Submitting a paper proposal for the PCA Conference: April 15-18, 2020

The paper proposal and grant application deadline is November 24, 2019.

Thank you for your interest in submitting a proposal for the PCA Conference! Please be sure you read and understand all instructions, policies, and procedures before you submit your proposal.

In order to submit a proposal, you must have created an account on the PCA website. Please make sure you fill in or update your biography with your current status (faculty, graduate student, undergraduate, etc.) on your user account page. If you have previously submitted a proposal or registered for a conference, please use the same account login. You can change your password if you’ve forgotten the one you used previously. 

To be a presenter, you must also be a current, paid PCA member for the 2020 year and fully registered for the conference You do not have to pay membership or conference fees in order to submit a proposal, but if accepted, you will need to register and pay before the deadline. [See important deadlines below.]  iF YOU PLAN TO PRESENT, DO NOT PAY YOUR CONFERENCE REGISTRATION FEE UNTIL AFTER YOUR PROPOSAL HAS BEEN ACCEPTED, or the registration system will only list the non-presenter option. You can pay your membership fee before or at the same time you pay for your conference registration.

please write a bio statement when you create your account. 

BE SURE TO INCLUDE the NAME OF your COLLEGE/UNIVERSITY, CLASS YEAR AND MAJOR.  Also state whether you are an undergrad, graduate student, faculty member, or administrator. IF YOU ARE AN INDEPENDENT SCHOLAR, PLEASE PROVIDE A STATEMENT OF YOUR SCHOLASTIC/CREATIVE ACTIVITIES. thanks!!!



Submit your 2020 Conference proposal




August 1, 2019                 Submission Page Goes Live
October 7, 2019               Early Bird Registration Rate Opens
November 24, 2019           Deadline for Paper Proposals and Endowment  Grants
December 10, 2019           Early Bird Registration Rate Ends
January 1, 2020               Regular Registration Rate Ends
January 2, 2020               Late Registration Rate Begins
January 15, 2020             Brigman and Jones Awards Deadline
January 20, 2020             Preliminary Schedule Available
February 1, 2020             Presenter Registration Deadline at 11:59pm – participants who have not registered or paid membership fees are removed from the program.

February 2, 2020              Registration ends for presenters at midnight.
April 15-18, 2020              National Conference

All presenters and conference attendees must be current, paid members of the PCA for the 2020 year and fully registered for the conference.

Refund requests must be submitted in writing. Full or partial refunds will be processed according to the following schedule:
Requested by Jan. 1: 100% refund
Requested by Jan. 15: 75% refund
Requested by Jan. 25: 50% refund
Requested by Feb. 1: 25% refund
After Feb. 1: 0% refund

Membership fees are not refundable.

All deadlines are based on the eastern time zone.

    Proposing a Presentation – Step-by-step

    We strongly recommend you read and follow these directions carefully. Doing so will minimize the chance of user error or other problems.

    1. Explore our Subject Areas: 
      PCA/ACA scholars present within subject areas, each organized by a Chair or Co-Chairs.  Click here to visit the Subject Areas page.
    2. Select one Area:
      Due to limited space and time, presenters may only give one paper at the conference. We welcome fresh approaches to subjects that maintain our commitment to scholarship and to professional presentation. In addition to a paper presentation, you may be part of one roundtable/panel OR present an original, creative work (ie. poetry, non-fiction writing, fiction writing)  
    3. Craft a proposal: 
      Write a 100 to 250 word abstract on your proposed topic.  Be as specific as you can, even if your project is still gestating
    4. Log into your account.  If you do not have an account, you must create one and verify it. After creating your account and profile, you will receive a verification email. Failure to respond to this email will prohibit you from submitting your proposal. Check your spam file if you do not see this verification email. If your account is not verified, you will be denied access when submitting the proposal. USE THE HELP LINK TO CREATE YOUR ACCOUNT–it is your best friend. Following the directions carefully on account creation will assure your success.
    5.   Submit your proposal online:  
      1. Once logged in, choose “Submit a proposal” via the above link to submit a paper abstract or other kinds of presentations for inclusion in the PCA/ACA conference. Complete panels (with three to four individual papers) should be submitted as individual papers and area chairs should be contacted regarding the panel.
      2. The submission form will first ask you to pick your topic area and the type of proposal you want to submit. One person cannot be added to more than one paper proposal per conference.
      3. Next, list the email addresses of all the presenters in your proposal. Please note that your co-presenters must already have an account on the website before you can add them to your proposal.
      4. After clicking “Continue” you’ll be able to enter your presentation’s details. Title your presentation using title-case capitalization. Abstracts must not exceed 300 words.
      5. BE SURE TO KEEP A COPY OF YOUR PROPOSAL.  Once submitted, you may not be able to recapture it.
      6. Do not submit the same proposal to more than one area. Failure to adhere to this policy may result in your proposal being declined.

    Be sure your abstract is free of grammatical, structural, and spelling errors. Be sure everything is correct.

    **Note:** do not add any personal details on your abstract, such as email addresses, phone numbers or mailing addresses. Abstracts won’t immediately become public, but they will be used to build the digital conference program.

