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The SWG's April 2017 Newsletter has been posted!

Back to Middle-earth Month 2017 “Night and Day” has ended, and numerous stories and pieces of artwork have been completed or are still being worked on. Over thirty creators have taken part in this year’s B2MeM, and we had over 280 fanworks posted, mostly on LiveJournal but also some on AO3, on Tumblr. A good number are also posted on the SWG archive.

On the 15th March we launched our current “Strength and Beauty” challenge. If you want to take part in this challenge, please head to our newsletter where you will find more information about this prompt and our Challenges guidelines. Also, don’t forget that April is International Poetry Month!

For the character biography this month, Oshun writes about Arwen. Largely relegated to the margins of the story, Arwen nonetheless represents a strength that is "intellectual, psychological, and spiritual," according to Oshun's biography this month, as well as serving as a symbol of the simultaneous waning of one people and rise of another. Arwen presents the usual thorny questions of how women are presented in the legendarium, compounded by a well-known film depiction that stretches the bounds of the canon.

Looking for something to read? A large number of stories, essays, and poems were added or updated on our archive during the past month of March. If you want to know what’s happening in the wider world of fandom, 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, Russandol, and Angelica for creating and compiling our newsletter content.
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[personal profile] dawn_felagund
The SWG's January 2017 newsletter has been posted!

We open this month's newsletter with our annual letter from the moderators. We anticipate a 2017 full of work to make the SWG the best group it can be for the members and friends who have loyally supported us for twelve (!) years. In January, we introduce the first of several changes we have planned for this year by changing up our challenges. Check out the News section to read about the new challenges, which will begin on January 15.

For the character biography this month, Oshun writes about the Ithryn Luin or Blue Wizards. This mysterious duo went into the East and was never heard from again. Yet Tolkien speculated about their purpose and their fate throughout his work on the legendarium, and in her characteristically thorough way, Oshun lays out what we know about this pair in her essay about them.

If you're looking for fiction to read, more than twenty stories were added or updated on our archive this month. In case that's not enough, our Around the World and Web section has articles of interests and links to the collections gathered by the Tolkien fandom's multiple December gift swaps. In case you didn't get your fill writing for December events, Around the World and Web also includes upcoming ficswaps and challenges, as well as courses and calls for papers.

It's the final month for the SWG's old challenge system, which has been around for almost twelve years now. Looking for inspiration? Why not try out the Companies, Clubs, and Cliques or Ankle Biters challenges and send our venerable challenge system out with a bang?

As always, many hands and minds go into making our newsletter possible. Thanks this month go to Oshun, Elleth, Rhapsody, and Angelica for creating and compiling our newsletter content.
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[personal profile] dawn_felagund
Our November newsletter has been posted on our site!

This month, we welcome several new members to the SWG. We have also announced the dates for our first Mereth Aderthad event as 14-22 July 2017, so we hope you will join us in beautiful northern Vermont next summer for a week of fellowship with other Tolkien fans and creators.

This month's biography is Morwë, one of the leaders of the Avari. In this essay, Oshun explores many of the deep issues connected with this most minor of minor characters: issues of bias and symbolism in the canon, as well as intriguing connections between Tolkien's work and real-world scripture and myth.

If you're looking for something to read, this past month was hopping on the archive, with more than four dozen stories added or updated last month. Additionally, Around the World and Web has articles and discussions related to Tolkien's world.

If you're looking for something to do, check out our challenges "Companies, Clubs, and Cliques" and "Back to Nature." Around the World and Web has other writing challenges to tempt your muses.

Many thanks to this month's contributors: Oshun, Rhapsody, Elleth, Angelica, and Russandol. We hope you enjoy this month's edition!
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[personal profile] dawn_felagund
The June edition of our newsletter has been posted on our website!

In this month's news, we welcome several new members to our group. I am also happy to announce that Oshun and I will be returning to present for a second year at the New York Tolkien Conference, this time as co-presenters (so that we have to be able to attend each other's talks) of "The Borders of the (Fictional) World: Fan Fiction Archives, Ideological Approaches, and Fan Identity."

Speaking of Oshun, she has authored this month's character biography on Thuringwethil. Thuringwethil has startled more than one first-timer to The Silmarillion, not because she's That Scary but because who expects vampires in Tolkien? However, as Oshun shows, the literary history of vampires is deep, and it is likely from this--not pop culture--that Tolkien was drawing when he created Thuringwethil (sorry, Bela Lugosi). Thuringwethil, like most of Tolkien's female characters, is only partly sketched, but that of course makes her all the more fascinating for fanfic writers.

If you're looking for something to read, the archive has been hopping, with almost four dozen stories and poems added and updated during the month of May. If nonfiction is more your cuppa, the Around the World and Web section features articles and new publications from both professional and fannish writers about all aspects of the legendarium and Tolkien fan culture.

