Proposal Submission FAQs and Tips


How do I create an account?

All applicants (including co-presenters) must create an individual account in the database to submit proposals and register for the conference. Click on “Create Account” on the upper right corner of your screen, and you will be prompted to provide your name, email, and a password.

If you already have an account, click on “Log in” on the upper right corner and you will be prompted for your email and password.

How do I submit a proposal?

After you create or log in to your account, you will be able to submit a proposal. On your account dashboard, click on “Proposal Management” on the menu on the left side of the screen. This will prompt a dropdown menu; click on “Submit Proposal.” At the top of the next screen, click on “Create New,” and you will be prompted to designate the area to which you are submitting, the type of presentation you are proposing (“Paper” or “Roundtable”), and the title and abstract of your proposal. You will also be prompted to include a brief summary of your paper in addition to the proposal; this is for use in the app during the conference. (NOTE: You are limited to 50 words for the title, 100 words for the brief summary, and 500 words for the abstract.) You will then be prompted to add additional presenters, if applicable. If there are no co-presenters, click submit.

You will get a “success!” screen and a confirmation email that your proposal has been submitted.

Can I submit a paper that I already published or presented?

A proposal should be for original work that has not been published or presented elsewhere.

Can undergraduates apply to present at SWPACA?

Yes! However, unless you are applying to co-present a paper with a professor, you will need to submit your proposal to our Undergraduate Presentations area. After an initial review, your paper will be moved to its intended area.

How do I submit a panel proposal?

If you have a pre-formed panel that includes 3-4 individual papers/presentations, each member of the panel must create an account and submit an individual proposal for their paper. In addition, within the abstract, each member should make clear that their paper is part of a pre-formed panel, and include the following: a) the proposed title of the panel; b) the other presenters on the panel; and 3) the proposed panel chair. After all proposals have been submitted, the proposed panel chair should email the appropriate Area Chair to confirm receipt of panel information. (Find Area Chairs’ contact information at

Note that panels must include 3-4 papers/presentations. Panel proposals with less or more presentations will be integrated or split up into other panels.

How do I submit a proposal for a roundtable?

A roundtable is a session made of 3-6 speakers who come together to discuss a predetermined topic. While there is a session chair, this person’s responsibility is typically to moderate discussion among the speakers and with the audience.

To submit a roundtable, click on “Submit Proposal,” and designate “Type” as “Roundtable.”

In the abstract, note that that your proposal is for a roundtable. When prompted to add users, add the additional members of the roundtable discussion. (NOTE: To add presenters, they must have an account within the database.)

Can I propose a workshop or screening?

If you have an idea for a workshop or a screening, please email Kathleen Lacey ( to discuss further.



What happens after I submit my proposal?

After submitting a proposal, you will receive an automated acknowledgment email. Please note that this is not the same as an acceptance.

Area Chairs are responsible for vetting proposals per relevance, merit, the scholarly standards governing their fields, and various other factors.

SWPACA practices rolling reviews of individual, panel, and roundtable proposals. Area Chairs try to review and accept or reject proposals within two weeks of receipt. However, given our Area Chairs’ differing teaching/administrative schedules, the wait time for conference acceptance/rejection decisions may exceed this two-week time frame.

If you have not received an email notification regarding the status of your proposal after two weeks, we encourage you to contact the appropriate Area Chair directly via email. Find Area Chairs’ contact information at

Do I need to submit my paper before the conference?

You are not required to submit a copy of your paper before your presentation. Sometimes after a presentation, attendees in the audience will ask a presenter for a copy of her/his paper. You may give out copies if you wish, but you are not required to do so. You may also, at your discretion, take email addresses and later send an electronic file of your paper if anyone requests a copy. If you are a graduate student, you should consider submitting your paper for one of the graduate student awards. See the conference’s Graduate Student Awards page for a full list of awards, submission information, etc.

If I submit a proposal, am I automatically registered for the conference?

Registration is a separate process, though you will use the same system, following the steps below:

  1. Log back into the database where you submitted your proposal
  2. In the left-hand menu bar, under “Registration Options,” click on “Register for Conference.”
  3. Double-check and SAVE your info, which will create a registration order. (Add more attendees if needed.)
  4. Return to the left-hand menu bar, under “Registration Options,” and click on “Check Out,” where you should now see a registration order.
  5. Scroll to the bottom to accept the Refund Policy and click “Pay Now.”
  6. Only use the “Pay Later” option if paying with check or wire transfer.

If I need assistance with the proposal or registration process, who should I contact?

For additional conference proposal assistance, contact:

Tamy Burnett

Kathleen Lacey
Area Chair, Awards, & Professional Development Coordinator

If I haven’t paid registration and cannot come, do I still need to cancel?

Yes! We do allow presenters to register on site; not paying the registration fee does not mean that your name will not show up in the program. We only cancel presenters when they notify us directly. If you cannot attend and present, please let us know as soon as possible. To cancel, please contact your area chair and Kathleen Lacey at

If I an unable to attend, can someone read my paper in my absence?

Unfortunately, no. Because part of our mission is to encourage discussion, develop ideas, and provide networking opportunities, we do not allow papers to be presented in absentia.