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dawn_felagund [userpic]
January 2017 Challenge: Taboo
by dawn_felagund (dawn_felagund)
at January 15th, 2017 (11:36 am)

banner for SWG January 2017 challenge Taboo

All cultures have behaviors that are forbidden. And frankly, our beloved Silmarillion characters get up to quite a lot of them.

This month's theme is Taboo and features a bingo card for participants to self-select a prompt or prompts to inspire their fanworks. To participate as a creator, you need only to create a fanwork using one prompt; however, for the more adventurous among us, we encourage you to combine prompts, complete rows, or attempt one of the dozen variations of card patterns. You may use multiple prompts in a single fanwork or use prompts to inspire multiple fanworks.

Taboo Prompt CardCollapse )

To be eligible for this month's stamp, you must post your response to the SWG archive no later than February 10, 2017. (Fanworks that are not fiction, nonfiction/essays, poetry, script/screenplay, podfic, and other audio can be posted to the SWG LiveJournal community or the SWG Dreamwidth community. All of the formats listed above must be posted on the SWG archive to count.)

Please comment here with the prompt(s) you've selected. More than one person can claim a prompt. You're also welcome to share a link to your response here when it's finished!

To participate as a reviewer, review one, several, or all of the responses posted for the Taboo challenge. There is no deadline to comment on fanworks and receive a stamp as a reviewer, but please email us if you are commenting on a challenge that is more than two months old.

Refer to the full challenge guidelines for more information. Comment here or email us at moderator@silmarillionwritersguild.org with questions.

dawn_felagund [userpic]
New Challenge Guidelines
by dawn_felagund (dawn_felagund)
at January 11th, 2017 (08:03 pm)

We will post our first new challenge on this coming Sunday, January 15th! Look out for new challenges on the 15th of every month. Below are the guidelines for the new challenge system. (Challenge guidelines and the current challenge can also be found by clicking on Challenges on the menu on our website.) Please ask any questions you may have here or drop us a line at moderator@silmarillionwritersguild.org.

Challenges have been a part of the SWG since our group was formed in 2005. Before the archive, there were challenges. Before References or any special projects or B2MeM or any of the myriad things we've done over the last decade-plus, there were challenges. From 2005 through 2008, we offered at least one challenge every month. In 2009, we switched to a quarterly format. Challenges were always entirely self-directed: You did not have to sign up, post your work by a certain date, or meet any other requirements.

Beginning in January 2017, we instituted several changes to the SWG challenges. We reverted back to the monthly format. But more importantly, we also modified our participation rules to encourage participation from both authors and commenters. Please read the guidelines below to participate in our challenges. Participants--both authors and reviewers--will receive a small monthly prize for their participation.

Please note that every challenge that has ever been offered by the SWG will continue to remain on the site, available for perusal and use by creators of fanworks who are looking for inspiration. Even if the deadline is passed, you are welcome to use the challenges listed on our site. And reviews of past challenge stories are always welcome and always receive a reward for that month. Again, the guidelines below have full details.

How to ParticipateCollapse ) FAQsCollapse )

dawn_felagund [userpic]
January 2017 Newsletter Posted!
by dawn_felagund (dawn_felagund)
at January 4th, 2017 (09:03 pm)

The SWG's January 2017 newsletter has been posted!

We open this month's newsletter with our annual letter from the moderators. We anticipate a 2017 full of work to make the SWG the best group it can be for the members and friends who have loyally supported us for twelve (!) years. In January, we introduce the first of several changes we have planned for this year by changing up our challenges. Check out the News section to read about the new challenges, which will begin on January 15.

For the character biography this month, Oshun writes about the Ithryn Luin or Blue Wizards. This mysterious duo went into the East and was never heard from again. Yet Tolkien speculated about their purpose and their fate throughout his work on the legendarium, and in her characteristically thorough way, Oshun lays out what we know about this pair in her essay about them.

If you're looking for fiction to read, more than twenty stories were added or updated on our archive this month. In case that's not enough, our Around the World and Web section has articles of interests and links to the collections gathered by the Tolkien fandom's multiple December gift swaps. In case you didn't get your fill writing for December events, Around the World and Web also includes upcoming ficswaps and challenges, as well as courses and calls for papers.

It's the final month for the SWG's old challenge system, which has been around for almost twelve years now. Looking for inspiration? Why not try out the Companies, Clubs, and Cliques or Ankle Biters challenges and send our venerable challenge system out with a bang?

As always, many hands and minds go into making our newsletter possible. Thanks this month go to Oshun, Elleth, Rhapsody, and Angelica for creating and compiling our newsletter content.

