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East Kingdom Seneschal

How to submit a bid for Pennsic War Autocrat

The Crowns of the East Kingdom, the Middle Kingdom, and the Kingdom of Æthelmearc select Pennsic War Mayor/Autocrat for the Pennsic Wars that they will be hosting. The selection process starts January 1, TWO YEARS in advance of the Hosting Kingdom's year.

For example: for Pennsic 46 (held in 2017), the Middle Kingdom Seneschal called for bids beginning January 1, 2015. The Call For Bid process ended on May 1, 2015, and Royalty selected the Mayor by July 1, 2015. There is a listing in APPENDIX A of the Pennsic War Administrative Policies, which shows the year and hosting Kingdom.

The goal is to select from a qualified candidate pool, the best person for the position of Pennsic Mayor, regardless of the person's Kingdom of residence.

The Bid Process

In the Administrative Policies of the Pennsic War, Section C - The bid process states that "... Potential autocrats may request a bid packet from one of the three Kingdom Seneschals.

  1. The bid packet will include: a copy of this document, a copy of the Pennsic Financial Policy, and budget actuals from a previous Pennsic to assist bidders in developing a preliminary budget.
  2. Additional material the PSG deems necessary to assist potential bidders may also be included."

Please consider this on-line document and its related links to be the Bid Packet. If you would like a hard copy of this packet sent to you, please contact the appropriate Kingdom Seneschal and write to that person. Email requests of the described documents may also be sent upon request.

Before you begin you must be familiar with the following documents:

You might also want to look at "So, you want to be the Mayor of Pennsic?" While it is not an official document of Pennsic of the SCA, it is a useful resource from a former Mayor of Pennsic War and will give you an in-depth list of questions you must ask yourself to see if you are ready to try to take on the management of the largest SCA event.

As stated before, the Crowns of the Hosting Kingdom appoint the Mayors. This is done upon recommendation of the Seneschals of the East, Middle and Æthelmearc, collectively called the Pennsic Seneschal Group (PSG).

The Bid deadline is May 1 of any year. The Seneschals have 30 days to review the bids received and advise Their Majesties. Their Majesties have until July 1 to make a decision.

Your bid must contain the following, at a minimum:
[These requirements are from the Administrative Documents which govern how Pennsic War is administered.]

  1. SCA and modern name and contact information for the following:
    • Autocrat (Mayor)
    • Emergency Deputy
  2. Resume (SCA and modern) of autocrat, including previous Pennsic staff experience and/or other relevant experience.
  3. Statement of why the Autocrat wishes to organize Pennsic and what qualifications he/she brings to the project.
  4. A listing of any known key personnel and/or department heads (The PSG understands that personnel may change in the intervening two years and it is possible that at the time of the bid submission, that key personnel may not be known) and a short letter confirming said person’s willingness to work for the prospective Autocrat in the named position or any position as needed.
  5. Any additional letters of support from other individuals confirming their agreement to be on the Autocrat’s staff.
  6. A draft preliminary budget, including proposed fee schedule, projected attendance, estimated gross revenue, estimated expenses, and any budget areas that are expected to change significantly (due to special projects, anniversary years, etc.). The hosting Kingdom Seneschal will help by providing budget actuals from previous Pennsics.
  7. Any new projects, activities, or changes in procedures/operations proposed for the war.
  8. Additional items may be included

This may sound daunting, but let's explore each item.

  1. This is about you and your emergency deputy. It is understood that it is difficult to ask over 100 people to commit to an event almost three years in advance. However for yourself and the person who will have to take over for you in an emergency it is needed. You and he/she must be willing to commit to this. Full information must be tendered as this will be used to create warrants, should you be successful in your bid. It is also good to include your membership cards, to satisfy I-a-ii of the Pennsic Admin Policies. And , Yes, you MUST be an SCA member throughout

  2. Just like any other job or position, please show what you have done in the past and how that experience will relate to you successfully administering Pennsic War.

  3. Yes... WHY? Why do you want to devote your life to this project?
    There is no right or wrong answer to this question, however writing "I think it would be really cool to ride around in a golf cart and tell people what to do", may not be your best choice of response.

  4. This is required because in the past people often found out they were on someone's bid and had not been asked if they were willing to be. This eliminates the surprise factor. It also eliminates a bidder from "just putting names down" to make their bids look good. This section should be for people who have agreed to be in key positions.
  5. This requirement is to show that you might have a wide base of support for your bid. The letter needs only contain the person's willingness to work for the bidder. It may be as simple as "I [Name of person], agree to work for [Name of the Bidder] in any capacity needed, should [Name of Bidder] be successful in becoming the Autocrat/Mayor of Pennsic [insert Pennsic number]. [Signed / Or - Email confirmation with full headers]

  6. The Budget for Pennsic War is formidable. At last look it was over $280,000.00. You, as Mayor, would be responsible for dealing with all aspects of the budget. You must work with the Pennsic Financial Committee. You must work with the Pennsic Exchequer. You must work with Division and Department heads to ensure the estimated expenses of each area are met. Items to help you:
    • The Pennsic Financial Policy. You must be familiar with this document and be willing to follow it to the letter.
    • As required by the Admin Policies, you must submit a sample budget with your bid. Here is a scaled down version of the Pennsic 35 Budget (Excel file).
    • Copies of previous actual budgets for Pennsic Wars are available from one of the three Kingdom Exchequers or Seneschals.
      Please note that this is the approved layout of the budget used for the last 3 years and for the foreseeable future. As you can see it is extensive. If you need help with preparing your bid please contact a seneschal for a list of former Mayors who would be willing to help you.
    • Here is where you are able to talk about any new concepts or plans you might have for "your war". This is where you may further explain why you feel you would be the right person for this position.
    • You may include additional information you feel will enhance your bid.

Submitting the Bid

Once you have created and assembled the information required for your bid you must submit it to:

Any bid that does not have the requisite material will be returned as incomplete and will not be considered in the review process. If there is time remaining, you may be allowed to resubmit before the deadline [i.e. - you submit your incomplete bid in February, there might be time to resubmit before the deadline of May 1. However if you submit May 1, and it is incomplete, there would be no time to resubmit].

This document is a basic review of the Bidding process. There are additional requirements, time frames, and practices to be Mayor/Autocrat of a Pennsic War. Please refer to the Pennsic War Administrative Policies – 2014, for complete information. You should have already become highly familiar with the Admin Policies before you started the bid process. This is called the "no-surprises rule" …