The Silmarillion Writers' Guild--An Online Community for Silmarillion Study and Fan Fiction

TheSilmarillionWriters'Guild

Newsletter: July 2017

Table of Contents


SWG News

SWG Current Challenge - New Directions"

This month we challenge our authors and artists to attempt to create fanworks about a character they’ve never written or drawn before, using one of the best resources on the SWG website: our character biography collection.

From our list of bios, choose someone you don’t know much about or you have never written or drawn before. Read the character biography and create a fanwork about that character.

While you’re exploring our biography collection, we encourage you to let our bio writers know in a comment if you enjoy their work. Biographies take a long time to research and write and often do not garner the kind of attention and comments that stories do.

New Directions challenge entries are due on July 15 in order to be eligible for a stamp. As always, late responses are welcome but will not receive a stamp.

Previous challenge: The Hero’s Journey

Don’t miss the eleven wonderful stories written for The Hero’s Journey challenge. You can find them here>

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!

Welcome to Our New Members!

This month of June we had two new members joining the Silmarillion Writers' Guild: Tomour and sumwantin777. We welcome them both to our community.

We hope you have already stated to read, review or post at the archive. If you are still exploring the SWG site or unsure about how things work, you may wish to browse our Frequently Asked Questions. We'd love 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

A Different Kind Of Peace by Tyelca [General] (10429 words)
Summary: During various moments in his life, Celebrimbor is forced to reconsider the meaning of peace.

A Hero of the Day by Robinka [General] (3264 words)
Summary: Just an ordinary day out there on the Northern Marches of Doriath. Or maybe not so much…? Featuring your tall, strong, and handsome, not to mention favorite, wardens and some surprises. Written for the Matrioszka/Matrioshka challenge.

Across so Wide a Sea by bunn [General] (6295 words)
Summary: Elrond, having arrived in Valinor at the end of the Third Age, goes to meet his mother, Elwing. Taking Maglor with him. “Hmph. I suppose we can’t have him being beaten bloody on my doorstep.” Elwing said, unenthusiastically “Or killing someone.” Apparently Maglor was considered a random killer, like a biting dog. “Come in then, if you must.”

Before The Dawn by Grundy [General] (7349 words)
Summary: Though all seems bright in Gondolin, Idril is troubled.

Broken Strings by Laerthel [General] (2344 words)
Summary: Post-Thangorodrim. Maglor visits his brother's sickbed for the thousandth time; it doesn't seem to get any easier to look upon Maedhros, nor does the weight of overwhelming guilt lighten on his heart. But from his cousin Fingon an unexpected offer comes.

Companions on a Quest by oshun [General] (5519 words)
Summary: Basically a story of Fëanor and Nerdanel meeting and beginning to fall for one another. But, secondarily, a story of Mahtan's household and his relationship with his apprentices, featuring his wife also. Hero’s Journey Challenge – May-June 2017 – submitting this one to meet the deadline, although I would very much like to expand and continue the story. It should have been much longer, but I met all of the required prompts. I've enjoyed working in this world I have begun to build. I love the characters and the backstory I created, seventy percent of which I am not able to use in this short story--due to lack of time and organizational skills(!! we won't talk about chronic writers' block). I hope readers can enjoy it as a stand-alone, but I definitely will return! I am (maddeningly perhaps) leaving my full cast at the end of the story as a teaser. Many thanks to IgnobleBard for his careful Beta and putting up with a formidable amount of b.s. and dysfunctionality!

In The Darkest Days by LadyBrooke [Teens] (4251 words)
Summary: Elu has gone to Valinor with Finwë and Ingwë, and those left behind are forced to make up for their absences, no matter how young the ones left behind are or if they have to find their own families. 

Let us Sing Together by StarSpray [Teens] (4612 words)
Summary: There are strange things dwelling in the forests of Eriador

One woman's journey by Lyra [General] (4138 words)
Summary: From the bliss of Valinor to the turbulent shores of Middle-earth, the life of Galadriel never gets boring.A series of vignettes following my set of prompts for the Matryoshka challenge.

