February's Challenges

The Color of ...

Colors are often used in fiction as symbols or to achieve specific effectsor moods. This month's challenge asks you to write a piece of fiction that is built around a color or colors.

Naturally, there are a number of ways to approach this challenge. One could consider some of the colors specifically associated with events and characters in The Silmarillion:

And Fëanor made a secret forge, of which not even Melkor was aware; and there he tempered fell swords for himself and for his sons, and made tall helms with plumes of red.

-"Of the Silmarils and the Unrest of the Noldor"
But as the host of Fingolfin marched into Mithrim the Sun rose flaming in the West; and Fingolfin unfurled his blue and silver banners, and blew his horns, and flowers sprang beneath his marching feet, and the ages of the stars were ended.

-"Of the Return of the Noldor"
There shining fountains played, and in the courts of Turgon stood images of the Trees of old, which Turgon himself wrought with elven-craft; and the Tree which he made of gold was named Glingal, and the Tree whose flowers he made of silver was named Belthil. But fairer than all the wonders of Gondolin was Idril, Turgon's daughter, she that was called Celebrindal, the Silver-foot, whose hair was as the gold of Laurelin before the coming of Melkor.

-"Of the Noldor in Beleriand"

Or color can take a more symbolic role, representing the banners, heraldry, and names (i.e., Green Elves) of various peoples and characters.

Here are some links that might provide ideas and inspiration:

Symbolism of Color. The various meanings that color takes in different cultures.
Color Meanings. How colors work together and create various emotional effects.
Symbolism of Heraldry. Colors and symbols, their use and meaning on coats of arms.
Heraldry of Arda. The emblems and heraldry that J.R.R. Tolkien designed for use in his world with explanations of their possible meanings.

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.

"Huan it was that found Lúthien flying like a shadow surprised by the daylight under the trees, when Celegorm and Curufin rested a while near to the western eaves of Doriath; for nothing could escape the sight and scent of Huan, nor could any enchantment stay him, and he slept not, neither by night nor day."
-The Silmarillion, "Of Beren and Lúthien"

Character of the Month: Huan

The character of the month for February is neither Elf, Man, or Ainu--yet he had an undeniable effect on the history of Arda: Huan the hound. Viewed as a hero by some and a traitor by others, Huan's history extends from the blissful days of Valinor until well into the First Age, and his role in the story provides fodder for both canon-based adventures and intriguing gap-fillers.

Feel free to recommend (in a comment to this post) exceptional stories about Huan. Also, as he is honored this month, old and new stories of your own are welcome in the community as challenge entries.

News and Announcements

The History of Middle-earth Reading Has Begun!

Jenni, Dean, and I have begun compiling summaries of the HoMe books and invite all SWG members to join us in reading and discussing them! If you've always wanted to read the HoMe but never seem able to find the time, this is the perfect opportunity to follow along. There is no set schedule for postings, though I hope to have a new chapter summary up every few weeks.

If you do not have access to the chapters being discussed, they will be made available on our Yahoo! group before the summaries are posted. You must be a member of the Yahoo! group in order to access the chapters. Please use the form at the bottom of this entry to join, if you are interested, and do not hesitate to contact me (Dawn) with questions or help setting your membership preferences.

I will also be posting the summaries here on silwritersguild. At the moment, the summaries are archived under the home reading tag. Eventually, I will move all summaries to the Reference section of our homepage.

Please feel free to post your thoughts and questions on the chapters as we read them! Comments and discussions are welcome in either the Yahoo! group or on the LJ community.

Help Wanted!

We are still looking for reference readers, so if you love research and the opportunity to learn more about Tolkien's world, then this might be the perfect chance for you! We are seeking to build a staff to read essays for possible inclusion in the Reference section and check them for canon correctness. You do not need to be a canon expert in order to serve on our Reference staff. All we ask is that you have an interest in reading and learning more about Tolkien's canon, be open-minded to exploring new ideas, and have reasonable access to the original sources upon which essays will likely be based. All reviews of essays will be overseen by me (Dawn Felagund) and the other moderators.

Additionally, we need a coordinator for our Yellow Pages. The Yellow Pages is a collection of links to groups and references that deal with Tolkien and writing. The coordinator of this project would help us keep this section up to date, communicate with groups who want to list in the Yellow Pages, and manage banner/icon exchanges. The project will require a fairly significant initial effort, but once this section is running, it will require minimal upkeep, though you should be available on a regular basis. A basic knowledge of HTML is helpful but not necessary.

If you think that you would be interested in volunteering in any way for the group, please email me or leave your contact information in a comment to this post. Thank you again to those who have volunteered so far! Your help has been invaluable so far and I look forward to working with you more in the future!

Return to Newsletter Archive