TheSilmarillionWriters'Guild

Newsletter: September 2012

Table of Contents


SWG News

Welcome to Our New Members!

During the month of August, several new members have joined our archive. They are GoldSeven, LadyAnnatar, avanti_90, Ailinu and Haleth. To all of you, welcome to the Silmarillion Writers’ Guild!

To make yourselves comfortable, you can start by browsing our Frequently Asked Questions. Also, why not tell us a little about your interest in The Silmarillion and maybe other facts on yourself by updating your bio? And if at any time you need any help, please do not hesitate to contact us at moderator@silmarillionwritersguild.org.

A message to our older members, too: why not welcome our newly-joined authors by browsing through their stories and leaving a review?


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New at the Archive

Completed Works

A Mirror of My Maladies by Agelast [Adult] (1780 words)
Summary: He wants only for a sharp knife and a little courage.

All Goes Onward and Outward by Agelast [Adult] (4412 words)
Summary: To die is different from what anyone supposed, and luckier. Fingon and Maedhros, in a different war. AU, certainly.

Before Strife Was Born by oshun [Teens] (4325 words)
Summary: Not your typical romance, this is a story about two people who know one another all too well and understand one another not at all and share an almost love/hate relationship replete with passionate conflict and caring. It’s a Years of the Trees story of Fëanor and Fingolfin as very young men, written for Encairion, Ardor in August 2012.

Healing of the Fëa and Hröa by Iavalir [General] (1053 words)
Summary: Finally finding Maglor after searching for so long, Gildor next turns his attention to healing the once great elf minstrel.

I Won't Bite by Agelast [Adult] (11506 words)
Summary: Love, politics, and werewolves in the First Age! Oropher of Doriath, through no (or, at least, very little) blame of his own, gets far over his head, and comes out the other end a different person. (Thanks, in part, to Maedhros Fëanorion, cursed kinslayer and otherwise very unlikely lover.)

Like a Thunderbolt He Falls by Agelast [Adult] (3655 words)
Summary: Because he prayed for this, andwanted.

Maitimo and Findekáno by oshun [Adult] (14449 words)
Summary: Story of young Fingon’s love for Maedhros and its reciprocation. Set in Tirion before the creation of the Simarils.

Mazes and Cages by Iavalir [Teens] (5194 words)
Summary: After the Dagor Dagorath, all beings who once lived in Arda must reawaken for the Second Music, but someone is missing and Nerdanel is determined to find him.

Spark by GoldSeven † [Teens] (9325 words)
Summary: When there is no Sun, no Moon, no stars to mark the passing of time, what happens to time? Does it stand still, congeal like blood? Does it cease to exist? Maedhros upon Thangorodrim, his rescue by Fingon, and his recovery. Rated for disturbing themes.

The Conjurer by Iavalir † [Teens] (1178 words)
Summary: He sought to make visible again the family which was torn from him.

The Tale of Melilaurë and Mélaurel by Iavalir [Adult] (24914 words)
Summary: Under the roof of misfortune, an elven lord and a servant unite in their love, against the customs of the Eldar. But their bond is entangled in the curse of the once-respected family, and the slightest move out of line could cost them both.

Works in Progress

Another Man's Cage by Dawn Felagund [Adult]
Summary: In the Time of the Trees, during the Bliss of Valinor, the young family of Fëanor experience the everyday triumphs and tragedies of life in paradise. But as Fëanor's genius blossoms and his sons grow into their roles in Tirion society, tensions build that will sunder the House of Finwë and drive the House of Fëanor to open rebellion.
Chapters added this month: Chapter 16: Tyelkormo, Chapter 17: Macalaurë, Chapter 18: Macalaurë, Chapter 19: Nerdanel, Chapter 20: Nerdanel, Chapter 21: Findekáno,Chapter 22: Maitimo, Chapter 23: Maitimo, Chapter 24: Nolofinwë and Chapter 25: Carnistir.

Full of Wisdom and Perfect in Beauty by Gadira † [Adult]
Summary: The History of the Downfall, from Ar-Sakalthôr´s accession to Ar-Pharazôn´s Armada. Long saga. (Rating for possible future transgressions).
Chapter added this month: The Return.

