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2015 January 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 23, and will be revealed on Monday, January 26.

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

Prompts behind the cut

For February's "February Fanon-buster" challenge, authors selected a much-loved or much-loathed fanon and wrote a story that showed the opposite of that fanon.

Your element will be three random words to be included in the story.

1. head, toss, red
2. friend, chase, square
3. leg, spoke, large
4. family, gather, green

For March's challenge, writers created a story that included no dialogue.

Your prompt will be a gesture or action that one of your characters must perform during the story.

5. pointed
6. hung his/her head
7. shrugged
8. nodded
9. hung his/her head
10. raised his/her fist

The April Challenge had the theme "Laugh!"; in honor of the fact that April is National Poetry Month, we asked the participants to try their hand at a humorous poem!

Prompts were a pair of rhyming words--to use in the poem or in the title or just use them

11. gravity/depravity
12. anticipation/celebration
13. fascination/cogitation
14. obligate/accommodate
15. evidence/intelligence

The May Challenge was a "challenge to create a story that deeply explores a single character. Writers were to explore that person's childhood, history, flaws, motivations, hopes for the future, or any other aspect of the character that interested them. Elements were a situation in which the character found himself or herself at some point in the story and that would reveal truths about that person's character.

16. Your character realizes he/she was wrong about something.
17. Your character is lost.
18. Your character meets someone who will be significant in his/her life for the first time.
19. Your character reacts to bullying (of him/her self or of someone else).
20. Your character searches for something/someone.
21. Your character confesses a secret to someone.
22. Your character must keep a secret from someone close to him/her.

The June 2014 Challenge had the theme "Bunny Hutch". Below you will find a list of plotbunnies that are looking for a good home and want to be written. Please leave a comment and claim the plotbunny you want to write, please do include the number of said bunny. Once claimed, we will strike it from the list and will leave a comment to confirm your claim. If you think you can adopt a second bunny and can write really fast, leave a separate comment.

The List of June Plot Bunnies!

23. The Citadel of Minas Tirith is 700 feet above the plain, and one of the hobbits (or even Gimli or Legolas, or members of Elrond's party) is having trouble getting used to being at such a height. (Shirebound)

24. Gandalf promised Shadowfax (in the chapter "The White Rider") that they would not be parted again in this world, so Shadowfax must have sailed West with Gandalf. How did Shadowfax fare during the voyage, and what does he experience in the West? What do the Elves of Tol Eressea think of this Lord of Horses? (Shirebound)

25. Time of the Trees: a story featuring a conversation between Indis and Elenwe as two Vanyarin Elves living among the Noldor, having married into the Noldorin royal house (Himring)

26. First Age: a story featuring one of the Haladin, the people of Haleth, other than Haleth herself (canon character or OC). What was it like to live in Brethil? Or: how would things, people and events, outside Brethil look to anyone who had been brought up there? (Himring)

27. Second Age: Captain Veantur returns to Numenor after the first Numenorean voyage back to Middle-earth. What does he report about Middle-earth? Or: how do things change on his return--for him personally or for Numenor in general? (Himring)

29. Third Age, Rohan: A story featuring Theodwyn, Theoden's favourite sister and Eomer and Eowyn's mother. (Himring)

30. Any Age: a story featuring ithildin, the material made by the Elves from mithril. How was it invented? What might it have been used for? (Himring)

31. Any Age: a story featuring a dwarf-made door. What unlocks it? Does it need a key? (Himring)

32. One of the nine members of the Fellowship has a birthday which falls during the course of the journey south. Will that birthday be celebrated? If so, how? If not, why not? (Linaewen)

33. I've often wondered if Eowyn truly wanted Faramir or if she always pined for Aragorn but realized he wasn't to be hers, so settled for Faramir as a poor second choice. (Erulisse (one L))

34. Aragorn disappears and chaos ensues.Has he been kidnapped and if so, who is responsible? Or is he away on some quest? This could be set during any period of Aragorn's life. (Linday Hoyland)

35. At some point while Frodo is living in Bag End with Bilbo, Sam suddenly becomes seriously ill or hurt, and has to be cared for by Bilbo and Frodo at Bag End. It's not a cut on his hand or arm, a splinter, or a bee sting, but something serious--maybe even life-threatening--such as sunstroke or something like that. (kgreen20)