If you're looking for something to write, this month continues the "Proverbs" challenge, which asks you to create a story based on one of Tolkien's many proverbs. For something a little different, we revisit the "Sibling Rivalry" challenge, which asks authors to write "an AU story where an original character--you!--tries to influence his or her canon sibling in some way or in which you choose a sibling to influence you." Around the World and Web has challenges, exchanges, and calls for papers from groups outside the SWG.

Many thanks to this month's contributors: Oshun, Rhapsody, and Elleth, and a special thank-you to Russandol for putting all the pieces together!
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[personal profile] dawn_felagund
Our January 2016 newsletter has been posted on our website!

http://www.silmarillionwritersguild.org/news/january2016.php

In this month's news, we have our annual New Year's letter from the moderators, summarizing our past year and looking ahead to what we have coming in 2016. We also had a [brief] return of our plagiarist [quickly quashed!] and are looking forward to this year's Back to Middle-earth Month in just two months.

This month's character biography focuses on Rían and was written by Robinka. Rían is one of those characters we know very little about, whose relationship to a major male character is her defining quality in the text. Robinka makes a strong case for inferring several key characteristics about her, however, namely that she was a gentle, peaceful character who may have felt out of place among her people. Robinka's biography is excellent and is well worth the read!

More than twenty stories were added or updated on our archive last month, so if you missed some of them due to holiday mayhem or a cookie-induced coma, check out the list of archive updates for December. If you're more in the mood for nonfiction, Around the World and Web this month contains articles on everything from how academia treats Tolkien to the compatibility of Tolkien and feminism to stinkbugs. (Yes, you read that last one correctly. You'll have to read to find out how Tolkien and stinkbugs are related!) If you're looking for something fannish to do in the New Year, the announcement section includes information on courses, readings, fic swaps, and calls for papers.

This month, we introduce a new challenge "But I Won't Do That." What is something your character won't do? And what happens when they end up in a situation where they must do it anyway? We also revisit the "Terrible Twos" challenge: What was your character like or what happened to them when they were two years old?

Many thanks to Robinka, Rhapsody, Elleth, and Angelica for their contributions to this month's newsletter and best wishes to all of our members and friends for a New Year full of creativity and joy!
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[personal profile] dawn_felagund
We are a few days late this month--actually, I should rephrase that I am a few days late this month since the contributors all had their sections finished early--but at last, the September 2015 edition of our newsletter has been posted on our website.

http://www.silmarillionwritersguild.org/news/september2015.php

It has been a quiet month for site news after the busyness surrounding our 10th birthday. The winners of our birthday contest were drawn this month, and we welcome six new members to the SWG.

This month's edition features a biography of Aranwë. Who, you might ask? (I did!) Aranwë is the father of Voronwë, the mariner of Gondolin. If the name didn't ring a bell, that's because he's barely mentioned. Nonetheless, Oshun teases out what we do know about his character--and his name--that might reveal more about his family and his past.

We had an immense number of stories shared on the archive last month in honor of our 10th birthday, so if you're looking for something to read, we encourage you to check out the story list, which is full of lots of quality stories. If nonfiction is more to your tastes, Around the World and Web has several interesting articles on a variety of topics, as well as announcements about myriad fannish and scholarly events (and some that fall in between!) going on in the Tolkien community in the near future.

If you're looking for something to write, check out our challenges section. "Of Stories Left Untold" is our featured challenge this month and is a gap-filler challenge that asks writers to create a story for an object, place, or person that must have had one. "With a Bit of Fairy Dust" is our revisited challenge that challenges writers to mix Middle-earth and fairy-tale tropes.

Thank you to this month's contributors--Oshun, Rhapsody, Elleth, and Angelica--who created all of this month's content so that all I had to do was copyedit and code. (And, no, I still couldn't manage to be on time!) Do check out this month's edition--they've put together an informative and entertaining read!
dawn_felagund: (swg logo)
[personal profile] dawn_felagund
Hi, all,

Our July 2015 newsletter has been posted:

http://www.silmarillionwritersguild.org/news/july2015.php

It's a bit later than usual, but the 10th birthday announcement earlier in the week took up most of my time and also gave me a good excuse to allow a bit of a delay on the newsletter this month! :)

If you missed the announcement of our 10th birthday celebration, check it out here: http://silwritersguild.livejournal.com/261334.html

This month's newsletter includes a biography of Bëor by Oshun. Bëor himself doesn't do a whole lot in The Silmarillion, but he establishes a line that will feature prominently in all of the major historical events in the later ages of Arda and forges an alliance between the Eldar and Edain that will also persist through the ages.

