The Awards

STC-ETC annually awards the Blakely Award to recognize student excellence in technical and scientific communication. The awards are offered in two categories: (1) technical and professional communication and (2) science writing. The Blakely Award is an opportunity for students to display their communication and writing skills, as well as strengthen their resumes with an official STC award.  

To be considered for a Blakely Award, you must meet the following criteria:

  1. Be enrolled in an accredited institution of higher education in East Tennessee (university, college, community college, etc.) 

  2. Have a demonstrable interest in technical/professional communication or science writing

Winners will receive chapter recognition, an invitation to the Blakely Awards banquet where they will receive their award certificate, and a modest cash prize. 

How to Apply

Send your entry and attachments to Savannah DeFreese (, using subject line [YourLastName] Blakely Entry [EntryDivision&Category].  

Example: Jones Blakely Entry, Undergrad Division, Technical/Professional Communication

Application Deadline is March 20, 2020


In the body of your email, declare your entry into the Blakely Competition, state your full name (as you would want it to appear on your certificate should you be a winner), and give your email address and telephone number.


State the division in which you are entering (undergraduate or graduate) and the category in which you are entering (technical/professional communication or science writing). Following this information, write up to 250 words explaining the circumstances around your entry (any special obstacles you had to overcome, what led you to write about this topic, etc.). This is info the judges can use to help them evaluate your entry.


What to attach to your email:

  1. Resume

  2. Transcript (unofficial transcript is fine).

  3. Sample of your original writing on a technical or scientific subject, or sample of a significant contribution you made to a publication or industry document—such as a journal/newsletter article, news item, report, proposal, handbook, web page (provide a URL), or set of instructions, and an explanation of your role in preparing the document, e.g., researching, editing, writing, designing.

  4. Autobiographical essay (500–1,000 words) including a description of your educational and career plans and how those plans include scientific or technical communication.

  5. Contact information for two references (name, title, relationship to applicant, postal address, email address, phone number), including at least one college professor who is familiar with your work.

Questions? Contact Ms. Savannah DeFreese (

Use subject line "Blakely Awards Question".

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The Man, Himself: J. Paul Blakely

In 1986, STC-ETC established a scholarship to bolster the educational funds and resumes of local technical communication students, and to honor one of our most distinguished former members: J. Paul Blakely.

Blakely was an active, well known, and well loved member of STC. In fact, shortly before his death in 1986, he was made an associate fellow of the society for his dedication. His dedication on the society-level did not steal him away from local service to STC-ETC. He was three-times president and a long-time representative of the chapter. His favorite words of encouragement were "Sure you can!", and under his mentorship, many did.

As his societal work couldn't keep him from his local work, his diagnosis of cancer in the early 1980s couldn't keep him from either personal or professional service. The night the first Blakely Scholarship was to be awarded—at the 10th annual Practical Conference on Communication (PCOC)—Paul Blakely was very ill and in a hospital receiving treatment for his cancer. His death, it was to turn out, was just a few weeks away. Attendees at the awards ceremony had been saying to each other how sad it was that Paul couldn't be at the banquet to witness the awarding of the first Blakely Scholarship. But during the ceremony, to everyone's surprise and delight, in walked Paul, who had checked himself out of the hospital to attend the ceremony. Still taped to his hands were hospital I.V. catheters. 


The chapter could not have done better than to name its scholarship for him. And we hope that through him, we can help you have a distinguished future career and a life full of achievement, service, and happiness.

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