Perl Advent Calendar

Submitting an Article

You should read this page before you start writing an article, and you'll want to join the mailing list to run your plan by the editor.

What's the purpose of the calendar?

The Perl Advent Calendar was started by Mark Fowler in 2000, who wrote this:

The Perl Advent Calendar is an online advent calendar that features a different Perl module each day for the twenty-four days of Advent, and an extra module on Christmas day. Or if you're not Christian, it's a site that annually features descriptions of a new module for twenty five days starting on the first of December.

Actually, it's both of those things, either way. Also, sometimes it's been a few more than 25 days and sometimes a few less. We strive to at least cover Advent itself, which includes the 1st through the 24th.

The goal is to introduce readers to useful tools and techniques in Perl, to give them new ways to approach problems, or sometimes just to give them a good laugh.

What kinds of things are worth writing about?

We'd like to use the calendar to highlight underappreciated and useful Perl modules. These are typically on the CPAN, but may be a part of the core or housed elsewhere.

You should consult the calendar archives for an idea of what we're looking for, and for a list of what we've already covered. Maybe a second article on an already-covered topic is worth doing, but it'll need some justification. We'd prefer articles that will be useful to everybody, but covering a niche topic once in a while can be fun and interesting, too!

Although most articles in the past are about CPAN modules, we do like articles about useful programs, programming tricks, and even seemingly-simple things like command line options to perl.

In short, you should join the mailing list and ask about your idea there!

What format should I write in?

We expect articles to be written in Pod, and our publishing software has a few bells and whistles atop normal Pod.

There's a program that will prompt you for a few things then output a file you can start with. It has example Pod that shows you the features that you can use:

% perl script/new_article

And, check out some old article source files for examples of the features in use.

The articles vary considerably in length, but should be long enough to explain a problem and how it can be solved without being so long as to allow the reader's attention to wander off. When in doubt, ask the mailing list and consult recent year's articles.

We might edit your work.

Submissions may be edited for style and (rarely) for content. When you submit something to the list, we will provide inital feedback for you to consider and incorporate. We try to be open about the editing process and will do our best to provide you with a sample before hand, though this may not always be possible and we will not wait indefinitely for follow-up.

Surprises are fun!

Part of the fun of the Perl Advent Calendar is that each day's article is a surprise to almost everyone. If your article has undergone extensive editing on the mailing list, then a bunch of people who are known to be interested in the calendar will have already seen it! If you'd like to keep the content of your article a surprise, just say so in your post to the list and a calendar editor will work with you privately.


Entries are published under the Creative Commons Attribution License.