list. For favorite stories, you have the option to add a comment about why you chose that story. You can access a member's favorites list on their profile, after their bio.

One could, however, make the argument that rec lists aren't much fun buried at the bottom of a profile. Or maybe you want to make a rec list on a specific topic, like favorite stories about a particular character or exploring a specific theme, that can't be done with a simple favorites list. For these purposes, you can create collections of stories using the Add New Series option under Account Info. Typically, authors think of series as collections of their own works that are part of the same arc. Our site, however, allows you to add stories by other authors to a series, as well as create an open series that anyone can add to. Want to collect the best stories about a particular pairing? Every story on the site set in a particular place? You can do this using the series function.

3. Why oh why can't we have bookmarks?
We would love them too! But bookmarks unfortunately aren't an option offered by the software we use. However, if you want to create a list of stories to return to later, you can either add the story to your favorites--your favorites are available via your Account Info page or your profile--or create a series, as explained in #2.

Want to get an email update when a story is updated? Check out #4 below!

4. I want to get an email when a work-in-progress I'm reading has been updated, or when an author whose work I like posts a new story.
You can opt to receive an email notification when a story or an author you've added to your favorites list has updated. To opt into this email, go to Account Info -> Edit Preferences and check the box labeled "Contact when favorites are updated."

You can add a story or author to your favorites list from the story listing, the table of contents, or from a chapter within the story. At the bottom of the listing or page, click the link Add Story to Favorites or Add Author to Favorites, and you will be notified when that story or writer updates.

5. It would be useful to be able to see a list of all of the available characters, warnings, genres, and challenges before I post a story.
The Browse page is useful for seeing lists of things sorted by category. Want a list of stories about Mîm? Or to see all of the genres you can choose from without having to scroll through the selection boxes on the story submission form? Browse is the place to look.

6. I wish I could comment on articles in the Reference Library or add them to my favorites list.
All articles in References are cross-posted to the archive. Clicking on the title takes you to the Reference Library rather than to an entry in the archive, but all other archive functions are available. You can comment on the article by clicking the Reviews link at the top of the entry, and you can add it to a series or add it to your favorites using the links at the bottom. See the series Reference Library: Essays and Reference Library: Periodicals to see these stories posted on the archive and show our Reference authors some love!

7. I would post more if only my MS Word formatting could be preserved somehow.
Word's inability to play nice on the Internet has been the bane of fanfic writers for as long as fanfic writers have been posting on the Internet. Microsoft Word creates all kinds of extra code in its documents that doesn't always display correctly online. (Meaning it pretty much never displays correctly but looks like something Ungoliant chewed up to feed her spawn.)

There is a solution to this, however. To paste directly from a Word document, you will first need to make sure that the rich-text editor is turned on for the story submission form. To do this, go to Account Info -> Edit Preferences and check the box labeled "Use tinyMCE WYSWYG editor."

When you go to the story submission form, you will now see a rich-text editor above every field where you are allowed to use HTML formatting. (If you want to enter HTML, you can switch off the rich-text editor right from the story submission form, using the checkbox below each field.) In the second row of buttons on the rich-text editor, find the button to the right that looks like a clipboard with a blue W over it. This is the Paste from Word button.

Click it and a field will open up where you can paste text directly from Word. Helpful monsters will eat all of the extra Word coding before delivering a fine, cleaned up, perfectly formatted version of your story to the story submission form, ready to post in a matter of seconds.

8. Other sites give me stats on my stories. I'd love to see them here too.
To view your statistics, go to Account Info -> View Site Statistics. Clicking on the link for the number of stories you've written will return a list of all of your stories with page clicks, number of favorites, and number of reviews. The View Chapters link will further show your stats broken down by chapter, in case you were curious if chapters with steamy scenes tend to receive more clicks. (Popular wisdom says, yes, they do!)

9. It's so annoying when I click on a story and get sent to the Table of Contents instead! I wish I could just go right into Chapter One.
You can opt whether, for multiple-chapter stories, you'd like to see the Table of Contents or Chapter One when you click on the title of a story. If you want to dive right into a new story, go to Account Info -> Edit Preferences and uncheck the box "Display table of contents for stories." (Likewise, if you want to go into the Table of Contents first--this lets you see a list of chapters, as well as story and chapter notes--make sure you tick this box.)

