Wednesday, July 25, 2012

HASA Challenges - July

Birthday Cards

There is still a week to go in the July Birthday Cards, so there’s still enough of time to write or request a drabble...

Not sure what the birthday cards are about? Have a look at some older stories written as birthday cards.

One special birthday this month is HASA’s 10th! Of course the only possible Challenge for that is a 10th Walker Challenge

Nuzgûl of the Summer

No Nuzgûl of the Month this time, but three older nuzgûl and one new one to choose from for the summer:

  • Brotherly Advice
  • One-on-One Instant Conversation
  • Tam Lin meets Feanor
  • Kindly donated by maeglin: The War of Wrath made the Ring War seem like a skirmish, and must have been thought (at the time) to be "the war to end all wars." It was also the only opportunity Mortals had to observe the Valar in-action, up close, and at length. How did its survivors feel? Proud? Scarred? Both? For the Amanyar or Noldorin Exiles, did it change the way they felt about the Valar, and if so, how?

This Challenge will run until September 1. Come in and join the fun!

Thank you for reading at HASA. Have fun!

Monday, July 16, 2012

HASA How-tos - July 2012

How do I...

...find my way in Resources?

Obviously, the Resources area provides resources to writers, but it is also a great place to look around in for a non-author who is looking for information about characters or places.

The core of Resources is the Research Library, which contains many facts and citations from the Ardaverse. There are detailed articles on people, places, things and the events that tie them together. There is also a URL library linking to sites of interest to the JRRT fandom. There are research articles and critical essays written by our members, and a discussion forum on wide ranging topics.

The Reference Library

The Reference Library is designed to gather the facts about various subjects in one easily searchable area. It currently consists of Character Biographies, Events, Places, and Things. Each entry is referenced to a quote in Tolkien, so the member may refer to the original source. Members who are authors can link their stories to any of the Research Library entries.

Character Biographies

All the listed characters have simple fact sheets, containing very basic information such as date of birth and death when known, close relatives, and physical description.

For some characters the fact sheets are a starting point, in contrast to some of the minor characters where the fact sheets contain everything that is known. A number of fact sheets are associated with essays that are more detailed, and which may contain speculation supported by references.

Timeline Events

You can look up Timeline events alphabetically, by event type, by era and by date range. They are presented in chronological order, and are cross-referenced to other research library entries.

If you want to know exactly who did what, when, where and how, timeline events can probably provide the answer.


Places contains information on locations mentioned by Tolkien, whether in the text or on the maps he drew. Our goal is detailed information on the complete list of places, with accompanying references.


The Things section contains detailed information on various objects, from the physical such as ships or weapons, to songs, to constructs such as the White Council.  

The URL Library

The URL Library is a collection of web page links, organized by general categories, covering both Tolkien's works and other topics of general interest to HASA members. Members are encouraged to submit interesting links.

Research Articles and Critical Essays

These are non-fiction works about a particular subject useful to fanfic writers or to anyone who wants to know more about a subject. Current articles and essays range from personality traits of horses to in-depth character studies to geopolitics. Any subject involving Tolkien's writing, fanfic, or life in Middle-earth or the West is fair game.

Who writes Research Articles and Critical Essays?

HASA members write them. Many authors have done research in preparation for a story and then contribute their knowledge in the form of an article or Reference Library entry. There are several articles posted and HASA is always eager to expand the section. If you write a research article or a critical essay, please link it into Resources by going to the Articles & Essays pages.

What kind of searches can I do?

A-Z Index - This part of the site provides alphabetical lists of all the Research Library entries. Each kind of research item (People, Places, Things, Events) also has alphabetical listings.

Full text search - This takes a little more practice. This search can do complex Boolean free text search of the contents of all the research library entries.

Each library entry type has a search available to sort, slice and dice on its main categories for quick filtering of entries.

What is the Resources Forum?

This is the gathering place for the Resources geeks and anyone who wants to pick their brains.

You can discuss just about anything to do with Tolkien's works, what life might have been like in Middle-earth, or the intricacies of writing about it. Geography, character speculation, daily life, grammar, economics... You think it up, someone will probably want to discuss it.

Many discussions start as research questions. This is the place to ask questions, and bring your expertise to answer others. This is also a place to discuss the nuts and bolts of writing, beta reading, and associated issues.


If there is any topic you’d like to see in the how-to, please let us know!

Sunday, July 8, 2012

HASA Reviewed Stories July 2012

As I type this, there are 7 stories waiting for your review (remember to log in before you follow the link).

