Call for proposals

Call for proposals

Hello hello, fellow documentarians! It’s that time of year again: We’re very excited to announce that we are now accepting talk proposals for our next North American conference, coming up on May 14-16, 2017, in Portland, Oregon.

Every year, Write the Docs invites people from all across our community to come up on stage to share their insights and experience. Whether you’ve been writing documentation for decades or you’ve just started this year, we want to hear from you! Read on to learn more about the goals of the conference and what we look for in talk proposals.

In the meantime, mark your calendars: The deadline for submitting proposals is Midnight PST on February 10, 2017. We aim to let you know if your proposal is accepted by 1st March.

Conference goals

The purpose of Write the Docs is to bring together people who are passionate about documentation and give them an opportunity to interact with and learn from their peers.

One of the defining characteristics of our community is the broad range of professional backgrounds we hail from—and our conference seeks to celebrate that. Whether your job title is technical writer, programmer, product manager, developer evangelist, support advocate, or something else entirely, we want to hear from you. Bring us your tips, tricks, experiences, ideas, frustrations, hopes, or anything else that your passion for documentation inspires you to share!

What we’re looking for

Although the focus of Write the Docs is on documentation, particularly within the software industry, we aim for a wide range of talks that will lead people in new directions. We’re after talks that deliver a fresh perspective on or demonstrate a creative approach to writing the docs.

We encourage speakers at all levels to submit talks. First-time speakers are great. Experienced speakers are great. Hearing the perspective of a novice documentarian can be just as valuable as a deep-dive from an industry veteran.

We love talks that deliver hard-earned knowledge based on real-world experience and research. We also get really excited about talks that make people look at their craft in a different light. We are always delighted with the breadth of knowledge that our community brings together.

We tend to avoid talks about specific tools, no matter how awesome they are. We much prefer talks about process and culture shifts, and the tools can play a supporting role.

If you already have an idea for what you’d like to speak about, awesome! Pitch it to us!

Need some more examples? Check out our previous abstracts for some ideas:

Presentation format

Presentations will be scheduled in 30 minute blocks. We won’t be doing Q&A after the talks, but we ask that speakers be available at the front of the stage for a few minutes of the break after their talk to answer questions.

NEW THIS YEAR: We’re also looking for a few speakers who’d be interested in facilitating a group discussion, rather than giving a formal talk, as part of this year’s Unconference. For the past few years, we’ve held unconf sessions downstairs from the main hall. To increase folks’ awareness of and interest in the unconf, we’re looking to get a handful of pre-planned anchor sessions (also 30 minutes) to get the ball rolling.

Let us know, in the submission form, whether you’d prefer to give a talk or lead an anchor session.

Speaker benefits & logistics

If you are selected to speak at Write the Docs, we will waive your attendance fee. We regret that we are not able to cover the cost of travel or lodging for all speakers at this time. By not covering travel costs for our speakers, we are able to keep ticket prices low and to make the conference accessible to the largest number of participants possible. If your proposal is accepted but you are unable to attend due to travel costs, please let us know and we will do our best to help make it happen.

Speaking at Write the Docs is a fantastic way to participate in the community.

Finally, you’ll hear from us with our proposal decisions by March 1st.

If your Unconference session is selected, we won’t be offering a free ticket. We hope to have many good conversations, but can’t afford to offer each Unconference session leader a free ticket.

Questions?

If you have any questions, please email us at conf@writethedocs.org and let us know.

Form

You can also view our CFP in its own page.