Mithril Awards

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Name: Mithril Awards
Date(s): 2003-2006
Frequency: annual
Type: judged, with some voted categories
Associated Community:
Fandom: Tolkien
URL: (2003-2004), livejournal
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The Mithril Awards for Tolkien fanfiction, fanpoetry and critical essays were founded in 2003[1] by Eledhwen, Janet Elizabeth Swainston, Khazar and Tavia. They are believed to be the first awards for online fanworks in the fandom. The awards were named for the silver-like mithril. Their aim was "to honour excellence in fiction, poetry and critical essays relating to The Lord of the Rings, The Hobbit, The Silmarillion and other works by JRR Tolkien."[2] They subsequently ran in 2004 and 2005/2006.

They were primarily awards judged by a panel of fans. There were also several voted categories in the 2003 and 2004 award years.


The idea of an annual categorised awards system in the Tolkien fandom was first proposed on the Henneth Annûn YahooGroups mailing list by Tavia in February 2003. Discussions revived on 11 March 2003 on the Henneth Annûn list and initially involved Adrienne, Ainaechoiriel, Arwen Lune, Isabeau of Greenlea, Janet Elizabeth Swainston, Khazar, Tavia, and others. The original proposal was to link the awards with the Henneth Annûn list and/or its (then) associated archive, the Henneth Annûn Story Archive. However, a poll at the Henneth Annûn list showed that the great majority of list members did not wish to have awards associated with either the list or the archive, and discussions moved to a separate awards list on YahooGroups by 16 March 2003.[3]

An awards committee of Eledhwen, Janet Elizabeth Swainston, Khazar and Tavia was formed. Narie designed the awards website, which was hosted by Tavia.


Banner for Best story focusing on Men (2003)

599 works were nominated across 22 judged categories, including categories for source text, genre, characterisation and Middle-earth race. There were five voted categories.[4]

For the results, see Mithril Awards/2003


Over 750 works were nominated across 26 judged categories. Poetry was split into three categories, the Fellowship category was replaced by Characterisation – ensemble, and Gapfiller and Characterisation – minor character were introduced. In the voted categories, Gen was split into three (Character piece, Drama/action adventure and Humour), increasing the total to seven. A semifinals stage was introduced.[5]





The 2005/2006 awards were run by Eledhwen and Khazar at a new Mithril Awards website (now defunct). There were 24 judged categories with no voted categories. The Characterisation – ensemble and Poetry – comic or light judged categories were discontinued. [6]




  1. Accessed November 9, 2008
  2. Mithril Awards: Index (accessed 9 February 2011)
  3. Henneth Annûn mailing list archive
  4. Mithril Awards: 2003 report (16 January 2004) (accessed 9 February 2011)
  5. Mithril Awards: Award Winners 2004 (accessed 9 February 2011)
  6. Mithril Awards: 2005 Final Results (accessed 9 February 2011)