It’s not too late to renew your STC membership for 2020!

By Lori Meyer, IDL SIG membership manager

It's 2020 -- Can you still renew your STC membership? Yes! 

Now that 2020 is one quarter completed, you might be wondering if it's too late to renew your STC membership for this year. The answer is no, it is definitely not too late! Although 2019 memberships have expired, you can still renew your membership and continue to benefit from all of the programs and services that make STC an excellent partner in your tech comm career development. Those include:

  • Member discounts for educational programs, including courses, webinars, and the STC Annual Conference, Summit — the gathering place for all technical communicators to learn from the best and the brightest in our profession. The 2020 Conference will take place virtually this year, due to COVID-19.
  • Free subscription to Intercom, the STC monthly publication, which offers informative articles about the topics of interest to today's technical communicators.
  • Access to the Technical Communication Salary Survey, from which you can gain valuable knowledge about compensation in our profession.
  • The opportunity to become industry-certified through the Certified Professional Technical Communicator program.
  • The opportunity to build your network of professional colleagues through involvement in STC chapters and special interest groups.
  • The opportunity to have your work recognized through regional technical publications competitions.

You can renew your STC membership online quickly and easily. Once you have completed the online renewal form and submitted your membership dues payment, your membership will be reactivated.

To renew your membership

  1. Go to org and log in with your member ID and password. Your STC membership number is your user name.
  2. Click Join or Renew Now.
  3. Read through the Membership Levels and Benefits section, then click the Renew Your STC Membership Today
  4. Click the Renew Today link at the bottom of the page.
  5. Complete the renewal form. If your contact information (home/work address, email, or phone number) has changed, make the necessary updates. Make sure that your email address is current and correct, so you can receive acknowledgement of your renewal and other information about your membership.
  6. Choose the communities to include in your membership. Each chapter costs $25.00; each SIG costs $10.00.

Please note: 

  • If you are currently unaffiliated (do not belong to any chapters or SIGs), you can add communities now.
  • If you are already a member of one or more chapters and SIGs, you must choose them again, because the renewal system does not automatically carry over community memberships from the previous year. If you are currently a member of the IDL SIG, be sure to check IDL SIG on the renewal form! And if you’re not a SIG member, we would love to have you as one!
  • If you are an STC Gold member, one chapter membership is free, and all SIG memberships are free. The system will remove the charges for these memberships at the end of the renewal process. However, you must still select a chapter and the SIGs you want included in your memberships, so you will be added to the membership database for those communities.
  1. Select or bypass any other options as you prefer.
  2. Enter your credit card information when prompted, and submit the renewal form. STC will send an acknowledgement email. Keep this email for your records.

We look forward to having you as a member of STC and our SIG!

If you have any questions or concerns about your membership, please feel free to contact me at I will be happy to answer any questions you have, or guide you to resources you need.

Thank you for being a member of the IDL SIG!

Lori Meyer
Lori Meyer

Lori Meyer, an STC Fellow, has more than 20 years of experience as a technical writer, editor, and help developer. She began her technical communication career in Rochester, NY, and relocated to the San Francisco Bay area in 1998. Lori has been active in STC since the early 1990s, starting with the Rochester Chapter, where she created the chapter's first Web site.

Since then, she has held in many volunteer positions, including employment manager, secretary, conference co-chair, membership manager, director-at-large, and SIG co-manager. She has delivered leadership presentations at the STC Summit international conference and via webinar.

On the community level, over the years Lori has served as a director at large for the Carolina Chapter, secretary and president of the Washington DC-Baltimore Chapter, membership manager of the Rochester, East Bay, and San Diego Chapters, and president of the East Bay Chapter. Lori stays involved with these communities, and also volunteers for the Technical Editing and Consulting and Independent Contracting SIGs.

Manager’s Report

By Marcia Shannon

SIG Manager

Welcome to the first manager’s report of 2020. First, thank you for renewing your membership with STC and IDL. With your support and participation, the IDL SIG continues to thrive. Your leadership team has planned activities throughout 2020 to provide the education and community networking that support your career in technical communication. Watch for email announcements and check the website for details of upcoming events.

