First, the dates for the next Eisteddfod:
2013 BELTANE/SAMHAIN EISTEDDFOD
Submissions accepted: Thursday, March 21, 2013 through Tuesday, April 23, 2013 at or about 12:30 GMT.
Voting: Wednesday, April 24, 2013 through Wednesday, May 1, 2013 at or about 23:00 GMT.
Second, the available categories. (Be sure you read the first post in each category thread for additional details)
Crafts - Digital Art - Prose - Long Poems (more than 30 lines) - Short Poems (30 lines or fewer) - Music/Performing Arts - Photography - Physical Art - Recipes - Rituals - Triads
RANCID'S EISTEDDFOD HINTS
ENTRIES: Eisteddfod is open to everyone, OBOD member or not. However, there is a limit of THREE entries per category per person. Eisteddfod is about your best work, and the moderators think that if a writer or artist can't even decide which is his best work, it's unfair to expect the voters to do so.
VOTING ETHICS: People have asked, "Can I vote for my own work, or am I a bad person if I do this?" Answer: You can vote for your own work, and how you feel about yourself afterward is nobody else's business. Can you be objective? Are you voting for yourself because you truly believe the work you submitted is better than anyone else's, or are you voting for yourself simply because you want very badly to win? Only you know the answers to these questions.
EASE OF USE: Eisteddfod is organized the way it is because the moderators say it's easier for them to compile things. The threads can get awfully long once people start submitting their work and other people add replies, so the moderators now ask that the category threads are used only for entries, with any comments being placed on the "I just loved your entry" thread. Please note: there is just ONE comments thread. If you wish to praise an entrant's work, please include specific information about what the entry is, and mention the category in which it was entered.
THE PROPER THREAD: When you submit your work, please make sure that it's on the proper thread (and make sure there is one entry per post--do not cram more than one entry in a post, please, as this will only confuse the moderators). Poetry is divided into two categories: Long Poetry and Short Poetry. Please read the category definitions, count the number of lines yourself, and post your work to the proper place! Also, if you happen to accidentally post your entry as a separate thread, please delete and re-submit into the appropriate category. Misplaced entries irk the moderators to no end.
TITLES: Please give your work a title. This is important because when the voting starts, it is handy for people to know what they're voting for. If you do not provide a title, the moderator will assign a title.
BE TIMELY: The dates and times for submitting entries to the current Eisteddfod are always listed on the announcements that are posted in The Pub and elsewhere. Please abide by them.
ORIGINAL MATERIAL: With the exception of submissions to the Performing Arts category, all entries must be original material, which means they must have been written, photographed, drawn or painted by the entrant. Within the Performing Arts category, however, non-original material may be performed, but it must be properly credited.
HARPS: Winners will be issued beautiful but virtual golden harps (one per winner, not per category).
HAVE FUN: Eisteddfod is a competition, but it is a friendly competition, and the goal is for everyone to feel good about it at the conclusion of the voting. Not everyone will win, but by entering, you share a part of yourself with your friends here, and no one loses when we think of it in this way.
QUESTIONS? Just PM the Creative Bardic Pursuits moderator. Don't send PMs to me because although I can type, I can't read. I'm just a dog after all.
RANCID'S EISTEDDFOD FAQ
[list]Q) What if nobody likes what I did? Will the voting be made public? What if I don't get any votes? I'll be soooo embarrassed!
A) The Eisteddfod is a competition, and as such, there will be winners and, uh, not winners. The voting will be visible at the completion of the polling period, and entrants have been known to be embarrassed by having not received many (or any) votes. Before you enter, ask yourself this question: Does this entry satisfy ME? If the answer is yes, then you have already won the biggest prize, no matter what the voters say.
Q) I'm still a little nervous about entering. My work just isn't that good. What can I do?
A) The Eisteddfod isn't the right answer for everybody. There are other fora available in which you can post your work in a non-competitive atmosphere with no judging. You will find these fora under the Bardic Pursuits banner. They are entitled: Poetry and Writing Forum; Music Forum; Visual Arts and Multimedia Forum; and Arts and Crafts.
Q) I posted a poem last month in Poetry and Writing, and I also posted a photograph a week ago in Visual Arts and Multimedia. Can I re-enter these items in the Eisteddfod?
A) Yes. You may even re-enter items that did not win in a previous Eisteddfod if you wish to do so. It might be nice, however, to include an explanatory paragraph so that readers won't think they're seeing double.
Q) If I didn't enter the competition, can I still vote?
A) You sure can!
Q) What happens to all the poetry and stuff after the Eisteddfod ends?
A) After a week or two, the materials are moved to Historical Eisteddfod Gallery, while the winning entries will be immortalized on the Order's Eisteddfod web site.
Q) None of the competition categories seem to fit what I plan to submit. What do I do now?
A) Send a PM to the Bardic Pursuits moderator and she will work with you to see which category can best accommodate your entry.
Q) My poetry stinks, and so does my prose. I also can't seem to keep my thumb out of the picture whenever I take a photograph. And as for musical instruments, I can't even play the radio. How can I improve?
A) Practice, practice, practice, and develop a thick skin. If you don't write regularly, you probably won't be a good writer. If you don't work often with your camera, you probably will never take good photographs. We all like to hear good things about our work, and it is likely that you will receive nice comments when you post to any of the bardic pursuits fora. However, if you want a more objective analysis, when you make a post to any of the Bardic Pursuits fora, just ask readers to provide you with constructive criticism on your work. The OBOD message board is not a school for bardic pursuits. However, we do have accomplished artists who visit the fora, and it could be that some of them will offer sound advice.
Q) What does "Eisteddfod" mean anyway?
A) OBOD's main page has this to say about Eisteddfod: "The origin of the Eisteddfod can be traced to as early as 1176 and the idea of Bardic competitions probably dates much earlier. The word loosely translates 'to be seated,' referring perhaps to both the performers and the audience."
Q) What are all these "entry threads" and "voting threads" I see you writing about? I don't see any such thing in the forum.
A) Be patient. The moderator will introduce the threads to the forum just before the appropriate dates.
Q) I don't know how to post a photograph. Please help!
A) The instructions for posting a photograph can be found here:http://www.druidry.org/board/dhp/viewtopic.php?f=1&t=24490
Q) Do entries have to have a seasonal theme?
A) No, except in the Seasonal Category. Although the Eisteddfod competitions are organized on a seasonal schedule, there is no requirement that any of the entries have a seasonal theme. Some writers and artists find it helpful to do this, but again, it is not a requirement. In the Seasonal Category, entries can be of any type but MUST pertain to the season and must be COMPLETELY original material.
Q) I still don't understand what is meant by "original material?"
A) By "original material," we mean that an entry must have been written, drawn, crafted, designed, painted, cooked or photographed by the person or persons submitting it. The only category in which this rule does not apply is the Performing Arts category, because there the judging is based on an entrant's performance and not on the material being performed. Please note, however, that non-original material being performed should still be properly credited.
Q) May my friends and I enter something as a team?
A) Yes you may, but with one proviso: EACH member of the team must be a registered user of the message board.
Q) Will I be allowed to correct errors in my entry once I've submitted it?
A) The moderators expect each entry to be a completed work. But recognizing that accidents do happen, entrants are allowed to make simple corrections to spelling or grammar. However, wholesale revisions of your material once it has been submitted are not allowed.