The Joy of Entering the 2011-2012 Summit Competition for Technical Communication

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NASA/USGS/Landsat 5

Entry deadline: 7 p.m. Eastern Time,
Friday, 18 November 2011
See the Competition website for

  • Competition Entry Rules
  • Competition Entry Forms

In the fall, many STC chapters hold local technical communication competitions. All Distinguished Technical Communication (DCT) and Excellence award winners in the local competitions are elegible to enter the STC international-level competition, named the “STC International Summit Awards”. This post continues our tradition of presenting some reasons that you might enjoy entering the STC WDCB Summit Competition for Technical Communication.

Would you like to be 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 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 the Awards Celebration, where all winning entries will be displayed. 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.

What can be entered?

Technical, scientific, medical, or similar content for external or internal audiences produced or revised within 24 months preceding 1 September 2011. These include websites, blogs, journals, teaching material, computer software and hardware manuals, error messages, 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.

Entries by full-time students that have been prepared for and accepted for publication can go on to the international-level competition. (Student entries that have not been prepared for and accepted for publication will be accepted in the chapter’s competition only.)

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. Competition rules and entry forms are at

Good luck!

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