10. It would be cool to add things to the site other than just text, like images or even podfic.
Images are allowed on the archive within stories (but not in summaries), as long as you have the right to use the image. Our image FAQ has complete details on where you can use images and what our rules are concerning their use.

To add an image to your story, you will need to have the image hosted somewhere on the Web that allows you to create a hyperlink to that image. If you are posting your story in HTML, simply add the HTML code for the image. If you are using the rich-text editor, click on the button with the green tree, found in the middle of the array of buttons. This will open a dialog box where you can paste in the URL for your image and write alternate text for readers using screen readers.

The SWG also allows its members to upload and comment on podfic and other sound files. Visit our podfic archive to see what our members have created so far or learn more about creating and sharing podfic.

Moderators Needed for Back to Middle-earth Month 2017

Back to Middle-earth Month, affectionately known as B2MeM, is an annual Tolkien fandom holiday that spans the month of March. The SWG was one of the founding groups that popularized B2MeM, which eventually became large and popular enough that it made sense to treat it as a group independent of the sites that initially promoted it.

Because of this, site mods are no longer automatically B2MeM mods, and the group needs volunteer moderators for its 2017 project. This is a single-year commitment, running from December through early April. If you have enjoyed B2MeM in the past and would be interested in helping as a moderator, see the B2MeM moderator announcement for more information.

Mereth Aderthad Planning Committee Members and Volunteers Needed

The first Mereth Aderthad--an event and holiday held in northeastern Vermont from 14-22 July 2017--is looking for members of its planning committee as well as volunteers willing to take on odd jobs as planning for the event commences. You do not need to attend the event to volunteer. If you're interested, see the Mereth Aderthad call for volunteers.

Welcome to Our New Members!

We give a warm welcome to three new members: Enoch, Katnor, and gurthang, who joined the Silmarillion Writers' Guild during the month of November. .

We hope you have already found your way around our site and begun reading, reviewing or posting at the archive, but if you are still exploring or unsure about how things work around the site, you may wish to browse our Frequently Asked Questions. Also, we would love you to tell us a little bit about your fandom persona by updating your bio. Anytime you need help, please contact the SWG mods at moderator@silmarillionwritersguild.org.


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New at the Archive

Completed Works

A Cunning Deceit by Sleepless_Malice † [Adult] (9219 words)
Summary: Mairon discovers a new game he likes to play with his favorite captive, and much to his amusement Maedhros takes equal delight in it — until the illusion scatters. Spiced up with a pinch of unhealthy Angbang.

A Stiff Northern Breeze by Himring [Teens] (3716 words)
Summary: During the time of the Siege of Angband, the princes of the Noldor meet once again in council, this time at Tol Sirion. Maedhros has a disturbing conversation with Orodreth, their host. He discusses Orodreth with Fingon, while they take a walk along the river. A Christmas present for Alasse--Christmas 2010, that is. Only about two months late, that's almost punctual, for me... Thank you for the discussion of weather conditions in northern Beleriand, Alasse! Maedhros/Fingon.

Craving Dreams by Sleepless_Malice [Adult](3007 words)
Summary: Gil-galad spends some free time at the beach close to his realm in Lindon, thinking he is alone until he realizes that Elrond is present as well. Based on the wonderful MMM-prompt: "His sword was long, his lance was keen" - and he has to 'polish' it regularly.

Dust is the Only Secret by Agelast [Adult] (1398 words)
Summary: Dust is the only Secret—Death, the only One. After the Nírnaeth Arnoediad, Maedhros struggles to continue on. Written for Trick or Treat 2016, for Amyfortuna.

Love Over Gold by Keiliss [Adult] (15811 words)
Summary: Glorfindel meets a strange being beside the sea at Mithlond and is amazed months later when Erestor makes his way to Imladris to find him. But for everything, there is a price.

Rebellion by Uvatha the Horseman [Teens] (4001 words)
Summary: Mairon gradually makes the decision to leave Aule's household and join Melkor's.

