by Max Barry

Latest Forum Topics




by The Confederacy of Kawastyselir. . 74 reads.

Criteria for the Forest Cultural Heritage Register

Criteria for the Forest Cultural Heritage Register

Welcome! This dispatch provides guidance on how to write a submission to the Forest Cultural Heritage Register. The Register is a collection of entries submitted by nations of Forest that contribute significantly to the culture of their respective nations. To be accepted to the Register submissions must meet several criteria; first and foremost, the Register is only open to submissions from nations residing in Forest. The information below takes you step-by-step through the process of choosing an aspect of your nation’s culture for submission to the Register and the submission criteria. All submissions must be sent via telegram to Middle Barael.

Part 1: What Should I Submit?

Good question! The best thing to do is look at the Link UNESCO World Heritage List and think about the kind of sites that have been selected for recognition. You’ll notice that each is either completely unique (not found anywhere else in the world) or is synonymous with a particular nation. Consider locations in your own nation that fit this description; these sites may be good candidates for submission to the Register. The Register isn’t just restricted to locations, though. Things like ceremonial dresses, ancient artwork and even futuristic technology are acceptable as well so long as they fit the unique-or-synonymous condition and they contribute significantly to your nation’s culture.

Of course, the World Heritage List doesn’t cover intangible cultural heritage. The place to look for examples of this type of cultural legacy is the LinkUNESCO Intangible Cultural Heritage project. Take a look at the constellation map; if you know of any similar examples that are unique to or synonymous with your nation these might also be good candidates for submission.

It’s ok if you don’t know very much about examples of cultural heritage in your nation. Many nations in Forest have spent a lot of time thinking about what their nation is like and so they have a good idea of which aspects are worthy of regional recognition. If you haven’t spent much time on your nation’s worldbuilding, I would recommend you do so before you think about writing a submission to the Register. Don’t make something up just so you can be on the list – work on your nation’s lore and history then come back and consider writing a submission. Developing your nation’s backstory is a fun and rewarding experience in its own right, and we welcome the submissions of nations that have a well-developed and interesting culture.

Part 2: Naming Your Entry

This section is included for the sake of completeness – it really should be the easiest part of the submission process. For entries in the Material category names usually consist of the name of a location or object. For the Natural category, the name might be more descriptive (e.g. “The Mangrove Forests of ______”) or might be based on a name given by the ancestors of present-day citizens. Entries in the Intangible category might be altogether more difficult to name, but again consider a descriptive title (e.g. “The _________ Language” or “Creation Story of the _____ People”). The rules on naming aren’t strict and the above should be taken merely as suggestions. Use your instincts.

Part 3: Choosing a Category

A key part of your submission will be the category that your entry comes under. The categories you can choose from are Material, Natural or Intangible, and you may choose only one to classify your entry. Read the guidelines below on the definition of each category and be sure to choose the one that your entry best fits into.

The Material category includes physical examples of cultural heritage that are artificial (i.e. do not exist in nature) and have shaped the collective identity of citizens in your nation. This may include sites of historic events, architecture that is representative of a particular style, examples of particularly ambitious engineering/design or artefacts like traditional clothing, historical documents and ceremonial death masks. Remember that history is not limited to those events that portray your nation in a positive light, and that your nation’s darkest days may be worth recognising to prevent similar events from occurring in other nations.

The Natural category includes aspects of cultural heritage that are not artificial which, as all entries in the Register must be, are either unique or are notably representative of your nation. It is important to note, though, that the Natural category is not a dumping ground for sites with high biodiversity or natural beauty alone – entries in all categories including Natural must contribute to your nation’s cultural identity in order to be accepted to the Register.

The Intangible category consists of nonphysical examples of cultural heritage, including folklore, customs, traditions, knowledge and language. A culture cannot be defined as the sum of its tangible parts, and this category is for those pieces of heritage that cannot be seen or touched but are worthy of celebration nonetheless. The collective works of a playwright or singer, for example, might have deeply influenced the psyche of your nation, or pagan dances may still be performed at festivals today to bring about the changing of the seasons.

Please note that the categories may change as submissions are accepted (e.g. if one category goes unused) or upon feedback from the Forest community. Upon revision, submissions that have already been accepted will be reclassified to the best of our ability.

Part 4: The Description

Writing the description is probably the most challenging part of writing a submission to the Register. There is no specific format for this part of the submission, and it’s up to you to decide the facts that you want to present in your entry. There is a strict word limit for this section of 200-350 words. Your description should tell a story and should follow the rules of “show, don’t tell” – so don’t tell the reader that your entry is worthy of recognition, show them why your entry is worthy of recognition.

A description should be:

CONCISE – You don’t have 8,000 words to explain the significance of your entry. If you can’t describe it in 200-350 words then it isn’t a good choice for submission.

ACCESSIBLE – People won't be able to read eight different dispatches summing up your nation's history, language etc before they read your entry. Descriptions relying on jargon that only an expert in your nation's lore would understand are not ready to be shared with other nations and such submissions will be rejected. References to individuals are fine as long as you make sure the reader understands who that individual is, and the same can be said for national jargon if it absolutely must be used. The terms you use must be accessible to readers who know nothing about your nation. Specific dates are a no-go too as they often don't mean anything to other nations; saying '50 years ago' or '5,000 years ago' is more suitable.

DESCRIPTIVE – Sounds obvious, I know, but your description has to give a full picture of the aspect of your nation’s heritage that you are presenting. The details are up to you, but you could consider who built it, who discovered it, how old it is, what it means to your nation etc.

INTERESTING – It should be worth the reader’s time to spend their time reading your entry.

INTELLIGIBLE – This isn't Got Issues, and we don't have time to correct your spelling and grammar for you or run a full drafting process for your submission. Your submission should be in a state where it is ready to be copied and pasted straight to the Register if accepted. If your submission is rejected, you might receive some feedback on where you went wrong to help with your future submissions. However, you will not receive a line-by-line breakdown of your submission's problems because we just don't have time for that.

Part 5: General Rules

There is no limit on the number of submissions to the Register you can write. However, each submission must be sent in a separate telegram, and submissions by nations that already have a lot of entries in the Register may be rejected until the Register is more balanced.

Quick and simple category guide:

    MATERIAL – If it exists in the physical world and it’s man-made.
    NATURAL – If it exists in the physical world and it’s not man-made.
    INTANGIBLE – If it does not exist in the physical world.

To be considered for the Register submissions must be sent to Middle Barael.

You may telegram Middle Barael with edits to any of your accepted entries in the Register if you deem it necessary (such as in the case of a spelling mistake or factual error).

Submissions should use the following format:

[b]Name:[/b] Name of Your Entry
[b]Nation:[/b] [nation]Your Nation[/nation]
[b]Category:[/b] Chosen Category
[b]Description:[/b] Description (200-350 words)

Good luck! If you have any questions that are not answered by this guide, or if you have any suggestions to make this guide more accessible or user-friendly, please feel free to telegram Middle Barael or Kawastyselir with your thoughts.