Safety Net by Fernstrike [Teens] (4672 words)
Summary: The year is 502 of the First Age. Doriath has already seen the Shadow seeping into its borders - and for Oropher, one of Thingol's chief counsels, it will not be long before it pierces into the vibrant heart of the realm.  

The Crownless Queen by Tyelca [General] (6262 words)
Summary: She is a Queen without a crown and he is a shining opportunity. Or, how Ungoliant and Melkor poisoned the Trees and stole the Silmarils.

Works In Progress

A Tale of Two Lirillos by Kaylee Arafinwiel [General] (2014 words)
Summary: Lirillo the prince and Lirillo the Maia - an adventure of Alqualonde's youngest prince, coming of age during a time after the Trees, just before the sun and moon. Will the grandson of Olwe prove a match for Ulmo's servant, or will the Maia be up to the task of shepherding his young namesake into this new world intact?

Curumo, slices of vice. by Chiara Cadrich [General] (3171 words)
Summary: The sad fate of a talented wizard.

Drabbles: The Silmarillion, part 2 by Zdenka [Teens] (1497 words)
Summary: Tolkien drabbles set in 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.

I'll Be Yours If You'll Be Mine by NelyafinweFeanorion [General] (65303 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

Like a Shadow of Shifting Silver by Kimberleighe [Teens] (32815 words)
Summary: The backstory to Waiting for the Thunder.  A story of Anairë and Fingolfin.   Chapter 9 posted!  As the Games grow closer, there's tension rising among the Eldar.  

One Star in the Sky, Book 2: Rising by VCalien2015 [General] (6180 words)
Summary: Several years after his rebirth, Fëanáro is an instructor of linguistics and oration with the Lambengolmor. Among his first-year students for this term are a soft-spoken poet, an arrogant noble, a fiery radical, and a confused half-Noldo half-Vanya who would rather be a singer. Together, they learn from each other, challenge beliefs, and seek enlighte and truth. All the while, Tirion politics enter new waters and the Dagor Dagorath draws ever closer.  

The Seventh Avenger by ElrondsScribe [General] (34170 words)
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.

The Shape of Things To Come by Grundy [General] (1479 words)
Summary: Eärendil would not realize it until years later, but the whole of his future unfolded before him the day they finally reached the Havens of Sirion.

Trinkets by Independence1776 [Adult] (9577 words)
Summary: A collection of unrelated drabbles and ficlets too short to post on their own. Each story has a separate rating. Newest stories: chapters 34-36. Three fics written for Tic_Tac_Woe, the apocalypse mini-bingo. Featuring, in order: Maglor and Maedhros, Maglor, and Nienna.

Water Music by Ysilme [Teens] (569 words)
Summary: As he walks, water is bringing back memories.



Character of the Month Biography

Brodda

Himring


In the published Silmarillion and in the Children of Húrin, Brodda appears as one of the Easterlings who occupied Dor-lómin after the Fifth Battle, the Nirnaeth Arnoediad. These Easterlings were survivors of Ulfang's tribe who had betrayed Caranthir and the other Sons of Fëanor to Morgoth during the battle. They were not in Dor-lómin by their own design, for they had expected to be rewarded for their role with access to "the rich lands of Beleriand which they coveted."1 Instead they found themselves confined to Dor-lómin, which is described as relatively poor, compared to more southern parts of Beleriand, due to its climate.2 The tribe of Ulfang had also lost their original leaders, because Ulfang and his sons had fallen in the battle. The social upheaval among the Easterlings at this time is also reflected, I believe, in the names of the later Easterling leaders—although besides Brodda only Lorgan is mentioned by name—as they do not appear to begin with Ul-, which suggests that they are not related in any way to Ulfang. The oppression of the surviving Edain of Dor-lómin, who had lost all their fighting men in the battle, by the Easterlings, whose rule was foisted on them by Morgoth, is described by Tolkien in the starkest terms.

