TheSilmarillionWriters'Guild

Newsletter: January 2015

Table of Contents


SWG News

The Silmarillion (Re)Reading

It seems like no time has passed since the Ainulindalë came up for discussion last January and now the re-read is over. Lyra and Indy produced a very deep study of each and every chapter, which triggered fruitful discussions, generated new insights, and changed perceptions. It served to refresh the story, discover or rediscover characters and geography, and cast new lights on classic moments. Our deepest gratitude to them.

And now, there are more works beckoning ... Will somebody else take the challenge? Unfinished Tales maybe? Children of Húrin? Anyone interested in leading a reading or running an event on our group is encouraged to email us at moderator@silmarillionwritersguild.org.

Here's one final wrap-up of the links for the (re)reading:

Update to SWG Tumblr Guidelines

Now that our tumblr is a year old, we have reassessed what kinds of content we would like to publish and promote on the blog. We have decided to expand what we accept and now take submissions of stories, art, poetry, and nonfiction/meta based on The Silmarillion. (Please note that we will only post content submitted by the original author or artist. We continue to accept SSPs, announcements, and links to articles that are of interest to Silmarillion fans. Please see our Tumblr guidelines for complete details on what we accept on our blog.

HASA Rescue Project

While we have received word that HASA will remain open a month longer, through January, we still need help with the rescue project as we begin to contact authors and, hopefully, archive their stories here and on the other participating sites. More good news: the HASA admins have ironed out the details and technical issues, and the archive will be preserved through the Organization for Transformative Works Open Doors project. They need help porting the HASA site over to AO3, so if you have time to lend a hand there, contact their admins through the HASA site.

Welcome to Our New Members!

A warm welcome to our new members this last month: Little Brown Scribe, Mora, Maraa, and King Thorin II. We hope you enjoy the Silmarillion Writers’ Guild.

We hope you’ve already started to browse our story archive, reference section, and our podcasts, or to post your Silmfic, if you are a writer. If you can’t find something in our site, or if you are stuck about anything and need help, you can start by browsing our Frequently Asked Questions. If you can’t find what you’re looking for, or if you need assistance at any time, email us at moderator@silmarillionwritersguild.org.

We always like to hear about what brought our fellow Silmarillion fans to the fandom, and to our site, so perhaps you’d be willing to share a few facts about your fandom persona by creating a bio.


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New at the Archive

Completed Works

Aerin and Broddun by Himring (3830 words)
Summary: The story of Aerin of the House of Hador and Broddun of the Easterlings, Brodda's sister. After the crushing defeat of the Edain in the Nirnaeth Arnoediad, the Easterlings have occupied Dor-lomin. Brodda has taken Aerin to wife by force. Aerin and Broddun find ways of dealing with it and with each other. Their friendship grows and survives amid difficulties, but the end is bitter.

Brain Fog by Huinare (1872 words)
Summary: The Maiar shortly to arrive in Middle-earth as the Istari are faced with an unsettling precondition to their participation in the mission. Salmar has opinions. Curumo has justifications. Alatar has a flask.

Colour the Morning by Makalaure [Teens] (3432 words)
Summary: "Good morning," he says quietly, without looking at me. No one's said that to me in a long time.

Kissing It Better by Elisif [Adult] (1047 words)
Summary: Lalwen's lover pleasures her during the Dagor Bragollach.

The Chief in a Village by Himring [Teens] (17178 words)
Summary: Fingon wanders in Eastern Beleriand and comes across a long-lost relative. Now posted: Bonus ficlet: Interlude - Evening, featuring Erien (OFC) thinking about Fingon and Gil-galad

There's No Heat In This Winter Sun by Agelast [Teens] (2734 words)
Summary: Maedhros -- and Himring -- welcomes a visit for the season.

When She Was A Warrior by Dwimordene [Author Chooses Not to Warn] (11972 words)
Summary: Of Aredhel. No, seriously.

Works in Progress

Avenger of Blood, Second Version by Little Brown Scribe [General]
Summary: Cedric Diggory is dead. But does that mean his role in the Second Wizarding War is over? Who is this hooded Reaper, and what does he want? Bella Swan exists as a mere shell after being left by Edward Cullen. Can she find healing and newfound purpose in the most unliekly of places? And what does Leah Clearwater's phasing have to do with the whole business? And who are these tall, beautiful people who never seem to age? They're not quite wizards, but they sure know lots about magic.
Chapters added this month: Chapter 1, Chapter 2, Chapter 3, Chapter 4, Chapter 5, Chapter 6 and Chapter 7.

