Back to Middle-earth Month 2011: Passport to Middle-earth

All Challenges | How to Participate


Every year during the month of March, in honor of Frodo destroying the One Ring in Mount Doom, Tolkien fandom groups participate in Back to Middle-earth (B2MeM) events. Once again, the moderators at the Silmarillion Writers' Guild and Many Paths to Tread have teamed up to host a month-long challenge event to inspire our authors and writers during the month of March.

Pack your bags, change the batteries in your camera, and don't forget the sunscreen--this month, we will take a month-long holiday to our favorite places in Middle-earth for Passport to Middle-earth, a daily creative challenge for our writers and artists. Every day, the tour will stop in a new location in Middle-earth and, with it will come a new challenge to tempt your muses. We invite you to create a response for one, some, or all of our daily challenges!

All Challenges

Click on a location on the map below to view the challenge for that location!

 



Nan Elmoth Losgar Vinyamar Mithrim Menegroth Lake Helevorn Belegost Dorthonion Nargothrond Gondolin Himring Falls of Sirion Balar Armenelos The Shire Arnor Bree-lands Wilderlands Rivendell Misty Mountains Mirkwood Erebor Dol Guldur Rhosgobel Lothlorien Isengard Rohan Gondor Mordor The Grey Havens Valinor Clickable Map of Arda


 

Nan Elmoth Postcard
Photo courtesy of PercivalS.

March 1: Nan Elmoth

Are you in need of love or want to feel enchanted by someone? Rest assured: You do not have to look any further. Nan Elmoth is the famous place where Melian and Thingol courted one another and their two hearts became entwined forever. Go to these dark woods to enjoy nature and to reconnect to desires hidden inside you. To feel the touch of Melian's power or the dark seduction of Eöl, who might have something in store for you ...


Today's Challenge:
Voltaire said that it's not enough to conquer: one must learn to seduce. Write a story or poem or create artwork where seduction plays a central role.

Nan Elmoth Passport Stamp Passport Stamp:
Once you complete the challenge, you may save today's image or copy the code below to display your passport stamp wherever HTML is acceptable. To have your stamp added to your passport, please comment here.

<img src="http://www.silmarillionwritersguild.org/images/b2mem11/nan_elmoth.png" alt="Nan Elmoth Passport Stamp" />

 


 

Losgar Postcard
Photo courtesy of Timo Balk.

March 2: Losgar

Always wanted to dive and explore shipwrecks under sea, or enjoy the sunset on Losgar Boulevard? This cold place in the North of Beleriand has more to offer than broken dreams and will easily set your mind on fire.


Today's Challenge:
Defiance is defined as the willingness to contend or fight. Write a story or poem or create artwork where the characters defy authority in some way.

Losgar Passport Stamp Passport Stamp:
Once you complete the challenge, you may save today's image or copy the code below to display your passport stamp wherever HTML is acceptable. To have your stamp added to your passport, please comment here.

<img src="http://www.silmarillionwritersguild.org/images/b2mem11/losgar.png" alt="Losgar Passport Stamp" />

 


 

Vinyamar Postcard
Photo courtesy of Tomasz Mazurkiewicz.

March 3: Vinyamar

The magnificent city Vinyamar, built on the slopes of Mount Taras, makes for the ideal place of bird-watching. From the majestic swan to the common sparrow, this is a must-visit place for the devoted birdwatcher. This magnificent settlement has much to offer: Lay your head to rest in Turgon’s halls and perhaps Ulmo and company might give you inspirational or daring dreams. (Please note, however, that the travel agency cannot be held responsible for its consequences). The architecture of the city showcases a magnificent blend of two cultures that first connected in Vinyamar and together built one of Elvenkind's most vibrant civilizations.


Today's Challenge:
Some people have difficulty embracing changes and moving on. Write a story or poem or create artwork that shows the consequences of refusing to change.

Vinyamar Passport Stamp Passport Stamp:
Once you complete the challenge, you may save today's image or copy the code below to display your passport stamp wherever HTML is acceptable. To have your stamp added to your passport, please comment here.

<img src="http://www.silmarillionwritersguild.org/images/b2mem11/vinyamar.png" alt="Vinyamar Passport Stamp" />

 


 

Mithrim Postcard
Photo courtesy of Guenter M. Kirchweger.

