News

Notes from Your Webmaster!

Challenge Banners


For participants in July's "Short and Sweet" challenge, GamgeeFest has made an adorable set of icons and banners that you can use to show off your accomplishments. You can find the banners and the HTML codes to display them on our Challenge Banners page!


Archive Bugs


A couple of bugs have crawled out from under the rug in the past month that may affect authors' use of the Many Paths to Tread archive in minor ways. One is completely harmless, just slightly pesky, and the other I am in the process of correcting on another site and will apply similiar changes to the MPTT site as well.


Story preview and series. Currently, when you add a new story and click the "Preview" button, the preview pane will show that your story belongs to the most recent series added to the archive. Don't fret, though--your story isn't actually being added to any series, and when you click to add the story, the series will display correctly.


Adding multiple subseries to a parent series. Currently, authors are only able to add one subseries to a parent series. This is a bug--you should be able to add as many subseries to a parent series as you would like--generating from an error in how our database is set up. I am working with another webmaster on another site to resolve the problem and will correct the problem here as well as soon as we confirm that our fix works. In the meantime, unfortunately, authors are limited to adding only one subseries to a parent series.


Thank you to the members who have reported bugs! Please remember that if you encounter any problems with the site, no matter how small, to report them to me at websmith@lotrgfic.com so that I can fix them.

Posted by: Dawn on 07/11/10 - 10:15 am()

July News

The July Challenge: Fixed-Length Ficlets

Since it was so popular last year, for the July Challenge at the LOTR GenFic Community we are repeating our Fixed-Length-Ficlet Challenge! the Theme will be "Short and Sweet", and all the stories will be Fixed-Length Ficlets. The element will be a number between 101 and 400. Interested authors can reply to this announcement and claim a number. No one will be allowed to have a number previously claimed. Whatever number is chosen will be the word count for your ficlet-- if you choose 237 your story must have exactly 237 words!

Stories will be due the weekend of Friday,July 16, and will be revealed on Monday, July 19. Please remember to use the template on the community profile page as a header, to put your story behind a cut, and to put the title of your story and your name as the subject. Tag your story "short and sweet".

To request your elements, please leave a comment to this post with the number you pick! If you have any questions, you can email the mods at aelfwina@gmail.com or virginia_lee_redcat@yahoo.com


I hope that we will have lots of participants for July’s challenge!

The June Challenge

We had six stories posted to the June challenge; we may have some late stories added to the challenge as well. Thank you to all the authors who participated.

The Summer Comment Challenge: Scavenger Hunt

We had so much fun with our Spring Comment Challenge that we are trying it again! This time there's a little twist!

The Mods at Many Paths to Tread (this community's archive) would like to announce our Summer Comment Challenge. This comment challenge will be a scavenger hunt! You find a story with one of the following elements in it. You then leave a comment for the author at Many Paths to Tread , and when you have found your items, you then post to the group. Do comment on the story, and not just on the item you find! You may set your own goals of finding 6, 8, 10 or 12 of the items on the followng list:

  1. A harp
  2. A ring that is NOT a Ring of Power
  3. A goblet
  4. A scabbard
  5. A ribbon
  6. A boot
  7. A pan (or a pot)
  8. A book (or scroll)
  9. A stone
  10. A baby
  11. A horse (or pony) mentioned by name
  12. Clouds

If you locate six of the items, you are a sharp-eyed Ranger.
If you locate eight of the items, you are an expert Elven archer.
If you locate ten of the items, you must be looking through a palantir.
If you locate all twelve of the items, you are proclaimed to be a Lord of the Eagles!

Those who reach their goals will get a special banner!


The challenge begins now, and will run until July 31! We hope everyone will have fun trying this out!

Volunteers wanted!

Would anyone care to make banners and icons for the group challenges? We would like to develop a pool of volunteers to draw from. We currently have just one person helping us with this and it would be of great benefit to have more people on board. We will provide details about what kinds of things we need as soon as we come up with helpers. Just email one of the mods if you would like to try your hand at it! For an example of the kind of thing we need, see the Challenge Banner page and the Commenter Banner page.

Many Paths to Tread First Anniversary Coming Up!

