Newsletter: January 2017

Table of Contents

SWG News

Happy 2017 from the SWG Moderators!

Dear SWG members and friends,

It has been a more or less annual tradition that we write a letter at New Years that acts as almost a State of the SWG address. Over the eleven years of our existence, it seems like every year brings some kind of changes. Most of them are good: fun, exciting things going on in our group or being done by our members. When we started writing these letters, it seemed we might reach a point where our group reached a holding pattern and we just didn't have a lot to report. That day has never come.

Nonetheless, 2017 promises to bring more than the usual share of changes. Some of this is because of the fandom we serve: The Tolkien fandom can no longer count on excitement from new movies to bring new fans. The fandom and its culture are changing, and we want and need to keep pace. Some of it is for personal reasons: We finally have the time to work on things that we've been dreaming and talking about, sometimes for years.

This month, we will announce the first of those changes in the form of our new challenges, which will begin in the middle of the month. Our challenges are one of the oldest features of our group, and we hope that we can infuse them with more energy, resulting in more Silmarillion-based stories to read and more conversations about those stories among our members.

What we promise will never change is the cornerstone of our group and our reason for existing: our dedication to serving this amazing community of Tolkien fans who entertain, inspire, and challenge each other--and us. We want to hear feedback and ideas on how to make our group better as we move into our (unbelievable!) twelfth year of existence. We hope to look back and realize that twelve years was just the beginning, but we need all of you beside us to make that happen. Please keep the channels of communication open and reach out to us at if you have ideas or want to share feedback with us about how we are doing.

May the muses smile upon you,

Dawn, Rhapsody, Angelica, Russandol, and Elleth
the SWG moderation team

Changes to Challenges

Challenges have been a part of the SWG since our group was formed in 2005. Before the archive, there were challenges. Before References or any special projects or B2MeM or any of the myriad things we've done over the last decade-plus, there were challenges.

After all these years, we've decided to give our Challenge section a shake up to make it more appealing and stimulating. We hope that it will again become something that inspires stories and encourages feedback from readers.

Beginning in January 2017, we will be switching back to a monthly format for SWG challenges. Here are the details:

Challenge participants will receive a stamp for each challenge that they complete. In addition, if you review a challenge story, you will receive a stamp for participating as a reviewer. Unleash your inner philatelist because we will start a stamp collection for all participants that will be updated from month to month!

FAQs: Frequently [Anticipated] Questions

My story is probably going to be really long. So I have less than a month to finish?
No, all you need to do is to post the start of the story. You can have as long as you need to update and finish it.

How long do I have to wait before I can cross-post my story to other archives?
You don't have to wait. It's your story. It's yours to do with as you please, including cross-posting it wherever and whenever you want. The SWG doesn't even have to be the first site where you archive it, but you do have to archive it with us before the deadline if you want to collect a stamp for it.

I commented on a challenge story on another site. Does that count toward the review challenge?
No. All stories and comments must be on the SWG archive to count for the challenge and to receive a stamp.

My story's kind of a weird interpretation of a challenge. Will it still count?
It sure does. We're not going to be checking entries to see if they conform closely enough to what we think is a proper response to a prompt. We're all writers too and know that sometimes prompts can run away with their writers along roads less traveled.

I don't want my work linked on a particular site or at all. Can I still participate?
You certainly can. Just drop us an email letting us know your preferences. You can be left off of one month's links list, all links lists, or a links list for a particular site.

Does my response have to be fiction or can I write poetry or nonfiction instead?
Unless the challenge specifies a particular format, then you can write any format that you want.

This prompt seems perfect for a LotR story or a story for another fandom. Does that count?
We only accept Silmfic on our archive, and a story must be posted to our archive to count for the official challenge, so no, it could not count if it's not Silmfic. However, you're free to use the challenges to write other Tolkien-based and other fandom stories. They just can't count officially for our challenge.

I hate this month's format. What gives?
There will be a new format next month, so we hope there will be a little something to appeal to everyone.