After Húrin, lord of Dor-lómin, was captured after the battle and imprisoned in Angband, Brodda is the Easterling leader described as most closely involved with the relatives of Húrin: Morwen, his wife, Aerin, his kinswoman, and Túrin, his son. Brodda is described as essentially an upstart, not one of the established Easterling leaders, not even one of leaders of apparently lower rank who survived the Fifth Battle. These leaders (it is suggested) preferred not to tackle the estate of Húrin, where he had resided, which was situated in southern Dor-lómin near the stream of Nen Lalaith, because that was where the most resistance could be expected. Brodda, on the other hand, was ambitious enough to undertake it, even though he shared a superstitious fear of Elves with other Easterlings (he calls them "whitefiends"3 ) and in consequence also feared Húrin’s widow, Morwen, who had some resemblance to the Elves both in appearance and in character, as she was a scion of the house of Bëor (Brodda calls her "witchwife"4). Brodda therefore had courage of a kind: Tolkien describes him as "bold."5

Despite Brodda's distinctly negative characteristics, he appears largely motivated by his own interests; that is, unlike the Easterling leader Lorgan, who appears in the tale of Tuor and also in the tale of the wanderings of Húrin,6 he is never portrayed as acting with Morgoth's interests in mind. Brodda’s fear of Elves is presumably to be interpreted in connection with Brodda's Easterling background and the Easterlings' earlier betrayal of their alliance with the Elves, but probably also has negative significance beyond this. (Compare Gollum’s instinctive dislike of elves, expressed in The Two Towers.7)

Brodda, we learn, occupied Hurin and Morwen's estates, stole their goods and cattle, enslaved Húrin's people, and took Aerin to wife by force. This last can surely be read as a move in his bid for rise to power in Dor-lómin. Marrying a close relative of Húrin would be a way of backing up Brodda's claim to Húrin's estates, to the extent that the Easterlings acknowledged previous ownership of land in Dor-lómin, but also to the lordship of Dor-lómin, if Brodda could ever gain enough influence to back that wider claim against Lorgan or other Easterling leaders. The narrator does not quite spell it out, but that must be what is implied in "he [i.e. Brodda] hoped to make himself a lordship in that country."8 Brodda's hopes for an heir are also mentioned, but the narrator has dodged the implications of this comment. Apparently, Tolkien was not prepared to deal with the complications the birth of a son to Aerin and Brodda would have posed—or indeed to acknowledge the birth of any other children of mixed Easterling and Edain descent. Such ambitions on Brodda’s part, however, would have made Brodda extremely dangerous to Húrin’s young son Túrin, the legitimate heir of Dor-lómin, and it is this danger and considerations like these that would persuade Morwen to send Túrin to safety in Doriath as soon as possible.

Tolkien has also added a problematic comment here, as explanation for the choice of Aerin: "there were few women amongst his own [i.e. Brodda's] following, and none to compare with the daughters of the Edain."9 Trying to reason text-internally, this could be taken as a reflection of Brodda's original low status—and scarcity of women among the Easterlings might be explained by their forcible removal to Dor-lómin by Morgoth. However, the comment suspiciously resembles a negative comment about Easterling women that occurs as a stray footnote to the story of Tuor, in which it is said that he had experienced Easterling women as "proud and barbaric" as well as cruel.10 However explicable Tuor's view of Easterling women might be by his experience as an oppressed slave, Brodda would certainly not share such views unless Tolkien is suggesting that despite his clearly expressed contempt for the Edain, whom he calls "Strawheads",11 a contempt which extends even to their language,12 he is supposed to be responding on some instinctive level to an inherent superiority in their women. Such an assumption is not impossible; there are some similar undertones in the account of the ancestry of Tal-Elmar in a late narrative of Tolkien's.13 The various descriptions of the Easterlings—although clearly driven by plot and also partly reflecting Tolkien's presumed source material—are among the most troubling when one considers the impact of racist clichés on the Legendarium.