If you're looking for something to read, we had many new additions to the archive last month and several articles and videos featured in our Around the World and Web section. If you're looking for something to write, our new challenge "Of Stories Left Untold" challenges writers to expand one of the many untold stories of the legendarium. If there's a place in Middle-earth you'd like to visit, use it as a setting in a story for the "Holidays in Arda" challenge. (Or roll your own unique-to-you prompt using our prompt generator! http://silmarillionwritersguild.org/birthday10/story-generator.php)

Many thanks to Oshun, Rhapsody, and Angelica for their contributions to this month's newsletter. I hope everyone enjoys it!
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[personal profile] dawn_felagund
The newsletter for May 2015 has been posted on our site:

http://www.silmarillionwritersguild.org/news/may2015.php

We have some SWG news to report. First, we have made some additions to our archive character list to better serve authors who include non-Tolkien characters in their stories. Until this point, authors have only had the Original Character label, which didn't serve well for stories that included characters from history, myth, and other works of fiction. Authors can continue to choose the Original Character(s) label but can now also select Historical Character(s), Legendary/Mythical Character(s), Original Female Character(s), Original Male Character(s), Other Fictional Character(s), and Real Person(s). If you are an author who uses non-Tolkien characters in your work (and most of us do!), I recommend checking out the News section to learn more about this change.

Our 10th birthday approaches, and we are are beginning to work on our first birthday project: birthday cards. We hope to offer a selection of digital greeting cards that can be sent to the SWG members you want to recognize and appreciate as making the fandom a better place. We need volunteers at this point to help make the cards, artists/photographers to allow use of their work, and ideas from our members on what cards to make so that they can brighten someone's day. There is also a post on our LJ where you can learn more and share ideas: http://silwritersguild.livejournal.com/257826.html

(And here on DW: http://silwritersguild.dreamwidth.org/13161.html)

Finally, Oshun and I will be presenting at the New York Tolkien Conference at Baruch College on June 13. The conference is free; however, they are limited to 150 spots and are approaching that number, so if you are in the area and want to attend, make sure you register soon. Even though the conference is free, you must register in order for campus security to allow you access to the building. The newsletter and our site sidebar have all the links you'll need. And, if you're attending, please let me know so that we can arrange an SWG member meet-up!

Onto the fun stuff ... our character of the month is Beregar of Numenor. As Oshun notes, this is one of the few instances where we see a reversal of the common and irritating tendency for women in history (and Tolkien, by extension) to be known as "the mother of" or "the wife of" some important guy: Beregar is "the father of" an important woman in Numenorean history, Erendis. Although Beregar is a minor character, Oshun has applied her usual insight to take the few details we know about him to flesh out the character of Erendis and draw hints about Numenorean culture in general. It's a short read this month and well worth it.

If you're looking for something to read, we had over 50 works added or updated on the archive this month. I've been watching tantalizing summaries march across the Most Recent page all month, mired in grad school work and unable to read any, so I hope some of you will check them out and consider leaving the author a comment if you like what you read. Around the World and Web also has a selection of articles this month on Elves, oral tradition, politics in Middle-earth, fanfic, and illustrations inspired by Tolkien, as well as challenges, courses, surveys, calls for papers, and other fun stuff going on beyond our borders.

Our challenges this month continue Crime and Punishment, which ask you to write on issues of justice, crime, and punishment among the peoples of Middle-earth, and we also revisit the Circle of Life challenge, for stories that tackle the big existential issues from Tolkien on death, afterlife, and reembodiment.

Many thanks to Oshun and Rhapsody this month for their help creating the newsletter content, and thanks to co-mods Angelica, Elleth, and Russandol for their support in developing some of the ideas you see this month.
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[personal profile] dawn_felagund
The April 2015 edition of our newsletter has been posted on our website:

http://www.silmarillionwritersguild.org/news/april2015.php

We have some news from within the group to report. In March, we reached the 10th anniversary of the founding of the SWG and participated once again in Back to Middle-earth Month. Looking ahead, April is International Poetry Month, and in June, several SWG members will be attending and presenting at the New York Tolkien Conference. Check out the News section for more information on these happenings!

Our character this month is Írimë, also known as Lalwen. Oshun has written a biography of Írimë, about whom we know very little. In fact, one of the key points about her character is how she represents the troubling representation of women in Tolkien's works. An interesting and vivacious daughter of Finwë, Írimë was one of comparatively few named women in JRRT's Silmarillion, but her character was edited out of the published text by Christopher Tolkien. Oshun's biography reviews the few but tantalizing details that we do know about Írimë, as well as the larger context of how JRRT and Christopher present woman characters.