Red [userpic]
Promotion: My Slashy Valentine 2017
by Red (red_lasbelin)
at December 12th, 2016 (06:40 pm)

My Slashy Valentine 2017

The My Slashy Valentine fiction exchange focuses on stories about the Elves, Men, Dwarves, Valar and Maiar of J.R.R. Tolkien's legendarium. Maybe it’s Gildor and Glorfindel you love, or perhaps Boromir-on-Theodred strikes your fancy... or maybe Lúthien and Thuringwethil is your OTP? From the Years of the Trees to the Fourth Age, from sultry tales of the Silmarillion to romances in the Ring Wars – spread the word, recruit your friends and fellow authors, and have some fun!

    Critical Dates:
  • Sign-up period: December 4th to 18th

  • Assignments to be distributed no later than December 28th

  • Deadline for first-time participants: February 1st

  • Deadline for returning participants: February 8th

  • Archive opens: February 14th, 2017

If you're interested in signing up, please head over here @ the Slashy Santa LJ community for the rules and sign-up link. We'd love to have you!

dawn_felagund [userpic]
Ten Things You Wish the SWG Archive Could Do ... (That It Actually Does!)
by dawn_felagund (dawn_felagund)
at December 5th, 2016 (05:49 pm)

Earlier this year, we asked for feedback on a survey about the SWG site. Our software is aging and we face the challenging decision of where to take the site next. Wherever we go, we want it to be useful to the authors and readers who use our site for sharing Silmarillion fan fiction.

But as I read through the suggestions for what we could do to make the site better, I kept bumping into wish-list items that the site already does. So in our December 2016 newsletter, I wrote an article called “10 Things You Wish the SWG Archive Could Do (That It Actually Does).” I’m going to reprint that article separately in an attempt to reach as many SWG users as possible because it's nice, if the site is capable of doing something you'd like it to do, that you know how! :)

So if you ever wished that the SWG archive would send you alert emails, let you make rec lists, allow you to copy from MS Word and keep your formatting, comment on Reference articles, generate story stats, and post images and podfic, read on!

Ten Things You Wish the SWG Archive Could Do ... (That It Actually Does!)Collapse )

russandol [userpic]
December 2016 Newsletter Posted
by russandol (nelyo_russandol)
at December 3rd, 2016 (06:11 pm)

Our December newsletter has been posted over on our site!


This month we continue with the "Companies, Clubs, and Cliques" challenge, which asks writers to imagine character groups, both formal and informal, that might have existed in Arda. During December why not gift a story to someone who inspired or encouraged you over the last twelve months, as we are revisiting "A Gift of a Story"?

Our News section prompts you to help us expand the Library of Tirion, presents 10 Things You Didn't Know the SWG Archive Could Do, provides an update on Mereth Aderthad, and calls for Back to Middle-earth 2017 Moderator Volunteers, amongst other topics.

This month's character biography is on Emeldir the Manhearted, written by Robinka. Before there was Eowyn, there was Emeldir, barely mentioned in The Silmarillion but the savior of her people whose brave deeds allowed the survival of one of the most important family lines among the Edain.

As usual, if you're looking for something to read in our archive, our newsletter lists new and updated stories, short works, poems, and non-fiction. Around the World and Web brings you featured articles and publications about all aspects of the Tolkien legendarium and fandom beyond the Silmarillion Writers’ Guild, from a biopic on J.R.R Tolkien to a fanfilm on the untold story of Glorfindel, and to the published results of a recent fandom and sexuality survey.

Many thanks to our contributors this month: Angelica, Dawn, Rhapsody, Elleth and Robinka. We all hope you enjoy our December newsletter!

A fine specimen of hypermagical ultraomnipotence [userpic]
Lord of the Rings Secret Santa 2016 signups close TODAY!
by A fine specimen of hypermagical ultraomnipotence (empy)
at November 15th, 2016 (09:15 am)

There's still time to sign up for the 2016 round of Lord of the Rings Secret Santa! Signups close at midnight PST on the 15th.

You can find the rules here.

The important dates are:
- Signups: November 4th to 15th.

- Assignments sent out: On or near November 16th.

- Assignments due: December 17th.

- Stories/art revealed: December 24th.

- Author/artist names revealed: January 1st.

You can sign up HERE.

A fine specimen of hypermagical ultraomnipotence [userpic]
Lord of the Rings Secret Santa 2016 signups are OPEN!
by A fine specimen of hypermagical ultraomnipotence (empy)
at November 11th, 2016 (07:33 pm)

Greetings from your friendly neighbourhood elves! (Hopefully of the Tolkien variety rather than the tiny and twee North Pole type. ^_~)

So, it's that time of the year again: time to sign up for the Lord of the Rings Secret Santa exchange! Slash, femslash, het and gen, fic and fanart; you can request it all, so why not join in? Sign-ups will run from now until November 15th.

