dawn_felagund: (swg logo)
[personal profile] dawn_felagund
If you have content on our LiveJournal community [livejournal.com profile] silwritersguild, and if you are aware that we have imported the content of the LJ community to Dreamwidth, please comment here. If your LJ name is different from your DW name, please include it.

(If you commented on my last post, you don't need to comment again. I have your name recorded on my trusty sticky-note pad!)

This would be a huge help to us, since we will need to contact everyone who has posted to our LJ community to alert them of the import. If we know you know about it, you save us from having to privately contact you! :)

If you need to learn more about it, the decision about the Dreamwidth import is explained here, as well as how to contact us if you don't want your community posts on Dreamwidth.

However, commenting now does not mean that you agree or consent or like our decision ... just that you know we've imported your work. You still have every right to tell us to take it down, and we will. You're just helping us out by not making us contact you to tell you something you already know about.

Thanks to everyone who has commented so far and in advance to all you lovely people who are getting ready to comment right now! :)
dawn_felagund: (swg logo)
[personal profile] dawn_felagund
At the end of April, I requested member input on two questions related to our LiveJournal community: 1) Should we comply with the troubling new Terms of Service or refuse to do so, even at the possible risk of losing our LJ community? 2) What, if any, backup of this community should we make on Dreamwidth? (Read the original LJ post here; read it in our newsletter here.)

My comoderators and I had discussed these questions already and were uncomfortable with complying with the new ToS, which essentially forced us to lock the community as "adults only" because our community includes slash fiction and discussion of slash/LGBTQ+ issues. We do not feel that stories and discussions about LGBTQ+ people are "adult," nor do we believe that they are harmful to children, and we do not think that, in the year 2017, it is a reasonable request to label them as such. It flies in the face of our group's values to insist that some of our members' sexual orientations and gender identities are somehow "harmful" and needing to be locked away. It is also contrary to foundational SWG policy and values to require authors to lock their content from certain users--in this case, minors.

However, since we are potentially jeopardizing this community in refusing to comply with the ToS, it did not seem fair to make that decision without member input. The SWG is not democratically run, but we do value our members' input and try to honor it whenever possible.

We posed the two questions via an anonymous survey on Google Forms. Fifty-four people responded. Based on the results of the survey, 44% of participants supported not following the new ToS. 4% felt we should comply only if LJ insisted that we must. 37% felt that we should comply. 15% offered other ideas or variations on the choices:

  • 6% did not want to comply but only if the community was backed up to Dreamwidth first.

  • 2% felt we should comply only as a last resort.

  • 4% felt that we should comply (and offered additional explanation as to why).

  • 4% didn't know.


(Please note that percentages are rounded and so do not add up to 100%.)

Survey data, therefore, shows a slight majority preference for not complying with the new ToS. Coupled with a strong moderator preference for this course of action, this is how we will proceed. Obviously, we hope that LJ will not attempt to enforce the ToS and our community can continue to exist as it has for more than twelve years now. But we're prepared to accept the consequences if they decide to take a hard line on the new rules.

The next issue concerned backup to our Dreamwidth community. We've had a community on Dreamwidth since 2011, but it is little used aside for admin posts. 87% of survey participants felt that we should import posts from the LiveJournal community to the Dreamwidth community at the same access level (i.e., public or members-only). While a few people preferred access levels to be stricter (i.e., members-only or mods-only), and a few people shared other approaches to consider, no one opposed a Dreamwidth import outright.

Given this strong preference for a full import, I imported the LiveJournal community (both posts and comments) to Dreamwidth tonight.

In the weeks to come, we will be reaching out to members who posted to LiveJournal and are not aware of this import. Anyone who does not wish to have their content posted to Dreamwidth can let us know, and we will delete their posts from the Dreamwidth community. You can let us know by commenting on the LJ post about this subject or sending me a private message on LJ, using the account your content on our community is found under. There is no deadline for doing this, so if you're not sure how you feel yet or find this a year or five years after the import, we are still willing to delete your content, if that is your preference.

If you have content on our LiveJournal community, and you have read this post and understand that we have imported all content to Dreamwidth, please comment here to let us know so that we do not contact you about the import. If your LJ name is different from your DW name, please include this information.

As always, questions are welcome on this post as well, or at moderator@silmarillionwritersguild.org.
dawn_felagund: (swg logo)
[personal profile] dawn_felagund
SWG May Challenge Hero's Journey Matryoshka ChallengeThis month's challenge is a Matryoshka challenge based on the theme of the hero's journey archetype, in honor of the upcoming volume Beren and Lúthien (which will hopefully be published before the challenge closes). Your story does not have to be about heroes, journeys, Beren and Lúthien, or follow the archetype, but prompts will be loosely inspired by it.

How a Matryoshka Challenge Works


Matryoshka dolls, also known as Russian nesting dolls, are hollow figurines that contain progressively smaller figurines inside each level. For this challenge, you will be sent several prompts via email. You will use these prompts to create one fanwork. You will start your story using the first prompt. You will open each subsequent prompt only when you reach a predetermined milestone in your story. (The milestones will be clearly stated in each prompt.) Your challenge is to incorporate each prompt into your story as you write, figuring out how to creatively work in a tricky prompt or (if you're brave!) being willing to take the story in a new direction to fit the prompt.

Again, you can write any story you want to fit the prompts! It doesn't have to be about the hero's journey. The challenge is to use them all, in order, in one story.

How to Participate


If you want to participate, please comment here with whether you would like an easy (3 prompts), medium (5 prompts), or difficult (7 prompts) challenge. If you want the prompts sent to an email other than that which you have registered with the SWG site, please let us know that as well. (Comments are screened.) You may also email us at moderator@silmarillionwritersguild.org with whether you would like an easy, medium, or difficult challenge.

