Newsletter: February 2013

Table of Contents

SWG News

Back to Middle-earth Month 2013 Is Coming!

It’s that time of the year again, when we start getting ready to go back to Middle-earth for a month of creativity and fun. Whether you’re a writer, an artist or a reader and reviewer, there will be something for you. If you enjoy the adrenaline of a daily challenge or you prefer a more relaxed pace, be sure that you’ll be able to find something to appeal to your taste. Once again, the SWG will serve as a participating group, along with Many Paths to Tread and Arda Inspired.

This year's moderation team are busy planning the 2013 challenge based on feedback from participants. This year's challenge guidelines should be issued within the next few weeks, with the challenge beginning on March 1. We encourage participants to watch the B2MeM LiveJournal community for the most up-to-date news on this year's event. LJ members can join the B2MeM community here or receive email notifications of new posts here. Not an LJ member? Add B2MeM community updates to your RSS reader or syndicate the B2MeM community using Atom.

Featured Podfic Begins in February

Beginning this month, our newsletter will include another regular feature: a new podfic to listen to or download each month! Jump to the Podfic section to listen to Elleth's haunting story "Five Fires," our first Featured Podfic!

We welcome recommendations from all of our members and visitors as to which fiction, poetry, and nonfiction from the SWG archive they'd like to hear recorded as a podfic. Use our podfic request form to send your suggestion to our moderators. We'll contact the author, obtain all necessary permissions, and find a reader. If you'd like to read podfics for the Featured Podfic program, you can add your name to our podfic readers' list here.

Remember that the Featured Podfic isn't the only way to share your Silmarillion-based podfics on our site. All SWG members can add their own podfics to the archive. For guidelines and instructions, see our podfic page.

Welcome to Our New Members!

A new year, another month gone, and January has brought us a few new members: Dia Goldmund, bec90, Silmarlfan1, Estelond, alythe, Meisiluosi, queerlyfeanorian, Spodbodders, and melissbeckgma. Welcome all to the Silmarillion Writers’ Guild!

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 you may wish to browse our Frequently Asked Questions. Also, tell us a little bit about your fandom persona by updating your bio. And anytime you need help, please contact us at

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New at the Archive

Completed Works

A Ghost is Haunted by Iavalir [Teens] (1082 words)
Summary: A ghost he was yet he was haunted.

Ambarussa by Silver Trails [Adult] (26600 words)
Summary: Amras didn't really die when the ships were burned in Losgar. Edited version with two changes, regarding Caranthir's and Helwanar's stories.

Brief Days by Agelast [Adult] (3357 words)
Summary: These wild and brief days set true hearts bleeding. Túrin and Beleg, over time.

Five Things That Never Happened to Caranthir's Wife by grey_gazania [Adult] (1012 words)
Summary: Five ways Parmacundë's life could have been different.

Lay Down in the Tall Grass by Agelast [Adult] (1379 words)
Summary: Fingon and Maedhros meet in Ard-galen, early in the First Age, and talk of matters of grave importance.

Learning to Live in the Dark by Himring [Teens] (1051 words)
Summary: After the death of Feanor, Celebrimbor confronts Maedhros about the Oath.

Love Like Winter, Hands Like Ice by Himring and Agelast [Teens] (1343 words)
Summary: Summer, winter--some things change, while others never do.

Protecting you by Gwailome [Teens](1732 words)
Summary: One winter day Fingon and Maedhros went riding in the fields of Hithlum...

The Chief in a Village by Himring [Teens] (16796 words)
Summary: Fingon wanders in Eastern Beleriand and comes across a long-lost relative.

The Fire and the Hearth by Elleth [Teens] (2863 words)
Summary: An evil winter has come upon Mithrim, and it is Makalaurë's responsibility to look out for his brothers – in particular for Curufin, who is nursing a strange remnant of their father.

The Walls Will Serve by Himring [Teens] (2368 words)
Summary: A series of three vignettes, set beside the springs of Little Gelion below Himring Hill, written for Gwailome. i. Maedhros decides to build a fortress on Himring Hill (Maedhros, original characters) ii. After the Dagor Bragollach, Maedhros shows Himring to his cousin (Maedhros/Fingon) iii. In the Second Age, Elrond visits Tol Himling (Elrond, Arminas, Erestor)

Trail Ride by Erulisse [General](3279 words)
Summary: With the males of the court all away at the annual King’s Hunt, Helyanwë and her grandmother Nerdanel leave the household compound on a quest of their own.

