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January 2014 Potluck Challenge

Once again we are having our annual January Potluck Challenge. This is your opportunity to finish up an unfinished challenge from 2013, or you can choose a leftover prompt from one of our last year's challenges. To participate, leave a comment to either claim the number of the prompt you wish to write, or in the case of April, July, and August, follow the instructions to leave your comment. The prompts are behind the cut. We mods will try to strike out the claimed numbers as soon as we can, but do take a moment to check the comments, just in case someone else has already claimed it before we can strike it out. You can also leave a comment to mention if you decide to finish up a story you were already signed up for last year.

Stories are due in the queue the weekend of January 20, and will be revealed on Monday, January 23.

This is the beginning of a brand new year, so I hope we will have a LOT of participants this month!


The February Challenge had the theme "The Dark Side of Love". Here is your chance to explore the less pleasant aspects of love: misunderstandings, partings, grief, jealousy, unrequited love or even the little things about a loved one that annoy. Elements for the challenge are a list of words beginning with the letters in "February". Authors should choose at least four of their words to use in the story. You may use more than four if you like but it's not required.

1. fade, echo, believe, rook, unjust, abed, rusty, yawn
2. find, each, bloom, relative, under, after, red, yesterday
3. flee, every, blook, rest, upset, awful, ruby, yokes
4. fret, emerald, braid, remove, undone, agog, relate, yarrow


March's theme was "March of Power". Writers could choose one of the following events from the Tale of Years to write a gapfiller about.

March 1.
5. Frodo begins the passage of the Dead Marshes at dawn.
6. Entmoot continues.
7. Aragorn meets Gandalf the White. They set out for Edoras.
8. Faramir leaves Minas Tirith on an errand to Ithilien.
March 2
9. Frodo comes to the end of the Marshes.
10. Gandalf comes to Edoras and heals Théoden.
11. The Rohirrim ride west against Saruman. Second Battle of Fords of Isen. Erkenbrand defeated.
12. Entmoot ends in afternoon. The Ents on Isengard and reach it at night.
March 3
13. Theoden retreats to Helm's Deep. Battle of the Hornburg begins.
14. Ents complete the destruction of Isengard.
March 4
15. Theoden and Gandalf set out from Helm's Deep for Isengard.
16. Frodo reaches the slag-mounds on the edge of the Desolation of the Morannon.
March 5
17. Theoden reaches Isengard at noon. Parley with Saruman in Orthanc.
18. Winged Nazgul passes over the camp at Dol Baran.
19. Frodo hides in sight of the Morannon, and leaves at dusk.
March 6
20. Theoden sets out from the Hornburg for Harrowdale. Aragorn sets out later.
21. March 7
22. Frodo taken by Faramir to Henneth Annun.
23. Aragorn comes to Dunharrow at nightfall.
March 8
24. Aragorn takes the 'Paths of the Dead' at daybreak; he reaches Erech at midnight.
25. Frodo leaves Henneth Annun.
March 9
26. Gandalf reaches Minas Tirith.
27. Faramir leaves Henneth Annun.
28. Aragorn sets out from Erech and comes to Calembel.
29. At dusk Frodo reaches the Morgul-road.
30. Theoden comes to Dunharrow.
31. Darkness begins to flow out of Mordor.
March 10
32. The Dawnless Day.
33. The Muster of Rohan; the Rohirrim ride from Harrowdale.
34. Faramir rescued by Gandalf outside the gates of the City.
35. Aragorn crosses Ringlo.
36. An army from the Morannon takes Cair Andros and passes into Anorien.
March 11
37. Gollum visits Shelob, but seeing Frodo asleep nearly repents.
38. Aragorn reaches Linhir and crosses into Lebennin.
39. Eastern Rohan is invaded from the north.
40. First assault on Lorien.
March 12
41. Gollum leads Frodo into Shelob's lair.
42. Faramir retreats to the Causeway Forts.
43.Theoden camps under Minrimmon.
44. Aragorn drives the enemy towards Pelargir.
45. The Ents defeat the invaders of Rohan.
March 13
46. Frodo captured by the Orcs of Cirith Ungol.
47. The Pelennor is overrun.
48. Faramir is wounded.
49. Aragorn reaches Pelargir and captures the fleet.
50. Theoden is Druadan Forest.
March 14
51. Samwise finds Frodo in the Tower.
52. Minas Tirith is besieged.
53. The Rohirrim led by the Wild Men come to the Grey Wood.
March 15
54. In the early hours the Witch-king breaks the Gates of the City.
55. Denethor burns himself on a pyre.
56.The horns of the Rohirrim are heard at cockcrow.
57. Battle of the Pelennor.
58. Theoden is slain. Merry wounds the Witch-king of Angmar, and Eowyn gives the killing blow.
59. Aragorn raises the standard of Arwen.
60. Frodo and Samwise escape and begin their journey north along the Morgai.
61. Second assault on Lorien.
March 16
62. Debate of the commanders.
63. Frodo from the Morgai looks over the camp to Mount Doom.
March 17
64. Battle of Dale. King Brand and King Dain Ironfoot fall. Many Dwarves and Men take refuge in Erebor and are besieged.
65. Shagrat brings Frodo's cloak, mail-shirt, and sword to Barad-dur.
March 18
66. The Host of the West marches from Minas Tirith.
67. Frodo comes in sight of the Insenmouthe; he and Sam are overtaken by Orcs on the road from Durthang to Udun.
March 19
68. The Host comes to Morgul-vale.
69.Frodo and Samwise escape and begin their journey along the road to the Barad-dur.
March 22
70. The dreadful night.
71. Frodo and Samwise leave the road and turn south to Mount Doom.
March 23
72. The Host passes out of Ithilien.
73. Frodo and Samwise cast away their arms and gear.
March 24
74. Frodo and Samwise make their last journey to the feet of Mount Doom.
75. The Host camps in the Desolation of the Morannon.
March 25
76. Frodo and Samwise reach the Sammath Naur. Gollum seizes the Ring and falls into the Cracks of Doom.
77. Downfall of Barad-dur and passing of Sauron.
March 27
78. Bard II and Thorin III Stonehelm drive the enemy from Dale.


