I’m trying to put together my first submission for a conference CFP: PyMCon, an all-virtual conference happening this November. This week, I sought out a lot of blog posts about this to help.

I started off by going to the blogs of two people whose writing I admire: Julia Evans and Will Larson. I searched for “conferences” and “CFP”, finding some general conference-related posts on Evans’ blog, and Example Call for Proposals submissions on Larson’s. The links led me to a variety of others that I’ll link here.

The Ultimate Guide to Memorable Tech Talks

Author: Nina Zakharenko

This links to a seven-part guide about giving great tech talks. The posts Choosing a Topic and Writing a CFP are super helpful! Her key takeaways from the CFP one are:

  • Research the conference before submitting. Look for explicit guidelines or research past talks.
  • Propose what you’re capable of delivering in a concise way.
  • Don’t be afraid of rejection. Try again.

And from Part 2:

“I have nothing new to say, it’s all been covered” is a myth that I hear beginners perpetuate as a way to talk themselves out of speaking.

Wow, that hits home. I’ve wanted to speak for a long time, but it was only in the last month or so that I actually felt like I knew enough about anything to submit a CFP. We’ll see how this one goes!

Shorter articles

Example Call for Proposals submissions by Will Larson gives, as promised, tons of example CFP submissions! These are great to dig into. More important to me, though, is the process behind writing such a submission: the advice about selecting an idea, then developing it into long-form writing, is reassuring. Writing is one of my strengths.

Writing the CFP from speaking.io by Zach Holman was a resource I found on Google. This post itself was not very detailed. But I’m including it here so that I remember the rest of the site, which looks amazing!

Notes on preparing a tech talk by Emily Riederer is mostly focused on writing a talk after you’ve been accepted to speak. Nonetheless, it is helping me to prepare for writing a CFP submission by guiding the content of my hopefully-future talk.