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[admin post] Admin Post: September 2017 Challenge: Ancestors

SWG September 2017 Challenge Ancestors

As we celebrate the 40th anniversary of the publication of The Silmarillion and in honor of Grandparents' Day, this month's theme is Ancestors. For this month's challenge, create a fanwork in which a character's resemblance or connection to an ancestor plays a central role. This challenge is completely open, without prompts, although feel free to use the comments to ask for or suggest more specific prompt ideas if you want.

Since I held off on announcing the new challenge because of Silmarillion40, then the deadline will be extended this month. If you want your fanwork to receive a creator stamp, it will need to be posted to the archive (or our DW or LJ for formats other than writing and podfic) no later than October 12. As with the Song of Exile, if you are writing for Silmarillion40 and wish to use the Ancestors challenge in your Silmarillion40 entry, please just let me know when you send in your Silmarillion40 piece, and I will award you your stamp.

I also never posted a links list for last month's challenge, Song of Exile. (We'll blame Silmarillion40 again for that too. ;) Click below the cut for list of last month's challenge entries and please consider leaving a comment if you enjoy an author's work! Remember that stamps for review challenges never expire, so you can keep adding to your stamp collection by showing love to our challenge creators if you want. However, if you need a reviewer stamp for May's Hero's Journey Matryoshka challenge or earlier, please let me know in a comment or an email to moderator@silmarillionwritersguild.org.

August Song of Exile Challenge Stories )

Some final housekeeping ... I have not begun stamps yet for the Song of Exile challenge. Let's blame Silmarillion40 again for that, shall we? As I settle into the daily routine of the collection (and as the school year settles into a routine too), I will begin working on this. I appreciate everyone's patience these last few chaotic months!

If you're new to our challenges, you can find full guidelines--as well as past challenges--here.
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[admin post] Admin Post: Four Days Left in the "Song of Exile" Challenge!

SWG challenge song of exile

If you are interested in receiving a stamp for this challenge, there are four days left to finish and post your fanwork to the SWG archive. Fanworks are due on the archive (LJ/DW for fanworks other than writing or podfic) no later than September 10th to be eligible.

If your Silm40 story is also an entry for this challenge, it must be received by me no later than September 10th. Of course, you won't be able to post it to the archive right away, but I'm happy to count it and award you your stamp. Please let me know if it is a challenge entry; I'll be shuffling dozens of fanworks over the next few weeks and can't be trusted to remember anything at this point!

If you still want to jump on board, here is the prompt:

Create a fanwork about exile or exiles. About being exiled. About the people who are exiled. About the decision to exile, the leavetaking, the consequences. About metaphorical or symbolic exile.


See this post for member-submitted prompts related to exile, if you want more inspiration.

Song of Exile stories can be found here. Please consider letting the author know if you enjoy their work!

And if you're just joining us, full challenge guidelines can be found here.

A Few Mod Notes on Challenges and Silmarillion40

  • If you'd be willing to help out as a beta reader for the Silmarillion40 compilation, please let me know either by commenting here with an email address (comments are screened) or by emailing us at moderator@silmarillionwritersguild.org to express your interest. As authors who need beta help let us know they are ready for a beta, we will send along summaries and other information to beta readers.


  • The question has arisen a couple of times now about the regular monthly challenges and the Silmarillion40 compilation. If you're creating something for Silmarillion40, it is totally okay to also use the monthly challenges as part of your Silm40 fanwork, if you want to. However, since you will not be able to post your fanwork before the deadline of the current challenge, then you will need to let me know that it is a challenge entry as well, and when I post your fanwork to the archive for Silm40, I'll make sure I label it accordingly. The fanwork must be received by us before the close of the current challenge to receive a stamp, however. In other words, since the deadline for the current Song of Exile challenge is September 10, then we must have your fanwork on or before September 10 if you want a stamp for the challenge. The same will hold true for the October challenge, when it is announced.