Member participation is crucial for reviews. The more people are involved in reviewing, the more different opinions are represented. Having more people involved also means that stories pass through review more quickly – which is good for everyone. If you are an active reviewer, why not go and check out a story?

Or, if you are a writer, take the plunge and submit a story for review; and when you do, please remember: Put one in, take one out.

By submitting a story for review, you are asking nine other members to read and evaluate it. So why not do for the other authors who have a story in review what you'd like other reviewers to do for you: check out one of the stories already in review and give it a read.

Becoming a reviewer

If you're not an active reviewer, but think you can spare a bit of time... – even if you just review one or two stories in a month, every review is welcome. If you are logged in, you can sign up here if you've been a member of HASA for thirty days or more.

Daunted by the idea of reviewing? Don't be, reviewing at its simplest comes down to asking yourself: "Would I recommend this story to someone?" Then, whether the answer is 'yes' or 'no', you can make a choice from the capsule reasons to clarify your decision. If you want to, you can add a few more words to convey what you (dis)liked about the story, but just the capsule reason is perfectly fine as well.

And remember: even if you think you're too critical or not critical enough: your review is only one of nine, and all points of view are welcome. Not every reviewer has to review every story and in the end it does all level out to a balanced judgement.

Reviewed story spotlight

These stories have passed through review since the previous bulletin. Congratulations to all authors; well done!

Daisy Chains by Linda Hoyland
Rating: General
Era: 3rd Age - Ring War
Genre: Romance
Completion: Complete
Summary: In the Houses of Healing, Faramir tries to win at least a smile from Éowyn. With thanks to Raksha and Deandra.

Fallen by Aliana
Rating: Adult
Era: 3rd Age - Ring War
Genre: Drama
Summary: It's one thing to survive the Siege of Minas Tirith, and quite another to imagine rebuilding one's city--and oneself. A coming-of-age story for Gondor's "greatest generation."

Silver Rain by Tanis
Rating: General
Era: 1st Age
Genre: General
Summary: B2MEM 2011 Challenge - Beguilement. Thingol contemplates the seduction of his wife and the new life they will create.

Two Poems for Daeron by losselen
Rating: General
Era: 1st Age
Genre: Poetry
Completion: Complete
Summary: Daeron sings of Doriath in the days of his youth, and of Eriador when he strayed there. Two sonnets.

Other Things by Wheelrider
Rating: General
Era: 3rd Age - Ring War
Genre: Drama
Summary: Boromir's dream is different.

Olive by Virtuella
Rating: General
Era: 3rd Age - Post-Ring War
Genre: General
Summary: Spring has come to Esgaroth and the daughter of a wealthy merchant finds her life changed by encounters with the mysterious Elven King. But not all is as it seems.

Echoes of Distant Waves by Larner
Rating: General
Era: 3rd Age - Post-Ring War
Genre: Drama
Summary: When Folco Boffin finds his friend and cousin looking westward in longing, Frodo seeks to explain.

Beyond Healing by Nienna Finduilas
Rating: General
Era: 3rd Age - The Kings
Genre: General
Summary: Finduilas is "re-housed" in Aman and muses on things that have and things that have not changed. A double-drabble.

Autum Leaves by Imhiriel
Rating: General
Era: 3rd Age - The Stewards
Genre: Drama
Summary: As the leaves are falling, Denethor takes a walk with his son. Drabble.

Make an author's day, review a story or post a comment.

Sunday, July 1, 2012

HASA news - Birthdays, Challenges, Stories

July Birthdays and Challenges

Is your birthday in July, and would you like a drabble about your favourite character or topic? You can request it here. But that is not all! Be sure to read the whole message, because there are some changes to make writing Birthday Cards even more fun: from now on, you will be able to add the cards you wrote for your fellow HASA members directly to the annual Birthday Challenge. Also, during the first week of each month all birthday cards you wrote the month previous and entered into the challenge will be featured on the homepage, in honour of the birthday celebrants and to showcase your gifts.

Keep an eye out for the HASA 10th Birthday Challenge, which will be posted today or tomorrow as well, and don’t forget this summer’s Nuzgûl of the Month

June Stories

All of us writers love feedback. It is the lembas and miruvor that sustains us as we write our story, and leaving a few words about a story you read is always a nice thing to do, whether the story is new or old.

Every fifteen minutes HASA highlights a story chosen at random from the Reviewed and General stories in the archive. Read the currently featured story on our front page.

Many talented writers are publishing every day. In June:

--- 2 Reviewed Stories were published or updated.

--- 33 General Stories were published or updated.

--- 1 Beta Story was updated.

(Please note, you need to be logged in to view beta stories.)

Thank you for reading at HASA. Enjoy!