The Official Fanfiction University of Middle-earth

Author: Camilla Sandman

Nominator: Marta

2005 Award Category: Genres: Humor: Metafic

Story Type: Story  ✧  Length: Novel

Rating: PG-13  ✧  Reason for Rating: sexual innuendo, risque humour

Summary: The fic that spawned mini-Balrogs, Elrond's Naturally Nine, the Morgoth/Sauron feud, Urple, the Witch-Wall - and finally, Gimli got the girl.

Read the Story

Reviewed by: Dwimordene  ✧  Score: 10

Other than the VSDs, this was the original classic Lord of the Rings metafic. Despite the grammatical issues, Camilla Sandman succeeds in pointedly demonstrating that fandom itself is fertile ground for humor. With her finger on the pulse of fandom and a healthy sadistic streak required of all instructors, she assembles the characters of Lord of the Rings to teach their fanfic writers a lesson or ten. "Learning through pain" is her mantra, as students are put through the wringer by Elrond, lord of the year-long reading list and resident canon-nazi; by Boromir, who is only too happy to debunk fangirl dreams of becoming the greatest warrior in the time it takes to pick up a sword; and hormones are forced to bend to the rules as Sam and Frodo, Gimli and Legolas, attempt to convey the intricacies of platonic male bonding. This is the fic that gave the fandom the term "nuzgûl" as a vampiric bunny, the result of the tragic misspelling of "Nazgûl". It gave us grammar boot camp, mini-balrogs, and the Witch-wall. It gave us a Middle-earth that, whether inanimate or not, delights in fighting back against the whims of fanfic authors, incorporating the laws of narrative comedy and/or Murphy's Laws into the fabric of its being on a whole new level. Contrivance is put to work in such a way that it deserves applause for once. And Gimli finally got the girl. Bravo, Miss Cam!

Reviewed by: Thundera Tiger  ✧  Score: 7

I seriously doubt that there's anyone in the fandom who has NOT heard of Miss Cam's absolutely brilliant Middle-earth Fanfiction Academy. If there is, then I pity them. It is one of the most inspired pieces of writing around. It is well beyond hilarious, and it twists so many different cliches, foibles, and gags together that I am amazed it all works. But it does work, and it works well. One of my favorite elements is Long Table Elrond. Poor guy. That particular grammar faux pas is a big pet peeve of mine, and when it entered the story, I nearly hurt something laughing. Along similar lines, I absolutely loved Grammar Boot Camp. I think Dwimordene makes a brilliant drill sergeant. And of course there's the Urple Bandits, Morgoth and Sauron, Elrond's insistene on NINE Fellowship members, and so on. If I listed everything I loved, I'd be here all day. Suffice to say that the story is among the best humor/parody/metafics ever written.

Reviewed by: Ariel  ✧  Score: 4

*snort* I was given this story to read for the humour division of the first Mithril Awards. I managed to finish it and while there was a piece I considered funnier, this work definitely deserves its accolades. The sheer size of the work, the consistent humour, the sarcastic wit that spares no sector of the genre make the piece both memorable and enjoyable. I am pleased to see this story acknowledged here. It is definitely a 'must read' story.

Reviewed by: nerwen_calaelen  ✧  Score: 3

This is a very funny story, although the way it has grown within the fandom makes it hard to see what it would have been like to read when it was originally written. It is a very fun read and I was glad of the excuse to reread it. It is fun to read the tale that has brought into being so many features of the fandom.

Reviewed by: Ainaechoiriel  ✧  Score: 2

A very funny story set in a place where very bad fanficcers go to learn the right way to write, even if it kills them. And even the typos are part of the story. A very long, fun ride, that will make you want to enroll.

Reviewed by: Marta  ✧  Score: 2

A definite standard in the fandom, and with good reason. The paragraph lengths are just the right length: long enough to engage, but short enough to not feel too long. Those who can laugh at themselves shouldn't pass this one up.