A Guide to Entering Arts and Sciences Faires

Do I need to have documentation? What is the purpose of documentation anyway?
It depends on the guidelines established for each competition or faire. Documentation is always required for the Kingdom Arts and Science Tournament. Entries will not be judged without it. The Kingdom Arts & Sciences Faire has a simplified “fill in the blank” format for documentation. Local faires and competitions may not require documentation, be certain to check with the autocrat or fairecrat for more information.

Documentation allows the judges to understand the purpose and background of your project. While judges may know about an individual category, no one knows more about your project than you and documentation is your chance to share that knowledge and show that you do know what you are doing.

What do I need to include in my documentation?
Meridies now has a Guided Documentation option which, while not required, can help you determine what to include. But in a nutshell; who, what, where, when, and why. Answering those questions normally provides an adequate background of information about your entry. There are a lot of articles out there that have more detailed direction about required information; however, simply answering the 5 W’s goes a long way towards covering the pertinent details.
Why do entries need to be pre-registered at KA&S? What happens if my entry isn’t ready in time?
It allows the Kingdom A&S officer time to recruit judges who are knowledgeable about your category. Some categories have a lot of qualified judges and some categories have very few. If your entry isn’t ready, simply withdraw it and you may enter it next year.
Why do writing entries need to be submitted so far in advance?
It takes a lot of time to read and evaluate research papers properly. By having research papers submitted ahead of time, judges have adequate time to read and evaluate the detailed information that is inherent to such a scholarly work. Reading, comprehending, and evaluating just one research paper can take over an hour or two. Imagine trying to judge an entire category of research papers at an event. Advance submission insures that your judge is reading your paper when he or she still has a brain and not something that liquefied about three hours ago.
What are the A&S awards within Meridies?
For those wishing information about the remaining Meridian Awards, please visit the pages dedicated to the Herald’s Office.
  • Meridian Cross: The Meridian Cross is given to those who show promise and skill in the arts and sciences. This is often the first award given to an artist. Members may place the initials CMC after their names. If you would like to recommend an artist for the Meridian Cross, simply write a letter to their Majesties explaining why you think this individual is deserving of this award.
  • Order of the Argent Slipper: The Order of the Argent Slipper is given to those who have enriched Meridies through the teaching of dance. Both styles of dance, European and Middle Eastern, are recognized through this award. That is why there are two different renditions of the slipper picture here. Both the populace and the members of the Order may write letters of recommendation to the Crown.
  • Order of the Velvet Owl: The Velvet Owl is given to those who have shown outstanding skill and accomplishment in the Arts and Sciences, who have imparted those skills to the populace of Meridies by regular teaching and sharing of ability in their particular specialty, and who have consistently displayed courtesy and chivalry in an exemplary manner above and beyond those efforts normally required of the subjects of Meridies. This is a polling order, if you would like to recommend an artist to this Order, simply write a letter to the Secretary of the Order.
  • Order of the Scarlet Star: The Order of the Scarlet Star is mostly a service award; however, there may be an artisitic element as well. The Scarlet Star is given to those who have given service above the normal through either autocratting or feastcratting. Cooking can be an art, as well as a service, so it was included in this listing. The populace is invited to write letters of recommendation for this award to their Majesties.
    Order of the Sable Quill: The Order of the Sable Quill is sometimes given for artistic merits and is sometimes given for service.Only one is given during a Crown’s reign. As a result, their Majesties are very selective about who will receive such an award. It may be given for someone who has written a plethora of historical articles or to someone who has provided a great service to the Kingdom in the publication of documents, such as the Popular Chivalry.
  • The Companionate of the Bard: The Companionate of the Bard is the award that recognizes all those who have served as the Kingdom Bard. Election into this Order rests solely with the Crown. While a companion may only receive this award once, he or she may serve as the Kingdom Bard more than once. Sometimes their Majesties hold a competition and sometimes they simply choose an individual to serve.
    The Companionate of the Poet Laureate: The Companionate of the Poet Laureate is the award that recognizes all those who have served as the Poet Laureate. Election into this Order rests solely with the Crown. While a companion may only receive this award once, he or she may serve as the Kingdom Bard more than once. Sometimes their Majesties hold a competition and sometimes they simply choose an individual to serve.
  • Order of the Athanor: The Order of the Athanor is reserved for members who have contributed extensively to historical study in the Society. The Athanor is very exclusive and rarely awarded. If you think a member has made significant contribution to historical study, simply write a letter of recommendation to their Majesties explaining why you think this individual is deserving of this award. However, please remember that this award is reserved for those who have exceeded all normal expectations and will continue to do so. Upon receiving this award, the members of Athanor have a yearly publication requirement. Recipients must publish one scholarly paper per year in any publication of the Society for Creative Anachronism, Inc., whether official or unofficial, or submit at least one scholarly paper per year to be filed in the archives of the Royal University of Meridies.
  • Order of the Laurel: The Order of the Laurel is a Peerage Order and the highest Artistic award given. It is a polling order and the Laurels vote on worthy candidates before recommending those candidates to the Crown. Their Majesties then decide about whether or not to elevate the individual into the Order of the Laurel. Members of the Order are expected to have been obedient to Corpora and the Laws of the Society, as well as the Laws of Meridies. Peers are also expected to swear fealty and to show respect for and support of the Crown of Meridies. Peers are expected to be examples of dress and behavior. Peers are expected to be knowledgeable in a particular skill and of the skills worthy of a civilized Court. The populace may recommend candidates whom they feel are worthy to the Order by writing a letter to the Secretary.
What format or writing style do I need to use?
You may use whatever writing style you prefer. APA, MLA, and other styles are all acceptable. Simply pick a style and consistently use it.
What does it mean to enter as a novice at KA&S?
Your entry will still be judged with the same criteria as veteran participants. By telling the judges that you are a novice, it alerts the judges to the fact that you are new and may not be as familiar with the process as someone who has entered a certain category four times. It reminds the judges to keep their comments detailed, clear, and specific. Overly vague or complex comments can confuse a novice and make the experience a frustrating one. The purpose is to help ensure that everyone has a positive experience.
Are children allowed to participate?
Yes, see the category Children’s Open for information about KA&S. Contact the fairecrat for information about local faires and competitions.
Why are the participants in the Society expected to report their artistic accomplishments to the local A&S officer?
The Society for Creative Anachronism is a non-profit organization. The fact that we are devoted to historical study is one of the reasons that we are able to achieve that status. By reporting our artistic endeavors to the local A&S officer, we are providing documentation that helps to justify our non-profit status.