Past Events

Microcontent: Preparing content for intelligent delivery

Event type: Virtual
Date: Tue, November 10, 2020
Time: 7:00 PM – 8:30 PM (EST)

The path to intelligent microcontent is the next step in our journey in structured authoring. AI-powered cognitive content solutions perform best with content designed to be read by humans and processed by intelligent technologies. To deliver the right answer to prospects and customers, you need to optimize your content production approaches and begin crafting content with the precision humans appreciate, and technology requires.

This was a joint event offered by the STC Toronto and STC Michigan Great Lakes chapters.

Joyce Lam, President of STC Toronto chapter, presented on this interesting structured authoring topic.

Joyce Lam is an information ambassador with recent technical communication experience focused on content automation. Her background in video game development drives her enthusiasm for user experience and intuitive design. Joyce draws her creativity from a love and mastery of music, writing, arts, and design. She is currently president of STC Toronto, an information architect at Precision Content Authoring Solutions, and a member of Women in Tech, Information 4.0 Consortium, CIDM, and OASIS DITA TC. Joyce is passionate about empowering fellow professionals while raising the standards for the content industry.

Being Flexible and Adaptable in a Changing Marketplace – by Caroline Watt, former STC president

Event type: Virtual
Date and time: September 27 2020, 2:00 PM -3:00 PM EDT

Technology, the workplace and you – former STC Toronto president, Carolyn Watt, will speak about how to adapt to a changing marketplace.

How has technology and the workplace evolved, and what can you do about it? The current marketplace is faster and more intense than previous generations have experienced.

In this webinar, you’ll learn about how to have the right mindset and approach to adapt to this ever changing marketplace.

Speaker Bio

Carolyn Watt has spent her entire career helping businesses and individuals communicate effectively so they can do business better. Working across Canada, in California, and in The Netherlands, in a variety of industries, Carolyn calls herself a chameleon – easily able to adapt to any situation and fit right in. She believes that experiences and processes are inextricably linked and that communication is at the heart of making everything tick. Carolyn had a writing company for 20 years and has been on her own now for the last 14 years…assembling teams if that’s the solution for a project, or being the contractor herself. Yes, flexible that way.

A former Toronto Chapter STC president for two terms, she also served in every role on the board (well maybe not treasurer – not a numbers gal.) She was the Assistant to the President for Professional Development for STC International. Over the years, she’s been a speaker at local and regional events as well as the STC annual conferences. She’s served as a judge at local, regional, and international level competitions. And she’s won awards at the competition although she only entered once with 7 pieces and won 5 awards, with one of them being the prestigious Best of Show. She’s taught writing and, you guessed it, she’s one of those who still write full sentences with punctuation in a text message.

She follows two guiding principles –

The first a quote from a management consultant Pritchert Price…

Communication is the oxygen of change.

And from Robert Louis Stevenson…

Don’t write merely to be understood, write so you cannot be misunderstood.

Carolyn’s tag line reflects her company initials, where CWA means Carolyn Watt & Associates and also stands for Clearly Written…Always.

STC Toronto 2020 Annual General Meeting (AGM)

Date: Sun, 28 June 2020
Time: 2:00 PM – 5:30 PM EDT
Type: Virtual

Advance registration is required by June 27, 2020.


2:00pm to 3:00pm

  • 2019 Meeting minutes
  • Review the chapter’s finances
  • Elect the new council
  • Chapter action plan

3:00pm to 4:00pm

  • Celebrate the closing of the current term
  • What’s coming in the new term
  • Recognize our colleagues
  • Awards
  • Tell us about you!

4:00pm to 5:00pm

  • Enjoy our keynote speaker!

Keynote Address: Why is English so weird? by Katherine Barber

A fun-filled and light-hearted but informative look at the weirdness of the English language and how it got to be the way it is. Includes things you never suspected about husbands, ptarmigan, porcelain, and much more. Laughs guaranteed…even when you find out why “guarantee” has such an odd spelling.

Speaker Bio

Known as “Canada’s Word Lady”, Katherine Barber supervised the publication of two editions of the Canadian Oxford Dictionary and many other smaller dictionaries and has appeared regularly on radio and TV. She is recognized as one of the foremost authorities on Canadian English and known to legions of fans for her knack for making word histories lively and entertaining. Her books Six Words You Never Knew Had Something to do With Pigs, a captivating romp through the history of the English language, and Only in Canada You Say, were Canadian bestsellers. She offers entertaining and informative courses and talks about the history of English and its many varieties.