This is probably our most experimental challenge on this year's schedule. It won't be everyone's cup of tea, and that's fine. If your eyes are crossing and head spinning just thinking about it, rest assured that next month's will be much more sedate.

Challenge stories are due on the SWG archive by June 10 in order to be eligible for a stamp. As always, late responses are welcome but will not receive a stamp.




Stamp Collection Update: I made headway on the stamp collections this weekend but did not finish them. I'm going to make my best effort to do so this week. If you wake up Saturday morning and your stamp collection is not updated or is incorrect, you can let me know then. If anything changes, I will post here about it.

Also, the banners, which I make, are always free for the taking, no credit necessary, and feel free to link to the image on the SWG site.
dawn_felagund: (swg logo)
[personal profile] dawn_felagund
SWG May Challenge Hero's Journey Matryoshka ChallengeThis month's challenge is a Matryoshka challenge based on the theme of the hero's journey archetype, in honor of the upcoming volume Beren and Lúthien (which will hopefully be published before the challenge closes). Your story does not have to be about heroes, journeys, Beren and Lúthien, or follow the archetype, but prompts will be loosely inspired by it.

How a Matryoshka Challenge Works


Matryoshka dolls, also known as Russian nesting dolls, are hollow figurines that contain progressively smaller figurines inside each level. For this challenge, you will be sent several prompts via email. You will use these prompts to create one fanwork. You will start your story using the first prompt. You will open each subsequent prompt only when you reach a predetermined milestone in your story. (The milestones will be clearly stated in each prompt.) Your challenge is to incorporate each prompt into your story as you write, figuring out how to creatively work in a tricky prompt or (if you're brave!) being willing to take the story in a new direction to fit the prompt.

Again, you can write any story you want to fit the prompts! It doesn't have to be about the hero's journey. The challenge is to use them all, in order, in one story.

How to Participate


If you want to participate, please comment here with whether you would like an easy (3 prompts), medium (5 prompts), or difficult (7 prompts) challenge. If you want the prompts sent to an email other than that which you have registered with the SWG site, please let us know that as well. (Comments are screened.) You may also email us at moderator@silmarillionwritersguild.org with whether you would like an easy, medium, or difficult challenge.

This is probably our most experimental challenge on this year's schedule. It won't be everyone's cup of tea, and that's fine. If your eyes are crossing and head spinning just thinking about it, rest assured that next month's will be much more sedate.

Challenge stories are due on the SWG archive by June 10 in order to be eligible for a stamp. As always, late responses are welcome but will not receive a stamp.




Stamp Collection Update: I made headway on the stamp collections this weekend but did not finish them. I'm going to make my best effort to do so this week. If you wake up Saturday morning and your stamp collection is not updated or is incorrect, you can let me know then. If anything changes, I will post here about it.

Also, the banners, which I make, are always free for the taking, no credit necessary, and feel free to link to the image on the SWG site.
dawn_felagund: (swg logo)
[personal profile] dawn_felagund
On Tuesday, I will be closing the survey about how to handle the [livejournal.com profile] silwritersguild LiveJournal community and using the results to discuss with my comods how we want to proceed. If you have not taken it yet and want to, please take the survey here.

In light of LJ's new and draconian Terms of Serve, we are seeking member input on whether we should comply with the ToS, and whether (and how) we should back up the community on Dreamwidth. (Please note that we are not considering shutting down the LJ community but whether we're willing to risk LJ suspending our account by not complying with a ToS that defies important values of the SWG.)

If you'd like to read more on the decision and why we're making it, see this post.

If you'd like to know why the mods are willing to let this community close rather than comply with the ToS, my thoughts on that are here. (Hint: It has less to do with access by minors and more to do with marking content containing LGBTQ+ characters as "adult.")

Thank you to everyone who has shared responses with us so far.
dawn_felagund: (swg logo)
[personal profile] dawn_felagund
On Tuesday, I will be closing the survey about how to handle the [livejournal.com profile] silwritersguild LiveJournal community and using the results to discuss with my comods how we want to proceed. If you have not taken it yet and want to, please take the survey here.

In light of LJ's new and draconian Terms of Serve, we are seeking member input on whether we should comply with the ToS, and whether (and how) we should back up the community on Dreamwidth. (Please note that we are not considering shutting down the LJ community but whether we're willing to risk LJ suspending our account by not complying with a ToS that defies important values of the SWG.)

If you'd like to read more on the decision and why we're making it, see this post.

If you'd like to know why the mods are willing to let this community close rather than comply with the ToS, my thoughts on that are here. (Hint: It has less to do with access by minors and more to do with marking content containing LGBTQ+ characters as "adult.")

Thank you to everyone who has shared responses with us so far.
dawn_felagund: (swg logo)
[personal profile] dawn_felagund
SWG Women's Sceptre Challenge Click for Entries

Yesterday, our Women's Sceptre challenge closed with fifteen stories and poems! (And I know a few late ones are on their way ... in part because one of them is mine! :) Go check them out, and if you enjoy the author's work, please consider leaving them a comment letting them know. Here are the challenge entries for this month; links go to the Table of Contents.

both the Seen and the Unseen by hennethgalad. Melian takes Galadriel on a farewell trip.

The Decadent Queen by Scribe of Mirrormere. Tar-Anducal and Alcarin remember Tar-Vanimeldë differently.

An Education in Stone by Erulisse. Nerdanel is given a commission - present a sculptural work to the people of Valinor that will feature images of the Valar. But as an artist, she must remain true to her personal vision. What does that vision convey to the people and to the Valar who are depicted through her carved stone?

Excession by hennethgalad. Celeborn falls under the shadow, and is drawn back to the light by Galadriel.

First Time Ever I Saw Your Face by oshun. Fëanáro remembers Nerdanel. A story of redemption. If you do not like Fëanor, you will probably not want to read it.

