Hey, folks! Let’s talk about awards in the East Kingdom. “I deserve this award, so why don’t I have it yet?” is a lament that pulls at the heartstrings. SCA awards are NOT fair and NOT logical, but they should be attainable at some point before you become utterly frustrated. I have some pointers, and some information about what goes on behind the scenes. I’ll be talking about the non-polling awards here. (Polling awards are even more complicated, so I’ll leave those for some other time.)

If you think you’ve been overlooked for an EK award, talk with somebody else about it. It’s perfectly OK to do this. Perhaps people think you have the award already (who really checks these things?) The most important step in the awards process is to have somebody “write you in” – which means, sending a letter of recommendation to the Royals, nominating you for a specific award. Nothing will happen without this important step. Spouses can write each other in, parents can write kids in, friends and acquaintances and random Duchesses can write you in. If you absolutely can’t find anybody else to do it, or you’re not comfortable asking, then honestly, you can write yourself in! (Just waiting around and hoping to be “discovered” is not a successful strategy.) It may seem like cliques write each other in and are very successful at getting awards, while more independent folk go lacking. So, to even up the score, be your own advocate, and enlist others on your behalf. You deserve awards too.

Another important aspect is that in order to get an award from our Royals, you must attend a Royal Progress event – an event where one or both Royals are holding a Court. Basically, you have to go to them, they usually won’t come to you! It’s sometimes inconvenient, but you may need to travel outside of your comfort zone for this to happen.

Your award recommendation letter needs to mention which RP events you will be at, so that the award can be scheduled and a scroll can be made. Recommendations that leave out this important detail might be set aside. People who attend many RP events increase their likelihood of getting awards, not because they’re “sucking up” but because they’re in the place they need to be, to be called into Court. So, plan ahead and think about timing. For an Award of Arms or a Silver-level award, coordinate the award nomination so that it goes to the Royals two or three months before the RP event the nominee plans to attend. The scribes need time to make a nice scroll, and the scroll has to say where/when the award is received. See how advance planning is necessary?

Even then, things go wrong. Recommendations get lost in the ether, or go astray once received. Human error, miscommunications, and accidents happen. The award is scheduled for the wrong Court, or you fail to appear at a Court where your award was scheduled. The Royals decide a particular Court is already too full of business, and your award is postponed but it doesn’t actually get rescheduled. More than a few times in the past few years, I’ve worked hard to get a nominee to attend a Court where I expected them to be called up for their award… and… crickets…. and I have no idea what went awry. If you think your award is too long in coming, it’s possible that previous attempts have failed and folks are still trying. Yes, it can be frustrating. It’s not a perfect system by any means.

We have seen lately, on the EK list, that Their Majesties receive *hundreds* of award recommendations each Reign, and there’s just not time enough in Court to give them all out. Who wants to sit through a four-hour Court? So, some awards are postponed to the next Reign, which is also getting hundreds of recommendations… it’s starting to be a problem of demand exceeding capacity. It used to be that if you wrote somebody in for a non-polling award, it was a fairly sure thing that the award would be given. I am getting the sense now that multiple attempts (say, once per Reign) are required if results are not forthcoming.

Here’s where to go to submit an award recommendation: https://surveys.eastkingdom.org/index.php/945932/lang-en
You can find it on the East Kingdom website, on the “Getting Involved” tab at the top, click “Award Recommendation.”

For excellent, detailed information about how to recommend somebody for an award, check this out:
https://wiki.eastkingdom.org/index.php?title=Recommending_Someone_for_an_Award
I hope this has been helpful!
Marieke