Greetings unto the Midlands from The Honorable Lady Ellen of the Scholars. In order to encourage the scribes of our region and to give them an opportunity to enhance and broaden their abilities, I offer A Scribal Challenge.

Below is a list, in no particular order, of scribal feats I consider to be worthy goals. During the course of the next year I challenge each scribe to join me in completing as many of the feats listed as they are able. Each time you complete a feat, jot down a description of your activity. The one-year span in which you may complete the challenge begins June 1st, 2002 and ends June 1st, 2003. Return your completed list to me by the end of June, 2003.

To the successful challenger (or challengers) who completes the list (or comes closest to completing the list) over the course of this year, I offer as a prize, 6 uncut goose quills, a piece of vellum, hand-made malachite watercolor paint (or raw pigment if you prefer to grind your own!), and a blank book in which you may chronicle your future scribal endeavors.

I will request that the names of all successful challengers and their feats be published in the RingMail and on the Midlands web site so that we may display the talents of the Midlands scribes and encourage others to aspire to the same level of achievement.

1.   Go to a museum, special collection, or exhibit and see a REAL medieval manuscript or document.

2.   Teach a scribal class.

3.   Take a scribal class (preferably on something you havenít tried before.)

4.   Enter one competition or display.

5.   Borrow or buy a book on a new calligraphy and/or illumination style and create a work in that new style.

6.   Experiment with a new method or materials youíve never tried.

7.   Finish a project you started before this year. If you have no unfinished projects, (Wow!) start one youíve been putting off.

8.   Set up a scribal display or demonstrate the scribal arts at a public demo.

9.   Attend a non-SCA scribal class, workshop, or symposium.

10. Write an article on your scribal work or your experiences at a symposium, museum, or scribal class. Publish it in Arts Draconis, your local newsletter, or some other SCA publication.

11. Make a calligraphy and/or illumination project that is NOT an award scroll.

12. Volunteer to judge (or shadow judge if youíve never judged before) at the Regional or Kingdom A&S Faire.

13. Seek out a scribe whose work you admire & tell them what you like about their work. Recommend them for an award.

14. Make copies of the calligraphy/illumination works you finish this year. Keep the copies in a portfolio to share with other scribes.

15. Even if you only complete one of these feats, enjoy your victory! Allow yourself to take pleasure in each completed project. Appreciate and enjoy the work of others. Take a break when you need it. Remember, this is supposed to be FUN!


I will gladly accept additional suggestions of feats not listed above for possible inclusion in a future challenge.


Ellen of the Scholars
(Cindy E. Baker)
802 S. Allin St.
Bloomington, IL 61701
(309) 827-4358

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