TheSilmarillionWriters'Guild

Newsletter: January 2018

Table of Contents


SWG News

Happy New Year, Members and Friends

Dear SWG Members and Friends,

Every year, we write a New Years letter that looks backward at another inspiring year on the SWG and forward to what we hope to accomplish in the months ahead. This year, the SWG will turn thirteen, and it is hard to avoid analogies involving teenagers--yet that seems precisely where we are right now. We are in our adolescence. In many ways, our past seems so near as to still be alive, but the reality is that we are growing and moving forward, and we have to think also about our future.

What a year our twelfth was! We began our new challenge format this past year with great success. It was nothing short of inspiring to see the range of new Silmarillion fanworks being created and the conversations happening around those fanworks. We also celebrated the 40th anniversary of the publication of The Silmarillion with Silmarillion40, a collection of Silmarillion fanworks spanning the creation of Arda to the Third Age. We also had to let go somewhat of a key part of our group's "childhood," as we made the decision to loosen (though not cut entirely!) ties with LiveJournal following the change to their Terms of Service that violate the key value of the SWG that all fanworks and creators deserve a space to be heard.

The downfall of LiveJournal was something of a harbinger, a reminder that the fandom we are a part of is ever-changing and there are no Rings of Power to hold us in a happy, sheltered stasis while the world transforms around us. We have begun discussing how to continue to develop our site so that it remains up-to-date and meets the needs of the community we serve. We hope we will hear from our members, as we continue to evolve the SWG, as to their hopes, fears, and dreams for our community in years to come.

Because we are ultimately having this conversation because of you: our members and friends, who still come to our site (even though our aging software is sometimes a little creaky) to share, read, and support Silmarillion-based fanworks. We are grateful always to those who have shared their creativity, knowledge, and enthusiasm over more than a decade and who are the reason the SWG exists.

All the best,

Dawn, Angelica, Russandol, and Elleth
SWG moderators

Backup Biography Authors Needed

Our lead biography writer, Oshun, does a commendable job of turning out a meticulously researched and engagingly written biography about a different character each month. But the reality is that she occasionally needs a month off or a last-minute emergency crops up. In these situations, we rely on our backup biographies to make sure we have this valuable content for the newsletter each month.

If you'd be interested in writing a backup biography for our site, please contact Dawn at moderator@silmarillionwritersguild.org with the character(s) you are interested in writing. (All published biographies are available here. Please wait for approval before beginning, as some characters have been claimed by other authors but not written yet.) Backup biographies are not published immediately but are held until needed. They are published in the order we receive them, which means it can take several months before you see your work on the site. We obtain first publication rights for all Reference materials, which means that you give us the right to publish your work on our site before it appears publicly anywhere else. You retain your copyright and can crosspost your work freely once it has been published on our site.

Character biographies are intended to serve as a reference for fanfiction authors who are writing a character for the first time. A successful biography will cover all of the details about the character in the canon, at a minimum; in addition, biographies may also cover mythological/historical connections, scholarly or fan theories about the character, fanworks trends about the character, and other research material that is appropriate and relevant to developing a deeper understanding of the character. All biographies must be fully referenced.

For beginning researchers, we are happy to help provide sources and mentor authors new to research writing. All biographies will be copyedited and approved by our Reference staff before publication.

There's Still Time! 30-Day Character Study

Have you ever wanted to study a favourite (or not so much!) character in depth but never had the chance? This is your opportunity! During this challenge, you will choose one character whom you want to study and complete prompts and activities designed to develop a deeper understanding of that character. Not all prompts are written and you do not have to complete them all as some include questions to spur your thinking on a topic. All participants will receive a creator stamp, regardless of how many prompts they complete and there will be special stamps for those who complete higher numbers of prompts.

You will have two months to complete the challenge for a stamp, until 10 January 2018. There will also be an additional week, until January 17, to report your progress. In order to have more detailed information about the challenge, how to report your progress and how to post your responses, you can go to our challenges page. Here you will find all the prompts and further information to complete the challenge.

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!

History Became Legend ... or Cool Things You Forgot Existed on the SWG: Linguistic Foolery

"And some things that should not have been forgotten were lost. History became legend. Legend became myth." This year, in each newsletter, we will feature a section of the site that is cool or useful, before these resources become legends or myths.

All Silmarillion fans have praised and used the most popular section in our Reference Periodicals: the Character of the Month Biographies, which display a depth of study and a wide range of learning that make them a must-read to enhance the understanding of these characters. But together with our bios there are many periodicals which deserve attention.

