Newsletter: November 2011

Table of Contents

SWG News

The Library of Tirion

One year ago we launched the Library of Tirion project. We asked all our members to contribute with their favorite "classic" authors and luckily were able to contact most of them. You can now find stories by Deborah Judge, Finch, Tetha, Lipstick, Ivanneth and many other wonderful authors in our Archive. We’ve made our way through almost all of the stories and authors requested so far, so we hope you can take a moment to recommend a favorite so that we can keep the Library of Tirion growing.

Our Library of Tirion page includes forms that let you easily recommend a favorite story or author that you'd like to see included in the Library of Tirion section of the archive. Remember that the story must have been published beforeJune 2007, when the SWG archive first opened.

Interested in reading what's been added so far? Visit the Library of Tirion on the archive to enjoy the stories that help to establish the Silmarillion fandom online.

If You Use Internet Explorer 9 ...

... you may have problems using the archive. I (Dawn) have recently seen a spate of issues on sites that I manage, all coming from members who use IE 9. Members report being unable to add stories or leave comments on stories.

But not to fear! If you use IE 9 (or plan on upgrading to IE 9 sometime in the future) and experience problems using the archive, turn on compatibility mode and the site should run fine.

If you don't know how to do that, Microsoft's help page can get you started. If this does not solve the problem, please contact us at for assistance.

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New at the Archive

Completed Works

A Game Of Chess by Uvatha the Horseman [General] (1698 words)
Summary: Sauron went to Umbar wearing the Ring, not expecting to be captured and taken to Númenor. How did the Ring get back to Barad-dûr?

About words by Aerlinn [General] (1336 words)
Summary: Your brother would have me believe it was your noble spirit that made you turn away from me. Yet I would not be so easily convinced, talk of the One be damned. Andreth speaks her mind. About Finrod, about words. About Aegnor, about fear. Song against ink, fire against fire.

Bathing by Burning Nightingale [General] (1088 words)
Summary: The bathing habits of the Sindar leave much to be desired, in Lady Galadriel's humble opinion.

Eönwë's Narrow Escape by Uvatha the Horseman [General] (1484 words)
Summary: Enemies fighting on opposite sides of the War of Powers, no one considered the possibility that Eönwë and Sauron, childhood friends, were still looking out for each other.

Fever by Adonnen Estenniel [Teens] (4739 words)
Summary: After his rescue from the mountain, Maedhros struggles to regain his footing. Between his own flashbacks and Fingon's memories of the Grinding Ice, he finds himself treading a thin line between oblivion and redemption.

Love and Loss in Three-Quarter Time by Erulisse [General] (1637 words)
Summary: The movements of friendship are like the movements of a dance, when it is performed properly, it is exquisite to participate in.

Sauron's Worst Nightmare by Uvatha the Horseman [General] (6055 words)
Summary: A dream sequence in which Sauron finds himself in Melkor's old cell, waiting to be put into the Void.

The Rebellion by Uvatha the Horseman [Adult] (5015 words)
Summary: How does a Maia fall into evil? Especially one as responsible and loyal as Mairon.

Works in Progress

Almaren by Silver Trails [Adult]
Summary: The events after the Spring of Arda, seen through the eyes of three Valar and an Oarni
Chapters added this month: Chapter 1 and Chapter 2.

Chasing Mirages by Russandol [Adult] †
Summary: A 'what if' tale of darkness, light, love and betrayal over the Ages of Eä.
Chapters added this month: Fealty and Contention.

Feast of Dreams by Lady MSM [General]
Summary: Two malnourished wanderers reflect.
Chapter added this month: Chapter 1.

Golden Days by Lyra [Teens]
Summary: Nerdanel recounts the development of her relationship with Fëanor - from the earliest days to the estrangement. Pride and Prejudice in Valinor, really, with perhaps a helping of Much Ado About Nothing.
Chapters added this month: Chapter 9 .

In Darkness Bound by Fiondil [Teens]
Summary: In the aftermath of the Darkening, three kings search for meaning in the midst of tragedy. One seeks absolution; another, vengeance, while the third merely endeavors to salvage what he can from the disaster and protect his people from future harm. All may find what they are looking for, though not necessarily in the way they expect, for, as always, the Valar have their own agenda. 
Chapters added this month: Chapter 114: A Collision of Fates , Chapter 115: Ingwion Furioso, Chapter 116: The Hunt for Ingwion, Chapter 117: Aftermath, Chapter 118: Making Arrangements, Chapter 119: Return to Vanyamar , Chapter 120: The Trouble with Princes, Chapter 121: Funeral for a Prince and Chapter 122: Preparations for a Trial.