March 4: Mithrim

If you're looking for quiet and relaxation this vacation, one of Mithrim's cozy bed-and-breakfast inns will make you feel right at home. Escape the noise and bustle of the big city with walking tours of Mithrim's famous fortress and Edain settlements, where you will enjoy living history exhibits depicting life in the First Age.


Today's Challenge:
"There would be no one to frighten you if you refused to be afraid."

-Ghandi

Write a story or poem or create artwork where the character conquers his or her fears.

Mithrim Passport Stamp Passport Stamp:
Once you complete the challenge, you may save today's image or copy the code below to display your passport stamp wherever HTML is acceptable. To have your stamp added to your passport, please comment here.

<img src="http://www.silmarillionwritersguild.org/images/b2mem11/mithrim.png" alt="Mithrim Passport Stamp" />

 


 

Menegroth Postcard
Photo courtesy of Emily Cahal, Emiliano Spada and Mai4809 .

March 5: Menegroth

The caves are alive, with the sound of music … Welcome to the city of Thousand Caves, also known as Menegroth, the central hot spot for the newest and popular musicals. From the Fallen Swordsman to Beauty and the Hound, Menegroth has it all. Not only that! This season we are proud to announce the return of the Doriath Marchwardens, as they reprise their stunning axe show and scintillating striptease act, leaving you energized and charmed into your very being. Last but not the very least, Daeron and his Noldorin assistant will offer master classes in bardic music and acting. What are you waiting for!? Act fast and reserve your tickets before they are sold out!


Today's Challenge:
Write a story or poem or create artwork that will illustrate the consequences of isolation.

Menegroth Passport Stamp Passport Stamp:
Once you complete the challenge, you may save today's image or copy the code below to display your passport stamp wherever HTML is acceptable. To have your stamp added to your passport, please comment here.

<img src="http://www.silmarillionwritersguild.org/images/b2mem11/menegroth.png" alt="Menegroth Passport Stamp" />

 


 

Lake Helevorn Postcard
Photo courtesy of Matthew Rigdon.

March 6: Lake Helevorn

Looking for a quiet retreat where you will feel sheltered and surrounded by nature? Just south of Mount Rerir lies the perfect escape in Thargelion the deep, dark Lake Helevorn. Its quiet surroundings and rough habitat makes it ideal for hiking and fishing. (Please note that fishing requires permission from the ruling lord or his people.)


Today's Challenge:
Greed is good! Write a story or poem or create artwork that will prove or disprove this statement.

Lake Helevorn Passport Stamp Passport Stamp:
Once you complete the challenge, you may save today's image or copy the code below to display your passport stamp wherever HTML is acceptable. To have your stamp added to your passport, please comment here.

<img src="http://www.silmarillionwritersguild.org/images/b2mem11/helevorn.png" alt="Lake Helevorn Passport Stamp" />

 


 

Belegost Postcard
Photo courtesy of Philipp K..

March 7: Belegost

Legend has it that Gabilgathol translates from Dwarvish to "The City That Never Rains." You never have to worry about bad weather ruining your holiday to Belegost--this ancient Dwarven city is located inside a mountain! Belegost is Beleriand's ultimate shopping district, with gold jewelry, hand-thrown pottery, and first-class chainmail to tempt the most discerning shoppers. Try the Gabilgathol Pub Crawl to enjoy no fewer than 57 unique microbrews. The little ones will enjoy panning for gold and taking on the waterslides at the Gabilgathol Aqua Park!


Today's Challenge:
Overcoming prejudices is as hard in Middle-earth as in our primary universe. Write a story or poem or create artwork where the characters try to reach across racial or gender or any other barrier.

Belegost Passport Stamp Passport Stamp:
Once you complete the challenge, you may save today's image or copy the code below to display your passport stamp wherever HTML is acceptable. To have your stamp added to your passport, please comment here.

<img src="http://www.silmarillionwritersguild.org/images/b2mem11/belegost.png" alt="Belegost Passport Stamp" />

 


 

Dorthonion Postcard
Photo courtesy of Fliku.

March 8: Dorthonion

In the north of Beleriand, find the intriguing Dorthinion countryside, where many exciting expeditions await you. This realm is situated in the North, from the plains to the sloping hillsides. Known for its extensive pine forests, the majority of Dorthonion consists of a high plateau with bare and rocky peaks rising to higher altitudes than the mountains of the nearby Ered Wethrin, making it ideal for mountaineering. Did you always wanted to follow in the footsteps of Beren, Lúthien, Beleg and Túrin in their heroic quests but want to keep both feet on the ground? You can find a wild adventure here, in the place where you can be tested and be amongst the finest and fiercest warriors, taking on rugged nature. If roughing it isn't for you, take a journey instead to Tarn Aeluin, in whose waters the reflected stars at night will free your inner romantic.


