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2017 Silmarillion Writers Guild Challenge Strength and Beauty

The next month is jam-packed with challenges. Back to Middle-earth Month continues through the end of March. Fëanorian Week runs from March 20th through 26th. And right on its heels is Silm Week, from April 3rd through 9th. A person would have to have the lifespan of the Elves packed into the next month to complete them all.

We are going to run our monthly challenge as usual, but we're keeping it deliberately low-key and encouraging participants to use the monthly prompt alongside one of the other several challenges going on. In fact, we will award special stamps for creators who use our prompt as part of one of the other fandom challenges running the same time as ours. (Please note in your summary or author's notes if your fanwork fits another challenge as well. As always, responses must be posted on our archive [or LJ for art entries].) You don't need to claim anything or sign up anywhere--just let your muses run with it!

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

Housekeeping Note: All stamp books should be up-to-date. All stamp books on archive profiles are up-to-date (unless you reduced the size of your image; then the image is up-to-date but the image map is not because, being dependent on coordinates, the links would be placed wrong on the image, so I did not update the image map code on your profile). If there is a mistake on yours, please let me know with a comment here or by email, and I will fix it asap.
dawn_felagund: Bread and Puppet print reading, Resistance of the Heart Against Business as Usual (bread and puppet)
[personal profile] dawn_felagund
SWG Revolution ChallengeYesterday, our February challenge, Revolution, closed with a total of 19 stories and artwork contributed! Below is a list of all of the challenge entries for Revolution. 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.

And then he spoke by Hrymfaxe. Knowing his own fate, that he can speak only three times before his death, taking the leap and speaking that first time must have required courage from Huan. (Art)

Aurë entuluva! by Lyra. Húrin's famous battle cry makes a fine protest sign. Or maybe just a motivational postcard. (Art)

A Different Kind of Peace by Tyelca. During various moments in his life, Celebrimbor is forced to reconsider the meaning of peace.

Early Roman Kings by mangacrack. The degree of civilisation of a society can be judged by entering its prisons.

Far Too Many of You Dying by StarSpray. After the Noldor depart, Alqualondë is left reeling.

Give Me Freedom, Give Me Fire by Fernstrike. In the week after the beginning of Dagor Bragollach, an elfling and his mother flee their settlement near the Fens of Serech. With his father's fate unknown and his home destroyed, the elfling considers what is to come next.

Like The Fall Of Night by hennethgalad. Morgoth sells the concept of swords to the elves through his minions.

Morning Hath Broken by Kaylee Arafinwiel. One fair morning in Harlindon, Oropher tells the story of the Iathrim's first sunrise to the most precious light of his life - his only remaining son.

Musical Interpretation by Erulisse. Feanaro intended his sons to be smiths or artists as he and Nerdanel were. His second son seems to have a different idea and when he spends a day at the Forge, it is a eye-opening experience for both Feanaro and his young son, Maglor.

No Small Dreams by just_jenni. After the Noldor are victorious in the Dagor-Nuin-Giliath Finrod and Turgon fall asleep beside the River Sirion while on a camping trip. Ulmo, having come up the river to find them, lays a deep sleep complete with heavy dreams upon them. Each elf will remember that his dream involved building new cities or realms which are places of refuge or retreats for their people during a peaceful time; for at any moment this peace could be broken by Morgoth and his evil army waging war on them once more.

This fic deals with the fact that despite being best friends (perhaps even closer than that) since childhood, neither Finrod nor Turgon will disclose each other's dream to one another. I tried to understand why they would not and describe the reasons they might have for not doing so.

Obsidian to Cut by LadyBrooke. He is reborn in Valinor, and they assume he died because the Kindi were incapable of standing against Morgoth, especially after their King and Princes were not.

(The Noldor forget that their relatives weren't left behind on the March because they were incapable, but because they didn't wish to come.)

The Parting of the Ways by Lyra. On the eve of the Great Journey, Morwë discusses his doubts with Finwë.

Standing Aside by Silver Trails. Maedhros must decide what to do after standing aside while his father and brothers burned the boats at Losgar.

Those Who Remain by Tyelca. In 1997, Maglor visits the musical The Scarlet Pimpernel shortly after the premiere, and one song in particular catches his attention.

Also featuring Fëanorian Stubbornness.

Three by the Door by Himring. Elros, future King of Numenor, makes the acquaintance of some of his future subjects--and finds out that some traditions that he thought forgotten have survived the drowning of Beleriand.

Uncertain Seas by Grundy. Today changed everything, and Artanis isn't certain of anything now.

We Weren't Born to Follow by oshun. The Noldor were always a contentious people. Finwë and Míriel before they leave on the great Trek across the mountains to the sea.