Of Draugluin by Huinare [General]
Summary: Wherein a denizen of Utumno is roped into a peculiar project, the repercussions of which are inescapable.
Chapter added this month: Angband

Pictures at an Exhibition by Robinka [Adult]
Summary: A series of drabbles, some humorous, other not so much, centered on the Sindar (because they deserve all the praise).
Chapter added this month: The Bond.

Something Un-Feanorian by Himring [Teens]
Summary: Elrond has a posthumous conversation with Maedhros at the time of the Fall of Eregion. With glimpses of Elros and of the Third Kinslaying.
Chapter added this month: Chapter 2.

The Line of Kings by Michiru [Teens]
Summary: Exploring the lives of the Noldorin princes who would eventually produce the final king of the Noldor in Middle-earth.
Chapter added this month: Reaching Out.

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 1: Incarceration, Chapter 2: On Language, Chapter 3: Of Rings, Chapter 4: The Years of the Trees/Riddles in the Dark and Chapter 5: Of Marbles and Golf.

Walking On the Dark Sideby Erulisse [General]
Summary: A series of drabbles focusing on Morgoth. Take a walk through the Dark Side. Responses to a variety of prompts for Tolkien Weekly drabble challenges.
Chapters added this month: Chapter 1 - Celebrating Light from the Dark Side, Chapter 2 - Trouble Is As Trouble Does, Chapter 3 - Setting the Stage - The Dagor-nuin-Giliath, Chapter 4 - Dress Rehearsal, Chapter 5 - A Prize Catch and Chapter 6 - Captured Light.

Short Works

A Change of Plans by Idle Leaves [General] (460 words)
Summary: Written for a "Crossed the Ice to find you" prompt at Dreamwidth's fic_promptly.

Children by Maglor Makalaure [General] (508 words)
Summary: Nerdanel reflects on her sons.

Four Times Nelyo by Robinka [General] (406 words)
Summary: A set of drabbles. The title says it all.

Morgoth's Crown by Chilled in Hithlum [General] (55 words)
Summary: Just playing with words looking for inspiration, really!

Library of Tirion

Gathering the Pieces by Tehta [General] (1768 words)
Summary: A Maedhros-sans-hand story which is darker than most. Maedhros views his life's work as a game. He plots his moves and gathers some important pieces.
First published: January 31, 2004.

Confessions of a Sharp Glance by Mercurie [Teens] (13637 words)
Summary: In the Halls of Mandos, Maeglin reveals the darkest moments of his life to an unusual listener
First published: May 5, 2003

Ill Chance or Strange Fates by Ivanneth [Teens] (2531 words)
Summary: Fingon baby-sits, and has an unexpected visitor.
First published: June 7, 2003.

Oath Renewed by Inglor [General] (4176 words)
Summary: Narsil was 3000 years old before it came to Elendil, how did he get it?
First published: August 24, 2004

Truth Against the World by Lipstick [General] (3743 words)
Summary: Maglor and the Dragon.
First published: August 31st, 2004.


Release from Bondage by Erurainon [General] (456 words)
Summary: A lay which is based on that tale which is the heart of Tolkien's work and the echo of what some claim to be the most profound of the tales of the Elder days..

The Fall of the Noldor by Erurainon [General] (1393 words)
Summary: A lay of the Elder Days focused on the fortunes of the house of Feanor, the Silmarils of yore, the dark magesty of Morgoth, and the ending of the wars of Balariand all in verse.

The Lay of Húrin Thallian the Steadfast by Erurainon [General] (879 words)
Summary: A lay composed in archaic form based on the tragedy of the father of the hapless.

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Character of the Month Biography


Dawn Felagund

Tulkas--also called Astaldo, meaning the Valiant--is one of the Valar, named "greatest in strength and deeds of prowess," although he is ranked last of the male Valar. Tulkas' primary purpose for coming to Arda was to make war on Melkor; he didn't even arrive on Arda until well after the other Valar and did so then only to aid them in their battles against Melkor.