Many Journeys by Elleth [Teens]
Summary:A gathering place for ficlets of varying length centered around the House of Fëanor (and lately, the House of Finwë in general), based on the word of the day from dictionary.com and various other prompts..
Chapters added this month: Chess Moves, Terrifying Stories, The Pendant and A Swift Sunrise.

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

The Great Tales of Beleriand: Definitive Edition by Chilled in Hithlum [General]
Summary: This is a complete re-working of my original two volumes. I have revised the story from the start for reasons of own satisfaction and I apologise in advance to all those that have already read the previous incarnations; indeed I would not expect any of you to start again, I must also thank those that have reviewed previously, your comments have been most insightful and encouraging. Thanks must go here to moderator Dawn Felagund who has transferred my old reviews to this new work; so now therefore in the interests of reader clarity I have deleted my original posts. That said, this story follows much the same arc as the last and is inspired by the turning-point chapter (18. Of the Ruin of Beleriand and the Fall of Fingolfin) where so much happens and in which so much goes unexpanded. Of course by the time this chapter takes place so much has already happened, and there are allusions to past events as published in The Silmarillion and other works.
Chapter added this month: Part Eight: Dark Bowels.

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.
Chapters added this month: Family Politics, A Small Favor, Winter Remembrances , A Linguist's Rebellion and Academic Discussion.

The Shipwright Shrugs by Kitt Otter [General]
Summary: Short whatnots and nonsense about Círdan, spanning from Cuiviénen to Forever.
Chapters added this month: Waiting.

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

Trinity by Urloth [Adult]
Summary: Three are one. There are no love songs to encompass what they share save the songs they sing themselves.
Chapter added this month: Chapter 1

Words like Pearls, Love like Life. by Urloth [Teens]
Summary: Galadriel keeps her brother's letters. His words are like pearls. Gildor is married. His love for his wives keeps him breathing.
Chapter added this month: The Opened Box.

Short Works

Guardianship by Silver Trails [Teens] (603 words)
Summary: Ulmo returns to the Outer Lands after Almaren is destroyed.

In a Name by avanti_90 [General] (396 words)
Summary: Among the Noldor the names given by mothers are held in high regard, for in them there is often found an insight into the deepest nature of the soul, or, in rare cases, even into the future. And so it was considered a thing of great importance when the third son of the King was handed to his mother, and Queen Indis whispered on her first sight of the golden-haired child: Ingoldo.

Light and Dark by avanti_90 [General] (150 words)
Summary: Can light exist without darkness, or darkness without light? A look at the universe if Varda had chosen Melkor instead of Manwë.

Maedhros and the Gardener by Himring [Teens] (758 words)
Summary: Fingon's gardener and his reactions to the invasion of his garden by a son of Feanor. Set in Tirion, a short time after Maedhros's re-embodiment.

Price of a Broken Promise by Himring [Teens] (549 words)
Summary: Erendis has given up on her errant husband and is no longer waiting for Aldarion to return from his voyage to Middle-earth. Or so she says.

Retreat by avanti_90 [General] (707 words)
Summary: As Ar-Pharazôn's fleet approaches the shores of Aman, Finarfin and Nerdanel prepare to leave Tirion behind.

Who You Were, Maybe by Himring [Teens] (415 words)
Summary: Nellas's fate after the Fall of Doriath. The paths of Nellas and Maglor cross, by the sea.

Poetry

On Not Leaving Gondolin by Himring [General] (314 words)
Summary: Two extremely different takes on Turgon's refusal to leave Gondolin, in reverse chronological order: (i) The Open Door The Dead Walked In (elegy); (ii) The Turgon Dilemma (crack fic).


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Character of the Month Biography

Tar-Aldarion

Oshun


Tar-Aldarion, the sixth King of Númenor, is said to have been born in the year 700 of the Second Age. He claims the Sceptre of Númenor as a direct descendant of the first King of Númenor. Also known as Aldarion the Mariner King, he is given the titles as well of the Great Captain, Lord of the Ships and Havens of Númenor, and Master of the Forests.1 In the tale of Aldarion and Erendis, the first names he receives are Anardil (which is based in Quenya meaning ‘devoted to the sun’) and its familiar or diminutive form of Anardilya.2

Aldarion, for so he is called in all tales, grew swiftly to a man of great stature, strong and vigorous in mind and body, golden-haired as his mother, ready to mirth and generous, but prouder than his father and ever more bent on his own will. From the first he loved the Sea, and his mind was turned to the craft of ship-building. He had little liking for the north country, and spent all the time that his father would grant by the shores of the sea, especially near Rómenna, where was the chief haven of Númenor, the greatest shipyards, and the most skilled shipwrights.3