Shattered Disguise by Sleepless_Malice [Teens] (3487 words)
Summary: “Because in a few years you’ll sit in Mandos’ halls and regret your choices!" Sometimes dark and gloomy thoughts are necessary to unveil the truth.

Spirit of Fire by Lotrfan [General] (7382 words)
Summary: I recently did a series of 100-word drabbles about Maedhros (No Flame Burns Forever). It was a good exercise so I thought I would try a similar idea with Fëanor as the central character. I have been reluctant to utilize him as a character in my works, as I am somewhat intimidated when I think about writing him. These short glimpses into his life gave me a better sense of how I think of him in my head canon and made me more comfortable with his character in general. So here is a series of 100-word (occasionally more than 100 words!) drabbles from the point of view of Fëanor.

The Chain That Snaps by Independence1776 † [Adult] (2680 words)
Summary: Elrond rescues Maglor from a laboratory. Hurt/comfort.

The Ice Between by Nibeneth [Adult] (35507 words)
Summary: Nearly two decades after rescuing Maedhros from Angband, Fingon visits him at his newly-completed fortress of Himring. Much has changed since they were carefree in love in the bliss of Valinor, and they too must change in order to overcome the obstacles of their new situation.

Works in Progress

Denouement by hennethgalad [Adult]
Summary: Finrod and Glorfindel are introduced.
Chapters added this month: Chapter 1.

Drabbles: The Silmarillion, part 2 by Zdenka [Teens]
Summary: Drabbles set during 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.
Chapters added this month: Morgoth's Harvest and Memory.

Eithel Ivrin by hennethgalad [Teens]
Summary: Finrod meets Glorfindel. swimming. there are golden flowers. I just want to point out that Finrod had a badge bearing a crown of golden flowers. in my view the flower is gorse, also known as whin, often found in dells.
Chapters added this month: Chapter 1 and Chapter 2.

Excavating Nargothrond by hennethgalad [Adult]
Summary: how Felagund got his title
Chapters added this month: Chapter 1.

Gorse by hennethgalad [Adult]
Summary: Eithel Ivrin ii
Chapters added this month: Chapter 1.

One Hundred Words About Maedhros by Himring [Teens]
Summary: Drabbles in my 'Doom' series. Not necessarily gloomy! 100 words according to Word.
Chapter added this month: Every Breath.

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: Alqualondë - Part III.

Taking Readings by Himring [Author Chooses Not to Rate]
Summary: Very short pieces set in Beleriand or Valinor, some of which are slightly experimental.
Chapter added this month: Forward and Back.

The Last Ship by hennethgalad [General]
Summary: Frodo learns of Finrod and Glorfindel
Chapters added this month: Chapter 1.

The Last Ship ii by hennethgalad [General]
Summary: Glorfindel returns to Finrod
Chapters added this month: Chapter 1.

The Table of Fingolfin by hennethgalad [General]
Summary: Turgon confesses manipulating people
Chapters added this month: Chapter 1.

When days were younger by Taylor17387 † [Adult]
Summary: Melkor came to Arda to hurt it. Tulkas came to Arda to hurt Melkor. What the fighter of the Valar didn't know, is that his enemy would turn more dangerous once defeated.
Chapter added this month: Noon of Passions.

Poetry

The Song I Will Never Sing by Fernstrike [Teens](417 words)
Summary: Ages from now, Daeron remains in the East, and he remembers. (Or, a poem of one that felt too much and made terrible decisions because of it)

Non Fiction

non-fiction on the nature of elves by hennethgalad [General] (1087 words)
Summary: consideration of free will and the nature of elves


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Character of the Month Biography

Emeldir the Manhearted

Robinka


There are a few notable women of the House of Bëor mentioned by name in The Silmarillion. Among them, there is the one who has only one actual sentence to her, plus a few mentions in passing, and yet we all know that one sentence sometimes can make for the whole, long story. Our today's heroine is Emeldir, the mother of Beren Camlost. To have a famous husband and even a more famous son may be intimidating, but Emeldir seems to stand her ground, despite her laconic appearance. Let us see what we can find out about her.

