February's Challenges

This February, as we snuggle in for the last leg of winter, we celebrate romance and love stories with two challenges, one tooled for adult writers and the other acceptable for authors of all ages. Many thanks go to Jenni (Digdigil) for her input and ideas regarding this month's challenges.

One True Love (for adult authors)

Many of us are guilty of it: that one pairing that captures our fantasies, the love story that Tolkien never wrote...but we just know it should have been. It torments our thoughts, expresses itself in awkward behavior in our otherwise well-behaved characters, and many times, goes unwritten for shame. It is wholly unjustified by the canon or is just too weird. Maybe the characters lived too far apart in time or geography to be brought together; maybe their differences were insurmountable to friendship much less romance. The characters might be different races, different species, or the same gender.

But for this challenge, I want you to forget all of your qualms, cast aside your inhibitions, and write your one true pairing.

No matter how odd, no matter how wrong it feels, share in a story why this pairing captivates you. Whether it is an AU (alternate universe) pairing as common as Maedhros and Fingon or as strange as Galadriel and Aulë (or even stranger!), your goal for this challenge is to build a story around the premise of love between two characters that we never seen Tolkien's canon. Het or slash is acceptable, but both characters in the pairing must be canon characters (although only one needs to be from The Silmarillion) and the story should be more than just a raucous love scene. Create characters and build a story that convinces your readers that these characters belong together, and use love scenes to advance your plot and characterization.

Love Conquers All (for all authors)

So the old saying goes: "Love conquers all?" Does it? Can love overcome the death of a loved one? The trauma of war? The pain of exile?

In this challenge, show how one character helps another to overcome a difficulty in his or her life through love and romance. At least one of the characters must be a canon character, but the pairing may also involve an original character or may be AU (alternate universe). It may be slash or het, and any rating is acceptable. The difficulty faced may be from the canon, implied by the canon, or may be AU.

Here are a few examples:

The Quote of the Month Challenge

As of February, a new quote will be presented each month as inspiration for stories, poems, and drabbles. The resulting stories need not take place at the point in the book from which the quote was taken but should be based on the idea and theme that the quote expresses. So, for example, while this month's quote involves Olwë speaking to Fëanor, a story for this challenge might take place in the Second Age, between the royalty of Numenor.

Thanks to Jenni (Digdigil) for suggesting this challenge and for the first month's quote!

“But it may be the part of a friend to rebuke a friend’s folly”.
-Olwë to Fëanor, The Silmarillion, “Of the Flight of the Noldor”

News and Announcements

The SWG Archive Site

Thank you to all for the excellent input I received this past month about our archive site, as well as for the technical suggestions and offers to volunteer. I have created a database at our Yahoo! group for those who are interested in helping to build and maintain our archive site, found here. Please sign up if you're interested in helping out.

We Still Need a Logo!

While we have two wonderful icons kindly created and donated by Evils Hero and Tarion Anarore, we will need an actual group logo--preferably something simple and of a small file size--to use on our group site. Many of you, I know, are talented with art and graphics, and if you have any ideas for our logo, please send them to me. If I receive more than one, we will let the group vote on them.

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