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Entrants' Overview

All technical communicatorsstudents, workers, STC members and non-membersare eligible to enter the annual Online Communication, Technical Art, and Technical Publications competitions. This is an opportunity to be recognized for the excellence of your work. The competition judges provide valuable peer reviews. Winning an award is not only personally satisfying but provides the thrill of being able to tell your manager or client that the piece you produced was recognized by the Society for Technical Communication.

Who is Eligible

You may submit entries if you are a technical communicator or a student of technical communication. You do not have to be a member of the STC. You may enter as an individual or on behalf of a group or subordinate. When you fill out the online entry form, you must confirm that the owner of the work provides permission for entry and public display of the work.

Entry Rules

The following rules apply to all competitions:

  • Entries must be in English and must contain sufficient technical, scientific, medical, or similar content to qualify as "technical" communication.

  • Entries must have been produced after February 1, 2003.

  • Entries must have been originally prepared for a client, employer, or publisher (except student entries) and must have been accepted for publication (print or electronic).

  • Entries may not have been entered in any previous STC competition unless substantial changes have been made since the prior entry.

  • Entries must be suitable for public display. Entries that contain classified or proprietary information or that violate copyright laws are not acceptable. It is the responsibility of the submitter, and not of STC, to determine that entries do not contain classified or proprietary information and that the holder of all copyrights has granted permission for the entry's submission. Neither the STC nor anyone associated with the competitions can be held responsible for loss of or damage to an entry.

Registering Entries

See Entrants' Registration for details about how to enter the competitions.

What About PDFs?

Many of you deliver your work in Adobe's Portable Document Format (PDF). You can enter PDFs in the competition. Submit your entry to the Online or the Technical Publications competitions, depending on how the entry will be used.

If your entry is designed to be used as an online application, deliver an electronic copy on a computer to the Online Communication competition. If the file is designed to be printed, deliver three printed copies to the Technical Publications competition. Your entry will be judged according to the criteria of the competition you entered it in; no special considerations are given to PDF files.

PDFs in the Technical Publications Competition

If you enter a PDF in the Technical Publications Competition, how you print or copy the PDF document can make a difference in how your entry is judged. To present your PDF entry in the best light, follow these tips for submitting the entry:

  • Print the PDF on the same size paper as designed in the file.

  • Print the PDF double-sided.

  • If the page size is not 8 x 11, avoid scaling the page to fit on letter size paper. Print it on the exact size paper, or trim after printing (scaling usually adversely affects the quality of the output).

  • If you use color, print the PDF on a color printer, or make sure that any color elements look presentable and professional when printed in grayscale.

  • Make sure the printed pages or copies do not have streaks, spots, smudges, or other artifacts from the printer or copier.

  • Bind the document neatly and professionally.

PDFs in the Online Competition

Please note that the International Online Communication Competition is reviewing the specifications for PDF entries (See July/August 2004 Intercom, page 25). The committee advises entrants who release documents in PDF format to print and enter these documents in the Technical Publications competition. This applies especially to documents that are released as PDFs to reduce printing costs for a company and include only basic online features such as internal hyperlinks.

For this reason, the Online competition has eliminated the "Books" category. Entries that include interactivity such as animation, sound, movies, and links to Web sites can be submitted in the Reference category.

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