Back to Middle-earth Month

A picture of Tolkien's Arda, captioned B2MEM

An annual event to promote Tolkien-based transformative works. More information about Back to Middle-earth Month can be found on our LiveJournal community.

(Closed, Unmoderated)

About Back to Middle-earth Month (b2mem)

Active since:



Back to Middle-earth Month--affectionately known as B2MeM--originated in 2006 after the release of the final Lord of the Rings movie. It was intended to help keep the Tolkien fandom active even in the absence of new movies to motivate fans. Starting in 2009, three groups interested in Tolkien-based fanworks--the Silmarillion Writers' Guild, Many Paths to Tread, and Arda Inspired--have run an annual B2MeM during March. These events take a different shape every year but aim to encourage the creation of new Tolkien-based fanworks and interactions between groups within the fandom who ordinarily do not get the chance to read and comment on each other's work.

You do not have to be a member of these groups to participate in B2MeM.

Subcollections for all years are found in this collection save for 2014, which has its own collection here.



Who decides if my work counts toward a B2MeM challenge?

You do! B2MeM events frequently involve challenges that require writers and artists to produce a creative work that fits a specific challenge. During some events, participants can receive prizes, such as customized banners, for completing challenges. However, we do not in any way arbitrate what does and does not "count" toward that challenge. We take our participants' word: If they say that they have completed a challenge, then we gladly award them credit for it.

Do I have to post my story, poem, or art somewhere online for it to count?

 Absolutely not! We understand that not all creative pieces are ready to share right away ... or ever. As noted above, if you vouch that you have completed a challenge, that is good enough for us.

 I can't participate every day. Is that okay?

 We understand that few of us are lucky enough to be able to devote time each day to fannish activities. While many B2MeM events provide a daily challenge, we do our best to plan events that everyone can participate in, even those folks who may only be available a few times each month. Even if you can't join us every day, we welcome whatever level of participation you can offer!

 Can I write one long story that incorporates multiple challenges and still receive credit for each of those challenges?

 Absolutely! As noted above, you decide what counts as acceptable for a particular challenge. Writers who prefer to create longer works often write a longer piece that satisfies multiple challenges, and that is fine with us.

What about unfinished works? I started a vignette for one of my challenges but can see it easily turning into something longer. Can I still receive credit for it?

 Yes. If you feel that you've completed enough of a piece to meet the challenge, then that's enough for us! As noted above, we recognize that challenge events like this can be more difficult for authors who prefer to write longer stories, so we try to do allow accommodations so these writers can participate.

I'm not a writer. I am an artist/craftsperson/musician/filmmaker/podficcer--am I allowed to participate?

 Yes! We celebrate all forms of creativity inspired by Tolkien. Most of our participants are writers or artists working in traditional or digital media, but we absolutely welcome other forms of creativity.

 Who comes up with the idea for the event each year?

Around December each year, we generally solicit feedback and ideas from B2MeM participants about what they'd like to do for the next year's challenge. We encourage everyone to share with us what past events they liked, didn't care for as much, and what they'd like to see us do in the future.

At the beginning of the year, the moderators from that year's participating groups discuss proposed ideas and design an event for that year. We consider member feedback as well as the amount of time the moderators expect they will have during February and March. (Some past B2MeM events have required several hours of volunteer time per day, so moderator availability is a big factor that we consider!) Finally, we consider the inclusiveness of various ideas: The Tolkien fandom is a huge, diverse fandom, and we want all members to feel like they are able to participate, if they wish to do so. We try to reveal the year's event by the middle of January so that all participants have a chance to familiarize themselves with the event and get on board.

We welcome feedback from participants at any time during the year. Please contact one of the community maintainers to share your ideas and feedback.