His parents are Tar-Meneldur Elentirmo (the second name meaning ‘star-watcher’4) and Almarian, daughter of Vëantur (himself a great mariner; see more about him below). The first in a family of three children, Aldarion has two younger sisters, Ailinel and Almiel. The birthplace of Aldarion is the Forostar in the north, which is said to be of the island of Númenor

. . . the least fertile part; stony, with few trees, save that on the westward slopes of the high heather-covered moors there were woods of fir and larch. Towards the North Cape the land rose to rocky heights, and there great Sorontil rose sheer from the sea in tremendous cliffs. Here was the abode of many eagles; and in this region Tar-Meneldur Elentirmo built a tall tower, from which he could observe the motions of the stars.5

The place of Aldarion’s birth is where his father built a tower for viewing the night sky; Meneldur, who shows no great interest in the sea, does have a grand passion for studying the stars.

It is Aldarion’s maternal grandfather Vëantur, who is to be one of the greatest of the influences upon the development of the character and longings of his grandson. Vëantur is said to have been the first great mariner of Númenor and one, who serves as the Captain of the King’s Ships during the reign of Tar-Elendil. In the year 600 of the Second Age (one hundred years before the birth of his famous grandson), Vëantur also commands the first Númenórean ship to return to Middle-earth.6 Hundreds of years after Elros and his compatriots sail at the behest of the Valar to populate the Land of Gift, Vëantur is the first of their descendants to renew the bond between the Edain of Númenor and the Elves of Middle-earth, to encounter Círdan the great shipbuilder and Gil-galad, High King of the Noldor. Vëantur’s tutoring of Aldarion in navigation, his nurturing of him in the lore of distant lands, and entertaining him with the tales of his own voyages instill in his grandson that infamous longing for ships and the sea.

In the tale of The Mariner’s Wife, Tolkien describes the process by which Aldarion becomes one of the great Sea-kings of Númenor, a precursor to Elendil and also to his darker counterparts who settle in the south of Middle-earth to become the Black Númenóreans. The Númenórean naval adventurers--part benefactors, part conquistadores--in their continuing voyages to Middle-earth have their roots in Aldarion’s first trip to those shores and his decision to return time and time again.

Among Tolkien scholars who make reference to the apparent influence upon Tolkien, conscious or unconscious, of the great sailors in the Old English and Nordic tales that he studied, Verlyn Flieger points to the possible influence of one of the oldest intact Anglo-Saxon poems,The Seafarer, upon his questing sailors. Flieger speaks of "Tolkien’s extended continuation into his own fantasy of the historical tradition of Old English seafaring in general and of the literary tradition of The Seafarer in particular." 7 Aldarion is neither the greatest nor the first among the mariners of Númenor, but the narrative of his life takes great pains to present him to the reader as the intellectual and spiritual father of that line of ancient mariners.

Like his ancestor Eärendil, Aldarion finds particular satisfaction in not simply in reaching a destination or accomplishing a set task, but the time spent upon the sea. In The Silmarillion, Eärendil is said to owe his love of the sea to his father Tuor.8 That love is spoken of in terms that one can see reflected also in the descriptions of Aldarion’s fascination with the sea. It is said that Eärendil "could not rest, and his voyages about the shores of the Hither Lands eased not his unquiet." 9 Like Eärendil and Tuor long before him, Aldarion never lost his "longing for the wide Sea." 10

In a study of The Seafarer, John C. Pope speaks of at least one interpretation of that encomium to the love of the sea, which claims that it expresses "the mixed emotions of an adventurous seaman who could not but yield to the irresistible fascination for the sea in spite of his knowledge of its perils and hardships." 11 This description sounds incredibly like the sea-longing of both Eärendil and later Aldarion. Verlyn Flieger notes that it is such a "longing that engenders the wanderlust of all of Tolkien’s far-traveled characters, of whom there are many." 12

Aldarion’s early interest in the sea is met with a negative reaction on the part of his father Tar-Mendel who, despite his own passion for astronomy, has little patience with his son and heir finding inspiration in the oceans of Arda, fearing it will distract him from the attention he should pay to the governance of the island. His maternal grandfather, however, who has pursued the roles of both mariner and shipbuilder, is an enthusiast for seafaring of the highest order among a people who are to spawn a long line of explorer kings.

