Lone Writer SIG Events at the 2012 Summit and Other Helpful Information

Summit LogoSeveral members asked about Lone Writer SIG events at the 2012 Summit. The following is a list of SIG-specific and general interest events, along with some tips and social media resources.

Sunday, 20 May

Summit Opening General Session: 5:30 to 7:00 PM

Please attend. Any changes to the by-laws are voted on at this meeting.

Welcome Reception: 7:00 to 8:30 PM

In past years, there have been several stations serving roast beef, turkey, etc., so you should be able to get a decent, free supper. Bars are cash only.

Monday, 21 May

Lone Writer SIG Meeting: 11:30 AM to 12:30 PM

London room (No food or refreshments; the cost was too high.)

This replaces the SIG breakfasts; they weren’t well attended and cost too much.

Communities Reception Tables: 6:30 to 8:00 PM

We’re looking for volunteers to staff the table. It’s light work; just greet people and answer questions about the SIG. In past years, there has been enough light fare to get an adequate, free supper. Bars are cash only.

Open Jam

Held after the Communities Reception. This event features attendees who are also musicians.

Tuesday, 22 May

Annual Banquet: 7:30 to 10:00 PM

Tickets must be purchased in advance. Tickets are $80 each. Advance seating reservations are required. (You must select a table where you want to sit during the banquet. Full tables for eight people may be reserved provided all eight banquet vouchers are presented at the time you make your table selection. Table selection must be made by 5:00 PM on Monday, 21 May.) Dress is from semi-formal to formal. Many attendees wear formal gowns/tuxedos. Wearing anything less than a nice professional outfit (women)/suit and tie (men) is likely to make you feel underdressed.

SIG Gathering

In past years, the SIG has had an informal gathering at a local restaurant/bar just to meet each other. It seems to work best if some of the locals find a convenient place, hopefully within walking distance. We’d like to continue this tradition. Any Chitown locals interested, please contact Ed Marshall.

Wednesday, 23 May

Closing Lunch

A casual buffet lunch ($10). You must purchase tickets by noon on Tuesday, 22 May.

Helpful Tips

  • Wear comfortable shoes. Convention centers are often very spread out and sometimes a distance from the hotel. Dress is usually business casual.
  • Consider bringing a light jacket/sweater. Convention centers sometimes crank the AC up to 15 (a musician’s joke).
  • You may find it helpful to add events you want to attend to our Outlook calendar and print out a detailed view of the week to take with you.
  • All the major tool, translation, etc., vendors will have booths there. Plan to make time to talk to them about problems you are having or ask for demos.
  • Feel free to ask questions. Ed Marshall and others in the SIG are seasoned attendees of the STC Conferences (now Summits) and other pro cons.

Social Media Information

Follow the witter username @stc_summit or hashtag #stc12 for conference-related tweets (including announcements, deadlines, event information, and other news) leading up to the Summit.

For a list of Summit presenters and their Twitter IDs see http://summit.stc.org/networking/social-media/presenter-twitter-accounts. This is a new service this year that enables you to read and follow presenters via Twitter ahead of the conference to get an idea of what a particular presenter is like.

The Lone Writer SIG has a Twitter page: @LoneWriterSIG. Although it’s been inactive, this would be a good time to revive it to ask questions, make plans, etc.

From Rick Sapir (@ricksapir on Twitter): Get the #stc12 presenter tweets delivered to your favorite device with my #stcorg #mobile app:


Getting Ahead As a Lone Writer

Writers are often the only person in a company who create and maintain documentation. Lone writers who operate without a dedicated budget or specific managerial guidance find it hard to excel in their work. In the 29 February STC webinar, Kai Weber will draw on his years of experience to show lone writers how to make the most of this “benign neglect”:

  • Develop your skills—and your career
  • Raise your profile with management and colleagues
  • Contribute to a corporate communication strategy
  • Help your company to turn documentation from a cost center into assets


Registration for the 2012 Technical Communication Summit is Now Open

Chicago skylineRegistration for the 2012 Technical Communication Summit is now open. The summit will be held in Rosemont, Illinois, from 20 to 23 May 2012.

The first 100 people who register before 31 December 2011 are eligible for the really early bird rate ($795 US for members). To register or for more information, see the STC website.

The summits, which are the STC’s annual conferences, are the largest gathering of technical communicators in the world. The Lone Writer SIG has had a strong presence at the summits for several years. We will publish more information on SIG events at the 2012 summit closer to the event.

Call for Progression Speakers in Chicago/Rosemont

Next year’s STC Technical Communication Summit will be held from 20 to 23 May 2012 in Rosemont, Illinois. A Lone Writer Progression session is planned and the SIG is looking for presenters (and their topics). If you plan to attend the conference and have an idea for a topic, I encourage you to develop your topic and present as part of the Lone Writer Progression. Any STC member may propose and present their topic.

What is a “progression session” anyway?

“Progression session” is a format for an educational session at conference that has as many as 10 different speakers presenting on various topics simultaneously. Each speaker will host a table with a presentation on a topic they have developed from their own area of practice. Attendees will choose a topic and sit at that table to hear a 12 to 15 minute presentation about that topic, and then move to another table to hear the next 12 to 15 minute presentation. This process repeats three times throughout the hour-long time slot. This means attendees will hear three of the topics presented. Sessions in this format are very popular and are among the best attended at the conference. Progression sessions are a great way to share a lot of information in a relatively short time. Veteran presenters and new speakers alike can hone their speaking and presenting skills as they present new topics and research.

Subject Matter for Topics

We will be looking for topics of relevance to members of our SIG, but many of those areas are also important for technical communicators working in small to large teams. Some possible topics include working as a sole writer, selecting the best tool for your needs, convincing other team members of the importance of good technical documentation, succeeding in an Agile/Scrum environment as a lone writer, how to edit / proofread your own work effectively, etc.

How to Join a Progression Session

Beginning this year, all speakers must submit an individual proposal for their topics, including progression sessions. If you have an idea, don’t hesitate to propose it. As an experienced speaker for full talks, workshops, and progressions, a progression moderator, and proposal reviewer, our SIG manager, Ed Marshall, can help you with your proposal. You will need to make your submission by 28 September 2011. So, organize your topic and get any supporting materials together! The “Powers That Be” are adamant that the deadline will not be extended. At a minimum, you will need the following information:
  • Your name and contact information
  • Working title for your topic
  • A short abstract or description of your topic
  • A short professional bio about you, especially about any speaking or presenting experiences you may have had
  • Any further details about your topic, such as an outline or graphics (if you have them). More information is better, but if your presentation is not fully developed, please propose it anyway!
  • Be sure to mention any SIG affiliations you may have


STC Summit Information Page STC Call for Proposals Page There is usually a $100 discount on Conference Registration Fees for Progression Speakers! If you need help with your proposal or have questions, feel free to ask.

Couldn’t Attend Last May’s Summit? Check Out These Resources

Couldn’t attend the 2011 Technical Communication Summit in Sacramento, California? STC offers two resources that let you experience the best of what its annual conference had to offer.

Summit@aClick is an online collection of the conference’s content, with synchronized audio and slides. It is available to members for $249 US and to non-members for $499 US.

STC’s Flickr site includes hundreds of photos from the 2011 conference as well as the 2010 conference.