Works in Progress

And After A Time The Elf-Kings by Aerlinn [General]
Summary: A series for those of you who have always wondered how a people known to argue about things like TH vs. S pronounciation came to be known for gems like“Go not to the elves for counsel, for they will say both yes and no".Basically, this is a saga about officious Noldorin lords, their meddling in human affairs and its unexpected results...
Chapter added this month: Blaming The Noldor For Everything: an introduction.

Earth by Aerlinn [General]
Summary: He is walking through a garden. He is walking right over someone's carefully tended crops and carrots. Maglor, the politics of war, farming, hunger and adoption.
Chapter added this month: hunger games.

Erendis: A Love Story by oshun [Adult]
Summary: A more intimate recounting of aspects of the story of Erendis and Aldarion. Posted the second chapter. Hope to do another really quick before my rough draft gets really rocky.
Chapters added this month: The King's Court , First Engagement and Chronology.

The Tempered Steel by Lyra [Adult]
Summary: Yes, it's yet another variation on the good old "Maedhros in Angband and what happened afterwards" theme! Because the Silmarillion is so brief about it that fleshed-out retellings never get old..
Chapters added this month: Part III, Chapter I, Part III, Chapter II and Part III, Chapter III .

Short Works

A High King in Exile by Silver Trails [General] (856 words)
Summary: Fingolfin thinks of duty after the Mered Aderthad.

Candlework by Agelast [General] (974 words)
Summary: Nargothrond, afterwards. Curufin receives an unexpected visitor.

Magloriana by Himring, Elleth and Agelast [Teens] (297 words)
Summary: Maglor on the beach: a set of three drabbles about Maglor by three different authors.

Starlight by Aerlinn [General](828 words)
Summary: Some bridges can only be crossed by starlight. She will always have to run to keep up with his strolling.


Jail-Crow by queerlyfeanorian [Teens] (incomplete)
Summary: Fëanor tells Melkor to get off his lawn. An imagined passage from the Noldolantë of Maglor.

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Character of the Month Biography


Dawn Felagund

Mahtan is the father of Nerdanel, wife of Fëanor, in The Silmarillion. Although his mentions in the text are few, Mahtan does much to shape the course of events in the book, and Tolkien's depiction of his character provides valuable insights into the theme of the abuse and corruption of knowledge that pervades Tolkien's books.

Mahtan, Servant of Aulë

Much of what we know about Mahtan comes from sources outside the published Silmarillion. Within The Silmarillion, he is defined primarily by his relationship to his daughter Nerdanel and, through her, his resulting influence on Fëanor. When we meet Mahtan for the first time, he is presented using both this influence and his loyalty to Aulë, the great smith of the Valar:

While still in his early youth [Fëanor] wedded Nerdanel, the daughter of a great smith named Mahtan, among those of the Noldor most dear to Aulë; and of Mahtan he learned much of the making of things in metal and in stone.1

This presents an intriguing duality. Mahtan's influence over Fëanor entangle him firmly in Fëanor's later grievous deeds. While Fëanor is credited with the invention of the gemcraft that would lead to the creation of the Silmarils2--a mixed blessing, at best--Mahtan's instruction is credited with providing Fëanor with the knowledge he used to craft swords and other weapons of war, thus introducing violence to the Elves of Aman:

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. Bitterly did Mahtan rue the day when he taught to the husband of Nerdanel all the lore of metalwork that he had learned of Aulë.3

In the published texts, these two passages are the only mention of Mahtan's name, making his legacy his instruction of Fëanor in crafts that were later used to make weapons and armor. That the emphasis is placed here--and that Mahtan so explicitly grieves his decision to do what must have seem innocuous and likely not even noteworthy at the time--will be discussed in the next section, as it relates to Tolkien's ideas about the misuse and corruption of knowledge.

