East Kingdom Chronicler's Office
Local Chronicler Policies

Last updated: January 1, 2012

Traduction Francophone (French Translation): Une traduction francophone des Politiques du Royaume pour le chroniqueur local est disponible dans les Ressources francophones pour la SCA.

A. Requirements for Local Chroniclers
......1) Branch Requirements
......2) Local Chronicler Requirements
......3) Recommended Qualifications for Office
B. Creation, Removal and Resignation of Local Chroniclers
......1) Authority to Create and Remove
......2) Appointment of Local Chroniclers
......3) Resignation of Local Chroniclers
......4) Removal of Local Chroniclers
C. Financial Responsibilities of Local Chroniclers
D. Reporting Responsibilities of Local Chroniclers
E. Producing and Distributing a Local Newsletter
......1) Definition of a Local Newsletter
......2) Frequency of Publication
......3) Courtesy Copies
......4) Electronic vs. Print Newsletters
F. Local Newsletter Contents
......1) Required Contents
......2) Suggested Contents
......3) What Newsletters May Not Print

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A. Requirements for Local Chroniclers

   1. Branch Requirements: Principalities, baronies and provinces must have a warranted chronicler and must produce a regular newsletter. Shires, cantons, and other small groups are not required to have a warranted chronicler, nor are they required to produce a newsletter, but they may if they wish.

   2. Local Chronicler Requirements: Local chroniclers must be paid members of the SCA, Inc., and must have regular access to Pikestaff. They are expected to read the Kingdom Chronicler's column in Pikestaff. Updates to these policies will appear in Pikestaff and the local chronicler is responsible for following them.

   3. Recommended Qualifications for Office:

  • The ability to produce a satisfactory newsletter on a regular basis (quarterly at minimum)
  • The ability to write reasonably clearly and correctly, or assistance in this from a proofreader
  • The ability to keep good financial and subscription records, or assistance in this from a deputy
  • Being financially solvent enough to print an issue and then submit a request to the exchequer for reimbursement (this is not required, but will make life easier for both you and the exchequer)

B. Creation, Removal and Resignation of Local Chroniclers

   1. Authority to Create and Remove: The final authority to create and remove local chroniclers rests with the Kingdom Chronicler. Local seneschals may make recommendations, which will often be followed. However, they do not have the authority to take unilateral action regarding the creation or removal of a local chronicler.

   2. Appointment of Local Chroniclers: When a local group needs a new chronicler, they should follow their customary local selection process. The new chronicler should then contact the Kingdom Chronicler.

If the new chronicler contacts the Kingdom Chronicler by email, the new chronicler should send full SCA and modern names, street address, phone number, SCA membership number and expiration date (from the membership card or a recent Pikestaff label), and the local newsletter's subscription information (newsletter name, publishing frequency and subscription fee, if any). The local seneschal should also send an email verification to the Kingdom Chronicler confirming that the chronicler is acceptable to the group.

If the new chronicler contacts the Kingdom Chronicler by regular mail, the new chronicler should include a letter signed by the local seneschal, along with the new chronicler's photocopied proof of membership, and contact and subscription information as listed above.

A local chronicler is officially warranted when their SCA name and newsletter information appear in the list of warranted chroniclers on the East Kingdom Chronicler's website. This newsletter information will also appear in the Local Regnum in the back of the next Pikestaff. If the newsletter information doesn't appear in a reasonable amount of time, or if there is outdated information, please contact the Kingdom Chronicler.

   3. Resignation of Local Chroniclers: Local chroniclers may resign at any time. If possible, they should attempt to find a replacement before leaving the job. Outgoing chroniclers are required to turn over all files, financial records and other supplies promptly and in good order.

   4. Removal of Local Chroniclers: A local chronicler may only be removed by the Kingdom Chronicler. If a local group is unhappy with its chronicler, they may request the chronicler's resignation. The chronicler is free to decline. Should they be unable to come to a mutually agreeable resolution of the situation, they may then request that the Kingdom Chronicler remove the local officer.

