Writing Day Cheat Sheet

Writing Day Cheat Sheet

What is a Writing Day?

Writing Day is modeled after the concept of “code sprints” or “hackathons”, which are common in open-source (OSS) conferences. The main goal is to get interesting people in the same room and have them work towards shared goals.

There are two main types of Writing Day attendees:

  • Folks looking to potentially contribute to OSS projects and other cool content
  • Volunteers bringing ideas, content, or OSS projects

The Write the Docs conference has many enthusiastic attendees. These attendees, documentarians, want to learn new technologies, sharpen their skills, and add to their portfolios. The world of open source has a seemingly endless number of wonderful open source projects. Documentarians want to write the docs, your open source project docs.

It’s a match made at Write the Docs!

Reminder, Write the Docs is a ticketed conference and you need to purchase a ticket to attend Writing Day.

How does Writing Day work?

Great question, here is an overview:

  • First the event coordinator welcomes everyone and gives a Writing Day introduction.
  • During the introduction, we invite people to give a project summary.
  • The project introduction include the title, a short description, and their table number - so you can find them.
  • After all the projects are announced, you are welcome to check them out!

Attendees can stay for as long or short as they want! They can try out as many projects as they feel like. Some folks enjoy sticking at one table for the entire event, others like to table hop and get a feel for multiple projects.

As a project, you may not accomplish all of your goals or agenda. This is normal for events like these, m any projects continue to receive contributions after Writing Day ends.

Get involved with Writing Day

If you are someone looking to bring a project to Writing Day, this information is for you.

Here is how you can get involved and maximize your experience:

  • Submit your project and we’ll add it to our Writing Day project list. You can fill out the Writing Day project form or submit a PR to the Writing Day page.
  • Prepare your project to maximize your experience.

While it is perfectly valid to show up to Writing Day, tell us about your project, and ask for volunteers during the event; there are benefits to submitting it in advance.

Potential benefits vary based on when you submit your project to Writing Day, they can include:

  • Free advertisement - your project info is available on our conference site project list for all visitors to find.
  • Social media promotion - we post about Writing Day and the cool projects that are submitted.
  • Increased views and attendance - the earlier you submit your project, the more visitors and attendees are likely to see it and see it more than once. Making them more likely to seek you out during the event.

We have seen that the more projects we have available for attendees to potentially contribute to, they more likely they are to attend to learn more. It benefits us, them, and you!

Need help convincing your OSS project community or corporate benefactors on the benefits of attending Writing Day? See Make a case for Writing Day.

Submit your project

There is a basic level of information we need to add your project to the Writing Day list. Submitting the form is an easy way to give us that info. You are welcome to submit your project info to Writing Day using a PR.

Here’s an overview of the information we need, make sure your PR includes the following:

  • Project name/title
  • Short project description
  • Overview of your project’s goals for Writing Day and why they are important or useful
  • Project URL and any other useful links to resources such as your style guide and contribution guidelines
  • Anything else you think is helpful for us to know
  • The PR description needs your name, pronouns, and a way to contact you or other project volunteers.

Maximize your experience

We want you to have a great experience as a project and community. We have found that the projects who get the most value out of Writing Day came prepared in the following ways:

  • Writing Day label: Creating a specific event label allows you to identify tasks and issues that are good for new contributors.
  • Pre-labeled tasks and issues: Labeling the documentation tasks and issues empowers new contributors to find tasks that interest them.
  • Task filter: Creating a task filter helps contributors find issues more easily and see which issues have been assigned.
  • Clear onboarding: Ensuring your ReadMe, contribution guidelines, or onboarding instructions are accurate and up to date.
  • Specific focus or goals: Projects that clearly define a focus area or a goal for their Writing Day tasks have an advantage when it comes to enticing attendees to work on their project.
  • Project overview: Your project overview is a quick pitch that describes your project and what you’re hoping to get out of Writing Day, such as your goals or focus. Need some ideas? Here’s a good example from Writing Day 2022, the Open Web Docs project.
  • Writing Day project list: Adding your project to the Writing Day project list promotes your project to our attendees before the event. Many attendees have told us that their curiosity about certain projects incentivised their attendance.
  • Project experts: We recommend having 1-2 project experts of some kind at Writing day. We love our developer advocates, community managers, and subject matter experts! You’re welcome to call for virtual reinforcements from your community as well.

Reminder: Documentarians have a variety of backgrounds and may need additional info to be successful in onboarding to your project!

Make a case for Writing Day

Need to convince your OSS project community or corporate benefactors the benefits of attending, this should help:

Write the Docs conferences bring together everyone who writes the docs – tech writers, developers, developer relations, customer support – making the event an ideal networking opportunity.

Writing Day is a community event modeled after the concept of “code sprints” or “hackathons”, which are common in open-source conferences. The idea is to get a bunch of people together and have them work towards a shared goal, in this case the goal is creating or improving documentation.

This event introduces your project and community to a new audience in your industry. These attendees, documentarians, want to learn new technologies, sharpen their skills, and add to their portfolios. They come to your projects with their own experience and expertise in areas such as technical writing and editing, user experience and research, and customer support. Their collective wealth of experience can help you upgrade your project documentation and create a more inclusive project.

The truth is that it benefits your open source projects and your communities just as much as our attendees. This empowers all of us to work together to create opportunities for each other and bigger, better communities.

Contact us

Email atlantic@writethedocs.org with any additional questions or submit an issue on GitHub.