Mahtan is treated more fully and, in places, in a slightly but significantly different manner in earlier drafts of The Silmarillion. Mahtan first appears in a draft that Christopher Tolkien identifies as The Later Quenta Silmarillion (2), or LQ2, which was produced as a typed copy around 1958 in what Christopher Tolkien identifies as "a second phase in his [JJRT's] later work on The Silmarillion," embarked upon after the publication of The Lord of the Rings freed him to again concentrate on the earlier as-yet-unpublished myths.4 As in the published text, Mahtan is introduced through his relationship to Nerdanel and, therefore, Fëanor, as part of an expanded passage that describes Nerdanel more fully and presents Mahtan's role as slightly but significantly different as in the published Silmarillion:

While still in early youth Feanor wedded Nerdanel, a maiden of the Noldor; at which many wondered, for she was not among the fairest of her people. But she was strong, and free of mind, and filled with the desire of knowledge. In her youth she loved to wander far from the dwellings of the Noldor, either beside the long shores of the Sea or in the hills; and thus she and Feanor had met and were companions in many journeys. Her father, Mahtan, was a great smith, and among those of the Noldor most dear to the heart of Aule. Of Mahtan Nerdanel learned much of crafts that women of the Noldor seldom used: the making of things of metal and stone. She made images, some of the Valar in their forms visible, and many others of men and women of the Eldar, and these were so like that their friends, if they knew not her art, would speak to them; but many things she wrought also of her own thought in shapes strong and strange but beautiful. (Emphasis mine)5

According to Christopher Tolkien's notes, a later typescript made based on this chapter eliminates the passage above.6 Christopher does not provide the second text, and this is the final draft we see of the "Of Fëanor" chapter. Christopher doesn't say whether the later typescript included anything about Mahtan; certainly it suggests that the entire passage was missing, presumably leaving Christopher with the editorial decision to reintroduce it. However, as is evident by the emphasized text, he also altered it. Mahtan did not teach his skills to Fëanor; he taught them to Nerdanel. Later, LQ2 contains the passage about Mahtan "ruing the day" he taught metalsmithing to Fëanor, so the idea that Mahtan passed along this knowledge to his son-in-law was clearly present at this stage as well.7 Why the change? Why would Christopher not only significantly cut but also rewrite the passage about Nerdanel and Mahtan? In Arda Reconstructed, Douglas Charles Kane hypothesizes that Christopher's edits might have aimed to establish consistency between the two passages about Mahtan, acknowledging also,

However, I think it is an important detail that he taught these crafts to Nerdanel as well, and that it is unfortunate that Christopher changed the clear meaning of this passage. This is one of the most blatant examples of how Christopher's changes appear to weaken an important female character.8

From the perspective of studying Mahtan's character, the original passage establishes a relationship between Nerdanel and her father that is missing from the published text. It also, importantly, suggests that at least some of Fëanor's knowledge and skill with metal and stone craft comes from Nerdanel rather than directly from Mahtan. This alters the theme of the use, abuse, and corruption of knowledge in an important way, as will be discussed below.

The essay The Shibboleth of Fëanor (written in 1968 at the earliest) offers additional details about Mahtan's character, in particular his loyalty to Aulë. In a note about Maedhros's name, Mahtan's "red-brown hair"--a distinctive trait and a fan favorite when writing his character--is first established:

But [Maedhros], and the youngest, inherited the rare red-brown hair of Nerdanel's kin. Her father had the epessë [nickname] of rusco 'fox'.9

Later, as an endnote to the essay, Christopher Tolkien includes an additional page's worth of material that was separately typed at the same time as the passage quoted above:

Nerdanel's father was an 'Aulendil' [> 'Aulendur'], and became a great smith. He loved copper, and set it above gold.

His name was [space; pencilled later Sarmo?], but he was most widely known as Urundil 'copper-lover'. He usually wore a band of copper about his head. His hair was not as dark or black as was that of most of the Ñoldor, but brown, and had glints of coppery-red in it. Of Nerdanel's seven children the oldest, and the twins (a very rare thing among the Eldar) had hair of this kind. The eldest also wore a copper circlet.

A note is appended to Aulendur:

'Servant of Aulë': sc. one who was devoted to that Vala. It was applied especially to those persons, or families, among the Ñoldor who actually entered Aulë's service, and who in return received instruction from him.

A second note on this page comments on the name Urundil:

√RUN 'red, glowing', most often applied to things like embers, hence adjective runya, Sindarin ruin ' "fiery" red'. The Eldar had words for some metals, because under Oromë's instruction they had devised weapons against Morgoth's servants especially on the March, but the only ones that appear in all Eldarin languages were iron, copper, gold and silver (ANGA, URUN> MALAT> KYELEP).