  • Speaking of stamps, I have finally caught up on the stamp collections. If something is missing or incorrect on yours, please let me know. (There is one stamp--5 Reviews for New Directions--that has not been added to anyone who has earned it ... because I have not made it yet! >.< I hope to knock this item off my to-do list in the next couple of days. And there are two new participants whose collections I need to put together still; those two will receive emails when their collections are ready.) I cannot thank everyone enough for your patience while I got caught up after a summer that proved a bit more chaotic than expected!
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[admin post] Admin Post: August 2017 Challenge: Song of Exile

August 2017 Challenge Song of Exile

"But it is most likely that you shall fly from the Land of the Star with no star to guide you; for that land is defiled. Then you shall lose all that you have loved, foretasting death in life, seeking a land of exile elsewhere. But east or west the Valar along can say."

~The Silmarillion, Akallabêth


Create a fanwork about exile or exiles. About being exiled. About the people who are exiled. About the decision to exile, the leavetaking, the consequences. About metaphorical or symbolic exile.

You may use the Akallabêth quote as your prompt, or feel free to comment here suggest other quotes, artwork, or popular media that addresses the concept of exile. (Or jealously hoard your prompt to yourself like it's magical jewelry!) Or use no prompt at all--anything goes this month!

(If you love your prompts, I've posted an initial set as the first comment.)

August is traditionally the month that the SWG celebrates fanworks about the Second Age. Second Age fanworks are, of course, welcome for this month's challenge, but it is not required that you set your response in the Second Age.

To receive a stamp, your fanwork must be posted to the SWG archive on or before September 10, 2017. If you're new to our challenges, you can find the full challenge guidelines here.
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[admin post] Admin Post: Just an Old-Fashioned Love Song Challenge Stories

Just an Old-Fashioned Love Song Challenge

Below is the list of stories and art created for the Just an Old-Fashioned Love Song challenge. Please remember that "late" entries are more than welcome--they just don't receive stamps. Do check some of them out (or go wild and read them all!), and if you like what you see, please consider commenting to let the author or artist know.

And They Say He Was Lost ... by Robinka. A drabble for the SWG challenge “Just an Old-fashioned Love Song”, inspired by “We Belong” by Pat Benatar. Back when things were better.

Far From The World We Know by Himring. At the top of Elwing's white tower. Earendil has landed, back from traversing the pathless sky, and Elwing has flown to meet him.

For Love of Silver Stars by LadyBrooke. The sun’s dying rays faded over Doriath for the first time, and Lúthien looked at Nimloth.

Into the Deep by Hrymfaxe. Fanart showing "the relationship between Ulmo and The Sea."

I've Hungered for Your Touch by Oshun. Caranthir is offered a chance to read an unpublished diary entry. It’s a copy of a recently discovered ancient manuscript apparently written by Haleth the Hunter. It’s a follow-up to my previous story The Manly-hearted Woman, but can be read independently of that one.

New Directions. part two. by hennethgalad. in part one, the crew of Eärendil were sent back to Beleriand from Valinor in a new ship. in this part, the wind changes for the Ainumanä and the crew meet some strangers.

Picking Up the Pieces by Grundy. After the Fall of Gondolin, Maeglin's more than a little broken. Is there any hope for him?

Ride the Night to the End by Silver Trails. The story is set a few days after the Battle of Unnumbered Tears. It's written from Maedhros' POV.

Stolen Evenings by Tyelca. A collection of short stories, each one focusing on a different pairing sharing one (stolen) evening.

Swans by Dawn Felagund. Against Maedhros's wishes, Fingon is off to a summer retreat in the mountains, a retreat designed by the Valar for newly reembodied Elves. Amid games of kickball and group therapy, Fingon makes a friend, discovers the Noldor haven't actually invented everything, and begins to grasp the complexities of his post-reembodiment relationship with Maedhros. Maedhros/Fingon, set in my Republic of Tirion verse.

Up Where They Belong by Lyra. A Justification of a Homoromantic Reading of Maedhros and Fingon.

Your Song by Kaylee Arafinwiel. "But Lúthien came to the halls of Mandos, where are the appointed places of the Eldalië, beyond the mansions of the West upon the confines of the world. There those that wait sit in the shadow of their thought. But her beauty was more than their beauty, and her sorrow deeper than their sorrows; and she knelt before Mandos and sang to him..."