Today's Challenge:
From the lone shieling of the misty island,
Mountains divide us, and the waste of seas -
Yet still the blood is strong, the heart is Highland,
And we in dreams behold the Hebrides!
Fair these broad meads, these hoary woods are grand;
But we are exiles from our fathers' land.


- from the “Canadian Boat Song”, attributed to John Galt

Write a story or poem or create a piece of artwork reflecting identification with or connection to one’s land, country or culture.

Or write a story or poem or create a piece of artwork featuring kilts.

Dorthonion Passport Stamp Passport Stamp:
Once you complete the challenge, you may save today's image or copy the code below to display your passport stamp wherever HTML is acceptable. To have your stamp added to your passport, please comment here.

<img src="http://www.silmarillionwritersguild.org/images/b2mem11/dorthonion.png" alt="Dorthonion Passport Stamp" />

 


 

Nargothrond Postcard
Photo courtesy of Menno Groenmen.

March 9: Nargothrond

Follow the footsteps of Finrod Felagund while spelunking through the underground realm of Nargothrond. Explore its riches and wealth and you will discover profound love for this underground city. If an active stay is not preferred, the Celegorm and Cufurin Company can provide you in a theatrical tour named “Does she love me or will she betray us?” (a beany Huan will be included for the younger ones), where you can follow the footsteps of the illustrious trio of Celegorm, Curufin and Lúthien as they weave their web of desire, power and politics.


Today's Challenge:
Write a story or poem or create artwork where the characters have to decide between loyalty or betrayal.

Nargothrond Passport Stamp Passport Stamp:
Once you complete the challenge, you may save today's image or copy the code below to display your passport stamp wherever HTML is acceptable. To have your stamp added to your passport, please comment here.

<img src="http://www.silmarillionwritersguild.org/images/b2mem11/nargothrond.png" alt="Nargothrond Passport Stamp" />

 


 

Gondolin Postcard
Photo courtesy of Katka Samková, Sorina Bindea and Enrico Nunziati.

March 10: Gondolin

Come escape to the Hidden City, Beleriand's premier vacation spot! Enjoy the best views in Beleriand aboard Thorondor's Explorers Eagle Tours, dine at one of our five-star First Age taverns, then catch the Tony award-winning production of Maeglin in the city's theater district. Shopaholics will love choosing from the best Noldorin craftsmanship has to offer, and bus tours travel Idril's famous escape route.


Today's Challenge:
Start a story or poem with Charles Dickens' famous opening line from A Tale of Two Cities: "It was the best of times, it was the worst of times." (If you're creating a piece of artwork for this challenge, use this line as your theme or title.)

Gondolin Passport Stamp Passport Stamp:
Once you complete the challenge, you may save today's image or copy the code below to display your passport stamp wherever HTML is acceptable. To have your stamp added to your passport, please comment here.

<img src="http://www.silmarillionwritersguild.org/images/b2mem11/gondolin.png" alt="Gondolin Passport Stamp" />

 


 

Himring Postcard
Photo courtesy of Richard Dedeyan.

March 11: Himring

Himring offers both luxury and adventure to the traveler. Relax in the hot springs at one of our famous spas or try cross-country skiing or rock-climbing, if you're feeling adventurous. History buffs can take in a tour of Maedhros's famous fortress, and the Evercold Sculpture Garden will wow the whole family with its collection of the most ice sculptures in the world.


Today's Challenge:
"Peace demands the most heroic labor and the most heroic sacrifices."
Thomas Merton

Write a story or poem or create artwork where characters make sacrifices in order to achieve their goals.

Himring Passport Stamp Passport Stamp:
Once you complete the challenge, you may save today's image or copy the code below to display your passport stamp wherever HTML is acceptable. To have your stamp added to your passport, please comment here.

<img src="http://www.silmarillionwritersguild.org/images/b2mem11/himring.png" alt="Himring Passport Stamp" />

 


 

Falls of Sirion Postcard
Photo courtesy of Piotr Menducki.