Earlier Nerdanel's father, the great smith, had been named Mahtan (see X.272, 277), and he was so called in the published Silmarillion. For earlier statements concerning the arming of the Eldar on the Great Journey see X.276-7, 281.]10

The passage above provides the bulk of what we know about Mahtan, from the frivolous, such as his preference of copper to gold, to the important connections to Nerdanel's family that arise and, most importantly, his identification as one of the Aulendur. These details are only hinted at in the published work.

Knowledge Is [Corrupted] Power?

Mahtan's deep connection to Aulë puts him in league with some interesting company. Aulë's students have a bad tendency to become corrupted, obsessed with power and control: Sauron, Saruman, and of course, Fëanor are all associated at various points in the story with Aulë and all fall spectacularly into corruption. This seems to eclipse mere coincidence into significance: What, exactly, about the Vala of smithcraft encourages bad behavior? Aulë himself seems a warm, empathetic, and helpful character. Presumably, then, it is not mere contact with Aulë that corrupts--as, for example, extended contact with Melkor might be assumed to do--but the nature of those attracted to Aulë that puts them in danger of corruption.

Tolkien seemed to distrust deeply the motives of creators--the Aulës and Fëanors of his invented universe--and what they would use their skills for. Those who are masters of technological skill seem unable to confine their work to what Tolkien considered appropriate: Fëanor made the Silmarils and weapons, Celebrimbor made the Rings of Power, Sauron made the One Ring, Saruman made the machines of Isengard. Oftentimes, these inventions defy the natural order, allowing the consolidation of power and the domination of the wills of others, in addition to destroying the pastoral landscapes that Tolkien loved. Of course, Tolkien was himself a man of knowledge and invention; how did he reconcile his own skills with the grim fate he assigned to the creators in his fictional world? In The Shibboleth of Fëanor, he distinguishes between the different types of knowledge: nolmë he describes as knowledge in philosophy and the theoretical sciences, including linguistics; kurwë he describes as "technical skill and invention." He is careful to note that Fëanor, while the greatest of the Noldor in kurwë, is not the greatest in nolmë.11 In short, Sauron, Saruman, and Fëanor--and Mahtan--and their knowledge are of a different kind than himself.

Mahtan does not fall as the others do. Yet, he is explicitly connected with the fall of Fëanor and the Noldor, and Tolkien is careful to note that the seemingly innocent Mahtan was the one who taught Fëanor all he needed to know to slaughter his kin at Alqualondë and spread war and bloodshed across the sea to Middle-earth. The very fact that Tolkien gave Mahtan a reaction of guilt to this is telling. Knowledge is generally regarded as neutral, with the responsibility for its use for good or evil ultimately resting with the practitioner, not the teacher. For example, a physician skilled in toxicology can use that skill to save the lives of patients who have ingested poisons, or can use that skill to manufacture poisons able to take a life with a low risk of detection. In the latter instance, no one would think to blame the practitioner's instructors in medical school, and these individuals likely wouldn't lose much sleep either, feeling that they should have somehow known to withhold that knowledge from the eventual poisoner. The very notion seems ridiculous. Yet, it is easier to imagine a person skilled in, say, bomb-making teaching that skill to someone who later uses it to take lives and feeling guilty about that. It is a skill inclined toward violence and havoc, and the very act of wanting to learn it suggests potential depravity in the student. So it goes with Mahtan: In Tolkien's world, where kurwë is a slippery slope to corruption and violence, Mahtan should have been more careful in widely sharing that knowledge or, at the least, should have recognized that Fëanor, simply for wanting to know it, was inclined toward corruption.

In this sense, the change in the text to make Fëanor, not Nerdanel, Mahtan's student makes sense. Nerdanel never becomes corrupted; in fact, she is one of the Noldor who stands firmest as Fëanor begins his slide into ruin. She leaves him early and refuses to be cajoled, even with her children used as a reward, into forsaking her sense of rightness. If Aulë's knowledge passes to Mahtan and then to Nerdanel, both of whom remain upright and uncorrupted, it suggests that that knowledge is not particularly perilous. By giving it to Fëanor instead, the perils of kurwë are again underscored.