Have you ever wondered what Elves eat? Or what they wear? Or their different festivals and holidays? What do Elves who are not lords or princes do for a living? Should you choose Quenya or Sindarin when writing a story in Second Age Eregion? You can find answers to these questions and many more in Linguistic Foolery, written by Darth Fingon between March 2009 and February 2011.

These invaluable linguistic essays give priceless information that help answer commonly asked questions about J.R.R. Tolkien’s languages. And yes! Elvish languages have words related to sex. And to hard drinking – and its consequences. And – in case of need – lawyers!

A Small Change at the Archive ...

Those of you who have visited the archive in the past few days might have noticed a small change: Instead of the word review, we now use the word comment. We hope that this little change in language will better express that readers are communicating with authors rather than advising fellow readers on whether or not to check out a story.

Welcome to Our New Members!

A warm welcome to arafinwean, Goddess of Geese, Kallanainil, pizzamargherita, and Lumeriel, who joined our Silmarillion Writers' Guild community during December.

We hope you are already exploring our site, and perhaps posting your own Silmfic creations. Why not review a story, poem or artwork to let the author or artist know that you enjoyed their work?

If you are unsure about how things work, check our Frequently Asked Questions. We're always keen to hear what brought you to the Silmarillion fandom and to the SWG, so why not share a little bit about your fandom persona by updating your bio? Anytime you need help, please contact the SWG mods at moderator@silmarillionwritersguild.org.


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New at the Archive

Completed Works

Alagor to Daeredhel by hennethgalad [General] (1,828 words)
Summary: a letter from one friend of Dior to another.

Dior, in trouble with his parents, is sent to Menegroth.

(comes after 'Concerning Dior' and 'for in that sleep of death, what dreams may come ?' )

Barad Heledir. by hennethgalad [General] (3,438 words)
Summary: Angrod meets a member of the House of Bëor.

The Chief in a Village by Himring [Teens] (11,809 words)
Summary: Fingon wanders in Eastern Beleriand and comes across a long-lost relative.

Main story followed by extras:

Interlude - Evening, featuring Erien (OFC) thinking about Fingon and Gil-galad.

A Dog Called Mellon, recounting a small incident at Gil-galad's court in Lindon.

The small rain down can rain, featuring Fingon and a very young Gil-galad. (new)

An Evening in Tirion by StarSpray [General] (723 words)
Summary: While wandering around Tirion, Tuor meets Finrod.

"for in that sleep of death, what dreams may come ?" by hennethgalad [General] (2,660 words)
Summary: Dior is helped to face adolescence by his parents.

Himlad by Silver Trails [General] (642 words)
Summary: Celegorm and Curufin during their first years in Himlad.

This is for Jaiden! A very early Christmas gift! =)

"The House of a Friend" & other drabbles by Himring [General] (704 words)
Summary: The friendship of Narvi and Celebrimbor: Narvi and Celebrimbor work on the Doors of Moria and other scenes.

Now added: The Heavenly Arch (extra drabble)

Hunters by Silver Trails [General] (1,167 words)
Summary: Beleg and Celegorm meet in Dor Dínen.

A Light in the Heart by NelyafinweFeanorion [General] (9,124 words)
Summary: Written for Feanorian Week 2017. Day 1: Maedhros

A view of Maedhros, just after the rescue from Thangorodrim. Fingon's perpective.
Quenya names utilized due to the timeframe referenced.

The title is taken from a quote by Khalil Gibran that seemed very appropriate: "Beauty is not in the face; beauty is a light in the heart."

Observing by feanorusrex [General] (2,062 words)
Summary: Fingolfin visits Fëanor in Mahtan's forge, which annoys the latter greatly, as he just wants to stealthily stare at Nerdanel.

Psyche by Harnatano [General] (1,989 words)
Summary: In Nargothrond, Curufin deals with a lot of identity issues...

Secrets by Silver Trails [Teens] (903 words)
Summary: Maitimo learns about a secret that Carnistir has been keeping from him, but there are more pressing matters at hand.

Songs of Beleriand by hennethgalad [Teens] (3,632 words)
Summary: Elrond gets nostalgic at the celebrations of his daughters wedding.

Sparring by feanorusrex [General] (1,662 words)
Summary: Nerdanel deals with emotions, and Fëanor teaches her how to fight.

30 Day Character Challenge: Feanor by eris_of_imladris [General] (1,600 words)
Summary: This is my first attempt at writing Silmarillion fanfiction, and I hope it will be the beginning of a long fanfiction journey to come :)

Untended by Lordnelson100 [General] (1,690 words)
Summary: The Noldor never left Aman.