Tolkien doesn't allow for much nuance in his depiction of Tulkas in the published Silmarillion. Tulkas is single-minded in his love of fighting and his impatience with peace. He is described as a master of wrestling, contests of strength, and running; he is tireless and needs only his hands for weapons. Likewise, he doesn't ride a horse, since he can outrun even the fastest of them. He lives in the present and is useless as a counselor, although he is described as "a hardy friend." Even in his choice of spouses, Tulkas maintains his singularity of purpose: He marries Nessa, the sister of Oromë, who is described as "lithe and fleet-footed … swift as an arrow," who can outrun even the deer who follow her.

Tolkien provides an uncharacteristically great amount of detail about Tulkas' physical appearance, describing him as ruddy-faced, blond-haired, and bearded (1). Tulkas' resemblance to the quintessential Viking warrior again underscores his rather narrow purpose in the story.

Tulkas' role in the events of The Silmarillion is concentrated entirely in the first part of the book. Once the Noldor leave for Middle-earth, Tulkas is never mentioned again. Prior to this point, however, he plays a pivotal role, and readers frequently see him in action in battles and in councils of the Valar. We are introduced to Tulkas at his arrival, with the explicit purpose of making war on Melkor during his initial conflicts with the other Valar during the shaping of Arda:

But in the midst of the war a spirit of great strength and hardihood came to the aid of the Valar, hearing in the far heaven that there was battle in the Little Kingdom; and Arda was filled with the sound of his laughter. So came Tulkas the Strong, whose anger passes like a mighty wind, scattering cloud and darkness before it; and Melkor fled before his wrath and his laughter, and forsook Arda, and there was peace for a long age. (2)

Prior to Tulkas' arrival, the Valar were being routed by Melkor; Tulkas alone turns the tables on Melkor, bringing him to heel and keeping Arda safe from his destructive influence: Arda's very first superhero. He drives Melkor out into the Void.

Tulkas' arrival and swift drubbing of Melkor established eternal enmity between the two Valar. Melkor explicitly loathed Tulkas (3), and Tulkas' future treatment of Melkor reveals very low tolerance for the dark Vala and even less trust.

Tulkas' proclivity for laughing during battle earns numerous mentions and contributes to his ability to utterly terrify Melkor. Although Tulkas and Oromë are often set side by side as the two he-men of the Valar, Oromë is described as more wrathful, while Tulkas--the stronger of the two--only ever laughs, even when faced with avenging the awesome destruction wrought by Melkor (4).

The peace Tulkas establishes on Arda allows the Valar to go about their work, beautifying the Isle of Almaren, ordering the world, and constructing the first of their great works intended to bring light to the world: the Lamps. Without battle to wage, Tulkas' strength and endurance are put to work instead in the ordering of the world. While his brethren, like Aulë, contribute knowledge and skill, Tulkas gets assigned the grunt work: "the strength of Tulkas had been at the service of all without ceasing in the days of [the Valar's] labour" (5).

While the Valar work, Melkor is mustering his strength and his minions out in the Void. The Valar decide to celebrate their accomplishments, at which point Tulkas and Nessa wed each other. Although declared "tireless" in the Valaquenta, Tulkas' physical and romantic exertions leave him "weary and content," and he falls asleep like a Hobbit after a big meal. Melkor uses this opportunity to hop over the Walls of Night, unseen by the Valar, and begins building Utumno in the north of the world while the Valar look the other way.

Melkor makes his presence known soon enough by toppling the Lamps, causing upheaval of the land and sea that the Valar had so carefully brought to order. Tulkas gives chase, shaking the ruined earth with the force of his pursuit, but is unable to catch Melkor before he slips back into hiding in Utumno; the Valar must spend their strength on trying to save the remnants of the world they've built. Presumably, Tulkas' strength and endurance is required for this task (6).

Melkor's evil continues after the Valar retreat to Valinor. Upset by the damage done to the living land, Yavanna requests the help of the Valar in subduing Melkor, and Tulkas is the first to speak in favor of war--characteristic in his bloodlust and impetuosity--crying out, "Nay! Let us make war swiftly! Have we not rested from strife overlong, and is not our strength now renewed? Shall one alone contest with us for ever?" The Valar do not take his advice: Námo changes the subject by bringing up the impending arrival of the Elves, and Varda gets to work making stars for them. But Tulkas will get his way eventually. Once Oromë discovers the Elves, the Valar decide to take down Melkor for the Elves' sake. Despite the harm that the battle will do to the land, Tulkas celebrates the coming battle.

Indeed, Tulkas triumphs during Battle of the Powers, being the one to throw down Melkor onto his face, bind him, and lead him forth in chains to Aman, where he will spend three ages in the confines of Mandos (7).