Violence in the marriage between Brodda and Aerin is not confined to its beginning; later we are told that he often beat her.14 Aerin's feelings about Brodda and her marriage are expressed indirectly; however, it is clear that Brodda is unable to gain her loyalty, but she fears greatly to oppose him openly. She has to maintain contact with Morwen and aid her behind his back. Nevertheless it seems that eventually she is able to exert a very limited amount of influence on him, as she manages to keep a house more open for destitute wanderers and dependants than elsewhere in Dor-lómin, with his grudging tolerance.

Meanwhile, Brodda’s oppression rests heavily on the remainder of Húrin’s people. He keeps them in thrallhood and confines them to a stockade, reminiscent of slave compounds in historical plantations in the south of the U.S. and elsewhere. This stockade is next to his new hall, to the north (generally an ill-omened direction, in The Silmarillion) of Húrin’s house. That Brodda builds a new hall, instead of taking over Húrin’s residence, is in the first instance due to Brodda’s reluctance to confront Morwen directly enough to drive her out of her home, but also symbolizes the break in continuity and legitimate ownership that Brodda represents. As with Aerin, he gains no loyalty among Húrin’s people, who try to resist him secretly, especially by escaping the stockade to aid Morwen,15 but fear to provoke him.

In this way, Brodda lords it over southern Dor-lómin for more than two decades, without any sign of mellowing. Towards the end of this period, Morwen and her daughter Nienor secretly depart, fleeing Brodda’s oppression, which has apparently increased rather than lessened. It is unclear how soon Brodda became aware of her disappearance—his later bluster may hide embarrassment at his lack of better surveillance—but he seizes the opportunity to plunder the house and appropriate Morwen’s remaining goods.16

One year and three months after Morwen’s departure, Túrin returns to Dor-lómin himself, on his deluded quest after the fall of Nargothrond to find his mother and sister, and finding his ancestral house empty and plundered, enters Brodda’s hall. Túrin's tendency to hasty conclusions and precipitate decisions may at this stage be reinforced by a spell of Glaurung's lies that lies heavy on him. Although Túrin is warned by Sador, his informant, to be cautious, for Aerin's sake and his own, he is at once provoked by pride and resentment into confronting Brodda. He demands a hearing, claiming kinship with Aerin, and asks Aerin urgently for news of his mother and sister.

Brodda’s response shows clear signs of a violent and dangerous temper, although Túrin’s behaviour itself is challenging and provocative, questioning Brodda’s status and exacting standards of courtesy he is hardly living up to himself. Brodda is also apparently drunk, probably suggesting habitual intemperance. Brodda insults both the status of Morwen and the Edain of Dor-lómin, but, in a skewed parody of marital loyalty, he angrily defends Aerin's honour as his wife’s when the stranger, Túrin, questions her word. The irony of this is that she is in fact lying, when she denies knowledge of Morwen’s plans, and lying out of fear of Brodda.

Brodda threatens Túrin with hanging—not only death, but shameful death—and Túrin responds by taking him hostage. Túrin gains his answers from Aerin, only to realize how much he has been deceived by Glaurung, but then quickly loses control of the situation. An Easterling is apparently about to assail Túrin while he is distracted by his anguish, and he abandons his plan, throwing his hostage across his own table and into the face of his assailant. That this act breaks Brodda’s neck can hardly be the result of design, but his resulting death is clearly nevertheless intentional, as Túrin declares that he will kill Brodda before he is killed himself to avenge the result to Morwen. Brodda dies in his own hall, despite his disputed claim to the land it stands on, killed by a stranger who originally claimed treatment as a guest; on both sides it is a situation that subverts all the laws of traditional hospitality.