Varda's Lights by feanorusrex [General] (1,868 words)
Summary: Fëanor and Nerdanel go and see the sky and stuff.

Yule 1419. by hennethgalad [General] (3,639 words)
Summary: Farmer Maggot dines at Bag End before Yule.

Works In Progress

Concerning Dior by hennethgalad [General] (5,245 words)
Summary: the first part is excerpts from the journal of Helin, sister to Edrahil, who visits Tol Galen when Dior is a small child.

Dancing in the Dark by Grundy [Teens] (28,276 words)
Summary: History remembers Curufin as the villain. There are a few who think better of him.

Written for the Taboo challenge. First chapter hits 'consequences' and 'ostracization and exile'. Upcoming chapters will mark off other squares. Will give warnings on chapters as appropriate.

I'll Be Yours If You'll Be Mine by NelyafinweFeanorion [General] (103,307 words)
Summary: Modern setting AU. Maedhros/Fingon. Maedhros owns a bookstore. Fingon is in grad school. Expect appearances from varied members of the House of Finwë. Except Finwë--he's already dead in this story. This is a modern take on how Maedhros and Fingon meet and develop a relationship. Brothers, sisters, family and roommates--the gang's all here!

Cover artwork of Fingon and Maedhros by the incomparable cinemairon. So grateful, humbled and awed to have this amazing art be part of this story of mine.
Check out the tumblr at http://cinemairon.tumblr.com

Pieces of the Stars by Nibeneth [Teens] (11,635 words)
Summary: When the Oath brings disaster to Sirion, Maglor attempts to fix what he can, but a temporary arrangement becomes much more permanent than anyone had foreseen. Elrond and Elros grow up, grow together, and grow apart at the end of a world slowly decaying into myth and legend.

The Seven Gates by Laerthel [Teens] (117,202 words)
Summary: The long and weary road from the birth of the Union of Maedhros to the Nirnaeth Arnoediad, the downfall of the Sons of Feanor and the construction of the last Great Gate in Gondolin. (Canonical gap-filler with few liberties taken).

Sing, O Muse by arafinwean [General] (186 words)
Summary: A collection of poems I've written over the years inspired by Tolkien's works. Most can be found on tumblr where they were first published.

Sirion by Grundy [General] (51,555 words)
Summary: "And so there came to pass the last and cruelest of the slayings of Elf by Elf; and that was the third of the great wrongs achieved by the accursed oath."

The Songs by Himring [Teens] (1,821 words)
Summary: In the early days of the Noldorin settlement in East Beleriand, an ominous arrival disturbs the peace of mind of Maedhros and his people.

Tales of Fear and Woe by lightofthetrees [Adult] (4,262 words)
Summary: A collection of ficlets/drabbles for Terrifying Tolkien Week 2017.

The Tatyar by Silver Trails [Teens] (2,333 words)
Summary: A series of drabbles about the Tatyar and the other Quendi.

Thorongil by Chiara Cadrich [General] (3532 words)
Summary: Denethor feels his authority flouted. Who is that officer who leaves him in the shade ?

Wolf Luck by arafinwean [Adult] (3,540 words)
Summary: There were things lost on the journey to Aman, history and culture, art and songs. Such things the Eldar might never see again and yet one thing they thought lost forever still survives.

Magic.

When Finarfin begins to dig deeper into the past of his people he discovers things that shouldn't have been forgotten and unearths what the Valar would have preferred to stay forgotten. Magic is dangerous after all, it corrupts all those who use it.

Doesn't it?




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Character of the Month Biography

Elemmírë

Oshun
Elemmire and Findis by alackofghosts 

Elemmírë is the Vanyarin Elf who wrote the Aldudénië--a work that immortalizes the story of the events of the day when darkness fell upon all of Valinor with the destruction of the Two Trees by Morgoth and Ungoliant. The lament is implied to have been the definitive account of the period of the Darkening of Valinor, as it is said to have been familiar among all of the Eldar:

So the great darkness fell upon Valinor. Of the deeds of that day much is told in the Aldudénië, that Elemmírë of the Vanyar made and is known to all the Eldar. Yet no song or tale could contain all the grief and terror that then befell. The Light failed; but the Darkness that followed was more than loss of light. In that hour was made a Darkness that seemed not lack but a thing with being of its own: for it was indeed made by malice out of Light, and it had power to pierce the eye, and to enter heart and mind, and strangle the very will.1

Elemmírë is also the name of one of Varda’s stars, which she created when she discovered that the Children of Ilúvatar were due to soon awaken in the darkness of Middle-earth:

