New York Tolkien Conference

If you’re a Tolkien fan anywhere near New York, you must see the Tolkien: Wqt6YdiNMaker of Middle-earth exhibit now at the Morgan Library and Museum. On display until May 12, this is the largest exhibition of Tolkien’s work ever in the United States.

It’s overwhelming to see these works up close for the first time, especially if you’ve spent as much time as most Tolkien readers have looking at his beautiful illustrations and maps. The famous jacket of The Hobbit, for example, is on display, as well as the watercolors Tolkien painted for that book. There are also numerous maps of Middle-earth, family photos and letters, notes and diagrams of language, paintings and letters of Father Christmas that Tolkien sent to his young children, early sketches and paintings, and even the Oxford don’s commencement robes. There is so much in this mammoth exhibition that it is hard to take it…

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Hullo fair traveler! Our post Tolkien Reading Day news is long overdue! A few notes concerning our March 23rd event, the Lewis and Tolkien play in NYC, a Narnia Inspired poem by author Ryder Miller, and a few tidbits. On Friday March 23rd we gathered at Baruch College, our NYC Tolkien Fellowship meeting hall, to […]

via Concerning Hobbits, Wardrobes and Rings — The New York Tolkien Conference & Fellowship

New York Tolkien Conference

Bilbo by Jef Murray

Hail Fellowship!

One month from tomorrow The New York Tolkien Conference returns with our Tolkien Reading Day/Spring 2018 event. Tolkien Reading Day is celebrated globally on March 25th and has been organized by The Tolkien Society since 2003. As you know The 25th of March is the date of the downfall of the Lord of the Rings (Sauron) and the fall of Barad-dûr. The aim of the event is to encourage fans to celebrate and promote the life and works of J.R.R. Tolkien by reading favorite passages.
Visit The Tolkien Society to Read More

The New York Tolkien Conference was originally a single day Conference in 2015 & 2016 and unfortunately was on hiatus for 2017.  For 2018 we have changed the format to have smaller events with a single presenter, Q&A and more community involvement.

For Tolkien Reading Day we are aiming to encourage fans to…

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Essay in Forgotten Leaves

Posted: June 4, 2015 in Uncategorized

I’m happy to have an essay in Forgotten Leaves, a new collection of essays on JRR Tolkien. My essay relates to the different games based in Middle-earth that have been released over the years. There are some wonderful contributors to this book–go to the Myth Ink site to check out the table of contents.


I’ll be talking about my contribution on a panel at the NY Tolkien Conference on June 13 at Baruch College. Registration is currently full, but there is a waiting list if you haven’t registered but are interested in attending.

I’m happy to have my short story, “The Vintner of Little Neck,” included in this newly released anthology, Dark Tales From Elder Regions: New York from Myth Ink Books.


The collection includes nineteen stories by some wonderful contributors, as well as twenty illustrations by artist Luke Spooner. Editors Anthony Burdge and Jessica Burke have contributed stories as well. Check out their website–they have plenty of other cool books for sale.

Here’s the start of my tale:

My brother-in-law’s name was Dakota, and he deserved it. Every year he came for a weekend or two with his family to visit us in the city. He was the kind of guy who would complain about everything. I mean, if he were a football fan and had 50 yard line seats to the Super Bowl he would bitch that it was too loud and crowded and why couldn’t he have a luxury box.

Since I love my wife Sarah, and my eight year old son, Eric, and am generally a nice guy, I had to put up with him for a few weekends a year. I didn’t have to like it, but I was raised to be polite and friendly so I did my best.

One year, Dakota and his wife, Helen, were to bring their kids, Juniper and Ivory, to our apartment in Kew Gardens the last weekend of September. Before their visit I spent a few days scanning the local papers for some kind of family outing we could do that wasn’t too expensive. Dakota usually wanted to attend pricey Broadway shows, sporting events, or other such touristy things that were over our budget and annoying to boot. I figured I would head him off and find something right in Queens that we could do for free.

They arrived on a Friday evening. Sarah had ordered a couple of pizzas, and predictably, Dakota didn’t like it much.

“Up in Wells, they have pizza that isn’t so oily like this New York stuff,” he said in his nasally, high-pitched whine. He had taken my seat at the head of the table while I was mixing iced tea.

“Well, Juniper seems to like it,” I said. Their portly eight year old boy had already eaten three slices and was reaching for a fourth.

“It’s not good for him,” Dakota said. “He shouldn’t have so much grease. And this pepperoni might give him gas. Next time, we should order one with no cheese, and some broccoli and kale toppings.”

“That sounds more like a salad,” I said.

Helen and Sarah laughed, and this made Dakota angrier. “Haven’t you got any beer?” he said.

“I think there are a few cans of Coors in the fridge,” I said.

I don’t drink much. People bring it over sometimes and it sits there patiently, maybe wishing it had been brought to a home where it might be appreciated.

“Coors?” Dakota said. He turned to his daughter. “Ivory, what do we think of mass produced beverages like that?”

“It’s made of advertising lies and corn syrup,” Ivory said. She was ten, going on about forty.

“Well, in this case, not corn syrup, exactly, but close enough,” Dakota said. “Though it would not surprise me if they brewed that swill from corn. Is there any place I can get some decent craft beer around here? At least a Dogfish head, or a Sierra?”

“Honestly, I wouldn’t know,” I said.

“There’s the beverage barn,” Sarah said. She tugged at her long blonde ponytail nervously. In her eyes I could see her pleading with me to be nice. And here I was thinking I was being as friendly as one of those subway buskers who had just been offered a six figure record contract.