Some housekeeping notes ...

I have caught up on the document where I track stamps. I'm going to be updating collections and uploading them, a few per day, for the next week, so they should be finished by next week. (I regret how far behind I've fallen on this, but it has been quite the summer!)

Remember that you can always claim stamps for reviewing, but if you need a stamp for a challenge before May's "Hero's Journey" Matryoshka challenge, please let me know by comment, email, Great Eagle ... whatever, I'm pretty easy to find.

Because I'm also late in posting this links list (getting the trend here?? ;), then the new challenge will be announced tomorrow, on Tuesday. It will be a lower-key challenge since we already have Silmarillion40 and the annual Akallabeth in August challenges running as well.

Finally, I want to give a shout-out to a few people who have really done an incredible job of commenting on the stories and art produced for our challenge. First of all is Oshun, who is the first person to reach 50 comments on this year's challenge stories! I want to recognize also a few people who have reviewed at least one challenge story or artwork every month so far this year: Himring, Lyra, and Oshun. Thank you so much for your encouragement of our authors and artists!

And the biggest shout-out goes to Lyra, who not only makes all of the stamps but keeps my late-running, disorganized butt in line. Seriously, these challenges would not be half as well-run as they are without your help, Lyra--thank you!
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[admin post] Admin Post: Reminder for "Just an Old-Fashioned Love Song" Challenge

July 2017 SWG Challenge Just an Old-Fashioned Love SongThis is a friendly reminder that if you'd like to collect a stamp for our current "Just an Old-Fashioned Love Song" challenge, you must have your story posted to the SWG archive on or before August 11, which is a little under a week away. This challenge requires participants to choose a love song from the list and use any part of it or its video as a prompt. Find the full challenge at the link above; if you're new to our challenges, you can find the full guidelines and FAQs here.

A few stories have already been posted. You can check out the "Just an Old-Fashioned Love Song" stories here, and if you like a piece, please consider commenting to let the author know.

Stamp Collection Update: I still have not updated stamp collections for the New Directions challenge. I apologize for the delay in doing so. BUT! I am beginning work on them now, so I hope they will be ready to go within the next couple of days. Thanks, everyone, for your patience; this kind of delay will not be the norm going forward but the unfortunate result of a rather chaotic summer.

Also, an important note about reviewer stamps: After today, I will be tracking reviews only for the Hero's Journey, New Directions, and Just an Old-Fashioned Love Song challenges. You can still receive stamps for any of the earlier challenges; just let me know if you review a story in those challenges, and I'll update your collection.
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[admin post] Admin Post: "New Directions" Challenge Stories

SWG Challenge New Directions

Below is the list of stories submitted for the New Directions challenge. Please remember that while "late" entries do not receive a stamp, they are more than welcome on the archive, so if you're still working on this challenge--or haven't started it yet but want to--please carry on! Links on the list below go to the Table of Contents, where you can find author's notes and more information about the story. If you enjoy a story, please consider commenting and letting the author know.

Annael's Reunion by Kaylee Arafinwiel. After far too long, Annael of the Grey-elves reunites with one he thought lost.

For Those Who Hold a Silmaril In Their Hands by LadyBrooke. Erellont is young when Finrod leaves, and his uncle goes with him.

Legolas of Gondolin by Silver Trails. This is an introduction to my view of Legolas of Gondolin.

The Manly-Hearted Woman by oshun. This is a story of Haleth.

New Directions by hennethgalad. the friends of Eärendil, returning from Valinor
+ mystery guest...

Of Huor of the House of Hador by StarSpray. Six moments in the life of Huor son of Galdor.

Of Voronwe's Parents by Himring. Two vignettes featuring the parents of Voronwe of Gondolin.

A Second Chance by Grundy. "She whom he had loved was Amárië of the Vanyar, and she was not permitted to go with him into exile."

The Snakes and the Flowers by Lyra. A young Vanyarin poet makes some clever observations, the relevance of which only grows apparent in good time.