If you're looking for something to write, we have a new challenge, Crime and Punishment, that asks for stories about justice, crime, and punishment in Tolkien's world. Everything from exploring canonical examples of this theme to original scenarios to mystery fiction is welcome. We also revisit, in honor of actually making our April 1 publication deadlines, the April's Fool challenge, which asks for stories featuring a prank. If you're looking for something to read, check out the list of updates to our archive.

Around the World and Web contains a collection of articles and videos about Tolkien, from the silly to the serious, as well as announcements about events and happenings beyond our borders: fanworks challenges; fan history; courses about Tolkien; calls for papers for zines, journals, and conferences; writers' workshops; and fandom surveys.

As always, our newsletter involves the collaborative efforts of several volunteers to happen. Many thanks to Oshun, Russandol, Rhapsody, and Angelica for this month's edition!
dawn_felagund: (swg logo)
[personal profile] dawn_felagund
The March 2015 edition of our newsletter has been posted on our website!

http://www.silmarillionwritersguild.org/news/march2015.php

It's March, so the biggest news of the month is always Back to Middle-earth Month. This year's theme, Middle-earth Marketplace, involves selling and purchasing prompts for the creation of fanworks. Many, many prompts have already been posted, and the first few stories are now available as well. As always, all Tolkien fans are welcome to join in the fun, and the News section of our newsletter has a list of links to get you started with B2MeM this year. Last month was the International Day of Fanworks. Check out the News section for links to the stories created for this event.

This month's character is Huor, the "little brother of Hurin" ... although his biographer, Robinka, will argue that he is much more than that. In her comprehensive and interesting biography, Robinka makes the case that the oft-overlooked Huor was a fierce protector of his people and an interesting character deserving of more attention from fanfic writers. Huor is one of those characters I admittedly have to look up to remember all that he did, so this month's bio is an excellent resource that brings to life a character who doesn't tend to receive a lot of attention or notice. Maybe I'll even stop thinking about him as Hurin's little brother now? :)

We had a record number of new members (20!!) join us last month and a lot of stories posted and updated on the archive as well. So if you're looking for something to read, check out one of the 37 new or updated works on our archive and LJ community! If nonfiction is more your speed, the Around the World and Web section has everything from articles on fair use to the history of slash to pronouncing Tolkien's names to The Notion Club Papers, as well as two excellent resources: Indy's Tolkien archive list and Wheaton College's Tolkien research database.

If you're looking for something to write, we continue our First Lines challenge this month and revisit the Trinkets and Treasures challenge, which asks for stories about one of the myriad magical and valuable items we see in The Silmarillion. The Around the World and Web section also has links to new contests and ficswaps, free lectures, workshops, and calls for papers.

Many thanks go to this month's content creators: Robinka, Rhapsody, Russandol, and Angelica. I hope everyone enjoys the new edition!
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[personal profile] dawn_felagund
Please note that our community has been temporarily placed on moderated status so that International Day of Fanworks participants can post their stories. Anything not IDoF-related will be approved immediately. If we don't get to it within 24 hours, feel free to give us a nudge over PM or email.

Our February newsletter has been posted! We have lots of stuff to share this month, so I hope you'll give it a look.

http://www.silmarillionwritersguild.org/news/february2015.php

We have an unusual amount of news from within the SWG to kick off the New Year: Site Etiquette updates, bugs fixed, archive milestones reached, and more, so do check it out. We are also sponsoring an event for the International Day of Fanworks; I posted to the group about it yesterday, but if you missed it, the newsletter has everything you need to know to participate.

Robinka has written this month's character biography on Carcharoth, and I absolutely encourage you to take a look--she did a wonderful job! Carcharoth was honestly a character I did not think much about, but Binka's essay has made me see him in a new light, as a pivotal character with a complicated history in the legendarium (which Binka breaks down nicely). The connections between Carcharoth and real world myth, especially Norse, were fascinating as well.

If you're looking for a story or poem to read, we had thirty stories added or updated during January, so you should find plenty to keep you busy. This month's Around the World and Web has articles and posts on a variety of topics, from women in Middle-earth to planning a trip to Mordor. If you're looking for something to write, our First Lines challenge is ongoing, and we revisit The Color Of ..., a challenge that requires writers to construct a story around a color used as a mood or symbol.

Finally, in Around the World and Web, we have announcements from beyond our borders. This is a busy time in the Tolkien fandom, and we have everything from writing challenges to movie marathons to read-alongs to keep you busy in the depths of winter (or give our Southern Hemisphere members an excuse to stay indoors and out of the heat).

My sincerest thanks go out to the volunteers who produced the content for this month's newsletter: Robinka, Rhapsody, and Russandol. Thank you all for your hard work! :)
dawn_felagund: (swg logo)
[personal profile] dawn_felagund
The newsletter is a bit late thanks to the holidays but, at last, it has been posted on our website here:

http://www.silmarillionwritersguild.org/news/january2015.php

We have some site news this month: the ending of the (re)reading (with hearty thanks and congrats to our intrepid hostesses, Lyra and Indy!), updates to our guidelines on Tumblr, and the ongoing HASA rescue project. There is also a ton going on in the fandom outside of our group, from challenges and events to classes and conferences. Check out Around the World and Web for these announcements, as well as a collection of featured articles and videos.