March 12: Falls of Sirion

The gates and falls of Sirion are a must go location for the daredevils amongst us. The falls lend themselves for a daring bungee jumping adventurers, after one has recovered, the pools at the gates lend themselves for perfect fishing while one can rest and catch their breath in the hunting camps.


Today's Challenge:
Elves are one with Nature. What about Men? Hobbits? Dwarves? Write a story or poem or create artwork where the way different races relate to Nature is shown.

Falls of Sirion Passport Stamp Passport Stamp:
Once you complete the challenge, you may save today's image or copy the code below to display your passport stamp wherever HTML is acceptable. To have your stamp added to your passport, please comment here.

<img src="http://www.silmarillionwritersguild.org/images/b2mem11/sirion.png" alt="Falls of Sirion Passport Stamp" />

 


 

Balar Postcard
Photo courtesy of Jeff Hire, Fran Flores and Martin Holle.

March 13: Balar

Known for its pearls, Balar is known too for its hospitality no matter where you come from. The island’s hidden secret is the spa, where one can enjoy its saunas or a thorough massage. After a visit, you will emerge feeling energised and at peace. Círdan’s people will make you feel that you are ready for a new start. During the evening, one can explore the shorelines to look for those pearls by joining the Pearl Expedition, where at the end you can turn in your findings in exchange for some fine jewelry set with these jewels. If trinkets are not what satisfies you, the try out the island’s finest restaurants, noted for their exquisite seafood cuisine.


Today's Challenge:
Write a story or poem or create artwork featuring unanswered requests, prayers or pleas.

Balar Passport Stamp Passport Stamp:
Once you complete the challenge, you may save today's image or copy the code below to display your passport stamp wherever HTML is acceptable. To have your stamp added to your passport, please comment here.

<img src="http://www.silmarillionwritersguild.org/images/b2mem11/balar.png" alt="Balar Passport Stamp" />

 


 

Armenelos Postcard
Photo courtesy of Vladimir Fofanov, Gerhard Taatgen jr. and chris1961.

March 14: Armenelos

Always wanted to visit the City of Kings and relive the Golden Age of the Edain? Look no further, for Armenelos offers it all! Ideally situated in east-central Númenor in the district called Arandor-–also named the Kingsland--daily excursions can be booked to Meneltarma, or take a tour around the city with a guide. Marvel at the beauty of Nimloth in the The King's Court, and visit the King's House for its exhibition of the rise and fall of Mairon the Admirable. If longevity studies holds your interest, the department of Immunology at the University of Armenelos will offer lectures on this in the Tar-Minyatur Library. From the nearby haven of Rómenna, the Amandil Company offers cruises to travel around Númenor, Tol Eressëa or Valinor.


Today's Challenge:
Write a story or create a piece of art centred on freedom of religion (or lack thereof), heresy, and/or religious rites.

Armenelos Passport Stamp Passport Stamp:
Once you complete the challenge, you may save today's image or copy the code below to display your passport stamp wherever HTML is acceptable. To have your stamp added to your passport, please comment here.

<img src="http://www.silmarillionwritersguild.org/images/b2mem11/armenelos.png" alt="Armenelos Passport Stamp" />

 


 

Shire Postcard
Photo courtesy of Jenny Rollo.

March 15: The Shire

Go boating on the Brandywine in Buckland! Visit the famous mushroom fields of the East Farthing at Bamfurlong! See Bag End, home of the Ringbearers, in picturesque Hobbiton! In the West Farthing, tour the Mathom House at Michel Delving! Tour the Tooklands and the scenic Green Hill country! Picnic in Pincup! See the historic North Farthing, and the quarries of Scary! Relax in the South Farthing at quaint plantation bed and breakfasts, while trying some of the best pipeweed in Middle-earth!


Today's Challenge:
The cuisine of the Shire is unsurpassed. Write a story or poem, or create a work of art, featuring food.

Shire Passport Stamp Passport Stamp:
Once you complete the challenge, you may save today's image or copy the code below to display your passport stamp wherever HTML is acceptable. To have your stamp added to your passport, please comment here.

<img src="http://www.silmarillionwritersguild.org/images/b2mem11/shire.png" alt="Shire Passport Stamp" />

 


 

Arnor Postcard
Photo courtesy of Jason Conlon.

