Scholars of Dragon’s Laire

The goal of the Scholars program is to build a scholastic community pledged to promoting research and writing within the Barony and Kingdom.

Prospective Scholars will study and write a research paper about an aspect of medieval life, present their work for consideration at the annual Scholar’s Assembly, and have their research paper evaluated by existing Scholars to determine if their work exceeds established standards. Every competitor that meets the standard and presents their paper is awarded the title of Scholar of Dragon’s Laire.

Some examples of successful scholarly papers are included in the 2021 Candlemas Gallery of Works.

Scholar’s Assembly at Candlemas

The scholarly point of contact is currently in transition.

The Scholar’s Assembly focuses on scholarly research, the examination and written presentation of an aspect of pre-1650 culture or history unaccompanied by either a made object or a performance. Research papers for the Assembly should demonstrate both breadth and depth of knowledge about the chosen topic.

Breadth of knowledge is accomplished by locating one’s topic firmly in a specific time and place, and comparing that local knowledge to what happened elsewhere both before and after the chosen time-frame.

Depth of knowledge is demonstrated by presenting the range of what is known about your topic in your chosen time and place, including conflicting interpretations of the experts, identification of the limits of what is known, and the speculations of the experts.

You, too, may wish to speculate about unresolved controversies about your topic but it is not required. If you choose to do so be sure to explain why you have come to the conclusions you present.


Participating in the Assembly: Instructions from 2021

Those desiring to submit and present a paper at the Scholars’ Assembly (and hence become a Scholar of Dragon’s Laire) are required to submit a letter of intent to Their Excellencies, the Arts and Sciences Minister and the Assembly Coordinator by December 15, 2020. Preliminary copies of the research paper can be submitted for review and feedback by January 1, 2021. Submission of preliminary copies of papers is not required but is usually helpful. PDFs of the finished research paper are due to the Arts and Sciences Minister and the Assembly Coordinator on January 15, 2021. Submitted papers will be reviewed by the Scholars of Dragon’s Laire. Papers will be judged against a set of scholarly standards, not against each other. Those papers meeting these scholarly standards will be accepted for presentation at the Assembly and their writers will become a Scholar of Dragon’s Laire. Please note, the Assembly is NOT a competition; since it is the intent of the assembly to build a community of scholars within the Barony, every writer/scholar who is accepted to present their paper at the Championships (and does so) will be named a Scholar of Dragon’s Laire and they will remain a Scholar and be invited to submit a paper every year, if they wish.

Scholars’ Paper Format Specifics:

  • Length: approximately 2200 words (roughly 5 pages of text without illustrations).
  • Font and spacing: 12-point font and either 1.5 or double-spaced.
  • Margins: 1-inch top, bottom and sides. Number all pages except the title page.
  • Bibliography: A list of everything you read, including the references you have cited. This can be annotated but it is not required.
  • Citation style: There are many to pick from. Choose one and stick to it.
  • Illustrations: illustrations, tables, and figures should be numbered consecutively (figure 1, illustration 1, table 1) and referred to in the text the same way.