January 13: Annual Party and Touchstone Awards

Our annual party features a catered buffet dinner, great companionship, and valuable door prizes. As in previous years, we will announce the winners of the Touchstone technical communication competition and display the winning entries throughout the evening.

This party is an annual favorite — casual, but festive. Come have fun while keeping up with the best work of your peers. To reserve online, scroll to the bottom of the page.


  • Display Touchstone winning entries throughout the evening and recognize the technical communicators who submitted them.
  • Recognize chapter volunteers and introduce our 2018 chapter officers.
  • Conduct our usual raffle, augmented by valuable software donated by our sponsors.

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December 13: “Evaluating (and Improving) Your Technical Documentation: Save Money and Reduce Risk”


“Is this documentation effective?” That can be an important question. Technical documentation that is poorly designed or poorly written, or that is not addressed to the right audience, can cause problems: dissatisfied customers, lost customers, wasted effort, and in the worst-case scenario, lawsuits or regulatory penalties. How can you determine if your documentation is adequate or where it can be improved? This presentation will show you how to evaluate the quality of your documentation and identify ways to improve it. I will discuss visual design, choosing content, working with standards, and more.

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November: Intercultural Communication and Business

Date: Wednesday, November 8, 2017
Location: Highlands Country Club, 110 Hiller Drive, Oakland, CA


In today’s global economy, what are common issues and challenges that occur in intercultural work environments? Why do intercultural communication misunderstandings and conflicts occur, and what strategies help to avoid and resolve them? This talk will explore the impact of intercultural communication issues on business situations, the roots of intercultural miscommunication, and some strategies for overcoming issues that can arise in international work environments. Topics will include practical cultural analysis, adapting communication and business strategies for success, and building cohesive international teams.

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Enter Your Work in Touchstone

This year’s Touchstone competition is starting. The deadline for entries is Saturday, October 7, at 2 p.m. Details are at http://www.stc-touchstone.org/2017Competition.html.
We need judging volunteers. The first judging meeting is Sunday, October 15, 2017, 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., at Mudrakers Cafe, 2801 Telegraph Ave, Berkeley, CA 94705. Details are at http://www.stc-touchstone.org/Volunteer2Judge.html.

Mini Job Fair

Looking for a job? Want to brush up your resume? Just want to stay aware of trends in the field? Please join the Berkeley chapter for a mini job fair in place of our September 13 chapter meeting.

This event features tables where you can discuss current positions with local employers and agencies. It features a progression, in which small groups meet with industry experts to discuss topics about technical communication and job seeking.

We’ll also have resume counseling, lots of networking, and light refreshments.

Register now, on our reservation page.

Date and Time:

Wednesday, September 13, 2017 
6:00 to 9:00 PM


Teaching Through Illustration


In this talk, Joanna Bujes will talk about how to to create and use illustrations to reinforce learning, lighten complexity, illustrate multiple relationships, and make the material easier to remember. We will discuss types of illustrations, general principles for creating illustrations, and placing the figure in text. Additional topics include working with artists, localization, and accessibility.

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Evaluating Technical Writing Candidates: A Hiring Perspective

July 2017 Chapter Meeting

Writers may see the recruitment process solely from a single candidate’s perspective: their own. In order to create a positive impression, writers must speak to the needs of the people considering them. In this moderated panel discussion, candidates can learn what this process looks like from a manager’s role.

Our panelists will speak candidly about what they really need, why things are the way they are, and what the entire process looks like from their perspective: justifying the budget, creating a position, writing the job description, filtering and evaluating candidates, perhaps working with recruiters, interviews, offers, on-boarding, and outcomes.

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