March 16: Arnor

Arnor, the newly reclaimed Kingdom of the North offers truly diverse travelling experiences! Visit the vibrant and newly rebuilt capital at Annúminas on the shores of Lake Evendim! Or hike the trail to the ruins of the old capital at Fornost, also known as Norbury! For the more adventurous nature-lover, the Old Forest offers a unique experience of an old growth wood! And for those who have an interest in archeology, and are not superstitious, the famous Barrow—downs are not to be missed!


Today's Challenge:
A gentle breeze brushed the hilltop, combing the ruins...

Write a story or poem that starts with this line or create a piece of art that reflects this line.

Arnor Passport Stamp Passport Stamp:
Once you complete the challenge, you may save today's image or copy the code below to display your passport stamp wherever HTML is acceptable. To have your stamp added to your passport, please comment here.

<img src="http://www.silmarillionwritersguild.org/images/b2mem11/arnor.png" alt="Arnor Passport Stamp" />

 


 

Bree-lands Postcard
Photo courtesy of Till Dettmering.

March 17: Bree-lands

Stay at the famous Prancing Pony! King Elessar slept there! Take a walking tour of Archet, Staddle and Chetwood!


Today's Challenge:
Hobbits are well known for their gift-giving traditions. Write a story or poem in which the exchange of gifts is featured, or use "gifting" as a theme for a piece of art.

Bree-lands Passport Stamp Passport Stamp:
Once you complete the challenge, you may save today's image or copy the code below to display your passport stamp wherever HTML is acceptable. To have your stamp added to your passport, please comment here.

<img src="http://www.silmarillionwritersguild.org/images/b2mem11/bree.png" alt="Bree-lands Passport Stamp" />

 


 

Wilderland Postcard
Photo courtesy of Philipp K.

March 18: Wilderland

View the unspoiled wetlands of the Midgewater Marshes! Stay at the Forsaken Inn, only a day’s journey from Bree! Catch the view from the top of historic Amon Sûl! Visit the site of the Three Trolls—amazingly lifelike statues only a few leagues from the Great East Road!


Today's Challenge:
There is no beautifier of complexion, or form, or behavior, like the wish to scatter joy and not pain around us. 'Tis good to give a stranger a meal, or a night's lodging. 'Tis better to be hospitable to his good meaning and thought, and give courage to a companion. We must be as courteous to a man as we are to a picture, which we are willing to give the advantage of a good light.
- Ralph Waldo Emerson

The act of kindness or hospitability usually comes from a generous heart. Write a story or poem, or create a piece of art where your character displays this virtue.

Wilderland Passport Stamp Passport Stamp:
Once you complete the challenge, you may save today's image or copy the code below to display your passport stamp wherever HTML is acceptable. To have your stamp added to your passport, please comment here.

<img src="http://www.silmarillionwritersguild.org/images/b2mem11/wilderlands.png" alt="Wilderland Passport Stamp" />

 


 

Rivendell Postcard
Photo courtesy of Roger Kirby, Yarik Mishin and Julie Engel.

March 19: Rivendell

View the amazing waterfalls of Imladris! Try Fly-fishing at the Fords of Bruinen! Enjoy the unsurpassed hospitality of The Last Homely House, the best bed-and-breakfast west of the Misty Mountains!


Today's Challenge:
"Every parting is a form of death, as every reunion is a type of heaven."
--Tryon Edwards.

Write a story or create a piece of artwork centred on meetings or reunions.

Rivendell Passport Stamp Passport Stamp:
Once you complete the challenge, you may save today's image or copy the code below to display your passport stamp wherever HTML is acceptable. To have your stamp added to your passport, please comment here.

<img src="http://www.silmarillionwritersguild.org/images/b2mem11/rivendell.png" alt="Rivendell Passport Stamp" />

 


 

Misty Mountains Postcard
Photo courtesy of Skameleon.

March 20: Misty Mountains

Take a challenging hike through Goblin Pass--you might even catch a glimpse of a rare Stone Giant! Enjoy winter sports on the slopes of Caradhras, where the snow is unsurpassed! Pass through the amazing caverns of Moria, historic home of the Dwarves! See the Dimrill Dale and the clear waters of Kheled-Zaram! Or for a truly amazing experience, scale the heights of Zirik-zâgil, site of the famous battle between the Wizard Gandalf and the last of the Balrogs!


Today's Challenge:
Write a story or poem or create an artwork in which a character unaccustomed to acting as a leader must make an important decision.