Acceptable reasons for removal of a local chronicler include:

  • Non-performance of duties, including repeated failure to produce the newsletter on schedule
  • Use of copyrighted material without permission
  • Violations of East Kingdom or Society Financial Policies, detailed below
  • Repeated omission of required information
  • Repeated inclusion of inappropriate material
  • Politicizing the office
  • Failure to provide courtesy copies of the newsletter as required
Other valid reasons for removal may exist, depending on circumstances.

Removal from office is a last resort. The first resort should always be the involved parties discussing the situation. The Kingdom Chronicler will not take action until resolution has been attempted at the local level. No local chronicler will be removed from office without first being warned and given an opportunity to explain or correct the problem.

C. Financial Responsibilities of the Local Chronicler

Local chroniclers must maintain financial records and handle subscriber moneys in accordance with the East Kingdom Exchequer's and the SCA's financial policies. All moneys must be placed in an SCA bank account, usually the one opened by the local group. Subscription checks must be made payable to SCA, Inc. – (Branch Name). All reasonable requirements imposed by the local exchequer must be complied with. Disputes regarding what is reasonable in this area should be directed to the Kingdom Exchequer, as the Kingdom Chronicler has no authority over your local exchequer.

From the Society Chronicler's Policies, III.5.a.: "The funds which a branch accepts from a subscriber for a newsletter creates an obligation on the part of the branch, which must then publish the promised number of newsletters and make a reasonable effort to deliver them to the subscriber. If it cannot do so, it must promptly refund to every subscriber an amount equal to the remaining subscription liability."

If a group has not published a newsletter for which they are holding funds, they must make an earnest effort to return all subscription funds in their keeping. The amount equal to the remaining subscription liability should be returned, at most, six months after the last promised but unpublished newsletter.

From the Society Chronicler's Policies, III.5.b.: "Funds collected for a newsletter must be held in the local branch bank account, to be disbursed by the exchequer at the chronicler's request. The chronicler must provide receipts for funds spent, and account to the local branch exchequer regularly. These reports must be made at least once per year and may be required more frequently. The chronicler may be a signatory on the group account. Each local chronicler must keep up-to-date records of subscribers, the amount they have paid, and how many issues remain in each subscription. These records must be made available to the local exchequer for reporting purposes."

D. Reporting Responsibilities of the Local Chronicler

In addition to the newsletter copies sent to the Kingdom Chronicler, local chroniclers are required to report to the Kingdom Chronicler annually on December 15. Reports may be sent by email or regular mail.

The report should consist of the chronicler's full SCA and modern names, street address, phone number, SCA membership number and expiration date (from the membership card or a recent Pikestaff label), and the local newsletter specifics (newsletter name, local branch, publishing frequency and subscription fee, if any).

Failure to report by January 15 will result in a warning. If no response is forthcoming within 30 days, the local chronicler will be suspended and their local seneschal informed that they should begin the process to select a replacement.

E. Producing and Distributing a Local Newsletter

   1. Definition of a Local Newsletter: From the Society Chronicler's Policies, III.2: "A local branch or organizational newsletter is the recognized publication of a recognized group or educational organization within the SCA, Inc. It cites that local group or educational organization as its publishing authority, keeps its funds in an official SCA, Inc., branch bank account, and has as its editor a chronicler who is warranted by the Kingdom Chronicler. No other publications are considered for the purposes of this policy. Local chroniclers who are not warranted by the Kingdom Chronicler cannot use branch funds for the publication of the newsletter."

   2. Frequency of Publication: The primary responsibility of a local chronicler is the production of a useful newsletter for their group. It may appear as often as the chronicler and the group deem useful, with quarterly being the minimal acceptable frequency.