Extraordinary nobody, or I have a name, can't you hear me roar

The "Index of Names" in The Silmarillion gives the following description of Emeldir:

Called the Man-hearted; wife of Barahir and mother of Beren; led the women and children of the House of Bëor from Dorthonion after the Dagor Bragollach. (She was herself a descendant of Bëor the Old, and her father's name was Beren; this is not stated in the text).1

This description is almost as long as the actual passage concerning Emeldir in The Silmarillion's chapter entitled "Of the Ruin of Beleriand and the Fall of Fingolfin", and that can be evidence of how scarce the mention of her in fact is. On the other hand however, quantity rarely equates quality, and we can easily deduce from that tiny number of lines that Emeldir was indeed a significant character and a fine addition to the great house of the Edain.

There are two versions of Emeldir's nickname, hyphenated and not hyphenated. In this bio I choose to use the latter. "Tolkien Gateway" suggests after Patrick H. Wynne that Emeldir's name can be derived from Sindarin words 'emel' meaning mother and 'dir' meaning man, which may be seen as a kind of testament to her 'manly' courage and comes close to the epithet 'manhearted'. Also, I assume, her name could be translated as 'mother of man', and that way it would rather indicate her son's valor, not hers directly.

A descendant of both Bëor the Old and Marach,2 Emeldir married Barahir. We do not know when. What we can find in The Grey Annals is that she gave birth to her son Beren in the year 432 of the First Age.3 She was twenty-six at that time. We neither know anything about her life prior to her marriage, nor before the times of the Dagor Bragollach. It is safe to say that we know nothing about her except that she was the wife of Barahir and the mother of Beren, who inherited his name after his maternal grandsire. Was that a habit? Or is it, more likely, an indication of her close relationship with her father? I opt for the latter because from the genealogical tables of the House of Bëor we cannot draw a conclusion that the Edain of that house named their children after their ascendants.

Mama said,4 or I'll be your Éowyn tonight5

After the Dagor Bragollach, Morgoth's power overshadowed the Northlands.6 Barahir remained in Dorthonion, fighting his enemies, but Morgoth pursued his people to death. The forests of the realm were so filled with dread and enchantment that even the orcs rarely passed through. It was called the Forest under Nightshade – the dreadful Taur-nu-Fuin, where trees were black and grim, and anyone who dared stray among them was haunted by 'phantoms of terror'. The situation in which Barahir's people found themselves was rather hopeless. And here comes the passage in The Silmarillion that makes Emeldir a heroine:

At last so desperate was the case of Barahir that Emeldir the Manhearted his wife (whose mind was rather to fight with her son and her husband than to flee) gathered together all the children that were left, and gave arms to those that would bear them; and she led them into the mountains that lay behind, and so by perilous paths, until they came at last with loss and misery to Brethil.7

Either by her own decision, or with a little bit of persuasion, Emeldir – clearly a woman capable of wielding weapons and knowledgeable as to the ways of defence – took upon a task of saving the women, children, and probably the elderly, too, of her tribe. And she succeeded, even though there were casualties during the escape since it was not an easy trek in the green hills, only a lifesaving mission under the nose of an ever-watchful enemy and his spies. The tragic cost of her providing rescue came also in the fact that she never saw her husband and her son again. However, it was thanks to her courage and talents that the two famous families of the Edain, Húrin's and Huor's, came into being, because she saved the lives of Morwen and Rían, the wives of Húrin and Huor respectively, and from Huor's and Rían's blood came generations of rulers of Men in Middle-earth.

(...) Some were there [in Brethil] received among the Haladin, but some passed on over the mountains to Dor-lómin and the people of Galdor, Hador's son; and among those were Rían, daughter of Belegund, and Morwen, who was named Eledhwen, that is Elfsheen, daughter of Baragund.8

The men of Dorthonion became outlaws, hiding in the mountains, hunted and slain one by one, until only twelve remained with Barahir, and from there another great tale of the First Age begins. The refugees, as it is said in The Silmarillion, never saw them again. We know nothing of Emeldir's further doings, nor do we know when and where she finally met her demise. Though, I believe that she stayed with her relatives in Dor-lómin throughout the rest of her days, hopefully enjoying a well-deserved respect and fame what what she had done for her people. Or at least until the realm was overrun by Morgoth.




