About Touchstone

Touchstone is a regional STC competition, sponsored by the six Northern California STC chapters. It sends its top winners to the STC International Summit Awards. Proceeds from the competition benefit the Kenneth Gordon Scholarship, which supports technical communication students at local colleges.

We started as the Northern California Technical Communication Competition (NCTCC) and adopted the name Touchstone in 1996. If you know about the history of NCTCC before 1990, please send email to , so we can update this website.

For many years, the five Bay Area chapters plus the Sacramento chapter managed the competition in turn. Each year one chapter managed the competition and received an honorarium of $1000.00. It passed a nest egg of $6000.00 to the chapter managing the next year's competition. Starting in 1991, all additional proceeds of the competition have gone to support the STC Kenneth Gordon Scholarship.

Starting in 2001, individual chapters no longer managed the competition. Now, all six Northern California chapters sponsor the competition and share an honorarium determined by a formula. The formula allocates proceeds (after the nest egg) between the scholarship and the honorarium. If the proceeds are small, the percentage allocated to the honorarium is small, but that percentage grows as the proceeds grow.