"Lilac" & other ficlets by Himring [Teens]
Summary: An attempt at interior decoration leads to something else.
Chapter added this month: "Did the Earth Move...?"

More Today Then Yesterday by Little Brown Scribe [General]
Summary: Just a little Elves-in-modern-day story. Elwe, Olwe, and Elmo struggle to survive in a strange, undriendly world. Fortunately, they are not without friends and allies. This is AU, and it is NOT consisten with Omega and Alpha.
Chapters added this month: Chapter 1: Beneath The Trees, Chapter 2: Clair de Lune and Chapter 3: Total Praise.

Of Oaths, Common Sense, and a Silmaril by Aiwen [General]
Summary: The third Kinslaying was a hideous self-inflicted wound for the elves of Beleriand. With a little common sense and pragmatism, could it have been averted? Or is that asking too much of all parties involved?
Chapters added this month: Cirdan has an Idea and Celebrimbor at the Havens.

Our Share of Night to Bear by Elleth [Teens]
Summary: Aman lies in Darkness and the Noldor have been banished. The Rebellion has torn families apart and left children to fend for themselves in a darkened world with no one to rely on, while the leaders of the Noldor struggle to overcome their grief and rebuild order out of turmoil.
Chapters added this month: Prologue I: Desolation and Prologue II: Effigies.

Sharpen your swords, O Elves of Nargothrond by maeglin [General]
Summary: Turin finds an ally.
Chapter added this month: Behind Locked Doors

Taking Readings by Himring [Author Chooses Not to Rate]
Summary: Archiving a couple of short, slightly experimental pieces together.
Chapter added this month: The Red Thread of History (Miriel)

The Greenbook of Tuckborough by Chiara Cadrich [Teens]
Summary: A tribute to Tolkien, with most of the exercices in style we owe him, but contradicting none of his writings: an adventure starting on a porch in the Shire, hobbits, giants, dunedain, goblins, elves, ents, trolls, eagles…, a visite to Imladris, an epic story about duty and fate, riddles,… and a ring!
Chapters added this month: The oath of the Bearning, The great river and An introduction to wizards.

The Supreme Artist by belegur †[Adult]
Summary: The Darkening of Valinor from Melkor's perspective.
Chapters added this month: Chapter 4, Chapter 5 and Chapter 6.

Whom Thou Namest Friend, Part One by Little Brown Scribe [General]
Summary: I'm a bit embarrassed by this story now, but I thought I'd share it with you all anyway. I only got three chapters into it, but I don't think I'm likely to update it. It crosses over with Narnia, and follows Omega. You really have to read Omega before starting this one.
Chapters added this month: Chapter 1, Chapter 2 and Chapter 3.

Short Works

Alpha: The New Beginning by Little Brown Scribe [General] (312 words)
Summary: This is just a little oneshot that I posted on FFn last Christmas. It follows Omega directly.

Finwë's Garden by Silver Trails [General] (260 words)
Summary: Nerdanel realizes that Caranthir can feel her emotions

Five Things That Never Happened to Sauron by Aiwen [Teens] (718 words)
Summary: Different decisions by Sauron lead to startlingly different futures, while chance causes the best-laid of plans to go awry.

Gingerbread by Elisif [General] (991 words)
Summary: Aredhel and Fingon supervise Idril and Tyelpe’s Christmas Cookie baking playdate.

Long Hair by Elisif [Teens] (870 words)
Summary: Maedhros, a bit of post-Thangorodrim angst

Omega: It Is Finished by Little Brown Scribe [General] (633 words)
Summary: Alternate Universe. This is my very first fanfiction. You can find it posted on my FFN dot net profile under the name Elrond's Scribe. The ending of Arda Marred with a twist. You will have to read this little piece to make sense of many of my future stories. Includes the fate of the Silmarilli and much more. Hope you enjoy!

