Scholars of Dragon’s Laire

The Scholars program helps us build a scholastic community that promotes research and writing within the Barony and Kingdom. Although the Scholars’ Assembly is a Barony of Dragon’s Laire event, the program is open to anyone in the Kingdom of AnTir, or indeed in the Society.

The scholarly point of contact is Madrun y Gwehyddes heraldic device for Madrun y Gwehyddes.


The Barony of Dragon’s Laire Scholars’ Assembly was created in 2011. Conducting, writing, and presenting research is a foundational skill set that underlies medieval recreation. The Scholars program was designed to encourage and support SCA members who want to develop their research skills. In addition, we wanted to build a community of researchers that supported each other and helped new researchers improve their skills, while creating an atmosphere where research could be shared.

The Scholars’ Assembly is NOT a competition. Since it is our intent to build a community of scholars within the Barony, every writer/scholar who is accepted to present their paper at the annual Assembly (and does so) will be named a Scholar of Dragon’s Laire. There is no limit to the number of times you can participate — submit a paper every year, if you wish!

Everyone is invited to attend the scholarly presentations at Candlemas. This is especially helpful if you are thinking of participating in this program in the future.

To see a list of our Scholars, please follow this link.

The Process

Prospective Scholars will study and write a research paper about an aspect of medieval life, then submit their paper for peer review by the existing Scholars of Dragon’s Laire. Papers will be judged against a set of scholarly standards, not against each other.

If your paper meets the established standards, you will be asked to present your work orally, in person, at the annual Scholars’ Assembly (held during our Candlemas event). If your paper does not pass review, you will be provided with feedback on how to improve your work and asked to resubmit your revised paper the following year.

Every participant that meets the standard and presents their paper orally will be awarded the title of Scholar of Dragon’s Laire.

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

Guidance for Prospective Scholars

The Scholar’s program 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.

Content Guidelines

Research papers for the annual Assembly should demonstrate both breadth and depth of knowledge about the chosen topic.

Breadth of knowledge is accomplished by locating your 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.

Deadlines for 2022-2023

Submit a letter of intent by December 23, 2022, if you plan to participate in the Scholars’ Assembly at Candlemas (February 4, 2023). Send this to:
– their Excellencies of Dragon’s Laire:
– the Arts and Sciences Minister:
– the Assembly Coordinator:

If you want to receive advance review/feedback on your research paper, submit a preliminary copy by January 6, 2023. Submission of preliminary copies of papers is not required but is usually helpful. If you choose to take advantage of this pre-submission review, send your draft paper to the Assembly Coordinator:

PDFs of all finished research papers are due by midnight on January 20, 2023. Send these to:
– the Arts and Sciences Minister:
– the Assembly Coordinator:

After review by the Scholars of Dragon’s Laire, all papers meeting the scholarly standards for this program will be accepted for oral presentation during the Scholar’s Assembly at Candlemas on February 4, 2023 (link to event details). The oral presentation is required. Their authors will then be recognized as a Scholar of Dragon’s Laire.

Formatting for Papers

Scholars’ Paper Format Specifics:

  • Length: minimum 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.