In the spirit of getting more people to enter Arts and Sciences Competitions, and to have great documentation, I have the following hints.

Yes, this information will help you raise your score!

I have had the pleasure of being a Kingdom Arts & Sciences (A&S) Competition judge and judging instructor for almost a decade.

The one thing that sometimes frustrates judges is the lack of information in some of the documentation. To alleviate that frustration (on both the judge and entrant sides), I have some information about why it is important to include more information, and what I, as a judge, am looking for. (Note: not all Kingdoms or judges have the same criteria. I find as a general rule, this format and information will get you really far with MOST judges.)

Documentation is the entrant’s voice and representative to the judges. Atenveldt has blind judging. It is the only thing that tells us about the entrant’s knowledge of that piece and the background and history of that art. Frustration for judges comes when they have to judge items that have less than 1/2 a page of typed documentation, including title page, pictures, and bibliographies. Yes, this has happened. There honestly isn’t enough information there to inform the judges about the entrant’s knowledge of historic pieces or of that specific piece, and this makes it difficult to judge those items.

No, not all of the judging is based on the documentation, but an awful lot of it is.

As a judge, I am looking for information, input, and knowledge about the art form in general, and on that specific piece. I look for an introduction (briefly tell me what you’re going to tell me – 3 to 5 sentences), the “5 Ws” (answer all of the judges questions about that art and that piece – in paragraph form, not list form), and a conclusion (briefly tell me what you told me – 3 to 5 sentences). I also look for if the item is historically within SCA dates (pre 17th century) and if it is European, or could have potentially been in Europe at the time through trade. (Note: I am not a total stickler for all Europe all the time in the SCA. If something is not European in origin, I want to know how it could have gotten to Europe IF and only IF that research does exist. I am not looking for some made up story about it, but if that information is out there, I want to know because I find that information really interesting.)

Next week, we will discuss my expanded “5 W’s” and where they fit into the 5 paragraph form.

Hopefully Helpful,