SCA news sites

Stories from Gulf Wars XXVI: Day 1

AEthelmearc Gazette - Tue, 2017-03-14 09:31

Countess Elena d’Artois, Mistress Illadore de Bedegrayne, and Baroness Beatrix Krieger report from Gulf Wars in Gleann Ahann.

From Countess Elena:

Monday’s Rapier Town Battle was brisk. Our side was outnumbered by 10, but we still emerged victorious through the plans and strategies of our general, Doña Miriam d’Hawke [of Trimaris]. Since our side won the war point in the first two iterations of the scenario, we fought the third round to the last man. Great teamwork [was] displayed by Master Anias Fenne and Duke Titus Germanicus, holding a group from flanking us and turning the tide to roll the enemy’s edge. Kudos to Kara Burkhart, Robert Hawksworth, and Lord Nicolo Loredan da Venesia, [who] especially did a great job screening so that we were able to help our buddies achieve the victory condition.

Thanks to Lady Racheldis of Swansmere for serving as marshal today for the rapier field.

From Baroness Beatrix:

Today was the Town Battle. We were small in number but very, very good. We killed many; we united with parts of Trimaris and Atlantia on one of the bridges to hold our foes off as they tried to push through our line. We repelled them as best we could and reinforced small buildings all throughout the battle. Our chivalry crossed and pressed them at the river, and together our army held them at bay for as long as we could. We could not keep the hordes from overrunning us, and while Ansteorra and their allies were victorious, Æthelmearc fought with great skill, courtesy, and with tremendous honor.

Tomorrow: field battles after opening ceremonies.

From Mistress Illadore:

Today saw Æthelmearc fighting with Trimaris, apparently highly outnumbered on the heavy side in the Town Battle. Our fighters fought valiantly and enjoyed the target rich environment. On the rapier side, Æthelmearc won the day!! Alright, alright, we had help. The Rapier Town Battle included finding the right chest inside the “town” and getting it out through the front gates of the fort, best two out of three.

Click to view slideshow.

After the Town Battle, much of the camp enjoyed the first of [several planned] meals based on the Opera of Bartolommeo Scappi’s, with the main entree being roast chicken with pomegranate sauce. Peach pie was for dessert. [Ed. Note: Mistress Illadore is the camp cook for Gulf Wars.]


Baroness Kelda wrangling chickens for dinner


Categories: SCA news sites

Spring Coronation: The Menus and Schedule

AEthelmearc Gazette - Mon, 2017-03-13 15:55

Lord Andrew of Thescorre announces his planned lunch and feast menus for the Spring Coronation of Timothy and Gabrielle, which will be April 22 in Thescorre:


  • Hard-boiled eggs
  • Pickles
  • Cheese
  • Tasty Maghmuma (beef pie)
  • Another Maghmuma (chicken pie)
  • A Vegetable Dish (gourd soup)
  • Aqras (cookies)
  • Peach drink


1st Course

  • Cold Dish of Beans
  • Fresh Yogurt 
  • Cucumber
  • Flatbread (Nabatean Water Bread)
  • Olives
  • Figs

2nd Course

  • Another Barida (chicken with mustard sauce)
  • Pomegranate sauce
  • Dressed Carrots
  • Rice and Beans

3rd Course

  • Sikbaj (roasted beef)
  • Bazmaward (rolled sandwich)
  • Tardin (thin lamb patties)
  • A Turnip Dish
  • Greens

4th Course

  • Judhaba of Bananas 
  • Halwa Mahshuwwa (cookies stuffed with nuts)

Coffee, tea, water and grape juice served throughout. 
All dishes subject to change to to cost or availability.
Gluten-free and vegetarian versions will be available. (Prior notification of allergy/dietary needs are greatly appreciated.)
Any questions or allergy concerns should be emailed to the cook.

