Documentation for A&S

20091024478-400x300Every entry must include written documentation. It can be easy to forget certain details during your oral presentation but written documentation gives you the opportunity to make sure you can cover the aspects of your piece you want and help show how you made the decisions you made. It’s a great way to show the judges what went into your pieces.


  • ALL documentation is due 7 days prior to competition so judges have time to read it through.

Documentation can take a couple of different forms depending on what you are comfortable with as long as the information you want to highlight is conveyed. The thing to remember is you want to move beyond bringing photocopies of source material: to have something you wrote yourself to help explain what you are entering. The two styles of documentation are:

Article Form:This is a more informal approach that allows the Competitor to create documentation suitable for publishing in an SCA newsletter as a standalone article on their piece. The language is more relaxed and the text has accompanying photos. Usually in this form, your documentation is between four to six pages. The guiding principle is to write to an audience who probably doesn’t know much about what you are entering. Competitors are encouraged to enter this style of documentation into the principality newsletter to share your interest with others following the competition!

Note: This option is a new, trail approach to encourage a wider interest in entering A&S competitions. Their Highnesses reserve the right to adapt this option in future for the betterment of th  competition.

Scientific Approach: This method involves writing a more traditional paper with structured sections and subsections (Introduction, Methods, Discussion, and Summary etc.). While this method does allow the Competitor to more fully explore a topic on paper, it can be too long for the judges to read in its entirety. There is no length range for this category; the paper is as long as it needs to be. This is the more common approach seen at the kingdom level at present.

Make sure to choose an easy to read font for the text, you can always use more period looking fonts as Titles or Subtitles.


Some ideas you’ll want to cover

Include a Table of Contents, it will help your judges find information more easily.

Describe your piece:

Who: Who would have used this? Who was it made for? Who would have made it?

What: What was it used for? What time period is it? What was it made from? What made you choose this piece?

When: When did it mainly exist?  Were there earlier  examples?

Where: Where did the piece come from? What is its history?

How: How was it intended to be seen? How was it used in period?

Give your piece a Context: Where is it from? What can you say about the culture?

Processes involved: How did you create it? How would it have been created in period?

Choices you made in creating the piece: Can you provide time and place appropriate examples for the choices you made? Did you have to choose modern techniques and materials?

Summary paragraph: Sum up everything you just covered above.

Cite your sources, tell us where you found the information you used. Also, credit any photos, diagrams or tables you have included.

Give a Source Listing/Bibliography: what did you use to research your piece. This can be anything; a book, paper, reliable internet sources, an artifact, even a conversation with an expert. Please make sure to include copies of extant pieces and period source material if possible.


There are many great reasons to enter this competition besides winning. Getting your work known in the Principality and being an active, contributing member of the Bardic community comes with its own rewards.

Good luck and have fun!

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