At the end of the month, on July 28, the SWG will celebrate its tenth birthday. This has been an incredible ten years for me and, I know, a lot of our members as well: Ten years filled with new friends and new insights, overzealous muses and hungry bunnies, a little drama and a lot of enthusiasm, and thousands and thousands of fanworks. My comods and I have been discussing and planning for months now how to celebrate our tenth birthday. In true Tolkienian fashion, we wanted it to be a way to give back to the members and friends who have shown this community so much love and support over the last decade.
We have two gifts that we've put together and would like to share with the Tolkien fan community: a brand new shiny Silmfic prompt generator
(and a writing contest with a drawing for prizes for anyone who wants to take it for a spin!) and a birthday card collection
so that you can show love and appreciation for the people who make this fandom such a wonderful place.
Silmfic Prompt Generator and Prize Drawing
Over the past month, my comods and I have been collaborating to build a random Silmfic prompt generator
. If you've ever been in the mood to write but had trouble coming up with an idea (or if you loved all those BINGO prompts from B2MeM 2012 ...), this generator was made with you in mind! With ten categories--one for each year we've been in existence--and thousands of prompts within those categories, it results in all but endless combinations of prompts that are almost certainly unique to you. You can roll in as few or as many categories as you want, and you can reroll as many times as you want. Maybe you just want a new character to explore in a character study; maybe you want to challenge yourself to write something using all ten categories. (And trust me, when you roll all ten, it gets pretty bizarre pretty fast!) It is intentionally flexible so it can be used in any way you see fit to inspire your fanworks.
Now we can hardly unveil this new gizmo without encouraging people to use it. During the month of July, we encourage our members to play with the prompt generator and create fanworks based on it. On August 1, we will be holding a drawing for anyone who participates to win some Silmarillion
-themed prizes. (I will have more details on these very shortly; Mr. Felagund is handling this part of the event and has come up with many ideas, but I honestly just haven't had a chance to sit down with him and make some decisions because *pointed look at generator and birthday cards* ... I've been otherwise engaged!)
10th Birthday Prize Drawing Rules
- All stories written using the Silmfic prompt generator during the month of July are eligible for the drawing.
- In order to be eligible, stories created for the contest must
- be posted to the SWG archive at silmarillionwritersguild.org. Stories posted to our LiveJournal, Dreamwidth, Yahoo! or Tumblr groups are not eligible.
- select 10th Birthday Celebration Contest from the Challenges list. Please note that there is also a 10th Birthday Celebration NO CONTEST option for those who wish to write using the generator in honor of our birthday but don't want to be entered in the drawing; make sure you select the correct challenge.
- list the prompts you used to create the story in the Story Notes or Chapter Notes.
- You can roll for just one category or all ten. You can reroll in a category if you want to, so if you end up with an impossible prompt or something you're just not comfortable writing, feel free to try again. And again and again. (Seriously, we have no idea if and how many times you reroll! Have fun with it!)
- Each story posted will result in one entry into the drawing. (So if you post five stories, you will have five entries into the drawing.)
- Each participant is eligible to win only once.
- If you win, you must be willing to provide a mailing address for us to send your prize to you.
- If you post an entry as part of an existing collection, please make sure to select 10th Birthday Celebration Contest from the challenges list and identify the prompts you used in the chapter notes for the piece or pieces that you are entering. This is how our mods will know from the table of contents of your collection which pieces in the collection are being entered, so it is important to place the prompts in the correct location.
- You can add a chapter to an existing work-in-progress using the prompt generator. Again, make sure to select the correct challenge and include your prompts in the chapter notes for the chapter(s) you are entering.
- The contest begins July 1 and ends on July 31 at midnight Eastern Daylight Time (EDT). We will draw winners on August 1. Winners will be notified at the email address they have listed on the SWG archive, so please make sure this is correct if you are participating. If we do not hear back within a week, we will re-draw a new winner. If you expect to be offline during the week after the drawing, please let us know ahead of time so that we do not give away your prize if you win and cannot respond within a week.
As always, questions are welcome here or at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Of course, fandom--even the fanfic community--is about more than just writing. There are the readers, reviewers, betas, researchers, podfic readers, volunteers, artists, and friends who keep us coming back, day after day and year after year. During the month of July, we hope to provide a way to acknowledge and celebrate the myriad people in our fandom lives who make this community fun.
During the month of July, we invite participants to send birthday cards to the SWG members who make the fandom a better place for them. Our generous volunteers have made over one hundred (!) beautiful digital cards that you can select from and send to the SWG members of your choice along with a personalized message. Our birthday card form
includes instructions and allows you to easily select what you'd like to send and to whom. The master list of birthday cards
includes full-sized images of all the cards you can choose from.
On August 1, we will begin compiling digital albums of cards for each recipient that they can enjoy and return to whenever they want.
I want to close out by thanking the wonderful volunteers who made all of this possible. Our card artists included Oshun, Independence1776, Klose, Elleth, Lyra, and Ysilme. Elleth, Linda Hoyland, Lyra, and Sirielle generously granted use of their photography and/or artwork for the project. These contributors have created true works of art for our members and friends to share with each other. (And there are
birthday cards for bannermakers and artists, just sayin' ... ;) Last but certainly not least, my wonderful team of comods helped with everything from writing those thousands of prompts to running database queries to nitpicking my writing to thinking of things I never would have.
I hope everyone enjoys our month-long birthday celebration! Here's to another ten years! <3