Then she [Varda] began a great labour, greatest of all the works of the Valar since their coming into Arda. She took the silver dews from the vats of Telperion, and therewith she made new stars and brighter against the coming of the Firstborn. . . . Carnil and Luinil, Nénar and Lumbar, Alcarinquë and Elemmírë she wrought in that time, and many other of the ancient stars she gathered together and set as signs in the heavens of Arda.2

It would not seem like a farfetched extrapolation to assume that the Vanyarin poet/bard was named after that star, although nothing more than the paragraph cited above from The Silmarillion details the history or origins of the famous Eldarin writer. We know nothing of the age, the family, or history of Elemmírë, and only that she hails from the Vanyar. Nowhere in the texts is there a pronoun which would have indicated whether she/he is even male or female. We do not know if Elemmírë was born in Middle-earth before or during the great march across mountains and to the sea preceding the exodus to Valinor or if she might have been born and come to maturity during the golden age of Valinor.

When I did my usual cursory check for fanfiction, I found that as of January 1, 2018 there were forty-six stories on Archive of Our Own that contained Elemmírë as a character and twenty-one on the Silmarillion Writers' Guild. Although I did not read every single one of them, I did skim a lot of them, and the vast majority appear to be written with the character as a female. I would have expected fewer stories given the paucity of canon references and a single appearance in the narrative. There may have been a time in Tolkien fandom history when one might have expected the default male version to predominate, although, that has never entirely been the case when minor characters have lacked a gender-specific pronoun or definition. I am thinking of a Dwarven woman character in the early 2000s. The first time one encountered Narvi the Dwarf as a female character was in the story Speak Friend and Enter by Thevina Finduilas posted on the Henneth Annûn Story Archive in 2004.3 Her interpretation was groundbreaking at the time. The fact that a female Elemmírë captured the imagination of today’s fanfiction writer is far less surprising.

The reader of The Silmarillion might grow accustomed to, although in many cases not accepting of and often objecting to, the practice in Tolkien’s world of the default gender being male unless we are otherwise advised. Much earlier in the post-Tolkien years, women fantasy writers universally acknowledged their debt to his work, while continuing to seek their own path. Awarding-winning fantasist Patricia McKillip noted that, "Even in college I thought I should write at least one volume from a woman's point of view--as LeGuin did in the Earthsea trilogy --because there were no women for me in Tolkien."4 The current generation of readers, and this is especially true amongst readers and writers within the world of Tolkien fanfiction, often opines dissatisfaction with Tolkien’s paucity of female characters. The fact that such a significant number of fanworks include Elemmire provides an opportunity for fanfiction writers to make a small correction to that imbalance. Furthermore, as Elleth notes, there is a linguistic basis for reading Elemmire as a woman and leaving

some space for female characters in cases where the language leaves a canon character's gender ambiguous and something of a protest of the male-as-default because -ë in Quenya can be either an abstract/neutral or a feminine suffix, and even though it shows up in some male names (Ardamírë, though that arguably references the Silmaril much as elf-Elemmírë probably references the planet, and then shortened to -mir in Atanamir, Boromir, Faramir) it's not grammatically male."5

In the Appendix to The Silmarillion discussing Sindarin and Quenya elements in naming, the variation used in Elemmírë is noted, "mîr ‘jewel’ (Quenya mírë) in Elemmírë, Gwaith-i-Mírdain, Míriel, Nauglamír, Tar-Atanamir,"6 only the second mention of the poet’s name within the book.

One might be reminded of the lament of Maglor when one comes across the reference to Elemmírë’s Aldudénië—two tragic tales of dark days and near indescribable suffering, singularly noteworthy amongst the poetic works of the Eldar memorialized by reference alone without any examples of their texts in The Silmarillion.

It is not usual to reference fanfiction in one of these character biographies. One often tries to limit oneself to the original texts and/or tomes by notable academics or from known journals, but in this case there is a beautiful description of Elemmírë’s sad song in the fanfiction story There Will Be Singing by StarSpray that seemed a fitting ending for this piece:

It was Elemmírë who first took up her harp in the long night after the Darkening, and she who first lifted her voice again in song beneath the stars, while the Vanyar mourned in silent Valmar, and the Noldor gathered by angry torchlight in Tirion, and the Teleri waited anxiously by their ships in waved-washed Alqualondë. Her song was the Aldudénië, though it was a poor rendering into words of the grief they all felt at the deaths of silver Telperion and golden Laurelin, the most blessed of trees.7



Art Credit

Artwork by alackofghosts and used with permission.




