lotrcom_mods (lotrcom_mods) wrote in lotr_community,

2018 January Potluck Challenge

My sincere apologies for this very late posting of the Potluck Challenge! Due to the lateness of this challenge, the due date will extend into February. However, we will still have February's challenge, hopefully with a more timely announcement!

Welcome to the 2017 January Potluck Challenge! For those of you who are new to this challenge, it's where we (1) give you a chance to finish up and post any challenges you did not finish during 2017, or (2) give you a chance at some of the prompts that did not get used during the past year or (3) both.

To join in, simply choose your prompt and claim it by leaving a comment on this post. More than one person may claim a prompt. In addition, you are not limited to just one prompt. You may claim as many as you like; we do ask that you put each claim in a separate comment, as it will help us keep track of things better. If you want to, you may claim a prompt, finish it and then claim another. You may also comment to say if you are finishing up a story from previous challenges. As the mods notice claims coming in, we will strike them from the list, if that month calls for it.

Your stories will be due in the moderator's queue by Friday, February 9, and will be unlocked on Monday, February 12. Please tag your story "month: 2018 January" and "annual challenge: potluck". 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.

If you have any questions, please comment here or e-mail the mods at manypaths@lotrgfic.com.

Prompts are behind the cuts.


The February Challenge had the theme "Art's Desire". Stories were inspired by art posted in the Art Gallery at Many Paths to Tread. Browse through the art posted by our talented artists and choose a piece of art to inspire your story. You may put a link to the artwork at MPTT in the prompt line of the story header, but do not post the actual art along with the story without asking permission from the artist first. If you get permission, you may certainly insert it into your story.

(If you choose this month, simply comment with the title of the work of art you chose and the artist.)


The March challenge had the theme "Spring Fever". Stories were to be hurt/comfort and set in the springtime. Elements for the challenge were healing herbs.

willow bark
lemon balm


The April Poetry Challenge had the theme "Ode to Arda".
The subject of the ode can be any aspect of Arda: nature, characters, history, special places or events, etc.
Prompts for the challenge were a pair of rhyming words, although it was not required to use them to make rhymes in the poem, they could be used any way the author wished.



The May Challenge had the theme "Back Garden of a Dream". This challenge was inspired by a technique Tolkien often used in his writing, where his settings became so distinctive that they seemed to have personalities and function almost as characters in their own rights. For this challenge, stories used the setting as a key component of the story. Elements for the challenge will be a setting detail.

a shady dell in the forest
a hill
deserted ruins
a riverbank


The June Challenge will have the theme "Graduation Gift". Stories should feature a character dealing with coming-of-age, or moving from one stage of life to another; your element will be a gift to that character from a teacher or mentor.

A map
A special garment appropriate to the character
A letter
Money to be used for a special purpose

July: FLF

The July Challenge had the theme "Picnic." Stories involved an outdoor gathering or celebration of some sort. The element will be a number between 101 and 400. Interested authors replied to the announcement and claimed a number.

( Participants who choose this month should comment with their chosen number, and write something to fit the theme. Whatever number you will be the word count for your ficlet-- for example if you choose 237 your story must have exactly 237 words!)

August (non-fiction)

The August Challenge once more had the theme "Nonfiction." There was no element for this challenge; rather, we encouraged all members to submit essays, research articles, and other nonfictional works related to Tolkien's legendarium.

(If you choose this challenge, simply reply with "August non-fiction" in the comments here. You are free to choose your own topic! If you have a non-fiction piece previously written, but never posted on LJ or MPTT, please consider dusting it off for this challenge! I know many of you have written non-fiction for school or other activities, but have never been seen by your fellow fans.)


The September 2017 Challenge will have the theme "Bounty." Stories should feature a time of abundant harvest. In addition, this is our annual recipe!fic challenge, so the story should include a food item and the recipe for that dish, either in the story or separately at the end. Elements for the challenge will be a crop that is harvested in late summer or early autumn.



The October Challenge had the theme "the stars at night". Stories prominently featured the stars of the night sky. Prompts for the challenge was a particular star or constellation of Middle-earth that must have been at least mentioned in the story. (It does not have to be a plot element, although it can be.)

Anor: (the Sun)
Borgil: (Aldebaran)
Carnil: (Mars)
Remmirath, Itselokte, Sithaloth: (Pleiades)
Wilwarin: (generally held to be Cassiopeia)

(I do not have access to the leftover prompts for November's challenge.)


December was our annual Yule Fic Exchange. Since each participant gave two prompts, the following were the "untaken" prompts!

Tauriel returns to Mirkwood after the War of the Ring.

I would like a story about Elladan and Elrohir when they were young boys. Something fun.

I would like a story featuring Bilbo's journey to -- or arrival at -- Rivendell, after his long-expected party and leaving the Ring to Frodo.

One or more children of Merry, Pippin, and/or Sam visit the Ents. Does anyone choose to drink ent-draught and return to the Shire taller than their friends and relatives?

Elrond and Celebrian's first Yule as parents.

Lindon. Gil-galad. Ferries and second chances.

Members of the Fellowship are arguing about what famous individuals from previous ages of the Sun would think about Middle-earth now in the early Fourth Age and Aragorn's rule.

It's a time of trouble in the Shire: it could be the Long Winter, the Fell Winter, after the goblin invasion and the Battle of Greenfields, or during the Occupation of the Shire by Saruman's ruffians. I'd love to see how hobbits come together and try to make the best of things and create a Yule celebration in spite of everything.
Tags: 2018, announcement: challenge, annual challenge: potluck, month: 2018 january
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