Preliminary schedule for the day:

  • 9 am site opens
  • 10:30 am Last Court of Their Majesties Marcus and Margerite, followed by the Coronation of Timothy and Gabrielle
  • 12:00 to 1:00 lunch
  • 1:00 Lists open for heavy and fencing tournaments on the lawn (weather permitting); gaming and other diverse arts in the hall; Their Majesties Timothy and Gabrielle sit in state 
  • 4:30 First Court of Timothy & Gabrielle
  • 6:30 Feast
  • 9:00 site closes

The event Facebook page is here.

The official announcement is here.

Categories: SCA news sites

Pennsic Singles Rapier Champs Tryouts Announcement

East Kingdom Gazette - Sun, 2017-03-12 09:00

East Kingdom!

This year, similar to last year, I will be running a series of Pennsic Singles Rapier Champions Qualifier Tournaments. All of these will be single-pass, double-elimination, bring-your-best tournaments, to select the best rapier fighters in the East for our Champions team. The current plan is to re-fight double-kills once, and then have dead count as dead. Additionally, losses will be forgiven in the finals. These considerations may change or be elaborated upon, as the tournaments progress.

The events at which I currently plan to run these qualifiers are:

*Mudthaw (March 25)
Balfar’s Challenge (April 22)
War of the Roses (May 26-27)
Southern Region War Camp (June 10)
Northern Region War Camp (June 30-July 2)
*Great Northeast War (July 7-9)

For Mudthaw, I plan to run a singles tournament and additionally consider the results of the traditional Mudthaw cut-and-thrust tournament for Champs.

At GNE, I plan to run both a normal tournament and a Cut-and-Thrust tournament, because we will be less pressed for time.

This year, Rapier Singles Champs will be 17 fights, two of which will be cut-and-thrust. The East gets 8 of those fights, of which only four may be MoDs. Given that one of those fights goes to the King’s Champion (me) and another goes to the Queen’s Champion (Master Lottieri Malocchio), this leaves six slots, of which only three may be Masters of Defense.

This means that more than last year, winning does not necessarily guarantee a slot on the team. However, my choices for primaries and alternates will be strongly informed by the results of these tournaments. Good luck, and may the best, most courteous rapier fighters win!

His Highness, as many royals before him have done, has also asked that those who wish to be champions seek him out, in order to demonstrate to him their prowess.

Please feel free to forward this message to any local lists or other social media, in order to get the word out.

In service,
Don Lupold Hass,
Pennsic Rapier Champions Coordinator,
King’s Rapier Champion of the East,

Filed under: Pennsic, Rapier

Ædult Swim II: Its Origins and Future Plans

AEthelmearc Gazette - Sat, 2017-03-11 20:16

Photo courtesy of Lord Mikus.

By Baroness Katja Davidova Orlova Khazarina.

How do you top a fight practice that draws over 400 fighters and fencers from 12 kingdoms?

You do it again, and this time draw over 500 from every single SCA kingdom except three (Avacal, Atenveldt, and Calontir).

And His Highness Timothy’s goal is to offer even more activities, draw more SCAdians, and completely fill the site next year!

Click to view slideshow.

If you’re not martially inclined, you may be wondering just exactly what was that really huge martial practice in Abhainn Ciach Ghlais that every fighter and fencer you know has been talking about?

Over the weekend of February 18 and 19, Ædult Swim II helped over 485 fighters and fencers to take hands-on classes, authorize, and otherwise play with friends they normally see only annually at Pennsic or other large wars. (Roughly 100 to 150 nonmartial SCAdians also attended the event to take a scribal class, support their fighters or fencers, or just hang out with friends and enjoy the unseasonably warm weather.)

Master Raeve teaches a rapier class. Photo by Baroness Katja.

The practice took place at the Milton Shoe Factory, a huge three-floor building built in 1907 that boasts 14-feet-high ceilings. While both fighting and fencing last year were confined to the 120-foot by 300-foot second floor, this year  fencing moved up to the third floor to give both activities more room. A last-minute addition, the Scribal Tour added a stop at the practice and offered a Visconti workshop on the third floor, separated from the fencing classes and bouts.