Misty Mountains Passport Stamp Passport Stamp:
Once you complete the challenge, you may save today's image or copy the code below to display your passport stamp wherever HTML is acceptable. To have your stamp added to your passport, please comment here.

<img src="http://www.silmarillionwritersguild.org/images/b2mem11/misty_mountains.png" alt="Misty Mountains Passport Stamp" />

 


 

Mirkwood Postcard
Photo courtesy of Ilker.

March 21: Mirkwood

Catch glimpses of the dangerous Spiders of Mirkwood! See the fortress palace of King Thranduil! Go whitewater barreling down the River Running!


Today's Challenge:
We were young, we were merry, we were very, very wise, And the door stood open at our feast, When there passed us a woman with the West in her eyes, And a man with his back to the East.
-Mary Elizabeth Coleridge

The words West and East are often used in the works of Tolkien. Write a story or poem or create an artwork that uses these words as the central focus, whether as cardinals, regions, or as metaphors.

Mirkwood Passport Stamp Passport Stamp:
Once you complete the challenge, you may save today's image or copy the code below to display your passport stamp wherever HTML is acceptable. To have your stamp added to your passport, please comment here.

<img src="http://www.silmarillionwritersguild.org/images/b2mem11/mirkwood.png" alt="Mirkwood Passport Stamp" />

 


 

Erebor Postcard
Photo courtesy of Luciano Brasil Perottoni.

March 22: Erebor

Catch glimpses of the famous Eagle’s Eyries! Visit the Carrock! See the famous hall of Beorn! Visit the Lonely Mountain, famous ancestral home of the Dwarves! Or take a boat-ride over the ruins of Laketown! For the more daring, try snorkeling in the depths of Long Lake to see the remains of the famous dragon, Smaug!


Today's Challenge:
Refugee issues are our issues; their plight is our plight. Write a story or poem or create artwork that illustrates the situation of some displaced group in Middle-earth.

Erebor Passport Stamp Passport Stamp:
Once you complete the challenge, you may save today's image or copy the code below to display your passport stamp wherever HTML is acceptable. To have your stamp added to your passport, please comment here.

<img src="http://www.silmarillionwritersguild.org/images/b2mem11/erebor.png" alt="Erebor Passport Stamp" />

 


 

Dol Guldur Postcard
Photo courtesy of Václav Pastucha.

March 23: Dol Guldur

Visit the lair of the Necromancer! Tour the famous dungeons! Dol Guldur is Middle-earth's premier destination for terror tourism. Not for the faint of heart, Dol Guldur offers hair-raising adventure and history ... if you dare!


Today's Challenge:
Everyone avoided the tower. It was believed to have ...

Write a story or poem that starts with this line or create a piece of art that reflects this line.

Dol Guldur Passport Stamp Passport Stamp:
Once you complete the challenge, you may save today's image or copy the code below to display your passport stamp wherever HTML is acceptable. To have your stamp added to your passport, please comment here.

<img src="http://www.silmarillionwritersguild.org/images/b2mem11/dol_guldur.png" alt="Dol Guldur Passport Stamp" />

 


 

Rhosgobel Postcard
Photo courtesy of Emily Cahal.

March 24: Rhosgobel

Home of the reclusive Wizard Radagast, and his amazing birds! Fun for the whole family, Rhosgobel appeals to young and old alike, with interpretted nature walks and Middle-earth's largest aviary!


Today's Challenge:
Write a story or poem or create artwork using one or more animals as symbols, omens, or metaphors. Use associations and meanings from any culture or source you wish (e.g., Celtic, Native American, Biblical).

Rhosgobel Passport Stamp Passport Stamp:
Once you complete the challenge, you may save today's image or copy the code below to display your passport stamp wherever HTML is acceptable. To have your stamp added to your passport, please comment here.

<img src="http://www.silmarillionwritersguild.org/images/b2mem11/rhosgobel.png" alt="Rhosgobel Passport Stamp" />

 


 

Lothlorien Postcard
Photo courtesy of Macin Smolinski, Vladimir Fofanov and Heriberto Herrera.

March 25: Lothlórien

Visit the Golden Wood! See historic Cerin Amroth, site of the betrothal of Aragorn and Arwen! Climb the flets of Caras Galadhon!


Today's Challenge:
She knelt on the floor, carefully picking up the shards of glass. Why did it have to be this one that broke?