Aldarion was much loved by Vëantur his mother’s father, and he dwelt often in Vëantur’s house on the southern side of the firth of Rómenna. That house had its own quay, to which many small boats were always moored, for Vëantur would never journey by land if he could by water; and there as a child Aldarion learned to row, and later to manage sail. Before he was full grown he could captain a ship of many men, sailing from haven to haven.13

Vëantur encourages his bright-eyed, energetic grandson to accompany him on a long trip back whence his people came. He seeks to bring Aldarion to Middle-earth to encounter their heritage and origins left behind, within Elvenkind as well the Secondborn. He wants Aldarion to see the Elven realm governed from Lindon, where he will meet Gil-galad, and for him to hear the tales and be exposed to the skills of the ancient Sinda Círdan the Shipbuilder, who has sailed the seas between Aman and Middle-earth and was himself the first master shipwright discussed within Tolkien’s mythical world.

Against his father’s wishes, but with his permission, at the age of twenty-five, Aldarion makes his first and one of his shortest trips (of only two years) which would take him away from the cares of his father and his duties as the heir to the Sceptre of Númenor.

It is said that Aldarion himself wrote records of all his journeys to Middle-earth, and they were long preserved in Rómenna, though all were afterwards lost. Of his first journey little is known, save that he made the friendship of Círdan and Gil-galad, and journeyed far in Lindon and the west of Eriador, and marvelled at all that he saw. He did not return for more than two years, and Meneldur was in great disquiet. It is said that his delay was due to the eagerness he had to learn all that he could of Círdan, both in the making and management of ships, and in the building of walls to withstand the hunger of the sea. 14

It is impossible not to make a connection between the story of Aldarion and of one of his ancestors and Tolkien's earliest characters, Eärendil (whom Tolkien says he first created around 1916). In a draft letter,15 Tolkien gives a long and roundabout explanation of the origins of the name Eärendil (fascinating in itself is the fact that Tolkien, in this case uniquely, chooses an Anglo-Saxon name and works backwards to fit it into an Elvish linguistic form). When he settles upon the Elvish name of Eärendil for this important character, it is made up of component parts that combine to mean "lover of the sea."

In weaving together the history of his great sea lovers into a complicated tapestry which tells of their origin in Middle-earth, the foundation of Númenor, and their return to Middle-earth, Tolkien leads the reader, constantly referring back to this theme, right up through the destruction of the One Ring in The Lord of the Rings. The story of Tuor, as the father of Eärendil, comes chronologically first in the latest version of the narrative, although written long after he first creates Eärendil.

Tuor had been visited by Ulmo one of the greatest Valar, the lord of seas and waters, and sent by him to Gondolin. The visitation had set in Tuor’s heart an insatiable sea-longing, hence the choice of name for his son [the choice he speaks of here is, of course, that of the name Eärendil which means sea lover], to whom this longing was transmitted.16

A slight digression back onto the subject of blood lines: Aldarion bears not only the weight of an unquenchable sea-longing from his ancestors but inherits their physical beauty as well. Idril and Tuor are both described in The Silmarillion as blond and beautiful.17 In The Tale of Aldarion and Erendis, we are told that the difference in appearance between Erendis and Aldarion is due to his precursors being of the Line of Elros, while her ancestry traces back to the descendants of the House of Bëor, who are a shorter, darker people. (One should note that Erendis is also described as one of Tolkien’s greatest beauties, among her other strong characteristics.)

Chronologically in the tales of Tolkien’s historic seafarers, one encounters the vision of Eärendil the Mariner of mythic proportions sailing the skies, carrying a Silmaril as one of the brightest stars. Then one reads of the period when the émigrés from Middle-earth settle into their new life on Númenor. Nearly six hundred years later, we eventually come across Vëantur, who advances Tolkien’s ongoing plot thread of voyagers and seafarers. Then the reader meets his grandson Aldarion, who becomes the first great Sea-King and who both develops the technology and renews the connections to Middle-earth that will become crucial in the events within the history of Arda up through the Third Age and into the narrative of The Lord of the Rings.

