Q Can you tell me which guests have been asked but haven't confirmed yet?
A No. We have a policy of not releasing that information. We believe that it infringes the privacy of the people that we have asked and those we have not yet asked.
Q I really want to attend, but don't know yet if I can; what are the options?
A Probably your best bet is to register as a supporting member. A supporting member receives all the publications and any additional information that is only made available to those who have registered, however, they are not entitled to attend. When you know that you will be able to attend you should upgrade your registration to attending. Upgrading will cost you the difference between the current supporting and attending rates. It will never cost you more to register as a supporting member and then upgrade at a later date than to register as an attending member at that later date.
Q How much does it cost to register?
A The current membership rates are available here.
Q I wish to upgrade my supporting membership. Who do I contact?
A You will need to contact the Booking Officer. You can do this either by email or by post. Here are the contact details for the Booking Officer [pop up window].
Q Will entry on the day be available?
A Possibly. It all depends on whether the event is full or not. We will not be holding places especially for day registrations. If you want to be sure of having a place we strongly recommend that you book as soon as possible.
Q Do I have to attend to submit a paper or display artwork?
A No. We can arrange for somebody to read your paper on your behalf; please contact the Programme Co-ordinator [pop up window]. We can also arrange to display your artwork; please contact the Art Show Co-ordinator [pop up window].
Q Will the papers be published?
A Yes, we will be publishing proceedings of the event. However, we do not currently have a timetable for this.
Q I want to help you; how do I do this?
A Assistance from those who are attending is always most welcome. There are two main forms of help: (a) before the event and (b) during the event. If you want to help before hand you will probably be looking to join the Tolkien 2005 committee. Please contact the committee chairman about this. For help during the event there are always requirements for stewards and for people to join the Ops and Tech Ops teams. Please contact the Ops Co-ordinator. Contact details are on the Contact Us page.
Q Can I book accommodation at the venue?
A Yes. The accommodation details are available here. You will need to contact the Booking Officer [pop up window]. Alternatively, you can book your accommodation on-line using our secure server. If you have already registered you should select "None" for the registration type.
Q Is the venue and accommodation accessible to people with sight, hearing or mobility impairments?
A Yes, as far as possible. There are a large number of lifts available in the building we are using for the function rooms; there are no steps that require a wheelchair or buggy to be lifted. All the bedrooms are accessible by wheelchairs and buggies.
There are a small number of bedrooms that have been specially adapted for people with sight or hearing impairments; we hope to have these available to us, however, that depends on them not being required by Aston's own students. If you require a room of this type please tell us as soon as possible.
Tolkien 2005 is registered with Electrical Eggs. Further details about Electrical Eggs can be found on their web site: www.electrical-eggs.org.uk.
Q Will food and drink be available?
A It is possible to book an evening meal as part of the accommodation package. For details of the accommodation packages please visit the Accommodation page. There are shops close by (about 100 yards) that sell sandwiches and snacks. Birmingham centre is only a few minutes walk away where you can find a wide range of pubs, restaurants, cafés, etc.
Q How far is Birmingham from London or how long will it take to get there?
A By road 118 miles or 190 kilometres. You will need to allow about two to two and a half hours to drive, plus extra time depending on whether you will be travelling at rush hour. By train it should take you a little under two hours, it is possible to get a direct train from London Euston to Birmingham New Street. It is also possible to go by coach; the journey time is likely to be between two and a half hours and three hours from Victoria Coach Station, London to Digbeth Coach Station, Birmingham. We don't recommend going by taxi as although this is possible it will be exceedingly expensive. Other methods include by air and by canal; we leave the exploration of these (especially the latter) to the ingenuity of the curious!
Q Can you put me in touch with people travelling from my part of the world?
A We can't tell you who is attending from any particular location. However, if you give us permission to we can pass on your details to other people in the same location. The reason for doing it this way is that it protects people's privacy. If you wish to take advantage of this please contact the Booking Officer [pop up window].
Q Where in Birmingham is the venue?
A Aston University is one kilometre or about 10 to 15 minutes walk north from Birmingham New Street railway station which is in the heart of the city centre. With a suitcase on wheels it is perfectly possible to walk from the station to Aston even with your luggage. However, for anybody who has difficulty walking we would recommend taking a taxi; the cost is about £4.00 at the time of writing.
Q Is car parking available at the venue?
A Yes, there are a number of car parks at Aston which can be used by people attending Tolkien 2005. Exit is by token. You will need to obtain a token from the university; further details on this will be made available nearer the time.
Q What else is there to do in Birmingham?
A Birmingham is England's second city; if you want to do it you can probably find somewhere in Birmingham that does it! Extensive information about Birmingham can be found on the Be in Birmingham web site.
Q Have you published a list of attending and supporting members?