The Gazette talked to Prince Timothy to find out what inspired the first practice last year, how it differed this year, and where he hopes it will go…

Q: Where did the name “Ædult Swim” come from?

A: The name originated from my youth. We lived in an apartment complex as a kid, and the community pool had a 15-minute period every hour where the adults got to use the pool. For whatever reason, this seemed like a good name, even though in hindsight, I think it might discourage the very people I most want to benefit from the event.

Q: What inspired you to create this practice/event?

A: When I moved to Æthelmearc, I found there was a disconnect between many of the isolated pockets of newer fighters and the more-experienced fighters. Neither group really seemed willing to travel to meet with the other. It is a cultural thing in this geographic area that I still don’t understand. I spent a couple months traveling to far-flung practices to work with folks and rapidly realized that there were far more people than I could possibly adequately work with.

Duke Malcolm thanks his opponent after an energetic bout. Photo by Baroness Katja.

I talked to a bunch of friends in the Chivalry and tried to get them to come out and help teach. We had a BBQ/practice in ACG in April 2013. With a few weeks’ notice, and with the promise of a dozen or so Chiv willing to work with folks, we ended up with about 75 heavies, 14 of whom were Chivalry as I recall. We kept doing regional musters during our last reign, with much the same response. Those less-experienced fighters who wanted to learn, traveled. I remember folks from Morgantown, VA coming all the way to Syracuse to a regional on a Sunday during a snowstorm.

Countess Ariella faces an opponent on the rapier floor. Photo by Baroness Katja.

The global nature of Ædult Swim was a direct response to actions that happened between the East and Middle Kingdoms a few years back. The animosity between the East and Middle monarchs, and by extension their Chivalry, had gotten so bad that quite literally the two monarchs had one of their knights (who is mundanely an arbiter) host a joint chivalry meeting to discuss their issues. One of the things suggested (by Duke, now King) Edmund of the Middle was that an annual joint East/Middle fight practice would help us get past decades of animosity. Duke Eliahu ben Itzhak and I were invited as former East and Middle monarchs in the hopes that we could help moderate. Once this item was put on the table, I realized how perfectly located my shire was as a half-way point between the two kingdoms.

King Marcus strides out onto the floor to play. Photo by Lord Sa’d al’Nizari.

Q: What was involved in getting people to come to the first Ædult Swim? I recall you mentioning it at the end of a couple of your Courts.

A: I spent the six months prior to the event browbeating, cajoling, begging, and pleading folks to come. We caught lightning in a bottle when I had the good fortune to take a business trip to Dallas, and I managed to convince the then-king and prince of Ansteorra to make the trip. Those two, Dukes Sven and Lochlen, were the tipping point. At that point, we were able to use the “all the cool kids are coming” (type of) marketing to get folks to come out. Dukes Sean and Timmur from Artemesia also agreed to come out, and that opened the floodgates.

I had asked several members of the fencing community to set up the rapier half of it and they all dropped the ball. With about two or three weeks left, I asked Countess Elena d’Artois le Tailleur, who was amazing. She got all the folks she did with almost no notice, even though it was competing against a major event of interest to the Atlantian fencing community. I cannot possibly praise her efforts enough.

(Last year’s attendance included 260 heavy fighters, 75 fencers, and 40 royalty from the Known World. Lord Christian Goldenlok’s article on it is here.)

Q: What did you want to do differently this year and what do you want to add next year? You had mentioned adding A&S classes in the various small rooms on the site.

A: The first year had a stiff learning curve, as I hadn’t anticipated many issues that we had. First, pretty well everyone entered the door within a 15-minute span of time. (Editor’s note: the site stairwells are narrow, and the only elevator, the freight one, was not working.) The line at troll was atrocious. We had six or eight folks at Troll and it was still a disaster. We got around that by asking for donations to pay for the site. Once our exchequer told me we would be able to ignore the nonmember surcharge/membership discount (this year), it only made it that sweeter.