In the tale that Tolkien spins of their marriage, one of his most realistic and intimate, the reader learns how the backgrounds of Erendis and Aldarion separate them. The separation is not only on a personal level, but includes cultural and political differences which, much later in the history of Númenor, will divide the island. Erendis actively loathes the sea when she learns that it will ever separate her from her love. She also prefers the rural peace and quiet of the fields and grassy hills of region of Emerië. Her life span will also be significantly shorter than those of the Line of Elros. Aldarion has been trained from birth to look outward. He hails from the area in which one finds the urban center of the Númenórean seat of government and the launching place for the yet-to-come imperialist appetites which will change the future of Middle-earth.

When six hundred years had passed from the beginning of the Second Age Vëantur, Captain of the King’s Ships under Tar-Elendil, first achieved the voyage to Middle-earth. He brought his ship Entulessë (which signifies ‘Return’) into Mithlond on the spring winds blowing from the west; and he returned in the autumn of the following year. Thereafter seafaring became the chief enterprise for daring and hardihood among the men of Númenor; and Aldarion son of Meneldur, whose wife was Vëantur’s daughter, formed the Guild of Venturers, in which were joined all the tried mariners of Númenor.18

The courageous sea-king Aldarion, with his appetite for discovery and exploration and the desire to develop a shipping industry, finds an outlet even during his land-bound years in his obsession with all things maritime. Much to the frustration of his hard-won spouse, he reaps timber for his shipbuilding schemes by harvesting the virgin forests of Númenor. He also plants trees. (Read biography on this site Erendis, the Mariner’s Wife for more a more thorough account of their extended period of courtship, the difficulty of their marriage, and its disintegration.) Attracted to one another from first meeting, neither Aldarion nor Erendis is in a hurry to marry or relinquish their own independence. Their wooing each of the other lasts decades (only Tolkien with his penchant for long-lived protagonists could force a couple into such lengthy courtships; one is reminded of Aragorn and Arwen). The couple of formidable wills finally do come together.

Aldarion wooed Erendis in earnest, and wherever she went he would go; he neglected the havens and the shipyards and all the concerns of the Guild of Venturers, felling no trees but setting himself to their planting only, and he found more contentment in those days than in any others of his life, though he did not know it until he looked back long after when old age was upon him.19

After years of dancing around the question of marriage, Aldarion and Erendis are wed, amidst great rejoicing, and enjoy a short-lived honeymoon.

Two years later Erendis conceived, and in the spring of the year after she bore to Aldarion a daughter. Even from birth the child was fair, and grew ever in beauty: the woman most beautiful, as old tales tell, that ever was born in the line of Elros, save Ar-Zimraphel, the last. When her first naming was due they called her Ancalimë. In heart Erendis was glad, for she thought: ‘Surely now Aldarion will desire a son, to be his heir; and he will abide with me long yet.’ For in secret she still feared the Sea and its power upon his heart; and though she strove to hide it, and would talk with him of his old ventures and of his hopes and designs, she watched jealously if he went to his house-ship or was much with the Venturers.20

But, while their child is still young by Númenórean standards, Aldarion begins his voyages to Middle-earth again. Erendis objects but he refuses to be swayed. The rupture which is caused by his denying his wife's pleas to stay with her and their daughter throughout her early childhood is a fatal one for Erendis. She departs to her rural homeland with their daughter and despairs of ever reconciling her loathing for his habit of spending years at sea with his own compulsion to sail. When Aldarion returns, he issues the ultimatum that she must return their daughter to him. This is particularly important to him since he has no other heir. (Having only the one child, Aldarion rewrites the laws of Númenor to allow a woman to rule.) Erendis complies, but her pride prevents her from risking any attempt at reunion and returning to him with their daughter.

If Aldarion ever looked back or made another attempt at reconciliation, we do not know. If one reads what Tolkien wrote earlier in the tale relating to Aldarion’s first response to the sea, it seems unlikely. When his father asks of what he has seen, he answers:

‘The fair people of the Elves? The green shores? The mountains wreathed in cloud? The regions of mist and shadow beyond guess? I do not know.’ He ceased, and Meneldur knew that he had not spoken his full mind. For Aldarion had become enamoured of the Great Sea, and of a ship riding there alone without sight of land, borne by the winds with foam at its throat to coasts and havens unguessed; and that love and desire never left him until his life’s end.21