Can I suggest a challenge?
Absolutely! If you have an idea for a format or a particular prompt, drop us a line at If there's a format you loved and would like to see again, let us know!

Whom should I inform when I complete a challenge, either as an author or a reviewer?
You don't need to tell anyone. We'll be monitoring activity on that challenge on our site (which is part of the reason why challenge stories and comments must be posted to the SWG archive and not other sites or SWG satellites to count). However, if you're leaving a review on a challenge story that is more than two months old, letting us know with an email to would be much appreciated.

B2MeM Is Coming ...

Our yearly event to explore the wonders of J.R.R. Tolkien’s world is drawing near. Soon there will be news about this year’s event. Watch this space so you don’t miss it!

Welcome to Our New Members!

We give a warm welcome to three new members: Celridel, Elaini, ingoldamn, Yeziel Moore, rafa21, Maengil, and hadastheunseelie, who joined the Silmarillion Writers' Guild during the month of December.

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

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New at the Archive

Completed Works

Elendili by hadastheunseelie [General] (8390 words)
Summary: If elves choose to run from their problems, they really shouldn't involve humans. Including an apparently teenage girl, an elf with red hair, and a college student with a sketchbook and gold glitter.

Eyes Bright with Honor by heget [General] (2468 words)
Summary: The story of the fourth companion of Finrod and Beren to die in the dungeons of Tol-in-Gaurhoth.

Galadriel: There and Back Again by Himring [Teens] (1780 words)
Summary: A series of three vignettes from the life of Galadriel. Home is behind, the world ahead (First Age): Shortly after her arrival in Middle-earth, Galadriel visits the beach of Losgar. Does not apply (First Age): Galadriel in conversation with her eldest brother Finrod Felagund.The world behind and home ahead (Third Age): Galadriel leaves Middle-earth, boarding ship at the Grey Havens. Now added: an extra double drabble: "Star-glass", on the making of the phial of Galadriel

Journeys by Independence1776 [Teens] (1285 words)
Summary: Trapped in a cave by a rainstorm, Maglor and Maedhros reminisce and discuss future plans.

Left Behind by Himring [Teens] (4372 words)
Summary: After the Battle of Unnumbered Tears, the surviving Easterlings of Ulfang's tribe--although they had ensured Morgoth's victory by attacking their allies, the Elves, without warning-- instead of the reward they had expected, were driven by Morgoth into Dor-lomin where he held them penned. But not all of them--some were left behind.

Silver by ingoldamn [General] (1397 words)
Summary: In Eregion, years and years after they have all passed beyond the Seas or disappeared, resting in the safety of Annatar's arms, Tyelperinquar finally talks of his father and uncles and of the silver, that haunts his nightmares. (Silver. Always silver).

Something Spicy by Ysilme [General] (1791 words)
Summary: Lacking experience sometimes means making mistakes and can have unexpected consequences. Making new friends, for example.

The Ship of Light by Dawn Felagund [Teens] (6301 words)
Summary: Elwing is a troubled child, acting out to avoid facing the trauma of her past. During the survivors' first Yule at Sirion, mariners from Balar bring gifts to the refugees, and inspired by their benevolence, Elwing and Eärendil remake an old tradition into a new symbol of hope. For Talullah Red.

Three Sentence Fics: Tolkien by Zdenka [Teens] (1429 words)
Summary: A collection of fills written for rthstewart's 3 Sentence Ficathon in 2013 and 2015, for Tolkien-based prompts. (Mostly Silmarillion, with one for Farmer Giles of Ham and Sir Orfeo, and one non-Tolkien crossover.) Chapter 2: More Tolkien-based fills written for caramelsilver's 3 Sentence Ficathon in 2016.

Works in Progress

Chain by hennethgalad [Adult]
Summary: Glorfindel makes love to Finrod.
Chapters added this month: Chapter 1.

Chain ii by hennethgalad [Adult]
Summary: Glorfindel puts Finrod to the test.
Chapters added this month: Chapter 1.