    • Submitting panels – presenters must submit their papers individually (ideally noting that they’re part of a panel and listing the names of their co-panelists), and then the organizer should email the area chair to let them know you intend to present together.
    • Multiple submissions – You may only present one paper at the conference.  See our exceptions listed in section above
    • Cut and Paste – Please avoid special characters when possible, especially in titles.  If you use Word, please click the “Paste from Word” button to clean up the text before you paste.
    1. Receive your response:
      You should hear back about your proposal within two to three weeks. If after this point you still have not heard, first contact the area chair, and then, if you receive no response, contact David Silverman, the PCA/ACA VP of Area Chairs, (david.silverman@kwu.edu). He may be able to expedite a definitive response.
    2. Register and reserve accommodations:
      You can find links to register and reserve your hotel room on our main conference page.

    Guide for First-Time Presenters

    by Tamar Gablinger
    Former subject area chair of Conspiracy Theory/ Claims of the Paranormal

    The PCA annual conference is a relatively large conference, which means that you are bound to be fertilized by many ideas, not necessarily from your discipline. Here are a few lines of advice:

    • The size of the conference shouldn’t alarm you– it is one of the friendliest conferences I have ever participated in.  Feel free to address anyone, including those who have “professor emeritus” and “conference organizer” next to their name.
    • I would highly recommend trying to share a room at the conference hotel and not using some other hostel/hotel. With four people in the room, the price is very reasonable, and you will be able to go to any presentation you would like to, regardless of the hour.
    • The time slot for all panels is 90 minutes. There are usually four presenters in each, and we also leave time for questions and discussion, which means that you should finish your own presentation in 15 minutes (with three presenters– 20 minutes).
    • A 15 minute presentation is approximately 5-6 double spaced printed pages. A 20 minute presentation is 6-7 such pages.
    • No ideas are so important that they should take time from other presenters. Always imagine how you would feel if you were the last one on the panel and your predecessors had talked for 30 minutes.
    • Presentations shouldn’t be “reading an essay aloud.” You should communicate with your audience; use the written script as reference, not as a sacred text to be repeated verbatim. When you practice, you will notice that some language works better on paper, but will need to be edited for verbal presentation.
    • Supporting technology, like PowerPoint, Prezi, video clips, are not sacred. Always prepare for the event of a natural disaster, with a candle-light presentation or more likely — to the event that your Power Point presentation wouldn’t work for some reason. In other words — think of a “Plan B” in case no technology works.
    • Most importantly, practice your presentation.  Doing so will allow you to perfect your timing, practice speaking clearly, and develop confidence that will show when you give your talk.

    New Rules for Undergraduate Presenters


    2. Undergraduates are required to have a university/college sponsor, who attends the conference with them. THE NAME AND CONTACT INFO OF THE SPONSOR MUST BE INCLUDED IN THE SUBMITTED ABSTRACT.  If this information is not included, your proposal may not be considered.

    3. Undergraduates will now pay the same fees as any other participants (including membership fees).  Please see the Membership and Registration page for details and rates.

    4. All undergraduates present in the UNDERGRADUATE SESSIONS AREA unless a subject area accepts undergraduate proposals and has an approved, written policy for accepting undergraduate submissions. If the area accepts undergraduate proposals, it will be indicated on the area CFP page. If you are still unsure whether a subject area meets the criteria, write the area chair and ask.  If the area chair does not have a written policy or if you are still unsure, submit to the Undergraduate Sessions Area.  As subject area written policies are approved, we will update and identify these subject areas.


    additional Rules & Exceptions for Presenting

    Presenters may submit only one proposal to one area at a time and you may not submit the same proposal to multiple areas. (If a paper is not accepted, the proposal may be submitted to another area, but under no other circumstances.)

    Individual presenters may give only one presentation per conference, except in cases where other presentations meet the following criteria:

    1. an invited speaker/writer/poet, etc., who presents by invitation may also deliver a paper/presentation on a panel.
    2. an author who presents his or her own original work (poems, short stories, novels, etc.) may also deliver a paper/presentation on a panel.
    3. a company, public service, or educational representative who gives a special talk may also deliver a paper/presentation on a panel.
    4. a person who meets any of the criteria listed above may also sit on ONE roundtable and/or chair a panel


    Audio visual support

    The following AV equipment will be standard in each presentation room (except for special conference events):

    Presentation rooms will be equipped with the following: LCD data projector, speakers, and projection screen.  We will supply a standard VGA cable and a standard 3.5mm Audio cable.  

    You must supply your own equipment to attach to these cables.

    The PCA conference organizers strongly encourage each presenter using digital media to bring their laptops (either PC or Mac).  We do not supply devices for playing your media. Many devices do not have VGA ports, so be sure you bring the special adapter so your device will connect to the LCD projector. We encourage you to consult with your college/university media department to verify which adapter to bring with your device or by visiting the device manufacturer website.

    If your presentation requires AV equipment/support outside of the usual requests, be required to contract with our conference AV provider; you will be liable for all labor/equipment costs.  This is prohibitively expensive.

    Internet connection: We will probably be able to supply a WiFi internet connection for presenters, but you should have a back-up plan ready to go in case the network is slow or too busy to provide an adequate connection for your presentation.

    Advice for preparing to present with AV:

    1. Try out your media ahead of time at the testing station near registration.
    2. Be at your panel early to hook up and test your media.  If multiple people are using AV, consider putting all presentations on one machine to reduce transition time. (Think about coordinating with panel members via email ahead of time!)
    3. Bring your media on a flash drive too in case you need to use someone else’s machine.
    4. Bring necessary printouts/ notes so you can present without AV if there is a problem.
    5. Practice the AV part of your talk. Time your clips and practice queuing them up.