I’m not completely convinced that all the members of the Inner Circle Writers’ Group appreciate what’s on offer in the magazine designed in their name.
For example, in the current issue, quite apart from focusing on Bill Swiggs and his success with winning a Wilbur Smith writing competition which enabled him to mix with the rich and famous and get his book, Blood in the Dust, professionally edited and published, there are nine stories featured, including the first part of a classic (and spooky) tale by Thomas Hardy, The Withered Arm.
I could list all the other things in the mag too — including poetry from Laura Hughes, Nerisha Kemraj, Gabriella Balcom, Stephanie Bardy and John Baverstock, our Desert Island Books section, this month featuring Shawn Klimek, and the expert advice on offer from the likes of Dennis Doty and Samantha Hamilton; I could also point out that the magazine contains the ongoing comic book version of Shakespeare’s Macbeth, as well as Justin Wiggins unique visit to the home of C. S. Lewis in Oxford, England (with loads of pictures). But the main thing I wanted to highlight here was the series A Window Into Middle-earth, in which I take unique glimpses into the universe created by J. R. R. Tolkien.
In the current issue, for example, I examine the character of Galadriel in detail. You might recall her from The Lord of the Rings as the beautiful and other-worldly queen who reigns over the apparently timeless realm of Lothlorien, visited by the Fellowship of the Ring on their quest; you might also picture her as Cate Blanchett from Peter Jackson’s famous film version of the book. What I’m betting you don’t know is her role in the history of Middle-earth — and the reason I can be certain you don’t know is because Tolkien wasn’t sure himself.
Galadriel gives us a fascinating instance of how Tolkien’s imagination worked. Having created her to fulfil a role in his trilogy about the One Ring, sought desperately by Sauron at the end of the Third Age, the professor was then faced with the task of retroactively inserting her into his prior mythology. By tracing her story, we can not only see how his mind worked, but how his mythology was constructed and re-constructed over the period of many years, with his ideas changing all the time. What we are left with is an incomplete story: Galadriel’s position and function is not fully settled by her creator before his death. That leaves us with an intensely gripping character study, the nature of which may be unique in Middle-earth. But to learn the details, you’ll need to get the magazine.
From the feedback I get from readers, the magazine is an amazing thing: so packed full of writer-goodness, but still costing only £2.00 — even less, if you subscribe. I keep the price low because I want as many writers as possible to have access to what it contains. Whether you’re a Tolkien fanatic or not, articles such as the one described above are tutorials in the art of writing — and there are so many more of them coming out each month in the magazine that you could build a library of resources for yourself as a writer from this subscription alone.
Check it out for yourself here.