President’s Message from STC Washington, D.C. – Baltimore Chapter – New Chapter Year Update!

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Greetings STC WDCB Family,

Thank you very much for tuning into STC WDCB’s 2020-2021 New Chapter Year Update. The world as we know it has changed dramatically in light of COVID-19; I wish you the best of health, and special condolences to those that have been touched by the Pandemic in ways that have caused the illness, or loss of loved ones. My goal is for the STC WDCB virtual community to provide a wealth of uplifting resources, and a sense of community that positively contributes to your efforts to maintain mental wellness, peace, and a balanced sense of new-normalcy. I encourage you to lean into our community and take advantage of our offerings, which will be covered during our New Chapter Year Kickoff Celebration on Friday September 25, 2020 @ 6:30-7:30 PM ET via the GoToMeeting Platform. We will commemorate another successful year with the 2020-2021 STC WDCB Administrative Council, acknowledge award recipients, and discuss upcoming events while networking. Please sign up for your free ticket and invite your colleagues and friends.

The Masterclass in TechComm Webinar Speaker Series

The All-Stars in TechComm Webinar Speaker Series that I created to support the professional development edification of our community, has been re-branded as The Masterclass in TechComm Webinar Speaker Series. It will continue to feature prominent figures in the technical communication (TechComm) industry offering candid discussion on crucial topics, trends, and skills within our field. Why should you tune in? Because thought and practitioner leaders embark on ways to challenge themselves for refinement, inspiration, and to provide mentorship. If you ask an Olympic champion that has a record of longevity in their specialty about how they’ve continued to manifest successful results, they will express the sentiment that leaders (Olympians are world leaders in their specialty) are tried, and tested individuals that defy stagnation by finding ways to stay sharp… let’s stay sharp together! The Fall 2020 lineup of speakers includes the following:

September 2020

Dr. Ginny RedishUX Writing: A New Role for Technical Communicators?

With lots of examples of successful and unsuccessful user experience (UX) writing, Ginny will show you that UX work is not new for technical communicators, and may be the challenge that you need for your next career move.
Webinar: Wednesday September 30, 2020 @ 7:00-8:00 p.m. ET

October 2020

Dr. Ugur AkinciSelf Publishing on Amazon Kindle Direct Publishing for TechComm Pros

Ugur will teach all the tricks and tips for how to leverage on-demand self-publishing via Amazon Kindle Direct Publishing (KDP). Attendees will have the opportunity to publish their first book on the KDP platform in real-time.
Webinar: Thursday October 29, 2020 @ 7-8 p.m. ET

November 2020

Ms. Shawneda CroutIntegrate Social Media into Your TechComm

Technical communicators with the ability to adopt social media into the creation, and review phase of content planning, find it to be an invaluable resource in their TechComm projects. Shawneda will advise on how to use social media and social search platforms to provide opportunities to illuminate customer pain points, provide customer preferences, and receive real-time feedback to benefit work processes.
Webinar: Thursday November 12, 2020 @ 7-8 p.m. ET

December 2020

Dr. Liz HermanIdentity Disruption and the Technical Communicator
It’s an amazing time to be a technical communicator. Our talents, skills, and smarts are needed. The way we have identified ourselves for the past several decades is changing. We need to prepare for an identity disruption. Join Liz as she shares insights and data about this seismic change.
Webinar: Thursday December 3, 2020 @ 7-8 p.m. ET

Our chapter uses the GoToMeeting platform to host webinars. The webinar link will be emailed by noon on the date of the event. Be sure to also subscribe to The MasterClass in TechComm Podcast to support this growing professional development initiative. Stay tuned for further details!

STC Alliance Competition

STC WDCB joined forces with the STC Alliance Competition this past term. Thank you to those that entered the competition, and/or volunteered to be a TechComm judge.

Award Information

Entrants received comments on their work from designated judges in the TechComm industry. Winners from our chapter will be recognized at the New Chapter Year Kickoff Celebration and are encouraged to sign up to attend! Check out the STC Alliance 2019-2020 Competition Winners list.

How to Enter the STC Alliance 2020-2021 Competition

Check out STC Alliance 2020-2021 Competition Entry submission Guidelines. The 2020-2021 competition is still in planning stages so check back for updates from time to time.

STC Summit 2021

STC’s TechComm Summit is the organization’s annual conference. The Summit attracts over 650 like-minded industry professionals that come together to continue growing in the TechComm field via workshops, panels, and other career enhancing opportunities. Due to the Pandemic, the 2020 conference was held virtually, however, the 2021 conference is scheduled to be held in Atlanta, Georgia on June 6-9, 2021 at this time. For details, check out the STC 2021 Summit .

STC WDCB Networking and Volunteering

Our First Friday Lunches were a successful networking event that we’ve decided to put on hold in support of current social distancing measures. However, what may be perceived as a setback can also be harnessed as a great opportunity; Let’s dive deep together in support of our speakers in The MasterClass in TechComm Webinar Speaker Series, and tap into a free subscription to The MasterClass in TechComm Podcast.

**Please consider the current chapter volunteer openings to review opportunities to get involved.

Sign up to Receive Event Notification Emails

1. Go to STC WDCB Events
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Online Resources

Our chapter website offers job listings, a LinkedIn Group, and much more. View chapter updates in Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, and Instagram.

Renew Your STC WDCB Chapter Membership

Please Renew Your STC Membership for 2021 and allow us to continue to serve you by selecting STC WDCB as your home chapter. We welcome your suggestions for how we can continue to bring you meaningful professional development events, and networking opportunities, so please do not hesitate to reach out.

