Submitting a Paper Proposal for the PCA Conference

Thank you for your interest in submitting a proposal for the 2024 PCA Conference! Please be sure you read and understand all instructions, policies, and procedures before you submit your proposal. 

Submissions will open September 1, 2023.

  • Create a profile. In order to submit a proposal, you must have created a profile on the PCA websiteClick [Log in] and choose either [I have an account] or [I want to create an account] to log in or sign up. Returning PCA/ACA members who have forgotten their password may choose [Request new password]. Be sure to use the same email address you previously registered with. If, for any reason, you can’t access your account, DO NOT create a new one. Email us at [email protected] and we will assist you. If you are creating a new account, it must be verified. After you complete the initial set-up, an email will be sent to the address you have listed. Sometimes this email goes to a spam file, so you may have to check there.  If your account is unverified, you will receive an “ACCESS DENIED” message when you attempt to submit your proposal. 


  • Please write a bio statement when you create your account.  Be sure to include your university affiliation and student status/position.  Choose your affiliation from the drop-down menu under [DEMOGRAPHIC INFO]. If you are an independent scholar, please include some of your creative/scholarly work and engagement with the subject. If you already have a profile on the website but cannot access it, please reset your password rather than creating a new account. 



  • Choose an area. Browse the areas to find the area which best fits your submission.  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 a professional presentation. In addition to a paper presentation, you may be part of one roundtable/panel OR present one original, creative work (ie. poetry, non-fiction writing, fiction writing). Please note that only select areas accept proposals from undergraduate students. Check the area page to see if undergraduates are permitted to submit to a particular area. You can also check to see the list of areas that accept undergraduate submissions. Undergraduates are highly encouraged to submit to the Undergraduate Sessions Area. If you are uncertain that the proposal will be accepted, you are encouraged to reach out to the Area Chair for assistance prior to submission.


  • New submission. Abstracts must not exceed 300 words.  Be as specific as you can, even if your project is still gestating. 
    • Once logged in, fill in the information below the [submit new proposal]. Complete panels (with three to four individual papers) should be submitted as individual papers and area chairs should be contacted regarding the panel.
    • 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.  If for some reason, your abstract is not accepted by an area, you may then send it to an alternative area. However, an individual may submit one creative work or be a part of one roundtable in addition to presenting a paper.  
    • 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 and active, paid upcoming conference year membership before you can add them to your proposal. All presenters must be registered to present at the conference. 
    • After clicking “Continue” you’ll be able to enter your presentation’s details. Title your presentation using title-case capitalization. Please do not use quotes, bold, all caps, or symbols or emojis in the title or in your name. Abstracts must not exceed 300 words.
    • Do not add any personal details in 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.
    • Be sure to keep a copy of your proposalOnce submitted, you will not be able to recapture it. If you are uncertain that proposal will be accepted, you are encouraged to reach out to the Area Chair for assistance prior to submission.


  • Registration. Once your proposal is accepted, you will be able to purchase registration at the presenter rate. In order to present, you must also be a current, paid PCA member for the upcoming conference year and fully registered for the conference. Do not pay your registration until your proposal has been accepted because the registration system will only list the non-presenter fee option. All presenters listed on the proposal must be registered to present at the conference.  If you wish to remove a presenter from your paper, please contact [email protected] as soon as possible. 


  • Receiving a 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 Nicole Freim, the PCA/ACA VP of Area Chairs ([email protected]) who may be able to expedite a definitive response.


  • Non-presenters registration. Non-presenters are required to purchase a membership along with the registration fee. 


  • To present and/or attend the conference, both membership and registration fees are required. Information on registration will be available in late Fall. 



If you receive an “ACCESS DENIED” message when trying to submit your proposal, it may be because you haven’t fully verified your account. When creating the account, you should have received a verification email sent to your listed email address. If you don’t see it, check your spam folder. Unless you verify your account, you will not be able to pay your membership fees or submit a proposal. 



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

1. Please fill out your profile completely when you create your account, including your college/university, major, and year. Misrepresenting your rank or identity during the registration or presentation process is a violation of the PCA Code of Conduct

2. Undergraduates are required to have a university/college sponsor, who attends the conference with them. Please include the name and contact information of your sponsor in your abstract proposal. If this information is not included, your proposal will not be considered.

3. Undergraduates will now pay the same fees as any other participants (including membership fees).  Please see the Membership 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 such 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.  


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 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 HDMI 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 HDMI 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. 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!)
  2. Bring your media on a flash drive too in case you need to use someone else’s machine.
  3. Bring necessary printouts/ notes so you can present without AV if there is a problem.
  4. Practice the AV part of your talk. Time your clips and practice queuing them up.