Information for Judges
On this page:
Call for Judges
The Society for Technical Communication (STC) invites you to serve as a judge for the STC Washington, DC – Baltimore (WDCB) Chapter's 2018-2019 Summmit Competition. This is your opportunity to contribute to the evolving definition of quality for technical communication. Share your expertise, see the best examples of our craft, and make new contacts in the field.
How Do I Become a Judge?
Deadline for Judge Applications: Monday, 26 November 2018.
Provide your contact information in this short form for the judging recruiter to contact you: I’m Interested in Judging in the Competition.
If you are a returning judge, we won’t ask you to fill out the long judge application form. We'll update our contact information for you using the information in the short form. If you are a new volunteer, we will ask you to fill out the longer Judging Application form to let us know your judging experience and what device platforms and browser / software applications you have for judging the entries.
In the full Judging Application form, indicate whether you will enter the competition this year and if so, in what categories. Include a description of your qualifications so that we can determine the best category for you to judge. We encourage you to apply electronically using the form on this website, but you can also volunteer by contacting the Competition Manager (see the Competition Contacts page).
What Will I Do As a Judge?
A Judges Training and Pick-up Day will be held in December. You will receive a judging packet that contains the entries you will judge, descriptions of the categories, the criteria for judging each category, and the judging evaluation forms. You will meet with your team's lead judge and the other members of your judging team. Judges will review the entries on their own time over a period of six weeks.
Each entry is judged on the achievement of its purpose, information design, usability, effective use of media (print or online), and writing. Entries are judged by criteria, not against each other.
Use Microsoft Word to score and comment on your entries in the evaluation forms. At the end of the judging evaluation period, judging teams will attend the consensus meeting to discuss the entries with your judging team. You will review how each judge evaluated an entry in their team's categories and concur on the award to be given to each entry. After discussing an entry with the other judges on your team, you may decide to change your evaluation scores or comments to come to a consensus for the award your team will give an entry. After each award is determined, the judging team will select one or two from your team's entries to nominate for Best of Show. The Best of Show judging team then assesses the nominees and selects the Best of Show and the Best Student Entry.
Turn in all scoring materials to the lead judge. All evaluation forms and entry materials must be returned to the competition manager at the end of the consensus meeting. Meetings will occur in the Washington, DC metropolitan area in a location convenient for the majority of judges.
The Judging schedule provides information about the event, time, and location for each phase of the competition and identifies who needs to attend each event.
Judging evaluation forms are available for downloading:
[These files are being updated for the upcoming competition.]
- WDCB Entry Evaluation form (.docx)
Will I Be Compensated?
Judges will not be compensated or reimbursed for their travel or services to the judging of entries. Expenses related to judging such as postage to return evaluation forms, will be paid. Please ask the Competition Manager for a reimbursement form.
What Types of Judges Are Needed?
Several types of judges are needed, with varying responsibilities.
- Team Judges
- Team judges evaluate entries as part of a team of two to three judges. The teams evaluate the entries in a specific category. As a judge, 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 the Judges Training and Pickup Meeting, when the entries will be distributed to all judges.
Judges should have experience as a user or producer of technical communication. Some judging teams may receive online entries. Judges with online entries will need access to an Intel-based Windows or Macintosh personal computer with Internet access to evaluate entries before the consensus meeting.
- 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 at the Consensus meeting.
- Best of Show Judges
- You should have some previous judging experience at the local or international level. Best of Show Judges review the Best of Show recommendations from each team and determine the Best of Show for each competition. This is usually done at the Consensus meeting after all teams have turned in their evaluations.