FRA’s Focus on Effective Technical Writing and Knowledge Sharing


FRA emphasizes the critical role of sharing information and technical concepts in our industry. Through our Technical Releases and our Technical Writing Award, we recognize the importance of sharing research findings with our members, supporting a clear understanding of often complex concepts. 

Last week, I emailed FRA 2023 Technical Writing Award ballots to Southcentral and Southeastern Region Steering Committee Members. This annual task, which is part of our commitment to promoting effective technical writing, made me realize that there might be some merit in explaining how the cycle works for those not actively involved in the judging process. In this week’s Woods to Mill article, I also hope to encourage members to consider contributing to our quarterly FRA Technical Release series. 

Each year, FRA’s regional Steering Committee votes to select the member-written Technical Release that best exemplifies exceptional technical writing in the region. These awards are presented during the region’s Annual Awards Ceremony, typically taking place at the Spring or Fall meeting, depending on the region’s meeting schedule. For most regions, the ceremony occurs in the Fall, except for the Southwide Regions. All regional winners are then considered for FRA’s National Technical Writing Award. FRA’s National Operations Committee reviews all regional submissions and selects the National Technical Writing Award recipient. This prestigious national recognition is presented during FRA’s Awards Dinner at the Annual Meeting each Spring.
These awards also come with prizes. 
Regional award winners receive:

  • A $500 check.
  • Award plaque
  • One complimentary meeting registration
  • One night’s lodging

National Award winners receive:

  • A $500 check
  • Award plaque
  • Two complimentary meeting registrations
  • Two night’s lodging
  • Limited assistance for travel expenses


It is always great to have award winners attend meetings and participate in the award ceremonies. Based on my experience since joining FRA in 2021, we have been fortunate to have most Technical Writing Award winners join us for their respective award presentations. We always encourage full participation in the awards process and believe providing some degree of financial assistance is an excellent investment to achieve that goal.

FRA Technical Releases are published each quarter, along with our popular Safety Alerts. Members should be on the lookout each spring, summer, fall, and winter for an email announcement promoting our newest batch of publications. Our latest release was on October 18th. PDF versions dating back to 2010 are available on FRA’s website under the Resources Menu –>Technical Releases. Users can search by keyword, region, or year.   

FRA Region Managers are always looking for quality Technical Release and Safety Alert content from our membership.  

Do you have a great idea or topic that interests you?
Even if you’re not sure if it is something our members would like to see as a Technical Release, let us know! Chances are, if it appeals to you, other members would likely benefit from learning more about it as well.  

Not sure if you have time to prepare the article or focus on formatting the release? 

No problem! We are here to assist.

Unsure if you can make this quarter’s deadline? 
No worries, we can always feature it next quarter.  

Are you an FRA Emerging Leader seeking a great way to get more involved? 
Perfect! Authoring a Technical Release is a great way to get more experience and exposure to FRA leaders.

As always, please feel free to contact your Region Manager if you have any ideas or questions about the process. And you never know – we just might be honoring you at an upcoming FRA meeting as a future Technical Writing Award winner!