The World Will Know by Lotrfan. written for the Revolution Challenge 2017. The prompt was the song “The World Will Know” from Newsies.
“And the world will see that we had to choose
that the things we do today will be tomorrow’s news.
And the old will fall
And the young stand tall
And the time is now
And the winds will blow
And our ranks will grow and grow and grow and so
The world will feel the fire
And finally know!”

Your Image in an Antique Book by IgnobleBard. After the Battle of Unnumbered Tears, Maedhros revisits Fingon's fortress.

Some housekeeping details ...

I first want to give an enormous thank you to Lyra ([personal profile] oloriel), who helped us immensely with both prompts and stamps for the Revolution challenge.

The next challenge will be announced on 15 March, which is next Wednesday.

I made quite a bit of headway earlier this week on stamps for participants and reviewers, so updated stamp collections should be available by the end of the weekend. If you don't see your updates by Monday, please let me know, but please do not query before then.

Late entries are welcome for any challenge; however, late entries do not receive participant stamps for that month. If you want a prompt for Revolution, you can continue to request a prompt on the challenge post or contact the SWG mods.

On that note, we had a couple late entries for the Taboo challenge. Please stop by and check out these stories and show the authors some love! If you need an extra incentive, remember that review challenges never expire, so it's not too late to earn the pretty Taboo challenge reviewer stamps. ;)

Late Taboo Challenge Stories

100 Days of Silence by just_jenni. Amras, realizing that he cannot bear to continue fighting, ostracizes himself from his family. Choosing to retreat into the forests of Beleriand, he meets someone unexpected.

Fire and Worms by Tyelca. The ground is wet and rotten and the fire is wasteful, and madness slowly turns vices into virtues. Or is it the other way around?
dawn_felagund: (swg logo)
[personal profile] dawn_felagund
SWG Revolution ChallengeJust a friendly reminder that fanworks for our current Revolution challenge are due in one week, on Friday 10 March, if you want to receive a stamp for that challenge. Late entries are always welcome but for purely practical reasons won't receive stamps if posted after the due date.

It is not too late to request a prompt for the Revolution challenge; either leave a comment on the Revolution challenge LJ post or email us at moderator@silmarillionwritersguild.org.

Also, if you've happened to miss it, Back to Middle-earth Month ([community profile] b2mem) is underway, this year with the theme Night and Day. We are using a gameboard this year that we hope will welcome those who want to create a fanwork or two, as well as those who want to work on something every day. See B2MeM 2017 rules for more details and check out the B2MeM 2017 gameboard for this year's prompts.
dawn_felagund: (swg logo)
[personal profile] dawn_felagund
SWG Revolution Challenge

On Modern-earth, in many parts of the world, February is Black History Month, a reminder of how justice is often wrested and seized from the powerful through the courage and sacrifices of the oppressed.

The early ages of Arda are likewise defined by revolution. Ossë's rebellion against Ulmo. The return of the Noldor to Middle-earth. Barahir's outlaws. The Kings' Men and the Elf-friends of Númenor. Into the Third Age, the Gondorians rebelled against the cruel usurpation of Castamir. Then of course there are the individual revolutionaries of Arda: Fëanor, Andreth, Aredhel, Isildur, Ar-Pharazon. (And who could forget the ur-revolutionary Melkor?) Between the lines, many fans read resistance against dominating--even colonialist--cultures by the unsung peoples and heroes of Middle-earth.

For this month's challenge, participants will receive a quotation, artwork, speech, or song concerned with protest and revolution. Your final piece does not have to include a revolution or concern revolution in any way, but you should use some aspect of your prompt in the final story. While not required, participants are encouraged to include characters of color or from underrepresented cultural groups.

Writers, comment here or email us to receive your prompt. Please specify if you have a preference for the format of your prompt (song, speech, art, or quotation).

If you want to create a fanwork other than fiction, your challenge is to create a piece of protest art in any format that you choose.

Participation stamps are available for both creators and reviewers. To be eligible for this month's stamp as a creator, you must post your response to the SWG archive no later than March 10, 2017. Review challenges never expire; however, we ask that you email us if you need a reviewer stamp for a challenge that is more than two months old.

dawn_felagund: (feanor fall)
[personal profile] dawn_felagund
Silmarillion Writers' Guild January 2017 Taboo Challenge

Yesterday the January 2017 Taboo challenge closed with an incredible twenty entries. Here is a list of links to the stories written for our first new challenge. Check out these stories and consider leaving the authors a note if you enjoyed their work! (Remember that the review challenge never expires, and we have several stamps for reviewers that we'd love to give away ...)

All links go to the table of contents for the story, where you can view warnings, author's notes, and further details about the story.

Aftermath by Lyra. After the Darkening, Nerdanel struggles to pick up the pieces of her life - a difficult job with the legacy her husband has left her.

