Conference Panel Proposals

A reader writes in with the following query:

How should one put together a proposal for a panel at a conference?

Since conference policies and conference-organizer preferences vary, the first move should be to ask the organizers of the conference what they are looking for in such a proposal.

However, there is the chance you might get a reply like “just the usual stuff,” and be hesitant to ask for further details, so some general guidance would be useful.

For a start: at the very least you’ll want a title, a description of the subject, and a brief account of why it is worth having a panel on—especially at that conference. If others have already agreed to be on the panel, include their names (if the proposal doesn’t require anonymity). If you have a sense of the format the panel will employ, describe that, as well. All the while, do this in a way that is sensitive to the fact that the organizers may want to change various parts of your plan, if they accept it.

The reader’s question was focused on panels dedicated to recently published books, so answers that include advice specific to that type of panel proposal would be especially welcome.

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