Newsletter: July 2012

Table of Contents

SWG News

International Day of Femslash

The International Day of Femslash is a multi-fandom project to promote the femslash genre. The SWG has been a proud participant for many years now, and 2012 will be no exception.

Whether you're already an ardent femslash writer or this genre is new to you, all are welcome to participate. The intent of the project is to set aside a day each July for the celebration and appreciation of femslash. Participants are encouraged to post a femslash story on July 14. Post your story to the SWG archive, and make sure you choose the International Day of Femslash 2012--July 14 label from the Challenges dropdown menu to commemorate your participation.

This year's Femslash Day will also include an online FemSlashCon during the weekend of July 14-15!

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New at the Archive

Completed Works

Elegy for Númenor - Volume 1: Journey to Umbar by elfscribe [Adult] † (182444 words)
Summary: The final chapter (31) of Vol. 1 Journey to Umbar is now up! Enjoy! Chronicles the last days of once-great Númenor from the time Sauron "surrenders" to the fall of the empire. Love, lust, greed, betrayal, fate, and heroism all combine into an epic story with many characters. Volume I concerns the events surrounding the Númenórean King Ar-Pharazôn's march back to Umbar with Sauron as his conniving prisoner, and features an unlikely love story between Ar-Pharazôn's courtesan and a page..

The Light That Binds Them by Adonnen Estenniel [General] (1229 words)
Summary: From the first, Celeborn sought to hold her. But she would not be tethered.

The Starlit Sky by Maglor Makalaure [General] (29994 words)
Summary: Elrond's account of his boyhood with the Fëanorians.

Works in Progress

Amras and the Elements by Iavalir [Teens]
Summary: A series of fanfiction involving Amras and the elements.
Chapter added this month: Haunted By The Flames.

Lessons from the Mountain by MithLuin [General]
Summary: What happened to the spirit of Maedhros when he died?
Chapter added this month: Chapter 15: Suffer the Little Children.

Of Anbor And Azruphel by gamil-zirak [Adult] †
Summary: A tale of romance between a wild man of Middle earth and a lady of Numenor, told with the epic backdrop of the last 2 years of Numenor. A study in the politics and relations of the time. Hope you enjoy it!
Chapters added this month: Crystal Height.

Sunrise Before I Ever Saw the Sun by Himring [General]
Summary: Scenes featuring Maedhros and Fingon in Valinor.
Chapter added this month: Pig-ignorant.

The Prisoner and the Hobbit by Dreamflower and pandemonium_213 [Teens]
Summary: A prisoner in the Halls of Mandos, although grateful to be alive, nonetheless finds his days to be monotonous, that is, until a most unusual person, and one whose life was affected greatly by the prisoner's masterwork, accepts an offer to begin a correspondence.
Chapter added this month: Chapter 8: An Unexpected Visitor.

The Swan's Song by Kimberleighe [General]
Summary: In which the tale of Thorondun and Alphiril is told.
Chapter added this month: Chapter Seven.

To Gaze Upon Stars by Caunedhiel [General]
Summary: Before the sun and the moon, when only great powers wandered the wilds, the Eru-begotten woke. The First Born of Illuvator. In a land lit by starlight the journey of one person will help to mould the fate and doom of an entire people...
Chapter added this month: Chapter 2.

Short Works

A Brief History of the Fall of Utumno by Huinare [General] (689 words)
Summary: Regarding the siege of Utumno by Valinor, as seen from various characters’ viewpoints. (Very well. As seen mostly from the dark vantage. It’s me we’re talking about here..) Assembled responses to Tolkien Weekly’s “Natural Disasters” drabble challenge (Apr-May 2012).

At Fault by talktob3cks [Teens] (628 words)
Summary: The kinslaying at Doriath from different perspectives. After the battle, two children are lost, two hearts are broken, two people are at fault.

Cowpats by Himring [Teens] (311 words)
Summary: Maedhros and Fingon have a distinctly unromantic conversation.

Melkian Dialogues by Huinare [General] (562 words)
Summary: Melkor engages in dialogues with friend and foe (all right, mostly foe) long before the light of the Trees. Assembled responses to Tolkien Weekly’s “Transactions” drabble challenge (Jan-Feb 2012).

The Sleepers in that Quiet Earth by Narya [Teens] (181 words)
Summary: Maedhros/Fingon. A supernatural double drabble. Warnings for slash and canon character death.

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Current Challenge

Of All That Remains

Many characters in The Silmarillion leave behind their childhood to face daunting challenges and endless journeys. What is left in them of their childhood innocence? What would they remember? Would they cherish these memories of the past or would they rather forget it? This challenge is to write about a childhood memory of a character. Let him or her relive that memory in their heads, and write about as much as they can recall. Your work can cover the following things:

Challenges Revisited: The End is the Beginning

Stories often end with a bang: with an event of great importance, either happy or tragic. Birth, death, marriage, parting, the end of war, or the beginning of a new age ... all of these events might serve as a suitable ending to a story, and all of these events are prolific throughout The Silmarillion.

But, in Tolkien's larger Legendarium, The Silmarillion is but the first chapter. What serves as an ending in The Silmarillion--the departure of Galadriel and Celeborn from Doriath, the death of Fingolfin, the fall of Gondolin, Finarfin's return to Tirion--opens a new chapter elsewhere in Arda and, oftentimes, elsewhere in Tolkien's stories.