Visit her “Wordlady” blog at

Certified Professional Technical Communicator (CPTC): Intro to Foundation and Practitioner Levels

Event type: Virtual
Date: Monday, April 6, 2020
Start Time: 3:00 p.m.
End Time: 4:00 p.m.

Want to learn more about CPTC certification? Join us on Monday, 6 April at 3 PM EDT for our webinar, “Certified Professional Technical Communicator (CPTC): Intro to Foundation and Practitioner Levels” presented by Liz Pohland and Dr. Craig Baehr. Click on the “Register” button to know more.

With two upcoming webinars that are free for members, it’s a great time to join STC if you haven’t already!

STC Online Networking Social

Date: Sunday, April 5th, 2020
Talk Time: 2:00 p.m.
Social Time: 3:00 p.m.

Due to COVID-19, we had to cancel our monthly brunch social. We’d like to have a chance to connect with you (safely) online! Please join us in our first online networking social. How is the pandemic affecting you? What has changed in your work and lifestyle? What can you share with the community or what would you like to know from other technical communicators? We want to hear from you!

“How to Fail” Talk by Shonna Eden

Date: Sunday, April 5th, 2020
Talk Time: 1:00 p.m.
Social Time: 2:00 p.m.

Shonna Eden is the Vice President of STC Toronto, a Regulatory Assurance Analyst with the Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario and a graduate of Seneca’s Technical Communication program. She is passionate about usability and has created tools for a variety of roles, purposes and platforms with the help of targeted user and task analysis and UX design.

Shonna is also a creative writer and blogs on the topic of failure as a learning tool. Her passion for failure comes through her life experience of disability, ego, and perfectionism getting in the way of personal and professional development. Join her for a talk on how to accept failure as an essential part of success.

“Cybersecurity, COVID-19, and Working from Home” by Ben Woelk, STC President

Event type: Virtual
Date: Thursday, April 2nd, 2020
Start Time: 12:00 p.m.
End Time: 1:00 p.m.

We’re seeing an increase in cybercrime associated with COVID-19 and the huge number of people who are suddenly working from home. Join the speaker as he discusses general cybersecurity tips, what to be aware of in the context of COVID-19, and secure use of new remote meeting platforms such as Zoom.

Ben Woelk, CISSP, CPTC, is the Program Manager for the Information Security Office at the Rochester Institute of Technology where he’s developed a leading information security awareness program. Ben is a member and former co-chair of the EDUCAUSE/Internet2 Security Awareness and Training Working Group of the Higher Education Information Security Council. Ben is an Associate Fellow and the current president of STC.

He holds the CISSP (#379414), CPTC, is a CPTC trainer, and is ITIL v3 certified. Ben holds degrees from the University of Florida, Trinity International University, and the University of Rochester, and an Advanced Certificate in Technical Information Design from RIT. Ben is adjunct faculty at RIT, teaching classroom and online courses in Computing Security Fundamentals, Technical Communication, and Introverts and Leadership.

Prior to joining RIT, Ben provided technical communications and change management consulting to a number of area Fortune 500 companies. His current interests include working with other security awareness practitioners to develop effective security awareness programs and providing mentoring and coaching to new and aspiring introverted leaders, and speaking and presenting workshops on introverted leadership, creating security awareness programs, and technical communication.

Behind-the-Scenes Networking: The Secret to Today’s Job Search

Date: Monday, November 11th, 2019
Time: 12:00 PM to 1:00 PM
Location: online-web conference

According to several sources, 70-80% of jobs are not posted, but are filled through networking. So why are we still spending all our time applying online instead of talking to employers? You’re a professional communicator—now’s the time to put those skills to use and highlight your personal brand. Join and learn more how to make your job search game strong!

STC Patio Social

2019’s STC Summer Patio Social took place on the top floor of the Hemingway’s patio in downtown Toronto this August 18, and was attended by TechCommers from a range of backgrounds including those just starting out in the world of TechComm, seasoned vets and everything in-between. Attendees enjoyed delicious appetizers provided by STC Toronto on a stunning patio while sharing tales of the strange and varied world of Technical Communication. 

STC Toronto Monthly Brunch Saturday, November 23rd, 2019

Come join STC Toronto for brunch!

Our Featured guest this month is STC Toronto’s Program Manager, Phoebe Yu.

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Phoebe Yu, STC Toronto’s Program Manager

Phoebe has years of writing experience as a freelance journalist. Her interest in educating people through writing, collaborating with others and simplifying complex information have led her to explore the technical communications field. She’s currently registered in the Technical Writing program at Humber College and a contractor for a non-profit as a Research Assistant.

Get to know more about Phoebe and meet other technical writers at the Pickle Barrel at Yorkdale Shopping Centre.