This month, we introduce a new challenge that's a little different. The "First Lines" challenge gives writers a list of potential first lines. Create a story using that first line and post it to our archive. We are also revisiting the "Just Say It with a Gift!" challenge, that looks at Arda's gift-giving customs.

If you're looking for a story to read, check out the list of stories added and updated on the archive last month. We had quite a rush at the end of the month and are edging very close to the milestone 2,000 stories!

A final [sentimental!] note from me: the SWG will turn ten this year. It will be a big year for me--I will hopefully and FINALLY finish my MA this year--and I cannot believe that the little Silmfic writer's group I started is turning ten and has come this far. Thank you to all of you who have supported the SWG throughout the years and have made us one of the finest Tolkien fan fiction sites on the Web. I wish all of you the best for a happy 2015 and raise my glass to ten more years!
dawn_felagund: (swg logo)
[personal profile] dawn_felagund
Hi, all,

The December 2014 newsletter has been posted over on our website:

http://www.silmarillionwritersguild.org/news/december2014.php

We have lots of goodies in this month's edition, so please check it out!

This month's biography, written by Tarion, features Orodreth. Orodreth gets something of a bad rap among the Finwions for being cowardly and weak. Tarion's essay looks at the tangle of sources surrounding his character and analyzes what they say and why they might depict him in a particular way. Her essay is an excellent primer for a character with a complex textual history and challenges assumptions about this often-ignored and much-maligned character. It is a fascinating essay, and I hope you will give it a read.

In site news: Over the past year, Lyra and Indy have taken on the heroic task of modding the Silmarillion (re)reading over on our LiveJournal community. This month, they wrap up the project with "Of the Rings of Power and the Third Age" (December 14) and a wrap-up post (December 28). There has been much excellent discussion and fic/art recs for each chapter, and the discussions will remain open forever, so if you want to jump in late on one of the past chapters, please do so! I would like to thank Indy and Lyra both for their efforts in planning and running this year-long project and for sharing their insights, expertise, and research skills over the past year.

As reported earlier in the month, in the process of fixing a bug on the archive, a second bug was introduced. Well, both have been officially squashed as of this morning with much gratitude to Rhapsody and Russandol for plugging away at both problems for most of the last month. Also, with HASA closing this month, the HASA Rescue Project is still seeking volunteers to help with contacting authors and archiving stories. Please drop me an email if you're interested in helping out.

The holidays always brings lots of challenges, ficswaps, and other fun, so if you want to create something special this month, please check out Around the World and Web for holiday events that are still accepting sign-ups. We also have a collection of new articles, if you're looking for something to read. If fiction and poetry is more your speed, check out the archive updates for the last month. Finally, we have our own site challenges: "Traditions," which looks at the oral traditions of Middle-earth, and our annual "Gift of a Story" challenge, in which we invite authors to honor and thank those who make the fandom a better place by writing and sharing a story, poem, or drabble in their honor.

Thanks go this month to our intrepid newsletter contributors: Tarion, Rhapsody, Russandol, and Angelica.

Best wishes to all for a wonderful holiday season and a happy New Year! :)

Dawn
dawn_felagund: (swg logo)
[personal profile] dawn_felagund
The newest edition of our newsletter has been posted:

http://www.silmarillionwritersguild.org/news/november2014.php

We have lots of goodies this month! In group news, we want to first of all extend a warm welcome to our newest moderator, Elleth, who will be taking over management of our Tumblr. We have some exciting new changes in store for our Tumblr, so if you are a Tumblr member, please follow us to keep up with fandom news and Silmarillion-related Tumblr content.

We are also continuing our Silmarillion rereading and are drawing near to the end of the book. It is not to late to get involved! Posts do not close, so you are welcome to share your thoughts on chapters or your favorite fic and art recs. This month's chapters will include "Of Tuor and the Fall of Gondolin" (posted today on our LJ), "Of Earendil and the War of Wrath," and the Akallabeth. The SWG is also continuing to support the HASA rescue project. For those who have not heard, the Henneth-Annun Story Archive (HASA) will be closing at the end of the year. Please help get the word out about the archive's closing so that people may save their work! On the HASA rescue project, we are checking and, when necessary, saving each story on the site, and we are pleased to announce that every story has now been assigned to a volunteer, many sections have been completed, and we will be moving on the next stage of the project and beginning to contact authors about archiving their work elsewhere. We are still accepting help from volunteers, so please contact us at moderator AT silmarillionwritersguild DOT org (or comment here) if you want to get involved.

