Participate in a Collective Writing Experiment: May 12, 2020

We are inviting you to participate in a collective writing experiment documenting everything that happens in Cleveland on Tuesday, May 12, 2020. On that day, take time to document what happens to you and those around you. Take photos, make notes, talk to friends and family and strangers, report on events, ask questions, put it all in writing.

Once the day is over, take time to compose your observations then send your photos and writing (up to 1,000 words) to us at by Monday, May 18 at noon. We will select excerpts from all the submissions and edit them together to document a day in the life of Cleveland.


1) Please limit your writing and observations to the 24 hours from midnight to midnight on May 12, 2020. 

2) Anyone of any age may participate, we only ask that you limit your observations to what happens in greater Cleveland and the surrounding area (we’re flexible on geography). 

3) At the beginning of your piece of writing, or at the beginning of each section as necessary, include a dateline listing the time and neighborhood location (e.g., 9:13AM, Clark-Fulton). 

4) If you send us a photo, please include time, location, and photographer name so we can credit the images appropriately. 

5) If you write about yourself, use the third person using your name; this will help with coherence when we edit everyone’s selections together. 

6) This is intended to be a piece of nonfiction, so although we encourage poetic writing and narrative storytelling we ask that you only write what is true (although we interpret truth in writing broadly—if your dreams, hopes, or fears are part of your true experience, document them). 

7) Note: due to length constraints we will not be able to use everyone’s submission in the final piece, although we will do our best to include as many as possible. 

8) Participate! Encourage others to participate! Let’s see what we can create together.

This experiment is inspired by the What Happened project by Essay Daily as well as “April 15, 2020: A Coronavirus Chronicle” by The New Yorker contributors.