A scribe enjoying the Visconti workshop. Photo by Baroness Katja.

The next part of our learning curve was the Saturday evening dinner. I spent half my time, and Lady Greer Wallace from ACG spent all her time, on Saturday collecting money from folks and tracking them down. THL Ariadne Flaxenhair of Dragon’s End and Sir Cunen Beornhelm set it up as a web-based document this year, which eliminated 90% of that chaos.

This year, we made some changes to simplify things. We added a second floor. The heavy fighting will occupy the entire floor we had last year, and the fencers will have the next floor up. (There was a $2 entry fee last year; several people graciously offered donations to make the practice a free event this year.)

(The event) has grown beyond my very limited organizational skills, and next year we will have a new autocrat, Lord Leo Dietrich. He and his staff are already planning next year. Mistress Alicia Langland spent her Saturday this year wandering around planning where we can put more artisans next year. It should be a blast!

As for next year, I am hoping to move it back a couple months, into the late April to early June timeframe, and with the help of Mistress Alicia, greatly build on our arts offerings. If anyone wants this in your event rotation next year, please private message me typical dates in your late spring calendar that I need to avoid. Also PM me the contact info for your kingdom calendar officer, so we can get it up early and block of dates.

Q: The first Ædult Swim had a number of fighting classes announced beforehand and only a few fencing ones. This year, there was full roster of fencing and cut-and-thrust classes, but no formal fighting ones announced beforehand. Why?

Baron Eric Grenier de laBarre carefully watches a cut & thrust authorization. Photo by Lord Mikus.

A: We had a side room on the main fighting floor where we did have some small, structured classes ongoing this year, but not as many as we did at Æ Swim I. The heavy classes will be much more formal next year. I found the informal nature didn’t work out this year.

Q: What kind of specific heavy classes do you want for next year?

A: It’s more of what classes do folks want. I had about 35 or 40 requests to teach last year and I told people to just announce them and folks would come. But it was too damn loud in the heavy section. Interestingly enough, at the first one, we actually considered the playing of music a la “knights tale” during the practice. I am so glad we didn’t, I had no idea how bad the acoustics were.

Q: Besides those you already mentioned, who else do you want to thank for their help with this event?

A: There are so many people to thank I am certain I will be missing some.

Without doubt, this could not have happened without the support of Gabrielle. Every time I get an idea, she lets me run with it, knowing folks will have fun, even though most times it throws our family in chaos for the week or so immediately before and during the event. When you see her next, please say thanks.

Sir Diablu happily greeted many friends at the event. Photo by Baroness Katja.

THL Alianora Bronhulle and Baron Ichijo Honen, you greatly exceeded my very high expectations for the dessert. It really was the crown jewel in what was a spectacular weekend.

Baroness Aemelia Soteria, you ran a smooth and efficient MOL/troll. You, Baroness Oddkatla, Baroness Rynea, Baroness Oddkatla, Baroness Ellesbeth, Baroness Euriol, THL Astrid, and Lady Bella,  Countess Allanda, and others pretty much eliminated that bottleneck this year! Thanks. Bella also worked her tail off at the MOL/Troll and was the one who hooked us up with the hotels

Mistress Antoinette de la Croix, your scribal workshop was a nice touch of arts to a weekend of carnage. Thank you.

Tommaso, for your kindness and generosity.

Meghan Beck for providing two venues that made all this possible.

My usual, stalwart crew of enablers, Silvester Burchardt, Ron Cudworth, Austin Smith, Lou McBride, and Elena de la Palma.

Megan and most of all, next years autocrat, Leo, thank you for covering for my complete lack of any appreciable organizational skills.

Also Mistress Fredeburg von Katzenellenbogen carved a block print that went out to those who donated. It is stunning. When I can breath, I am sending mine out to be framed.

