Monday, August 31, 2015

A Brief Guide to Writing SCA Award Recommendations

Here are some notes from a presentation I gave on writing SCA recommendations in Lochac:

Writing Award Recommendations is a great way for the Crown to get an insight into what is happening in your local group. Awards are a way of recognising important contributions to the game we play, but the Crown cannot be everywhere, and relies on information provided by the populace.

Writing recommendations is a simple process, and can be done by anyone, irrespective of rank. If you have considered writing a recommendation for someone who has demonstrated excellence – DO IT. The Society flourishes through the good works of people around us and they make our group better through their efforts.

The SCA Lochac Canon Lore website has a list of people’s Kingdom level awards, where you can see what awards a person already holds. Some people choose to consult this website and/or to recommend someone for a specific award. Whether awards are given (or not given,) and the type of award is entirely up to the Crown, and for this reason I personally don’t specify what award I am recommending a person for. I specify the nature of their accomplishments, and leave it up to the Crown to decide what (if anything) is appropriate. Different people do thing s differently, and there are variations between groups and Kingdoms.

It is important to consider WHY you are recommending someone for recognition. Recommending someone because they are your friend, a great guy, or because they have no awards is not appropriate. Some areas to consider when writing recommendations include Courtesy, Grace, Prowess, Chivalry, Inspiration, Skill, Service, Courtliness, Hospitality, Dedication and Teaching.

You can use Courtly Language to write your letter, or you can use plain English – or a blend of both. All are fine.

Some things to remember;
Be respectful
Be clear
Be specific and give details, e.g. skill levels, positions held, events attended, classes taught, articles published, presentation, personal qualities
Keep a record of what you have written
Don’t exaggerate
You can copy the Baron and Baroness in
Don’t expect a reply (although you might get one)
Don’t expect the award to be given out. This is the decision of the Crown. You have done your part in writing the recommendation.

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