In all, the experience was completely fantastic and I would definitely consider something like this again. Further, I would also encourage others to do so when ready. For Persona Pentathlons, you typically create five items, and they often have to range across several categories (categories differ by Kingdom and competition). All items have to related to one persona (so they would belong to a specific time and place and social status). It is a pretty cool way to look at things and I learned a good deal just by putting together my entries.
I know a lot of people who live in or near Kingdoms with this type of competition talk about putting together an entry and to them I say, "Do it!" I do, however, suggest that you do a few things along the way.
- Document your process. Take photos of your process each step of the way. Judges often love to see how YOU did it, in addition to hearing (from your written documentation) how it was done in period.
- Document the item fully, as you go. In Atlantia, where this particular competition was held, EZ Doc is permissible, but it would never be enough to support am intense competition like this. I used appendixes in the back of several of my books to give additional information on topics (so that the judges could read it if they chose, or opt out if they felt they got enough information elsewhere). Use as many primary or period resources as possible.
- Be organized. I used tabs in my books and a summary/contents page at the beginning of each entry. Several people thanked me for that.
- Double check your items, are they displayed to their best advantage? Are all the finishing touches complete?
- Go into a competition like this with the expectation that you will get useful feedback to help further improve your projects. If you are lucky, you will get a great deal of feedback.
- Enjoy the process of further exploring a single persona!
Photos of my display are below. I am happy that I saw several of these things through a long transition of learning, altering, editing and I feel like I brought my best with some of these entries. Now to take my next steps and start doing additional research and creating new items for future displays.