Thank you for all the help. I love our society.

One final thing. I would like nothing more than to fill every inch of the building we were in. Bring friends…

To see many of the uploaded videos and photos shared from this year’s event, see the Facebook event group here.

Categories: SCA news sites

Ædult Swim: The Cake

AEthelmearc Gazette - Sat, 2017-03-11 12:56

By Baroness Katja Davidova Orlova Khazarina.

After a long, happy, sweaty day of friendly fighting and fencing at Ædult Swim on February 18, approximately 200 SCAdians left the Milton Shoe Factory site to enjoy a meal at the nearby historic Hotel Edison in Sunbury.

Although some may have preregistered for the meal due to the lure of prime rib and post-revel camaraderie, a highlight of the evening was not on the menu nor at the bar.

It was a cake. A really amazing cake.

A massive 60-inch-long, 31-inch-wide, 31-inch-tall castle of chocolate, yellow, red velvet, and strawberry creation that induced many of the attendees to gawking and snapping photos before diving into their respective slices with relish. Hand-painted sugar banners representing all 20 kingdoms decorated its sides.

As a special request by His Highness Timothy to celebrate the second Ædult Swim, THL Alianora Bronhulle and Baron Ichijo Honen created the cake as their largest project yet for their six-month-old bakery in Winchester, VA, Edible Elegance by Erin.

“I, personally, have been making cakes like this for almost 15 years… I will say that this is the largest and most intricate cake I’ve ever done,” Her Ladyship said after the meal.

Click to view slideshow.

The cake was comprised of 32 layers, she said, weighed over 250 pounds, served 350, and contained:

  • 16 dozen eggs
  • 30 pounds of sugar
  • 60 pounds of powdered sugar
  • 14 pounds of butter
  • 20 pounds of shortening
  • 2 pounds of cocoa powder
  • 25 pounds of flour
  • 2 pounds of gelatin

How long did the cake take to bake? Fourteen hours.

The walls and towers, all of pastillage, required 10 days of drying.

And it took Her Ladyship and His Excellency a day to make the banners, plus three more days to draw, paint, and dry the kingdom arms.

Plus, driving the cake from their bakery to the Hotel Edison? Three hours.

“We love a challenge, so we would consider doing SCA-oriented desserts for any occasion. HRH Timothy asked us to do this one, suggested a castle as the starting point, and turned us loose with full creative license. He had no idea what he was getting until he walked in at the dinner.”

Her Ladyship thanked her baking crew: Sarah Piecknick, Vikki Farra, Jessica Walker and Brett Bernard. “Without them, this cake would not have been possible!”

For the past half year, the fledgling business has been selling baked goods at the local farmers markets while their bakery shop is still under construction. (A GoFundMe campaign to support the bakery is here.)

Categories: SCA news sites

Mudthaw Announcement

East Kingdom Gazette - Sat, 2017-03-11 10:10

The schedule for Mudthaw had changed significantly from what was originally published in the event announcement. Due to all the wonderful things happening at Mudthaw the morning is quite hectic and, in particular, Marshal Activities will be starting earlier than is traditional for this event.

We strongly recommend Pre-registering (you have until 3/15/17 to do so) if you will be participating in either Heavy Weapons or Rapier combat, since this will allow you to process through Gate much more quickly.

If pre-registering isn’t possible for someone participating in those activities, we would then encourage them to arrive early. Gate will open at 9:30 am in order to help facilitate getting fighters and fencers to the field on time.