Works Cited

  1. The Silmarillion, "The Index of Names."
  2. The genealogical tables in The History of Middle Earth, Vol. XI:, The War of the Jewels: The Latest Quenta Silmarillion, Commentary on "Of the Coming of Men into the West, (i) The House of Bëor." Emeldir (born in the year 406 of the First Age) was the daughter of the man named Beren, had two unnamed siblings, and was his third child.
  3. The History of Middle Earth, Vol. XI:, The War of the Jewels, The Grey Annals, § 139. In the commentary, Christopher Tolkien states that Emeldir is not named in earlier texts (§139).
  4. Song by Metallica: Kirk Hammet, James Hetfield, Jason Newsted, Lars Ulrich.
  5. I can't help but think about the scene in The Two Towers, when Éowyn insists that she can fight, but her uncle asks her to lead the people of Rohan to Helm's Deep. I wonder whether Emeldir might have had a similar conversation with Barahir.
  6. The Silmarillion, "Of the Ruin of Beleriand and the Fall of Fingolfin."
  7. Ibid. The same paragraph we can find in The History of Middle Earth, Vol. XI: The War of the Jewels, The Grey Annals, §159.
  8. Ibid. In The History of Middle Earth, Vol. 5: The Lost Road and Other Writings, The Later Annals of Beleriand, Annal 257, and Quenta Silmarillion, §139, Rían and Morwen lived in Hithlum and therefore did not have to escape from Dorthonion. As it is said in The Grey Annals (commentary on §159), when the Dagor Bragollach began, they were sojourning among their kinsfolk. But that story was rejected and Emeldir came onto the stage as their savior.



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View past character profiles.
View all archived stories about Emeldir.


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Current Challenge

Companies, Clubs, and Cliques

Tolkien's canon gives us many formal divisions among his characters: groups such as the Naugrim, Sindarin, and the Edain or family groups such as the Fëanorians. Through the Lambengolmor and the Gwaith i Mirdain, we also know that there were formal societies established around a shared interest in study and trade, while groups like the Aulendur suggest alliances existed along quasi-religious lines.

This challenge asks you to imagine what other character groupings might have existed beyond those we are provided in the texts. What other guilds and trade groups might have existed? Were there specialized or elite military companies? What about political, philosophical, and religious societies? Did characters join together in social clubs, or how did informal but powerful alliances in cliques shape the events of The Silmarillion? Your story can look at any aspect of a group--formal or informal--in Arda that Tolkien didn't identify or describe in his own writings.

Challenges Revisited: A Gift of a Story

As the year draws to a close, many of our members have or are preparing to celebrate winter holidays of celebration and thanksgiving. The new year is less than a month away, and we look back at another year of new experiences, new friends, and new stories. If you are at a loss for a new project for the month of December, then why not gift a story to a person who has helped and inspired you in the past year, based on his or her interests? Whether a beta-reader, reviewer, or just a good friend, drabbles, stories, and poems are a great way to show thanks and appreciation!

Quote of the Month

“Love is like a friendship caught on fire. In the beginning a flame, very pretty, often hot and fierce, but still only light and flickering. As love grows older, our hearts mature and our love becomes as coals, deep-burning and unquenchable.
― J Bruce Lee.

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.

Christopher Tolkien Awarded Bodley Medal

In honour of his contributions to J.R.R. Tolkien's literary legacy, Christopher Tolkien has been awarded the Oxford University's Bodleian Libraries' Bodley Medal. According to Tolkien Society chair Shaun Gunner, "This award is a testament to Christopher’s quiet scholarship as an editor, and a symbol of the continuing significance of J.R.R. Tolkien’s legendarium." Read more on the Bodleian website, on the Tolkien Society's website, or TheOneRing.net's announcement.

The Lay of Aotrou and Itroun Published

As we reported a few months ago, Tolkien's Lay of Aotrou and Itroun was set to be published on November 3. According to the Tolkien Society's announcement, the 506-verse poem and several shorter, related works are now available. Similar to other mythological re-workings from Tolkien's pen, this deserves consideration as a formative influence on Tolkien's own legendarium. Over at A Tolkienist's Perspective, blogger James also weighs in on the new volume.

