A little over a month ago, the SWG challenge mods were discussing our upcoming challenge and decided, with a little over a week to go before it started, to completely switch gears. We were supposed to run a challenge about women in leadership (don’t worry, it is coming in a few months, replacing the Olympics-themed challenge that has now been postponed to next year), but as we were listening to the discussions around our Discord server, we worried that we were missing the mark. Not surprisingly, the stress of the current situation meant that many people were short on energy or inspiration, and we didn’t think that piling on one more big challenge for people to want to do and feel guilty for missing was the answer. So we designed our Block Party, hoping to offer multiple points of entry for people who engage with Tolkien fanworks in various ways: readers, commenters, artists, and writers. Recognizing how many of us feel lonely right now, we also wanted to offer chances to socialize with each other.
Today marks the closing event for Block Party: Image Instadrabbling! Instadrabbling has a long history in online Tolkien fanfiction and is a favorite activity on our server. Traditionally, the prompts are four words chosen at random from the closest book at hand and the traditional response is a perfect 100-word drabble. Today, we add a twist: instead of four random words, we’re asking participants to bring an image as a prompt* (though you’re welcome to join us even if you don’t bring/offer a prompt!). And as always, we value creativity over conformity and welcome all Tolkien-based fanworks, not just writing and certainly not just drabbling!
*While images don’t have to be created for this event and don’t even have to be yours, please respect fan artists by not offering others’ artwork unless you have their permission or such use falls within the artists’ clearly stated usage guidelines.
If you’d like to join us, join our Discord server here and scroll down to #image-instadrabbling in the SWG Events section. Again, we welcome all Tolkien fanworks creators and readers, including those who just want to join us to read and socialize! Rules and prompts will be pinned in the channel.
Usually, our challenge deadline for stamps is the 10th, the day the challenge ends, but given the rather unique nature of Block Party, I’m extending the deadline until May 15th. If you created a fanwork for Block Party, please make sure it is posted in the correct place on or before the 15th. (Here are the SWG challenge guidelines.) Likewise, if you completed a challenge that didn’t result in something you can post (such as a wishlist fill), please contact the mods to let us know on or before the 15th by emailing us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Block Party might be over after today, but we will continue to offer chances on our server to get together, tell stories and make art, and celebrate our love of Tolkien and each other. Watch this space for more!