Mudthaw Schedule
9:00 – Merchant setup
9:30 – Site Opens
10:00 – Merchants Open – Merchant Row – Side hall
10:15 – OGR meeting – Corner Table, Main hall
10:30 – A&S Entries Open – Main hall
11:00 – Morning Royal Court – Main hall
11:30 – Artisans’ Village Opens – Main hall
11:30 – Armored Combat Tournament begins – outside/back parking lot
11:30 – Cut & Thrust Tournament – outside/back parking lot
12:30 – Athena’s Thimble – Corner Table, Main hall
12 noon – Youth combat starts – outside/back parking lot
12:15 – Heavy Rapier/Pennsic Champs Qualifier – outside/back parking lot
12:30 – A&S Competition Begins – Main hall
2:00 – Pennsic Rapier Melee Qualifier – outside/back parking lot
2:30 – Artisans’ Village Closes
2:30 – A&S Judging Closes (please pick up your entries)
3:30 – All Marshal Activities End
3:30 – Main Hall Reset for Court
4:00 – Baronial Court & Baronial Investiture – Main hall
4:30 – Evening Royal Court – Main hall
5:00 – Merchants Close
6:30 – Main Hall Reset for Feast
7:00 – Feast – Main hall
9:00 – Feast Ends
9:30 – Site Closes

** Please Note: Their Majesties will be holding a half-hour Afternoon Royal Court, outside by the List Fields, sometime mid-afternoon. **

Baroness Treannah, Mudthaw Co-Autocrat

Filed under: Announcements, Events

Post-Contest Comment Analysis of K&Qs A&S Champs Competition 2017

East Kingdom Gazette - Fri, 2017-03-10 17:11

The Gazette thanks Mistress Bronwen Rose of Greyling for this thoughtful article. 

This article discusses commentary from this year’s King’s and Queen’s Arts and Sciences Championships, where twenty-seven bold A&S entrants brought their A-game to the Barony of Concordia in February. (K&Q’s Bardic Championships were held concurrently but are not discussed here.) When looking to improve any repeating event, some thoughtful post-event contemplation and information-sharing is helpful. As a part of that post-contest analysis, here is a summary of written judges’ comments that may be helpful to future K&Q’s A&S competitors and judges.

This year’s contest featured face-to-face judging using score sheets that can be found at under General Rubric and Research Paper Rubric. The contest format, organization, and scoring were developed by the Kingdom Champions, Mistress Lissa Underhill and Master Magnus hvalmagi, who built on the experience of Champions, entrants, and judges from the past several K&Q’s A&S Championships.

Numerical scores averaged 17.8 of a possible 25 points, but numbers tell only a small part of the story. Some judges gave in-person verbal feedback, and organizers expect this to be standard going forward. Written comments were also given to every entrant on Feedback forms. These comments remarked on successful strategies and suggested ways to make entries more understandable, relevant, and comprehensive.

Feedback form comments give a good idea of what the judges were looking for and what future participants may expect. To keep the true flavor of the written feedback, direct quotes from the forms are reproduced below in italics although identifying info has been removed. Judges’ comments have been organized into some common themes to provide guidance for artisans not able to attend the event and those who have aspirations to enter it next year.

Delight was evident. “I wanted to sit down with a knife and fork and eat. ♦ Crazy-good project. ♦ Thank you for entering. You showed great courage to put yourself and your work out there. ♦ You did a wonderful job of thinking outside the box to come up with solutions in the process. ♦ Super fun! Huge project. Massive undertaking especially with your tools. Love it! ♦ We appreciate you traveling to us and taking the risks—it shows you care about your art and are reaching out to others with your knowledge.”

Judges were excited by excellence in technique, great workmanship, home-made tools, and elegant experiments. “Gorgeous execution. ♦ Great level of detail. ♦ You show a clear understanding of medieval aesthetic. ♦ Making and showing your tools is also great. ♦Your skills are exquisite! ♦ You made the “thing” to make the “thing”—and then you made the “thing.” We were so excited! ♦ Your enthusiasm is contagious and your knowledge of subject matter is thorough.”

Feedback frequently gave specific advice to entrants about improving their entry.

