The Gathering of the Fellowship Tolkien Fan Community
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ProLiteracy Worldwide


The Fan Art Contest
Literary Competition
Essay Writing Contest

The one thing that binds us all as Tolkien fans is our love of words and stories. We can all remember fondly the first time we heard or read one of the professor's books. The rich landscapes and textures; the heroic themes and tragic characters; the impossible journeys and hopeful adventures: all of these things drew us in to the worlds that we only knew in our thoughts.

For many of us, the magic on those pages came alive and sparked our creativity, and the desire to transform our own imaginations into worlds that might be shared and characters that might be loved was brought to the surface. The inspiration drawn from these experiences turned many of us into story-tellers, and lovers of the written word.
Are you inspired by Tolkien's work? Are you a fantasy writer yourself? Do you want to see your work in print and online? Then consider entering our contest...

The Gathering of the Fellowship Literary Competition


We're looking for short stories or short scripts inspired by any of Tolkien's works. The work must be complete—no chapters of novels or works in progress. We will publish winning submissions in the Gathering's journal In Fellowship and on the website.

The critical words here are "inspired by." A large majority of the fantasy fiction written and published since The Lord of the Rings can be considered inspired by Tolkien. While you cannot include characters, places, or languages from Tolkien's works, you still have a boundless universe of story material, as the works of authors like George R.R. Martin, Robert Jordan, Anne McCaffrey, Philip Pullman, Ken Follett, Christopher Paolini, and many, many others demonstrate.

Contest Rules

  • All contestants must be Registered attendees at GOTF 2006. You can send us your entry without having already purchased your Registration, but your entry will not be considered if you have not purchased your Registration at the time of judging.
  • Entries should be between 1,000 and 10,000 words in length.
  • Entries must be original works written by the author or authors submitting it. (This means no plagiarism.)
  • Works written in collaboration can be submitted, provided that the work is submitted with the agreement of all authors.
  • Entries cannot infringe on existing US, Canadian, or international copyrights. This means that entries cannot include characters, places, or languages from The Lord of the Rings or other Tolkien works, or from the films, or Professor Tolkien himself.
  • Only one entry per author or collaborative authors.
  • Please—no entries that would not be G-rated for language, violence or sexual situations.
We are not trying to make life difficult; we're just pointing out that since winning entries will be published, we must obey copyright laws. Tolkien's name, his characters, languages, stories, and place names are licensed from either The Tolkien Estate or by Tolkien Enterprises. Accepting an entry that infringes on these licenses and copyrights would violate licenses from The Tolkien Estate and possibly subject us to other rights violations as well.

Age Categories

Right now we are planning on three age categories:
  • Age 12 and under
  • Age 13 to 20
  • Age 21 and older
If we do not receive a minimum of five entries per category, we'll combine the categories.


Entries will be judges by a panel consisting of members of the Gathering staff and some of our guests, to be announced.


There will be a winner and two honorable mentions in each age category judged, and a Grand Prize winner.

Prizes to be announced.

How to Submit Your Entry

  1. It should be a Microsoft Word document (if this causes a problem please contact us beforehand).
  2. Format your entry in Times New Roman, 12 point font.
  3. Make sure it is double spaced and has page numbers.
  4. Type your name at the top right hand size of each page.
  • The entry MUST include your real name. Screen names or pseudonyms may be used, but the entry will be rejected unless we have your real name. In order to enter this competition, we will need:
  1. The full, real name of the author (or authors)
  2. A pseudonym (optional)
  3. Your age
  4. Your mailing address
  5. Your email address
  6. Your telephone number
  7. Your Registration Confirmation number (if already purchased)
  8. The Title of the Piece
  9. The total word count
Questions? Contact Jessica at

The Gathering of the Fellowship Essay Writing Contest

Essay Writing Contest
Artwork "Bilbo at Rivendell", by the Bros. Hildebrandt

What does The Lord of the Rings mean to you? How has it affected your life? Answer this question and you could win an Attending Registration to The Gathering of the Fellowship 2006 Convention in Toronto.

Tolkien, for so many of us, has been a life-changing inspiration. For many who seek out the fellowship of other Tolkien fans, Tolkien has been a teacher both profound and awe-inspiring. Without his great legacy—his wonderful works of Middle-earth—we would not be the individuals we are today. The Lord of the Rings was a masterwork of fiction, often outsold only by The Bible. It has shaped our lives, what we read, even our culture, but we at GOTF want to know how it has shaped your life: how has The Lord of the Rings inspired you?

In an essay of no less than 500 words and no more than 1,500 words, please tell us what Tolkien means to you and how The Lord of the Rings (or any of Tolkien's works) inspire your life. Please send your essays by January 31st., 2005 and you will be entered to win an Attending Registration to the Gathering of the Fellowship's 2006 convention event (worth up to $100 USD).

Contest Entry

  • Send your essay to no later than December 31st., 2005.
  • Please paste your essay into the body of your email. Do NOT send the essay as an attachment.
  • The subject of the email should be: "GOTF Essay Contest Entry".
  • Essays must be between 500 and 1,500 words. Essays failing to meet these limits will not be considered.
  • The entry MUST include your real name. Screen names or pseudonyms will not be allowed. If your essay wins and you wish to be published under a pseudonym, that can be arranged. In order to enter the contest, we will need:
  1. Your full, real name
  2. Your age
  3. Your mailing address
  4. Your email address
  5. Your telephone number
Rules and Regulations
  • By entering your essay, the author agrees to allow GOTF to reprint the author's work on its website and print publication In Fellowship or its co-sponsored publication To The Professor at no cost to GOTF or its subsidiaries. The author will receive full credit for his or her work, and will retain all rights to said piece.
  • By entering the contest, the author agrees that his or her work is original and written by the author submitting it.
  • There are three age categories in which your essay will be judged:
      • Under 13
      • 13-21
      • Over 21
  • Three prizes will be awarded, one in each age category. The prizes will be Attending Registrations for the Gathering of the Fellowship 2006 Convention in Toronto. The prizes DO NOT INCLUDE traveling expenses or hotel accommodation expenses. The Under-13 age category prize will be a Child Attending Registration.
  • Entries will be judged by a group Tolkien scholars and educators.

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