July 27 will mark one year since we started Many Paths to Tread! We have some special things planned to celebrate, including some new features! We'd also like to see 1,000 stories posted by that date, so keep up the good work with uploading your stories!

Odd (but Harmless!) Site Bug

It has come to our attention that there is a rather odd bug on the MPTT site. Luckily, it is also a harmless one! When you enter a new story and click "Preview," the preview pane will show your story belonging to the most recently added series on the site. This is just a glitch; your story will not actually be added to that series, and when you click to post your story, the series field should display correctly.

The MEFAs

The Middle-Earth Fanfiction Awards are in full swing. Nominations are closed, and now's the time to begin Reading and Reviewing! There are several stories from MPTT nominated!

Posted by: MPTT Mods on 06/25/10 - 08:11 pm()

June News

The June Challenge


The June Challenge will have the theme "White Tree". Stories should incorporate one of Arda's White Trees. Elements for the challenge will be a story starter.


The June challenge stories will be due the weekend of Friday, June 18, and will be revealed on Monday June 21. Please tag your story "white tree". Please remember to use the header template on the community profile page, and to put the name of your story and your name in the subject line.


To request your elements, please leave a comment to this post. If you have not participated before, please leave an email address so that I can send you your elements. Or you can email the mods at aelfwina@gmail.com or virginia_lee_redcat@yahoo.com


I hope we'll have lots of participants for our June challenge!


The May Challenge


We had eight stories posted to the May challenge; we may have some late stories added to the challenge as well. Thank you to all the authors who participated.


MPTT Anniversary


July will be the first anniversary of Many Paths to Tread, and we have some special things in mind to celebrate. Keep your eyes open for future announcements.


Shire Kitchen



The winner of the apron in the 2010 Shire Kitchen Recipe!Fic challenge was our own Pearl Took!


The MEFAs



The Middle-Earth Fanfiction Awards are in full swing. Nominations are still being accepted until June 15, and nominated authors have until June 21 to fill out their information. We encourage folks to take part in these awards; they are a lot of fun, and it's a great place to find new fic!


Silmarillion Writers' Guild


The SWG shares a birthday with MPTT and will be turning five at the end of this July! We are gearing up for our birthday celebration and welcome ideas from members and friends about how we should celebrate. We'd love to hear your ideas on how to commemorate SWG's fifth birthday!

Posted by: MPTT Mods on 05/31/10 - 03:42 pm()

News Updates

The March Challenge

We had a total of eight stories for the March "Mad as a March Hare" challenge! A big thank-you to all the participating authors!



April's Non-fiction Challenge!

In a recent discussion, several members indicated they would welcome a non-fiction challenge. And since thoughtful non-fiction essays and research on all things Tolkien are always to be welcomed, we would like to invite you to submit a non-fiction piece as your entry to the April Challenge.



We will assign no theme or element-- write your essay or research or informative article on whatever topic you choose. We ask only that it be focused on Tolkien or his world, and not merely a rant of likes or dislikes.



The April challenge essays will be due the weekend of Friday, April 16, and will be revealed on Monday, April 18. Please tag your piece "non-fiction". There will be a special header for the non-fiction challenge, please use it instead of the usual one.



You do not need to request an element, but please leave a comment to this post if you think you would like to participate, or if you have any questions.



I hope we'll have lots of participants for our April challenge!



The Shire Kitchen: Sixth Annual Recipe!Fic Challenge!

The LJ Community shire_kitchen would like to announce its Sixth Annual Recipe Fic Challenge. This is a chance to find a creative way to share your very favorite dishes as well as have the fun of writing a story! The theme for this year’s challenge will be: Special Ingredient!. (Interpret the phrase any way you want!)



THIS year there will be a special incentive to enter the Challenge. All authors who enter are eligible to have their name randomly drawn, to win this apron!



Yes, one lucky person will get this one-of-a-kind piece of wearable art! To see more details of the apron and how it was made, look here!

If you are interested in winning the apron, here are the rules and guidelines for the Shire Kitchen Recipe!Fic Challenge 2010!



We hope we'll have lots of participants this year!

Posted by: Dreamflower on 03/22/10 - 01:25 pm()

March News

The First Comment Challenge

Was a great success! We hope everyone will continue to comment on the great stories posted here! Look forward to a new comment challenge in the future!