Previous years' stories and art can be found, as usual, via the website or on the lotr_sesa community.

Please note that this is an FPF challenge. (i.e. Fictional, not real people fiction/RPF.)

We're always open to all the Peoples and Ages of Middle-earth, which means that characters from The Hobbit are welcome too!

The Rules (2016):

1. Your story (or fanart) is due December 17th 11:59 pm Pacific Time (you can check what that is in your time zone here) and will go online December 24th -- please post it to the community (and nowhere else, until January 1st) and we will make it public on Christmas Eve.

2. Naturally, it'd be better if you didn't talk too much about your fic/art beforehand in places where your recipient could see it. Also, as a matter of fairness, please make your story more than 500 words (1000 is better). For fanart we'd expect you to spend at least a couple of hours on your work.

3. Please only sign up if you plan on actually fulfilling your end of the bargain. If you're going to be late or cannot complete your assignment, please let us know so we can discuss alternate arrangements. In addition, there will be a pool of emergency replacement writers/artists, so that everyone who signs up gets their gift.

4. Signing up: the sign up form can be found here (or here if the main link gives you an error message). If you need help with signing up, please don't hesitate to contact the mods.

5. This year's timeline (2016):

- Signups: November 4th to 15th.

- Assignments sent out: On or near November 16th.

- Assignments due: December 17th.

- Stories/art revealed: December 24th.

- Author/artist names revealed: January 1st.

6. When you're done, please add your story/art to the collection on AO3. All gifts will be revealed on December 24th.

That should be it. Assignments will be sent out shortly after signups close, hopefully on or very shortly after November 16th, giving you approximately four and a half weeks to finish your assignment. We realize that it's not possible that everyone gets to write their OTP, but we'll do our best to make sure you don't have to write something that squicks you, so be sure to let us know your preferences.

Have fun -- and spread the word!

dawn_felagund [userpic]
November 2016 Newsletter Posted!
by dawn_felagund (dawn_felagund)
at November 3rd, 2016 (10:23 pm)

Our November newsletter has been posted on our site!

This month, we welcome several new members to the SWG. We have also announced the dates for our first Mereth Aderthad event as 14-22 July 2017, so we hope you will join us in beautiful northern Vermont next summer for a week of fellowship with other Tolkien fans and creators.

This month's biography is Morwë, one of the leaders of the Avari. In this essay, Oshun explores many of the deep issues connected with this most minor of minor characters: issues of bias and symbolism in the canon, as well as intriguing connections between Tolkien's work and real-world scripture and myth.

If you're looking for something to read, this past month was hopping on the archive, with more than four dozen stories added or updated last month. Additionally, Around the World and Web has articles and discussions related to Tolkien's world.

If you're looking for something to do, check out our challenges "Companies, Clubs, and Cliques" and "Back to Nature." Around the World and Web has other writing challenges to tempt your muses.

Many thanks to this month's contributors: Oshun, Rhapsody, Elleth, Angelica, and Russandol. We hope you enjoy this month's edition!

russandol [userpic]
October 2016 Newsletter Posted
by russandol (nelyo_russandol)
at October 3rd, 2016 (06:47 pm)

Our October newsletter has been posted over on our site!


We premier a new challenge this month with "Companies, Clubs, and Cliques," which asks writers to imagine character groups, both formal and informal, that might have existed in Arda. To get into the spooky seasonal vibe, we revisit the "Halls of Mystery" challenge and offer a quote from Tolkien's eerie poem "The Mewlips." Citizens of Middle-earth from near and far are invited to journey to next summer's Mereth Aderthad for a week of feasting, fellowship, and fandom next summer. Hop over to the mereth_aderthad community to learn more, and to take part in a survey about the event.

This month's character biography is on Ungoliant. With spiders crawling throughout the legendarium, Tolkien seemed to have an arachnophobic streak. Just in time for Halloween, this month's biography features Ungoliant, one of Tolkien's earliest characters whose mysterious presence peopled (spidered?) his stories with creepy, eight-legged nemeses.

After the summer holiday lull, this month we bring you a long list of new and updated stories, short works, and poems, if you're looking for something to read in our archive. Around the World and Web is bursting with featured articles and publications about all aspects of the Tolkien legendarium and fandom, from the Not Oxonmoot-moot to Lúthien as Tolkien’s Badass Elf Princess.

Many thanks to our contributors this month. We all hope you enjoy our October newsletter!

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