Doriath by hennethgalad [General]
Summary: Melian tries to help Finrod.
Chapters added this month: Chapter 1.

Fragments of a Letter by Himring [General]
Summary: Fragments of a letter sent by the wife of Barahir to the High King of the Noldor upon her arrival in Brethil. Now added: an account of their discovery by Erestor.
Chapters added this month: Discovery .

Gildor Inglorion by hennethgalad [General]
Summary: Gildor meets Finrod's architects
Chapters added this month: Chapter 1.

Intervention by hennethgalad [General]
Summary: Fingolfin orders the separation of Finrod and Glorfindel.
Chapters added this month: Chapter 1.

Maglor's Pageant by hennethgalad [Adult]
Summary: Glorfindel performs in front of Finrod.
Chapters added this month: Chapter 1.

On The Narog by hennethgalad [General]
Summary: Finrod and Glorfindel head downriver
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.
Chapter added this month: Blood in the Snow.

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: Shadowy Cloak.

The Embalmer's Apprentice by Lyra [Teens]
Summary: Faced with the choice between execution or working on the preservation of dead people, young Azruhâr finds himself drawn into the increasingly political struggle between progress and tradition, science and superstition.
Chapters added this month: Chapter 13 and Chapter 14.

The Hammer Does Not Fall by Makalaure [Teens]
Summary: Maedhros, reincarnated, brings back to Valinor a shattered Maglor.
Chapter added this month: Chapter Four.

The Seventh Avenger by ElrondsScribe [General]
Summary: This is the tale of how an Elf became an Avenger, and what exactly that means to him. AU, obviously. From just before The Avengers to Civil War, probably through Infinity War eventually. Strictly bookverse Tolkien, strictly movie-verse Avengers.
Chapter added this month: Chapter 3, Chapter 4 and Chapter 5.

Short Works

Song of Lake Linaewen by Zdenka [Teens] (200 words)
Summary: A Sindarin Elf of Nevrast mourns the departure of her lover, one of Turgon's people who went with him to Gondolin. (Double drabble.)

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Character of the Month Biography

Ithryn Luin (Blue Wizards)


The Ithryn Luin (Blue Wizards) is the collective name for two out of five of Tolkien's Istari who came to Middle-earth from Aman and are written to have passed into the East of Middle-earth. The earlier individual names given for Ithryn Luin, Alatar and Pallando, are to be found in the Unfinished Tales version of their story.1 As with the accounts of most characters and events in Tolkien's work, there are different versions of their history, of the timeframe, and the circumstances surrounding the arrival of the Istari in Middle-earth.

We know nothing of the placement within that hierarchy of the Blue Wizards. In the Unfinished Tales version of the history of the Istari, the group comprised five Maiar sent to Middle-earth in the year 1000 of the Third Age, to assist the free people of Middle-earth in resisting the return of Sauron. Along with Gandalf, Manwë sent a group totaling five:

Of the Blue little was known in the West, and they had no names save Ithryn Luin 'the Blue Wizards'; for they passed into the East with Curunír, but they never returned, and whether they remained in the East, pursuing there the purposes for which they were sent; or perished; or as some hold were ensnared by Sauron and became his servants, is not now known.2

The Valar sent these angelic helpers, messengers, or counselors to assist the Men, Elves, and Dwarves when the powers of the Far West (beyond the Sea) discerned signs of increasing activity from Sauron. This group formed from among the ranks of the Maiar ("spirits whose being also began before the world, of the same order as the Valar but of less degree"3) came clad in the bodies of Men, fallible and vulnerable, although wise and with a memory of the Undying Lands:

For it is said indeed that being embodied the Istari had need to learn much anew by slow experience, and though they knew whence they came the memory of the Blessed Realm was to them a vision from afar off, for which (so long as they remained true to their mission) they yearned exceedingly. Thus by enduring of free will the pangs of exile and the deceits of Sauron they might redress the evils of that time.4

They inhabited these Mannish forms in near permanence, not taking them off and putting them back on again throughout their Middle-earth mission, for they had been

