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New Book Coming Out! “Write English with Tengwar”

Want to write like an elf, but not learn a language? Then this book is for you!


Welcome to General Use Tengwar, a mode Tolkien developed for using his Elven letters to write English. He used it to write the text on the title page of The Lord of the Rings, Christmas greetings to friends, and even secret messages to his fans.


After J. R. R. Tolkien’s passing, many pieces of his essays and notes on his languages and writing systems were published, as well as some of his gorgeous tengwar manuscripts. Today there is more information to draw on than there ever was before. This workbook contains the latest research and discoveries made about tengwar, including a number system unknown until recently!

This isn’t just a book telling you what each symbol stands for; it teaches you to form them correctly and to be able to read what you’ve written. Furthermore, you’ll be learning tengwar not as though it is a code, but like a real-world writing system. The text even describes how to format documents.


Whether you’re putting a powerful Elvish inscription on your magnificent sword or writing secret notes in class, this book will show you the way!

Writing this book has been a lot of fun. I first wrote up a basic outline of the tengwar as used for English just from my own memory and experience. Then I set out to find all of my misunderstandings and what the latest research actually is. Which, as it turns out, most secondary sources haven’t been updated since the early 2000’s. So, I aligned my book to these secondary sources, and sent my book to people like Måns Björkman and J. ‘Mach’ Wust who are really on the cutting edge of researching tengwar. Then I learned a mountain of new stuff, since, as it turned out, most secondary sources online are outdated by recent publications of Tolkien’s notes (Parma Eldalamberon #20 in particular, which has that formerly unknown number system),  and then I beta-tested it like crazy, got it edited up, sent it to the Tolkien Estate lawyers to ask for permission to publish (They said “yes!”) commissioned the cover art, and here we are!

I’m planning on making this into a series called “Write Like an Elf” which will cover Tengwar, Cirth, and Sarati for writing English, Sindarin, and Quenya. Each book will be very short, designed for beginners, and focused on teaching rather than referencing research. The research will show up in articles on the RealElvish Academy.

The release date is 02/02/2020, because a palindromic date is coming up and I couldn’t resist.

The most important thing is: spread the word. Share/send this blog post with everyone you can think of who would be interested. The more we spread the word, the farther this up-to-date, well-researched tengwar can spread!

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