Congratulations to the Chapter’s 2014-2015 Technical Communication Competition Award Winners

2014 Competition Winner badge

The STC Washington, DC – Baltimore (WDCB) Chapter is pleased to present the list of winners for our local Summit Technical Communication competition for which we had 27 entries this year. Entry titles, contributors, and the organizations they represent are shown on https://competition.stcwdc.org/competition-winners-2014-2015/. Entries to our competition this year came from Colorado, Georgia, Illinois, Maryland, Virginia, Tennessee, Czech Republic, Germany, and Italy.

Winners of our chapter competition are entitled to display the appropriate competition award badge to promote their award. Download the badges

Winners of the Distinguished Technical Communication Award and the Excellence Award are eligible to go on to the STC International Summit Awards (ISA) competition. As part of the Distinguished award, the chapter submitted the Distinguished winners to the STC international competition at no cost to the submitters. All winners of the Excellence award may submit their entries using the STC ISA Entry Submission form. Winners in the international competition will be notified before the Society's 62nd Annual Conference Technical Communication Summit to be held 21-24 June 2015, in Columbus, Ohio. There, all winning entries will be displayed, the international Best of Show awards will be presented, and all winners will be honored.

All net proceeds for the WDCB chapter-level competition go into the chapter's operating expenses and award funds.

Best of Show Winner

2014 Competition Best of Show badge

"Category Management: Shopper Mind and Behavior" is the STC Washington, DC – Baltimore (WDCB) Chapter 2014-2015 Technical Communication Summit Awards competition Best of Show Winner entered by Bright Line Learning, Marietta, GA. Contributors to this entry are the following:
Adam Crutchfield, Tammy Montero, Kathy Sawyer, and Celeste Murray.

Awards Celebration and Seminar

The winners will receive their awards at the Competition Awards Celebration and 60th Anniversary Kickoff on 5 March 2015.

All winning entries will be on display at the Awards Celebration. You do not need to be part of the competition to attend. You may find some interesting ideas to inspire your work by looking at the winning entries on display.

Please join us in congratulating all the winners of the 2014-2015 competitions.

The Joy of Judging in the 2014-2015 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 8 December 2014.

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 2014-2015 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 6 October. More announcements about the competition will appear in websites, blogs, tweets, and lists. The competition is coming together but we cannot 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 29 November and 9 December, entries are logged and team judging assignments are made for each competition category. The entries are sorted into packages for each team on 10 December for the Entries Pick-Up and Judges' Training meeting.

On Saturday, 13 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.

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, 10 January 2015, 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 2014-2015 Summit Competition for Technical Communication

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

Deadline Extended to 7 p.m. Eastern Time,
Friday, 5 December 2014

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 2014. 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". 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.