The March Challenge

The March Challenge will have the theme "Mad as a March Hare". Stories should include a character who seems "mad" or is acting strangely or out-of-character-- for a reason! Your element will be a type of weather, which you will include in the story. The March challenge stories will be due the weekend of Friday, March 12, and will be revealed on Monday, March 15. Please tag your story "mad as a march hare". Please remember to use the header template on the community profile page, and to put the name of your story and your name in the subject line. To request your elements, please leave a comment to this post. If you have not participated before, please leave an email address so that I can send you your elements. Or you can email the mods at aelfwina@gmail.com or virginia_lee_redcat@yahoo.com.


I hope we'll have lots of participants for our March challenge!


From The Silmarillion Writers Guild
Back to Middle-earth Month 2010: The Final Battle

Imagine yourself far in the future from your favorite age of Arda. The Elves have long passed into the West. The Age of Men began millennia ago. Only in legend, largely forgotten, do the people of Middle-earth recall the Ring War, the ascension of King Aragorn, the last ship to depart from the Grey Havens. The world has again begun to change. The waves break on new lands, and a new threat passes its dark hand across the tired face of the Sun. Perhaps in the deepest and long-forgotten lore the people of Arda can find the secrets to overcome this new threat?In this year's B2MeM challenge, you will write or draw your way to triumph for the people of Arda! The event incorporates a writing/art challenge with a quest game. You may play on your own or with a team, and all Tolkien-based writing and artwork is accepted! You do not need to be an SWG member to participate. For more information, please see the B2MeM 2010 website.


From WendWriter at Archives of Excellence

The Golden Quill Awards has opened for business. Nominations can be made today by replying to the relevant posts on the site blog. There's one for each genre. Nominations are open till the end of May.


Genres

Action/adventure
Angst
Drama
Family
Horror
Hurt/comfort
Parody/comedy
Poetry
Romance
Science Fiction
Spiritual/supernatural
Thriller


Rules

What I do is contact the nominee and say, "I'd like to nominate your story, 'X,' for the Golden Quill Awards. If you're happy with this, please let me know, then email admin@archives-of-excellence.9f.com to accept your nomination. To find out more, please go to golden-quills.9f.com. All the details are there." Nominations for any fandom are welcome.


From Juno and Aranel at There and Back Again

Because it fits the occasion, today "There and Back Again" presents the Romantic Dinner Challenge.


If you choose to accept this challenge,



For information on how to participate, see the There and Back profile page.

Posted by: Dreamflower on 01/31/10 - 01:03 pm()

Adding to Open Series on the MPTT Archive--UPDATED!

Update! The software developer has replied to my bug report, and the bug has been fixed. Authors should now be able to add their stories to any series that is set to open. If you have any questions or problems adding your story, please let one of us know.



Dawn






Hi, all,


A bug in the archive software has come to our attention concerning how authors add to series. Currently, series on MPTT may be set to open, moderated, or closed. If a series is set to open, any author can add her or his story to the series. For example, the series on the archive that are related to our monthly challenges are always set to open so that, if you have written a story for the challenge, you may add it to the series.


Currently, however, open series are not allowing members to add their stories to the series. Until this bug is squashed, hopefully in the next software update, please contact the site admins if you would like to add a story to an open series. All of the admins can be reached at manypaths@lotrgfic.com and I can be reached at websmith@lotrgfic.com. As always, please don't hesitate to contact us--we are happy to help! :)


Best regards,
Dawn
MPTT webmaster

Posted by: Dawn Felagund on 01/24/10 - 07:03 pm()

Important Events

We have added a page to the site to list auctions on the Help Haiti LiveJournal community that are being run by members of MPTT and the broader Tolkien community. Please check out their auctions, and if you have your own auction going, email me at websmith@lotrgfic.com to be added to the list!


Help Haiti is a multi-fandom effort aimed at raising donations for earthquake relief efforts in Haiti by auctioning fanworks and services in exchange for donations to relief organizations.


Help Haiti Auction List


Congratulations to our members!  


