The STC Montreal Chapter promotes the profession and practice of technical communication. The chapter hosts events that are open to all – members and non-members alike.
Find out more about upcoming STC Montreal events and seminars.
Let’s talk about the STC as an organisation…
It’s an international organisation. From our local chapter website, there’s a logo at the bottom that will take you to the main international website, so you can see there are chapters all around the world.
We are headquartered in Virginia, USA, and things are predominantly centered in the US, but it is international, and Canada does make up a large proportion of the international membership. There are large chapters in Europe as well.
Lots of members have co-memberships with other organisations as well. Many of the executive members of our chapter have been executive members of other local organisations, such as the EAC or AMWA etc, so there’s a fair amount of cross-pollination going on.
And in terms of language?
Being in Quebec, we do try to be bi-lingual. What I have found in my career is that the majority of the writing that has to be done, all the manuals and so on, has been in English. I think that’s a lot of what we produce is for the United States.
We write our manuals and other documents in English first and then if it needs to be localised it will be translated by a translator who just translates, they don’t tend to re-write or anything like that.
How does the STC work at the international and local levels?
Well, the central organisation collects all the dues and maintains the membership and they have an annual conference and they also produce a few periodicals, the magazines are called Intercom and Technical Communication [find out more] that are provided to members.
The local chapters host events. At a local level we try to have some kind of presentation or event going on every month, as well as the Christmas Banquet and the June Banquet at the end our year, and that’s when we present the incoming executives.
The presentations tend to be evenings events, with a speaker giving a one or two hour presentation on some topic of interest to technical communicators, so that’s also partly social.
The workshops tend to be whole day events, and if you go to the website you can see what is coming up as well as the archive of past events. For the workshops we try to find topics that will be of interest to our target audience, but I should also emphasise that you don’t have to be a member of the STC to attend [Although STC members do get preferential entry prices]. The money from these events goes to the chapter to support future events.
We also maintain the local website and operate the local job bank, which is where local job postings go, and that tends to be of great interest to the people within each chapter.
One of the most important functions of the chapter is networking, which is why we are happy to be part of Mediaville.
We already have lots of members that have connections with other organisations, but it’s always good to be a part of a wider umbrella organisation, because technical writing is close to other fields, particularly medical writing.
We also work with editors, editing is sometimes even offered as a separate positions within a technical writing department and another technical writing department I worked in had a number of graphic designers.
Are the postings mostly freelance contracts or more permanent positions?
In my experience, I’ve worked on both permanent and contract positions and I think that’s true of many technical writers. Also often a lot of companies will hire someone on a short term contract before offering them a permanent position.
So the job bank can be of interest to freelancers. And our current policy is that STC members have access to the postings for two weeks before they go public, because we want the job bank to be of benefit to our members, and employers appreciate having a place that they know technical communicators are going to see their listing.
We are trying to build this up as well. This year I want to try to increase our communication with HR departments in companies, not just for job placements, but also for training events.
From what I understand, employers do get incentives to send their employees out for training. So we want to have training that will be useful to our members, to the technical communication community in general, as well as for employers.
Thanks to Charles Roburn for taking the time to talk with Mediaville.
To find out more about the Montreal Chapter of the STC at http://stc-montreal.org/en/