The Doom by Silver Trails [General] (265 words)
Summary: All of Finwë's descendants in Middle-eart live under the Doom

The People of Haleth by Silver Trails (259 words)
Summary: Haleth prepares to leave Caranthir's lands

Time to Leave by Silver Trails [General] (276 words)
Summary: Glorfindel speaks with his father before leaving Tirion

What If? by oshun [Teens](199 words)
Summary: I wondered recently if I ever thought of writing a Fingon/Maedhros piece where they made different choices. This was as close as I could get. So, the answer is, I guess I do not have it in me to change their fate. Canon heretic that I am, however, I’ve already changed it plenty to suit my taste—happily ever after in Valinor together after the suffering and unhappy deaths given them in The Silmarillion and their requisite rehab in the Halls of Mandos. It’s the only way I can sleep at night. This is a gift for Himring, who makes them suffer more than I do.

Poetry

Songs for the Seasons by losselen [General] (1082 words)
Summary: For everything there is a season. Multi-age. Multiple characters.

Of Finrod's Coming Upon Men by losselen [General] (Incomplete)
Summary: A telling of Finrod finding Bëor's Men in eastern Beleriand. Verse. [Work in progress]


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Current Challenge

First Lines

The first line of a story can be very important. It usually sets the tone or introduces you into a scene. With this challenge, we have made a list of story openers for you to use and to expand upon. If you take part in this challenge, your story must be written with one of the first lines provided below.

Can't find a first line that inspires you? Try these first line generators for some more inspiration: First line Generator at Writingexercises.co.uk or Story Starters at Writingfix.com. If you make use of one of these generators, mention it in the story!

Challenges Revisited: Just Say It with a Gift!

In Tolkien’s legendarium there is a lot of gifting happening, including in The Silmarillion. The gift-giving in The Silmarillion does not always have a generosity behind it. Take Sauron, for example, who named himself Annatar, the Lord of Gifts. Then there is Ilúvatar himself who bestowed gifts on the Ainur, who at their turn bestowed gifts upon the Elves. There are gifts of freedom which is bestowed on the Secondborn or gifts as atonement, such as when Maedhros gifted horses to Fingolfin. Weapons appear to be a much-gifted item as well.

We would like to challenge you to write about gift-giving (be it material or immaterial) by your characters or perhaps to write about traditions of gift-giving amongst the people who lived during the ages represented in The Silmarillion. What motive would they have to bestow this on others? What would they consider the greatest gift they ever received or which one disappointed them the most?

Quote of the Month

“We have every right to dream heroic dreams. Those who say that we're in a time when there are no heroes, they just don't know where to look.”

―Ronald Reagan

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.

"Galadriel Is Not Your Moral Compass"

Silmarillion fans often encounter fans familiar with the more popular works who have different understandings of certain characters because of their lack of background information. The discussion "Galadriel Is Not Your Moral Compass" considers the flawed impression many fans have that Galadriel serves as an indicator of what is morally good and right. Her history in The Silmarillion, however, suggests a character of much greater depth and complexity.

"A Lack of Female Characters is Always a Choice" by Rhiannon Thomas

"Make no mistake, a lack of engaging female characters is a choice, albeit sometimes an unconscious one. It’s a choice to have a whole band of murdering thugs be male. It’s a choice to have the chief antagonist be male. It’s a choice to give all positions of authority to men, and to make men the ones who significantly challenge or help the protagonist along the way. Nowhere is this more true than fantasy, where things like “historical accuracy” and “societal expectations” don’t apply." Read the full article.

The History of Podfic

Pod Aware is a weeklong annual event that celebrates everything podfic! The 2014 Pod Aware covered history, fannish context, and personal preferences as related to podfic, with podcasts on a variety of topics. Check out Pod Aware to learn more about podfic and remember that, if you want to try your hand at this fun form of fanwork, the SWG accepts podfic! (Check out our podfic archive here.)

"The Missing Ñoldor: Tolkien’s Heritage in High Fantasy" by Lintamande

Lintamande's recent article in Mythprint, the journal of the Mythopoeic Society, examines why Elves as depicted in high fantasy post-Tolkien often feel like a shadow of Tolkien's original: because they are. The Missing Ñoldor: Tolkien’s Heritage in High Fantasy looks at how the absence of the Noldor in Tolkien's major works, The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings, affected the fantasy stories to follow. "The great sin of generic fantasy Elves," Lintamande writes, "is not that they are based on the Silvan; it is that the Ñoldor don’t haunt their nightmares."

So about that theory that the Arkenstone is a Silmaril ...

Fans have always loved to speculate on the possibility of the Arkenstone being Maedhros's Silmaril recovered from the earth. A recent essay by Dawn Felagund debunks this theory, showing why details in the texts and in the textual history of The Silmarillion and The Hobbit make this theory all but impossible as something intended by Tolkien. Read about the Arkenstone-is-Silmaril theory on Tumblr and the Heretic Loremaster.