Thank you for your time and membership. Please let me know how I can be of any further assistance to you.


Tavia Record
President and Professional Development Director
STC Washington, D.C.-Baltimore Chapter
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CAA 2020 Platinum ribbon (236x200)

STC WDCB Joining Regional TechComm Competition

Logo for STC Regional TechComm Competition-Atlanta, Houston, New England, New York, Philadelphia, and Rochester
Starting this fall, our chapter is joining forces with several other STC chapters to deliver our annual technical communication competition, which we have been running consistently since 1962. Since 2012, when the New York Metro chapter joined with the Philadelphia chapter to create the STC Regional TechComm Competition, other chapters have joined their federation. We now join the Atlanta, Houston, New England, New York Metro, Philadelphia, and Rochester chapters, making our title of “regional” a fairly loose definition.

STC discontinued the International Summit Awards (ISA) after the 2016-2017 competition cycle. Until that year, local chapters submitted their highest award winners to the ISA for another round of judging. Winners of that award were proudly displayed at the STC Summit conference for all to see. Since the discontinuation of the ISA, chapters such as DC’s ended their competition cycles without offering that additional matriculation option. Despite this disheartening change, our volunteers continued to work countless hours to pull off the organized and fair competition our chapter is known for throughout the world.

The new regional approach allows the DC-Baltimore chapter to benefit from the online forms and mature processes that the regional competition team, under the leadership of the New York Metro chapter, have created to run the competition. We benefit from shared volunteer labor and ideas. Although we expect and encourage our local judges to apply to judge in the regional competition, given the larger numbers of entries and judges in the new federation, our entrants will likely be exposed to evaluations from new judges. We expect the larger judging pool will provide a fresh perspective to our entrants while still maintaining the same standards STC has always held. Besides this possible change to evaluations, we expect that that entrants will notice the change to the entry process, with a simple, online form. Judges will notice a more streamlined approach to receiving entries. Here in the DC area we will still hold a competition awards celebration in the spring to celebrate our local winners like we always have. It all seems like a win-win proposition to me and I hope you agree!

An exciting event is coming up on OCTOBER 15, 6-8 PM EDT to inspire you to enter the competition called the Virtual TechComm Roadshow. This online event is FREE but you must register to get the web conferencing information. During this event, some top winners from STC competitions around the country, including DC-Baltimore, will show their work, discuss their backstory, challenges, learning, and planned improvements. We hope you will attend!

The STC Regional TechComm Competition’s entry deadline is December 6, 2019, 6:00 PM EDT. While the link to enter the competition will eventually be on the DC chapter’s competition site and the New York Metro chapter’s site, I encourage you to sign up to receive email updates as they arise.

We hope you are excited as we are to join such a distinguished group of chapters, along with their passionate volunteers, to produce our competition going forward. STC chapters are no longer in competition with one another for the most entrants or even the most members. Everyone wins when we unite our efforts to promote the advancement of our profession of technical communication.

2013 STC International Summit Award Competition Winners

Congratulations to all the Washington, DC – Baltimore (WDCB) chapter winners who won awards at the STC International Competition level!. The Washington DC – Baltimore chapter is proud to announce that we had six winners in the STC International Technical Publications Competition. The competition is an excellent way to showcase our work as technical communicators. One of our entries won Best of Show. Congratulations to all the winners. We are very proud to have them represent us so well.

Winners at the international level are entitled to display the STC international competition award ribbons. Download and use to promote your award!

Best of Show

BOS International Summit Award

Best of Show entries exhibit the ideal for their category. They are not judged against each other; they are judged solely against established standards. For example, how do you compare the best annual report with the best software guide? In STC competitions, the best annual report is compared with the ideal annual report, and the best software guide with the ideal software guide. Thus, the Best of Show judges must determine how close each candidate comes to realizing the ideal for its category. The entry that comes closest to the ideal for its category is the Best of Show.

Los Alamos National Laboratory External/Public Website
Contributors: Ann Rafferty, Monika Bittman, Lillian Anaya
Company: Los Alamos National Laboratory

Distinguished Technical Communication

Winner International Summit Award

An entry that wins an award of Distinguished Technical Communication is clearly superior in all areas. The entry contains no major flaws and few, if any, minor flaws. It applies the principles of technical communication in an outstanding way, particularly the way that it anticipates and fulfills the needs of its audience.

From Research to Reality a Missile Defense Agency Technology Applications Report
Contributors: L. Scott Tillett, Lisa Hylton, Joe Singleton
Company: National Technology Transfer Center (NTTC) – Washington Operations

Los Alamos National Laboratory External/Public Website
Contributors: Ann Rafferty, Monika Bittman, Lillian Anaya
Company: Los Alamos National Laboratory


An entry that wins an award of Excellence consistently meets high standards in all areas. The entry might contain a single major flaw or a few minor flaws. The entry demonstrates an exceptional understanding of technical communication principles.

Critical Infrastructure Partnership Advisory Council Annual Update 2012
Contributors: Katrina Hubbard, Teresa Kowalczyk, Dylan Waugh
Company: Energetics Incorporated

Guide for Effective Corporate and Technical Writing
Contributors: Rebecca Jung
Company: Westinghouse Electric Company

Pictures of the Future
Contributors: Arthur F. Pease
Company: Siemens A.G.


An entry that wins a Merit award consistently meets high standards in most areas. The entry might contain a small number of major or minor flaws, but it still applies technical communication principles in a highly proficient manner.

Technology at Temple
Contributors: Marianne Johnston, Robert Frawley, Susan Banka
Company: Westat

See the STC site for the full list of 2013 STC International Summit Award (ISA) winners.