Chair Guidelines

Dori / CC BY-SA 3.0 US

General Policies

  • To access the call for papers, your sessions and submissions, please create and use a personal username account.
  • Once your session has been accepted, you must update your NeMLA membership.
  • 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).
  • 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 Sessions

  • 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.

Changing/Canceling Sessions

  • Any changes to sessions will be granted upon request. Please email
  • A seminar or a roundtable allows you to accommodate up to 10 presenters. Both involve 5-minute long presentations.
  • Decisions to withdraw a panel should be communicated promptly to the Executive Director, Carine Mardorossian, at

Key Dates

  • June 15: The abstract submission interface opens. Only abstracts received through the NeMLA portal will be considered. Email submissions should be directed to the portal.
  • September 30 is the deadline to submit abstracts. To ensure fair consideration, please refrain from accepting any until then.
  • September 30-October 15: Chairs accept or decline abstracts. To do so, log in and click "Manage" next to your session's title.
  • October 15 is the deadline to finalize sessions. Please await confirmation from each participant on your panel as they may have submitted several abstracts and chosen another panel.

    Note that 2-paper sessions are not viable so please consider accepting 4 papers for traditional panels and roundtables so a withdrawal does not threaten the viability of your session. 

Notifying Applicants

  • Professional courtesy in acknowledging all submissions and sending acceptance and rejection emails is expected at NeMLA. Please do not leave any applicant in doubt about the status of their submission.
  • Make sure everyone has confirmed participation on your session before finalizing.
  • Chairs must inform their confirmed panelists that the membership/registration fee is due by December 9.
  • Membership/registration opens as early as October 15.
  • After December 9, a $25 late fee will be charged; after January 5, the late fee is $50.

Finalizing and Proofreading

  • Audio-visual technology requests submitted after October 15 may not be considered. Check with your presenters about A/V.
  • Proofreading:
    • Session titles and abstract title must use capital letters unless in a language other than English
    • Italicize book and film titles
    • No quotation marks around the session title or abstract title
    • Single quotation marks around titles of essays, phrases, short stories, poems, and similar short works
    • The content after a dash is lower-case: it’s “19th-century Literature,” not “19th-Century Literature.”
    • No period at the end of session titles or abstract titles
  • October 15 is the deadline to finalize sessions and request second sessions.
  • In December, chairs will receive a panel proof they will be asked to correct for the online and print programs.  

Second Session Requests

  • A minimum of 8 submissions is required to request a second session
  • Requests for second sessions are determined by strong justifications and space availability. Therefore, not all requests may be granted.
  • Those chairs requesting second sessions will receive notification as to NeMLA's decision by October 20

Audiovisual Requests

  • Please indicate individual media needs when submitting abstracts. 
  • Audiovisual equipment available for sessions include projectors, projector screens, VGA cables, audio cables, audio speakers.
  • Presenters must provide their own laptop computers and VGA adapter.
  • Wireless Internet at the convention is not guaranteed. Participants can use their mobile device for Internet, including as a mobile hotspot/wireless router tether.
  • For questions related to A/V, please email


  • Papers read in absentia, by webcam, or by other online means, are not allowed, regardless of circumstances.
  • 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 at least six weeks prior to the opening of the convention. Membership fees are non-refundable. A $20 service fee will be deducted.


NeMLA encourages livetweeting our sessions but asks that you do so responsibly and with respect to our presenters: make sure to attribute the ideas to the speaker; and if you are planning to tweet more than 20% of the talk, ask permission from the presenter before doing so.


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