After serving his sentence, when Melkor is released, Tulkas is among the Valar who disagree with the decision. Tulkas "clenched his hands whenever he saw Melkor his foe go by; for if Tulkas is slow to wrath he is slow also to forget," although he abides by Manwë's decision in an effort to prove the effectiveness of obedience by being obedient himself, a choice that, of course, has disastrous consequences. Among other things, while the Valar like Tulkas capable of perceiving Melkor's evil remain silent, Melkor sows the seeds of discontent in the House of Finwë; when Melkor is revealed as the cause of the animosity between Fëanor and Fingolfin, it is Tulkas who is once again sent forth to bring Melkor to justice. Yet again, Melkor evades Tulkas by hiding, disguising himself as a cloud in the hills; when brute strength is not required, Tulkas does not easily dominate, and Melkor is an exceedingly cunning foe. Tulkas returns empty-handed (8).

Melkor comes next to Fëanor's gates in Formenos. When Fëanor sends him away, Finwë sends a messenger to the Valar, and Tulkas again goes out in pursuit of Melkor. And once again, Melkor disguises himself--this time as a stormcloud--and avoids capture. After destroying the Two Trees, Melkor flees again in a cloud of darkness caused by Ungoliant, and here he overpowers Tulkas physically as well as mentally. Tulkas is unable to proceed in the dark: "Tulkas was as one caught in a black net at night, and he stood powerless and beat the air in vain" (9).

This defeat is the last time we see Tulkas really and truly in action. In the next chapter, the Valar propose to Fëanor that he use the light in his Silmarils to rekindle the Two Trees. In a typical show of impatience (and a complete lack of understanding of what he asks of Fëanor), Tulkas demands, "Speak, O Noldo, yea or nay! But who shall deny Yavanna? And did not the light of the Silmarils come from her work in the beginning?" (10). Tulkas is not mentioned again in The Silmarillion save by Fëanor: While rousing the Noldor to action, he says of the Noldorin vengeance on Melkor, "For we will go further than Oromë, endure longer than Tulkas: we will never turn back from pursuit" (11). Whether conquered irreparably by his oldest foe or because the point of view shifts from Valinor to Beleriand, we do not hear of Tulkas again, even during the War of Wrath, when he presumably would have played a leading role.

Unlike many of the Valar, from the earliest drafts of The Silmarillion, Tulkas existed more or less in the form we find him in the published Silmarillion, although Tolkien enriches his character with far more detail and nuance. The Book of Lost Tales describes him as "lusty" and a "perpetual youth." Like his character in the published book, he dislikes Melkor from the start, delights in physically dominating him, and intimidates (and, because of that, earns the hatred of) the dark Vala.

Similarly, as in the published book, Tulkas is associated with Aulë during the building of Arda. Tolkien provides us with more detail, describing how Tulkas helped Aulë bring marble, metal, and stone to Valinor to aid in the construction of the two cauldrons that water the Two Trees. After the Trees create light to work by, Tulkas continues to aid Aulë, a connection that seems to have been lost between the Lost Tales and the published book, where Tulkas becomes known most for his physical strength, while Aulë's role as the patron of the scientists and technologists among both Ainur and Eldar sets him apart from Tulkas' brute approach.

Tulkas' playfulness is also emphasized in the Lost Tales as it is not in the published Silmarillion. It is said that

… he dwelt amidmost of Valmar. Most youthful is he and strong of limb and lusty, and for that is he named Poldórëa who loveth games and twanging of bows and boxing, wrestling, running, and leaping, and songs that go with a swing and a toss of a well-filled cup. Nonetheless is he no wrangler or striker of blows unprovoked as is Makar, albeit there are none of Valar or Uvanimor (who are monsters, giants, and ogres) that do not fear the sinews of his arm and the buffet of his iron-clad fist, when he has cause for wrath. His was a house of mirth and revelry; and it sprang high into the air with many storeys, and had a tower of bronze and pillars of copper in a wide arcade. In its court men played and rivalled one another in doughty feats, and them at times would that fair maiden Nessa wife of Tulkas bear goblets of the goodliest wine and cooling drinks among the players. (12)