36. Second Age: Galadriel and Celebrian had to flee Eregion towards safety in Lorien. She hasn't been below the Mallorns since receiving Nenya. What is she feeling about her escape and about her new home? And what about Celeborn? He didn't accompany them...(- Erulisse (one L) )

37. Third Age: The children at Bilbo's 111th birthday party were given magical toys. What happened with these toys as the children grew up and had children of their own? (Shirebound)

38. Fourth Age: Who let the Elves on Tol Eressea know that two mortals (Bilbo and Frodo) were coming there to live? What was the response? (Shirebound)

39. Fourth Age: Aragorn and Faramir are shipwrecked on their way back from a diplomatic mission and have to survive on a remote island. Back in Minas Tirith, everyone, apart from Arwen believes them to be dead. While Aragorn and Faramir struggle to survive, Arwen must organise a rescue mission with Aragorn's friends. (Linda Hoyland)

40. Any age, any race, crossover: The author's choice of character finds him/herself having an unusually vivid dream about characters or events from another fandom, particularly something that might not be canon but is what the author either thinks happened or wishes happened in that other fandom (the story must solve a mystery or answer a question from that other fandom, observed by the dreamer from Silm/Hobbit/LOTR.) (cascadewaters)

41. So just why is it that Minas Tirith looks like the prow of a ship? (cascadewaters)

42. Third or Fourth age, Gondor: Someone needs advice/ideas for a prank/trick... and gets it from the most unexpected source. (Note: this could be humor or even crack, but it could also just as easily be adventure/drama/political intrigue) (cascadewaters)

43. How did Bilbo's family, friends or neighbors react when they learn he's gone off unexpectedly with a bunch of Dwarves? (Dreamflower)

44. First Age: Two Trees and/or sun and moon, (prose or poetry or art or music) (cascadewaters)

45. Any age, any race, any tone: First word: Magnificent; Last word: Incapable (cascadewaters)

46. Any age, Dwarves, any setting: First word: Sober; Last word: Gloaming (cascadewaters)

47. Second Age: The Numenoreans aid Gil-galad against Sauron (battles at Sarn Ford and on the Gwathlo, etc.) (hhimring)

48. First Age: a story set among the people of the House of Haleth in Brethil (hhimring)

49. Third Age: Gondor and Rohan: Theoden's mother was Morwen of Lossarnach. Theoden had four sisters: two of them were born in Gondor, like Theoden himself, two were born in Rohan. (hhimring)

50. Third Age: Gondor and Arnor: Arvedui of Arthedain weds Firiel, daughter of Ondoher of Gondor. (hhimring)

51. Third Age, post-War: Dwarves were probably a rare sight in Minas Tirith. What did folks think when they saw Gimli stalking around? Were they brave enough to approach him? (Shirebound)

52. Third Age: What was Treebeard's first impression of Legolas when he saw him? Did they speak together? (Shirebound)

53. Third Age: What if Bilbo really *did* hide 'jools' within the walls of Bag End? Who found them, and when? (Shirebound)

54. Third Age: From the FOTR, The Ring Goes South: "The sons of Elrond, Elladan and Elrohir, were the last to return; they had made a great journey, passing down the Silverlode into a strange country, but of their errand they would not speak to any save to Elrond." What happened that they could speak to none but Elrond? (alfirineth

55. Third Age: After the Ring War, the Rohirrim have a country with great swathes laid waste - too few men, not enough food - and now something, or someone, is stealing their few remaining livestock... (curiouswombat)

56. Third Age: On either the Quest for Erebor or the Ring, someone has managed to get someone else terribly upset, to the point the injured party plans vengeance. Who has upset whom, and how is the vengeance carried out? How does the original offender react to the situation? (Larner)

57. Legend of Tevildo the Cat as incarnation of Sauron being born as a Numenorian fairy tale they would tell their kids. About big evil creature who is, in the end, a big cat and therefore can be dealt with just like any other cat - scratch him behind the ear until he starts purring and falls asleep and you can escape, basically. (hellga, via Linda Hoyland)

58. Fourth Age: Anyone want to offer up reasons why Thranduil would NOT go West? (mikononyte, via Linda Hoyland)

59. Fourth Age: Aragorn and Arwen have a second son who predeceases them. What happened to him? (Linda Hoyland)

60. Third Age: What did Shadowfax do after the war of the ring? (almaheart)

61. Third Age: "An old man who should have loved her as a father." What about Eomer and Theoden? Did they always see perfectly eye-to-eye? (almaheart)