Assignation by Dawn Felagund. When Turgon discovers a forbidden affair between his sister Aredhel and cousin Curufin, he has all intentions of telling his father. But Aredhel and his cousins devise a way to keep safe the secrecy of an affair that will span ages. Aredhel/Curufin/Celegorm

By Any Other Name by Tyelca. After Fëanor’s death, Curufin writes a letter to his father and ponders with which name to sign.

Dancing in the Dark by Grundy. History remembers Curufin as the villain. There are a few who think better of him.

Decisions by Silver Trails. Caranthir tries to understand his feelings.

Hymn to Disturbia by Tyelca. Gondolin falls, and Maeglin has one last mission to fulfill: kill Tuor and claim Idril as his own.

In Between by Himring. Thengel of Rohan and Morwen of Lossarnach had two daughters that were born in Gondor, before Thengel's father died and he returned to Rohan to take up the kingship. Such a daughter might have found it easy to adjust--or she might not...

Long Pork by Fernstrike. Galadriel attends the wedding of Beren and Luthien, newly returned from their journey to Angband. There, a roast boar is cause for the resurgence of old, bad memories - and consideration of what truly makes one an outsider in Doriath.

Mirror Image by Tyelca. Curufin is troubled, and Fëanor decides to talk to him. Fluff!

My Heart on My Skin by Oshun. Fingon wants a graphic symbol of his love. In this world—Tirion, Age of the Trees, my personal canon—Fingon is in a committed relationship. He is of age, although barely, and his cousin Finrod (Ingo herein) is only a few years younger. But despite youth and questionable judgment, Fingon is his own man and does not need this ploy to attract and hold the attention of his beloved. (But Fingon never gets tired of trying ever more extreme stunts to prove his love to Maedhros.)

ostracism and exile by hennethgalad. the first meeting of Voronwë and Tuor

Pariahs by LadyBrooke. The Sindar will not conform, in names, trust, or Kings. Elu, Nimloth, and Oropher are reborn rulers in a society that sees them as primatives.

religious taboos by hennethgalad. Tuor tells his son that he will sail with Idril to Valinor.

sexual deviance by hennethgalad. Tuor seeks the aid of Voronwë in preparing for his wedding

Solitude by Erulisse. It is written that Melkor was imprisoned in the depths of Mandos for Three Aeons after his capture in Middle Earth. Studies in modern times have proven that true solitary confinement leads to madness and that interaction with others is essential to mental stability and healing. Yet, Melkor sat isolated and alone - was he already insane, or did his extreme solitude tip the balance and plunge him into deeper madness. I present a conversation between Melkor and Namo written for the Taboo challenge categories of Murder, Cannibalism, Ostracism and Exile and Consequences.

stigma by hennethgalad. Tuor is helped to fit in in Gondolin

table manners by hennethgalad. Maeglin is envious of the beauty of Tuor

Taboos Were Made To Be Broken by Kaylee Arafinwiel. A collection of Silmfic written for SWG’s January 2017 ‘Taboo’ prompts. Some will be co-written with, or perhaps solely written by, my co-author and dear friend Emma, and those will be noted.

The End of All Things by Tyelca. An Orc dies; what happens when he wakes up again in the Halls of Mandos and is forced to remember that he too belonged to the race of the Eldar?

The Vala, the Hound and the Elfling by Tyelca. Of how Huan came to be in Celegorm's care. Features a Vala without a sense of time, a puppy that does not yet know how to behave, and a curious little Elfling wanting to speak with birds and foxes.

Participants (authors and reviewers), I will be starting on stamp collections tonight and hope to have them all sent out by the end of the weekend. Keep an eye on the email you have registered with the SWG archive! Our new challenge will be announced on Wednesday, 15 February.
dawn_felagund: (silmarils)
[personal profile] dawn_felagund
banner for the SWG Taboo challenge

This is a friendly reminder that there is one week left in the Taboo challenge! Choose one, multiple, a row, or an entire card of prompts from our Taboo bingo card. Taboo challenge stories are due on the SWG archive no later than February 10, 2017, in order to be eligible to receive a stamp for that month. That's one week away!

Of course, if inspiration strikes you after the 10th, you are welcome to continue using the challenge bingo card, but late entries will not receive stamps.

Our challenges involve both a writing and a reviewing component. Several Taboo stories have been posted already. Check out the Taboo stories here and consider reviewing one or a few (or all!) of them. There is no deadline for the review challenge.

Click here for the full challenge description and challenge guidelines.
dawn_felagund: (swg logo)
[personal profile] dawn_felagund
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 Card )

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: (swg logo)
[personal profile] dawn_felagund
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 Participate ) FAQs )
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