. . . forbidden to reveal themselves in forms of majesty, or to seek to rule the wills of Men or Elves by open display of power, but coming in shapes weak and humble were bidden to advise and persuade Men and Elves to good, and to seek to unite in love and understanding all those whom Sauron, should he come again, would endeavour to dominate and corrupt.5

In the case of the so-called Blue Wizards, their Sindarin name Ithryn Luin consists of ithryn ("wizards"; the plural of ithron) and luin (the color "blue").6 The Blue Wizards who went into the East of Middle-earth and never returned are described as being clad in sea-blue robes:

Others there were also: two clad in sea-blue, and one in earthen brown; and last came one who seemed the least, less tall than the others, and in looks more aged, grey-haired and grey-clad, and leaning on a staff. But Círdan from their first meeting at the Grey Havens divined in him the greatest spirit and the wisest; and he welcomed him with reverence, and he gave to his keeping the Third Ring, Narya the Red.7

Those two lost Blue Wizards are discussed under the names of Alatar and Pallando in the essay The Istari: "Whereas in the essay on the Istari it is said that the two who passed into the East had no names save Ithryn Luin 'the Blue Wizards' (meaning of course that they had no names in the West of Middle-earth), here they are named, as Alatar and Pallando. . . ."8

The history of the Blue Wizards is to be fine-tuned again, arguably in what is intended to be a final adjustment, in Tolkien's Last Writings. But, first, Christopher Tolkien notes in the Unfinished Tales' Istari section that many of "the remaining writings about the Istari (as a group) are unhappily no more than very rapid jottings, often illegible." But, fortunately, neither the Istari essay nor the Last Writings contain the only sources of information about all five wizards from Valinor, as there are the brief references on the history of the Istari, concentrating primarily upon Gandalf and/or Saruman, in The Lord of the Rings, within the narrative as well as in the Appendices.

One account of the deeds of the Blue Wizards states that they disappeared into the East, corrupted by the forces of Sauron at worst, or perhaps forgotten and/or forgetful of their original purpose. In Unfinished Tales they are briefly described as follows:

Of the Blue little was known in the West, and they had no names save Ithryn Luin 'the Blue Wizards'; for they passed into the East with Curunír, but they never returned, and whether they remained in the East, pursuing there the purposes for which they were sent; or perished; or as some hold were ensnared by Sauron and became his servants, is not now known.9

In his much-cited letter "211 To Rhona Beare," dated 14 October 1958, Tolkien further follows that same line of thought:

I think they went as emissaries to distant regions, East and South, far out of Númenórean range: missionaries to 'enemy-occupied' lands, as it were. What success they had I do not know; but I fear that they failed, as Saruman did, though doubtless in different ways; and I suspect they were founders or beginners of secret cults and 'magic' traditions that outlasted the fall of Sauron.10

Therein is contained, in a few words, a mother lode of speculative information which might stir the heart of any creative writer of Tolkien fanfiction. Other theories include the concept that they could have lived outside of the sight and mind of those whose struggles are best known in Tolkien's works, working against the forces of evil and restraining those darker elements still under the influence of Sauron and, therefore, change the course of the struggle for Middle-earth: "They must have had very great influence on the history of the Second Age and Third Age in weakening and disarraying the forces of East."11

One might chose to accept the later, more powerful and positive account of the role of the two Blue Wizards developed in the Last Writings. It certainly is an appealing commentary upon their work and its influence. Rather than simply disappearing from view, falling under Sauron's control, and/or failing in their tasks, they might have imposed significant limitations upon the power of Sauron. Within that scenario, they had come to Middle-earth earlier and alone, in the Second Age, sent as the others would be later at the command of the Valar to assist the free peoples of Middle-earth in the dark times after Sauron had forged the One Ring.12