Venue: The Pickle Barrel Grand
Website: The Pickle Barrel Grand
Address: 3401 Dufferin St, Yorkdale Shopping Centre, Toronto, ON M6A 2T9
Date: Saturday, November 23rd, 2019
Time: 11:00 AM EDT (GMT-4)

Microlearning Uncovered

November 19, 2019, 11:30pm – November 20, 2019, 12:30am

STC TechComm Roadshow 2019

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Date: Tuesday, October 15th, 2019
Time: 6:00 PM to 8:00 PM
Location: online-web conference

Dear TechComm friends,
To kick-off the 2019-20 STC Competition season, we are delighted to host a Joint Virtual TechComm Roadshow event on October 15, 2019 from 6:00 – 8:00 PM. EDT. The online event is FREE but you must register to get the web conferencing information.

What is the STC TechComm Roadshow? A virtual stage to honor recent top awardees of the STC TechComm Competitions

  • Be inspired. Check out winning strategies and trends. Ask your questions and takeaway great ideas.
  • Understand Competition benefits and think about submitting your best work.

Confirmed Speakers

  • IEEE – Janet Dudar, IEEE Pulse (informational)
  • Hewlett Packard – Lisa Harlan and Jamie West, HP Notebook Accessories Flyer, (user support)
  • Information Builders – Frances Gambino and team – iWay and Omni Information Center (Redesign), (informational)
  • KVH – Mike Nelson, Setting Up Tracking Avoidance Zones to Prevent Service Interruptions – (instructional video)
  • Salesforce – Phil Choi and Katie Augustus, Quick Start: Einstein Analytics Learning Map (user support)
  • SSC Advent – Tim Schuman, Supporting MiFID II Regulations (user support)
  • Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology (TJHSST) – Shane Torbert and team, TEKNOS (informational)

Presenters and teams will show their work, discuss their backstory, challenges, learning, and planned improvements.

STC September Social – Games at Snakes and Lattes

Sept. 25, 2019

Six members of the Toronto chapter made their way to Snakes and Lattes Annex for games night. It’s a pleasant coffee shop on Bloor Street West with a wealth of boxed games to play. We had student members, a seasoned gamer, and members of the executive.

Our gaming skills were fortified by snacks, drinks, and artistically decorated lattes. First we played Cards Against Humanity, a card game which rewards the twisted mind and provokes laughter at absurd answers to weird questions. This helped us to get acquainted.

We progressed to King of Tokyo, a board game that’s a dice-driven strategy game with amusing monster-movie characters. Luckily for us, Mike Fowler was able to guide us effortlessly in how to play.

In addition, we did a little networking. A good time was had by all and we will be doing this again. If you missed it, come to the next edition!

STC Roundtable Panel Discussion: The Strategy for Career Success

Tuesday, May 14 2019, 1:00-2:30 p.m.

Alyssa Fox will host an online panel discussion with experts Alisa Bonsignore, Craig Baehr, Andrea Ames, and Mark Clifford. They’ll focus on the importance of professional development from various viewpoints based on their roles and experiences and how it benefits employees, organizations, and the discipline of technical communication as a whole.

Through a limited-time promotion via STC Roundtable, this webinar is free for STC members! Click here for more detail and to register.

Effective Communication During Times of Change

Wednesday, June 19 2019, 1:00-2:00 p.m.

Our personal and professional lives are subject to constant change. We move to another city, we change employers, we get a promotion – and these are only the “small changes” that we experience directly. At a macro level, the entire industry we are part of may be changing, as a result of economic trends, new technologies, or political and social shifts.

As technical communicators, our main goal is to stay relevant. To accomplish this, it is important that we (a) recognize the changes we encounter, (b) assess their communication-related aspects, and (c) adapt our communications quickly and appropriately.

This webinar provides a framework for evaluating the communication-related impacts of a change, and provides specific techniques for how to adjust our communication content and style to stay on top and maintain relevancy.

  • Student Members: $29 USD 
  • Members: $59 USD 
  • Non-Members: $99 USD 

Click here for more detail and to register.

Technical Editing Foundations

22 May-26 June 2019 (Wednesdays) | 10:00-11:00 AM EDT (GMT -4)

In this 6-week course, you will learn:

  • What technical editors are and why we’re needed.
  • The “hard skills” and “soft skills” that technical editors should possess.
  • How to identify passive voice and bloated sentences, as well as how to fix them.
  • What style guides are and how we use them, as well as how we might use other resources.
  • How to mark up text using proofreader marks.
  • What some popular editing environments are, and the basics of how to use them.
  • What levels of editing are and how to identify the scope of work.

