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STC ISA: Editors Make the Best Judges

Paula Robertson, Senior Member

I think editors are uniquely suited to be judges for the STC International Summit Awards (ISA). In many ways, judging an entry is just like editing. The same analytical skills are required. The same diplomatic approach in offering advice applies.

The main difference of course is that the editor-judge does not get to interface with the writer. So the judge has one shot at giving an assessment that will help the writer improve where needed—and one chance to provide praise where earned.

Another big difference is that you can’t mark up the entry. And that’s hard! It takes more effort to explain how to fix something when you can’t just fix it. But that extra effort can be beneficial to the professional development of an editor. When we have to explain and justify our ratings, it forces us to analyze whether our “edits” are justifiable or just personal preference.

Working with the other judges on a team is another benefit to the editor-judge. It’s a way to see how other judges evaluate technical documentation, not to mention an avenue for sharing your own techniques. The less experienced judges receive “free” coaching and the more senior judges help the profession by mentoring a colleague.

Regardless of previous judging experience, all judges get the opportunity to see the work of other colleagues. The ISA draws a wide array of materials, and judge teams can expect to see that reflected in the entries assigned to them. Those whose applications are accepted to be judges are entrusted with the responsibility and honor of assessing the overall quality of someone else’s work.

In short, I consider the ISA judging experience to be free training! This type of professional development is free of charge except for the time commitment and donation of your expertise. And 2013 ISA judges who complete their entry assessments according to the timeline (page 4 of the STC ISA Handbook for Judges) and supply appropriate, constructive value in their comments will be automatically entered in a drawing for a free STC Classic Membership for 2014, a $225 value.

So who’s ready to sign up? Give yourself this valuable “editing” experience while giving back to the profession. Complete the Judge Application Form online at: http://www.stc.org/membership/recognition/competitions/

For questions, please contact Rob Brown or me:
Paula Robertson (fine-lines@sbcglobal.net)
Rob Brown (robert.brown@orametrix.com)
STC 2013 ISA Judge Co-Managers

Page last modified on Monday, December 31, 2012 06:21:51pm EST
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