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The purpose of the challenges is to encourage participants' creativity and artistic growth. They are not meant to be competitions - everyone who takes part can consider themselves a winner.

It is our wish to create a "bardic safe zone" - a friendly place to feel free to experiment, stretch yourself, and try new things if you are a new to bardic and performing arts, recently returning, or an experienced performer with new material.

You'll be hard pressed to find a friendlier and more supportive audience. (See below for general rules!)

Each challenge is sponsored by a Patron. As a Patron, you sit at the front of the performance area during your challenge, introduce each participant, and usually present each person with a small token. (This can be a pretty period-appropriate bead, a cookie, something related to the challenge, whatever small token of appreciation you would like ot offer.) This is meant to give a designated appreciator and a face to each challenge and is a neat way for less-performance-inclined bardic supporters to participate.

Children are invited to participate with adults. Some of the challenges will be particularly fun for children.

Fyt the First (9:30 AM - 11 AM)

A Flowering Tale

“It's May Eve, and Giacomo the Fool was assigned the task of setting up the Maypole…”
So the tale begins. It is continued by participants under the conductorship of the challenge’s patron.

Patron: Dahrien Cordell


What's old is new again! Find a period piece and put a spin on it to make it your own. Change the method of delivery, add new verses/stanzas, etc. Bonus points if we can't tell which parts are new!

Patron: Annetje van Leuven

A Day in the Sun

Highlight an area of the SCA that doesn't often get bardic focus. It could be an activity, a culture, or whatever else inspires you. The sky is the limit! This challenge is in memory of Kudrun Pilegrim.

Patron: THL Freydís in tryggva Sigurðardóttir

Fyt the Second (1:30 PM - 3 PM)

Spring in Your Step

Interpretive dance! Tell us a story as expressed through dance. What is the importance of this art? Interpretive dance aims to show human emotions, conditions, situations or fantasies by translating them into movement and dramatic expression.

Patron: Elashava bas Riva


Off book performance. If you can sing the alphabet song, you can do this!

Patron: Thomas Bordeaux

New Buds

Is this your first event? First time performing? First Bardic Madness? Or are you younger than age 12? Please introduce yourself to us any way you like – poem, song, want ad, commercial, tournament boast….  (Don’t forget to tell us your name.)

Patron: Xanthippe Botaneiatissa

Fyt the Third (4 PM - 5:30 PM)

A Riot of Colors

From the Provost's list of words, create a new poem to bedazzle us.




Patron: Tali Essen

Companion Planting

A performance with two or more people.

Patron: Eliane Halevy


Seize the day! Do something you've never performed before. Bonus points if it's documentably from our period or in period style.

Patron: Samia al-Lulu bint Isa

Fyt the Fourth and Feast (6:30 PM)

Ground Cover

Bring out your fipple flutes, tabors, and vielles. Play us a tune to make our feasting merry. (No instrument? Use your voice and pretend you’re playing a wordless song.)

Patron: M Rosalind Jehanne


We always toast Their Majesties and Their Highnesses during feast. Lead us in a toast to someone or something similarly deserving. (Keep it short – we want to eat! And give the servers a chance to refill your glasses… because who wants a dry toast?)

Patron: The Baronnesses Jararvellir, Jois and Athelyna

Three Sisters

Given a subject in the morning, compose, calligraph, and illuminate a text (prose or poem) that illustrates it. This may be done as an individual or in teams. There will be tables and a few (not necessarily period) supplies available in the performance space. The piece will be presented at feast.

Patron: Albrecht of Caer Anterth Mawr

General Rules

Challenges are not contests. You win by entering and striving to do the best you can.

Challenges are designed to encourage you to try your hand at something new, to stretch yourself, to enjoy, and celebrate the creative spirit.

Read the guidelines for the challenges carefully, like most exercises, they are designed to help you develop in specific areas. Try to follow them as closely as you can, but stretching them in unexpected directions is good too.

Individuals are welcome and encouraged to give recognition to those performers whom they especially enjoy.

In order to allow the largest number of people to participate, challenge entries shall be limited to 3-5 minutes or less for Poems and Songs, 5-7 minutes or less for stories - including any introduction.

Each person may enter a maximum of one piece in each challenge and a maximum of three challenges.

Man Carrying a Maypole, c1340. BL Royal MS 10 E IV, f90r.
Alixe Bovey, Art Historian