How can I become a Scribe?

Border by Veronica da Lugano
Border by Veronica da Lugano

How can I become a scribe? It's as easy as 1-2-3:

1) Contact the College
The first step is to contact the College, either the Chancellor (head of the College) or your local Signet - we're pretty easy to find!

* Use the email links on these web pages
* Use the contact info in The Page (the West Kingdom newsletter)
* Look under "officers" on the Kingdom or Principality websites
* Attend any scribal class at Collegium or A&S, and ask the instructor
* Attend any local scriptorium and ask the group organizer

2) Become Warranted
Once you're in touch with us, we can walk you through the process of becoming warranted in the College of Scribes. "Warrant" sounds impressively official, but it really just means we know who you are and how to contact you, you know something about us and how we work, and we know something about your art. So this involves:

* Collecting your contact info
* You review College policies and let us know that you agree to work within them
* We take a look at your "exemplar"
* We tell you that you are "warranted" and put you to work!

3) Get an Assignment
You can use the assignment request process to search for and request an interesting project from our backlog, or you can contact the Chancellor or local Signet for help.

The Exemplar
This is where people get nervous - it's always hard to put your efforts on display, especially if you think you're going to be judged in some way. The College is honestly interested in all the help it can get, but it also has a responsibility to deliver a certain level of artistic quality. We do that by evaluating your work, and sometimes making suggestions about:

* Materials that might lend more permanence to your work
* Techniques that might help achieve a medieval look and feel
* People who can mentor you, if you're interested
* How you can start working with the College right away!

Exemplars can take the form of an actual sample of your art, produced for this purpose. However, we believe in more practical applications as well, so we encourage illuminators to paint up a charter that can be used by the royalty, or a calligrapher to write out an AoA promissory text - that way we might be able to kill two birds with one stone! Both these projects can be accomplished at any local scribal practice, where you can also connect with scribes in a casual, social setting. If you can't make it to a local practice, talk to the Chancellor or Signets about creating an exemplar that is "usable art".

The Warrants
Because some people really like a structure to place themselves in, the College has created discrete warrants, with suggested guidelines to help you work within your comfort level. Please keep in mind that these are suggestions only - contact the Chancellor or Signet if you'd like to try a stretch assignment! (And for those who are wondering, Viridis means "green or fresh"; Atramentum means "black ink or paint"; Aurem means "gold or golden".)

 For Illuminators
* Pictor Viridis Warrant (Templates and Preprints): The scribe has demonstrated the ability to complete a template or pre-print scroll: painting is neat and even, a reasonable understanding of the appropriate medieval color schemes is evidenced, and quality materials are used. The scribe has also demonstrated an understanding of College guidelines and a willingness to take personal responsibility for completing the scroll assignment.
* Pictor Atramentum Warrant (All awards without achievements): In addition to the guidelines of the Viridis Warrant, the scribe has demonstrated the ability to create an original scroll layout, based on medieval sources and including space for the recipient's arms and all other required elements for an award scroll.
* Pictor Aurum Warrant (All awards): In addition to the guidelines of the Atramentum Warrant, the scribe has demonstrated the ability to incorporate heraldic achievements in the scroll layout. Additionally, the level of artistry and execution is advanced and appropriate to Grant and Peerage level scrolls.
 For Calligraphers:
* Scriptor Viridis Warrant (Templates and Preprints): The scribe has demonstrated the ability to complete the text for a template or pre print scroll, using appropriate hands and wording for each assignment, and quality materials are used. Lettering and spacing are neat and even. The scribe has also demonstrated an understanding of College guidelines and a willingness to take personal responsibility for completing the scroll assignment.
* Scriptor Atramentum Warrant (All awards without achievements) : In addition to the guidelines of the Viridis Warrant, the scribe has demonstrated the ability to produce an appropriate text for an award scroll and to work within the original design parameters set by the illuminator: a reasonable understanding of the appropriate script for the design is evidenced.
* Scriptor Aurum Warrant (All awards): In addition to the guidelines of the Atramentum Warrant, the level of artistry and execution is advanced and appropriate to Grant and Peerage level scrolls.

Learn More About Scribal Arts
Lots of other articles on this website are devoted to calligraphy, illumination and heraldry. There are also links to period examples, SCA examples and the scribal websites of other Kingdoms within the Knowne World.

There are several online discussion lists available as well: The West Kingdom College of Scribes email list, a Knowne World list and also a list for SCA Illuminators and Calligraphers.

 
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