A The list is available in the Progress Reports to those who have registered. If you need to check whether you have registered, please contact the Booking Officer [pop up window].
Q I haven't received the Progress Reports. Who do I contact?
A We may have the wrong address for you. Please contact the Booking Officer [pop up window].
Q When will the next Progress Report be published?
The full publishing schedule for the Progress Reports can be found on the Progress Reports page.
Q I can't remember if I have registered. How can I check?
A You should contact the Booking Officer [pop up window].
Q I have registered, but I cannot now attend. Can I get a refund?
A Unfortunately not. However, you are quite at liberty to sell your registration for whatever you are able to get for it to whoever you want. If you do this you should contact us to tell us that you have done this otherwise the person who you sold your registration to might have difficulty collecting their registration pack when they turn up.
Q When will Tolkien 2005 start and finish?
A Tolkien 2005 will start on Thursday 11th August 2005 and finish on Monday 15thAugust 2005. It will be possible to pre-register during the afternoon / evening of Wednesday 10th August. Accommodation will be available for both the nights of Wednesday 10th August and Monday 15thAugust for those who may wish to arrive early and or leave late.
Q Please can I have a timetable of events?
A Not yet! We will issue an outline timetable with the final Progress Report (number 5) which is due out shortly before the event. A full timetable will be included with the registration information which will be given to all attending members when they register at the event. If we were to issue a timetable now it would (a) be very empty as we are still receiving offers of papers, panels, talks, entertainment and other activities and (b) look very different to what actually happens on the day; we would be wasting your time as well as ours.
Q Will there be any time for sightseeing?
We aim to provide a full programme on each day of Tolkien 2005. However no-one is obliged to spend all their time at Aston—where you go and what you do is entirely up to you. (At least one tour of Tolkien-related places is planned to be included in the programme.)
Q What should I wear at Tolkien 2005?
A Climate: Summer in the UK can produce a wide range of weather, from scorching sun to rain, hail and thunder. (Snow is unlikely – though not unknown!) Temperatures may range from 80°F (27°C) in the shade, to chilly. Come prepared (layers are good).
Typical dress: People at conventions of this kind generally wear what they feel comfortable in. There will be a lot of T-shirts and jeans, but if you prefer a suit or a nice frock, you won't be alone. No-one will mind either way. Some people like to dress up a bit in the evening; others don't. It's all very free and easy.
Q I want an option not given on the on-line registration form. What can I do?
A Explain your requirements in the feedback section.
Q I've submitted my form successfully—so I'm booked now, right?
A Not exactly. Once your form is submitted, it will be processed by the Booking Officer. This may take a few days. Then you will receive a receipt by post, normally within 2 weeks if you live in the UK, 3 weeks if abroad. If there should be any problem with your payment, you will be contacted by email.
Q I submitted my form several days ago—why haven't I had an acknowledgement?
A All forms are processed manually; this may take a few days. Then you will receive a receipt by post, normally within 2 weeks if you live in the UK, 3 weeks if abroad. If there should be any problem with your payment, you will be contacted by email.
Q I want to bring several friends. Can I book one place, and bring a different person each day?
A No. Each registration has to be for a separate person; this is for security reasons. (And don't forget to give their names!)
Q Can I have a double room?
A No. Accommodation at Aston is primarily for students, and these days they each get a room to themselves; fire regulations prohibit putting extra people in these rooms. We will make every effort to put couples and families near each other. However, there are a few double/twin rooms available to people that have special needs that require a helper or carer to sleep close to them—if this applies to you, contact the Booking Officer [pop up window].
Q What is a "Badge Name"?
A For security reasons everyone at Tolkien 2005 will be issued with a badge. (This is standard practice at conventions.) Some people like to use an informal name or even a Tolkien pseudonym on their badge.
Q I'm having problems with the webform. Can I just email you my details?
A You are strongly advised NOT to do this. Our webform is secure, which means only someone authorised by the Tolkien Society can read your details, including your credit card number. Ordinary email is very insecure. But, if you really don't mind the whole world knowing your credit card number, we can't stop you.
Q I'm having problems with the webform. What shall I do?
A Print off the printable form and send it by post.
Q I tried to use the printable form, but it won't work.
A Occasionally browsers will be unable to open the form, or print it. You will need Adobe Acrobat Reader, or a compatible program, to do this. (There is a link on the Registration page to Adobe's web site where you can download the Reader free of charge.)
Often all that is needed is to try again later.
If you still have problems, contact the Booking Officer [pop up window], who will email you the form. Failing all else, you can simply send the Booking Officer your details without a form. BUT, don't send a credit card number by email.
Q I want to use the webform to book accommodation, but I'm already registered.
A That's fine. Just click "None" in the box for Registration Type.