Start a story with this two lines and answer the question of what was once broken. Or create a poem or piece of art that pictures this scene.

Lothlorien Passport Stamp Passport Stamp:
Once you complete the challenge, you may save today's image or copy the code below to display your passport stamp wherever HTML is acceptable. To have your stamp added to your passport, please comment here.

<img src="http://www.silmarillionwritersguild.org/images/b2mem11/lothlorien.png" alt="Lothlorien Passport Stamp" />

 


 

Isengard Postcard
Photo courtesy of SP Veres.

March 26: Isengard

Tour the Wizard’s Vale, and see the historic tower of Orthanc, once the home of the well-known Wizard Saruman before his fall!


Today's Challenge:
"Pride is still aiming at the best houses: Men would be angels, angels would be gods. Aspiring to be gods, if angels fell; aspiring to be angels men rebel."
--Alexander Pope

How would a character not allowed to express his or her thoughts, creativity, or opinion act out? Capture this in a story, poem or piece of art.

Isengard Passport Stamp Passport Stamp:
Once you complete the challenge, you may save today's image or copy the code below to display your passport stamp wherever HTML is acceptable. To have your stamp added to your passport, please comment here.

<img src="http://www.silmarillionwritersguild.org/images/b2mem11/isengard.png" alt="Isengard Passport Stamp" />

 


 

Rohan Postcard
Photo courtesy of Mátyás Huszár.

March 27: Rohan

See the capital city of Rohan, Edoras, and the Golden Hall of Meduseld! Visit the amazing Glittering Caverns of Aglarond, site of the famous Battle of the Hornburg at Helm’s Deep! Tour mystical Dunharrow, at the foot of the Paths of the Dead! Enjoy unspoiled nature in Fangorn—you might catch a glimpse of one of the mythical Ents!


Today's Challenge:
A horse is the projection of peoples' dreams about themselves - strong, powerful, beautiful - and it has the capability of giving us escape from our mundane existence.
--Pam Brown

Write a story or poem, or create a piece of art where your character rises above themselves to follow their dreams.

Rohan Passport Stamp Passport Stamp:
Once you complete the challenge, you may save today's image or copy the code below to display your passport stamp wherever HTML is acceptable. To have your stamp added to your passport, please comment here.

<img src="http://www.silmarillionwritersguild.org/images/b2mem11/rohan.png" alt="Rohan Passport Stamp" />

 


 

Gondor Postcard
Photo courtesy of Robert Aichinger, Anthony Burns and Carlos Paes.

March 28: Gondor

Gondor—a land of many wonders! See the Rammas Echor, site of the decisive Battle of the Pelennor, and visit Snowmane’s Howe! Minas Tirith, known as the White City, the capital of Gondor! Ithilien, the garden of Gondor! Visit Belfalas for sun and surf! Shop the exotic port of Dol Amroth!


Today's Challenge:
There was no avoiding it; the letter had to be composed...

Who will receive this letter? An uncle? A lover? The High-King? Why is there "no avoiding it"? Circumstances? Or is Mother watching with arms crossed? Will the letter be written in haste? Or will each phrase be meticulously crafted?

Write a story or poem inspired by this line (you do not need to use the exact quote), or create a piece of art that reflects this situation.

Gondor Passport Stamp Passport Stamp:
Once you complete the challenge, you may save today's image or copy the code below to display your passport stamp wherever HTML is acceptable. To have your stamp added to your passport, please comment here.

<img src="http://www.silmarillionwritersguild.org/images/b2mem11/gondor.png" alt="Gondor Passport Stamp" />

 


 

Mordor Postcard
Photo courtesy of Dave Kendall.

March 29: Mordor

Once the inhospitable Black Land, Mordor is now home to many historic sites! Climb the Endless Stair to Cirith Ungol, the ruins of Minas Morgul, and visit the Morannon, site of the famous Battle of the Black Gates! Thrill seekers will enjoy hiking on active volcanoes, while travellers looking for some R&R can soak in one of the region's many hot springs.


Today's Challenge:
"Darkness is only driven out with light, not more darkness."
--Martin Luther King, Jr.

Write a story or poem or create artwork where your character battles and overcomes their darkest hour.

Mordor Passport Stamp Passport Stamp:
Once you complete the challenge, you may save today's image or copy the code below to display your passport stamp wherever HTML is acceptable. To have your stamp added to your passport, please comment here.

