Competition Questions? We’ve Got Answers

When is the annual competition?

The Call for Entries for STC Chicago’s annual local competition usually gets sent out and posted in August or early September, with entry deadline in late October.

Who can enter?

The competition is open to STC members and non-members. In past years, we have received entries from members of other chapters, and we encourage our members to submit to other chapters’ competitions as well. We have received entries from organizations in Indiana, Michigan, Tennessee, Oklahoma, California, England, France, and more.

You can enter work you completed, or you can submit an entry on behalf of a colleague or subordinate. The entry must have been produced or substantially revised within the 24 months prior to the current year’s competition and cannot have been submitted previously to any STC competition.

What are the competition categories?

Informational Materials, Instructional Materials, Promotional Materials, and User Support Materials. All media types are valid for entry in each of the categories (help, printed manuals, PDFs, websites, videos, etc.).

Can I submit more than one entry?

Absolutely! But if you can’t decide whether to categorize the website for “Joe’s Eats and Stays” as Informational Materials or Promotional Materials, then review the category descriptions (and maybe even the evaluation forms) and pick one. An entry can have only one category.

How many winners are there?

In the competition, each entry is evaluated on its own merit and therefore there is no limit to the number of winners. Only entries that are deemed “above average” and that meet the award standards set by STC receive an award. The award levels are

  • Distinguished – Clearly superior in all defined areas
  • Excellence – Consistently meets high standards in all defined areas
  • Merit – Consistently meets high standards in most defined areas

Top entries from each category are eligible for Best in Show.

Note: The STC International Summit Awards competition has been discontinued. Therefore, winners of the STC Chicago Technical Communication Competition will not move on to another competition.

I haven’t finished my project yet. Can I submit the paperwork before the deadline and drop off the entry on the first day of judging?

No. That wouldn’t be fair to your friends, peers, and colleagues who have been working hard to finish, package, and ship their entries and paperwork by the deadline. Nor would it be fair to the Competition Committee members who need to balance entry sizes and types among the judging teams. All entries must have been completed and published by September 1 of the competition year.

More than three people contributed to the entry. Can I use a department name or group name for the contributor instead of individual names?

The submitter must be an individual—someone who takes personal responsibility for the entry. When ordering awards, you will have the option of ordering an award with multiple contributors, a department name, or organization name.

I am the submitter of the entry. Can I also be named as a contributor for the entry?

Yes, a submitter can also be a contributor.

I am submitting an entry. Can I also be a judge?

Yes, yes, yes! Just let us know in advance which entry or entries you submitted so we don’t ask you to judge your own.

Can I be a judge if I’m not a member of STC?

Yes! If you have experience in design, writing, editing, information architecture, training, content development, and the field of technical communication overall, then we would be delighted to talk with you about judging!

What if I have more questions?

For more information on the competition, contact

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