Several of the members of Many Paths to Tread had nominated stories that placed in the 2009 MEFAs!  We'd like to congratulate all of you who won, and all of you who had stories nominated!  We encourage you to add your winner's banners to your stories, and if they are not already here at the archive, to add the stories here!    It's not too soon to begin keeping track of stories you'd like to nominate for 2010- if the story is archived here, consider using the MPTT URL when nominating the story!  


February Challenge: Send It In a Letter  


While the January story deadline has been extended for one week, we are still announcing next month's challenge, so that you will have plenty of time!

The February Challenge will have the theme "Send It In a Letter". Stories should either be written as a letter or contain a letter as a major part of the story. The element for the challenge will be a type of letter (e.g. "love letter"; "business letter"; "letter of recommendation"; etc).

The February challenge stories will be due the weekend of Friday, February 12, and will be revealed on Monday, February 15. Please tag your story "letters". Please remember to use the header template on the community profile page, and to put the name of your story and your own name in the subject line.

To request your elements, please leave a comment to this post. If you have not participated in the challenges before, please leave an email address so that I can send you your element. Or you can email the mods at aelfwina@gmail.com or virginia_lee_redcat@yahoo.com.

I hope we'll have lots of participants for our February challenge!



  READ AND REVIEW!  


We are so proud of the lovely Top Commenter banners and icons that we have available to our members!  Remember, if you are able to reach the "10 Most Prolific Reviewer" list, you will be entitled to one of those lovely banner/icon sets for your own use!     Thanks so much to Rhapsody for all her work on them!   


  From Wendwriter at Archives of Excellence


Writing Challenge: Before the Beginning


Happy new year, everyone! Posting for the monthly Archives of Excellence writing challenge begins today. The story must have a reference or allusion to the role that your favourite character is going to play in the events of your fandom. Perhaps something significant that they do - let's say, overcome a fear of something to help another character in a pivotal scene. The idea is more than a gapfiller - it must tell us something about who the character will become. 


You can pick up your entrants' icons on my LiveJournal account.    As usual, the story can be any length for any genre for any fandom. The best entries will be added to the story challenges page here at the Archives.   Entries can be made on the Story Challenges thread at Can We Talk? my forum on fanfiction.net, or you can email them to me here at the Archives: admin@archives-of-excellence.9f.com. The winner will be chosen by a poll on Can We Talk? at fanfiction.net.


From The Silmarillion Writers Guild


Lost Letters Challenge




 Your character is going through paperwork, an old trunk, or the dusty shelves in an forgotten part of the library when she or he discovers a letter from someone no longer present. What does the letter say? What does your character do (or not do) as a result of it? January 2010 SWG Newsletter
Are the two Glorfindels actually the same person? What song did Fingon sing to rescue Maedhros? Do Elves indulge in the same holiday mayhem as we do? All of this and more can be found in this month's newsletter!


Back to Middle-earth Month 2010





This year's B2MeM event will be a team challenge in the form of a quest game. We are looking for volunteers who would like to help us plan and run the game, as well as looking for other Tolkien-related groups that would like to get involved. Please note that you do not need to be an SWG member in order to volunteer, and the event will welcome all Tolkien-related fiction and artwork, not just work that focuses on The Silmarillion. Please contact us for more information on how to volunteer or get your group involved.



 Teitho



At Teitho, the challenge for January is The Price of Freedom: Freedom is one of the most precious things in life. Unfortunately, often we only start to appreciate it once we've lost it. And since it is so precious and fragile, sometimes we have to go to great lenghts to ensure it or win it back. This time around, we want you to explore these lengths. The deadline for this challenge is January 25th. If you want to know more and/or participate, please visit the website..

Posted by: Dreamflower on 01/18/10 - 09:23 am()

Help Haiti

We have added a page to the site to list auctions on the Help Haiti LiveJournal community that are being run by members of MPTT and the broader Tolkien community. Please check out their auctions, and if you have your own auction going, email me at websmith@lotrgfic.com to be added to the list!



Help Haiti is a multi-fandom effort aimed at raising donations for earthquake relief efforts in Haiti by auctioning fanworks and services in exchange for donations to relief organizations.