Sunset to Sunrise by Tyelca. A quiet night at home for Arien, Bearer of the Sun.




If you have not seen our current challenge, Just an Old-Fashioned Love Song, check it out! Fanworks for this one are due by 11 August 2017 to be eligible for a stamp.

As I am in the midst of the Mereth Aderthad, stamps will be later than usual this month. I will try to have them updated by the middle of next week. If there are any drastic changes to that timeline, I will let everyone know.
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[admin post] Admin Post: July 2017 Challenge: Just an Old-Fashioned Love Song

July 2017 SWG Challenge Just an Old-Fashioned Love SongDuring the month of July, fanworks creators around the world celebrate love. July has been reserved for honoring both the femslash and slash genres. Half of the world is sultry with summer heat, and half of the world seeks nearness and warmth to banish winter's chill.

For this month's challenge, you will use a popular love song as a prompt to inspire a fanwork about romantic or sexual love. You will choose your own prompt from the list of love songs below. More than one participant may choose the same song, and you may use any aspect of the song--the title, all or part of the lyrics, the mood or style of the music, or the music video--or any combination!--to inspire your response. You don't need to claim a prompt or comment or do anything but create your fanwork! Any pairing or poly relationship is acceptable for the challenge.

Our friends at Tolkien Femslash Week will be hosting their challenge as well, and as always, feel free to combine our challenge with your work for their challenge. If you do, please make a note in the summary or story notes so that we can award stamps accordingly.

Since I am a day late in posting the challenge, the due date for stamps will be 11 August 2017.. Late stories are always welcome but will not receive a stamp.

If you're new to our challenges, check out the full challenge guidelines here.

Prompts )
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[admin post] Admin Post: Hero's Journey Challenge Stories

The Hero's Journey challenge closed yesterday. (When I say "closed," I mean that challenge entries posted going forward will not receive a stamp. If you are still working on your story, you're welcome to post it under the challenge! I'm still working on mine, in fact.) Here is the list of stories written for this challenge. If you check them out, please consider letting the author know if you like their work by leaving a comment. All links go to the Table of Contents, where you can view additional information about the story.

Before the Dawn by Grundy. Though all seems bright in Gondolin, Idril is troubled.

Companions on a Quest by oshun.

The Crownless Queen by Tyelca. She is a Queen without a crown and he is a shining opportunity. Or, how Ungoliant and Melkor poisoned the Trees and stole the Silmarils.

A Day in the Life by hennethgalad. The youth of Glorfindel in Valinor. (Additional installments in this story can be found here: The Hero's Journey 2 | 3 | 4 | 5)

A Hero of the Day by Robinka. Just an ordinary day out there on the Northern Marches of Doriath. Or maybe not so much…? Featuring your tall, strong, and handsome, not to mention favorite, wardens and some surprises.

In the Darkest Days by LadyBrooke. Elu has gone to Valinor with Finwë and Ingwë, and those left behind are forced to make up for their absences, no matter how young the ones left behind are or if they have to find their own families.

Let Us Sing Together by StarSpray. There are strange things dwelling in the forests of Eriador.

One Woman's Journey by Lyra. From the bliss of Valinor to the turbulent shores of Middle-earth, the life of Galadriel never gets boring.

Safety Net by Fernstrike. The year is 502 of the First Age. Doriath has already seen the Shadow seeping into its borders - and for Oropher, one of Thingol's chief counsels, it will not be long before it pierces into the vibrant heart of the realm.

A Tale of Two Lirillos by Kaylee Arafinwiel. Lirillo the prince and Lirillo the Maia - an adventure of Alqualonde's youngest prince, coming of age during a time after the Trees, just before the sun and moon. Will the grandson of Olwe prove a match for Ulmo's servant, or will the Maia be up to the task of shepherding his young namesake into this new world intact?

Water Music by Ysilme. As he walks, water is bringing back memories.




I'm interested to know if you all liked this challenge format? This was the first time I've ever used this format. I know I learned from the experience, if we do it again: 1) Don't allow just one month to complete this challenge. 2) Make the prompts sets have different prompts because people will ask for multiple sets. 3) Be clearer on word count expectations, when they exist. If you participated, what did you like and what would you change? If you didn't participate, what would have to change about the challenge to make it something you might want to try?