<img src="http://www.silmarillionwritersguild.org/images/b2mem11/mordor.png" alt="Mordor Passport Stamp" />

 


 

Grey Havens Postcard
Photo courtesy of Marina Knieling.

March 30: Grey Havens

The port of Mithlond is the site of the world’s most famous ship-building firms! For those of Elven descent, or who have special exemptions, cruises to the fabulous Lands of the West are still available!


Today's Challenge:
"You can never go home again, but the truth is you can never leave home, so it's all right."
--Maya Angelou

Write a story or poem, or create a piece of art on the theme of leaving or returning home.

Grey Havens Passport Stamp Passport Stamp:
Once you complete the challenge, you may save today's image or copy the code below to display your passport stamp wherever HTML is acceptable. To have your stamp added to your passport, please comment here.

<img src="http://www.silmarillionwritersguild.org/images/b2mem11/grey_havens.png" alt="Grey Havens Passport Stamp" />

 


 

Valinor Postcard
Photo courtesy of Carlos Mendes.

March 31: Valinor

No holiday destination tops Valinor for adventure and luxury! Lounge on the beach at Alqualonde, hear Valmar's famous bell choir perform every hour on the hour, and relish the opulence of the art and culture of Tirion. The adventuresome will enjoy hiking and exploring the Pelori, the world's tallest mountain range, within a day's drive of Valinor's top tourist destinations. Cruises available from all major Elven cruise lines!


Today's Challenge:
"Against stupidity the gods themselves contend in vain."
Friedrich Schiller

Write a story or poem or create artwork that illustrates this quotation.

Valinor Passport Stamp Passport Stamp:
Once you complete the challenge, you may save today's image or copy the code below to display your passport stamp wherever HTML is acceptable. To have your stamp added to your passport, please comment here.

<img src="http://www.silmarillionwritersguild.org/images/b2mem11/valinor.png" alt="Valinor Passport Stamp" />

 



How to Participate

  1. Challenges do not have to be about the location for the day. Each location corresponds with a challenge asking your to explore a theme relevant to that location. The characters, events, and source material you write about do not have to involve that location.
  2. Challenge responses must be based on Tolkien's works but can be in any format you'd like; about any character, race, or event; any genre, interpretation, or rating; or based on any of Tolkien's books or derivative works based on those works (such as the LotR movies). Alternate universe and crossover pieces are welcome. While we welcome your responses on the SWG and MPTT archives, please note that the usual posting guidelines continue to apply on both sites. For example, the SWG archive accepts only Silmarillion-based work. (SWG posting guidelines. MPTT posting guidelines.)
  3. Challenge responses should be new works, created in response to the challenge, not older works that just happen to fit the challenge.
  4. There are no deadlines. While we encourage those who want to try to write a daily challenge, if you feel inspired by a challenge but don't have time for it on the day it's posted, please do feel free to write for it at a later date.
  5. You do not need to post your responses publicly if you don't want to. You can still claim your passport stamps and participate in the event; we'll take your word that you've completed the challenge. We respect that different writers have different comfort levels with posting just-written work and want everyone to feel welcome to take part.
  6. The number-one question we are asked whenever we host one of these challenges: Who determines whether my response meets the challenge? You do! We try to keep the challenges open-ended to welcome writers and artists with a variety of interests. We recognize that these types of challenges invite many different approaches. We make no attempts to judge or pronounce the suitability of challenge responses. We take your word that your piece was written in response to the challenge.
  7. If you've created a single piece that responds to multiple challenges, then that piece satisfies all of those challenges and is eligible for multiple stamps. We hope that this helps authors who prefer to create longer works rather than drabbles or vignettes feel like they can enjoy the same rewards as writers of shorter pieces.

Once you've completed a challenge, you will receive a stamp from that location for your passport. You can copy HTML code to display the stamp on your profile page as soon as you complete the day's challenge. Once you've finished with all of the challenges you want to do, you can contact us, and we will put your stamps together into a passport for you to display on your profile.

In order to help our moderators put together passports, please post a comment to the day's challenge on LiveJournal, letting us know that you completed the challenge. If you've posted your challenge entry publicly, please include a link so that other participants can read your work! However, remember that you don't have to post your work publicly in order to collect a stamp for that challenge.

Questions about the event can be directed to the participating archives' moderators at moderator@silmarillionwritersguild.org or manypaths@lotrgfic.com. This