Help Haiti Auction List

Posted by: Dawn on 01/16/10 - 08:06 am()

Using CAPTCHA Verification on the MPTT Archive

Hi, all,


Some of you may have noticed that we've had a rush of registrations lately from people who aren't here for Tolkien fanfic; they're spammers, and if that was not bad enough, some of what they're peddling is not acceptable for this site. This is the second time we've had a rush of spammers like this, and both times, they are coming from the same places. This sort of activity makes for unpleasant experiences for all, so we're trying to put a stop to it.


To this point, we have not used CAPTCHA verification for members signing up for a new account. CAPTCHA verification is when you are asked to type a string of letters and numbers to prove that you're a human. We've decided to turn on CAPTCHA for Many Paths to Tread in hopes that it might deter the number of bogus accounts that are being created on the site.


We apologize for any inconvenience caused by this. CAPTCHA is annoying, which is why we have avoided using it on the site, but spammers from websites that would make Sauron blush and double the security needed to enter Barad-dûr are pretty awful too. As always, if you run into any problems with using the site, please don't hesitate to contact me, no matter how small or silly you think it is--I'm always happy to help!


Dawn Felagund
MPTT webmaster
websmith@lotrgfic.com

Posted by: Dawn on 01/07/10 - 11:20 am()

January 2010 Potluck Challenge

Since December is a very busy month for most of us, what with RL holiday obligations, and the many fic exchanges that take place (including the GFIC Yule Exchange), we are not having a December Challenge. Instead, we are giving you a head-start on January's Challenge!


Once again we are having Potluck for the New Year! Behind the cut are the themes and unclaimed elements for ten months of 2009. (January and December are not included, as January is always "potluck" and December is always the Exchange). If you would like to participate in the January Challenge, look through the elements posted, and choose one. Comment to   THIS POST  with the number of the prompt you have chosen, and I will strike it from the list. For June and July, you do not need to choose a prompt-- just follow the instructions for that month. This is your chance to take part in a challenge you missed. Also, if you claimed a prompt for any month last year and did not finish your story in time, you may enter that instead.  (Please comment at the post linked on LiveJournal, and NOT to this email post, as that way you will be able to see which prompts have already been claimed.)


Stories will be due the weekend of January 15th, and will be revealed on Monday January 17th. Please remember to put your story title and your name on the subject line, and to use the header provided on the community profile page. Tag your story "010 january potluck challenge".We look forward to seeing your stories!


Just in time for Christmas!


 Just in time for you to add to your Christmas wish list-- Dawn's designed a lovely logo, and we have MPTT T-shirts, mugs, mousepads and so forth for those who'd like to show off their affiliation with the archive!


Reminder:


To those participating in the LOTR_GFIC_Community's Yule Fic Exchange, remember that stories are due by December 14.  If you are going to be a bit late, please contact the mods.  Also, if you do not think you can finish your story at all, please contact us ASAP, so that we can line up a pinch hitter!


News from Other Groups



Archives of Excellence   One of our members WendWriter, has a multi-fandom archive, Archives of Excellence, where several of our authors have stories posted. The Archive is currently running an Awards poll, the Golden Quill Awards, for the best of stories in several genres and fandoms. Voting is open until December 12.



 Silmarillion Writers Guild  


Current challenge: Lost Letters
Your character is going through paperwork, an old trunk, or the dusty shelves in an forgotten part of the library when she or he discovers a letter from someone no longer present. What does the letter say? What does your character do (or not do) as a result of it    Back to Middle-earth Month 2010
This year's B2MeM event will be a team challenge in the form of a quest game. We are looking for volunteers who would like to help us plan and run the game, as well as looking for other Tolkien-related groups that would like to get involved. Please note that you do not need to be an SWG member in order to volunteer, and the event will welcome all Tolkien-related fiction and artwork, not just work that focuses on The Silmarillion. Please contact us for more information on how to volunteer or get your group involved.

SWG December 2009 Newsletter
All the news from in and around the SWG--plus new columns and comics--can be found in our newsletter!  


 The Middle-Earth Fanfiction Awards

The 2009 MEFAwards (Middle-Earth Fanfiction Awards) have only one month to go!  A number of our members are participants in the MEFAs, and many of them also have stories that have been nominated. It's not too late to join and add your own reviews! Here is a link to a post with all the information you will need: On MEFA membership. Voting closes on December 31, so you may well want to redouble your efforts to read and review!