Works Cited

  1. The Silmarillion, "Of the Darkening of Valinor."
  2. The Silmarillion, "Of the Coming of the Elves and the Captivity of Melkor."
  3. This story is still available on line at Thevina's Tolkien Fanfiction and Research Articles. Accessed 12/31/2017. It won awards for the year 2004 in both the now-defunct Mithril Awards and Middle Earth Fanfiction Awards.
  4. Faye Ringel, "12 Women Fantasists: in the Shadow of the Ring," J.R.R. Tolkien and His Literary Resonances: Views of Middle-Earth, ed. George Clark and Daniel Timmons (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 2000), 165.
  5. Private email correspondence, dated 29 December 2017.
  6. The Silmarillion, Appendix, "Elements in Quenya and Sindarin Names."
  7. There Will Be Singing by StarSpray.



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


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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.

The Father Christmas Letters

A few days remain of Christmastide at the time this newsletter is posted, so perhaps it is not too late to celebrate one of Tolkien's lesser-known works, the Father Christmas Letters, written for his children in between 1920 and 1943. Not only are they going to go on display at the Bodleian Library in the great Tolkien Exhibition in summer 2018; both the Guardian and Tolkien scholar Dimitra Fimi have published articles on them, the latter elaborating, also, on both pop culture and the inevitable echoes of Middle-earth in them, from the Goblins of the North Pole to the elf Ilbereth and Tolkien's proclivity for invented languages.

Immortality, and the Wonders and Perils of Faerie

At the start of a new year it seems fitting to reflect on some of the pivotal themes and subjects Tolkien's world and works revolved around. Immortality (or its lack) is one of the main drivers of conflicts in the Silmarillion, especially concerning Númenor, but has much deeper roots than is perhaps apparent when one's perspective is on Middle-earth alone. Ye Machine glimpses the origins of Middle-earth and Valinor as a hidden, immortal realm in Tolkien's Beowulf scholarship, while Middle-earth Reflections remarks on this realm of Faerie itself, both its wonders and its perils, both ultimately transformative to the good or bad to the people who travel there, from both internal and external perspectives.

The Great Silmarillion Comment Discussion

Last month's Heretic Loremaster posts by Dawn Felagund on commenting culture in the Silmarillion seem to have struck a nerve that triggered lively discussions. Dawn herself reported A Teensy Insight and wrote up A Comparison Across Silmarillion Sections and Time. A discussion also took place on tumblr (part I and part II - make sure to also read through the notes; tumblr is notorious for hard-to-follow discussions). Dawn has also weighed in with a guest post on Long Live Feedback. However, the problem of comments is not restricted to the Tolkien fandom, as evidenced by Iguana Stevens' post about the "death" of feedback culture. Long live feedback, indeed!

The Lord of the Rings TV Show

As filming wrapped on the Tolkien biopic in mid-December, a few interesting developments have been noted for the Lord of the Rings TV series. HBO explains its rejection of the project, a desire to develop intellectual property already tied to their brand. Amazon's series is set to start filming in 2019 to air in 2020 after HBO's Game of Thrones has concluded, and Ian McKellen has teased his desire to return as Gandalf, although he has not been contacted to reprise his role.

As is perhaps inevitable, speculation continues to abound, both on possible expectations for the franchise, and commentary by Tolkien scholars on the series' place in Tolkien's greater canon and vision.

A Tolkien Reading Experience

A poster on the Tolkien Society Facebook Group recently asked about readers' individual approach to fantasy reading: "How would you describe the ratio between your reading experience and your everyday experience? Do you merge these realms of human experience, or do you keep them apart? I am genuinely curious to read your answers!"

Read Troels Forchammer's answer about suspension of disbelief, sub-creation, enchantment, and Tolkien's concept of a 'green sun' here.

The Year of Loving Things Again

As 2017 draws to a close, Elizabeth Minkel of theFansplaining Podcast ruminates on fandom in trying times, and the good and bad of escapism (itself noted by Tolkien as a duty of the captive in a famous quote, and considered more in-depth by Middle-earth Reflections), especially when one is faced with politics overwhelming cultural pursuits that are often viewed as frivolous and immature, and holding on to love of them as an adult by giving oneself permission to.

Announcements

The Tolkien Birthday Toast 2018

To celebrate Tolkien’s twelfthty-sixth (126th) birthday on 3 January 2018, The Tolkien Society invites all Tolkien fans to raise a toast to the Professor.

J.R.R. Tolkien was born in Bloemfontein on 3 January 1892, and we invite you to celebrate the birthday of this much loved author by raising a glass at 9pm your local time.