Flight Through The Dark by Tyelca. In the form of a swan Elwing flies over the Sea, carrying a Silmaril and looking for her husband.

Her Father's Daughter by Grundy. Findis was the only one who stayed.

I Will Wait by Lotrfan. Turgon, after the Fall of Gondolin.

Jewel of Hope by Linda Hoyland. Galadriel muses on the past and finds hope for the future.

Like a Shooting Star by StarSpray. For into darkness fell his star
In Mordor, where the shadows are

Looking Up by Lyra. Andreth muses on the present, the past, and a potential future.

Love and Trust by Silver Trails. Telpelindë wants to leave Aman and find Curufin and Celebrimbor.

Never Shall I See The Place by LadyBrooke. Never shall I see the place,
Where Enel woke and Enelyë roamed.
A poem of a Sindar/Silvan elf in Valinor.

A Queen for the Fourth Age by Kaylee Arafinwiel. Elessar’s great-great-granddaughter is set to become the Two Kingdoms’ first queen. After all, she was firstborn, before her twin brother – the Princess’ Champion. But there may be trouble ahead...

We Cry the Same Tears by just_jenni. The three most important people in Aredhel's life try to come to terms with her death.

Words by Himring. A short extra scene in the Athrabeth Finrod ah Andreth: Finrod and Andreth discuss matters of language.




Housekeeping Things
I really dislike having to make these kinds of decrees. They make me feel too much like I'm at my day job as a middle-school teacher. But I was disturbed by something I learned this past month, so decree I shall.

Folks. The purpose of the reviewer stamps is to encourage people to talk to authors whose work they enjoy. It's too easy to read and click off to the next thing, so if a little graphic encourages us to talk to each other, then I think it's worthwhile.

But that purpose is ruined when people comment to authors that they are only reviewing for a stamp.

This is not a widespread behavior (I hope!), but I know that it happened to one of our authors last month, and so I'm putting it out there in official, moderatorly, make-no-mistake-about-it terms that this is unacceptable, and if it happens again, then that reviewer voids ALL review stamps for that month.

Speaking of stamps, I will hopefully get all stamp books updated this coming weekend. However, as some of you know, I am hosting a Mereth Aderthad this summer, and with the event's website just opened a few days ago, I have been busy with (and prioritizing) that. When I post the new challenge on Monday, I will update as far as progress on stamps goes.

Speaking of new challenges, our next one is coming on Monday, May 15. This one is one of our more experimental formats, but it is partly in honor of the forthcoming Beren and Luthien book, and I hope a few of you will take our dare and try it out. (If you absolutely detest next month's format, no worries--we'll be back to something more usual in June.)

And finally, I want to extend a huge thank-you again to [personal profile] oloriel, who made ALL of the beautiful Women's Sceptre stamps for this month.
dawn_felagund: (swg logo)
[personal profile] dawn_felagund
SWG Women's Sceptre Challenge Click for Entries

Yesterday, our Women's Sceptre challenge closed with fifteen sixteen stories and poems! (And I know a few late ones are on their way ... in part because one of them is mine! :) Go check them out, and if you enjoy the author's work, please consider leaving them a comment letting them know. Here are the challenge entries for this month; links go to the Table of Contents.

both the Seen and the Unseen by hennethgalad. Melian takes Galadriel on a farewell trip.

The Decadent Queen by Scribe of Mirrormere. Tar-Anducal and Alcarin remember Tar-Vanimeldë differently.

An Education in Stone by Erulisse. Nerdanel is given a commission - present a sculptural work to the people of Valinor that will feature images of the Valar. But as an artist, she must remain true to her personal vision. What does that vision convey to the people and to the Valar who are depicted through her carved stone?

Excession by hennethgalad. Celeborn falls under the shadow, and is drawn back to the light by Galadriel.

First Time Ever I Saw Your Face by oshun. Fëanáro remembers Nerdanel. A story of redemption. If you do not like Fëanor, you will probably not want to read it.

Flight Through The Dark by Tyelca. In the form of a swan Elwing flies over the Sea, carrying a Silmaril and looking for her husband.

Her Father's Daughter by Grundy. Findis was the only one who stayed.

I Will Wait by Lotrfan. Turgon, after the Fall of Gondolin.

Jewel of Hope by Linda Hoyland. Galadriel muses on the past and finds hope for the future.

Like a Shooting Star by StarSpray. For into darkness fell his star
In Mordor, where the shadows are

Looking Up by Lyra. Andreth muses on the present, the past, and a potential future.

Love and Trust by Silver Trails. Telpelindë wants to leave Aman and find Curufin and Celebrimbor.

Never Shall I See The Place by LadyBrooke. Never shall I see the place,
Where Enel woke and Enelyë roamed.
A poem of a Sindar/Silvan elf in Valinor.

A Queen for the Fourth Age by Kaylee Arafinwiel. Elessar’s great-great-granddaughter is set to become the Two Kingdoms’ first queen. After all, she was firstborn, before her twin brother – the Princess’ Champion. But there may be trouble ahead...

We Cry the Same Tears by just_jenni. The three most important people in Aredhel's life try to come to terms with her death.

Words by Himring. A short extra scene in the Athrabeth Finrod ah Andreth: Finrod and Andreth discuss matters of language.




Housekeeping Things
I really dislike having to make these kinds of decrees. They make me feel too much like I'm at my day job as a middle-school teacher. But I was disturbed by something I learned this past month, so decree I shall.

Folks. The purpose of the reviewer stamps is to encourage people to talk to authors whose work they enjoy. It's too easy to read and click off to the next thing, so if a little graphic encourages us to talk to each other, then I think it's worthwhile.

But that purpose is ruined when people comment to authors that they are only reviewing for a stamp.