From Teitho  


 Teitho  is an LOTR challenge site, offering monthly challenges on various themes. December is almost there and that means christmas is coming. This is the season when we spend more time with our families and friends and when we take a special joy in finding gifts for our loved ones. And surely, our heroes like gifts as well, therefore the theme for December is Giving Gifts, Receiving Gifts.


On which occasion would you get gifts in the different societies in Middle Earth? For your birthday? For solstice? Are there other special occasions? And what could you give the King of Gondor or Arnor? What present should you get an elf who has everything for his begetting day? Must a gift always be tangible? Besides the obvious book, swords or candlestick - what else could be considered a gift? What about love, friendship, loyalty, trust?


Choose this theme to explore different cultures and the contexts in which the give and receive gifts. Or choose this theme to write about families and friends!


You have one month to write a story for this challenge. The deadline is December 27th, by this date you should have sent your story to teitho.contest@gmail.com if you want to participate.


 

Posted by: Dreamflower on 12/01/09 - 03:14 pm()

The November Challenge

The November Challenge will have the theme "Dialogue". Stories should consist of all or nearly all, dialogue-- tags such as "he said" or "she said" will be allowed. But try tell the entire story in conversation. Elements will be four random elements you will need to include in the story.

The November challenge stories will be due the weekend of Friday, November 20, and will be revealed on Monday, November 23. Please tag your story "Dialogue". Please remember to use the header template on the community profile page, and put the name of your story and your name in the subject line.

To request your elements, please leave a comment to this post. If you have not participated before, please leave an email address so that I can send you your elements. Or you can email the mods at aelfwina@gmail.com or virginia_lee_redcat@yahoo.com

I hope we'll have lots of participants for our November challenge!

LOTR GenFic Community Yule Fic Exchange

If you are wishing to participate, please have your request sent to the mods by November 8!

Rules and Guidelines for Yule Fic Exchange:

1. Everyone who requests a story agrees to write one in exchange. Authors will remain anonymous until one week after the stories are posted.

2. Stories should be a minimum of 1,000 words. This is to ensure that one person doesn't get a drabble while another gets a novel.

3. Ratings and Genre must be according to the group's rules on the homepage: http://groups.yahoo.com/group/LOTR_Community_GFIC/
and more detailed guidelines are to be found in the group file, "Ratings and their definitions.rtf" . Please ask if you have any questions.

4. Please indicate what you are willing to write! For example, let us know if there are any characters/genres/rating/time period, etc that you don't want to write about. Likewise, indicate the same for things you are willing to write about.

Ex: "I am willing to write hobbits and men. I don't want to write elves." Or: "I know nothing about the First Age so please don't ask me to write anything in that time period."
However, remember that the more picky you are about what you're willing to write the harder it may be to match you to someone's request so try to keep as open a mind as possible! It also helps if you are not too precise (AKA, "laundry list") about what you want in your fic. Remember, we will be matching a wide variety of people and the more you require, the harder it may be to find the right person to write your story.

5. Please EMAIL your requests along with what you're willing to write about to either Dreamflower ( aelfwina@gmail.com ) or Cathleen (virginia_lee_redcat@yahoo.com ) , but DO NOT post them on the group's list please!

6. Requests will be assigned the week of November 8 . If you have not already made your request, you need to do so by November 6. If you *have* already made one, you may wish to check and see if it has been received.

7. Writers will have until December 1st to notify the mods of progress on the story. If you believe that you will be unable to complete your story, you must let us know by that date. Stories must be turned in by December 14. Requests for brief one or two day extensions will be handled on a case by case basis (e.g. Your story is finished but is in beta, or your story is nearly finished and just needs a little tweaking on the word count or something of that nature. )

Those who do *not* complete their assigned stories on time *and* fail to notify the mods of the problem, will be banned from participating again. We have to be firm about this rule because it is really unfair for someone who writes to miss out on receiving a story in return!

8. If you are willing to pinch hit, please let us know ASAP.

9. If you are willing to beta for the exchange, also please let us know. Some people do have their own betas, but others do not, and it is a good idea to have any exchange story beta'd. It's a gift, after all, and you want it to be a good one!

