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First Friday Lunches – July


STC WDCB Summer Vision Day 2014

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Let’s Do Lunch (Fuddrucker’s in Columbia)

Columbia, Maryland and environs, we’re coming to you! Although we’ve chosen what is nominally a hamburger joint, plenty of options exist for non-hamburger eaters. Just check out their menu. What works for us is that you can order and pay for your own lunch (sorry, no free lunch) at the counter and then come and join us at a table. These First Friday Lunches are great opportunities to connect with your peers in the technical communication profession. It’s a casual lunch, so no need to come dressed for a job interview, but we do hope that one day your network will get you your next great job.

Our host this month is Ruth Frost, so ask for her at the restaurant host stand. You can be a lunch host, too. Just email hidden; JavaScript is required you are interested in getting a group together near you and we’ll do the rest.

Although each of us will pay towards the tab and there’s no other cost to pay here on EventBrite, RSVP so that we know how large of a table to reserve.

Hope you can make it!

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STC WDCB Summer Vision Day 2014

This year our annual Vision Day meeting is COMPLETELY ONLINE. It is an opportunity for chapter leaders and current chapter members to work together to plan the new season of professional activities that begins in September. We have two goals: 1) to solicit new ideas from our members, and 2) to report on the current state of the chapter. We will also discuss our website, social media, finances, and upcoming deadlines for award applications. What programs would you like to see? Would you like to get more involved? Join us and let us know!

To join the meeting, go to stc.adobeconnect.com/dc-baltimore


7:00-8:00 p.m. Vision Day planning meeting

8:00-8:30 p.m. Discussion

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WDCB Chapter Website Wins 2014 APEX® Award for Publication Excellence!

APEX 2014 Award for Publication Excellence logo

I am pleased to announce that the Washington, DC-Baltimore Chapter website won a 2014 APEX® Award for Publication Excellence in the category of "WordPress Sites". Information about the competition is available at http://www.ApexAwards.com/.

(Some of you may remember that we were a 2009 APEX® Grand Award Winner in the "Web & Intranet Sites; Nonprofit Small Office" category, and won a 2005 APEX® Award for Publication Excellence in the category of “Web & Intranet Site Content & Writing”.)

The Twenty-Sixth Annual Awards for Publication Excellence, APEX 2014, is a competition for communications professionals. The awards are based on excellence in graphic design, editorial content, and the ability to achieve overall communications excellence. APEX awards of Excellence recognize exceptional entries in each of the individual categories. A total of 2,075 entries were evaluated. Of those entries, 100 APEX Grand Awards were presented to honor outstanding work in 11 major categories; and 832 APEX Awards of Excellence recognize exceptional entries in 122 subcategories.

This year, 2,075 entries were evaluated, in the following distribution:
Newsletters: 164; Magazines, Journals, & Tabloids: 493; Annual Reports: 82; Print Media: 127; Electronic Media: 169; Social Media: 103; Websites: 115; Campaigns, Programs, & Plans: 144; Writing: 367; Design & Illustration: 215; One-of-a-Kind Publications: 96. Entries came from all over the world: Australia, Bangladesh, Canada, England, Hong Kong, India, Singapore, South Africa, and the U.S. Some subcategories divided winners into for profit and nonprofit organizations and some were identified as being from a small office or one to two person effort. Many of the winning entries show that excellent work can be done despite limitations for tight budgets, limited resources, and small staff. Judges were impressed by the quality of creative ideas and concepts rather than by the expense to produce them.

A list of the winning entries will be available as a PDF: Announcing the Winners of APEX 2014 (pdf) by mid June. Grand Award winners are listed by main category. Award of Excellence winners are listed within each subcategory, alphabetically by organization, or by last name for individual entrants.

Many STC members won awards of Excellence in various subcategories. I am listing a few here that I know are from STC. There are probably many others but I'm not sure which ones are current members. (Not all winners from the Washington, DC metropolitan area are currently members of STC. Here's hoping a little marketing can be done by the Society to interest these communicators in joining STC!) If you are a winner and you are an STC member, let us know so we can promote your win!

  • Newsletters Electronic & Email – Rick Sapir, STC Carolina Chapter, Cary, North Carolina
  • Newsletter Writing – Carol L. Larson and Valerie M. Ball, STC Willamette Valley Chapter, Portland, Oregon
  • Blog Content – Kevin Cuddihy, Society for Technical Communication, Fairfax, Virginia
  • One to Two Person-Produced Websites – Rick Sapir, STC Technical Editing SIG, Selma, North Carolina
  • Event & Meeting Campaigns, Programs & Plans – Bonni Graham Gonzalez and Amy Christensen, Scranton Corporation, San Diego, California
  • Technical & Technology Writing – Rich Maggiani, Solari Communication, Essex, Vermont
  • One-of-a-Kind Custom-Published Publications – Rick O'Sullivan, Society for Technical Communication, Fairfax, Virginia

Congratulations to all winners!

