Reminder: Competition Deadline for Entries is 30 November

Get your hard work reviewed by your peers. Send your entries to our 2013-2014 Summit Technical Communication Competition by 7 p.m. 30 November 2013. See https://competition.stcwdc.org/ for details and entry forms.

Schedule for Entrants

Landsat image of the Mid-Atlantic states and the Chesapeake Bay
Chesapeake Bay and Mid-Atlantic States
Photo credit: NASA/USGS/Landsat

The Joy of Judging in the 2013-2014 Summit Competition for Technical Communication

We are Looking for Competition Judges!

Landsat image of the Chesapeake Bay region
Photo Credit:
NASA/USGS/Landsat 5

Judge Applications are now being accepted. We will accept judge applications through 3 December 2013.

If you are ready to experience the joy of judging, we need your help.

Entries are arriving for the Washington, DC – Baltimore (WDCB) chapter's 2013-2014 Summit Competition for Technical Communication. Would you like to see them? Are you ready to help evaluate them? If you think you may be, here’s a brief summary of what’s in store.

The Call for Entries in our technical communication competition was announced on 15 September. More announcements about the competition will appear in websites, blogs, tweets, and lists. The competition is coming together but we can not hold it successfully without the commitment of a group of qualified and enthusiastic judges. We recruit judges from among professional communicators in the Washington, DC and Baltimore metropolitan areas, and beyond. Membership in STC is not a requirement.

Judges Training

Between 30 November and 3 December, entries are logged and team judging assignments are made for each competition category. The entries are sorted into packages for each team on 4 December for the Entries Pick-Up and Judges’ Training meeting.

On Saturday, 7 December, the judges assemble to receive their judging materials, entries, and instructions. They meet the other members of their judging team, get training from experienced judges on how to evaluate an entry, and have their questions answered.

Something New From STC

This year, STC is offering a Free Webinar for Competition Judges: “Writing Quality Comments for Your Entries”. The webinar will be held on 5 October 2013 using Adobe Connect. More information will be provided in a separate post.

Judging Teams and Consensus Judging

Over the next five weeks, judges read and examine their assigned entries. They discover—or rediscover—the joy of encountering excellence in published manuals, reports, training materials, journals, brochures, marketing and PR materials, magazines, help systems, websites, user support materials, and more. As they begin to form opinions and record their evaluations in the judging forms, the judges apply all the knowledge and experience at their disposal. They prepare their comments for the entrants and a defense of their decisions for the consensus meeting.

On Saturday, 11 January, the judges meet again to discuss the entries and decide which ones deserve an award based on specified criteria. Entries are not judged against each other. Some entries stand out as award winners; others elicit debate. The judges relish the opportunity to compare notes on design, presentation of information, layout, and overall quality of an entry. By the end of the Consensus Meeting, a consensus is reached on award levels for each entry. The Best of Show judging team then selects the Best of Show and the Best Student Entry. Veteran and new judges leave the Consensus Meeting with a sense of a job well done. They have judged the work of their peers and shared their passion for excellence in communication. Many are eager to do it all over again in future years.

Thank you!

The Joy of Entering the 2013-2014 Summit Competition for Technical Communication

Landsat image of the Chesapeake Bay region
Photo Credit:
NASA/USGS/Landsat 5

Entry deadline: 7 p.m. Eastern Time,
Friday, 30 November 2013

Now is the time to submit your best work to the scrutiny of your fellow professionals. Consider what you want to enter and get it prepared.

The STC Washington, DC – Baltimore Chapter continues to hold a local technical communication competition. This post continues our tradition of presenting some reasons that you might enjoy entering the STC WDCB Summit Competition for Technical Communication.

Are you an award-winning technical communicator?

For those of you who haven’t entered before, let me explain the basics. STC competitions recognize and encourage excellence in online communication and technical publications. Our competition receives entries from DC, Maryland, and Virginia, as well as from other states and from other countries. Washington, DC metropolitan area experts and some remote online judges gather to evaluate the entries in the competition. The judges provide written feedback on the strengths or weaknesses of each entry with reference to a standard in each category. The judges make recommendations that you may apply to future endeavors.

Some of the joys of entering are the pride you have in putting forth your best work, the validation you feel by being measured against the highest standards in our profession, and the opportunity to receive a knowledgeable and thoughtful critique of your entry. As an entrant, you are proud of your accomplishments. You and the judges realize that the final entry represents months of planning, writing, editing, and publishing. Submitting a publication or online entry is a great way to keep growing in a fast-paced industry. Having your decisions and standards recognized by industry experts is real insider validation!

As an entrant, you’ll be invited to our Awards Celebration, where all winning entries are on display. You will be able to see what others in our field are producing. The Awards Celebration is also a place to network with the technical communication community.

Who is Eligible to Enter?

Anyone is eligible to submit entries. You do not have to be a member of STC. You can be a full-time student or a professional. You may enter work as an individual or for a colleague or member of your department.

What Can You Enter?

Technical, scientific, medical, or similar content for external or internal audiences produced or revised within 24 months preceding 1 September 2013. These include websites, blogs, journals, teaching material, computer software and hardware manuals, books, magazines, periodicals, research papers, posters, scholarly or trade news articles, online help for software applications, and user support materials. Entries may also include marketing and PR material from a technical organization such as brochures, catalogs, flyers, technical advertisements, promotional websites, corporate identity, newsletters, annual reports, policies and procedures, and employee guides. For more information, see the Chapter Competition Entry Rules and the descriptions of the Competition Categories.

Entries by full-time students prepared for and accepted for publication can go on to the international-level competition. (Student entries not prepared for and accepted for publication may still benefit from review by professional technical communicators by entering our local-level competition. Only the chapter’s competition will accept those student entries.)

Good luck!

International_Level Competition Notes

All Distinguished Technical Communication (DTC) and Excellence award winners in the STC local-level competitions are eligible to enter the STC international-level competition, named the “STC International Summit Awards” (ISA). If you think your entry to our competition is capable of going to the international level, be sure to reserve an extra four (4) copies of your entry to send to the international competition.

Winners in the local competition will be notified by email in late January 2014. Local-level Distinguished Technical Communication and Excellence award winners submit to the international competition on their own by 8 February 2014. Submitters who want to participate in the international competition must complete the STC International Online Entry Form, pay the International Competition entry fee, and pay for postage of their entry.

As part of the award for our Best of Show winner (BOS), the chapter will pay the international entry fee expenses. The BOS winner will still need to submit their own entry to international, fill out the online entry form, and pay the fee, which we will reimburse.