The April Challenge had the theme "Poetry" in honor of National Poetry Month, and you were asked to try your hand at verse! Elements for the challenge were self-chosen: choose any line from any poem or song by J.R.R. Tolkien to use as your inspiration, and include it in your header, next to "Elements".

(If you choose to do April's challenge, simply indicate in the comments: April, poetry.)


The May Challenge will have the theme "The world's favorite season is the spring. All things seem possible in May."
- Edwin Way Teale

Stories are to be AU and Prompts will be starter sentences.

79. Springtime is the land awakening.
80. "No winter lasts forever," grumbled ______. "But by May it should be over."
81. Dirt under ________'s nails, earth between (his/her) toes, seedlings popping up everywhere; life couldn't get much better.
82. There is something to be said for riding a pony in the May sunshine! ____ thought.


The June Challenge will have the theme "The jewels of June". Stories should reflect something of value (not necessarily something of material value, though it can be). Elements for the challenge will be a specific kind of jewel to be mentioned somewhere in the story.

83. beryl
84. agate
85. onyx
86. jasper
87. Silmarillion--air
88. citrine
89. garnet
90. amber


The July challenge was our annual Fixed-Length-Ficlet challenge, and the theme was "Time in a Bottle"--a ficlet about a moment that a character would like to keep. Participants chose a number between 101 and 400.

(If you decide to take part in this one, comment with: July and the number you have chosen.)


August was our annual non-fiction challenge. Any non-fiction essay, research or tutorial is welcome.

(If you wish to write non-fiction, please comment: August, non-fiction.)


The challenge for September was "Special Occasions--Recipe!Fic". Stories were to be recipe!fics (stories in which the recipe for a dish accompanies the story). Elements were specific dishes.

91. stew
92. soup
93. pudding
94. pie
95. porridge


October's theme was "One Picture is Worth a Thousand Words". An image was assigned, and the story was to be inspired by the image.

inspirational images

97. under the willows
under the willows

98. spring flowers
spring flowers

99. cottage

100. chamomile


The challenge theme was "Lost and Found" in November; a character was to react to having lost something important, and finding it (or not). The prompt element was an emotion, and stories could be a drabble, a double drabble or a triple drabble.

101. anxiety
102. gratitude
103. astonishment
104. sorrow
105. relief


( 27 comments — Leave a comment )
Dec. 31st, 2013 02:59 pm (UTC)
April, poetry.

(And I may try to finish one of my older prompts as well, but I think I'd better not commit to that!)

When are these pieces due?
Dec. 31st, 2013 03:12 pm (UTC)
Great! and ack! In cobbling this post together, I seem to have accidentally deleted that info! Thanks!
Dec. 31st, 2013 03:15 pm (UTC)
I have several unfinished stories from last year's monthly challenges, as well as a prompt I chose in last January's Potluck Challenge which I still hope to write.