This is not a widespread behavior (I hope!), but I know that it happened to one of our authors last month, and so I'm putting it out there in official, moderatorly, make-no-mistake-about-it terms that this is unacceptable, and if it happens again, then that reviewer voids ALL review stamps for that month.

Speaking of stamps, I will hopefully get all stamp books updated this coming weekend. However, as some of you know, I am hosting a Mereth Aderthad this summer, and with the event's website just opened a few days ago, I have been busy with (and prioritizing) that. When I post the new challenge on Monday, I will update as far as progress on stamps goes.

Speaking of new challenges, our next one is coming on Monday, May 15. This one is one of our more experimental formats, but it is partly in honor of the forthcoming Beren and Luthien book, and I hope a few of you will take our dare and try it out. (If you absolutely detest next month's format, no worries--we'll be back to something more usual in June.)

And finally, I want to extend a huge thank-you again to [livejournal.com profile] oloriel, who made ALL of the beautiful Women's Sceptre stamps for this month.
dawn_felagund: (swg logo)
[personal profile] dawn_felagund
Silmarillion Writers Guild Womans Sceptre Challenge April 15 through May 10

"Taught from their infancy that beauty is woman's sceptre, the mind shapes itself to the body, and roaming round its gilt cage, only seeks to adorn its prison."
~ Mary Wollstonecraft


This is a friendly reminder that Woman's Sceptre challenge responses must be posted to the SWG archive by May 10 to be eligible for a stamp. Late posts are welcome but will not receive stamps.

Read the challenge entries that have been posted so far here and please let the authors know if you enjoy their work!

If you wish to participate in this month's challenge, leave a comment on our Dreamwidth, our LiveJournal, drop us an ask on our tumblr, or email us at moderator@silmarillionwritersguild.org.

[admin post] Admin Post: May 2017 Newsletter Posted

May. 6th, 2017 01:44 pm
dawn_felagund: (swg logo)
[personal profile] dawn_felagund
The SWG's May 2017 Newsletter has been posted!

This month we invite you to participate in a survey regarding the new LiveJournal Terms of service, that directly impact our SWG community on their site. We tempt you once more with latest challenge "A Woman’s Sceptre" and welcome our April new joiners.

Our character biography for this month is (First Age) Barahir, by Oshun. In many ways embodies he the unrelenting and inescapable tragedy that plagues The Silmarillion. But through his son Beren and a legacy that passes through to the Third Age, Barahir also fits into Tolkien's essential concept of eucatastrophe.

Keen to read something new? Our newsletter lists all the stories, essays, and poems added or updated on our SWG archive during the past month of April. To keep up to date with the wider fandom world, our Around the World and Web section includes recent articles of interest, fandom events, and calls for papers.

As always, many hands and minds go into making our newsletter possible. Thanks this month go to Oshun, Elleth, Angelica, and Dawn for creating and compiling our newsletter content.
dawn_felagund: (swg logo)
[personal profile] dawn_felagund
Silmarillion Writers Guild Womans Sceptre Challenge April 15 through May 10

"Taught from their infancy that beauty is woman's sceptre, the mind shapes itself to the body, and roaming round its gilt cage, only seeks to adorn its prison."
~ Mary Wollstonecraft


This is a friendly reminder that Woman's Sceptre challenge responses must be posted to the SWG archive by May 10 to be eligible for a stamp. Late posts are welcome but will not receive stamps.

Read the challenge entries that have been posted so far here and please let the authors know if you enjoy their work!

If you wish to participate in this month's challenge, leave a comment on our Dreamwidth, our LiveJournal, drop us an ask on our tumblr, or email us at moderator@silmarillionwritersguild.org.
ext_403546: (SWG)
[identity profile] nelyo-russandol.livejournal.com
The SWG's May 2017 Newsletter has been posted!

This month we invite you to participate in a survey regarding the new LiveJournal Terms of service, that directly impact our SWG community on their site. We tempt you once more with latest challenge “A woman’s Sceptre2 and welcome our April new joiners.

Our character biography for this month is (First Age) Barahir, by Oshun. In many ways embodies he the unrelenting and inescapable tragedy that plagues The Silmarillion. But through his son Beren and a legacy that passes through to the Third Age, Barahir also fits into Tolkien's essential concept of eucatastrophe.

Keen to read something new? Our newsletter lists all the stories, essays, and poems added or updated on our SWG archive during the past month of April. To keep up to date with the wider fandom world, our Around the World and Web section includes recent articles of interest, fandom events, and calls for papers.

As always, many hands and minds go into making our newsletter possible. Thanks this month go to Oshun, Elleth, Angelica, and Dawn for creating and compiling our newsletter content.
dawn_felagund: (swg logo)
[personal profile] dawn_felagund
The SWG has maintained a community on LiveJournal since 2005. As most of you have probably heard by now, LiveJournal--which was purchased by the Russian company SUP several years ago and moved its servers to Russia earlier this year--has changed its Terms of Service in some pretty major and disturbing ways. Many of these changes are directly contrary to the values of the SWG.

First and foremost, the new ToS obligates us to mark content that is "adult" according to Russian standards (where the recent Beauty and the Beast film was given the equivalent of an NC-17 rating for a few seconds of two men dancing together):

9.1.3. Mark Content estimated by Russian legislation as inappropriate for children (0 −18) as "adult material" by using Service functions.


Now those of you who have been around for a while might remember that SixApart (the U.S.-based company that owned LJ before selling it to SUP) tried something similar with respect to adult content. Journals/communities or posts marked as "Adult" cannot be accessed by minors (and anonymous users must verify their age to access them). The difference is that 6A did not require users label content as adult. They reserved the right for the Abuse team to apply such a label if content was flagged. (Which I also didn't agree with but was several shades less bothersome than this rule, since the 6A rule came with no penalty.)