So what saves Mahtan? Aside from his implication as Fëanor's teacher in the fall of the Noldor, Mahtan does not become corrupted. He is not even mentioned in conjunction with the rebellion of the Noldor. He remains loyal to the Valar, in particular to Aulë. Nerdanel shares this with him, a fact that prickles Fëanor when he accuses her of losing her children because she was "cozened by Aulë."12 He sees an unbridgeable gap between her objectives and his. Mahtan and Nerdanel, in other words, know their place; they do not, through their skill in forcing unyielding substances to obey their wills, gain any delusions of grandeur. They do not aspire to wield power in excess of what is appropriate for people of their station in life.

Works Cited

  1. The Silmarillion, "Of Fëanor and the Unchaining of Melkor."
  2. Ibid.
  3. The Silmarillion, "Of the Silmarils and the Unrest of the Noldor."
  4. The History of Middle-earth, Volume X: Morgoth's Ring, The Later Quenta Silmarillion, "The First Phase."
  5. The History of Middle-earth, Volume X: Morgoth's Ring, The Later Quenta Silmarillion (II), "Of Fëanor and the Unchaining of Melkor."
  6. Ibid.
  7. The History of Middle-earth, Volume X: Morgoth's Ring, The Later Quenta Silmarillion (II), "Of the Silmarils and the Unrest of the Noldor."
  8. Douglas Charles Kane. Arda Reconstructed. Bethlehem: Lehigh UP, 2009. 80.
  9. The History of Middle-earth, Volume XII: The People's of Middle-earth, The Shibboleth of Fëanor, "The names of the Sons of Fëanor with the legend of the fate of Amrod."
  10. The History of Middle-earth, Volume XII: The People's of Middle-earth, The Shibboleth of Fëanor, note 61.
  11. The History of Middle-earth, Volume XII: The People's of Middle-earth, The Shibboleth of Fëanor, "The names of Finwë's descendants" and note 30.
  12. The History of Middle-earth, Volume XII: The People's of Middle-earth, The Shibboleth of Fëanor, "The names of the Sons of Fëanor with the legend of the fate of Amrod."

Read comments on this essay | Leave a comment on this essay
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View past character profiles.
View all archived stories about Mahtan.

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Featured Podfic

Five Fires"

Elleth (Read by Dawn Felagund)

Ambarussa is afraid of fire to this day. There were four instances in life that made him fear.

Listen to or download "Five Fires."

Read comments on this podfic | Leave a comment on this podfic
(You must have an account on the SWG archive to comment. Click here to register for an account.)

The SWG Featured Podfic project presents a new recording of one of our archived stories each month. Have a favorite story that you'd like to hear? Recommend a story for the Featured Podfic project here. Visit our podfic page for more information on podfic, including how to get started with podficcing, add your own podfics to our archive, volunteer to read for the Featured Podfic project, or listen to and download other podfics on our site.

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Current Challenge

Things We Never Said

As we read the Silmarillion and related works, we encounter many moments of drama, unexpected deaths, other partings or lives unfulfilled. Quarrels are left unsolved, spouses suddenly sundered from one another, or words left unspoken. Ask yourself, what was it that they probably could have done to change events and get that last chance? What would your character want to say to one when there is just one chance left?

This challenge is about forgiveness and catharsis. To be able to forgive and let go of what once was might result into that transformational power or character growth you might have wished for to read in the book. Here are some ideas to get you started:

We challenge you to fix that moment that you always wanted to see handled differently by offering your beloved character that moment of forgiveness or redemption.

Challenges Revisited: One True Love

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, we 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 see in 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.

Quote of the Month

“Listen with an open heart and an open mind to those who love you the most. You may hear a grain of truth that will later become the foundation of your entire belief system. “

― Callie Khouri

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!

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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.

Ever wanted to own Barad-dûr? You just missed a bargain!

A British charity paid £1, and became proud owners of one of the oldest and most eccentric structures in Birmingham, a building better known in Japan than it is on the other side of the city, said to have inspired Tolkien when creating the towers of Barad-dur or Isengard. < a href="">Read more here.

"Unwritten Tales of Love and War in Middle-earth" by Michael Martinez

Tolkien has given us memorable love stories, some tragic, or even cursed, like that of Túrin Turambar, most bittersweet, and those where hope was able to overcome seemingly impossible obstacles for the lovers to be together. However, there is a love story of which we know almost nothing. Intrigued? Read on...