The character of the month for November is Azaghal, the Dwarven lord who befriended Maedhros and marched into battle at the Nirnaeth Arnoediad. There isn't a lot in the texts about Azaghal, but what exists is cinematic in its scope, and Oshun reviews what we know as well as what remains to fans to write about. The biography is interesting (and short!) so I highly recommend checking it out.

If you're looking for something to read, Rhapsody has compiled a list of every story added or updated during the month of October on our archive, and Russandol has found many interesting articles for our Around the World and Web section. Looking for something to write? We continue the Traditions challenge this month, which asks writers to explore oral traditions in Middle-earth, which goes hand-in-hand with our Storytellers challenge that we revisit this month. Around the World and Web also contains announcements for holiday-themed challenges that will be running this year.

Many thanks to the volunteers who create and compile the content in our newsletter each month: Oshun, Russandol, Rhapsody, and Angelica.

I hope everyone enjoys the new edition! :)
dawn_felagund: (swg logo)
[personal profile] dawn_felagund
The SWG newsletter for October has been posted (yes, before it is even officially October, at least on my half of the world! :)

http://www.silmarillionwritersguild.org/news/october2014.php

We have quite a lot of site news this month. First and foremost, if you have not heard, the Henneth-Annun Story Archive will be closing at the end of the year. This has obvious implications for authors who have work archived there, but it also represents a major loss of stories and fandom history for the fandom as a whole. HASA is twelve years old, and many of its authors aren't active anymore; furthermore, many of their stories are only available on HASA. Because of this, the SWG along with the archives Many Paths to Tread and Faerie is working to identify the stories at greatest risk of being lost, save them, and contact the authors for permission to archive them elsewhere. HASA is home to thousands of stories, so this is a huge job, and any help would be most welcome. Here is a post about the project:

http://silwritersguild.livejournal.com/245284.html

Several archives have offered to assist authors who want to move their work from HASA: the SWG (of course!), Many Paths to Tread (genfic R-rating and below), Faerie (everything Tolkien!), and the Faramir Fiction Archive (Faramir gen, het, and slash). All authors need to do is grant their permission to the admins of these groups, and they will move your stories for you to the site(s) of your choosing.

We are also looking for a volunteer to help us to manage our blog on Tumblr. Full details are available in the newsletter or on our tumblr. The Silmarillion (re)reading also continues this month with two new chapters: "Of Turin Turambar" and "Of the Ruin of Doriath." We also have announcements and articles from groups outside of the SWG in our Around the World and Web section.

This month's edition also includes a character biography of Arvedui, written by our esteemed biographer Oshun. Arvedui is one of those characters who occupies the gray area between The Silmarillion and The Lord of the Rings. The last king of the Arthedain in the north, Arvedui attempted (unsuccessfully) to unite the kingdoms of Arnor and Gondor, an accomplishment that would not be realized until Aragorn took the throne after the Ring War.

Finally, if you are looking for something to read, we had twenty-one works added or updated on the archive last month; check out the list of September's stories and poems to find something to suit your tastes. Looking for something to write? We have two challenges ongoing at the moment: Traditions, about the oral tradition in Middle-earth, and Season of Change, about the theme of seasons in Tolkien's works.

Many thanks to those who contribute the content for our monthly newsletters: Oshun, Rhapsody, Russandol, and Angelica! I hope everyone enjoys the new edition.
dawn_felagund: (swg logo)
[personal profile] dawn_felagund
As of this month, our newsletter has been going strong for nine years. Nine years! It is one of the longest-running features of the SWG, and we've never missed an issue. Time has certainly flown.

So let's officially step into Year Ten with the September 2014 newsletter:

http://www.silmarillionwritersguild.org/news/september2014.php

We have lots of goodies this month!

First and foremost, the character biography this month is on Finarfin. This is one of Oshun's most meticulously researched, pulling in lots of information from the texts, as well as secondary sources. There is a notion in fandom that Finarfin is the most boring of the sons of Finwe. Oshun challenges that idea by looking at Finarfin's deeds in light of what they reveal about his character and Tolkien's larger themes, in particular the idea that the humble and seeming weak can triumph over the powerful and strong. The essay reviews Finarfin's history, considers the possible folktale origins of his story (from avanti_90's recent and thought-provoking essay on the archive, which you should also read if you have not already!), speculates about why we know so little about his life after the exile of the Noldor, and concludes with a reminder of his legacy in the legendarium. It is a very well-research and well-written piece, and it is worth the read!