In the subsequent fight in the hall, the aged retainers of Dor-lómin come to the aid of Túrin and Túrin survives, despite heavy losses among the retainers. Aerin speaks sharp words to Túrin, accusing him of rashness and says that, although her life had been harsh before, she now expects that she as well as any others who were involved will be killed by the Easterlings in revenge. However low Brodda’s original status among other Easterlings, Aerin expects immediate violent retribution for the insurrection that led to his death. She expresses neither relief nor grief at the death of Brodda himself, but when Túrin looks back from a distance during his flight, he sees that Brodda’s hall, the hall Brodda built for himself two decades ago, has been fired and Asgon explains to him that this is clearly the work of Aerin: Aerin’s final comment both on her marriage to Brodda and her situation in Dor-lómin.

Brodda is clearly an unsympathetic character with little to redeem him. Perhaps it is a little beside the point, considering the rest of the circumstances, to consider whether the failure of Brodda’s ambitions also implies a verdict on the pursuit of social mobility on the part of Tolkien. We know, in any case, that Tolkien was socially conservative, despite the sympathy he often shows for the lowly and humble.

Brodda is so strongly associated with Easterling oppression that it comes as a surprise to realize that in the earliest drafts of the story he was not an Easterling at all and that it is the theft of Morwen’s goods for gain that was the original story element. In the version in the Book of Lost Tales,17 he was indeed a friend and relative by marriage of Mavwin’s (the original name of Morwen), to whom Mavwin had entrusted her goods and cattle before she left and he had betrayed her trust by embezzling them. He had gained his rule by the consent of the people and his marriage to Airin (Aerin) was apparently lawful, although he is already depicted as a quarrelsome drunkard who mistreated his wife. This Brodda is beheaded by Turambar (Túrin) on considerably less provocation than in the later versions of the tale, in an act transgressing even more clearly against the laws of hospitality (which also leads to Turambar slaying one of his own kin in the ensuing fight), but Airin (Aerin), who is secretly relieved to be rid of Brodda, judges Turambar’s case so skilfully that he is permitted to go free, although exiled and forfeiting his right to Morwen’s goods. Despite the persistence of some core elements, this is clearly a very differently story—not a story of foreign occupation and general violent oppression, but mean-spirited theft and domestic cruelty—although in either case it ends in sudden violent death, as so many episodes in the tale of the Children of Húrin do.




Works Cited

  1. The Silmarillion, "Of the Fifth Battle."
  2. The Silmarillion, "Of Beleriand and its Realms".
  3. Unfinished Tales, Narn i Hîn Húrin, "The Departure of Túrin."
  4. Unfinished Tales, Narn i Hîn Húrin, "The Return of Túrin to Dor-lómin."
  5. Unfinished Tales, Narn i Hîn Húrin, "The Departure of Túrin."
  6. The War of the Jewels, "The Wanderings of Húrin."
  7. The Lord of the Rings, The Two Towers, "The Taming of Sméagol."
  8. Unfinished Tales, Narn i Hîn Húrin, "The Departure of Túrin."
  9. Unfinished Tales, Narn i Hîn Húrin, "The Departure of Túrin."
  10. Unfinished Tales, Of Tuor and his Coming to Gondolin, footnote 31.
  11. Unfinished Tales, Narn i Hîn Húrin, "The Departure of Túrin."
  12. Apparently the "old tongue", also called "fair tongue" by Sador or "serf tongue" by Brodda, must be Adûnaic, although alternatively it could be Sindarin, which would make an even more likely target, because it is Elvish and therefore suspect, but in any case the Easterlings are apparently imposing usage of their own language, of which little is known (see Unfinished Tales, Narn i Hîn Húrin, "The Return of Túrin to Dor-lómin").
  13. Peoples of Middle-earth, Tal-Elmar.
  14. Sador says so (Unfinished Tales, Narn i Hîn Húrin, "The Return of Túrin to Dor-lómin").
  15. Unfinished Tales, Narn i Hîn Húrin, "The Departure of Túrin."
  16. The following discussion closely follows Unfinished Tales, Narn i Hîn Húrin, "The Return of Túrin to Dor-lómin."
  17. Book of Lost Tales II, Turambar and the Foalókë.



