September's Challenges

A Lesson Learned

This month, as students in many parts of the world head back to class, shops advertise their back-to-school sales, and many new university students (and their parents!) adjust to their new lifestyle, education is on the forefront of the minds of many! In keeping with this idea, this month's challenge deals with lessons learned.

Write a story, drabble, or poem that features a character learning something new. The character could learn something very tangible--like forging, the alphabet, or how to tie his or her shoes--or a "life lesson": the meaning of love, friendship, betrayal, or any number of others.

Some writers might find it interesting to explore what sorts of education systems--if any--existed in the different cultures of Middle-earth. Many times, Silmarillion-based stories features apprentices or formal schooling. Do you think that this is probable for a specific culture? Other authors might enjoy imagining how different cultures and races interacted and subsequently learned from each other. Were the Edain literate before they met the Elves? What did the Elves teach them of art and war? What might Eöl, Maeglin, and the Gwaith-i-Mirdain have learned from the Dwarves and vice versa? Or what did the Valar teach the Elves when they first arrived in Aman?

An Elf Falls into Modern-earth...

Many writers have done successful comedies and dramas based around the idea of Tolkien's characters arriving somehow in modern times. What if a character arrived somehow in the modern world? What might s/he think? Or perhaps the character has been here all along: Maglor, Daeron, or Celeborn, to name three examples. Whatever the means you use to get them here, this challenge asks you to experience modern life through the eyes of First-, Second-, and Third-Age Silmarillion characters.

The Quote of the Month Challenge

The Quote of the Month challenge asks you to write based on the themes and thoughts the quote inspires or about the event in which the quote occurred. You may write in any format--poem, story, essay, or drabble--with any characters, genre, or rating.

“At the first rising of the Sun the Younger Children of Ilúvatar awoke in the land of Hildórien in the eastward regions of Middle-earth; but the first Sun arose in the West, and the opening eyes of Men were turned towards it, and their feet as they wandered over the Earth for the most part strayed that way.”
-The Silmarillion, “Of Men”

Character of the Month: Amrod and Amras

Last year, September was declared the Official Month of the Fëanor Fanfolk, so it seems appropriate to honor a son--or two sons--of Fëanor for our Character of the Month.

Writings about Fëanor and his family are some of the most prevalent in the fandom, yet not much is said on Amrod and Amras. The twins often fall into the background of stories but could be intriguing characters in their own right. The twins are commonly used for comic relief; others find their bond mysterious and even a little eerie. Other authors go to great lengths to defy the fanon conventions that surround Elven twins, including the sons of Fëanor.

If you want to learn more about how Amrod and Amras feature in The Silmarillion, our wonderful research guru Fanged Geranium compiled each mention of them as part of her character history research. The twins' entry may be found here while all of fanged_geranium's research is tagged under character research.

News and Announcements

History of Middle-earth Reading

SWG will be hosting a reading of the HoMe series dealing with events and material pertinent to The Silmarillion. We are in the process of organizing this, but weekly or bi-weekly summaries will likely be posted on both the Yahoo! group and the LiveJournal community for easy access for research purposes. Discussion is encouraged during the reading, so be sure to bring all of your wild and crazy theories (and the tame ones too) and thoughts on the History of Middle-earth.

Website Stuff

We are still going to have an archive and website. The financer of the website (me, Dawn) met with an unexpected expense of buying SCUBA equipment and an underwater digital camera but has told her husband in no uncertain terms that webspace must be next on the list.

Anyone with experience in building websites--particularly PHP--who would like to help our rookie web designer (me again) should email me at the address below.

I will be asking for help soon: probably for additional moderators to help Uli, Jenni, and me keep tabs on the forums, for folks to help new members around the site, and for people interested in compiling research for our resources section. If you think you might be interested in any of these things, drop me (Dawn) a line or sign up for the Yahoo! group, where all announcements will be posted first.

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