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The Willamette Valley chapter of the STC is starting preparation for the
next awards competition, and after our first meeting of volunteers last
night, I have an "action item" applicable to this group: has any other
chapter developed some software to help automate this process? We get over
100 entries, and the database has about 80 fields per entry. It seems
obvious to me that some kind of interactive querying program would greatly
speed the data entry portion of this effort. Anyone got one?
We've thought of sending diskettes on request, requiring e-mail submissions,
rigging up a BBS, etc. But before we get too far, has anyone else stepped up
to this, or do you all use manual data entry?
Hey, while I'm at it, I'd like to ask about some of your formats you use to
actually bestow certificates on winning writers. We've used the traditional
formal dinner format in the past, where a slide projector displays the
winner's name over a shot of their cover; they'd troop up, shake a hand,
take their certificate, stand there grinning until everyone from their
category was recognized, then withstand the applause until they could sit
back down. This was accompanied by a sit-down dinner and a motivational-type
speaker, and took up most of an evening. We tried a less formal Saturday
luncheon, but attendance kept dropping.
As costs got out of hand, we went to a less formal format last year -- a
"fair", with all the winning entries displayed as usual, some food but just
finger-food type snacks, and a good speaker. There were door prizes, and we
sandwiched everything around four round-table discussions that concerned
software, hardware, online, and graphics. Writers who picked up certificates
for multiple projects ended up with so many ribbons they looked like "prize
steers at the state fair" to quote one observer, but the event was well
attended, and we're streamlining the concept this year.
What else have you tried out there? Any takers? I'll probably be asking
additional questions about this whole endeavor as it unfolds -- finding
qualified judges, how to keep costs down, etc. I know everyone on the list
isn't in the STC, but after reading the e-mail suggesting unionizing, some
of you might want to re-think your non participation in this professional
organization...oops, sorry. A shameless plug.