The following article was written by Her Majesty Avelina to answer questions about the awards process. It is the first in a series of informative articles the Gazette will be running.
In this article, I hope to explain how the awards process works in the East Kingdom (as of November 2013). Two kinds of awards are given, polling awards and non-polling awards, and they’re handled slightly differently. For a polling award, the royalty consults the relevant order about the candidates who has been recommended.
If you believe someone should be written in for an award, you should do it as soon as you think of it. A three month lead time for a polling award is not unusual and six to seven weeks for a non-polling award. It is our tradition in the East that each award recipient gets a scroll made just for them, which contributes to the lead times. A good rule of thumb is three weeks are required for a scroll assignment, with more for a Peerage. Recommendations for awards made shortly before an event may not be considered due to various factors, such as the length of the current Court schedule, lack of regalia, etc.
How to Send in a Recommendation
The East Kingdom currently has an online recommendation form. Once you fill out all of the fields and hit submit, the data gets saved to a database. Periodically, the webminister will run a report and a spreadsheet is generated with all of the award recommendations on it. Any data submitted appears on the report that is sent to the Royalty. Depending on the Royalty, a new report could be run once every 2-4 weeks with closer to 4 being usual. The webminister usually generally starts each report from the date of the last report run to the current date. Sometimes the Royalty will ask them to back up the start date in case they are worried about awards that may have fallen through the cracks or to guarantee an overlap in the data.
Here in the East, the Royalty usually do two pollings. The first one is when they are Heirs and the second one is after they step up. Third pollings or special pollings are rare but not unusual.
The Royalty take all of the polling award recommendations and put together polls that the Companions of the Orders (Maunche, Silver Crescent, Tyger’s Combattant, Golden Rapier, Sagittarius, Chivalry, Laurel and Pelican) receive to consider the candidates for each Order. The Polls are open to the Companions for somewhere between 3 and 6 weeks. This allows the Companions to discuss the candidates and learn more about them.
Once the polls close, the webminister sends the results to the Royalty to review. They consider the advice of the Companions carefully and make Their decisions. Once the decisions have been made, the information is sent to the Royal Secretary to schedule the awards (if there is someone on staff to do that) and to the Tyger Clerk of the Signet to get a scroll assigned.
For the non-polling awards, the Royalty review the recommendation spreadsheet and decide which awards to bestow. They pass these decisions along to the scheduler and the Tyger Clerk as well.
How Will You Know What Happened?
One thing that is very important to keep in mind when making award recommendations is that just because you make a recommendation, it does not mean the award will automatically happen. Each set of Royalty have their own standards for each award. Also, the Royalty are privy to information that is not available to the general public. Maybe the Royalty have different plans for an award recipient, or perhaps there is a candidate’s Peer or mentor feels they aren’t ready. Due to the way we have structured our Culture here in the East, exactly who is on the Order Polls is confidential to the Order and is usually not shared with people outside of the Order. This means, if you write someone in for a Pelican and you are not a Companion, you may get confirmation of a received recommendation, but you will more than likely not get confirmation of whether or not that person is actually on the poll.
The Royalty enjoy recognizing the people of the East for their accomplishments. They just need your help to get that information to them. Anyone can make recommendations and is encouraged to do so!