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Technical Publications Competition
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The Technical Publications Competition accepts any documentation that is delivered via physical media. This includes promotional and informational materials, books, quick reference guides, hardware and software guides, organizational manuals, training materials, annual reports, magazines, newsletters, technical reports, trade/news articles, scholarly or professional articles, books, and documentation sets. You do not need to be an STC member to submit an entry.

This competition highlights the ever-evolving technical communication field. Submit your entry to gain insight from Carolina's experienced judges. You get written comments on every aspect of your entry.

The Technical Publications competition accepts only physical media (hardcopy) entries. If you are entering a publication that is normally distributed in Adobe Acrobat (.pdf file) format, do not submit the document in electronic format. Instead, submit three printed and bound copies of the publication. The binding should be simple, but sturdy, such as a three-ring binder or report folder. If the publication includes color that impacts how it is used, then be sure to submit color copies so that the judges can evaluate it appropriately.



What types of publication projects can I submit?

The Technical Publications competition uses the following 18 categories for judging and awards. To categorize an entry, determine the purpose of the document and compare the purpose to the category descriptions.

1. Promotional Materials
Publications that market a technical product, service, or organization. Includes advertisements, flyers, catalogs, and other presale literature.

2. Informational Materials
Publications that provide information to the general public or a particular audience about a technical or scientific subject, product, service, or organization.

3. Quick Reference Guides
Brief guides that provide ready and concise reference to essential features during the use of hardware, software, or noncomputer equipment. Includes graphical devices and other job aids.

4. Software Guides
Guides that provide instructions for using a software product, provide accessible reference information on its features and functions, or include both reference information and instructions. May be one or more volumes.

5. Hardware/Software Combination Guides
Guides that provide instructions for using equipment or a hardware product and modifying or programming its firmware or software. Includes manuals for laboratory test equipment, scanners, printers, facsimile machines, modems, watches, cameras, and calculators.

6. Computer Hardware Guides
Guides for computer hardware, including reference information, descriptions of features and functions, and instructions for installation, use, and repair.

7. Noncomputer Equipment Guides
Guides for noncomputer equipment, including reference information, descriptions of features and functions, and instructions for installation, use, and repair. The guides may cover audiovisual, medical, laboratory, test, telecommunications, photographic, and recreational equipment and vehicles, tools, and appliances.

8. Organizational Manuals
Publications that provide guidance to employees or customers of an organization. Includes policies and procedures manuals, style and identity guides, and benefits guides.

9. Training Materials
Publications developed for use in a training or classroom environment by either the trainer or student participant. Includes manuals, tutorials, workbooks, and instructor guides.

10. Annual Reports
Publications that summarize the activities or financial position of a corporation, governmental agency, or nonprofit community organization. Includes reports that comply with the regulations of government agencies, such as the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, as well as reports of unregulated, nonprofit organizations.
11. Magazines
Regularly scheduled publications in magazine format with a feature treatment, including use of photographs and art, as well as news, feature, and interpretive writing; contains news and information about an organization, technology, industry, or scientific field. May be intended for an internal or external audience, a special-interest audience, or the general public. (Submit three consecutive issues as a single entry.)

12. Newsletters
Regularly scheduled publications with brief writings and a flexible format. Generally lower budget and fewer pages than a magazine in a simple, type-oriented format that may or may not have photographs and illustrations. May be intended for an internal or external audience. (Submit three consecutive issues as a single entry.)

13. Technical Reports
Reports on scientific or technical efforts, usually aimed at the professional community or a contracting agency.

14. Trade/News Articles
Single articles appearing in trade journals or general interest periodicals, not as an original contribution to knowledge. (Submit three tear sheets or reprints, not photocopies, indicating the publication title, volume and issue number, and date of publication.)

15. Scholarly/Professional Articles
Single articles appearing in academic or professional journals or scholarly books as an original contribution to knowledge. (Submit only tear sheets or reprints, not photocopies, indicating the publication title, volume and issue number, and date of publication.)

16. Scholarly/Professional Journals
Regularly scheduled publications in magazine format whose primary content consists of bylined, peer-reviewed articles reporting scholarly, scientific, or technical work, performed by the authors, to a specialized external audience. Articles are original contributions to knowledge; review or tutorial articles may appear as occasional exceptions but do not dominate the publication. (Submit three consecutive issues as a single entry.)

17. Books
Lengthy documents on one subject, usually intended for sale to the public.

18. Documentation Sets
A set of publications that are intended to be used as a unit, and are typically packaged together. Examples include, but are not limited to, software documentation sets, multivolume reference materials, a combination of quick reference, user, and technical reference materials that are provided as a single unit.


Although the judging coordinator tries to respect your characterization, sometimes entries are judged in a category other than the one in which it was entered. Occasionally an entry must be rejected. In this case, the entry fee is returned.

How do I submit my entry?

Go to the Submitter Corner page for more information.


Contributors to this page: System Administrator and Betsy Kent .
Page last modified on Thursday, December 31, 2009 13:11:09 EST by System Administrator.

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