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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.

A Beren and Lúthien Media Roundup

A new Tolkien book always sparks a flurry of press attention, and a story as well-known as Beren and Lúthien, serving as pivotal backdrop to the great love story in The Lord of the Rings, perhaps more so. Beren and Lúthien in the media does compile a good number of articles, interviews and contextual pieces, while Beren and Lúthien and Their Not-So-Little Dog, Too summarizes the new book, and even Oxford Dictionary weighs in with a piece about the hemlocks Lúthien was dancing in. Stay tuned for more!

The Role of Trees in Tolkien, Shakespeare and Atwood

From the Two Trees of Valinor to the White Trees of Gondor and Númenor to Old Man Willow and the Ents, trees are a pivotal aspect of Tolkien's work. Putting him in juxtaposition with other authors, University of Oslo MA Candidate Rune Jensen has delivered a thesis on this topic, writing: "This thesis explores some of the roles and functions that trees have in works of imaginative literature, as symbols, as structural elements, and as representations of real trees in the physical world. Whereas most other studies treat trees only as symbols, or, which is often the case, do not treat them at all, this study aims to show that it is worthwhile to pay more attention to the role of trees in books, and that they are as important as suggested by the linguistic connection between the words "book" and "beech", and the fact that both trees and books have "leaves"." Find the whole thesis on academia.edu..

Tolkien, Analogy and Faëry

Taking a closer look at JRR Tolkien's writing priorities, hilarius-and-felix on tumblr comes to the conviction that Tolkien's preoccupation in writing is not character or even plot, and rather the more indescribable nature and essence of Faëry, concluding that that is the chief draw of stories like The Lord of the Rings and more than that, The Silmarillion. Read the whole piece here.

Bloemfontein: Lord of the Cities

While a highly biographical Tolkien story is receiving its share of attention with Beren and Lúthien, other parts of Tolkien's biography remain less explored, such as the author's birthplace, Bloemfontein in South Africa.

Bloemfontein: Lord of the Cities foregrounds some key aspects of the sixth-largest city in the country, also called the City of Roses, from facts, figures and lifestyle impressions to cultural spots and other touristy attractions.

Fandom Stats: A Fandom Analytics Tool

Fandom Stats is a website that offers tools for fandom analysis - both for programmers and for non-techie fans. Basically, we’re trying to make “fandom analytics” more accessible.

In less coherent words: We like graphs! So we made a thing that makes graphs for you!

How does it work: you go to fandomstats.org, and you put a canonical AO3 tag into the search field, and submit. (If you try searching for something that isn’t a canonical tag, it will be sad and tell you to look up the canonical version. We’re working on that. AO3 tag synonymisation is complicated.) And then you’ll get graphs about various things we can gather from AO3.

Find an example here, or visit the website directly.

Why We're Terrified of Fanfiction

Perspectives differ drastically depending on whether one is a part of fandom and intimately familiar with fannish behaviour, or an outgroup observer. Even with fannish behaviour becoming so mainstream that "fanfiction" has become something of a buzzword, a stigma persists. The Vox article Why We're Terrified of Fanfiction seeks to document both sides, but in particular the gendered aspect of much of fan-activity, becoming most obvious in the female-dominant genre of fanfiction and other transformative aspects. Surprisingly this also invites ire from other, curative (and often male-dominated), fan-groups, and so opens female spaces to conflict and ridicule on the basis of age and gender.

Participate in a Fanfiction Study: Fanfiction and Sexual Development

If you are over 18, you may be interested in participating in a 15-20-minute survey on fanfiction and sexual behaviour that aims to understand sexuality in the digital age: "You are being asked to participate in a study of how people use fanfiction to inform their sexuality. Your participation is voluntary, without risk, and you may stop at any time."Participate here. The survey will remain open until the end of 2017/beginning of 2018.