This one does:

10.3. The Administration shall not verify the compliance of Content and/or Users’ actions with the terms and conditions hereof and with the applicable laws; however, it reserves the right at its own discretion or upon the request received from the competent authority and/or the substantiated request by another entity without User’s prior notice, marked Content as an "adult material", take measures specified in clause 2.5 hereof and restrict the access to Blog/Community for certain Users.

2.5 Users breach hereunder may cause termination of his/her access to his/her Account or deletion of such an Account as well as full or partial deletion of the Content or suspension thereto without prior notice.


10.3 wields badly translated and garbled English grammar like a champ and is therefore hard to understand, but it seems to state that reports of "adult content" on a journal or community now allows LJ to delete that post or the entire journal/community.

This violates our values in two major ways. First of all, we have always trusted our members to decide for themselves what content they are comfortable reading. Likewise, we trust parents to decide what their minor children are mature enough to read. As such, while we provide authors the opportunity to rate or attach warnings to their work (or to label the work clearly if they prefer not to rate and/or warn), we have never restricted access to content based on our or anyone else's judgment of what is "appropriate" for a particular user to read.

Secondly and more importantly, we have never rated slash or femslash higher than gen or het works. And given Russia's dismal record on LGBTQ+ issues, to comply with their law, I can only presume that anything containing homosexual relationships would have to be marked as adult content, even if it contained no sexual content. As a mod team, this is deeply offensive to us and runs contrary to our values as a group that recognized the value and contributions of all of its writers and recognizes the dignity of all human beings, regardless of gender identity or sexual orientation. Since we would not hold writers or stories with LGBTQ+ characters to different standards than we hold writers of heterosexual characters, this essentially forces us to label the entire LJ community as Adult.

My inclination as the founder and owner of this group is to refuse to follow the new ToS. It flies in the face of our group's values and, indeed, part of the reason the SWG even exists (considering the homophobic atmosphere in Tolkien fandom when the SWG was formed and my commitment to welcoming all Silmarillion stories, regardless of pairing, equally). However, this means that the posts or the entire community could be deleted, which is not a decision lightly undertaken.

This opens an additional question of what to do with the content on our LJ community. Our LiveJournal community (along with our Yahoo! Group) is the oldest SWG space. It is older than the website. It contains invaluable history from the early years of the SWG, as well as fanworks that may not be found anywhere else.

The SWG has maintained a Dreamwidth community for some time now. We decided, however, when we set up this community not to import LiveJournal posts into it. It seemed a violation of our members' rights to post their work on another site without their consent. Of course, at the time, our community did not face the threat of deletion. The circumstances have changed quite a bit.

Given the changes to the LJ ToS, we as a group have important decisions to make concerning this community. The mod team decided this was something that needed to be discussed and decided on by all SWG members and friends who wish to offer an opinion. After all, this is your community as much as it is ours.

We have two questions to settle:

1. Are we willing to comply with the new ToS, which would require labeling our entire community as "Adult" and would restrict access to our community by minors?

2. What, if anything, do we want to do as far as importing posts on this community to a backup on Dreamwidth? (Please note that users who do not want their posts on Dreamwidth could opt out of this, or contact us to delete their posts on DW at any time.)

Let me also be very clear about what we are not doing. We are not proposing to shut down our LiveJournal community. We are not encouraging use of the DW community over the LJ community by users who prefer LJ. Many people prefer LJ, and we hope to continue to offer a space here for those users.

Please take a moment to fill out a brief survey on these issues related to the new LiveJournal ToS. Both SWG members and non-members are welcome to participate, and you do not need to use the LJ community to participate. There is a space on the survey form for additional comments related to this issue.

If you have questions or would prefer to offer your feedback over email, you can reach our moderator team at moderator@silmarillionwritersguild.org. Comments are open here as well.

We will collect survey data on May 15, 2017, so please participate before then. We'll post a reminder here and on our website and other satellites as that date approaches.
dawn_felagund: (swg logo)
[personal profile] dawn_felagund
As most of you have probably heard by now, LiveJournal--which was purchased by the Russian company SUP several years ago and moved its servers to Russia earlier this year--has changed its Terms of Service in some pretty major and disturbing ways. Many of these changes are directly contrary to the values of the SWG.

First and foremost, the new ToS obligates us to mark content that is "adult" according to Russian standards (where the recent Beauty and the Beast film was given the equivalent of an NC-17 rating for a few seconds of two men dancing together):

9.1.3. Mark Content estimated by Russian legislation as inappropriate for children (0 −18) as "adult material" by using Service functions.


Now those of you who have been around for a while might remember that SixApart (the U.S.-based company that owned LJ before selling it to SUP) tried something similar with respect to adult content. Journals/communities or posts marked as "Adult" cannot be accessed by minors (and anonymous users must verify their age to access them). The difference is that 6A did not require users label content as adult. They reserved the right for the Abuse team to apply such a label if content was flagged. (Which I also didn't agree with but was several shades less bothersome than this rule, since the 6A rule came with no penalty.)

This one does:

10.3. The Administration shall not verify the compliance of Content and/or Users’ actions with the terms and conditions hereof and with the applicable laws; however, it reserves the right at its own discretion or upon the request received from the competent authority and/or the substantiated request by another entity without User’s prior notice, marked Content as an "adult material", take measures specified in clause 2.5 hereof and restrict the access to Blog/Community for certain Users.

2.5 Users breach hereunder may cause termination of his/her access to his/her Account or deletion of such an Account as well as full or partial deletion of the Content or suspension thereto without prior notice.


10.3 wields badly translated and garbled English grammar like a champ and is therefore hard to understand, but it seems to state that reports of "adult content" on a journal or community now allows LJ to delete that post or the entire journal/community.

