Re: Well, I Sure Won't Be in Chicago (but I will)

Subject: Re: Well, I Sure Won't Be in Chicago (but I will)
From: "Laura Winkelspecht" <laura99 -at- execpc -dot- com>
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Thu, 12 Apr 2001 21:55:52 -0500

I went to my first STC conference 3 years ago, and I have to say I loved it.
I was pretty new to tech writing, working as a lone writer, and it was great
to meet all these people who did the same thing I did. I learned stuff that
I still use every day. Now, whether I will be interested in attending once I
have 15 years of experience, I can't say.

The people who run the conference put in enormous amounts of time and energy
with little compensation. I have trouble just trying to get good topics and
speakers in my local STC chapter. I can't imagine doing their job.

I do understand Andrew's (and others') complaint of not letting speakers get
a free ride. However, I can imagine that no conference fee could bring out
10 times as many unqualified speakers as qualified ones (yes, there are
always some yawners anyway). Sifting through the proposals would be a
challenge and finding the truly good ones equally hard. What I would favor,
would be having a certain amount of fees waived to those speakers who would
truly offer something unique and worthwhile. Call it a speaker's scholarship
if you want.

I have said that I have gained much from the STC. In return, I am giving
back, and will continue to do so. As I gain experience and knowledge, I will
share it, regardless if I have to pay for the conference (of course, I have
to be able to afford it ). I feel part of a community that shares--as with
the techwhirl community. All considered, we are writers and most of us have
not learned everything there is to know about making your writing better or
how to make your documentation the most usable. The STC conference provides
3 days of learning, sharing, and getting together with a bunch of other tech
writer geeks (said with much affection) for a conference fee of less than
$500 US. That's really a bargain. Coworkers a couple of years ago went to a
training conference and paid over 3 times that.

P.S. I copied my STC Director-Sponsor in on this message. Susan, you can
review this thread at the Techwhirl Archives <>. Lots of good

See you in Chicago,
Laura Winkelspecht
Technical Writer
ShopKo Stores, Inc.


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