The toast is simply: The Professor!

Chocolate Box 2017/2018: Signups are open!

Welcome to Chocolate Box, a low pressure, low commitment multifandom gift exchange run on AO3. For 2017-2018 the AO3 community can be found here.

The schedule for this year is:
Nominations: 18 - 29 December
Signups: 1-7 January
Assignments go out: by 10 January
Posting deadline: 7 February
Story reveal: 14 February
Author reveal: 19 February

Rules/FAQ, Tag Set, Signups

Fandom Snowflake 2018

From January 1-15, the Fandom 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. Join in the celebrations to start the year on a high note!

Purimgifts 2018 Fanfic and Podfic Exchange

Signups: Tue-Sat, 03-06 Jan
Works Due: Fri, 23 Feb
Reveals: Wed-Fri, 28 Feb-02 Mar

New to @purimgifts?

Purimgifts is an annual all-fandoms-welcome exchange for fanfic and podfic (either or both, participant’s choice!) with a side-helping of art, focusing on characters who’re at least one of: women, Jewish or persecuted by evil viziers.

This choice of focus is because this exchange celebrates the Jewish Holiday of Purim, which commemorates one smart orphan-girl saving her people from genocide (plotted by the king’s vizier) and becoming a queen while she’s at it. You totes don’t have to be Jewish to participate, in case that wasn’t obvious.

Is my fandom eligible? ALL fandoms are eligible; “nominations” is a misnomer - all fandoms will be approved unless they’re, like, a romance between a Nazi officer and Jewish inmate or something else of that sort and scale. Our tag set is here. Nominations and signups will run concurrently.

Do I have to request/offer both fanfic and podfic? Nope! You can request/offer only one or the two, or request both and offer one, or really any combination thereof; you can also make separate requests/offers for each! If this is confusing to you, we warmly suggest the RULES, the FAQ or the SIGNUP GUIDE.

How’s the podfic to fanfic ratio? How this year goes is up to you, but in previous years we’ve had way more podfic requests than offers, so more podfic offerers would be awesome!

Are you also on other platforms? Yup! You can find us on Dreamwidth and Livejournal.

Got more questions? You can send us an ask, write us an email (purim_gifts@yahoo.com) or come say hi over at Dreamwidth or Livejournal. We only bite hamantaschen, promise.

Fandom Trumps Hate 2018: Bidding to begin on January 8

It’s (almost) the most wonderful time of the year! Fandom Trumps Hate is back online for another year, and we’re hoping to raise even more money to benefit the vital organizations that are fighting back against the Trump regime and supporting those most vulnerable.

Once bidding opens, you can bid for fanworks in any of these categories. Your donations will go directly to one (or more) of the nonprofits on our list: we are a zero-overhead operation, run entirely by volunteers.

Want to know more about us? Check out our About us and FAQ. You can also read about the nonprofits we are supporting here.

Bidding begins on Monday, January 8, and ends on Sunday, January 14.

Tolkien Gen Week

Hello and welcome to Tolkien Gen Week! This is a week to appreciate all of the incredible characters and relationships within Tolkien’s legendarium that fall under the broad category of “gen”. Gen content is often less visible because of the relationship-focused nature of fandom, but Tolkien’s works are full of other kinds of stories, and this week is an effort to give them the appreciation they deserve.

Any content and creations are welcome as long as it is non-romantic and non-sexual! You can create edits, gifs, fanart, fanfic, fanmixes, and more! This event will run from January 14-20, 2018!

Below are some prompts for each day of the week. They are not mandatory, but they are here to inspire you. This page will lead to an explanation for each one.

DAY ONE: familial relationships
DAY TWO: platonic relationships
DAY THREE: gray spaces
DAY FOUR: solo
DAY FIVE: diversity
DAY SIX: group dynamic
DAY SEVEN: free choice

This event is being organized by @starlightwalking. If you have any questions or suggestions, feel free to message this blog or my main. For further clarification, check out our about, FAQ, and prompts pages! Happy creating!!

J.R.R. Tolkien in Staffordshire Exhibition tours the country

From the Tolkien Society website: The exhibition focuses on the time Tolkien spent in Staffordshire during the First World War. Visitors will be able to explore the writings, poetry, and artwork Tolkien wrote in the county, as well as learn more about life for soldiers in Staffordshire during the Great War. Copies of original artwork, of domestic scenes and landscapes drawn by Tolkien in 1918 in Staffordshire, will be on display as will photographs specially loaned by the Tolkien Estate and Bodleian Library.