This violates our values in two major ways. First of all, we have always trusted our members to decide for themselves what content they are comfortable reading. Likewise, we trust parents to decide what their minor children are mature enough to read. As such, while we provide authors the opportunity to rate or attach warnings to their work (or to label the work clearly if they prefer not to rate and/or warn), we have never restricted access to content based on our or anyone else's judgment of what is "appropriate" for a particular user to read.

Secondly and more importantly, we have never rated slash or femslash higher than gen or het works. And given Russia's dismal record on LGBTQ+ issues, to comply with their law, I can only presume that anything containing homosexual relationships would have to be marked as adult content, even if it contained no sexual content. As a mod team, this is deeply offensive to us and runs contrary to our values as a group that recognized the value and contributions of all of its writers and recognizes the dignity of all human beings, regardless of gender identity or sexual orientation. Since we would not hold writers or stories with LGBTQ+ characters to different standards than we hold writers of heterosexual characters, this essentially forces us to label the entire community as Adult.

My inclination as the founder and owner of this group is to refuse to follow the new ToS. It flies in the face of our group's values and, indeed, part of the reason the SWG even exists (considering the homophobic atmosphere in Tolkien fandom when the SWG was formed and my commitment to welcoming all Silmarillion stories, regardless of pairing, equally). However, this means that the posts or the entire community could be deleted, which is not a decision lightly undertaken.

This opens an additional question of what to do with the content on this community. Our LiveJournal community (along with our Yahoo! Group) is the oldest SWG space. It is older than the website. It contains invaluable history from the early years of the SWG, as well as fanworks that may not be found anywhere else.

The SWG has maintained a Dreamwidth community for some time now. We decided, however, when we set up this community not to import LiveJournal posts into it. It seemed a violation of our members' rights to post their work on another site without their consent. Of course, at the time, our community did not face the threat of deletion. The circumstances have changed quite a bit.

Given the changes to the LJ ToS, we as a group have important decisions to make concerning this community. The mod team decided this was something that needed to be discussed and decided on by all SWG members and friends who wish to offer an opinion. After all, this is your community as much as it is ours.

We have two questions to settle:

1. Are we willing to comply with the new ToS, which would require labeling our entire community as "Adult" and would restrict access to our community by minors?

2. What, if anything, do we want to do as far as importing posts on this community to a backup on Dreamwidth? (Please note that users who do not want their posts on Dreamwidth could opt out of this, or contact us to delete their posts on DW at any time.)

Let me also be very clear about what we are not doing. We are not proposing to shut down our LiveJournal community. We are not encouraging use of the DW community over the LJ community by users who prefer LJ. Many people prefer LJ, and we hope to continue to offer a space here for those users.

Please take a moment to fill out a brief survey on these issues related to the new LiveJournal ToS. Both SWG members and non-members are welcome to participate. There is a space on the survey form for additional comments related to this issue.

If you have questions or would prefer to offer your feedback over email, you can reach our moderator team at moderator@silmarillionwritersguild.org. Comments are open here as well.

We will collect survey data on May 15, 2017, so please participate before then. We'll post a reminder here and on our website and other satellites as that date approaches.
dawn_felagund: (swg logo)
[personal profile] dawn_felagund
Silmarillion Writers Guild Womans Sceptre Challenge April 15 through May 10

“Taught from their infancy that beauty is woman's sceptre, the mind shapes itself to the body, and roaming round its gilt cage, only seeks to adorn its prison.”
~ Mary Wollstonecraft


This month, we consider the sceptres that women hold: sceptres of beauty in the forms of the pens and brushes that they use to represent their experiences as art, and literal sceptres of power, often wrested from the unwilling, that they use to establish justice for themselves and their sisters.

Each participant will receive a quote from a woman who has advanced the cause of women's rights or participation of women in the arts. Although we are offering this challenge alongside Legendarium Ladies April, your response does not have to be about a female character. (Also--please feel free to use your challenge quote in combination with this month's wonderful Legendarium Ladies April prompts, or write or include a poem as part of Poetry Month!) You may use all or part of your quote in any way that you choose in responding to the challenge. Challenge responses must be posted to the SWG archive by May 10 to be eligible for a stamp.

If you wish to participate in this month's challenge, leave a comment here or on our LiveJournal, drop us an ask on our tumblr, or email us at moderator@silmarillionwritersguild.org.
dawn_felagund: (swg logo)
[personal profile] dawn_felagund
Silmarillion Writers Guild Womans Sceptre Challenge April 15 through May 10

“Taught from their infancy that beauty is woman's sceptre, the mind shapes itself to the body, and roaming round its gilt cage, only seeks to adorn its prison.”
~ Mary Wollstonecraft


This month, we consider the sceptres that women hold: sceptres of beauty in the forms of the pens and brushes that they use to represent their experiences as art, and literal sceptres of power, often wrested from the unwilling, that they use to establish justice for themselves and their sisters.

Each participant will receive a quote from a woman who has advanced the cause of women's rights or participation of women in the arts. Although we are offering this challenge alongside Legendarium Ladies April, your response does not have to be about a female character. (Also--please feel free to use your challenge quote in combination with this month's wonderful Legendarium Ladies April prompts, or write or include a poem as part of Poetry Month!) You may use all or part of your quote in any way that you choose in responding to the challenge. Challenge responses must be posted to the SWG archive by May 10 to be eligible for a stamp.

If you wish to participate in this month's challenge, leave a comment on here or on our Dreamwidth, drop us an ask on our tumblr, or email us at moderator@silmarillionwritersguild.org.>
dawn_felagund: (swg logo)
[personal profile] dawn_felagund
SWG Strength and Beauty Challenge March 2017

Yesterday our Strength and Beauty challenge closed with eighteen stories and works of art contributed! Below is a list of all of the challenge entries for Strength and Beauty. All links to stories go the Table of Contents, where you can view ratings, warnings, author's notes, and additional information about the story. If you like a piece, please consider letting the author or artist know by leaving a comment.