The Mythology of Middle-earth Explained in Four Short Minutes

"Making the complex simple and easy to digest has great value. A fellow on YouTube has been doing this for a while and now he has picked the mythology of Middle-earth to break down in a four-minute video. He uses spoken words, simple illustrations and iconic figures to blow through J.R.R. Tolkien’s mythology. Watch the video of Middle-earth's mythology explained in just four minutes!

Announcements

The Fandom Snowflake Challenge

Every day for the first 15 days of January, we're going to post a fannish challenge. It could be something as simple as reccing fanworks to talking about what you love about fandom. Follow the instructions to complete the challenge. Sometimes you'll be asked to post to your own journal and drop a link in the challenge post. Sometimes you'll just need to say "I did it!" in the comments of the challenge post.

Only do the challenges you're comfortable with. No one is keeping track, no one is going to give you grief if you don't complete a particular challenge. The point is to stretch your boundaries, but not at the expense of stressing you out. Fandom is supposed to be fun, and these challenges should be hard but should still be enjoyable. This challenge is for everyone, all fandoms, all media, all platforms and all types of fanworks are welcome. See the Fandom Snowflake Challenge master post for this year's prompts.

Of Elves and Men: Needs Big Bang Artists!

The Of Elves and Men Big Bang is looking for artists! See this post for the Big Bang guidelines. See this post to sign up to create art for this year's Big Bang.

Hobbit Story 2.0 Big Bang

The Hobbit Story 2.0 Big Bang is now accepting signups for authors, podficcers, betas, and artists who want to create fanworks based on The Hobbit. See the Hobbit Story rules and FAQ for full details on how to participate.

TheOneRing.net: The Great Hall of Poets

TORn has an enticing monthly feature: the Great Hall of Poets, featuring poems by fan writers. Check out this month's poems at the link above and the Great Hall of Poets archive for past poetry. And yes, SWG poets, they do accept submissions ...

Tolkien Fan Fiction Survey

Dawn Felagund is collecting data about the Tolkien fan fiction community to present in future research on the fandom. While other fandoms have been studied in depth, particularly television fandoms, very little study has been done on the Tolkien fandom. Participants are needed in a survey about writing and reading fan fiction based on the works of J.R.R. Tolkien. The purpose of the survey is to collect data on the habits, beliefs, and preferences of Tolkien fans who participate in reading and/or writing fan fiction. No identifying information, including IP address, is collected as part of the survey. You may skip any questions you do not want to answer or quit the survey at any time. I estimate that it will take about 15-20 minutes to complete. If you have ever read or written Tolkien-based fan fiction, you are eligible to participate.

Click here to begin the Tolkien Fan Fiction Survey.

International Fanworks Day Is Coming!

February 15 is the International Day of Fanworks. The Organization for Transformative Works is organizing ways for fans to celebrate the International Day of Fanworks. Check out their post for ways to honor the creativity that comes from our fandom!

Mythgard Institute: Spring 2015 Courses

The Mythgard Institute will offer two new courses this spring: Science Fiction, Part II (taught by Dr. Amy Sturgis) and Beowulf through Tolkien, and Vice Versa, taught by Tolkien and Anglo-Saxon scholar Tom Shippey. The courses start the week of January 12 and can be taken for MA credit or audited. See the Mythgard Institute spring course schedule for more information.

Call for Papers: 18th Annual C.S. Lewis and Inklings Conference

Papers related to the works of C.S. Lewis, the Inklings, George MacDonald, and Dorothy L. Sayers are invited. The conference theme, "The Fellowship of the Book: The Inklings in Community," seeks to explore the Inklings’ intimate relationship with one another, and their understanding of friendship, fellowship, and community. Please submit a one-page abstract or a full paper by January 30, 2015. The full call for papers for the C.S. Lewis and Inklings Conference can be found here.

Registration Is Open for Mythmoot III!

Mythmoot III: Ever On will take place at the BWI Marriott in Linthicum, Maryland, on Saturday and Sunday, January 10 and 11, 2015. Details are being worked out and will be announced as they are confirmed, but we can tell you now that there will be familiar and new features, all geared to encourage participants to laugh while they learn. Visit the Mythmoot III page to learn more and make your reservations.




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 moderator@silmarillionwritersguild.org.


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