We have some news from within our group this month. The Silmarillion (re)reading continues over on LiveJournal with two new chapters ("Of Beren and Luthien" and "Of the Fifth Battle") scheduled for this month. Ellyn has also kindly translated our Terms of Service into Italian, so that is now available. We also introduce a new challenge this month: Traditions, which asks writers to include an example of an oral tradition in their story, whether a song, poem, story, urban legend, or something else entirely. In honor of the many students traipsing back to school this month, we also revisit our Exchange Student challenge, which asks you to send a Modern-earth or Middle-earth student to live with another culture and see what they learn.

If you're looking for something to read, we had several stories added and updated last month. Check out the story list to catch up with what you missed. We also have a collection of articles and other resources in our Around the World and Web section.

Many thanks go out to Oshun, Russandol, Rhapsody, and Angelica for their newsletter contributions this month! I hope everyone enjoys the new edition.
dawn_felagund: (swg logo)
[personal profile] dawn_felagund
It's a bit late, but the August 2014 newsletter is posted at last!

http://www.silmarillionwritersguild.org/news/august2014.php

This month's edition contains lots and lots of goodies. First and foremost, I want to encourage everything to read Oshun's two-part biography of Círdan, the second part of which is this month's character biography. Círdan is easy to overlook as his deeds occur in the shadows of the more tragic and overtly heroic actions of his brethren, but Oshun makes the convincing case that Círdan--whose role in the events of the First through Third Ages was foretold and caused him to remain behind rather than going on the Valinor--has a hand in many of the good deeds being done in Middle-earth. He is a steady source of wisdom, good counsel, and shelter for many of those heroes, and Oshun's biography taught me quite a bit about this character we all know and yet many of us tend to forget.

And of course, it is August, which means Akallabêth in August, our annual month-long spotlight on everything Second Age. As in years past, we have put together a list of all of the Second Age stories on our archive, and we encourage you to check out a few (or many!) of these excellent stories, many of which have become fandom classics. (We do our best to collect all of the Second Age stories from our archive, but if you see something that is missing, please let us know at moderator AT silmarillionwritersguild DOT org so that we can add it.) Whether you find yourself often in the Second Age or not, we also encourage you to try your hand at writing something set in the Second Age this month.

July was a busy month for us. Our Silmarillion rereading continues on our LiveJournal with three new chapter discussions posted in July and two new ones coming up in August. We had our most successful year ever participating in the International Day of Femslash, so if you missed the wonderful stories written for this event, be sure to check them out. We had many new stories added or updated on our archive, so if you are looking for something to read, be sure to check out the list in the newsletter. Finally, at the end of the month, the SWG turned nine. (Yes. Nine. Which means next year will be ten, which to me is un-freaking-believable.) As we creep up on the decade mark, I would like to thank each of you who support our group, whether as an author or a volunteer or a reader, for continuing to make the SWG an awesome place to share work, find great stories to read, and a fun place to call a fandom home.

Finally, we have lots of announcements for things going on outside of our group: challenges, awards, meet-ups, calls for papers, and interesting articles, multimedia, and resources related to all things Tolkien. Check our our Around the World and Web section for more on these.

Huge thanks, as always, go to the indefatigable team of volunteers who make this newsletter possible, month after month: Oshun, Rhapsody, Angelica, and Russandol. I hope everyone enjoys the new newsletter!
dawn_felagund: (swg logo)
[personal profile] dawn_felagund
Our newsletter for this month has been posted on the webpage.

http://www.silmarillionwritersguild.org/news/june2014.php

This month's edition contains lots of goodies! First up is a biography of Nellas by our faithful biographer, Oshun. An Elf-maiden of Doriath, Nellas was a friend of Turin in his childhood whose guidance seems to have helped form his character, although he ultimately forgets her, perhaps an apt (however sad) ending for the story of a character who also never made it into the published Silmarillion. In addition to reviewing what the texts tell us about Nellas, Oshun's biography opens intriguing questions about the nature of relationships between Elves and mortals.

The podfic continues on hiatus for one more month but will be back in July with an extra-long, multi-chapter podfic to hopefully make up for our literal and figurative silence these past few months, so for those who enjoy this feature in the newsletter, no worries: It has not gone away, it has just gone on an extended holiday so that I could focus fannishly on B2MeM in the midst of some real life hecticness.

In terms of group news, the Silmarillion rereading continues over on our LiveJournal community, with "Of Men" (currently posted), "Of the Return of the Noldor," and "Of Beleriand and Its Realms" the chapters up for discussion this month. Even if you haven't jumped into the discussion yet, remember it is never to late to join in! The SWG will also be participating once again in the International Day of Femslash, so we encourage our current and wannabe femslash writers to start thinking about their stories for this year so that we can join other fandoms in bombarding the web with femslash on July 19. If you're looking for something to write, we continue our "Living Land" challenge and revisit "Of All That Remains," which asks writers to revisit a character's childhood memory. If you're looking for something to read, quite a few works were added or updated during the month of May, so check out our list of archive updates.