They are said to have journeyed far into the East, known there under the names of Morinehtar and Rómestámo of Quenya origin, interpreted respectively as Darkness-slayer and East-helper.13 They labored out of sight of the majority of the political forces and alliances of Elves, Men, and Dwarves in the more western and northern areas of Middle-earth. Their charge was to obstruct Sauron's machinations in the East. It is said that their true strategic role was to thwart Sauron's influences upon the tribes of Men settled there, assisting a minority that had rebelled from Melkor-worship. Ensuring that the forces allied with Sauron never actually presented a monolith in the east, the Blue Wizards in those circumstances could have provided a shift in the balance of power which facilitated the ultimate success of the peoples of the West over Sauron and his lackeys in the War of the Ring.14

Works Cited

  1. Unfinished Tales. The Istari.
  2. Unfinished Tales. The Istari.
  3. The Silmarillion. Valaquenta, "Of the Maiar."
  4. Unfinished Tales. The Istari.
  5. The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring. "Many Meetings."
  6. Unfinished Tales. "Index."
  7. Unfinished Tales. The Istari.
  8. Ibid.
  9. Ibid.
  10. The Letters of J.R.R. Tolkien. "Letter 211 To Rhona Beare."
  11. The History of Middle-earth, Volume XII: The Peoples of Middle-earth. Last Writings.
  12. Ibid.
  13. Ibid.
  14. Ibid.

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View past character profiles.
View all archived stories about Alatar and Pallando.

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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: Ankle Biters

This month, we imagine our favorite characters as children. Whether silly, fluffy, playful, or profound, stories about characters' childhoods are a common fan fiction sub-genre.

What lessons learned in childhood shaped what a character would become? Characters like Túrin, Elwing, and Fëanor had canon childhood experiences that determined, in part, who they would become as adults. Other characters may have been children during major historical events; for example, Celebrimbor quite likely was a child during the Darkening of Valinor, the Kinslaying at Alqualondë, and the Noldorin exile. How did these events shape these characters' fates?

Or maybe you want something lighter: the time a character got punished for a bad deed or learned something fun about the world, the arrival of a new sibling, a character's first word ... the possibilities are endless! Let's look back to a time in history where much remained to be determined, when even the most tragic characters experienced the joy of discovery and innocence.

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.

J.R.R. Tolkien's Prominent Fans

To commemorate J.R.R. Tolkien's 125th birthday, IBTimes UK takes a look at Tolkien's biggest celebrity fans, including royalty like Queen Margrethe of Denmark (whose Lord of the Rings illustrations delighted Tolkien) and Prince Charles, authors, entertainers, spiritual leaders, and U.S. politicians.

More on the Tolkien Biopic Project

After reporting last month that director James Strong was heading a biographical Tolkien movie, it's not been long for Tolkienists to discuss this particular development. At Sacnoth's Scriptorium, John D. Rateliff shares his opinion about the preliminary information we have available, coming to the conclusion that "[the abstract] of course bears only a passing similarity to reality, and while we shouldn't judge too strictly from an offhand account like this, it suggests that this will be a work of fiction. If we're lucky some historical and biographical fact will find its way into the film, but I wouldn't count on it."

The Eagles of Middle-earth: Manwë's Special Ops

At, Jeff LaSala discusses the often frustrating question why the Eagles didn't simply fly the Ring to Mount Doom, using the question to wing into an examination of Tolkien's Great Eagles, their characteristics, roles, and their importance to the Legendarium throughout all of Tolkien's major narratives in a comprehensive overview from Gwaihir to Thorondor. Find his article on the Eagles here.

"Twas the Night Before Christmas" and J.R.R. Tolkien’s Tinfang Warble

Christmas may be over, but Dr. Dimitra Fimi has discovered a good many amusing and interesting parallels between J.R.R. Tolkien's 1915 poem Over Old Hills and Far Away featuring the old Elf Tinfang Warble (listed as Tinfang Gelion and one of the great Elven minstrels along with Maglor and Daeron in the Lays of Beleriand) and The Night Before Christmas by by Clement Clarke Moore. With similarities not just in metre, but also "structure, lexis, and imagery", Dr. Fimi's comparison hints at the influence some popular culture of the time took on Tolkien's early Legendarium. Children of Húrin Re-Read - Fighting Morgoth: The Land of Bow and Belm

Continuing the site's Children of Húrin re-read, Demosthenes writes up a summary and some thoughts about Túrin and his outlaw band living on Amon Rûdh and working to rid Beleriand of some of Morgoth's evil creatures. The corresponding Hall of Fire chat is already over, but the summary of Chapter VIII makes for a good reference nonetheless.

