Frank R. Smith Award

Technical Communication, the Society’s journal, publishes articles about the practical application of technical communication theory and serves as a common arena for discussion by practitioners. Technical Communication includes both quantitative and qualitative research while showcasing the work of some of the field’s most noteworthy writers.

The Frank R. Smith outstanding journal article award recognizes the authors of exceptional articles that appeared in Technical Communication during a calendar year. Since 1966, STC has paid tribute to the authors whose contributions have made Technical Communication one of the most highly respected journals devoted to the arts and sciences of technical communication.

Judges base their decisions on the article’s content and form. Content is judged on the degree to which it represents contributions to new knowledge, new perspectives, or practical communication applications or techniques. Form is judged by the degree to which it embodies effective and appropriate organization; apt language and correct grammar; relevant and meaningful tables and illustrations; and spirit of vibrancy, intensity, conviction, or enthusiasm in transmitting information.


2018 Honoree for Outstanding Article

Carolyn Boiarsky 
for her article, “Effects of Communicating with Emails and Texts in Risk Communication: Information Poor, Writer-Based,
A-Synchronous” in the August 2017 issue of Technical Communication.

Citation: For the author’s well-executed and insightful analysis of the influences of social media usage on crisis communication, and for her key recommendations for improving the effectiveness of that communication.

2018 Honorees for Distinguished Article

Ann Shivers-McNair and Clarissa San Diego for their article “Localizing Communities, Goals, Communication, and Inclusion: A Collaborative Approach” in the May 2017 issue of Technical Communication.

Citation: For the authors’ distinctive academic/practitioner collaboration, detailed literature review, eloquent support of claims, and timely relevance to fostering greater inclusion and diversity in communities of practice.



Nomination process

Please consult the guidelines for the complete nomination process.

Who is eligible: Technical Communication authors

Who may nominate: Frank R. Smith Award Committee

Honorees notified: After vote by STC Board of Directors

Award Presented: At the Honors Event at the STC Technical Communication Summit 

The Frank R. Smith Guidelines.

Previous winners of the Frank R. Smith Award


Frank R. Smith Commitee Chair: Laura Palmer

Technical Communication Editor: Sam Dragga, PhD