Click the link above for tour dates and locations.

TexMoot, January 2018

Signum University is pleased to announce the first annual North Texas Literature & Language Symposium (aka “TexMoot”) on January 13, 2018, at Scarborough College in Fort Worth, Texas. This one-day event will include flash-paper sessions, a panel of invited guests, a keynote address by The Tolkien Professor, creative presentations, and lots of time for fellowship (open mic, games, and of course conversation!). Registration is $30.00 and includes lunch. The cost for undergrads is $25.00.

Tolkien in Vermont 2018

Announcing the 15th Annual Tolkien in Vermont Conference at UVM on Saturday April 7th, 2018.

Theme: Language and Etymologies

Keynote speaker: Andrew Higgins (Ph.D., Cardiff Metropolitan University) Co-editor of A Secret Vice

The Committee for the Tolkien at UVM Conference is accepting papers on the theme and all other subjects. Please submit abstracts or finished essays by the January 31st deadline to cvaccaro@uvm.edu

Registration fee is $25.

For more info please contact Chris Vaccaro and go to our website: http://tolkienvt.org/.

Tolkien Seminar 2018 in Kalamazoo, May 2018

Anna Smol reports: "Brad Eden has organized another one-day Tolkien Seminar on May 9th, the day preceding the International Congress on Medieval Studies in Kalamazoo, Michigan. This event takes place in addition to the Tolkien sessions that will be part of the Congress." Read her blog post for the sizable list of presenters and topics.

Tolkien Sessions at International Medieval Congress Leeds, July 2018

Dimitra Fimi reports: "I am very pleased to announce that all six sessions on J.R.R. Tolkien I proposed for the International Medieval Congress at Leeds 2018 have been accepted!"

The sessions are: Memory in Tolkien’s Medievalism, I & II, ‘New’ Tolkien: Expanding the Canon, Tolkien: Medieval Roots and Modern Branches, I & II, and Tolkien in Context(s): A Round Table Discussion.

Calls for Papers

Mythmoot V Call for Proposals: Fantastic Frontiers

Deadline for submissions: March 15, 2018 Full name / Name of organization: Signum University / Mythgard Contact email: events@signumu.org

What is Mythmoot V?

Mythmoot V combines academic conference, literary creative meet-up, and fan convention into one event. It creates a space for serious scholarship in fields that are only beginning to be considered in the academic world (such as science fiction, fantasy, horror, gothic, folklore, children’s literature, etc.) in a way that both academics and enthusiasts will appreciate.

Date: June 21-24, 2018 Venue: National Conference Center, Leesburg, VA Theme: Fantastic Frontiers

Call for Proposals:

“Transcendence, in Poe’s sense of the sublime, is the ability of the poetic soul to escape the boundaries of the natural world, of the physical body, and of modern reality in a dreamlike, enigmatic netherworld” (Rachel Boccio)

Frontiers fascinate us: neither one thing nor another, they mark out the known and the unknown, the boundaries between genres, or the place where stories start. Border-crossings and liminal spaces are frequently depicted in literature: forests, rivers, oceans, caves, outer space, and other perilous realms abound. Vistas stretching out to the horizon promise something new; liminal spaces and shadowy places tempt adventurers. There are also boundaries the works themselves cross or create: genre definitions, lines between “high” and “popular” art, historical eras, nationalisms, ideologies, languages/linguistic heritages, cultural symbols, academic disciplines, textual media, etc.

Join Mythmoot V as we celebrate and explore literary frontiers! Signum University is hosting Mythmoot V, a literary event for academics, friends, and fans. Mythmoot V will be held from June 21st to 24th, 2018, at the National Conference Center in Leesburg, VA. This year’s theme is: Fantastic Frontiers. We are accepting proposals for Papers, Panels, Workshops, and Creative Presentations (storytelling, music, visual arts, etc.) in the following areas:

Imaginative Literature—Science Fiction, Fantasy, and Speculative Fiction from Mary Shelley and H.P Lovecraft to Ursula Le Guin and Neil Gaiman, exploring how these works depict or enact fantastic frontiers, their creation, and their transcendance.

Tolkien and Inklings Studies—Research on the works and lives of Tolkien, Lewis, Williams, Barfield, and their friends and contemporaries as they interact with each other, their modern context, and classic and imaginative literature, especially as they explore boundary-crossing.

Germanic Philology—Research on the relationships between language and literature in the past, present, and future.

Paper proposals should be 100-300 words. Paper presentations should be less than 30 minutes long and include 5-10 minutes for questions and discussion.