Here are the stories and prompts I will work at finishing:

March '13 - March of Power [Prompt = March 11 -- Denethor sends Faramir to Osgiliath]

September '13 - Special Occasions Recipe!Fic [Prompt = Soup]

October '13 - A Picture is Worth 1,000 Words

January '13 - Potluck Challenge [Requested Element (from May '12 "Bunny Hutch"): 50) Third Age, Gondor: "I was born under the shadow of the White Mountains and know something of journeys in the high places" -Boromir, FOTR. What mischief there? (almaheart)]

I probably won't be able to finish all of these, but I'm committed to trying!

Jan. 15th, 2014 04:51 am (UTC)
That's great! I hope we'll get to see them!
Dec. 31st, 2013 03:46 pm (UTC)
I'd like February #1 if it id available.

- Erulisse (one L)
Jan. 15th, 2014 04:50 am (UTC)
You certainly have it! I am so sorry for taking so long to answer--I actually thought I already had done so!
Jan. 15th, 2014 11:55 am (UTC)
Crap! You do realize that you're giving me just five days to get this written and turned in? OUCH!

I'll do my best...

- Erulisse (one L)
Jan. 15th, 2014 02:18 pm (UTC)
I'm so sorry! I truly thought I had already answered these, and was shocked to find I had not. I am going to announce an extension this morning!
Jan. 15th, 2014 08:22 pm (UTC)
Bless you, my dear. I could probably pound something out, but I'd rather try and do a really good job instead of a slap/dash one.

- Erulisse (one L)
Jan. 15th, 2014 11:20 pm (UTC)
Well, at any rate, we always take late stories! And if nothing else, you can always save it for next year's potluck, LOL! So if you are inspired don't worry about that part.

But I need to keep better track of posts I make under a different account!
Jan. 2nd, 2014 02:49 am (UTC)
April, poetry. :)
Jan. 15th, 2014 04:49 am (UTC)
Jan. 9th, 2014 08:24 am (UTC)
Since I accidentally started writing it last night, I guess I should put in a formal claim for no. 89 (June: garnet)

Am I allowed to do more than one?
Jan. 15th, 2014 04:47 am (UTC)
You are allowed to do as many as you please!
Jan. 12th, 2014 08:14 am (UTC)
I'd like the picture prompt 97 "Under the Willows" please.
Jan. 15th, 2014 04:49 am (UTC)
Sorry to be so late responding; I thought I already had. 97 is fine!
Jan. 16th, 2014 08:52 am (UTC)
Thank you. Story is written and with my editor.
Jan. 15th, 2014 02:57 am (UTC)
Stories are due in the queue the weekend of January 20, and will be revealed on Monday, January 23.

Hello! I'm wondering about the due date for this challenge. The 20th is a Monday, and the 23rd is a Wednesday. I'm aiming for this weekend in any case, but thought it would be good to check to see if I'm actually late, or if I have more time than I thought! :-)
Jan. 15th, 2014 04:46 am (UTC)
No, you are not late. While the due date is usually the 14-16, this month I was a litttle late posting the challenge, so I built in an extension from the start.
Jan. 15th, 2014 06:31 pm (UTC)
Don't know how I missed this. Thanks to Rhapsody for the link.

I think I'll take no. 59, Aragorn raising Arwen's standard.
Jan. 15th, 2014 11:21 pm (UTC)
You've got it!
Jan. 20th, 2014 06:32 pm (UTC)
Not sure whether I should mention this here or not, but I ended up using my "Jewels of June" element, which I was completely stuck with as part of a story for Teitho which I've just posted here.

Jan. 21st, 2014 01:48 pm (UTC)
That's neat!
Jan. 21st, 2014 08:31 am (UTC)
Oops. I appear to have written two more stories, and once again forgot to formally claim to prompts before writing them. As well as no. 89 (June: garnet) I have also done no. 24 (March: Aragorn takes the Paths of the Dead) and no. 91 (September: stew.) I did check that nobody else had claimed them, but I really should have asked for them before writing them. Oops! :-)

What tag(s) should I use on the stories?
Jan. 21st, 2014 01:47 pm (UTC)
That's OK,LOL!

Tags: '13 january, potluck '13
Jan. 21st, 2014 06:13 pm (UTC)
Do you definitely mean '13 january, or should it be '14 january?
Jan. 21st, 2014 08:11 pm (UTC)
Ack! 14.

I am sorry. I've been under the weather this week, and apparently my brain is simply not keeping up!
( 27 comments — Leave a comment )


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