Frequently Asked Questions.

1. Can I write an article for Cockatrice?

Yes, you can! Cockatrice is all about sharing your research and your enthusiasm for your particular Art or Science. One of the best things about the SCA is the huge range of ‘things’ covered under the umbrella of Arts and Sciences from brewing to smithing to philosophy to music to embroidery to costuming to cookery to philosophy to carpentry to shoe-making to textile arts to book binding… Get the picture? The rationale for Cockatrice is to give the people of Lochac a place where they can share their research and passion for an Art or Science and to inspire their readers! This includes anyone interested in Arts and Sciences from Laurels to newcomer.

2. But what do I write and how much?

You can write an article on a particular area, like the ones in this edition. I would suggest aiming for around 1000 words as it gives you enough room to express yourself but is still short enough to hold the attention of your reader. If you don’t think you could manage writing a full article then there are a number of other ways to contribute including:

  • ♣  Write a review of book you have found helpful or interesting. This could be an academic work of research or a popular history or even a work of fiction set in the SCA time period.
  • ♣  Write a song or poem. This could be something that you have performed at an event or written for a contest or even for fun!
  • ♣  Draw a picture – have you been experimenting with period artistic techniques then send it in!
  • ♣  Redactarecipe–sendinyourversionsoffavouriteperiodrecipes.

3. But I don’t know everything about my particular area of interest!

Firstly, thank goodness! How boring SCA life would be if we did know everything. There are many stages in our research journeys in the SCA and Cockatrice is a place where you can tell other people where you are at this point in time. It doesn’t matter if you have been studying one particular area for the last fifteen years or it is something relatively new to you, the purpose of Cockatrice is to give you a platform to tell people about what you have found out so far and to provide them with inspiration in their own journeys in the SCA.

The other point about research in the SCA is that it is often impossible to know everything about a particular area, often due to a dearth of primary sources. [In case you are not sure of the terminology – a primary source is created at the time e.g. a period manuscript, tapestry, dress, embroidery, sword etc. A secondary source is a piece of research based on these primary sources e.g. examining period embroidery examples to present an article on the different stitches used.] Other barriers can include difficulties with language and access to resources. One of the fun things about the SCA is the creative part of anachronism – in other words – how did you overcome these particular obstacles. Again Cockatrice is a place where you can tell others about how you have been creatively anachronistic. If you have made modern substitutes then tell us how and why you did so.

Another thing to remember is that part of research is putting our own particular interpretations on period Arts and Sciences. We come up with theories about how and why people in period did things certain ways usually based on our reading of primary source evidence. Cockatrice is a place for you to explain your ideas about an area of interest and describing how the evidence you have collected supports your theories. This may not mean you are definitively right as after your article has been published new information may come to light that may damage your argument or you may rethink what you have said. The important thing to remember is that your article in Cockatrice is a reflection of where you are at on at that stage of the journey and the exciting thing about the SCA is that we always learning new things!

4. How do I reference my article?

There is nothing worse than reading an article full of interesting ideas and thinking where did they get them only to find that there are no references! If you are submitting an article to Cockatrice it is important that at the minimum you include a reference list of all the sources you have included.

For Referencing Websites:
Include the URL of the website and the date you accessed it. The date is important because due to website being often frequently updated this date tells us what version of the website was used.
This could look like:
French Metrology (n.d.).The metre adventure: http://www.french-metrology.com/en/history/metre-adventure.asp, viewed 30 September 2012.

For Referencing Books:
Book References should include the author, title, publisher, city and date of publications and look like:
Palmer, John, How to Brew (Brewers Publications: Colorado, 2006)

If you are including an article out of a book it should look like:
Geijer, Agnes, ‘The Textile Finds from Birka’ in N.B. Harte and H. Ponting (ed), Cloth and Clothing in Medieval Europe, (Heinemann: London, 1983), pp. 80-99

If it is an article from a magazine:
Gribling, Barbara, ‘The Black Prince: hero or villain’, BBC History Magazine, January 2013, vol. 14, pp. 30-40

For Referencing Images:

All images used in articles must be referenced for copyright reasons. It also pays to check that the owner of the website is happy for you to use their images in your own work!
You can either include the referencing with the images in your article or create an image list at the end. This should be referenced like any other book or website.

Looking forward to see your articles!

The Editor

By Theophrastus von Oberstockstall | Link