What is the Stella Nova Arts and Sciences Faire Category?
Stella Nova is a category for entries in Regional Arts & Science (A&S) faires. This category is geared towards novices who haven’t entered an A&S faire before and are interested in learning more about the process. Each Regional A&S faire will host this category, so if one event is not accessible to you, another one surely will be.
This category is unique. The guiding principle of Stella Nova is to take the mystery out of the A&S faire process, and give you a space to ask questions and receive a “guided tour” of a regional competition. To this end, you will be paired with a Laurel mentor, to guide you through the process of creating, researching, documenting, and competing.
The Members of the Order of the Laurel will be mentoring up to three novices during the A&S faire season. Laurels and members of the Order of the Velvet Owl (or out of Kingdom equivalent) will act as judges for the Stella Nova category.
Who can enter using the Stella Nova category?
Anyone who is new to entering Kingdom or Regional A&S faires in Meridies would be considered a novice and eligible for this category.
I don’t know if I would be considered a ‘novice’. Who is a novice?
As a general rule, if you have entered 4 or fewer Kingdom or Regional A&S Faires within in Meridies in the last 10 years, you will be considered a novice. Your mentor should be able to answer this for you, but if there are any questions you can ask the Kingdom Minister of Arts & Sciences, Maestra Serafina Alamanni at email@example.com or Stella Nova Coordinator, Mistress Sunneve de Cleia at firstname.lastname@example.org
Am I still a ‘novice’ if I’ve entered Stella Nova before?
Yes! You can participate in Stella Nova twice. If entering again, you may either work with a new mentor, or continue working with your previous mentor, but must submit a new Stella Nova project. The new project may be in the same category as your previous Stella Nova entry.
How do I find a mentor?
First, ask around with any local Laurels or your local A&S officer. If they are unable to help you, or if you are nervous about talking to them, contact Mistress Sunneve de Cleia at email@example.com. We are here to help! There are Laurels who have volunteered to mentor entrants they may not even know! Each year, we have been able to match up several mentors with entrants. Don’t let this be the thing that stops you!
What is the process for entering a Stella Nova project?
You will fill out an online form in advance. On the form you will indicate which faire you want to enter. There are many faires to choose from, and they are held all over Meridies. The A&S faire season begins in September with Crossroads, hosted by the Shire of Owl’s Nest (Marietta, Georgia). It continues through Iris Faire in April, hosted by the Barony of Glaedenfeld (Nashville, Tennessee). It ends with the Kingdom A&S Faire (called Artsy Crown) in May (location travels). It is preferable that you fill out the form as close to the beginning of the faire season as possible, or at least a few months before the event you want to attend, to give yourself ample time to work with your mentor.
Use the following form to tell us you are interested in participating in Stella Nova: https://goo.gl/forms/onemg8uU9xHU59xN2
The form will also ask you questions about the project you are thinking about entering, and you will give your contact information. If you already have a mentor, or need a mentor, you will indicate that as well. The Kingdom Minister of Arts & Sciences, Maestra Serafina Alamanni, receives the form and will be in touch with you about your plans and to help you find a mentor if you indicate that you need one.
I don’t know how to put together a project, from research on up. How do I do that?
You don’t have to do something complex or groundbreaking, just nice, solid work. Your mentor will be able to introduce you to the structure of a project, and should be able to help you find research, and learn how to use it most effectively.
I am worried about documentation. How do I do that?
You are not alone! Luckily, your mentor should help you with this. To make things easy, we are asking that for this category you use the guided documentation forms found here: http://artsandsciences.meridies.org/faire/guided_doc.php
I don’t know what the judges are looking for in an entry. How do I learn?
You can look at judging forms to prepare you for the kinds of things judges are looking for. They are found here: http://artsandsciences.meridies.org/faire/judging_forms.php. As an A&S veteran, your mentor will be able to give you the inside scoop on how to read the judging forms.
Can groups enter? Can I have a group entry and a single entry?
You are allowed ONE single entry and ONE entry as part of a group. The group should all be novices as described above.
The judging process sounds intense and kind of scary!
Your mentor will be with you all the way, and will be sitting beside you during your judging experience. Your judges will do their best to provide you with constructive commentary, explanations, and will suggest sources and research to assist you in subsequent competitions (should you choose to enter your project again). Your mentor will be able to help you understand your judging sheet and explain any commentary that you may be confused about. They will be your familiar face to look forward to!