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By announcing this challenge early, we hope to now have our challenges back on schedule!

It's July, and that means it's time for our annual Fixed-Length-Ficlet Challenge! The July Challenge will have will have the theme "Family Reunion". 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!

The July challenge stories will be due in the queue by Friday, July 15th and will be revealed on Monday, July 18th. Please tag your story "challenge: family reunion", "flf" and "month: 2016 july". 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 (e.g. "Frodo's Amazing Adventure by Mary Sue").

You have only to comment with your number here, that will be your element; do not choose a number someone else has selected. You will not need to wait for a prompt.

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

Numbers chosen:

June 2016: June Bug Challenge

The June Challenge will have the theme "June Bug". Stories should feature a character dealing with something that "bugs" them, either humorously or seriously. Prompts for the challenge will be a particular insect, or bug, that must be at least mentioned in the story. (It does not have to be a plot element, although it can be.)

The June challenge stories may be entered into the queue at any time this month, and will be revealed on Wednesday, July 6th. Please tag your story "challenge: june bug" and "month: 2016 june". Please remember to use the following header template (also found 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 prompt. Or you can email the mods at manypaths@lotrgfic.com.

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

Stay Behind

Author: Meneleth
Title: Stay Behind
Rating: K
Theme: Waiting

Author’s Notes: I don’t participate in a lot of challenges because my muse is unpredictable. But the theme of “waiting” sounded interesting, so I thought I’d try it. I’m glad I got this piece of Éowyn’s story for my prompt!

Summary: Éowyn does not appreciate being told to stay behind yet again.
Word Count: 360

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"One Shining Moment" by Shirebound

Author: Shirebound
Title: One Shining Moment
Rating: G
Theme: Waiting
Author Notes: A prequel, of sorts, to my 2006 story "The Path to Healing".
Summary: A 5000-year hope is fulfilled.
Word Count: 200

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Heirs in Waiting - by Larner

Author: Larner
Title: Heirs in Waiting
Rating: G
Theme: Waiting
Elements: Otho would have been Bilbo's heir, but for the adoption of Frodo. He read the will carefully and snorted. It was, unfortunately, very clear and correct (according to the legal customs of hobbits, which demand among other things seven signatures of witnesses in red ink).

'Foiled again!' he said to his wife. 'And after waiting sixty years. Spoons? Fiddlesticks!' He snapped his fingers under Frodo's nose and slumped off.

(FotR, Book 1, Chapter 1, "An Unexpected Party")
Author's Notes: For all whose birthdays I missed!
Summary: Lalia's plans to amuse herself at Bilbo's expense leads the Baggins to make a momentous decision.
Word Count: 1,742

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Author: Linda Hoyland
Title: All Comes to Those who Wait
Rating: PG
Theme: Waiting
So at last Faramir and Éowyn and Meriadoc were laid in beds in the Houses of Healing; and there they were tended well. For though all lore was in these latter days fallen from its fullness of old, the leechcraft of Gondor was still wise, and skilled in the healing of wound and hurt, and all such sickness as east of the Sea mortal men were subject to. Save old age only. For that they had found no cure; and indeed the span of their lives had now waned to little more than that of other men, and those among them who passed the tale of five score years with vigour were grown few, save in some houses of purer blood. But now their art and knowledge were baffled; for there were many sick of a malady that would not be healed; and they called it the Black Shadow, for it came from the Nazgûl. And those who were stricken with it fell slowly into an ever deeper dream, and then passed to silence and a deadly cold, and so died. And it seemed to the tenders of the sick that on the Halfling and on the Lady of Rohan this malady lay heavily. Still at whiles as the morning wore away they would speak, murmuring in their dreams; and the watchers listened to all that they said, hoping perhaps to learn something that would help them to understand their hurts. But soon they began to fall down into the darkness, and as the sun turned west a grey shadow crept over their faces. But Faramir burned with a fever that would not abate.
Gandalf went from one to the other full of care, and he was told all that the watchers could hear. And so the day passed, while the great battle outside went on with shifting hopes and strange tidings; and still Gandalf waited and watched and did not go forth; till at last the red sunset filled all the sky, and the light through the windows fell on the grey faces of the sick. Then it seemed to those who stood by that in the glow the faces flushed softly as with health returning, but it was only a mockery of hope.
Then an old wife, Ioreth, the eldest of the women who served in that house, looking on the fair face of Faramir, wept, for all the people loved him. And she said: 'Alas! if he should die. Would that there were kings in Gondor, as there were once upon a time, they say! For it is said in old lore: _The hands of the king are the hands of a healer_. And so the rightful king could ever be known.'
And Gandalf, who stood by, said: 'Men may long remember your words, Ioreth! For there is hope in them. Maybe a king has indeed returned to Gondor; or have you not heard the strange tidings that have come to the City?'
'I have been too busy with this and that to heed all the crying and shouting,' she answered. 'All I hope is that those murdering devils do not come to this House and trouble the sick.'
Then Gandalf went out in haste, and already the fire in the sky was burning out, and the smouldering hills were fading, while ash-grey evening crept over the fields.
Lord of the Rings, Return of the King, Chapter 8: The Houses of Healing

