Archivists' Challenges

After about a year of running this site, we decided that just for fun, we'd try running a monthly fanfic contest. It's been a fantastic experience so far, not only because it provides us with lots of great new stories, but also because it's an opportunity to encourage some of the less commonly-written themes and pairings in LOTR.

For our first contest, we awarded two first places and four honorable mentions, as we were really impressed by many amazing submissions we ended up getting. In the future, though, we've decided we'll choose just one first place winner for each contest, and the two webmistresses (Marie and Meredith), along with our guest-judge (Elena), will pick a story for honorable mention. The first place winner will receive whatever cool/dorky/interesting prize we're giving away that month, as well as a little award pic to put on his or her website. Honorable mention winners will get award pics, too.

Below you'll find a record of past contest winners and a link to the current challenge.

Challenge #1, January 2003: Two Towers movie-based slash

You can tell by the date that when we opened up our first challenge, we were still feeling a little bit obsessed about TTT. Personally, we saw loads of interesting fanfic possibilities in the movie, and in the hopes of encouraging some of them to get written, we made that our first archivists' challenge. We were blown away by all the wonderful stories that were submitted, 34 of them in total.

First place
Keeping Secrets by Deborah (PG, Gimli/Eowyn, Legolas/Aragorn, Legolas/Gimli)
Precious by Rimau (G, Frodo/Sam)

Honorable mentions
Allegiance by Rhysenn (PG, Aragorn/Haldir)
Elven Eyes, Human Hands by Caenis (PG13, Legolas/Aragorn, Arwen/Eowyn)
Leechcraft by TG McClellian (R, Grima/Theoden)
Calen Vedui Nirnaeth by Liana Wanderwillow (NC17, Orophin/Rumil)

Challenge #2, February 2003: Femmeslash

The only requirement this time around was that the stories be female/female slash, which as several people had pointed out, we didn't have nearly enough of. We received a total of 20 femmeslash entries, and it was extremely hard to choose between them! As with last time, they were all so good - many thanks go out to everyone who participated!

First place
Sin by Genesis Grey (R, Arwen/Éowyn, Éowyn/Lothiriel)

Honorable mentions
Marie's Pick: Caged by Tattycat (R, Arwen/Éowyn)
Elena's Pick: Love Me and Despair by Dernhelm (NC17, Galadriel/Éowyn)
Meredith's Pick: Recall by Caenis (R, Éowyn/Lothiriel)

Challenge #3, March 2003: Legolas/Gimli

Anything and everything Legolas/Gimli, and we sure got the gamut. Charlotte suggested this challenge and we thought it would be perfect; in the rush of recent Legolas slash the poor dwarf has been missing out on all the elf action. No so any more, since we received 21 new stories!

First place
Folk of Different Race by Lemur (G)

Honorable mentions
Marie's Pick: The Tale of Galadriel's Hair by Arda (G)
Elena's Pick: The Hill of Erech by Daisy Norbury (removed at author's request)
Meredith's Pick: Loving Legolas by Dayast_joy (R)

Challenge #4, April-May 2003: 1) Make Love Not War, 2) Darkfic

Why use one good idea when you can use two? This challenge allowed writers to pick from two, almost opposite topics. We received a total of 37 entries, and all of them unique! Once again the bar has been raised - this was our toughest decision to date! In all truth, it involved a three-hour heated phone debate arguing the merits and minute details of quite a few different fics!

First place
Musings in the Dark by Carole (NC17, Aragorn/Denethor, Aragorn/Boromir)

Other entries: The Doom of Men by Symbelmynne

Honorable mentions

Marie's Darkfic Pick: Final Judgment by Aeneus (NC17, Finrod/Barahir, Finrod/Beren, Finrod/Sauron)
Marie's Love and War Pick: A Mission of Diplomacy by LdyBastet (R, Balrog of Moria/Witch-King of Angmar)

Meredith's Darkfic Pick: Choices by Jai Marie (R, Frodo/Sam)
Meredith's Love and War Pick:
Dancing with Knives by Aduial (NC17, Legolas/Glorfindel)

Challenge #5, January-February 2004: Return of the King

Between bouts of insanity over the greatness of the just-released ROTK movie and return visits to the theater, we decided it was about time for another archivist's challenge. Entries had to be based on scenes or ideas from the film. We recieved 18 submissions (many of which expressed a trend toward Faramir/Pippin which we did not at all mind!), and we judged them with several different criteria in mind, including originality, writing style, and how well they fulfilled the challenge. Thanks go out to all the great authors who participated!

First place
Heliotrope by Haleth (NC17, Legolas/Éomer)

Honorable mention
Hope and Memory by Rhysenn (PG, Faramir/Pippin, Boromir/Faramir)