Outside of the SWG, there is a ton going on right now. Whether you're looking for a challenge to write for, a free course to take, or a conference to attend, the Tolkien fan community beyond our borders is quite busy at the moment. (Please remember that we are always on the lookout for announcements about Tolkienish happenings, whether fannish, scholarly, or somewhere in between! Just drop us an email or PM one of the mods, and we'll include the announcement in our next newsletter.)

Many thanks go out to those who wrote and assembled the content for this month's newsletter: Oshun, Rhapsody, Russandol, and Angelica. Thank you all! I hope everyone enjoys the new edition.
dawn_felagund: (swg logo)
[personal profile] dawn_felagund
Our newsletter for May 2014 has been posted on our website!

http://www.silmarillionwritersguild.org/news/may2014.php

We have lots of good stuff this month. Oshun's character biography this month is on Anairë, the wife of Fingolfin. Barely mentioned in the texts (and never in the Quenta Silmarillion proper), Anairë is in many ways a typical Tolkien woman character: little is said but lots could be inferred. Although she is fortunate to have been given a name (unlike many women characters), we know next to nothing about Anairë, yet she inspires fan writers and artists for the role she might have played in Fingolfin's reign in Aman; for her famed friendship with Earwen, the wife of Finarfin; and for her role as the mother of her courageous and independent-minded children. Oshun's essay explores what we know about her character within the larger context of how Tolkien depicted women generally.

The featured podfic is on a short hiatus and will return next month. In the meantime, we have lots of news from within and outside of our group to report. First of all, we have made a pretty big change to our policy on ratings and warnings. Authors are now allowed to select Author Chooses Not to Rate and/or Author Chooses Not to Warn if they prefer not to include ratings and/or warnings on their stories. The newsletter has more with full details in our ratings policy. The Silmarillion rereading on LiveJournal continues, progressing through some of the most turbid chapters in the book in April. "Of the Sindar" and "Of the Sun and Moon" are on tap for May 4 and May 18, respectively. Finally, the deadline for inclusion in the B2MeM ebook is creeping closer, so if this affects you, please make sure you get your paperwork in on time, if you want to be included. (Drop me a line if you have any questions or need help with this.)

We also have several announcements from beyond the SWG worth checking out. (Two with short deadlines: Ardor in August and Mythgard summer course registration both close on Sunday, so don't miss out if you're interested.) If you're looking for interesting articles and essays about Tolkien's world, our Around the World and Web section offers lots to choose from.

If you're looking for fiction to read, check out the list of stories added to and updated on the archive in April. If you're looking for fiction to write, we have two challenges running this month: "The Living Land" and "The Plot Thickens." More details are available in the challenges section of the newsletter.

I hope everyone enjoys the newsletter and want to send sincerest thanks to Oshun, Russandol, Rhapsody, and Angelica for their contributions this month!
dawn_felagund: (swg logo)
[personal profile] dawn_felagund
Trying to wrap up B2MeM and compile/post the newsletter always makes for a chaotic start to April, and the newsletter is a few days late as a result. However, it is finally finished and posted!

http://www.silmarillionwritersguild.org/news/april2014.php

In this month's edition, Oshun has written a biography of Nuneth, a character known only from Unfinished Tales as the mother of Erendis, Tar-Aldarion's headstrong wife, in the story Aldarion and Erendis: The Mariner's Wife. Unlike many of Tolkien's woman characters, Nuneth not only has a name--itself a noteworthy fact--but has a clear personality and hints of a background, which Oshun explores in this month's biography.

In group news, the SWG's eighth (!) year participating in Back to Middle-earth Month was again a success! This month's newsletter includes a brief recap and roundup of links relevant to authors, artists, and reviewers looking to finish up their participation this year. The Silmarillion re-read continues on our LiveJournal community with two new chapters open for discussion this month. Visit the News section to read about these and more news items relevant to our group.

If you're looking for something to write, check out our challenges. April contains Earth Day, so in honor of all things earthy, our challenges this month focus on nature. We open a new challenge this month, "The Living Land," which asks writers to continue Tolkien's tradition of writing about places so vivid and alive that they seem almost like characters themselves. We also revisit "Back to Nature," which asks writers to explore person-versus-nature conflicts. Around the World and Web also contains a few enticing challenges taking place outside of the SWG this month.

If you're looking for something to read, the newsletter contains a list of stories added to and updated on the archive during the month of March. In Around the World and Web, you will find a list of intriguing articles and resources about Tolkien's world to explore.

Many thanks to the volunteers who helped put this month's content together: Oshun, Russandol, Angelica, and Rhapsody. I hope everyone enjoys the newsletter!

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