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[personal profile] dawn_felagund
I post to the group at the beginning of each month, when I post our newsletter, but this month, I have an extra bit of exciting news to report from the SWG moderation team. My comods and I are pleased to announce that we now accept podfics on the SWG archive!

Some of you might now be asking, "What in the world is a podfic??" Podfics are audio recordings of stories, similar to audiobooks, that you can listen to on your computer or your MP3 player. We all occasionally find ourselves in situations where reading is less than ideal or even impossible, and now you can bring your favorite stories along with you! We hope that, by offering podfics on the archive, we will help our authors to reach a broader audience.

Making a podfic is easy. All you need to get started is a microphone for your computer and audio-editing software. Free versions of the latter exist; I use Audacity, and besides being free, it took me less than an hour to go from a complete audio ignoramus to recording my first story. Once you record your story, you can host it on a third-party service--we suggest several on our podfic page--or we'll be happy to store your file for you on our server. Complete instructions and resources for podfic are available on the SWG website.

We will also be sharing a podfic each month in our newsletter. Even if you're not ready to start recording podfics yet, we encourage you to recommend the stories you'd like to hear recorded as part of the Podfic of the Month.

We also need volunteers who would be willing to help us record the featured podfic each month. You can have your name added to the list of people we contact about potential assignments here.

All you need to know to get started should be found on the podfic page linked above, but as always, we welcome questions at moderator AT silmarillionwritersguild DOT org.

Also, our November newsletter is now also available!

Aside from news within and beyond our borders, we also have a list of October's new additions to the archive, if you're looking for something to read. We're continuing last month's "Circle of Life" challenge and revisiting the "It's Magic!" challenge, if your muses need a little coaxing. And we have a list of links to articles that our members might find interesting, in the Around the World and Web section.

As always, the highlight of the newsletter is the character biography. Oshun has written this month about Elured and Elurin, the twin sons of Dior who were abandoned to die in the forest by Celegorm's servants. It's Oshun's particular talent to take characters who are barely discussed in the text and connect them in meaningful ways to literature, folklore, mythology, and history beyond Tolkien's world, adding depth to characters who otherwise risk becoming mere names listed in the index. This month's biography is no exception, and Oshun explores connections between the story of Elured and Elurin and real-world folktales and history, as well as discussing how their story enhances the complexity of characters who receive more page-time. Oshun has done a fabulous job once again--and in the middle of a hurricane at that!--and I highly recommend her article.

Many, many thanks go out to those who contribute every month to our newsletter: Oshun, Rhapsody, Russandol, and Angelica. I also want to give a shout-out to my co-mods, who have made the podfic feature on our archive possible. These are big, many-faceted tasks--we've been working on this one sporadically for months--that would be impossible without their contributions, expertise, and endless patience (mostly with me and quite often with eFiction as well ;). Thank you Rhapsody, Angelica, Tarion, and Russandol, who I honestly believe make up the best team of comods a website owner could wish for!

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