Why Is It 'Unrealistic' to Show Women in Power in Fantasy?

Tackling the persistent stereotype that writing women in positions of power in fantasy and science fiction is unrealistic or ahistorical, authors Ken Liu and Kate Elliott discuss this trope and its often simplistic applications, reader expectations in their chosen genre, and the depictions of female power (or lack of it) in literature. Read their conversation at Literary Hub.


Lotsa LotR: New Corey Olsen LotR Podcast and tumblr Lord of the Rings Reread

Corey Olsen, also known as the Tolkien Professor, is launching a new podcast on Tolkien's 125th birthday, January 3. In Exploring Lord of the Rings, he will be hosting a detailed course - making use of Lord of the Rings Online to visit iconic locations and bring the story to life! Almost at the same time, the Silmread Community on tumblr is also using the new year to jumpstart a re-read of The Lord of the Rings. Beginning on January 8; follow their tumblr for participation info.

J.R.R. Tolkien's Beowulf with Dr. Tom Shippey

In January 2017, Signum University is pleased to welcome back Dr. Tom Shippey for a special, three-part series on J.R.R. Tolkien’s translation of Beowulf, originally published in 2014. The lecture series will cover Tolkien's lifelong involvement with the text, and examine Tolkien's newly-emerged opinions and thoughts on the poem. The three-lecture series contains sections on The Monsters and the Critics, The Origins of England, and The Glamour of Poesis, and begins on January 12.

Tolkien Secret Santa(s) and 2016 Yule Exchange Fics Posted

To conclude the seasonal exchanges, the LotR SeSa and MPTT Yule Exchange fics were posted. Rifle through the roundup posts for the SeSa and the Yule Exchange for goodies, and if you'd like some fanart with that, a Tolkien Secret Santa also ran on tumblr under the #tolkien secret santa 2016 tag.

Chocolate Box Exchange

Chocolate Box is an annual exchange for all fandoms, focusing on ships and gen combos. Participants must create either a story of at least 300 words, or a nice sketch that is not on lined paper. In return, they will receive a story of at least 300 words, or a nice sketch not on lined paper. There are no restrictions on fandom size or number of characters that can be combined (unless they don't fit into the textbox for nominations!). Signups run from January 1-7, and the tag set contains over 100 Tolkien-specific ships and character constellations. Find out more in the Chocolate Box Dreamwidth community or the exchange's AO3 page.

The Fandom Snowflake Challenge

"The Snowflake Challenge is about reminding ourselves why we choose to be part of fannish communities, and embracing what being part of that community means to us, and celebrating who we are. It’s about celebrating our specialness and our talents and what it is that makes each one of us amazing." Fandom Snowflake runs from January 1-15 on Dreamwidth, but also allows participation via other platforms.

Calls for Papers

Tolkien Society Seminar 2017: Poetry and Song

The Tolkien Society Seminar 2017 will be held on Sunday 2 July in Leeds at the Hilton Leeds City. We are now calling for papers on the theme of Poetry and Song in Tolkien’s works.

This year the Seminar turns to the exploration of Tolkien’s verse creations and invites submissions on the topic of Poetry and Song. The Seminar comes in the wake of the publication of the Lay of Aotrou and Itroun and Beren and Lúthien, both having a poetic aspect to them.

If you would like to submit a paper, send your proposal to Anna Milon before 1 April 2017.

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

Mythmoot IV (June 1-4, 2017, VA): Invoking Wonder ...

Mythmoot IV is 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 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 the Mythmooth IV page for more details!

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