The Joy of Entering

medium image of Chesapeake Bay and Mid Atlantic states
Chesapeake Bay and Mid-Atlantic States
Photo credit: NASA/USGS/Landsat
Entry deadline: 7 p.m. Eastern Time,
Friday, 28 October 2016

You are invited to submit your best work to the scrutiny of your fellow professionals in the chapter's 2016 Summit Competition for Technical Communication. Now is the time to consider what you want to enter and get it prepared.

The STC Washington, DC – Baltimore (WDCB) chapter continues to hold a local technical communication competition. This post continues our tradition of presenting some reasons why 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 chapter competition receives entries from DC, Maryland, and Virginia, as well as from other states and from other countries. Washington, DC and Baltimore 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. Many entrants regard this feedback as a valuable part of their participation.

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! Awards can bring recognition from professional peers and increased visibility with employers and clients.

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 local 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 research-based content for external or internal audiences produced or revised within 24 months preceding 1 September 2016. These include websites, blogs, videos, journals, teaching material, computer software and hardware manuals, books, ebooks, 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 must be suitable for public display. Entries that contain classified or proprietary information such as corporate proposals or that violate copyright laws are not acceptable. For more information, see the Chapter Competition Entry Rules and the descriptions of the Competition Categories.

Students can gain much from professional evaluation of their work. Entries by full-time students prepared for and accepted for publication are eligible for our local-level competition and may continue on to the international-level competition. Student entries not prepared for and accepted for publication will be accepted by our local-level competition only. While such entries will be judged in our local competition, they cannot advance to the international competition because they do not meet the publication acceptance requirement.

By entering the competition, you help educate clients and employers about what technical communicators do. Your entries demonstrate the value technical communicators bring to a product by providing the right information, in the right way, at the right time to make life easier and more productive for product support staff and users.

Announcement letters will be e-mailed in mid December 2016 to let all entrants know if they won or did't win an award.

Good luck!

International-Level Competition Notes

As part of the award for our Distinguished Technical Communication (DTC) award winners, the chapter will enter all DTCs in the ISA and pay the international entry fee and shipping cost. Excellence award winners qualify to submit their entries to STC's International Summit Awards" (ISA) competition at their own expense. Only Distinguished and Excellence chapter competition winners may be entered in the ISA competition.

For questions, contact the competition manager, Tavia Record, at competition manager.

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Cynthia A Lockley

Fellow of the Society for Technical Communication. STC member since 1974.