Describe as clearly as you can what would have been done in period. Also describe what you have done. Try to include images of period examples that you used for inspiration. Photos of your work during the phases of construction help people visualize what you have done to create the work before them. “Be clear about what materials were used in period and whether or not you used those materials. ♦ Include photos of the extant items you are trying to reproduce. ♦ Document process as you go—process photos. ♦ Try to recreate an extant example and include a photo of that for comparison. ♦ Pay close attention to details in your inspiration piece. ♦ Compare your creations (i.e. how did they work?). ♦ The in-process ‘failures’ are wonderful. Please keep them. Your explanation of the process is vivid and exciting and absolutely brings your project to life.”

Historical Background is vital to your judges and spectators who want to understand your work. Imagine you are telling a friend what you’ve found out about the construction and importance of your entry in its time and culture. “Give some historical context. ♦ In your documentation please include more references on what you are emulating. ♦ We would like you to describe how [this] was used, significance, the historical impact, in the time period. ♦ Provide documentation for more of the ingredients.”

Sources help your reader follow your journey to your conclusions. “Try including in-text citations to improve your documentation and/or annotated bibliography. ♦ It would be very helpful to link your “works consulted” more explicitly into the body of your documentation. ♦ Great sources!”

Go deeper. Find ways to make your work broader, more thorough, more period-focused.

  • Find more source material “Look at additional translations. Try multiple batches and/or find another source
  • Investigate a related culture. “Have you considered comparing a similar [item] as interpreted by different countries?”
  • Work towards understanding more period processes. “Try experimenting with period methods. Use more period materials. Try working with a quill. Wed like to see some work done in a period manner using original artwork.
  • Aim for the stars:Challenge yourself with additional ornamentation, be it in accessories or trim. We would love to see a more complex final piece to highlight your skills. Keep practicing and improving. You are going in the right direction by focusing on the details and process.

Get some help from researchers, artisans, editors, scientists, and other experts around the SCA. “Society” is our first name–so ask around–there’s bound to be someone who has interests and experiences related to what you’re doing. It’s a big Kingdom and its people can be amazingly generous with their help.

  • For practical help look around for info on who’s good at something related to your interests—i.e. pottery, metalwork, dyeing, languages. Ask locally and at events. Ask at workshops and classes. Ask around on Facebook’s SCA East Kingdom and SCA Library of Alexandria “For additional [help] see if you can find a mentor. Get more references from practicing experts with experience in your field to help you make better choices.
  • For written documentation ask for pointers from experienced researchers and librarians. They really are there to help. “Discuss your research with librarians or research experts to better support your decisions and your next steps and to enlarge your knowledge base. Understand the chemistry involved. Focus on scholarly research.
  • For proofreading, find an intelligent, motivated friend who doesn’t know all about your work. (!) Get your friend to read your written documentation aloud to you so you can hear what you said instead of what you were trying to say. (This is all-but-impossible to do for yourself.) “Get people to read [your work] aloud for you. Connect with people who can help you with your documentation and prepare for next competition. Show more examples to make points clearer.
  • Find an editor, an experienced writer, or teacher to help you organize your thoughts and express them clearly so you and your readers have more fun. It is not simple to write a clear and comprehensive account of what you did and how that fits into medieval life. If somebody offers to help you, don’t be shy. Contact them right away and see if they have the time and skills to benefit your project. “Your work should be more analysis rather than just doing a report. Provide a clearer and earlier hypothesis in your research paper. We would have liked to see a more specific thesis statement with supporting conclusions.” You’ll know your written work is hitting the mark when you read “Paper was well-organized and easy to read. Clear and accessible to the non-professional. The graphic work was excellent. Depth of knowledge is very evident. You explain it very clearly in person. Practicality and usefulness is impressive.

Consider contest strategy.