John Garth: Beren and Lúthien, a Centenary Publication

The story of Beren and Lúthien is central to Tolkien's Legendarium: It is sung about by Aragorn in The Lord of the Rings (and of course Lúthien's likeness, Arwen, is very much present as a driving force behind Aragorn's journey), and The Silmarillion and History of Middle-earth provide not only a comprehensive text, but take detailed looks at the textual evolution of the different versions of the story as it grew and changed. John Garth, speculating about the contents of Harper Collins upcoming standalone edition, is perhaps justified in asking what new material or insight the new volume brings to the table. Read his treatment of this question on his blog.

Tolkien Biopic in the Works

Even after the apparent conclusion of the Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit movie franchises, it seems that fans are not done with Middle-earth on the silver screen. Directed by James Strong of Downton Abbey, Broadchurch, and Doctor Who fame, the movie's current title is Middle Earth [sic!] and according to TheOneRing.net's article it is set to explore "the tumultuous events" that led to the conception of J.R.R. Tolkien's life work. It will also cover Tolkien's romance with Edith Bratt, whom he later married. The script was reportedly penned after a six-year period of research and personal interviews. Read more takes on this story by The MarySue and Deadline.

Oxford Tolkien Society's Zine Collection Available Digitally

Fanzines are a crucial part of fannish history and culture. The Fanzine Archives is perhaps the largest non-digital effort at present, but the Oxford Tolkien Society Taruithorn has now also made its issues of the Miruvor fanzine available as PDF files.

The Sunset Kingdom, a Tolkien Fanfilm

After the success of fanfilms like Born of Hope and The Hunt for Gollum, a collective of fans known as Legendarium Video have embarked on a fanfilm project of their own inspired by both Tolkien's books and Peter Jacksons adaptations, telling the untold story of Glorfindel. The teaser trailer that was recently released shows Glorfindel in battle with the Nazgûl by the Ford of Bruinen. Watch it here.

What to Do with the Time That Is Given to Us: Processing Reality Through Pop Culture

At Becoming the Villainess, blogger Elise Ringo muses on "the role culture plays in politics (and politics plays in culture)" during the aftermath of the U.S. presidential election. She explores the idea of fiction not merely as escapism, but also as a framework for processing events and creating sense and meaning from familiar scripts. As a Tolkien fan, she also highlights the solace and "need for hope" that texts like Tolkien's can and do provide.

The Three Patch Problem Podcast's Fandom and Sexuality Survey

The Three Patch Problem's survey on fandom and sexuality has concluded, and results are available. They highlight 2200 fans' responses and shed light on demographics like age, gender, sexuality, and ethnicity, but also covered a range of other topics. Read the teaser report and find the link to the full report in that post.

Announcements

Mythmoot IV: Invoking Wonder…

Mythmoot IV will be held from Thursday, June 1 through Sunday, June 4, 2017, at the National Conference Center in Leesburg, VA. Note that this conference will be one day longer than previous Mythmoots! This long-expected and much-awaited event will feature special guests Dr. Verlyn Flieger (University of Maryland) and Dr. Michael Drout (Wheaton College). It will also include the traditional banquet on Saturday evening, with much food and merriment for all! Additional event information and special guests will be announced as details become available. Mythmoot has also issued a call for papers; find that in the section below.

Leeds International Medieval Congress 2017

The annual International Medieval Congress 2017 has been announced to be taking place in Leeds from July 3-6 on the theme of 'Otherness', citing "its wide application across all centuries and regions and its impact on all disciplines devoted to this epoch". Dr. Dimitra Fimi also reports that a number of Tolkien-related sessions have been accepted by the organizers: J. R. R. Tolkien: Medieval Roots and Modern Branches, ‘New’ Tolkien: Expanding the Canon, The Road Goes Ever On: The Future of Tolkien Scholarship – A Round Table Discussion and Otherness in Tolkien’s Medievalism.

Fandom Stocking

A decade of annual seasonal goodness since the inception of Fandom Stocking, and it's open again for all your fannish needs. Have a look at the announcement post and think up some gifts you'd like to receive, then head on to sign up. Signups close on December 14, while stocking stuffing can begin immediately. Stockings will be revealed on January 6.

