Chair Guidelines

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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 and we ask that all abstracts be considered up to the submission deadline.

Session Types

  • Review our session types and plan your session accordingly.
  • One can only chair one session of a type (roundtable, regular panel, etc.) so will have to find an alternate chair or change formats if you had two sessions of the same type accepted.

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 for our CALL FOR PAPERS which is also where potential participants may submit their abstract online.
  • Direct those who contact you by email to submit their abstract via the NeMLA portal.

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 7: The abstract submission interface opens. Only abstracts received through the NeMLA portal will be considered. Email submissions should be directed to the portal.
  • October 15 (extended for 2024 convention) is the deadline to submit abstracts. To ensure fair consideration, please refrain from accepting any until then.
  • October 15-October 20: Chairs accept or decline abstracts. To do so, log in and click "Manage" next to your session's title. Please await confirmation from each participant on your panel as they may have submitted several abstracts and chosen another panel.
  • October 20 (extended for 2024 convention): The deadline for chairs to finalize sessions.

Please 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 before finalizing the session since a presenter may opt to participate in another session.
  • Membership/registration opens as early as October 15.
  • Chairs must inform their confirmed panelists that the membership/registration fee is due by Dec 9.
  • After Dec 9, a $25 late fee will be charged; after Jan 5, the late fee is $50.

Audiovisual Requests

  • Please check that presenters have made the proper requests for their 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

Finalizing and Proofreading

  • Audio-visual technology requests submitted after sessions are finalized 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

Second Session Requests

  • A minimum of 8 submissions is required to request a second session.
  • Requests for second sessions are granted based on space availability. 


  • Papers read in absentia, by webcam, or by other online means, are not allowed at NeMLA.
  • 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 NeMLA staff 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.