Announcements

6th Annual Of Elves and Men Big Bang

OEAM is running its 6th annual Big Bang! For the purposes of this fest, a Big Bang is a challenge in which you have 4 months to write a 20,000 word story. You have a second choice - a 10,000 word Mini Bang. For those of you not writers, there will also be an art challenge to create art for the stories in the challenge. Beta readers will also be called to help get those stories ready for posting! Aside from Tolkien, a number of other fandoms are welcome in this challenge. Signups are open from July 1 - 31, and the posting date is February 2018.

Tolkien Femslash Week 2017: A Sappho Prompt Meme

This year, like every year around International Femslash Day, the Tolkien fandom celebrates Tolkien Femslash Week, so free some space in your calendars from July 15 - 22, 2017!

In 2017, silmladylove is celebrating with some help from antiquity and running a Sappho Prompt Meme! On July 15 we’ll provide a list of Sappho quotes for you to pick from, and you get to decide the rest - the Tolkien Femslash pairing of your choice, and any additional info you’d like to mention. Unlike our drabbletag event, you do not need to fill anything before you get to participate; simply submit a prompt to us and wait for someone else to pick it up. As always, you are not limited to the Silmarillion - any femslash pairing from Tolkien’s legendarium goes, and unless otherwise specified in the prompt, any format/medium is open to responders. Prompts can be filled more than once.

A prompt might look this way:

“Untamed on solitary mountains”, Mithrellas/Nimrodel, hurt/comfort, or
“You would let loose your longing”, Niënor/Finduilas, moodboard.

The Unpopular Heroines Challenge

Tolkien-Heroines on tumblr wants you to turn the spotlight on the unpopular and often-ignored women of Tolkien's legendarium in their Unpopular Heroines Challenge to foster more diversity in female-centric fanworks. Give them a look, and you may just find the unpopular character of your heart to create something for!

Fandom Giftbox 2017

Fandom Giftbox is a nontraditional gift exchange like Fandom Stocking (think of it almost like a mash between an exchange and a fest or prompt meme). It occurs between June and September each year.

Participants sign up with info about what forms of media, fandoms, prompts, etc, they want, as well as any DNWs. Other people will then leave treats in your giftbox, and the mods will reveal those on the reveal date. Then you get to enjoy your treats!

Sign Ups for this event close on Friday Night, July 7, 2017 (No earlier than 11:59 EST), and reveals begin on September 23.

Porn Battle Amnesty Challenge: Golden Oldies

Welcome back, o ye Battlers of Porn, for the More Golden Oldies round of the Porn Battle. Like the first Golden Oldies round, this round will follow the rules of a normal Porn Battle, but, instead of piling up a new stack of prompts, we will be drawing from the prompt lists for all previous rounds. So! If you have ideas from old rounds that you want to exercise, or if you want to take a fresh look at an old fandom, this is the time. Posting ends on Friday, July 7, (21:30 EDT).

GenEx Fanworks Exchange

GenEx is an exchange for '&' relationships (i.e. gen relationships.) Romantic and/or sexual relationships should not be the main focus of the work. You must either drawn clean lineart with at least basic coloring, inking, shading etc. (no graphics or photomanips allowed) or write a fic with a minimum of 1000 words. Work must be of adequate quality to be gifted. DNWs stated in the signup should not be included in the work. Nominations close on July 5, and signups run from July 7 - 15. Your fanworks are due on September 2.

Remix Revival

Remix Revival Remix Revival is a panfandom remix exchange, intended as a replacement for Remix Redux. A remix is when you take someone else's fic or art and write/draw it the way you would have. The only things you may not change are the pairings and basic plot. Otherwise, you can do whatever you like: you can write from a different POV, in a different tense, with different characterization; you can write the story you think happened before or after the events of the story you're remixing; you can put a twist/spin on the events of the story to give it an entirely different meaning; you can take a shippy story and background the pairing and focus on other stuff; you can take the secondary pairing and focus on them instead of the main pairing of the original fic; again, pretty much anything you want! Signups begin on July 15. If you are unfamiliar with the format, find more guidelines here.

