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Dawn Felagund has been involved in the Tolkien fandom, specifically the Silmarillion fandom, since March 2005. She is the author of more than sixty stories about Tolkien's world, is an avid researcher and blogger on his texts, and is the founder and owner of the Silmarillion Writers' Guild archive and website, currently the only Silmarillion-only archive on the web.
Dawn has been a writer all of her life. Her earliest work was in the literary genre, and she largely discovered speculative fiction through the works of J.R.R. Tolkien. She currently writes and publishes original speculative fiction.
In 2003, Dawn graduated with honors from the University of Maryland Baltimore County with a degree in psychology and a minor in writing. She is currently studying for a second Bachelor's degree in English at American Public University with the goal of becoming an English teacher.
Dawn discovered fandom in 2005, shortly following the release of the third Lord of the Rings movie. Dismayed by the one-dimensional portrayals of complex Silmarillion characters that were prevailing in much of Silmarillion-based fiction, she set out to represent unpopular points of view through a historiographical approach to Tolkien's works. Her first major fanwork--the novel Another Man's Cage--was posted in weekly increments beginning on 6 June 2005. Since then, she and other authors have created stories and artwork exploring the "Felakverse" interpretation of The Silmarillion.
On 15 March 2005, Dawn created the Silmarillion Writers' Guild on Yahoo! Groups and LiveJournal. The Tolkien fandom, at the time, was still reeling from the release of the third movie in late 2003, and Silmarillion authors were often competing for readers on archives that featured primarily Lord of the Rings fiction, much of it written in response to the movies. Rivalry between the several large archives for Tolkien-based fiction furthered the divide between Silmarillion authors. The SWG was initially intended as a community and workshop for Silmarillion fans to unite and discuss and write about the books independent of competition from stories concerning Tolkien's better-known works. Shortly after appointing her first co-moderator, in late July 2005, the SWG began actively recruiting new members for its Yahoo! list and LiveJournal community. The group began discussing the possibility of a website with a fiction archive later that same year.
On 6 June 2007--a bare two years after Dawn established a fandom presence with the publication of Another Man's Cage--the SWG opened its fiction archive to the public. Currently, as the founder and owner of the SWG, Dawn works with four co-moderators to manage the group and develop new projects and ideas to promote participation in the Silmarillion fan community. In addition to her roles as the group's owner, Dawn works with co-moderator Angelica Ramses and a staff of volunteers to develop the SWG's Reference Library.
As a researcher and author of stories based on J.R.R. Tolkien's texts, one of Dawn's primary research interests is the intersection of the two: How fans make use of an enormous, complex, and conflicting body of Tolkien's writings to create a "canon." She advocates for a self-dubbed "historiocanonical" approach that treats the texts as historical works that are open to the same analysis--and skepticism--accorded historical texts. Much of her fiction is derived from this approach and often concerns alternate viewpoints of characters, events, and cultures. Her stories have won awards and have also drawn considerable criticism for deviating too far from the texts or from the inferred intent of J.R.R. Tolkien.