   3. Courtesy Copies: Complimentary copies of all local newsletters must be sent in electronic or paper format to the Kingdom Chronicler:

A'isha bint Jamil (Kathryn Smith)
chronicler@eastkingdom.org
456 Reservoir Ave.
Manchester, NH 03104

For electronic newsletters, please also include historian@eastkingdom.org in the distribution.

In addition, chroniclers of principality, baronial and provincial newsletters are required to send electronic or printed courtesy copies to the Society Archivist. Please send copies to archivist@sca.org or to the Society Archivist address available in Corporate Regnum of Pikestaff.

The Kingdom Seneschal and Royalty may opt to receive either printed or electronic copies of electronic newsletters. The Kingdom Seneschal (seneschal@eastkingdom.org), Their Majesties (king@eastkingdom.org, queen@eastkingdom.org), and Their Highnesses (prince@eastkingdom.org, princess@eastkingdom.org) have asked to receive electronic copies of electronic newsletters, rather than printed copies. The Kingdom Chronicler will adjust this policy for each new Crown and Kingdom Seneschal and communicate the update in Pikestaff.

   4. Electronic vs. Print Newsletters: Local newsletters may be produced in printed or electronic form, or both.

Certain conditions apply to electronic newsletters. Chroniclers of electronic newsletters must still send printed copies as required in the Courtesy Copies section above. In addition to any required printed copies, a paper copy must be kept for the group's archives. Paper copies must also be available from the local chronicler upon request. Chroniclers who do not produce the required paper copies will not be warranted.

Electronic documents made available to the general public at will, such as web pages, do not count as newsletters. To count as an electronic newsletter, the publication must contain only static content and be published on a regular basis (sent to a list of interested recipients or available via the branch website).

Before publishing an individual's modern information (including legal name, home or work address, phone number, and personal email address), chroniclers with electronic newsletters must gain the individual's specific permission to publish that information electronically. Permission must be received in writing (email is fine). Chroniclers do not need permission to publish a person's Society name, their Society offices, or email addresses created for the role (e.g., Lord Jonathan the Officer, Seneschal, seneschal@sca-branch.org).

Further, in accordance with Society Policy III.4.a.:"If a subscription fee is charged for the local group newsletter then it may not be provided for free in an electronic form. It is permissible to set different prices for the electronic and printed versions of the newsletter. It is important, however, that the burden of the expenses of the office (reporting copies, supplies, etc.) falls evenly on both print and electronic subscribers, and local chroniclers should examine all costs associated with the office in order to determine a fair price for both print and electronic subscriptions. If the local newsletter is provided free of charge to any and all members of the populace that ask for a copy, then the newsletter may also be provided in an electronic form to those members of the populace that desire it."

F. Local Newsletter Contents

   1. Required Contents:

      a. Statement of Ownership: The statement of ownership must appear in each issue of a local, official newsletter. Here is a minimal acceptable statement of ownership from the local newsletter section of the Society Chronicler's Policies:

"This is the [Month Year] issue of the [Name of Publication], a publication of the [Name of Branch or Other Organization] of the Society for Creative Anachronism, Inc. (SCA, Inc.). [Name of Publication] is available from [Modern Name and Address of Chronicler]. It is not a corporate publication of SCA, Inc., and does not delineate SCA, Inc. policies. Copyright 2012 Society for Creative Anachronism, Inc. For information on reprinting photographs, articles, or artwork from this publication, please contact the Chronicler, who will assist you in contacting the original creator of the piece. Please respect the legal rights of our contributors."

Chroniclers who do not publish this statement may not collect subscription funds in the name of the SCA, or be reimbursed for newsletter expenses from their local branch treasury. They also may not cite the SCA or any of its branches as the publishing authority for the newsletter. Officer communications will not be recognized as official from such publications.

      b. List of Local Officers: Local newsletters should include the full Society name and at least one form of contact for each local officer. Street addresses, email addresses and phone numbers are acceptable forms of contact.

      c. Subscription Information: Local newsletters should state the frequency of the newsletter; the cost, if any; a street address, email address or phone number to use for requesting subscriptions; and the statement "Make checks payable to SCA, Inc. – [Branch Name]" if there is a charge for the subscription.