Panel proposals must be submitted in one inclusive email. Each paper should be described in approximately 100 words. Panels will be presented in 1.5-hour sessions, so each panel should include no more than 3 papers at 30 minutes each including 5-10 minutes for questions and discussion.

Workshop proposals should be 100-300 words. Workshops will be allotted 1.5 hours.

Creative Presentation proposals should provide a short description (100-300 words) of the presentation. Creative Presentations should be no longer than 30 minutes.

Proposal Submission: Proposals will be accepted through 15 March 2018. Send proposals to events@signumu.org with a subject line of “Paper Proposal”, “Panel Proposal”, “Workshop Proposal”, or “Creative Presentation Proposal”. You must provide A/V requirements and a brief bio in order to be considered. Responses to the proposals will be sent before 15 April 2018.

Please Note!

Submission of any proposal is considered agreement by the presenter to attend Mythmoot and deliver the presentation if it is accepted. No presentations of any form will be delivered in absentia.

Visit https://signumuniversity.org/event/mythmoot-v-fantastic-frontiers/ for more details!

Four Calls for Papers in Tolkien Studies

Tolkien Conference season is coming up, and calls for papers abound. Anna Smol has a handy summary of CFPs for Tolkien in Vermont, an essay collection about New Perspectives on J.R.R. Tolkien in the Great War, the Valparaiso Tolkien Conference and the Tolkien Society Seminar.

Please refer to her blog post for topics, dates and deadlines.

Fan Studies Network North America 2018 Conference

Fan Studies Network North America is proud to announce its first conference:

Fandom—Past, Present, Future
DePaul University, Chicago, IL
October 25-27, 2018

Building on the success of the annual Fan Studies Network conference in the United Kingdom, and with the support of our international colleagues, we invite submissions for a North American fan studies conference. We welcome all topics and themes related to media, sports, music, and celebrity fandoms, discussions of affirmative and/or transformative fans and their contributions, as well as meta-questions such as ethics and methodology. We encourage submissions on gender, sexuality, race, ethnicity, class, and other aspects of power and identity in fan works and fan communities.

The conference will feature both panels and roundtables, and we invite scholars at different stages in their careers, as well as fan-scholars, to submit:

Please send any inquiries and/or abstracts to fsnna.conference@gmail.com by 15th February 2018. Multiple submissions are welcome, but we strive to accept as many participants as possible.

Mythcon 49: On the Shoulders of Giants

Mythcon 49 is set to take place in Atlanta, Georgia, from July 20-23, featuring the theme On the Shoulders of Giants.

The Mythopoeic Society has launched into a series of 50th anniversaries: the founding of the Society in 2017, the conception and launch of our scholarly journal Mythlore in 2018, and the establishment of our mythopoeic conference in 2019. Our theme is suggested by the ways in which Inklings scholarship has built on such good foundations. We will celebrate these foundation and fifty years of building “On the Shoulders of Giants” at Mythcon 49. Papers exploring this theme might include, but are not limited to any of the following:

Submission Information

Papers dealing with the conference theme are especially encouraged. We also welcome papers focusing on the work and interests of the Inklings (especially J.R.R. Tolkien, C.S. Lewis, and Charles Williams), on our Guests of Honor, and on other mythopoeic authors and themes. Papers from a variety of critical perspectives and disciplines are likewise welcome. Each paper is generally given a one-hour time slot, but papers should be timed for oral presentation in 40–45 minutes to allow time for questions. Two shorter papers can also be accommodated in a single one-hour time slot. We also welcome proposals for panels consisting of several shorter papers on related topics or for open panel discussions on subjects appropriate to Mythcon.

All presenters must register for the full conference; please see the Mythcon 49 web page, www.mythcon.org, for information and rates.

Participants are encouraged to submit papers chosen for presentation at the conference to Mythlore, the refereed journal of the Mythopoeic Society (www.mythlore.org). All papers should conform to the 8th edition of the MLA Style Manual. Presenters who are full-time undergraduate or graduate students are encouraged to submit their completed conference papers in advance for consideration for the Alexei Kondratiev Student Paper Award. Please see www.mythsoc.org/mythcon/alexei.htm for more information.

Paper abstracts of no more than 300 words, along with contact information, should be sent to the Papers Coordinator at the address below by May 1, 2018. Please include the anticipated duration of your presentation and any A/V requirements you feel are essential. We will make every effort to accommodate your A/V requests, but this cannot be guaranteed. You will be notified after the deadline if your paper or panel proposal has been accepted.

Jason Fisher
Mythcon 49 Papers Coordinator
visualweasel@yahoo.com




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