Genprompt Bingo

Gen Prompt Bingo is a low commitment multi-fandom, multi-media bingo challenge. Its aim is to provide bingo cards of gen-style prompts to be used as inspiration in creating fic, images, meta, fanmixes, vids, or any other kind of fannish activities. Although the prompts themselves are "Gen" (i.e., no prompts are specifically about romance or sex), fills may be of any genre, style, or rating. Prompt lists are renewed at the start of December and April, and new cards can be claimed then even if a previous card has not been completed. There is an amnesty period for posting fills that can not be used for bingo claims from August to the end of November.

Poetry Fiction Ficathon

Poetry Fiction is is a community challenge dedicated to the celebration of poetry and fiction. Each year, there will be a featured poet, and on January 1st, participants will be given a stanza or poetry fragment from the work of the featured poet as a prompt. Signups are open until December 31; participants will then have 31 days to write at least 1,000 words. The 2017 featured poet is Vietnamese poet Ho Xuan Huong.

Femslash Galore!

It seems that December is the month of Femslash: Silmladylove on tumblr is running a Femslash Prompt Lottery on the December weekends, so head over there to send in your numbers and participate, check out the Tolkien prompts (NSFW!) waiting for fills at the Femslash Kink Meme, or participate in Femslash Revolution's Holidays and Happy Endings prompt fest. Happy creating, everyone!

The Holiday Season of Kink

Have you missed writing kinks? Well, it's time to put your kinky imagination to good use again! Join us for the Holiday Season of Kink! This challenge has a really generous deadline, so you have lots of time to create one fanwork for it, but you are of course free to do more than one if you want. The end of this Holiday Season of Kink (and last day to post your fanwork) is Valentine's Day, February 14th, 2017. Of course, the fanworks don't have to be holiday season-themed, if you don't want them to be, but if you want to throw in some of this season's holidays, we'll be happy to see it.

Calls for Papers

Vermont Tolkien Conference: Romances in Middle-earth

For the Tolkien at UVM Conference on Saturday April 8th, 8;30am-5:30pm: We welcome papers on every topic but will give priority to those addressing the theme [Romances in Middle-earth]. Tolkien wrote that he had the romances of William Morris in mind when writing The Lord of the Rings. We also know he was inspired by the Arthurian romances of England, Wales, and France. Tolkien’s own interlacing narrative style is very much derived from this medieval genre (while also anticipating the Post-modern). Additionally, Tolkien wrote of numerous romances of great intensity and poignancy within his narrative framework. Papers might consider these within the context of miscegenation, gender fluidity, or the homo-erotic, or they might explore other areas of interest.

Please submit abstracts by the February 1st deadline to Christopher Vaccaro at cvaccaro@uvm.edu.

Mythmoot IV (June 1-4, 2017, VA): Invoking Wonder…: Accepting Paper, Panel, Workshop, and Creative Presentation Proposals related to:

Imaginative Literature — Science Fiction, Fantasy, and Speculative Fiction from Mary Shelley and H.P Lovecraft to Ursula Le Guin and Neil Gaiman. Tolkien and Inklings Studies — Research on the works and lives of the Inklings as they interact with each other, their modern context, and classic and imaginative literature. Germanic Philology — Explore relationships between language and literature in the past, present, and future. Anything Else — Academic research or creative presentations that traverse literature in its wondrous variety.

Paper proposals should be approximately 100 words. Presentations will be under 20 minutes long.

Panel proposals must be submitted in one inclusive email, with approximately 100 words describing each paper. Panels will be presented in 1-hour sessions.

Workshop proposals should be approximately 200 words. Workshops will be allotted 1 hour in total.

Creative Presentation proposals should provide a short description (fewer than 200 words) of the presentation. Creative Presentations should be no longer than 30 minutes.

Proposals are accepted through 28 February 2017. Send proposals to events@mythgard.org with a subject line of "Paper Proposal," "Panel Proposal," "Workshop Proposal," or "Creative Presentation Proposal." Include a brief bio and A/V requirements. Please Note: Submission of any proposal is considered agreement by the presenter to attend Mythmoot and deliver the presentation if it is accepted.

Visit http://mythgard.org/ events/mythmoot-iv/ for more details!




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