The Silmarillion Writers' Guild--An Online Community for Silmarillion Study and Fan Fiction


Quick Links: What Is This Event? | Participant Guidelines | Rights Acquired | How to Sign Up | Prompt List

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On September 15, 2017, The Silmarillion will celebrate its 40th anniversary of publication. It was Tolkien's life's work, it took more than his lifetime to publish, and it is the reason we are all gathered here, so we cannot let this occasion pass without a celebration.

In honor of The Silmarillion's 40th anniversary, we will be putting together a compilation of stories, poems, and artwork about--what else?--The Silmarillion. More specifically, we will post a story and/or artwork each day for forty days, beginning on September 15, giving a fannish retelling of this book that we all love.

What Is This Event?

We will be putting together a compilation of stories, art, and poetry that spans the entire Silmarillion. What is a compilation? It's a permanent, themed collection of fanworks, housed on its own section of the site, similar to an online magazine. A new fanwork will be released daily, beginning on September 15th and for forty days afterward. You can see past examples of compilations we've done with Akallabeth in August and the SWG Fifth Birthday.

We have created a list of forty important events from The Silmarillion that will serve as prompts. If you want to create a type of fanwork that is not fiction, poetry, or art, let us know the type of fanwork when signing up and what you might need from us, e.g., file hosting.) Prompts will be assigned on a first-come-first-served basis.

Your fanwork should be set roughly in the time period of the event you choose. (Note that, yes, that gives you some leeway to write about things that a little before or after your event, if they're not on the list.) That's the only requirement! Your fanwork does not have to be specifically about that event. For example, if you claim the prompt "Lúthien Dances for Morgoth," you can write about Lúthien actually performing that dance. Or you could write about what Melian is experiencing as her daughter faces down the Dark Lord. You can write about what is going through the Fëanorians' minds as their long-thwarted objective is achieved by a girl dancing. Or you can write about what's going down in Ossiriand with a bunch of Wood Elves who don't even know who Lúthien is. Just as long as the fanwork occurs around the time of that event, you are free to be creative!

We are now accepting multiple prompt claims from participants who want to create for more than one.

Please note that each prompt has a due date associated with it. You must send your fanwork to us at on or before that date. We will post your fanwork to the Silmarillion 40 webpage and our archive on the reveal date. If you are unable to complete your prompt, please let us know as soon as possible so that we can find a pinch hitter.

Participant Guidelines

Please read these carefully before signing up. By signing up, you are expressing that you have read and understand the guidelines, including about rights acquired.

  1. A compilation is a permanent collection. It is like having your work published in an online magazine. We will not update or change works in the compilation, and you will not be able to self-edit your work. Please make sure you read the section on rights acquired below before agreeing to participate.
  2. You must have or be willing to allow us to create an account for you on the SWG archive. All fanworks created for this project will be crossposted to our archive so that you will be able to receive comments on your work. You will have free control to edit, delete, and update your work on our archive. Please note that changing your work on the archive will not change it in the compilation, and Rule 1 still holds true.
  3. The fanwork you create must be unpublished (online or in print) prior to being published in our compilation. Once we post your work to our site, you can crosspost it as freely as you want.
  4. The fanwork you submit must be able to stand on its own. It's fine if it's part of an existing verse or series as long as readers can understand it without reading your prior work. Works-in-progress are fine as long as the section you submit can stand on its own as a satisfying fanwork. (Once you finish your story, we will add the full story to the compilation if you want us to do so.)
  5. All genres, ratings, and pairings are welcome. You can stick as close to canon or wander as far from it as you want. All relationships--gen, het, slash, or poly, canon and not--are welcome. Alternate universe (AU) and crossovers are fine.
  6. There is no length requirement for stories, but if you end up attempting a novella or a novel, please make sure to adhere to Rule 4.
  7. You do not need to have a beta reader, but if you want one and need assistance finding one, please let the mods know.
  8. Your work must be sent to us by the due date at We will post your work for you on the Silmarillion 40 site and the SWG archive. If we don't receive your work on time, we will reassign your prompt to a pinch hitter.
  9. If you can't complete your prompt, please let us know as soon as possible. If you suspect you might not be able to complete your prompt, please let us know as soon as possible. If you need to be late, please let us know as soon as possible. We will not hold it against anyone who needs to drop out or be late. We all have busy lives and know how Real Life sometimes mobs you right when you have a deadline to meet. However, participants who simply fail to turn in their work without notifying us may not be permitted to participate in similar events in the future.
  10. We will promote and link fanworks created for this compilation on our communities on Dreamwidth, LiveJournal, and Tumblr. If you are not comfortable with your works being linked on one or more of these spaces, please let us know when you sign up.

Rights Acquired

The SWG obtains one-time publication rights for work submitted to projects like Silmarillion 40. What this means in plain English is that you are granting us permission to put your work up on our site for this single event. You will maintain all rights and copyrights to your work, including the right to have it removed from the site at any time by contacting the SWG moderators. We ask that contributors to Silmarillion 40 avoid publicly posting their work before it is revealed as part of the project; after that, of course, you are welcome and encouraged to post it wherever else you'd like. We also ask that authors consider their participation in the project before committing to it; if you do not expect that you will be happy having your work on the site in a year or ten year's time, this challenge will not be a good fit for you. Our volunteers put a lot of time into putting together projects like these, so we prefer work not be withdrawn after publication. Authors who ask that their work be removed from the compilation may be asked not to participate in future compilations.

How to Sign Up

You can view the list of available prompts here. Please note that, while we're going to do our best to keep this updated, we're real live humans behind this project, not machines, and things like our jobs or our families or even just the need to sleep may mean that a prompt that appears to be available is not in fact available.

You may sign up by commenting on this Dreamwidth post or emailing us at Please be sure to include the following information:

*If you don't have an SWG account already, provide the username you'd like us to use. We will register an account for you when we post your work using the username and email address you provide.

If you'd be willing to collaborate with a person creating fiction/poetry or artwork for the same prompt, you can let us know that as well.

Formats of fanwork other than writing and artwork are welcome; please just let us know what you'll be creating and what you'll need from us (such as file hosting for a podfic, et cetera).

We will contact you to let you know the prompt you will be completing and remind you of the due date. If you don't hear from us within 24 hours, feel free to query.

If you'd be willing to pinch hit, please let us know.