Author's Notes: Some words in the story are taken directly from Tolkien. With grateful thanks to Raksha and Deandra.
Summary: A healer can only watch and wait as the Black Breath kills his patients.
Word Count: 1403

The familiar characters are the property of the Tolkien estate. This story is written for pleasure, not profit.

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"Idle Grievances" by Amy Fortuna

Author: Amy Fortuna
Title: Idle Grievances
Rating: G
Theme: Waiting
Elements: "But from Valmar no message came, and Manwë was silent. He would not yet either forbid or hinder Fëanor's purpose; for the Valar were aggrieved that they were charged with evil intent to the Eldar, or that any were held captive by them against their will. Now they watched and waited, for they did not yet believe that Fëanor could hold the host of the Noldor to his will."
Chapter 9: Of the Flight of the Noldor
Author's Notes: The sestina is one of my favourite forms of poetry and it was great fun to write this one about this particular sequence. In-universe, I like to think it was written by Maglor, either on the spot as they depart from Tirion, or shortly thereafter - in any case, before Alqualondë.
Summary: As the Valar wait, Fëanor departs from Tirion.
Word Count: ~350

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Latecomers, by Himring

Author: Himring
Title: Latecomers
Rating: PG
Theme: Waiting
Elements: From The Silmarillion: Now Felagund learned from Bëor that there were many other Men of like mind who were also journeying westward. 'Others of my own kin have crossed the Mountains,' he said, 'and they are wandering not far away; and the Haladin, a people from whom we are sundered in speech, are still in the valleys on the eastern slopes, awaiting tidings before they venture further. There are yet other Men, whose tongue is more like to ours, with whom we have had dealings at times. They were before us on the westward march, but we passed them; for they are a numerous people, and yet keep together and move slowly, being all ruled by one chieftain whom they call Marach.'
(Chapter 17: Of the Coming of Men into the West)
Author's Notes: I wanted to write about this theme in two parts (possibly with an epilogue, even) but I only managed to write the first. I tried to write the piece as much as possible from the point of view of the Haladin themselves, who are actually a very interesting people, especially when you take into account some things reported about them in the Unfinished Tales.
Summary: First Age: The smallest tribe of immigrating Men, the Haladin, delays before crossing the Blue Mountains into Beleriand and, partly because of that delay, things will go rather differently for them.
Word Count: c.900 words

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May 2016 Challenge: Waiting

The theme for May 2016 is 'Waiting'. Stories should feature the theme of your character waiting for something or someone. All prompts are based on a situation from your chosen source. The sources are The Hobbit, Lord of the Rings or the Silmarillion. Leave a comment with your chosen source and one of the mods will give you a prompt.

The May challenge stories will be due on 18th of June 2016 (we chose this date since we're late in posting this challenge, RL intervened in the lifes of all the moderators). They will be revealed on 21st of June 2016. Please tag your story (Challenge: Waiting) and (Month: May 2016). Please remember to use the following header template (also found on the community profile page),

and to put the name of your story and your own name in the subject line. ( e.g. : A Good Story by Mary Sue ). Do remember to include the LJ cut. If you have any questions, please email the mods.
I hope you have fun writing your story, and look forward to reading it!

Thanks for participating!

Author: Dreamflower
Title: Dangerous daggers I bear about me...
Rating: G
Theme: Riddle Poems
Elements: I will let readers guess a while.
Author's Notes: An alliterative riddle-poem
Summary: A poem loosely modeled on Anglo-Saxon alliteration
Word Count: 58

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Eagles by judy
LOTR Community Challenge Stories

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