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New Local Related Organization

"Washington, DC Art Directors, Designers, Illustrators, Web Developers, Photographers, Print Professionals, and Others Band Together to Form New DC Creative Guild"

New Creative Community Shares the Passion of Art and Communication in the Metro Washington, DC Region

Washington, DC (PRWeb) February 04, 2014

DC Creative Guild logo

Last fall, the Washington DC creative community was stunned to learn that following decades of serving the art community, the Art Directors Club of Metropolitan Washington (ADCMW) was dissolving…

Past board members quickly mobilized and resolved to find a way to keep this community connected and alive. The new DC Creative Guild was formed…

Learn more about the DC Creative Guild and connect through their social media sites:

The DC Creative Guild provides inspiration, information, and collaboration to an alliance of Washington, DC metropolitan area graphic design professionals, interactive designers, production managers, photographers, illustrators, printmakers and artists of all shapes, and those businesses that serve them.

Read the full post on the PRWeb.

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Last Chance to Register for First Course at STC Summer School

Graphic for STC summer school logo
STC Summer School starts on Tuesday, 3 June, so now's your last chance to sign up for the first course, Developing Effective User Documentation, presented by Sharon Burton.

STC Summer School helps you gain the skills and knowledge you need to advance your career. Each multiweek, online course is taught by a leading instructor and provides the opportunity for you to explore a subject in-depth. You'll learn directly from the instructor and also exchange ideas and tools virtually with the other participants.

See below for details on the first session and check out the full schedule in the sidebar to the right. Be watching your email for future emails to highlight each session individually.


Developing Effective User Documentation
Presented by Sharon Burton
Tuesdays/Thursdays, 3 June-19 June
10:30 AM-Noon EDT (GMT-4)
Members: $595; Nonmembers: $995; Student Members: $295

Developing user documentation is not simply documenting everything on the interface, nor is it documenting every task the user can possibly do with the product. And whatever we develop must ship on time and fit in the budget for the project. This six-week online class provides specific ways to meet all these needs and not make you crazy in the process.

Developing user documentation is not simply documenting everything on the interface, nor is it documenting every task the user can possibly do with the product. And whatever we develop must ship on time and fit in the budget for the project.

Our users need content that supports them in their tasks and helps them understand, regardless of their level of experience with this product. Our management needs something that meets the deadlines, is within budget, and reduces customer support calls. Our customer experience team needs content that delights our customers so they'll purchase from us again.

This six-session online class with Sharon Burton provides specific ways to meet all these needs and not make you crazy in the process. Learn what “delightful” user documentation is and how to create it, how to plan meeting deadlines and deliverables, and how to meet the cost requirements of your company.


Full Summer School Schedule

Developing Effective User Documentation
Presented by Sharon Burton
3 June-19 June

Project Management and the Technical Communicator
Presented by Liz Herman
11 June-23 July

Minimalist Writing
Presented by Bernard Aschwanden
7 July-18 July

TechComm 201
Presented by Leah Guren
9 July-13 August

TechComm 101
Presented by Leah Guren
10 July-21 August

TechComm Manager
Presented by Saul Carliner
15 July-31 July

Producing Effective Video Documentation
Presented by Matt Sullivan
5 August-9 September

Check out other classes to be scheduled at http://www.stc.org/education/online-education/certificate-courses

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New Member Mixer


OMELET AFTER SUNSET? If that's not enough to convince you to come to our June event, consider this: networking works. Whether you are a new member or not, this event was designed with you in mind.

If you have recently joined our chapter, feel like you don't know anybody in it, would like to know more about us and our shared technical communication profession, or just want a chance to order a dish called Sugar Shack, this is the event for you. Each member is so important and makes our chapter the vital, relevant, and happy place it is. We hope you will join us for a delicious meal at Eggspectation. We will give a short presentation about the profession and what we offer as a chapter and hope to learn more about you, as well.

As usual we will have great door prizes. If you have joined the chapter in 2014, contact email hidden; JavaScript is required for a promotional code for complementary admission to this event.


6:30-7:00 p.m. Arrive and place order (see meal options below)

7:00-8:00 p.m. Enjoy dinner and network

8:00-8:30 p.m. Remarks by Ugur Akinci, STC WDCB Chapter President


Parking and directions to Eggspectation

Meal Options

Wait staff will give you the following choices the night of the event. There is no need to order in advance. If you have special dietary needs, you can request substitutions or order other equivalently priced entrees. All meals come with a soft drink, iced tea, or coffee.

The classic sugar shack dish: two scrambled eggs, two crepe bretonne, sliced ham, baked beans and our tasty Lyonnaise-style potatoes.

Three egg omelette with a touch of cream and cheddar cheese, wrapped in bacon.

Fresh baby spinach with mango, papaya, and strawberries tossed with our house vinaigrette. Topped with honey-orange mustard grilled chicken and roasted sunflower seeds.

A half pound grilled burger topped with cheddar cheese, lettuce, red onion, tomato, and a pickle. Served with French fries. Cooked to order

Three eggs and a touch of cream with sautéed mushrooms, red and green peppers, broccoli, cauliflower, and red onion. Served with breakfast potatoes and a fruit garnish.

Shaved Turkey, tomatoes, bacon, mayonnaise, and lettuce on toasted wheat bread. Served with French fries and a pickle.

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Last modified: May 17, 2014