Tulkas' association with the Vala Makar--who along with his sister Meássë represent a Norse contingent among the Valar, and neither of whom survived beyond the Lost Tales--is an interesting one, as it seems that Tulkas took on some of Makar's qualities when Makar was removed from the story. In Lost Tales, it is said that Tulkas is the only Vala who will journey near Makar's halls and contend with the warriors there so "that he might not grow soft in his fair living" but that he was not friends with them, who were inclined to favor Melkor (13). Although Tulkas' animosity toward Melkor appears even in this earliest draft, his impetuosity and bloodlust--qualities that belong to Makar in the Lost Tales--are not yet as obvious. In the Lost Tales also, Tulkas does not arrive late to Arda, as he does in the published Silmarillion; it is Makar who enters Arda after all of the other Valar. As The Silmarillion evolved, Tolkien shifted the Valar more toward dualist poles of evil and good: Melkor in the evil camp and the rest of the Valar, having lost any residual creepiness or moral ambiguousness present in the Lost Tales, on the side of Ultimate Good. This left no room for a character like Makar, although Tolkien seems to have shifted his traits somewhat onto Tulkas and sanitized them to create a blindly obedient warrior seemingly incapable of independent thought.

The Lost Tales also cast Tulkas in a different and more prominent roles in the capture of Melkor. In this early version, the Valar trick Melkor rather than overthrowing him with force alone, agreeing to send Tulkas in wrapped in chains to kiss Melkor's foot. Tulkas does indeed enter Utumno in chains, but he leaps free of them and, with Aulë and Oromë, overpowers Melkor and brings him forth for sentencing. After Melkor's term in Mandos, he is additionally sentenced to "for four ages yet dwell as a servant in the house of Tulkas, and obey him in requital of his ancient malice" (14). This sentence is mentioned several times throughout the Tales as having been carried out.

In this earliest version of the story, a renegade messenger comes from Mandos, bearing a message from Melkor. Tulkas defies Manwë and leads others of the Valar in hurling this messenger from Taniquetil to his death, quite a contradiction of the character who in the published Silmarillion would say nothing against Melkor's freedom out of obedience to Manwë. The connection between Aulë and Tulkas is again emphasized as the two pledge to fill in the gap in the mountains through which Melkor passed, and also when the two attempt to retrieve the final fruit of the ruined Trees. We do see the published story taking shape as Tulkas and Melkor battle on the plains of Valinor after the Darkening of the Two Trees, and Melkor repeatedly fools Tulkas by disappearing into a fog right as Tulkas is about to wound him. (14, 15)

Like many of the Valar, Tulkas began his existence in the Lost Tales as a character far richer in detail and nuance. As Tolkien shifted his story toward moral dualism later in his life, Tulkas' character shifted as well, becoming singular in his strength, warlust, and impatience rather than the playful, youthful Vala simultaneously capable of deceit, disobedience, and merciless violence.

Works Cited

  1. The Silmarillion, Valaquenta, "Of the Valar."
  2. The Silmarillion, "Of the Beginning of Days."
  3. Ibid.
  4. The Silmarillion, Valaquenta, "Of the Valar."
  5. The Silmarillion, "Of the Beginning of Days."
  6. Ibid.
  7. The Silmarillion, "Of the Coming of the Elves and the Captivity of Melkor."
  8. The Silmarillion, "Of the Silmarils and the Unrest of the Noldor."
  9. The Silmarillion, "Of the Darkening of Valinor."
  10. The Silmarillion, "Of the Flight of the Noldor."
  11. The Book of Lost Tales 1, Of the Coming of the Valar and the Building of Valinor.
  12. Ibid.
  13. The Book of Lost Tales 1, The Chaining of Melko.
  14. The Book of Lost Tales 1, The Theft of Melko and the Darkening of Valinor.
  15. The Book of Lost Tales 1, The Tale of the Sun and the Moon.

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Current Challenge

The Storyteller

'Each of us has been designed for one of two immortal functions, as either a storyteller or as a cross-legged listener to tales of wonder, love and daring. When we cease to tell or listen, then we no longer exist as a people. Dead men tell no tales.'
-- Bryce Courtenay

We have all come across them: storytellers. You know the kind. You're at a party, bored out of your mind ... until Uncle Saul walks in. Before you know it, you are engrossed in another of his wild and crazy stories.

Storytelling is an interactive art, using words and actions to bring a story to life while encouraging the listener’s imagination. In many cultures, storytelling is much more than entertainment: it is a way to pass on history and cultural traditions. Even in modern times, storytellers still hold a special rank amongst their people, from Naghāls to Bards.