First quarter was busy. January 31 was the deadline to submit the Community Achievement Award application. Completing that very detailed form was a good review of all that the SIG accomplished in 2019. It is also a good checklist of what other activities we can complete in 2020. In February and March, Ed Marsh and Kelly Schrank shared useful information that you can use to advance your technical communication career. Both webinars are available on our YouTube channel.

The Student Outreach Essay competition deadline was February 22. Judging continues through March, so watch for announcements about the results. If you missed this year’s deadline, start planning to enter the next competition. Submissions are welcome throughout the year. The SIG needs support from educator members to encourage their students to enter the competition. It’s a good opportunity to be published before graduation. Suggest that students rework an essay they submitted in class to meet our newsletter style.

The hot items for second quarter are holding the annual SIG election and planning our Summit activities. Both are opportunities for you to become involved in the SIG. We plan to introduce new leaders and members during the IDL SIG Business Meeting at Summit. We invite you to be part of our celebration.

The strength of any community depends on participation and the willingness of members to work together to make the group thrive. Your next opportunity to do that is the annual elections. There are many open slots on the leadership team, both elected and appointed. Appointed means that you step up and say “I can do that”. Cheers from the other leaders will welcome you!

We need two assistant co-managers to transition to 2021’s co-managers. This is a coordinator role, not as burdensome as managing. If your career goal is any level of management, this is an opportunity to try your wings with plenty of support from other leaders.

We need a secretary. My experience as secretary was uncomplicated: Attend the monthly meeting, or listen to the recording, then write and publish the minutes. It usually took about three hours across a couple sessions each month.

Committee members can take turns covering a position or work one part of it. For example, one member of the Social Media committee could handle Twitter while someone else posts to Facebook. The committee chair would coordinate the work.

You could learn webinar management as part of the Programs committee and add it to your skills list for that next job review.

Without participation, there is no SIG. Please share your talents to keep our SIG thriving!

Marcia Shannon
Marcia Shannon

Marcia Shannon was secretary from 2016 to 2018, assistant co-manager for the SIG in 2018, and transitioned to co-manager in 2019.

IDL SIG Treasurer’s Report – Q4

By: Jamye Sagan, IDL SIG Treasurer

The SIG continues to maintain a healthy amount of funds for 2019. As of October 31, we have $1,759.15 in our account.

The SIG did not incur any expenses during August, September, and October. The SIG made a modest profit from Viqui Dill’s October 1 webinar and may also make some profit from the remaining webinars offered this year.

In November and December, the SIG anticipates the following expenses:

  • Speaker honoraria for the remaining webinars this year
  • STC student membership reimbursements for students whose works were published in IDeaL
  • Virtual Open House door prizes

The SIG is also currently working on its budget for 2020. Our team reviews the budget to ensure funds benefit as many IDL SIG members as possible.

If you have any questions about SIG finances, please email me at

Jamye Sagan
Jamye Sagan

Jamye Sagan currently serves as treasurer for the IDL SIG, and is a senior member of STC. She served as a co-manager of the SIG from 2010-12.

At work, she uses her tech comm skills to make sense out of the seemingly senseless. At play, she uses sticks and hooks to transform yarn into pretty objects.

Manager’s Report – 4th Quarter 2019

By: Marcia Shannon

By the time you read this edition of the newsletter, 2019 will be days away from closing. I hope you packed this year with adventure and hope, with more good times than hard times. Mine was, thanks to a growing participation in SIGs and Chapters.

At IDL, we started this year with the Student Essay Competition judging. It fascinated me to see fresh perspectives on many technical communication topics from almost-ready-to-launch new professionals. If you are not familiar with the competition, go to the Students tab on the IDL SIG website, where you can find information, including  a webinar and slides. The deadline for entries is February 22, 2020. You can download the entry form and instructions from our site.

If you know students who would benefit from a membership in STC and the IDL SIG, be sure to steer them to the site. If you are an educator in the technical communication field, promote our competition in your classes, whenever you can.

