In Many Meetings Bilbo famously says to Strider, “… this is not the time for lessons!” but in fact, it is!
Summer is drawing to an end and soon it will be time for all younglings to pick up chalk and tablet, scrolls and quills, and return to the lessons left as the days waxed long.
In honour of this turning of the season (and eruption of parental glee) our theme for August and September is Lessons.
Lessons as a theme can be very wide or very narrow. Perhaps you’d like to stick close to the Professor’s heart and write about a young elfling learning Quenya or Westron? Perhaps you’d like to imagine Aulë teaching the Dwarves Khuzdul or the Noldor their great skills in drawing and carving? Perhaps you’d like to write (or draw!) a Rider of the Rohirrim training a new mount?
Lessons can be practical-such as how to forage in the wild or how to sail a boat on the Great River; or entirely fun, such as learning how to bake honeycakes or blow smoke rings. They can be poignant revelations, gained by great effort, or long honoured lore, such as the names of the Beacons of Gondor that Pippin learned on his ride to Minas Tirith. Sometimes needed lessons are more abstract. Learning how to judge character is a crucial skill for everyone, not just a King. And learning another’s humour is vital to diplomacy. And happy marriages!
We speak of ‘teaching someone a lesson’ as a punishment and it is true lessons can be hard truths learned by unpleasant experience. Celebrimbor learned that fair visages can hide foul intent. Aragorn said of Merry: ‘His grief he will not forget; but it will not darken his heart, it will teach him wisdom’; and Frodo at the Prancing Pony had learned already to be wary of strangers—especially tall ones with grim demeanors!
You can write about taking lessons, or teaching them, but whatever you do, please follow our guidelines and submit your story by September 30
Send your entries to email@example.com. The contest is anonymous and the entry can't be posted publicaly until the results of the challenge are announced. Please mind our rules when submitting your entries for the contest.
Happy writing and drawing!
Mirach, Carawyn, Karri, Sian22 and Lotrfan