Artanis to Alatiriel: Earweniel's Homecoming by Kaylee Arafinwiel. Written for B2MEM 2017 and the March Strength and Beauty challenge: loosely linked tales of Galadriel's welcome in Alqualonde at the end of the Third Age. Idril remembers, as she walks on the shore of Alqualonde. Some time after Idril greeted Galadriel at the quay (see "Itarilde and Tani"), they, Elwing, and Nimloth get together for a good catch-up. They don't intend to run into Galadriel's uncles (and aunt) at the tavern...Lindar s the term the Teleri use for themselves.

A Cloak of Magic by LadyBrooke. Thuringwethil was once an elf, and perhaps she will be again.

The Elf at the Bottom of the Garden by Himring. Could Amras, son of Feanor, and Haldar, Haleth's brother, have met?
I think they could--well, in my 'verse, at any rate. Another glimpse of the early history of the Haladin, also featuring a very young Haleth. Written both for the "Strength and Beauty" challenge at SWG and for the Ambarussa day of Feanorian Week (Tumblr), although it features only Amras.

Feanor Never Planned to Fall in Love by Erulisse. I made an original artwork from charcoal and pastels for 2014's B2MeM. It was entitled "Feanor Never Planned to Fall in Love". Now, three years later, I have developed the story behind that picture. Here's the full effort - Feanor Never Planned to Fall in Love in illustration and text.

A Garden of Plots by LadyBrooke. Nimloth is reborn, builds her own house, and starts a garden.

The Golden Dancer by Lyra. Fëanor first sees Indis as she practices a traditional Vanyarin spear-dance. Fascination turns into life-long antipathy. Inspired by the B2MeM prompt, "when he first stood near her and recognized her dimly through the shadows, like one who, at the beginning of the month, either sees or thinks he has seen the moon rise through clouds." ~Vergil, The Aenid

'the hidden paths' by hennethgalad. Orodreth and Curufin in Nargothrond.

In Arda Fair by Tyelca. Two brothers and their thoughts about Arda.

In Wisdom by just_jenni. Melian wrestles with her feelings about Elu Thingol and laments some of her decisions concerning the Doom that befell them.

A Light in the Heart by NelyafinweFeanorion. Written for Feanorian Week 2017. Day 1: Maedhros: A view of Maedhros, just after the rescue from Thangorodrim. Fingon's perpective.

Molten Copper by Fernstrike. This is artwork and an accompanying drabble. It's for both the SWG March 2017 Challenge and for Fëanorian Week :-)

Noldolantë – Maglor’s Lament by oshun. This is an micro-essay and a banner created as an extended introduction to a fic-rec list pulled together to celebrate Maglor’s Day on the Fëanorian Week celebration on Tumblr and initially inspired by the SWG Strength and Beauty March 2017 challenge.

One day in Doriath: Strength and Beauty by hennethgalad. the relationship between Celeborn and Thranduil, the engagement of Celeborn and Galadriel.

She walks in Beauty by lindahoyland. Varda has not forgotten Middle-earth.

Still by LadyBrooke. Findekáno thinks Maitimo is beautiful, through life and into death, though not always how others think of it. 7 connected drabbles.

Strength Bestows Beauty by oshun. SWG March 2017 Strength and Beauty Challenge, B2MeM 2017 (blue path/artwork/secondary colors/Tolkien quote), Fëanorian Week Tumblr 2017 - Day 1- Maedhros - > Adjusting/Coping, Beauty

That Blow to Your Leg by LadyBrooke. Caranthir does not trust easily and does not love easily, but Haleth told him in a different world they would be perfect. 7 related drabbles.

Things of Beauty by LadyBrooke. Thingol bargains for a necklace, the dwarves make a crown to scare dragons, and Narvi decides to make up for Celebrimbor's failings. Three linked drabbles.




A few housekeeping details ...

I want to once again recognize and thank from the bottom of my heart [personal profile] oloriel, whose efforts on behalf of our new challenges--particularly in making the beautiful stamps that we use to reward creators and reviewers--has been such a huge help to me these past two months.

The new challenge will be announced on the 15th, which is Saturday. I will also update stamp collections this weekend. If your collection is incorrect on Monday the 17th, please drop me a line at moderator@silmarillionwritersguild.org (or leave me a comment here), and I will correct it.

Late challenge entries are welcome but do not receive stamps. However, review challenges never expire! And Lyra made lots of beautiful reviewer stamps this month, just sayin' ... please go show our creators some love and, if you like their work, let them know!
dawn_felagund: (swg logo)
[personal profile] dawn_felagund
SWG Strength and Beauty Challenge March 2017

Yesterday our Strength and Beauty challenge closed with eighteen stories and works of art contributed! Below is a list of all of the challenge entries for Strength and Beauty. All links to stories go the Table of Contents, where you can view ratings, warnings, author's notes, and additional information about the story. If you like a piece, please consider letting the author or artist know by leaving a comment.

Artanis to Alatiriel: Earweniel's Homecoming by Kaylee Arafinwiel. Written for B2MEM 2017 and the March Strength and Beauty challenge: loosely linked tales of Galadriel's welcome in Alqualonde at the end of the Third Age. Idril remembers, as she walks on the shore of Alqualonde. Some time after Idril greeted Galadriel at the quay (see "Itarilde and Tani"), they, Elwing, and Nimloth get together for a good catch-up. They don't intend to run into Galadriel's uncles (and aunt) at the tavern...Lindar s the term the Teleri use for themselves.

A Cloak of Magic by LadyBrooke. Thuringwethil was once an elf, and perhaps she will be again.