As IDL SIG manager, I learned a lot more about GoToMeeting than I ever expected. Between connectivity issues with my service provider and some hitches and glitches with GoToMeeting, the early meetings this year were difficult to complete. We got those problems resolved and began planning our table at Summit 2019. IDL was well-represented by speakers in several of the Summit tracks. Some Summit presentations will be repeated as IDL programs into next year so watch for announcements. Sign up even if you cannot attend the virtual presentation because you will receive a link to the recorded version after the presentation date Check out the website for information on upcoming presentations. Remember, this continuing education perk is free to SIG members.

Something I learned at Summit is that it takes more than a couple folks to represent the SIG during the Communities Showcase. We need volunteers to spend about 30 minutes at our information table, talking up the benefits of our IDL SIG. We also need volunteers throughout the year to back up our current leaders. As much as we enjoy what we do we want to share the fun with as many of you as possible. If you make New Year’s resolutions, consider volunteering for IDL. We need you.

My most personal benefit of being involved with the knowledgeable, dynamic, supportive SIG leaders is that of being accepted to speak at Summit 2020. I received a lot of encouragement to be brave and submit an entry, so I did. I smiled for a whole day when the acceptance email arrived.

We are preparing our 2020 budget right now. The more members we have, the more funding we receive from dues which means we can spend more on promoting IDL by bringing in speakers and holding competitions and even enticing Summit attendees with a bit of swag. Be sure to include IDL in your 2020 membership and encourage others to choose us as well.

My favorite motto remains “Never party alone.” With more volunteers, we can have a 2020 full of interesting IDL activities. I hope you will be part of the action. Best wishes that your holidays are joyful and your new year sparkles and shines.

Marcia Shannon
Marcia Shannon

Marcia Shannon was secretary from 2016 to 2018, assistant co-manager for the SIG in 2018, and transitioned to co-manager in 2019.

IDL SIG Treasurer Report

By Jamye Sagan, IDL SIG Treasurer

The SIG continues to perform well financially in 2019. Although we have already spent all our community funding, we have plenty of money in our vested funds. As of August 1, we have $1,751.34 in our account.

What Did We Spend?

The SIGʼs major expenses in May, June and July included:

  • Reimbursement for door prizes at our annual SIG business meeting at Summit.
  • Annual Survey Monkey membership.
    • We use Survey Monkey for our bi-annual demographic survey, webinar evaluation forms, election ballots, and occasional mini-surveys.
  • Stipend for our SIG Manager to attend Summit.
  • Annual subscription for AP Style Manual, an editorial resource for our newsletter.

These, and other expenses incurred throughout the year, help us provide valuable services to all our IDL SIG members.

Where Do We Get Our SIG Funding?

Since we offer free webinars for IDL SIG members and current students, we do not depend on webinars as a primary source of income. Currently, our primary source of income comes from community funds and vested funds.

Community Funds vs Vested Funds

Every year, we receive community funds from the STC office, based on SIG membership numbers. We receive a certain amount per member, so the more members we have, the more funds we have. Since community funds do NOT carry over from year to year, we must “use them or lose them.”

Over the years, we have earned vested funds. Before we started offering our webinars at no charge to our members, we depended on webinars as our primary source of income. Over the years, we had earned a significant amount of income from our webinars. Unlike community funds, vested funds can carry over year after year.

We spend first from our Community funding, since it does NOT carry over to the next year. Once community funding depletes, we then spend from our vested funds. All our income is deposited into our vested funding, which DOES carry over year after year. Besides community funding, how do we earn income? Although we offer webinars at no charge to IDL SIG members and students, we still earn some funds from non-SIG and non-STC member webinar registrations.

If you have any questions about SIG finances, please email me at

Jamye Sagan
Jamye Sagan

Jamye Sagan currently serves as treasurer for the IDL SIG, and is a senior member of STC. She served as a co-manager of the SIG from 2010-12.

At work, she uses her tech comm skills to make sense out of the seemingly senseless. At play, she uses sticks and hooks to transform yarn into pretty objects.