Aldarion’s passion for the sea proves to be a lifelong obsession, a continuing hardship and source of bitterness with first his father and then his wife, who both lack an understanding of his obsession but rather see it as an apparent threat to his capacity as a king and ruler, spouse, and father. This focus upon sea, ships, shipbuilding, and seeking a reconnection with Middle-earth will change history of Arda in good ways as well as bad. While causing great anguish to his father and destroying his marriage, Aldarion’s love of ships and the sea contributes to the development of the island of Númenor as the homeland of a seafaring people. In this tradition of the great mariners and explorers, one finds both the roots of Númenor’s destruction and, at the same time, the capacity to ensure the ultimate survival of the Line of Elros.




Works Cited

  1. The most complete account of Aldarion’s life and history may be found in Unfinished Tales, Aldarion and Erendis: The Mariner’s Wife.
  2. Ibid.
  3. Unfinished Tales, The Line of Elros, Kings of Númenor.
  4. The Unfinished Tales, Description of Númenor.
  5. Ibid.
  6. The Lord of the Rings, The Return of the King, Appendix B, "The Second Age."
  7. Verlyn Flieger,A Question of Time: J.R.R. Tolkien’s Road to Faerie (Kent, OH: Kent State University Press, 1997).
  8. The Silmarillion, "Of Tuor and the Fall of Gondolin."
  9. The Silmarillion, "Of the Voyage of Eärendil and the War of Wrath."
  10. Ibid.
  11. John C. Pope, "Second Thoughts on the Interpretation of The Seafarer." Old English Shorter Poems: Basic Readings. Ed. Katherine O’Brien O’Keeffe. New York: Garland, 1994.
  12. Verlyn Flieger,A Question of Time: J.R.R. Tolkien’s Road to Faerie (Kent, OH: Kent State University Press, 1997).
  13. The Unfinished Tales, The Mariner’s Wife, Aldarion and Erendis.
  14. Ibid.
  15. The Letters of J.R.R. Tolkien, 297, drafts for a letter to ‘Mr Rang.’
  16. The Silmarillion, "Of Tuor and the Fall of Gondolin."
  17. Ibid.
  18. The Unfinished Tales, A Description of the Island of Númenor.
  19. The Unfinished Tales, The Mariner’s Wife, Aldarion and Erendis.
  20. Ibid.
  21. Ibid.



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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: Another Place in Time

When we write about Silmarillion events, our stories often concern the time and place where the action primarily occurred. However, there is a broad world beyond--what was going on there, at the same moment in time?

This challenge asks authors to move beyond the places and times of familiar events to consider what was going on elsewhere in Arda at the same time as a major event covered in The Silmarillion. How--if at all--did the event impact what was transpiring elsewhere at the same time?

Here are some ideas to get you started:

Quote of the Month

"I love those who can smile in trouble, who can gather strength from distress, and grow brave by reflection. 'Tis the business of little minds to shrink, but they whose heart is firm, and whose conscience approves their conduct, will pursue their principles unto death.
- Leonardo da Vinci

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!

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!


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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.

Visiting Orkney's Haunted Isle

For a long time, the stories say, it wasn't inhabited by people, but by the Finfolk. The Finfolk were a race of magical beings who in the summer lived on the island, which was then called Hildaland. This island itself was magical and was usually invisible to mortal eyes.

A piece of Valinor fallen to Earth, maybe? This article will take you back to a place that may have emerged out of Middle-earth itself: the isle of Orkney, in Scotland.

Additionally, here’s a piece of Orkney’s folklore concerning the mysterious Finfolk.

Many Paths to Tread August Non-Fiction Challenge

Many Paths to Tread and the LotR Genfic Community have hosted their annual non-fiction writing challenge. Here is a list of the essays written for this year's challenge:

On Tol Eressëa, by Larner. What might it be like to live on Tol Eressëa?

On Writing Tolkien's Elves by Oshun. Nature of Elves and how one might write them in fiction.

Reading Tolkien Chronologically, by Linaewen. Reading Tolkien's legendarium in chronological order.

The Evenstar and the Ringbearer: The Intertwining Destinies of Arwen Undómiel and Frodo Baggins, by Dreamflower. Arwen Undómiel and Frodo Baggins have more in common than initially appears on the surface.

