Become a Judge:

Chapter membership and extensive experience with technical communication are not required. All judges go through a training session, and more experienced judges on each team provide guidance.

Why Volunteer to Judge?

Judges Wanted!

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 including technical illustrations, photographs, posters, or packaging, you can participate in our annual competition judging. Judging helps you gain new ideas and lets you discuss writing, editing, and design issues with communicators outside of your immediate work circle.

For more information about judging, see our blog post: Why you should judge in the competitions

Team Lead vs. Team Judge

When you sign up to volunteer, indicate if you’d like to be a Team Lead.

Team leads should have some previous judging experience. Lead Judges mentor their team of 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 Competitions Manager.

Team judges evaluate entries as part of a team of three to four. 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 Day.

Training Day Details

Date: Saturday, November 7th 202

Time: 9:00 AM – 12:00 PM

Where: Virtual. Zoom invite provided by Competitions Manager

Training day begins at 9:00 AM. 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 review the entries together, before evaluating one small entry. This allows returning judges to coach newer judges. Judges will evaluate entries in the context of the entry’s stated purpose. You’ll 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.

For in-person judging: 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. Guest Internet access will be available.