  • Read the rules and documents of the contest carefully. Put yourself in your judges’ place: try scoring your entry using the contest score sheet. If you can’t find a specific score sheet for the contest you plan to enter, use the K&Q’s A&S rubric from this year. Scoring your own entry will help you see your work in a different light.
  • Edit your entry. Bring only items representing your very best work AND directly contributing to the “story” you are presenting. Focus your documentation on your entry today. “Target documentation on what specifically you are presenting. Tie your documentation to each pieces in a clear and concise manner. Pictures are good but only show ones that support the pieces you have.”
  • Presentation is important. An A&S Contest is about much more than a score. Most of the people who will view your work are not judges so try to make your work easily accessible to a spectator. “Work on presentation. This didn’t impact your score but would jazz it up.” Try to devise an eye-catching and intriguing display. Think about background, arrangement, illustrations, diagrams, or cards like you see in a museum with a few words in large print to label the items in your entry for the casual observer. What kind of excitement might you spark in a spectator?
  • Ask an experienced judge or competitor to go over your work with you a few weeks before the contest.
  • Look for the A&S Consultants table at an event near you. This is a brand new Kingdom Arts and Sciences initiative planned to connect you with experienced A&S judges to discuss your work. They’ll be there to provide insight and guidance. Use them.

Judges and populace simply cannot wait to see what the future of these researchers and artists will bring. “We have seen lots of growth and look forward to future projects! ♦ You are clearly passionate about your topic. ♦ Enthusiasm was plain to see. Keep going. ♦ We look forward to seeing more of your work. ♦ Rock on! ♦ Your excitement is inspiring. ♦ You have promising skill and we would love to see future work. ♦ Can’t wait to see what you show us next time.”

Entrants, spectators, royalty, and judges all seemed to have a rockin’ good time. Let’s do it again next year. Between now and then, let’s fan the fires of enthusiasm and vigorously support the artisans and researchers around our Kingdom. It’ll be exciting to see who enters the contest next year and what beautiful and fascinating knowledge they bring.

Filed under: Arts and Sciences Tagged: King and Queen's Champions

Scarlet Apron Competition Returns with Family Meal Theme

AEthelmearc Gazette - Thu, 2017-03-09 20:12

Lady Elska, winner of the 2016 Scarlet Apron competition, with its organizer, THL Edelvrouw Lijsbet de Keukere. Photo by Lady Àine ny Allane.

Cooks of AEthelmearc! The time has come to season your skillets and muscle up your mixing arms – The Scarlet Apron demands a new champion be chosen, so that it may dress a new breast this  year!

Join us at noon on Saturday, May 20, 2017 at Æthelmearc War Practice, and show your mettle as an entrant in The Scarlet Apron Food & Cooking

Cooks of all experience levels are welcome and encouraged to enter – whether you are new to the SCA or medieval cooking, or you are a veteran of the event kitchen, there is room at our table for you!

This year’s competition theme is “Family Mealtime,” for which entrants are encouraged (but not required) to work with someone in their family – however they choose to define it – to create a medieval version of a modern meal that frequents their dinner tables at home (i.e. lasagna, a roast with trimmings, chicken nuggets and fries, etc.).

These meals must be sourced from reliable cooking texts, which may be from anywhere and any time in SCA period. If using multiple sources from different cultures, it must be plausible that the combination of dishes being served would have been seen on the same table at the same time (for example, it is plausible that many
recipes from English and French texts could have been found on the same menu, depending on what time period it was; Likewise, it is not as plausible that a recipe from ancient Rome found its way to the same table as an Elizabethan English dish, and so would be an unfavorable combination for this competition).

Entries should contain an entrée and at least two side dishes, and be accompanied by a brief documentation form for each dish (to be provided – coming soon!).  Presentation counts, so plan on dressing up your table and your service so it is pleasing to the eye!

Pre-registration is required to participate.

There will be an announcement once the web site has been updated for this year’s competition, including a new registration form. In the meantime, start planning your entry, and send any questions to Edelvrouw Lijsbet de Keukere (Keirin Lazauskas-Ralff) on Facebook Messenger (preferred method) or via email.

We are so excited to see what you bring to the table this year!

Yours In Service, Lijsbet

See last year’s competition description here.

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