10 years and 42 countries of Quendi
The Hungarian Tolkien Society organised its first National Tolkien Mailing Competition in 2007. The international “Quendi” category was launched a bit later, but already 10 years ago: we first announced it on 1 September 2012. Trying to spread the news, we got help from several Tolkien societies and communities all around the world, and in that first year we have already received 35 applications from 16 different countries. But during the 10 years which have passed since, we reached a total of 42 countries! So, let’s see some statistics…
2012 szeptemberében hirdettük meg először a Tolkien Levelező Verseny nemzetközi kategóriáját. Az első évben 16, az első tíz évben összesen 42 országból érkeztek jelentkezések.
Here are all the countries where we have received competitor applications from during the first 10 years of International TLV (2013–2022): Croatia, Armenia, Australia, Austria, Belarus, Belgium, Brazil, Bulgaria, Canada, Chile, Czechia, Finland, France, Georgia, Germany, Greece, Hungary, India, Indonesia, Iran, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Lithuania, Mexico, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Peru, Philippines, Poland, Romania, Russia, Serbia, Slovakia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Turkey, UK, Ukraine, USA.
On the following map you see these countries differentiated by the number of years in which we had applications from that country.
Is your country missing? Until 5 November 2023 you can still join the 11th International Tolkien Mailing Competition to get on the (next similar) map!
As country-statistics-maps go, here you may see a very big country all coloured on account of only one person in one city, but this is the level of accuracy we could go for with the data we have: all competitors provided at least a country, but not everybody has specified their location beyond that. Because of this we could not go in details with the United States either, but participating states which we could identify from the submitted information were California, Illinois, Ohio, Oregon, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Washington and West Virginia.
For this map we have only used one country for each participant, but in some cases two countries were given (home and current), missing second locations being Hong Kong, Japan, Scotland (UK) and South Africa.
(We may have made a mistake in this summary: during the ten years we had different organisers who kept different statistics. If as a previous competitor you feel you were misrepresented in this list, let us know, and we will try to correct it.)
To mention another easily countable information: during these 10 years, we had competitors from (confessed) age 13 to age 72, the average slowly rising from 24 to 35 years (partly thanks to constant competitors), the most common participant age being 29 years (but in some registrations, this information was missing).
And these are only the starting statistics. But although in some years we got more than forty applications, we can say with Bilbo that we don’t get solutions from half of the applicants; and less than half of them gets to the end as well as they could: as there is no risk in turning back, not everybody actually starts the competition, and some had to give up during the year as people my have less free time than they have hoped (but many of them joined again in later years).
Unfortunately, we did not record for each year all the countries of participants who solved all five rounds of the competition, so I can summarise only the countries of those who made it to the announcement of the final results which had a different meaning in different years: sometimes everybody completing a number of rounds or reaching a given percent of points got a mention, in other years only the top three were announced for each category. But countries mentioned in the final results were Austria, Croatia, Czechia, Finland, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Italy, Lithuania, Netherlands, Norway, Peru, Russia, Serbia, Slovakia, Spain and the USA.
Winners of the combined (quiz and creative) competition came from Germany, Hungary, Italy, Netherlands, Serbia and Slovakia.
Our thanks go to all participants who have spent their time solving the tasks during these ten years: we hope you had fun, and let’s have many more years of the Tolkien Mailing Competition! And also many thanks to all our fellow Tolkienites, representatives of societies and groups or admins of pages or enthusiastic competitors themselves, who made it possible for us to reach so many people with the news of this competition.