"Some musings on Minas Tirith, size, layout and population" by Oshun

As well as her usual character bio, this month oshun offers us her vision about several key attributes of the White City of Gondor based, as usual, on extensive research.

"Some Interesting Reads for Literary/Fannish Types" by Dawn Felagund

Our own archive founder, Dawn Felagund, writes an incisive commentary on topics prompted by several articles focused on the perception of women’s writing and reading, including fan fiction, and on Internet trolling. If you haven’t come across this post at the time, read it now, along with the replies from a group of other fandom members.

Tom Shippey Reads from The Hobbit

Now that the rage about The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey has subsided a little, here’s the opportunity to enjoy a passage of "Riddles in the Dark" from the original edition, prior to the writing of The Lord of The Rings, read by Tolkien scholar Tom Shippey.

"Species names for Middle-earth" by anna_wing

This post to our LiveJournal community proposes Latin names for the species of Middle-earth. Read more here.

"not to be morbid, but ..." by Aliana (a discussion of STIs and sexuality in Middle-earth)

This post contains thoughtful questions followed by extensive discussion of how to best handle writing about sexually transmitted infections and other touchy issues of sexuality in Tolkien-based fanfic. Read more here.


Femslash February

On Tumblr, soaringrachel has challenged fandom communities to make February a celebration of femslash!

I think a lot of us in fandom can agree on one thing: f/f doesn’t get enough love. So for the next month, let’s try to do something about it.

I pledge to focus my creative energies on ships between women for the month of February. While m/m and m/f shipping is great, let’s make this month all about the ladies.

I will make two fanworks—or more!—devoted to a lady ship. I’ll use my creative power to increase the number of f/f fanworks out there and the awareness of these awesome ships. And I hope you’ll join me in this.

Check out the Femslash February page here. The Femslash February FAQ answers common questions about the project.

A Long Expected Big Bang

A Long Expected Big Bang is an all inclusive Big Bang centered around all of Tolkien's works and the media surrounding it! Anything from The Hobbit to The Silmarillion to Sigurd and Gudrun to his Norse translations will be expected. You can see a schedule of events, see more information, or follow the tumblr here.

LOTR Community February Challenges: The Dark Side of Love

This month’s story and art challenges from the LOTR Community will have the theme "The Dark Side of Love". Here is your chance to explore the less pleasant aspects of love: misunderstandings, partings, grief, jealousy, unrequited love or even the little things about a loved one that annoy. For more information and the rules, click here for the art challenge and here for the story challenge.

Teitho: February Challenge--History Repeating Itself

If you are at least a little familiar with The Silmarillion, you can find many recurring topics in The Lord of the Rings. The love of Aragorn and Arwen mirrors the story of Beren and Lúthien, and in the place of the first Dark Lord - Morgoth, Sauron rises to try to conquer Middle-earth for darkness again. Sometimes the story is the same, only the characters and circumstances change. Sometimes the characters find themselves in the same situation, but there is a small difference, that changes the outcome of the whole story. There are also characters that stay, while the history passes around them.

"History Repeating Itself" is the theme for this month's Teitho challenge. The deadline for this challenge (both art and stories) is February 25th. For instructions on how to submit your work and more information on the topic, visit the History Repeating Itself challenge page at the Teitho website.

J.R.R. Tolkien's The Fall of Arthur Available for Pre-Order!

Christopher Tolkien has resurrected another of his father's abandoned scholarly projects: the translation of a text about King Arthur. The Fall of Arthur will be released on May 23, 2013 and is currently available for Amazon pre-order.

Oxford Tolkien Spring School

J. R. R. Tolkien is one of the best known authors of the twentieth century, and his books The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings have entertained and intrigued readers alike for decades, becoming some of the most popular books of all time. Many people will have read these novels, or seen the filmed adaptations, but have had little opportunity to take their interests further. To meet this need the Oxford Tolkien Spring School is being organised by the University of Oxford's English Faculty (where Tolkien taught for most of his career), aimed at those who have read some of Tolkien's fiction and wish to discover more. A series of introductory lectures by world-leading Tolkien scholars have been assembled, to take place in the English Faculty, University of Oxford, over the 21-23 March, 2013. See the Oxford University site for a list of speakers and registration information.

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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