Chair Guidelines

General Policies

  • Chairs may present a paper at their own session or choose to present in another session.
  • No more than two people from the same institution (including the session chair) will be allowed on any session, without prior approval from the NeMLA Board. Please email with such requests.
  • NeMLA does not accept pre-formed sessions: please consider all abstracts received up to the September 30th deadline.
  • No one may chair more than one session of a type. Familiarize yourself with the types of sessions here.

Publicizing Your Panel

  • Publicize and promote your session among colleagues and at other fora/organizations that you might be a part of.
  • You can also post a CFP advertising your session at conference announcing websites such as:
  • Note that most abstracts arrive closer to the deadline. Second reminders closer to the deadline are encouraged.
  • NOTE: When advertising your session, include the web site URL where potential participants may submit their abstract online.

Withdrawing a Session

  • Decisions to withdraw a panel should be communicated promptly to the Executive Director, Carine Mardorossian, at

Changing Session Type

  • Any changes to sessions will be granted upon request. Please email the Executive Director, Carine Mardorossian, at, for more information.
  • If you have many submissions that you are considering accepting to your 4-paper traditional session, you may consider changing the session to a seminar or a roundtable to accommodate more presenters. Seminars are paper-based but circulated ahead of time and may include a maximum 10 presenters. Roundtables may include a maximum 10 presenters.

Receiving and Reviewing Abstracts for Your Session

  • Beginning June 15 abstract proposals from applicants interested in being considered for presenting at your panel can be submitted electronically. You will receive electronic notification of these submissions.
  • Only abstracts received through the NeMLA web site may be considered. 
  • Do not accept any abstracts before the September 30 deadline. NeMLA values giving all applicants a fair chance at having their submissions considered, so chairs must consider all abstracts received by the deadline.
  • After the September 30 submission deadline, chairs will be able to accept or decline abstracts through the website. To view and accept abstracts, log in, then on the home page scroll down and click "Manage" next to your session's title.
  • Please consider accepting 4 papers for traditional paper panels and roundtables so a withdrawal does not threaten the viability of your session. For example, 2-paper traditional paper panels and 2-person roundtables are not allowed.

Notifying All Applicants

  • Before sending any declination emails, contact your accepted panelists and confirm a commitment to the panel since participants at NeMLA can deliver only one paper of any type at the convention. Note that NeMLA members often submit abstracts to more than one proposed panel. 
  • Professional courtesy in acknowledging all submissions via email and sending acceptance and declination emails is in order. Acceptance or declination emails must be sent to all applicants no later than October 15. Please do not leave any applicant in doubt about the status of their submission: email everyone. 
  • Chairs must inform accepted and confirmed panelists that the membership/registration fee is due online by December 9 11:59 PM Eastern. Applicants who do not pay the membership/registration fee will not be barred from presenting at the convention. Registration and membership open as early as October 1. For presenters' names and presentations to be included in the convention program, they pay membership/registration by December. After December 9, membership/registration payment includes a late fee; please review late fees here.

Finalizing Sessions

  • Chairs may not finalize sessions until all accepted presenters have each confirmed that they will participate in the session. Some presenters submit to multiple sessions, and NeMLA rules do not allow participation in more than one panel of a type. Therefore, chairs must not assume presenters have accepted without they written explicit confirmation. A chair's NeMLA account will alert whether a presenter is already committed to another session of the same type.
  • When confirming with accepted presenters, please confirm the title of the presenter's presentation, their name, and their audio-visual requests. Audio-visual technology requests submitted after October 15 may not be considered due to limited availability of items.
  • Before finalizing, please proofread your session carefully. 
    • Session titles and abstract title must use capital letters unless in a language other than English. 
    • There are to be no quotation marks around the session title or abstract title itself, only single quotation marks around titles of short stories, poems, and similar short works.
    • Do not place a period at the end of session titles or abstract titles.
  • Since traditional panel and roundtable formats are significantly different, requests to change panels to roundtables after September 30 will only be granted under rare circumstances.
  • Completed session information is due no later than October 15 and should be submitted via NeMLA's website.  
  • Please wait until after October 15 finalization deadline to notify persons who submitted abstracts that you marked as declined or under consideration. This is in case those you accepted have declined to join your session, and you may need to accept submissions you marked under consideration in order to have the minimum number of presentations or the minimum number of presenters.
  • In December, chairs will receive a panel proof they will be asked to correct for the online and print programs. Make sure to respond promptly to this request.

Second Sessions

  • NeMLA is a juried convention, and sometimes fine proposals are turned down. Chairs may elect to change a panel to a seminar format or a roundtable format to accommodate more than 4 participants. However, NeMLA also considers requests for second sessions.
  • Justifications for a second session will be considered​ after a first round of acceptance and should be submitted online when finalizing in your user account. When finalizing your session, please click the box to request a second session and include a 150-word rationale why there should be a second session.
  • Requests for second sessions are determined by strong justifications and space availability. Therefore, not all requests may be graned.
  • Those chairs requesting second sessions will receive notification as to NeMLA's decision by October 20

Audiovisual Requests and Wireless Internet

  • Please remind applicants to indicate their individual media needs when they submit their paper abstracts in their user accounts
  • Audiovisual equipment available for sessions include projectors, projector screens, VGA cables, audio cables, and audio speakers. Projector slide advancer remotes and other technology may be available, only if requested in an email sent to; otherwise, please assume those items will not be provided and plan accordingly.
  • Presenters must provide their own computers or other devices that can be connected via VGA to the projector. If you have an Apple laptop or other device that requires a VGA adapter, please bring that projector adapter to the convention with you.
  • Before the convention, please remind your panelists to provide their own computers that can be connected via VGA to the projector. If they are using an Apple laptop or other device that requires a VGA adapter, please remind them to bring such an adapter.
  • While NeMLA makes all efforts possible to provide wireless Internet at its annual convention, it is not always possible. Participants should anticipate Internet will not be provided by the convention site. Participants are welcome to use their mobile device for Internet, including as a mobile hotspot/wireless router tether.
  • If there are any difficulties choosing audiovisual requests, please email


  • NeMLA does not allow papers to be read in absentia, by webcam, or by other online means, regardless of circumstances. Do not include applicants who cannot attend in person.
  • Chairs must email as soon as possible if any participant withdraws. 
  • If chairs themselves are not able to attend, it is their responsibility to find someone else to chair the session and to inform the Chair Coordinator of the change.
  • Registration fees may be refunded if the convention participant notifies the Administrative Coordinator at of their need to withdraw from the program at least six weeks prior to the opening of the convention. Membership fees are non-refundable.


  • If you have any questions, ideas, or concerns regarding session chair guidelines, do not hesititate to contact and your session's Area Director.