(By an Unknown Author as appeared in the December 1996 Bolt)
In February, an event known as the Saint Valentine's Day Massacre (or Val Day) will take place in Three Hills (Kalamazoo). At this event, we hope to see many of our canton populace receive well-deserved awards from the King and Queen. The King and Queen confer awards based on advice from Their peers and Kingdom officers, as well as letters sent by those folk presiding in the Middle Kingdom.
Your canton and baronial Seneschals and Ministers of Arts and Sciences are specifically charged with this responsibility. If you already have an award, especially one for which the recommendation is made, your word will also be given weight. However, the Crown wishes to hear the recommendations of any residents of the Middle Kingdom. And I'm sure you have at least one person in mind for an award.
Let me first go through the Middle Kingdom awards and then I will explain what your letter to the King and Queen (with copies going to the Crown Prince and Princess and your Baron and Baroness) should include. The various awards have been laboriously detailed in the most recent issue (as of this writing) of the Pale, called the Laws Issue . (If you did not get this issue, the canton library has it.)
Middle Kingdom Orders and Awards
The Order of the Cavendish Knot
The Order of the Dragon's Barb
The Order of the Dragon's Heart
The Order of the Dragon's Tooth/Teeth
The Order of the Gaping Wound (no longer conferred)
The Order of the Greenwood Company
The Order of the Red Company
The Order of the Royal Vanguard
The Order of the Silver Oak
The Order of the Willow
The Award of the Dragon's Treasure
The Award of the Grove
The Award of the Purple Fret/Purple Fretty
The Award of the Queen's Favor/Doe's Grace
What your letter should include :
Include your candidate's SCA name spelled correctly (may be used in their scroll) and indicate whether the person is male or female (e.g. His SCA name is Sven Svenson)
Indicate which award you are recommending the candidate.
Explain why you believe the candidate should receive this award; include any documentation and list the occasions when this skill has been shown to/shared with the public, especially the Crown.
Try to include any events the candidate plans to attend in the next several months.
It is nice to include the SCA names of others who can confirm your recommendation, especially anyone outside your canton; ask them to write letters as well.
Remember to write your letter courteously.
It is wise not to sacrifice clarity of language or legibility to achieve a period appearance for your letter; speaking forsoothly or using calligraphy is great IF it doesn't interfere with the communication of your recommendation.
Be sure to sign and date your letter with your SCA name and awards; include your mundane name, address and phone number.
IMPORTANT: Do not tell the candidate that you have written a letter of recommendation. It is traditional in the Middle Kingdom that an award recipient have NO advance warning of their award. This is especially important in light of the fact that the award may not be conferred or may be conferred months after Their Majesties have received your letter... for any number of reasons. Save your candidate from possible disappointment and preserve that delicious moment of surprise.
Page last updated 12/15/99