10. Stories will be emailed to the mods, who will see to their posting on the reveal date. The reveal, will be Dec. 31, which was the date chosen by a poll of the membership. Authors will remain anonymous for one week, so that readers may have the fun of guessing who might have written the story; then the authors will be revealed as well, on Jan. 6. Please do not respond to comments before that date, and please do not post the story on another site until AFTER that date.

11. This really should not be necessary to remind you of: but, please remember to acknowledge your gift! Read your story and thank the author!

Many Paths to Tread Opening to the Public!

On January 1, the archive will open posting privileges to the public. Up until now, they have been confined to members of the LOTR_Community_GenFic and its sister group, [info]lotr_community on LiveJournal. Please spread the word to your friends!

From The Silmarillion Writers Guild

The current challenge at The Silmarillion Writers Guild is Another Place in Time.
When we write about Silmarillion events, our stories often concern the time and place where the action primarily occurred. However, there is a broad world beyond--what was going on there, at the same moment in time? This challenge asks authors to move beyond the places and times of familiar events to consider what was going on elsewhere in Arda at the same time as a major event covered in The Silmarillion. How--if at all--did the event impact what was transpiring elsewhere at the same time?

The Middle-Earth Fanfiction Awards

The 2009 MEFAwards (Middle-Earth Fanfiction Awards) are in full swing. Nominations have been made, categorization is under way, and soon it will be "voting season" (even though you do not have to wait for "voting season" to begin voting. A number of our members are participants in the MEFAs, and many of them also have stories that have been nominated. It's not too late to join and add your own reviews! Here is a link to a post with all the information you will need: On MEFA membership.

News From Other Groups Welcome!

If you know of other writing groups in the LOTR fandom which have news or challenges, please send the information to the mods for inclusion on this page!

GeoCities Websites Now Closed

With the closing of GeoCities, many of the URLs to some of our favorite sites are no longer valid. This includes some sites on our Resource Page! If you should happen to know if any of those sites have been relocated, or of suitable substitutes for those sites, please let the mods know!

Posted by: Dreamflower on 11/04/09 - 08:53 am()

Word Counts on MPTT and Upcoming Site Downtime

Greetings, all,

It has come to my attention that there are some slight differences between word counts generated on the MPTT archive and those generated by MS Word or by a hand count. The difference tends to be slight: only a few words. For most stories, this is not much of an issue, but for fixed-length stories, such as drabbles, where the goal is to achieve a pre-determined word count, even being one word off is problematic.

The software we use generates word counts slightly differently than MS Word does, which can result in inconsistencies between the two. Unfortunately, this is not something that we can change, and it is a problem common to not just MPTT but all sites that use this software package.

If your story is intended to meet a fixed word count, I would suggest including the final word count in the Chapter Notes. These notes will not only show at the top of the chapter but will also show on the Table of Contents beneath the title for that chapter, where the reader can see your word-count goal before clicking on the story.

Secondly, our webhost has scheduled site maintenance for August 28. This maintenance will require them to take down the site for about an hour. They expect to complete their work between 7 and 9 a.m. GMT. If you notice the site is still down or is not working properly after that time, please let one of the admins know at manypaths@lotrgfic.com or websmith@lotrgfic.com.

Thank you and may the muses smile upon you! :)

Dawn

MPTT webmaster

Posted by: Dawn Felagund on 08/27/09 - 08:23 am()

Our New Resource Page!

We've added for your convenience a page of Useful Links and Resources. These are links not only to sites on writing and on fanfic, but also to things specific to writing fanfic in Middle-earth, such as links to names and languages, geography and so forth. There are also links to useful sites dealing with medicine and herbs (for the h/c writer), flora and fauna and other miscellaneous things.


All of these links have been checked out, and we hope you will find them helpful, and that you will be able make use of them.  Please feel free to suggest to us any additions to this list.