The Elf at the Bottom of the Garden by Himring. Could Amras, son of Feanor, and Haldar, Haleth's brother, have met?
I think they could--well, in my 'verse, at any rate. Another glimpse of the early history of the Haladin, also featuring a very young Haleth. Written both for the "Strength and Beauty" challenge at SWG and for the Ambarussa day of Feanorian Week (Tumblr), although it features only Amras.

Feanor Never Planned to Fall in Love by Erulisse. I made an original artwork from charcoal and pastels for 2014's B2MeM. It was entitled "Feanor Never Planned to Fall in Love". Now, three years later, I have developed the story behind that picture. Here's the full effort - Feanor Never Planned to Fall in Love in illustration and text.

A Garden of Plots by LadyBrooke. Nimloth is reborn, builds her own house, and starts a garden.

The Golden Dancer by Lyra. Fëanor first sees Indis as she practices a traditional Vanyarin spear-dance. Fascination turns into life-long antipathy. Inspired by the B2MeM prompt, "when he first stood near her and recognized her dimly through the shadows, like one who, at the beginning of the month, either sees or thinks he has seen the moon rise through clouds." ~Vergil, The Aenid

'the hidden paths' by hennethgalad. Orodreth and Curufin in Nargothrond.

In Arda Fair by Tyelca. Two brothers and their thoughts about Arda.

In Wisdom by just_jenni. Melian wrestles with her feelings about Elu Thingol and laments some of her decisions concerning the Doom that befell them.

A Light in the Heart by NelyafinweFeanorion. Written for Feanorian Week 2017. Day 1: Maedhros: A view of Maedhros, just after the rescue from Thangorodrim. Fingon's perpective.

Molten Copper by Fernstrike. This is artwork and an accompanying drabble. It's for both the SWG March 2017 Challenge and for Fëanorian Week :-)

Noldolantë – Maglor’s Lament by oshun. This is an micro-essay and a banner created as an extended introduction to a fic-rec list pulled together to celebrate Maglor’s Day on the Fëanorian Week celebration on Tumblr and initially inspired by the SWG Strength and Beauty March 2017 challenge.

One day in Doriath: Strength and Beauty by hennethgalad. the relationship between Celeborn and Thranduil, the engagement of Celeborn and Galadriel.

She walks in Beauty by lindahoyland. Varda has not forgotten Middle-earth.

Still by LadyBrooke. Findekáno thinks Maitimo is beautiful, through life and into death, though not always how others think of it. 7 connected drabbles.

Strength Bestows Beauty by oshun. SWG March 2017 Strength and Beauty Challenge, B2MeM 2017 (blue path/artwork/secondary colors/Tolkien quote), Fëanorian Week Tumblr 2017 - Day 1- Maedhros - > Adjusting/Coping, Beauty

That Blow to Your Leg by LadyBrooke. Caranthir does not trust easily and does not love easily, but Haleth told him in a different world they would be perfect. 7 related drabbles.

Things of Beauty by LadyBrooke. Thingol bargains for a necklace, the dwarves make a crown to scare dragons, and Narvi decides to make up for Celebrimbor's failings. Three linked drabbles.




A few housekeeping details ...

I want to once again recognize and thank from the bottom of my heart [livejournal.com profile] oloriel, whose efforts on behalf of our new challenges--particularly in making the beautiful stamps that we use to reward creators and reviewers--has been such a huge help to me these past two months.

The new challenge will be announced on the 15th, which is Saturday. I will also update stamp collections this weekend. If your collection is incorrect on Monday the 17th, please drop me a line at moderator@silmarillionwritersguild.org (or leave me a comment here), and I will correct it.

Late challenge entries are welcome but do not receive stamps. However, review challenges never expire! And Lyra made lots of beautiful reviewer stamps this month, just sayin' ... please go show our creators some love and, if you like their work, let them know!
dawn_felagund: (swg logo)
[personal profile] dawn_felagund
March 2017 SWG Challenge Strength and Beauty

There are just a few days left to post entries for our current Strength and Beauty challenge if you want to collect a stamp for it! Here is the challenge:

For this month's challenge, create a fanwork about the following prompt. You may use any part or all of the quote.

"Real strength never impairs beauty or harmony,
but it often bestows it; and in everything imposingly beautiful,
strength has much to do with the magic."

~Herman Melville, Moby Dick


Stories, poems, nonfiction, and podfic must be posted to the SWG archive to be eligible. All other formats should be posted here, on our DW community, or on our LiveJournal community.

If you're into collecting those lovely stamps we make each month, remember that we offer several each month for those who comment on the work created for our challenges. (Not-so-subtle hint: The more challenge entries you review, the more stamps you earn.) The Strength and Beauty challenge stories created so far can be found here. As of this writing, there are already thirteen! If you want to catch up on past month's offerings, you can find the Revolution and Taboo stories here. Review challenges never expire.
dawn_felagund: (swg logo)
[personal profile] dawn_felagund
March 2017 SWG Challenge Strength and Beauty

There are just a few days left to post entries for our current Strength and Beauty challenge if you want to collect a stamp for it! Here is the challenge:

For this month's challenge, create a fanwork about the following prompt. You may use any part or all of the quote.

"Real strength never impairs beauty or harmony,
but it often bestows it; and in everything imposingly beautiful,
strength has much to do with the magic."

~Herman Melville, Moby Dick


Stories, poems, nonfiction, and podfic must be posted to the SWG archive to be eligible. All other formats should be posted here, on our LiveJournal, or on our Dreamwidth community.

If you're into collecting those lovely stamps we make each month, remember that we offer several each month for those who comment on the work created for our challenges. (Not-so-subtle hint: The more challenge entries you review, the more stamps you earn.) The Strength and Beauty challenge stories created so far can be found here. As of this writing, there are already thirteen! If you want to catch up on past month's offerings, you can find the Revolution and Taboo stories here. Review challenges never expire.

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