Austin T. Brown Technical Communication Award

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For students in Grades 9 through 12

Photo of Austin T. BrownWhen possible, the Washington, DC – Baltimore (WDCB) Chapter of the Society for Technical Communication (STC) invites high school students in the Washington metropolitan area to submit entries to its annual Austin T. Brown Technical Communication Award Competition.

The Chapter sponsors this competition to encourage the development of technical writing skills among students in grades 9, 10, 11, and 12.

The competition was started in 1962 by then Chapter President, Peter A. Smith. He helped establish, promote, and implement the Washington, D.C. chapter's Science Writing Contest for high school students in the Washington Metropolitan area. It has been funded by the Chapter since 1964. The competition, formerly called the High School Science Writing Contest, was renamed in the 1990s to honor Austin T. Brown, who managed the competitions for many years. Mr. Brown joined STC in 1967 and was an active leader, mentor, and supporter of the Washington, DC – Baltimore (WDCB) Chapter for many years until he followed the sun to Hawaii in the early 1990s. One of his special interests was this competition. He is a past president of the Chapter and of STC (1988-1989). Austin also served as a member of the STC Board of Directors, representing our region. In 1993, he was elected a Fellow, the highest rank the Society can confer on a member.  Revised

Current Status

In the past, an award was given to the top three winners of a competition for the best technical papers. We have been unable to find volunteers to staff the Education Committee. We hope a new volunteer who is interested in managing a student competition will step up in the future. In lieu of this, the chapter began giving awards in 2009 for the best student entry in our Technical Communication Competition.

Enquiries about the award, or interest in working on the Education Committee, should be sent to Richard Bogacz at chapter president


All students in grades 9 through 12 in the public, private, and parochial schools of the Washington, DC metropolitan area (including the city of Alexandria, and Arlington, Fairfax, Loudon, Prince William, Montgomery, and Prince Georges Counties) are eligible to enter. Each student may submit only one entry. Each entry may be co-authored by up to four students.


If you are a full-time student in high school,

Basis for judging

A team of professional scientists, educators, editors, and writers will judge the entries.

Judges will consider the overall quality of the student's writing, including presence of a clear and worthwhile thesis; coherent organization, including effective use of headings and subheadings; correct grammar, punctuation, and spelling; appropriate use of graphic aids; and proper use and documentation of reference materials and sources.

The Society for Technical Communication

Members of STC communicate in many ways. They are writers, editors, teachers, publishers, graphic artists, designers, researchers, producers and presenters of audiovisual materials, and marketing specialists. Their level of knowledge and experience ranges from that of college students to renowned experts. Equal numbers of men and women are STC members.

The Washington, DC – Baltimore (WDCB) Chapter (WDCB), has many local STC members as well as STC members living in other states and countries. Our members are employed by private firms, government agencies, and academic institutions, or work as consultants. They share their expertise with the community and with newcomers to the technical communication field in many ways.

The Society for Technical Communication (STC) is a Section 501(c)(3) not-for-profit educational, scientific, and charitable organization dedicated to furthering the art of communicating technical information and promoting the education, improvement, and advancement of its members. STC is the world's largest professional organization serving the technical communication profession. STC was established in 1953 and currently has 48 professional chapters, 14 student chapters, 11 SIGs, and around 6,000 members worldwide in about 50 countries.

You may use our PayPal account or pay by check.

Using Our PayPal Account

You may use our PayPal Verified account to make a secure online donation to the award using your credit card, debit card, bank account, or by paying money from a funded PayPal account. To use our PayPal account, click the PayPal button below. See the PayPal FAQ for information about using PayPal.

Paying by Check

To donate by check, make your check payable to STC Washington, DC – Baltimore Chapter. Please write on the check that the payment is an "Austin T. Brown memorial award donation" and mail your check to the chapter treasurer.

Please contact the Treasurer for the mailing address.

Federal Tax ID for the Chapter: 52-1296396.

Federal Tax ID for the Society: 31-4424296.

Last modified: July 9, 2018
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