This month's challenge is to take the ending of a story and use it as a beginning. The ending you choose might begin a story that Tolkien himself considered, such as Elros's choice of mortality and the founding of Númenor. Or it might take you down roads less travelled. After Maglor tossed the Silmaril into the sea, where did he go and what did he do? When Idril and Tuor departed for Valinor, what did they find? After Sauron fled the judgment of the Valar at the end of the First Age, what did he do next?

Quote of the Month

Footfalls echo in the memory
Down the passage which we did not take
Towards the door we never opened
- T.S. Eliot

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

Journey Big Bang

You think you can send your characters on a journey in 10,000 words? Join the Journey Big Bang! The Journey Big Bang is open to all fandoms, as well as original fiction. Stories should be focused on a journey/trip/etc. It doesn’t have to be a ride from place A to place B. It can be as well a journey through time (memories, diaries, time traveling, etc) or any other type of traveling you can imagine. Stories must be at least 10,000 words long. The Journey Story LJ community and Journey Story Dreamwidth community has a complete list of rules, a schedule, and more information.

LotR Genfic Community: July Challenges

The LotR Genfic Community has announced a number of challenges for July and beyond!

July Story Challenge: Lazy Summer. The July Challenge is our annual Fixed-Length-Ficlet Challenge, and will have the theme "Lazy Summer", and is based on this quote: quote (from Sam Keen): "Deep summer is when laziness finds respectability." The element will be a number between 101 and 400. Interested authors can reply to this announcement and claim a number. No one will be allowed to have a number previously claimed. Whatever number is chosen will be the word count for your ficlet-- if you choose 237 your story must have exactly 237 words! The July challenge stories will be due Saturday, July 14th.

July Art Challenge: Miniature. The July Art Challenge theme is "Miniature". Any media is welcome! This month we challenge you to create something tiny, or to make something tiny the focus of your entry. The subject of your art should reflect Tolkien's stories or his world, but other than that the choice is yours. You may use any media you choose, so long as it can make something tiny; for example, you could make icons, Artist Trading Cards, or other small items. So long as it is smaller than a full-sized version would be, it will count as "miniature". See this post for more information on how to participate in the "Miniature" challenge.

August Challenge: Nonfiction. Because people may want extra time to think about this, we are announcing the August challenge early. The August Challenge will once again have the theme "Nonfiction." You will not receive an element for this challenge; rather, we encourage all members to submit essays, research articles, and other nonfictional works related to Tolkien's legendarium. The August challenge entries will be due Tuesday, August 14. This post has more information on how to participate.

A Very Special Challenge! On July 27, the Lord of the Rings GenFic Community's archive, Many Paths to Tread, will be celebrating its third anniversary! That's right, MPTT has been open for three years! As part of our celebration, we'd like to invite everyone to take part in a special challenge. The name of the archive was taken from the hobbits' walking song in the chapter "Three's Company". We invite you to choose a line from that song-- any line you wish-- and write a story or poem or create a work of art based on that line. Post the works to this community before July 27. Please see this post for full details on how to participate.

Teitho: July Challenge--Stars

So in June, our topic was Languages, which were Tolkien's motivation for creating his fantastic world. In July, we would like to honour his inspiration: that moment when Earendel - the Evening Star from Crist, became Earendil with a Silmaril upon his brow, the Evening Star rising above Middle-earth and bringing hope. In your story or picture, a star or stars should play an important role. It could be a star that shows you the way home, a star that predicts doom (like comets in the Middle-ages, the Age of Stars, the constellations, Earendil, a Middle-earth version of the Star of Bethlehem, a star/constellation that reminds you of a loved one, memories connected to stars, stars that give a lost wanderer or prisoner hope... Just remember to include Aragorn and/or Legolas in your story. In a picture it's not a condition, but we would appreciate that as well. The deadline for this challenge is July 25th. The Teitho website has more information.

Middle-earth Fanfiction Awards

Marta, the admin of the MEFAs, has asked us to pass along this information to our members:

Hey guys,

Over the last several days, the MEFAs' new policies about adult stories have attracted quite a bit of controversy. This has made me and several other MEFA volunteers realize that we are no longer interested in contributing to the awards. Because of that, the MEFAs will be ending, though we hope other people who have enjoyed them will consider setting up similar awards programs themselves.

I realize this news may come as quite a shock. I ask that you read more about why we made this decision. You'll also find a poll. We are trying to decide whether to have one more season of the MEFAs, or whether 2011 should be our last year. If you have an opinion on this, please vote in our poll in ONE of the two places. (If you have neither an LJ nor a Yahoo account; email your choice to mefasupportATgmailDOTcom.) The poll will be open until 11:59 PM GMT on July 6.

Yahoo: LJ:

Thanks for everyone's help, and for your understanding with this difficult decision.

MEFA Admin.

If the awards do proceed for 2012, the following schedule has been posted:

July 1-31: Nominations season
August 7: Deadline for authors to finalize any nominations
August 23-31: Check ballot season
September 1: First reviews are displayed at the website
October 1: Deadline to enter a reviewing goal
January 31, 2013: Last day of voting

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