The New Letters from Linette

Writing Recommendation Letters

Specifically for Owlsherst Country Twelfth Night, January 20, 2018

Exciting news – the King and Queen of the East Kingdom will be honoring Owlsherst and the local area with Their Presence at Owlsherst Country Twelfth Night on January 20th, 2018!!

Event Information

This means that right now, this very minute, you should think about writing in local folks for awards that the Crown could bestow at this event. The following is a brief introduction to writing recommendations, geared towards this particular event.

The various awards and Orders in the East Kingdom are part of a system which helps to recognize the work, effort, skill, and character of worthy individuals in the SCA. A heart-felt “Thank-you” in the form of an award can be a real boost and encouragement.

Anyone may write in someone for an award; it does not matter if you yourself do not have that award. Please don’t be shy in recommending someone; if you aren’t sure whether their qualifications fit the award, feel free to ask someone with more experience or to research more. A great source of information on East Kingdom awards and the considerations for each is Awards Page.

Some of the awards which could be given out at this event include:

Award of Arms (AoA): often the first award that a person will receive, given generally for a good level of activity or skill in any of the fields of endeavor in our Society.

Order of the Silver Rapier: given for martial skill upon the rapier field, whether in single combat or melee combat.

Order of the Silver Tyger: given for martial skill in the armored combat lists or on the field of melee combat.

Order of the Silver Brooch: given for skill in the arts and/or sciences.

Order of the Silver Wheel: given for service that benefits the local group, Kingdom, or Society.

Order of Apollo’s Arrow: given for skill in the field of target archery.

The Order of the Silver Mantle: given for martial skill on the field, range, or list, in the areas of equestrian, combat archery, thrown weapons, siege weaponry, scouting, and other martial arts as The Crown may determine.

Queen’s Order of Courtesy (QoC): presented by the consort to those who show exemplary courtesy to all.

Order of the Tyger’s Cub: for children who display admirable virtue and decorum at events.

Order of Troubadors: given for vocal entertainment, and especially for encouraging others to join in or respond in kind. The traditional token is a cup.

Order of the Terpsichore: given for consistent and unselfish devotion in teaching dance and polite court movement. The traditional tokens are bells.

King’s Order of Excellence: given by the Sovereign to those who maintain a high standard of authenticity in their dress, behavior, persona, and goods, in the feast hall, in their encampments, and on the field.

Order of Gawain: given to honor and recognize those young people (up to and including the age of 17) who have distinguished themselves by acts of valor, honor, chivalry, courtesy, and leadership within a youth martial activity.

Order of Artemis: given to those who have demonstrated prowess in combat archery on the field of battle, given service to the Kingdom (such as marshalling, commanding, building equipment, or teaching), and served the Queen on and off the field.

Court Baronetcy: usually given for exemplary service, demeanor, or activity of long-standing and high quality that does not seem to fit into other categories.

The timing of this event does not allow for the needed polling for polling orders such as the Peerages or the Orders of High Merit, which I’ll discuss in another letter.

Now, to write a recommendation letter:

  1. The easiest way is to use the electronic form on the “Award Recommendation Page.” Fill out the survey with the information about the person you want to recommend.
  2. When you’re filling in the field for “Why do you feel this gentle deserves this award?” try to use simple and plain English, not flowery forsooth language. You want the letter to be simple and easy to read.
  3. Spend at least a good-sized paragraph detailing why this person is worthy of the award. Be specific! List achievements, time spent, and people or areas affected, and be sure to give information that may help the royalty to remember any contact they may have had themselves. See the sample text below for ideas.
  4. Fill out the rest of the information to the best of your knowledge. Don’t forget to hit “submit,” and to print out a copy for your records.
  5. You won’t always get any sort of response that your recommendation was received. If you are concerned – for instance, if there have been reported glitches recently – you can send an email to the Crown or to their designated retainer handling award recommendations asking for confirmation that your recommendation was received. Try to limit those requests, since as you can imagine, the Crown receives many many recommendations!

Sample:

“Lady Snulbugga the Fair is an incredible foo-maker, and has done considerable research into the practices of foo-makers of the 11th century. She recently won the Sterling Cup competition in the Barony of Pittypat with her stunning Iberian foo worked with gold and gems in addition to silk and almonds. Her Majesty may recall the Corsican foo she commented favorably on at our recent Shire Revel; that also was created by Lady Snulbugga, and is a wonderful example of just some of the work she is doing. She is always ready to teach anyone about foo-making, and her knowledge and skill is a definite asset to our group. She also is an accomplished seamstress and participates in many shire activities. I recommend her highly to the Order of the Highest Most Foo-iest Foo-makers.”

Hope this helps answer some of your questions about writing recommendations! Now get writing!