Perhaps most importantly: Should we do it again next year?

I will be working on stamp collections tonight and tomorrow. If Tuesday arrives and your is not correct, please let me know. If you have commented on a 2017 challenge entry for Strength & Beauty or earlier, please let me know so that I can award you your stamp, as I am not monitoring those challenges any longer.

Finally, remember that our New Directions challenge is currently underway:

This month, we challenge our authors and artists to attempt creating a fanwork about a character they've never written or drawn before, using one of the best resources on the SWG website: our character biography collection. From our list of character biographies, choose someone that you do not know much about or have not written/drawn before. Read the character biography and create a fanwork about that character.


Fanworks must be posted by July 15 to receive the stamp for this one.
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[admin post] Admin Post: SWG Challenge: New Directions (June 17-July 15)

SWG Challenge New Directions

Writing challenges are ostensibly about pushing ourselves to take creative risks that we might not otherwise take. In fan fiction, this includes writing about characters whom we are normally content to forget are even in the book.

This month, we challenge our authors and artists to attempt creating a fanwork about a character they've never written or drawn before, using one of the best resources on the SWG website: our character biography collection. From our list of character biographies, choose someone that you do not know much about or have not written/drawn before. Read the character biography and create a fanwork about that character. (Helpful hint: We have no way of knowing if you read more than one biography before choosing your character!)

While you're exploring the biography collection, we encourage you to let our biography writers know in a comment if you enjoy their work. Biographies take hours to days to research and write and often do not garner the kinds of attention and comments that stories do. So let's show our biography writers some love for the valuable work they do for our group!

Fanworks must be posted by July 15 to be eligible for this month's creator stamp. Review challenges never expire, but if you are commenting on a 2017 story for the Strength and Beauty challenge or earlier, please let me know through a comment here or an email to moderator@silmarillionwritersguild.org so that I can give you your stamps.

I will try to update stamp collections within the next week. Also remember that the Hero's Journey challenge deadline has been extended to June 24. Full challenge guidelines can be found on the SWG site.
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[admin post] Admin Post: Hero's Journey Matryoshka Challenge Deadline Extension to June 24

SWG May Challenge Hero's Journey Matryoshka ChallengeOver the past few weeks, as I've been hearing chatter about the current SWG challenge, I hear numerous people who want to try it but aren't sure they're going to make the current deadline. This is the first time we've done a challenge like this, and it's very much been a learning experience. And it actually is a fairly challenging challenge! :) Given all of that, I've decided to extend the deadline to receive stamps two weeks, to June 24. Stories posted by June 24 will receive a creator stamp.

I will still post the new challenge on June 15, as scheduled, so there will be a slight overlap with two challenges going on, but I think we can handle that.

All this said, late challenge entries are always welcome, so please don't feel like if you miss the new deadline, you can't post your story as part of the challenge; however, late entries do not receive a stamp. (And this isn't me trying to be punitive or create a sense of urgency but trying to save my sanity! :) Review challenges never expire, though if you review a story for Revolution (February 2017) or earlier, please let me know so I can give you your stamps.

It's definitely not too late to request prompts for this month's challenge, especially in light of the deadline extension. You can read more about our current challenge and how it works, and learn how to request your prompts, here.
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[admin post] Admin Post: May 2017 Challenge: The Hero's Journey Matryoshka Challenge

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.
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May 2017 Challenge: The Hero's Journey Matryoshka Challenge

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.
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[admin post] Admin Post: "Women's Sceptre" Challenge Entries

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.
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"Women's Sceptre" Challenge Entries

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.
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[admin post] Admin Post: Woman's Sceptre Challenge Entries Due May 10

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.
Entry tags:

Woman's Sceptre Challenge Entries Due May 10

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.
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A Woman's Sceptre Challenge | April 15 - May 10

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.
Entry tags:

A Woman's Sceptre Challenge | April 15 - May 10

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.>
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Strength & Beauty Challenge Stories and Art

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!