The Four Biggest Queens Prize Blunders

It’s the most wonderful time of the year. The Calontir Queen’s Prize arts and sciences event is almost here. There will be artisans showing and everyone telling you be of good cheer. It’s the hap- happiest tourney of all.

With all those good vibes there’s still something no entrant wants to think about but everyone does. It lurks under all your plans, the thought “What if I screw up?” So I’m telling you here the ways I messed up or seen others bomb. But first a bit about what to expect at Queens Prize.

Calontir Queens Prize 2016

The QPT Experience

If you don’t already know, Queens Prize Tourney is set up for entry-level artisans. It’s especially great if you’ve never participated in a Calontir A & S competition before because you have an experienced sponsor to guide you. A coach who helps with your questions, details and nightmares. Anything except for actually making your project.

Your sponsor also gives a prize to a lucky entrant who isn’t you. You’ll get one from someone else. So everyone goes home a winner.

Your entry can be anything made before 1600 that interests you. Along with a 3×5” card describing it. I’ve seen everything from Bardic songs to hand-tied period fishing flies. From SCA scrolls to excessively long Chinese painted fingernails. It’s also where I first saw silkworms making fiber.

At some time three judges will sit and talk with you about your thing. They’re comforting, kind and chatty. They even ask you how you prefer to be judged. So you’re the one in control. 

Some entrants prefer just to gab about their entry. Others ask to have the complete advanced judging experience with points given and comments written. They want the details relating to their craft and the Calontir Kingdom Arts and Science Criteria. It’s up to you how you want to be judged.

It’s as laid back a tourney as possible. Even so blunders do occur. Besides the obvious – forgetting to enter or breaking your creation – what could go wrong?

Oopsies and Blunders

Occasionally a nervous entrant might stutter or misspeak. We’re so used to thinking a competition is a rivalry to win. But this one is truly to gain experience.

This tourney is about putting your toe in the competition water not jumping in the pool’s deep end. Stress is meant to be at a minimum. Enjoy the feel. Learn what it’s all about.

An entrant might miss their judging time. – Ya, I did this once. – But it’s possible if there is enough total judging time remaining this could be overcome. If you tell the competition steward early a later time might be arranged.

It’s possible an entry piece might be missing. – I’ve done this, too. – Thinking I had everything, I left part of my stuff at home on the kitchen table. It’s embarrassing to say the least. But depending on the entry it’s possible the judges could still discuss your effort. It could still be a “toe in the water” learning experience. It’s definitely one I still remember.

A & S Entry With Documentation

You could forget details you discovered while creating the entry. Judges will understand.

But this is my brazen promotion for writing more detailed information than the minimum 3×5” card. After you give what the item is, when and where it’s from, it’s good to include what you used and how you made it. That will take you more than the small required card. Depending on the item it may take several pages.


A & S competing is a learning process. Like other things, it’s a journey not a destination. Entering Queens Prize is the best way to begin. An entrant-friendly tourney where blunders that may happen are overcome with care and consideration. One that’s not about bettering each other but about you.

You don’t have to worry about screwing up. That only crushes your confidence. You’re never going to move forward if you don’t dip your toe in the water. Don’t exclude yourself before you even start.

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