This challenge is all about storytellers in the Silmarillion tapestry: maybe someone like Finrod Felagund enchanting men or long-lost elves who can treat passersby to songs and tales of old? What epic do they pass on and to whom? How does the crowd interact with the speaker and help him or her to embellish the tale? What is their way of life? What status do they have within their community? Are they a wiseman of the Edain or a wanderer hoping to earn some coin on the road? What drives them and what have they experienced?

It is up to you to tell their tale.

Challenges Revisited: In Memory

There are several mentions of memorials throughout The Silmarillion, and there are countless additional places where some kind of memorial is possible, even likely. Gondolin is built as a memorial of Tirion, the White Tree is a memorial of the “light of Valinor”, and the remains of the Two Trees stand in Valinor as a tribute.

This month, we ask authors to consider memorials. What might an Edain soldier do to honor a fallen friend or family member? What sort of tribute might stand in Alqualondë in memory or reminder of the Kinslaying? How were these memorials decided upon? Alternatively, tell us more about one of the tributes already mentioned specifically in The Silmarillion. What made Turgon decide to create Gondolin in Tirion’s likeness when his cousins did no such thing? Did Thingol indeed remember Húrin of Dor-lómin when he wore the Nauglamír? Songs, statues, ceremonies...the options are limitless. Pick an existing memorial, adapt a modern (or not so modern!) one, or create your own!

Quote of the Month

Memory is a way of holding on to the things you love, the things you are, the things you never want to lose.
- Kevin Arnold

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

LotR Genfic Community: 2011 Yule Fic Exchange and November's Challenge (Feast)

We are doing the Yule Fic Exchange somewhat differently this year! Instead of sending requests to us mods along with what you want to write as we have done in previous years, please send us your requests only in a comment to this post. When the sign-up period is ended, a new post will be made where only the requests will be posted. You will then post a comment to the request you wish to write. Post a comment as well for your second choice. The 2011 Yule Fic Exchange post has more information on how to participate in this annual tradition!

The community will also host one of its monthly challenges for November. The November Challenge will have the theme "Feast" Your story for this challenge will be a recipe!fic. A recipe fic is defined as a story in which a specific food or dish is mentioned, and the recipe for making it is given. Recipes should be given in such a way that the reader could use it to make the dish described. The recipe may be incorporated in the body of the story (but all ingredients and steps must be specified) or the complete recipe may be added at the end of the story. Elements for the challenge will be a kitchen utensil to be included in the story. The November challenge stories will be due Monday, November 14th. Please see this post to sign up for November's challenge.

National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo)

NaNoWriMo is here again! Every year, thousands of writers come together with the goal of writing a novel during the month of November. Interested? The NaNoWriMo website has details on how to participate. Best of luck to our SWG members who are participating this year! We'll be cheering you on at the finish line!

Of Elves and Men Big Bang: Beta Readers and Artists Still Needed!

The OEAM Big Bang still needs artists and betas. If you would like to help out a fellow author by beta reading for the Big Bang, please sign up here. We have several writers who are in need of a beta and the moderators need to be able to match them up as soon as possible.

If you know others who might like to beta, please have them sign up also. If you are an artist and would like to illustrate a story, please visit the art sign ups on the OEAM Big Bang community and do not forget to join the community!

Teitho: November Challenge--Numbers

November is the eleventh month of the year. And this year, in our world we will see a special date - 11.11.11. This is why our theme for November is "Numbers". The deadline for this challenge is November 25th. The Teitho website has more information.

A Long Expected Contest (ALEC): November Challenge--Unexpected Gratitude

One of the many things that make Life interesting is not knowing how something we do might touch another – until, that is, someone tells us "thank you" quite out of the blue. November's challenge is to explore how such moments might come to those who live in Middle-earth, and what kind of deeds might have caused them. Entries are due by November 25. See the ALEC website for more information on how to participate.

The Inklings' Podcast

A new Tolkien-related podcast is now being produced and available to download and subscribe to for free! Find The Inkling's Podcast on iTunes!

Middle-earth Fanfiction Awards

The MEFAs are underway! We'd like to congratulate all the authors whose stories have been nominated. From August 7th to December 31st members will be able to review stories and their reviews will be visible on the website. See the MEFA website to vote for your favorite stories and find more information on how to get involved.

Around the World and Web is provided for our members to inform them of events in the larger Tolkien community. SWG is not affiliated with and does not endorse the groups that we feature in Around the World and Web, and we are not responsible for content on sites outside of our own. Please use discretion and caution when visiting unfamiliar sites on the Internet.

Would you like to see your group or event featured on Around the World and Web? See our Promotions Page for more details or email us at

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