Back to Middle-earth Month

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Challenge
Name: Back to Middle-earth Month
Date(s): 2006-present
Moderator(s): Dawn_Felagund, Dreamflower, Independence1776, Huinárë, Mirach_Ravaia, Rhapsody the Bard, others
Founder: Unknown
Type: fanfiction and fanart challenge
Fandom: All Tolkien
Associated Community: B2MeM on Livejournal and B2MeM collection on AO3
URL: SWG Special Projects
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"Back to Middle-earth Month" (or B2MeM, as it is affectionately known) is an annual "holiday" for the Tolkien fandom held during the month of March. Begun in 2006 after the release of the final Lord of the Rings movie, its initial purpose was to maintain interest in a fandom that had grown exponentially with the release of the movie trilogy. [1]

Back to Middle-earth Month usually consists of a challenge designed to inspire fan writers and fan artists to create fanworks for The Silmarillion, The Lord of the Rings, and The Hobbit fandom. Every year, the challenge takes a different guise.

The Silmarillion Writers' Guild participated in that first B2MeM and has hosted a different event every year since. In 2009, SWG was joined by the LotR Genfic Community, and "our two groups are joined again in 2010 and welcome all in the Tolkien fandom to join us!" [2] In 2012, Arda Inspired joined SWG and LotRGfic/MPTT.

B2MeM Support is an unofficial, affiliated community for venting, squeeing, chatting, finding a beta, etc. [3]

History

2006

Announcement of B2MeM on the Middle-earth News newsletter

The original challenge was simply to pick a day of the week and post something about Middle-earth on that day: fic, art, quotes, why you love Middle-earth, etc. There was no organized effort to coordinate the event across groups.

The SWG participated in a general way.

There-n-back's challenge involved challenging people to write something involving characters not mentioned in the Tale of the Years on that specific date. Participants were explicitly invited to post on several Tolkien archives.

Waymeet's B2MeM challenge involved discussions on themed topics.

2007

There was no organized effort to coordinate the event across groups.

Middle-earth News challenged people with the original challenge, this time with the title "Celebrate Middle-earth Month."

The SWG's challenge involved quotes.

There-n-back's challenge involved "The Alphabet of Middle-earth," where the alphabet was used for prompts.

2008

There was no organized effort to coordinate the event across groups.

Middle-earth News once again challenged people with "Celebrate Middle-earth Month."

SWG's The Circles of the World considers the many different events that take place on Arda in the context of what inspires us as fans.

2009

This is the first year groups coordinated.

Back to Middle-earth Month 2009

For 2009's B2MeM, SWG and MPTT challenged our authors and artists with a daily prompt to take their creativity in new directions.

2010

Back to Middle-earth Month 2010: The Last Battle

In 2010, B2MeM participants embarked on an adventure to determine the fate of the world during the Last Battle.

2011

Back to Middle-earth Month 2011: Passport to Middle-earth

This year we invite you to travel! The Silmarillion Writers’ Guild has teamed up with Many Paths to Tread to host Passport to Middle-earth: a month-long holiday visiting our favourite places in Middle-earth. Every day, the tour will stop in a new location and, with it will come a new challenge to tempt your muses. We invite you to create a response for one, some, or all of our daily challenges! Once you've completed a challenge, you will receive a stamp from that location for your passport.

2012

Back to Middle-earth Month 2012: Bingo Baggins' BINGO Bash

2012's B2MeM was the largest hosted to date, with 88 participants signed on to play. The Silmarillion Writers' Guild and Many Paths to Tread were also joined by Arda Inspired as a sponsoring community. Participants in the 2012 challenge selected from over 100 different BINGO cards, also created by participants. Cards were themed and included challenges in the card spaces. A new BINGO number was called daily, and participants had two days to complete and report any challenges. When participants completed and reported a challenge, they received a stamp on the relevant card.

This was the first year that the LiveJournal community was used, in order for creators from all the participating groups to gather in one location.

2013

Back-to-Middle-earth Month 2013: Scavenger Hunt: Expedition in the Abecedarium

Middle-earth is full of hunters. The Vala Oromë found the first people of Middle-earth while hunting, and hunters have remained central to the stories since. Whether hunting for an Arkenstone or a band of Orcs or for truth and justice, Tolkien’s world is full of hunts for things both physical and metaphorical. Back-to-Middle-earth Month Scavenger Hunt: Expedition in the Abecedarium seeks to encourage creativity in the Tolkien fandom through a “quote scavenger hunt” that participants will use as inspiration for stories, art, meta, and other creative responses.

2014

Back to Middle-earth Month 2014: Seasons of Middle-earth

This year's Back to Middle-earth Month event will involve putting together a compilation of writing and art related to the theme "Four Seasons of Middle-earth." Each day during the month of March, we will post a selection of stories, poetry, and artwork created in response to prompts related to this year's theme.

There will eventually be an ebook of the compilation available.

2015

Back to Middle-earth Month 2015: Tharbad’s Greenway Spring Faire/Middle-earth Marketplace

At Back to Middle-earth Month 2015: Tharbad’s Greenway Spring Faire (the Middle-earth Marketplace for all you need), writers, artists, and other creators of fanworks are invited to challenge each other to create fanworks during the month of March! Because this is a spring faire, you will spend and earn farthings as you participate throughout the month by posting challenge prompts, claiming challenge prompts, and leaving reviews for other participants.

2016

Memories: As we begin our second decade of Back to Middle-earth Month, we're looking back and celebrating our first ten years. All prompt from all ten years are available for use; the prompts from years with daily prompt components will also be posted on their respective days in March. There are no sign-ups, no claims, and no deadlines.

More information and links to all 3291 prompts can be found in our Intro and FAQs post. We also have a collaboration post for those wishing to work with other people.

2017

Night and Day: This year's B2MeM will present prompts for fanworks on a gameboard. Participants can choose any path on the board that appeals to them and use the prompts to make fanworks with the goal of reaching the center of the board before the end of the month. This is a self-challenge, not a competition. There are paths available for participants who want to work on a fanwork every day, as well as those who want to spend March crafting just one or a few pieces. As always, all creators of Tolkien-based fanworks are welcome, and fanworks from all Ages, about all characters, and of all ratings and genres are welcome on the B2MeM community.

References

  1. Middle-earth News newsletter Volume 17, Issue 19. (Accessed April 16, 2015.)
  2. Back to Middle-earth Month 2011: Passport to Middle-earth. (Accessed May 13, 2011.)
  3. The unofficial B2MeM "support" community. (Accessed April 17, 2015.)