62. Third Age: Do the Eagle King and the Lord of Horses have opinions on each other? (almaheart)

63. Third Age, Gondor: Did Finduilas' sons live up to their heritage as swans and learn to sail? Or try to, if you prefer. (almaheart)

64. Fourth Age: Important meetings: Lothiriel and Firefoot, or Faramir and Windfola. (almaheart)

65. Fourth Age, Gondor: During Aragorn's coronation (movie), the armor he's wearing looks a lot like Elendil's...is it? Where did all that come from? (almaheart)

66. Third Age: Gandalf’s conversation with Mandos/Manwë before being sent back to Middle-Earth

67. Third Age: The first meeting of Deagol and Smeagol

68. Third Age, Ring War: Back in Edoras after Helm’s Deep, Pippin and Merry tell Aragorn, Legolas and Gimli the full tale of how they escaped the orcs

69. Third Age, Ring War: Resting after a day’s journey in the Dead Marshes, Sam and Frodo discuss the nature of the marsh (libbstarz)

70. Third Age: We are told Gandalf rendered aid to the Shire during the Long Winter (TA 2758-9). What sorts of aid did he give them, and how? (Dreamflower)

In July we had our annual Fixed-Length-Ficlet Challenge, which will have as the theme "Summer Breeze". Claim a number between 101 and 400. No one will be allowed to have a number previously claimed. Whatever number you choose will be the word count for your ficlet-- if you choose 237 your story must have exactly 237 words!

The August Challenge once again had the theme "Nonfiction." You will not receive an element for this challenge; rather, we encourage all members to submit essays, research articles, and other nonfictional works related to Tolkien's legendarium. You are free to choose your own topic! No prompts; simply comment if you choose to do non-fiction.

September: we decided to have another fixed-length-ficlet so as not to have to stretch the deadline; the exact number of words is to be 144, to honor the combined ages of Frodo and Bilbo, as well as the number of special guests at the Long-expected Party. The theme is "Celebrate". Your prompt will be a quote from the Chapter of LotR, "A Long-expected Party", but the story does not have to include the quote; you can use it as an inspiration, a title or just use key words from your quote somewhere in the ficlet. The ficlet does not have to be set in LotR, but can be set in any part of Tolkien's Legendarium.

71. 'It will have to be paid for,' they said. 'It isn't natural, and trouble will come of it.'

72. "They had heard this and other darker rumours before, of course..."

73. 'You mean to go on with your plan then?'
'I do. I made up my mind months ago, and I haven't changed it.'

74. 'He paused, silent for a moment.'

75. 'Night slowly passed. The sun rose.'

76. 'The evening was closing in, and his cloaked figure quickly vanished into the twilight.'

The October Challenge had the theme "Sweet or Savoury?". Each story was to be a recipe!fic. (A Recipe!fic is a story in which the recipe for a dish included in the story is given, either separately at the end, or within the body of the story.) Participants will choose whether they wish to include a "sweet" or a "savoury" dish. The prompt for the challenge was a taste-related sensation, which must be mentioned in the story. When you comment to join the challenge, please indicate whether you want to write about "sweet" or "savoury"!

77. sugary
78. creamy
79. bittersweet
80. crispy
81. buttery
82. crusty
83. flaky
84. juicy

85. salty
86. crunchy
87. nutty
88. meaty
89. "sour

The November Challenge had the theme of “Gratitude”. It's a drabble challenge, and you may enter a drabble (100 words), drabble-and-a-half (150 words), double drabble (200 words), or triple drabble (300 words). Your drabble should have someone being grateful (or ungrateful) for something. No prompts; simply indicate if you choose novenber's hall engle.

Please tag your story "2015 potluck". Be sure to use the header below and to put the title and your name in the subject line!

We hope for lots of participants this month!


Jan. 16th, 2015 04:43 pm (UTC)
Then can I have June bunny 69, "Third Age, Ring War: Resting after a day’s journey in the Dead Marshes, Sam and Frodo discuss the nature of the marsh"?
Jan. 16th, 2015 11:05 pm (UTC)
Of course!


Eagles by judy
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