Dawn Felagund

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Name: Dawn Felagund
Alias(es): Dawn Walls-Thumma
Type: fan writer, archivist, community moderator, academic
Fandoms: Silmarillion, Tolkien
Communities: Silmarillion Writers' Guild, Many Paths to Tread, Back to Middle-earth Month, Tales of Middle Earth Awards, Mereth Aderthad, Tolkien Fandom History
URL: http://themidhavens.net/
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Dawn Felagund is an author in The Silmarillion fandom. In 2005, she founded the Silmarillion Writers' Guild, and in 2009, built the Tolkien genfic archive Many Paths to Tread by request of the LotR GenFic Community. She later became a moderator on that archive as well. Dawn helped to maintain the annual Back to Middle-earth Month event and continues to serve as a moderator. In 2012, Dawn became a consultant to the Stewards for the establishment of the Tales of Middle Earth Awards.

Dawn also presents at conferences and publishes articles and essays on Tolkien studies and Tolkien fandom studies. Her area of focus in Tolkien studies is Tolkien's use of pseudohistorical techniques, especially historical bias, in the legendarium, especially The Silmarillion. In the area of fan studies, Dawn focuses on Tolkien-based fanworks, especially fanfiction, with a focus on fanfiction archives. Dawn is the lead on the Tolkien Fanfiction Survey, a longitudinal project that is released at five-year intervals.



Dawn became interested in Tolkien fanfiction in 2004 following the release of the Return of the King movie. She began reading stories based on The Silmarillion and writing some early works, including character studies that would become the novel Another Man's Cage.


March 15. Dawn established the Silmarillion Writers' Guild on LiveJournal and Yahoo! Groups but did not yet begin recruiting members.[1]

June 2005. Dawn began posting her novel Another Man's Cage on LiveJournal, marking her entrance into the Silmarillion fandom as an author.[2] A new chapter was posted weekly for the next year, and AMC earned a small following.

July. With the help of veteran Silmarillion author ford_of_bruinen, Dawn succeeded in launching the SWG on Yahoo! Groups and LiveJournal. As an unknown in the fandom at the time, Dawn describes herself as "probably the last person who should have announced her entrance into fandom by starting a group as ambitious as the SWG".[3]


Dawn began studying website design with the goal of building an archive for the SWG.


March 2007. The SWG participates in Back to Middle-earth Month for the first time. Under Dawn's leadership, the SWG would continue to promote B2MeM even after interest waned in other groups. This year's event would mark the first of eight consecutive years of B2MeM that she coordinated.

June 2007. Dawn and her comoderators ford_of_bruinen, digdigil, and Tárion Anaróre opened the SWG archive to the public.[4]


Dawn was approached by the moderators of the LotR Genfic Community for help building an eFiction archive for their group. She designed the site Many Paths to Tread and was subsequently appointed a moderator of that site.


December 15. Presented the paper At the Root of the Tree of Tales: Using Comparative Myth and "On Fairy-Stories" to Analyze Tolkien's Cosmogony at the Mythmoot II conference in Baltimore, Maryland.


December. Began recruiting participants for the Tolkien Fan Fiction Survey.[5]


January 10. Presented the paper Transformative Works as a Means to Develop Critical Perspectives in the Tolkien Fan Community at the Mythmoot III conference in Baltimore, Maryland.

March. Published the paper Fictional Scholarship: How the Peter Jackson Films and Fandom Archives Make Tolkien Fan Fiction Writers into Competent Critics in Mythprint.

June. Presented the paper The Loremasters of Fëanor: Historical Bias in the Works of J.R.R. Tolkien and Transformative Works at the New York Tolkien Conference.


July. Presented the paper The Borders of the (Fictional) World: Fan Fiction Archives, Ideological Approaches, and Fan Identity at the New York Tolkien Conference.

September. Published the paper Attainable Vistas: Historical Bias in Tolkien's Legendarium as a Motive for Transformative Fanworks in the peer-reviewed Journal of Tolkien Research.


April. Presented the paper "Thus Wrote Pengolodh": Historical Bias, Its Evidence, and Its Implications in The Silmarillion at the Tolkien at UVM Conference.


April. Presented the paper Finding Footing in a Forest of Fins: Name Etymology and Characterization of the Finwëan Noldor at the Tolkien at UVM Conference.




January 18. Published Affirmational and Transformational Values and Practices in the Tolkien Fanfiction Community in the Journal of Tolkien Research.

June 15. Published Diving into the Lacuna: Fan Studies, Methodologies, and Mending the Gaps as a Symposium piece in the special edition Fan Studies Methodologies of the journal Transformative Works and Cultures.

August. Began rebuilding the Silmarillion Writers' Guild archive in Drupal.


March. Opened the rebuilt SWG archive.

April 10. Presented Ox Bones and Silver Ladles: The Construction of the Ainulindalë at the Tolkien at UVM Conference.

June 3. Presented The Pillar and the Vastness: A Longitudinal View of the Tolkien Fanfiction Fandom at the Popular Culture Association Conference.

July 4. Presented Stars Less Strange: An Analysis of Fanfiction and Representation within the Tolkien Fan Community at the Tolkien Society Seminar on Tolkien and Diversity.


April 14. Presented Point of View and In-Universe Authorship of the "Silmarillion" at the Popular Culture Association Conference.

March. Began the Cultus Dispatches monthly column on Tolkien fan studies as part of the SWG's weekly newsletter.

June. Published "Cartography of a Character: On (Re)Writing Nerdanel" in Not the Fellowship. Dragons Welcome!, part of the Academia Lunare collection.

August. Published "Roads Go Ever On and On: Fan Fiction and Archival Infrastructures as Markers of the Affirmational-Transformational Continuum in Tolkien Fandom," coauthored with Maria K. Alberto, in the book Fandom: The Next Generation.

October 14. Presented "A Fanworks Ecumenopolis: Tolkien Fanfiction Archives and the Implications of Consolidation" at the Fan Studies Network North America conference as part of a roundtable on Tolkien fandom archives.