Why Volunteer to Judge?
Looking for a way to find out more about technical writing or online development? Want to see the latest and greatest in your profession? If you have experience in writing, editing, or developing documentation or you have experience with artistic design of technical illustrations, photographs, posters, or packaging, you can participate in our annual competition judging. As you well know, judging helps you gain new ideas and lets you discuss writing, editing, and design issues with communicators outside of your immediate work circle.
Chapter membership and extensive experience with judging are not requirements. All judges go through a brief training session, and more experienced judges on each team provide guidance.
What Does a Judge Do?On Saturday, November 15, 2014, from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., the day begins with judges' training. We'll talk about what to consider as you evaluate an entry and how to give the most helpful feedback. And as we evaluate an entry together, you'll get an idea of how to work as a group and decide on an award.
Each team will judge the entries and decide awards by the end of the afternoon. Judges will evaluate entries in the context of the entry's stated purpose. You examine the content, structure, and design of each entry, and might decide on an award based on the individual entry's strengths and weaknesses and how well it fulfills its purpose.
Evaluation criteria depend on the type of entry. For entries such as reference guides, judges examine how well an entry provides information appropriate to the task. For users' guides, does the publication explain topics or concepts thoroughly and concisely, and how well does it help the user complete a task. For marketing materials, you decide whether the publication motivates people to buy or use a product. Training materials should assist in the process of teaching.
IMPORTANT: You must bring your laptop and AC adapter (and an extension cord, if you have one) so that you can fill out the evaluation forms during judging. All judging forms must be returned by the end of the day. Guest Internet access will be available.
Event DetailsDate: Saturday, November 15
Time: 8:30 a.m. - 4:30 p.m. Enter the campus after 8:30 a.m.
Where: SAS, SAS Campus Drive, Building F, Room 101, Cary, NC
Directions to the SAS training room: SAS training room directions
Team or Lead Judge?When you sign up to volunteer, indicate if you'd like to lead a group of judges.
- Lead Judges: You should have some previous judging experience. Lead Judges mentor team judges, provide direction in determining awards for each category they are responsible for, receive and review the complete scoring sheets and evaluations from your team, record the category awards and Best of Show recommendations from your team, and ensure that all comments and entry materials are returned to the Competition Manager.
- Team Judges: Team judges evaluate entries as part of a team of two to three judges. You and your teammates will evaluate entries, fill out a scoring sheet, and provide comments. Guidelines for how to judge the entries will be explained at Training and Judging Day.
Register to Judge
Top Ten Reasons to Judge in the STC Carolina Competitions
10. Make new friends.
9. Add a new professional activity to your resume.
8. The satisfaction of knowing that you've done something for your colleagues.
7. Seeing some of the best work our profession has to offer.
6. Having an excuse when your significant other says "Honey, let's watch The Housewives of Beverly Hills."
5. Free lunch and sweets from Babymoon Cafe.
4. All the intangible benefits of working on a team.
3. Having something new to Tweet about.
2. Wearing black robes (optional).
1. Giving advice that someone will actually appreciate and use.
Adapted from a list written by STC Fellow Larry Kunz.
Join the STC Carolina Competitions LinkedIn GroupJudges may join the STC Carolina Competitions LinkedIn group to easily communicate with fellow team members and to network. To join, visit http://www.linkedin.com/e/vgh/2352653/.
Schedule for Training and Judging DayThe following table shows the schedule for Training and Judging Day, November 15, 2014. Please arrive between 8:30 and 9:00 to register.
|8:30 - 9:00||Registration / breakfast|
|9:00 - 9:45||Basic training|
|9:45 - 10:00||Break / Move to judging teams|
|10:00 - 12:15||Evaluate assigned entries|
|12:15 - 12:45||Lunch from Babymoon Cafe|
|12:45 - 1:00||Break / Let's get back at it!|
|1:00 - 2:45||Evaluate assigned entries and complete evaluation forms|
|2:45 - 3:00||Break and judge surprise!|
|3:00 - 4:00||Determine awards and Best of Show nominees|
|4:00 - 4:30||Submit all forms, entry materials, Team Summary form, and Best of Show nominees|
|4:30||Thank you for making this year's STC Carolina Competitions a success!!|
Exchanging Entries with Another STC ChapterYou will judge entries submitted by technical communicators in this area. We are not exchanging entries with another chapter.
Directions for Judges' ManagerThe basic tasks for the judges' manager are listed here:
Tasks for the manager of the competitions judges