   2. Suggested Contents:

      a. Announcements of Local Events: Newsletters can include information about local and nearby events, such as fighter practices, dance practices, regular group meetings. This serves to publicize these activities to your local group.

      b. Announcements of Other Local Activities: Newsletters can inform about activities which are relevant to the purposes of the SCA, but are not SCA-sponsored events, such as museum exhibits, performances of medieval works, and craft demonstrations. They should be clearly marked as not being SCA-sponsored activities.

      c. Minutes from Local Business Meetings: The readership may enjoy a review of the business from meetings they were unable to personally attend.

      d. Submissions: Newsletters often include articles and artwork with a medieval or SCA theme, submitted by local (or distant) contributors. See the section below on Copyrighted Material for more information.

   3. What Newsletters May Not Print:

      a. Copyrighted Material Without Permission: Printing copyrighted material in a newsletter without permission could result in very serious legal charges, both against the offending local chronicler and the SCA itself. Chroniclers who print copyrighted material without the appropriate permission from the author will receive one warning. If it happens again, the chronicler's warrant will be suspended and the local group will be asked to select a replacement.

From the Society Chronicler's Policies, II.10: "Authorization must be received in writing from the copyright holder prior to publication, and the notice 'Copyright [date and holder]. Used with permission.' must accompany the copyrighted material. This policy also explicitly applies to any article or message originally published or posted to any website or electronic forum. In order to republish the message or article in any other form, including a printed newsletter, permission in the form of a signed release must be obtained from the author. Electronic republication of material originally in printed form is subject to the Electronic Publication Policies." (See E.4 in this document.)

"Holder" may be the copyright holder's SCA name, so long as the person's legal name is on the office paperwork releasing the content for publication.

Download the suggested permission request letter from the Society Chronicler's Policies.
Download the publication permission forms.

      b. Inappropriate Material: From Section II.13.a of the Society Chronicler's Policies: "All editorial material, both text and images, must conform to the goals and objectives of the Society, and portray the Society and the Kingdom in a positive light. No content, including official kingdom announcements, is exempted from this requirement."

While there is no way to anticipate everything that may be objectionable, here are some examples:

  • Personal attacks on individuals or groups
  • Harsh criticism of the behavior of individuals or groups
  • Copyrighted material used without permission
  • Use of racial or religious stereotypes
  • Offensive words, phrases or images
Section II.15 of the Society Chronicler's Policies states: "Funds that are collected in the name of the SCA may not be used to publish the personal attacks of one member against another. [...] Chroniclers have a responsibility to see that their newsletters do not further the political aims of any one faction within a kingdom, and that a newsletter is not used to provide a platform for any one view in preference to another. Personal attacks may not be published in the name of the SCA or any of its branches, or paid for with money that will have to be reported to the IRS as spent in the furtherance of our educational purposes.

Chroniclers have a further responsibility not to take sides in a political dispute in print. Use of the newsletter to further personal political aims is grounds for removal from office."

Per Society Chronicler's Policies, Appendix I (III.C), administrative sanctions may not be published in branch newsletters. The cause for a sanction may never be published in any branch publication.

      c. Advertising: Chroniclers of local newsletters may not accept paid ads of any type. Local newsletters should not run ads for free that look like they might be paid ads. With the exception of the fees related to events, anything that mentions a price for an item, service or performance is considered an ad.

Newsletters may still publish some helpful information which doesn't include price. For example, the Minister of Arts and Sciences might mention that someone will bring beginning calligraphy kits for sale to the next event (without mentioning price). The Knight Marshal could mention that the local hardware store has a sale on duct tape (again without mentioning price). Local newsletters may not run items that look like classified ads, even if they're free, for the purpose of selling personal or group items, or services such as babysitting at events. When in doubt, please check with the Kingdom Chronicler first.