Signum University: Fall Registration Opening

Signum University is pleased to announce that registration for the Fall 2017 semester is now open. You can access the registration form directly, or select the “Register for Fall 2017” button on any of the individual course pages being offered in the upcoming semester.

Introduction to Germanic Philology and Norse Myths and Sagas are brand new additions to the curriculum and may be interesting to Tolkien fans. Other classes on offer are: Beowulf in Old English, Chaucer I: Visions of Love, Elementary Latin II, Research Methods, as well as Tolkien’s Wars and Middle-earth.

MythCon 48

Mythcon 48 takes place in Champaign-Urbana, Illinois from July 28 - 31, 2017.

The Mythopoeic Society is launching into a series of 50th anniversaries: the founding of the Society in 2017; the initial solicitation of articles for Mythlore in 2018; and of our Mythopoeic conferences in 2019. For the fiftieth anniversary of our Society, we are relating to gold - all that is gold!

Oxonmoot 2017

Oxonmoot is an annual event hosted by The Tolkien Society which brings together around 200 Tolkien fans, scholars, students and Society members from across the world. It has been held annually in Oxford since 1974 on a weekend close to Bilbo and Frodo’s birthday (22nd September) and is the key event in the Society’s annual calendar – if you want to come to any Tolkien event, come to Oxonmoot.

Oxonmoot is a three- or four-day event and since 1991 it has always been in a picturesque college of the University of Oxford. The college supply meals and accommodation for the weekend, so we effectively “take over” the college and enjoy an exclusively Tolkien weekend!

Oxonmoot 2017 is being held over 4 days from the afternoon of Thursday 21st September until lunch time on Sunday 24th September, at St Antony’s College.

Calls for Papers

CFP for Tolkien Studies at Popular Culture 2018

PCA/ACA 2018 NATIONAL CONFERENCE TOLKIEN STUDIES AREA CFP, J.W. MARRIOTT INDIANAPOLIS DOWNTOWN, INDIANAPOLIS, MARCH 28-31, 2018
SUBMISSIONS: JULY 1-OCTOBER 1

Presenting at PCA/ACA: http://pcaaca.org/national-conference/conference-details/

For information on the Tolkien Studies area, please contact:

Robin Anne Reid
Department of Literature and Languages
A&M University-Commerce
Commerce, TX 75429
Robin.Reid@tamuc.edu

Or check the Tolkien Studies at Popular Culture Public Group on Facebook.

The Tolkien Studies Area welcomes proposals for papers or sessions in any area of Tolkien Studies (the Legendarium, adaptations, reader reception and fan studies, source studies, cultural studies, tourism studies, literary studies, medieval and medievalist studies, media and marketing) from any disciplinary or interdisciplinary perspective. Sessions are scheduled in 1½ hour slots, typically with four papers or speakers per paper session. Roundtables may have five-seven speakers. Currently proposed sessions we are especially interested in filling are: Queer Tolkien Studies and The Future of Tolkien Studies.

To submit your paper or panel proposal, go to http://ncp.pcaaca.org and follow the instructions for creating an account and making your submission. ALL submissions must be made through the conference submission site.

For individual papers, please submit a title and 100-word abstract with a working bibliography. For roundtables or complete paper sessions, please submit titles and abstracts for all papers, along with a paragraph describing the central theme and the names of chairs, participants, and respondents (if any). For each participant, please provide a mailing address, institutional affiliation, and e-mail address.

Key Dates:

Jul 1 - Database Opens for Submissions
Oct 1 - Registration Opens
Oct 1 - Deadline for Paper Proposals
Oct 15 - All Sessions Entered into the Database by Area Chairs
Nov 15 - Early Bird Registration Rate Ends
Dec 1 - Preliminary Program Available
Dec 15 - "Drop Dead" Date: Participants Not Registered Removed from Program
Jan 1, 2018 - Final Program to Publisher




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