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Blakely Awards

Application deadline is March 15, 2024


STC-ETC holds the Blakely Awards competition annually to recognize student excellence in technical and scientific communication. The Blakely Awards are an opportunity for students and recent graduates to feature their communication and writing skills, as well as strengthen their resumes with a prestigious award. Winners receive chapter recognition, a certificate, and a cash prize.

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

  1. Be currently enrolled at or a recent graduate (within the past 6 months) of an accredited institution of higher education in East Tennessee (university, college, community college, etc.) 

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

Divisions and Categories

Judges rate entries numerically with a rubric that includes treatment of a topic for a given audience and purpose, and they assess the entry's structure, layout, figures, and writing quality. They have the option of awarding Distinction, Excellence, and Merit in two divisions: (1) undergraduate and (2) graduate. Awards are offered in two categories: (1) technical and professional communication and (2) science writing.

Application Submission

Email your entry and attachments to Use the following subject-line format: [Last Name] Blakely Entry, [Entry Division], [Category]

Example: Jones Blakely Entry, Undergraduate Division, Technical and Professional Communication

Content of Your Email

  1. State your intention to enter the Blakely Competition

  2. Provide your full name as you would want it to appear on a certificate

  3. List your current contact information

    • University-issued email address

    • Personal email address

    • Telephone number

    • Permanent mailing address

  4. Indicate your willingness to allow STC-ETC to post your entry on its website should it win an award (yes or no)

  5. Provide your entry division (undergraduate or graduate)

  6. Provide your entry category (technical and professional communication or science writing)

Email Attachments

1. Competition entry

  • Must be your original work

  • Can be technical or scientific

  • Can be published as a single piece or as part of a multipiece publication (e.g., a news item journal/newsletter article, report, proposal, webpage [provide a URL], handbook section)

2. Comment on your entry (~250 words)

  • Explain the circumstances of your entry. Describe any obstacles you overcame, explain your incentive to address the topic, or describe any special opportunities that led to your interest in the topic.

  • The judges will use your comments to help evaluate your entry.

3. Resume

4. Unofficial transcript

5. Autobiographical essay (500–1,000 words)

  • Describe your educational and career plans and how those plans include scientific or technical communication.

6. Contact information for two references

  • Include their name, title, relationship to you, address, email address, and phone number.

  • One must be a college professor who is familiar with your work.



Email Emily Huckabay at Use the subject line "Blakely Awards Question."

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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