The Joy of Entering the 2008-2009 Competitions

Deadline is 20 October.

Landsat image of WDC
Put your best work on the map! Photo credit: NASA Goddard Space Flight Center.
In the fall, STC chapters hold local competitions. As the 2008-2009 Competitions Manager of the Washington DC chapter, I am continuing the tradition of presenting some of the reasons that technical communication professionals might enjoy entering the competitions.

Would you like to be an award-winning technical communicator? For those of you who haven’t entered before, let me explain the basics. Washington area experts gather to evaluate the entries in the Technical Publications, Technical Art, and Online Communication Competitions. Our competitions receive entries from DC, Maryland, and Virginia, as well as from other states and from other countries. The judges provide comments on the strengths of each entry and make recommendations that you can apply in 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 feedback from 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 you will be able to see what others in our field are producing. The Awards Celebration is also the place to network with the technical communication community.

Fall is the time to submit your best work to the scrutiny of your fellow professionals. Now is the time to consider what you want to enter and to get it prepared. Check the Chapter Competitions page at for all the details on categories, requirements, and instructions. Good luck!

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