Announcements

Tree and Flower Awards

In celebration of their third anniversary, Many Paths to Tread Tolkien gen fanfiction archive are running the "Tree and Flower Awards". The voting period is on until September 14th. Why not browse through the archive and cast your vote in a poll at the LiveJournal Community or at the LOTR_GFIC_Community Yahoo!Group (only in ONE of them)? For the full rules and awards calendar, visit Many Paths to Tread. A complete list of the Tree and Flower Award polls has been posted on LiveJournal.

2nd Annual OEAM Big Bang

"Of Elves and Men" organise their Second Annual Big Bang, a challenge in which you have 4 months to write a 25,000 word story in a wide selection of fandoms.

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!

Authors Sign-ups started on 15th August and runs up to 30th September. For the full calendar and details, see the info page on LiveJournal.

"Ardor in August 2012" fic swap stories now available!

Check the stories exchanged during the 2012 Ardor in August Fic Swap on the Slashy Santa LJ community, or directly at the Slashy Santa Fiction Archive.

Planning a Tolkien Fan Get Together in Spring 2013

Ever wished to meet other members of the Tolkien Fandom in person? This may be your chance! Dawn Felagund is planning a get-together, possibly during Spring 2013, in New York City. This post has more details. Comment there if you're interested in being kept updated as the planning process begins, or email Dawn at DawnFelagund@gmail.com.

TheOneRing.net Looking for Tolkien Fan Art!

TheOneRing.net are looking to compile the World’s Best Tolkien Fan Art pieces of all time. Here’s how they define fan art: Artwork that is based on a character, costume, item, or story that was created by someone other than the original artist/creator. It can be physical or digital.

Over 1,000 entries have already been submitted. If you wish to propose a piece of fan art, you can find the nomination form on the TORn website.

Parma Eldalamberon Issue 20 Is Out

Parma Eldalamberon 'The Book of Elven-tongues' is a journal of the Elvish Linguistic Fellowship a special interest group of the Mythopoeic Society. The current issue presents previously unpublished writings by J. R. R. Tolkien concerning an early version of one of his invented scripts. These have been edited and annotated by Arden R. Smith, under the guidance of Christopher Tolkien and with the permission of the Tolkien Estate.

The Qenya Alphabet is an edition of Tolkien's charts and notes from circa 1931 dealing with the earliest version of the script essentially of the conceptual type he would later call "Fëanorian Tengwar" and eventually include in The Lord of the Rings. This issue of Parma Eldalamberon contains 40 documents in which Tolkien's examples of the scripts are reproduced in facsimile.

For more details, and to order a copy, see their website.

"Hobbit to Hero: The Making of Tolkien's King", a book by Inzilbeth

One of our fandom own has authored a book! Inzilbeth launched her book on 11th August, and it is now available to purchase from Amazon. Here’s the back cover summary:

A uniquely detailed study of the character "Aragorn" unravelling his evolution from hobbit ranger to Númenórean King and exploring how this unexpected transformation enabled Tolkien to fulfil some of the most profound functions of his wider mythology.

LotR Genfic Community: September Challenge

In honor of the Seventy-fifth Anniversary of the publication of The Hobbit on September 21, 1937, this month's challenge will featured the number "75" in honor of the occasion. The number "seventy-five" must be used in the story. Your prompt will be a quote from The Hobbit, which you should include in the story. However, stories do not have to be set in that book-- entries may, as usual, be set in any of Tolkien's writings and feature any of his characters or races. The September challenge stories will be due Friday, September 14th. The lotr_community LiveJournal community has full details on how to participate.

Teitho: September Challenge--Moments of Transition

Middle-earth is a place of many changes - different ages come and go; the Elves arrive and build cities, they live and love and fight, and then leave forever; great kings fall into darkness and new ones rise from the ashes; characters grow to become heroes. This month we will focus on the moments that mark an important change in a character's life. Our topic for September is Moments of Transition.

You do not need to focus on one single character. What about changes that affected all of Middle-earth? The Defeat of Sauron, the return of the King, the Elves leaving these shores behind are all major changes in the existing world. You are also welcome to write about the earlier ages as long as you manage to include Aragorn or Legolas in your story.

Same goes for artists - your artwork should depict a moment that marks a transition in a character's life or in the world as a whole. Unlike writers, you do not need to include Aragorn or Legolas in your picture.

The deadline for this challenge is September 25th. The Teitho website has more information.




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