The intended audience for this course is primarily technical editors who are new to the field and students who are considering entering the field. Seasoned technical editors who need a refresher or who never formally studied this topic may also benefit from this course.

  • Student Members: $295 USD
  • Members: $595 USD
  • Non-Members: $995 USD

Click here for more detail and to enroll.

Introductory Markup and Scripting with HTML and CSS

4 June-9 July 2019 (Tuesdays) | 2:00 PM-3:30 PM EST (GMT-4)

This six session course will introduce participants to introductory markup and scripting with HTML and CSS. The course will also introduce students to readings, resources, and tools available to help develop basic coding skills through practice.

Each session will feature a different topic (HTML Syntax, Working with Text Editors, Tables and Semantic Markup, Form Building, Integrating HTML and CSS, CSS Syntax, Working with Positional CSS) and will also challenge students with weekly practice assignments to help them develop their coding skills. Students also will be encouraged to present their work in progress and receive constructive feedback from the instructor and their peers.

The goal of this course is to provide students with an understanding of the wide range of skills, methods, and techniques used basic content markup and scripting for the Web. The course is also designed to prepare students for more advanced or specialized study in other topics related to markup and scripting in Web development.

  • Student Members: $295 USD
  • Members: $595 USD
  • Non-Members: $995 USD

Click here for more detail and to enroll.

2018 Events

STC Tech Comm Brunch – November

Thank you all for coming out on this busy weekend for our last brunch social of the year! Our feature guest was unable to attend due to catching the flu that has been circling around, but Natalya Lohnes will be making her entrance in January 2019!

STC Toronto will not be holding events during December, for it is the time for family, friends, parties, and of course, Holiday wishes! STC Toronto wishes you all a nice and warm holiday season, and we look forward to seeing you next year and bringing you a jam packed agenda for 2019!

STC Tech Comm Brunch – March

Thanks to everyone who came out to our networking brunch! We enjoyed the company of STC Toronto’s current president Rob Cundari and past presidents Vic Bhai and Rob Hanna.

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Discussion topics this month included:

  • Evaluating your company’s needs, the scope of your role as a tech writer, and related roles  your company should consider hiring for.
  • Learning from common challenges tech writers face while developing documentation.
  • Promoting positive change and mitigating resistance from internal teams.

It wasn’t all business though. We also shared the personal interests and backgrounds that led us to tech comm and this event!

We always look forward to getting to know our members over brunch. These casual gatherings allow local technical communicators to connect, get advice, and share experiences with like-minded professionals.

Join us next month at Moxie’s Yorkdale. Saturday, April 28th at 11 AM. Non-members welcome. We look forward to seeing you!

STC Tech Comm Brunch – February

Thanks to everyone who attended our February networking brunch! Organizer Rob Hanna and STC President Rob Cundari shared valuable knowledge with tech comm newcomers and experienced professionals alike. 

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We discussed a slue of relevant topics, including:
•    Cultivating positive relationships with engineers.
•    The pros and cons of contract vs. full-time employment.
•    Being part of a team vs. being a lone writer.
•    Content management systems.
•    How to thrive as a company’s first technical writer.

Our monthly networking brunches provide a fun forum for local technical communicators to share advice and experiences with like-minded professionals.  Join us for our next one on Saturday, March 24, at Moxie’s Yorkdale at 11 AM. RSVP here. We look forward to seeing you!

STC Tech Comm Brunch – January

Thanks to everyone who came out to our networking brunch! Thanks also to Rob Hanna for organizing this special monthly event and to STC Board Treasurer James Bousquet, who came down from Waterloo to welcome our own new Treasurer, Vanitha Krishnamurthy.

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We had a diverse crowd of 17 technical communicators, from current students and recent grads to seasoned professionals. We shared experiences from various industries and areas of specialization, including: software, transit, finance, instructional design, and translation. We also enjoyed getting to know each other personally and exchanged business cards to stay connected.

Weren’t able to make it today? Save the date for our next brunch! Saturday, February 24th. We look forward to seeing you!

STC Tech Comm Brunch – October

What a great turnout at our monthly brunch on October 28th! We joined our Community Director – Mona Albano – for a delicious morning at Yorkdale’s Moxie’s Bar and Grill. We welcomed back some familiar faces and met some new members.

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Our discussions included what it means to be a Certified Professional Technical Communicator, integrating previous skillsets as technical communicators, the future of the industry, and a lot of fun on the side.

STC Toronto would like to thank Rob Hanna for organizing the brunch, and look forward to seeing everyone at our next event! Make sure to stay up to date on all our events by subscribing to the STC Toronto mailing list, or following our social media.