Dreamflower


Lingering Issues with the Character Lists


Hi, all,


It has come to my attention that we have some lingering issues concerning the character list from which authors choose characters when posting a story. In a nutshell, the character list includes sitewide characters--those who might feasibly appear in stories belonging to multiple categories--and characters that are assigned to a particular category. When you select a category for your story, the sitewide character list should expand to include characters specific to that category as well. For example, if you select The Silmarillion as a category, the character Elf: Fëanor becomes available to you. If you select The Hobbit as a category, Other: Beorn becomes available, but Elf: Fëanor is not. This helps to keep the character list manageable, given the sheer number of characters that appear in JRR Tolkien's many different works.


It should work that way. But it hasn't been. Authors who use Internet Explorer have found that, when they select a category, the characters assigned to that category are not being added to the list.


The developers of our software supposedly created a fix for this problem; however, as many of you have learned the hard way, the problem persists. Unfortunately for IE users, this means that we are stuck waiting for a better solution. Luckily, we have discovered a work-around for this problem until it is fixed.


IE users should fill out the entire form, including what characters are available to them on the sitewide list. Then click the "Preview" button at the bottom of the story form. The character list available on the preview page will include sitewide characters and any characters assigned specifically to the categories you have chosen. You are free to add the remainder of the characters then and post the story.


If you still do not see the character(s) that you need, please select "ADMIN: New Character Needed." One of us will be in touch with you to see who you need added to the list and will gladly do so. I generally check at least once per day to see if any characters are needed and the other mods are keeping an eye on this as well, so you should hear from one of us within a day. If you do not, as always, you are welcome to contact me at websmith@lotrgfic.com or the rest of the site admins at manypaths@lotrgfic.com.


If we do not hear back from you within a week or so, we may removed the "ADMIN: New Character Needed" flag from your story in order to keep ourselves organized and prevent multiple admins from contacting the same person about the same request. Of course, we are still willing to add the characters you need, even if we remove the flag; just get in touch with us at your convenience at either of the site email addresses, and we'll be happy to help you.


I know that there have been some bumps in the road as we get the site off the ground. I thank all of you for your patience and support as we try to figure out and solve problems. Please keep the questions and suggestions coming! :)


All the best,


Dawn Felagund
MPTT webmaster

Posted by: Dawn Felagund on 08/12/09 - 04:24 pm()

Some Tech Tips for Using the New Site

Greetings, all!


I am honored to have been asked to act as the webmaster for the LotR GenFic Community's new site. If you have any problems with or questions about using the site, please don't hesitate to let me know. I can be reached at websmith@lotrgfic.com, or let one of the other mods know, and they'll pass along the necessary information to me.


There are, however, a few bits of information I'd like to pass along that should make using the site easier for everyone. Firstly, those of you who wrote for recent challenges have an account here already. I have sent out emails to all existing members with your login and password information. If you're not sure if you have an account or if you have trouble logging in, please let me know.


Once you're logged into the site, you will see a link for Account Info. This is in the upper right-hand corner of the site. This is where you can update your user information, change your email address, post a new story, and so on. However, there are a couple of features hidden in there that I think might be especially useful to folks.


There are two different layouts--or skins--available on Many Paths to Tread. The one you see when you're not logged in is the design where I pulled out all the stops in building it. However, this means that it is full of graphics and scripts and will possibly run slowly if you're working on dial-up or a slower connection. The second skin is aimed at making the site faster for those on slower connections.


To change the skin, go to the Account Info link after you've logged on. There is a link to Edit Preferences near the bottom. Click on that and the final option allows you to choose the skin you'd like to see displayed when using the site. "Arda" is the main, graphics-intensive skin. "Ainulindale" is the low-bandwidth skin for those users working on slower connections. I have at least one more skin designed, so there will be more options available here eventually as well.


While you're on this Edit Preferences page, you might also want to set your account so that you receive email notifications when you get a new review on your story, or when an author replies to a review that you've left. By default, you are not notified by email; if you'd like to be, simply check the relevant boxes, and notifications will be sent to the account you have registered with the site.


Getting used to a new site can be a little frustrating. I thank those of you who have been patient with us so far as we get issues resolved and encourage anyone who has questions or problems--no matter how silly or small you think they are--to let us know. Have fun playing with the site; I look forward to the excellent fiction I know will be posted here!


All the best,
Dawn

Posted by: Dawn Felagund on 07/27/09 - 08:21 pm()