May 23 2013, 8:56am
And I'm happy to help a bit too as I can.
I'm with you, Daniel, on the timing; I think monthly is too often, at least if we want to keep the quality of the essays reasonably high. Such things take time to write, and few of us could do that on a monthly basis.
However, we might be able to do it monthly if, beforehand, we draw up a potential list of topics, and ask people to sign up for a topic and a month. Depending on levels of interest, we could have, say, several people post essays on a single topic (or maybe a couple of closely related topics) in a given month, with a new topic (and different people posting their essays) the next month; alternately, in a given month, we could have several people post essays, each on a different topic, and then different people posting the next month. Either way, there's sign-up involved, and no one need feel that they need to write an essay every month. If there's not enough interest, of course, this could happen every two or three months instead.
As for potential topics, I'd specifically include languages and linguistics too. And I'm not sure poems and songs belong; while I love for people to share them, maybe this would be a bit more semi-scholarly? This could be a really fun way for people to apply their professional -- or just geeky, it need not be professional! -- expertise to whatever aspects of Tolkien's works most interest them.