Criteria for Program Selection

Each proposal submission is read and evaluated by three volunteer reviewers. Then. representatives from the College, Middle, Secondary, and Elementary Sections, NCTE Executive Committee, NCTE Caucuses, and NCTE Conferences, who comprise the NCTE Convention Planning Committee, review the proposals and make their selections. These evaluations go to the Program Chair, who makes the final decision on convention programming.

Though the criteria for excellence vary to some extent among these groups, some common values are listed here:

Clarity and thoughtfulness of proposal—Reviewers favor proposals that are very clear about their content, explicit about what presenters will do in the session, and thoughtful in identifying a meaningful focus and providing a compelling rationale.

Appropriate and engaging method of presentation—Reviewers value appropriately engaging presentation styles. They particularly look for opportunities for audience members to participate actively and interact with presenters and each other, not just listen to presenters reading papers.

Content and issues are timely and critical to the field—Reviewers want to know how a proposal fits broader conversations of theory, research, and/or practice in the field. They evaluate the significance of the presenter’s work, its acknowledgment of prior scholarship or practice, and its connections to important debates or concerns in the field.

Strong fit with NCTE mission and intended NCTE audience—Reviewers expect proposals to connect with the mission of NCTE and with the knowledge, perspectives, interests, and concerns of NCTE members and the convention audience.

Basic Information Needed to Submit a Proposal

Proposal Information

  • Format of Proposed Session (see below)
  • Proposal Title (maximum of 160 characters)
  • Proposal Description (maximum of 4,000 characters)
  • Proposal Annotation (short description used for the program book; maximum of 400 characters)
  • Reviewer Level (select one)
    • Elementary
    • Middle
    • Secondary
    • College
    • General
    • Teacher Education
    • Research
  • Audience Level (all applicable)
    • Elementary
    • Middle
    • Secondary
    • College
    • General
    • Teacher Education
    • Research
  • Topic of Emphasis (see below)
  • Strand (if applicable) (see below)


Speaker Information for Each Individual on the Proposal

  • Speaker Name and Contact Information (please note that each presenter must have a unique email address; multiple presenters cannot use the same email address)
  • Speaker Role
    • Chair
    • Presenter
    • Roundtable Leader
    • Tradebook Author
    • Workshop Facilitator
  • Speech Title (if applicable)


Additional Questions

1. What will this session include?

  • Attendee participation
  • Practical teaching strategies and ideas
  • Teaching demonstration
  • Teacher voices
  • Researcher voices

2. Will students participate in this proposed session?

  • Yes
  • No

3. If an author is involved in this proposal, is a publisher supporting the author’s appearance?

  • Yes
  • No
    If yes, add the contact info for the publisher: name, publisher name, email address

4. Is this session sponsored by an NCTE section, assembly, or committee?

  • Yes
  • No
    If so, please list the group name here.

5. How many presenters (in any role) are involved in this proposal?


Session Formats

(for in-person events; format may change for a virtual event)

Panel Presentation: Two or more presenters are required. Panels are 75-minute sessions in which two or more individuals speak, leaving at least 15 minutes for audience questions and responses.

Individual Proposal: Proposals including one or two presenters. These proposals will be combined by the NCTE Convention Planning Committee to make full sessions or roundtables. Committee members may also assign individual proposals to poster sessions. Individual proposals should be crafted as a 15- to 20-minute presentation during a roundtable or combined session.

Roundtable Session: Two or more presenters are required. Roundtable sessions are 75-minute sessions in which a series of small-group discussions about related aspects of a specific topic or theme are led by individual roundtable leaders.

Poster Session: These are 75-minute sessions in which presenters display posters or other artifacts of their research or teaching practices while standing nearby to explain and discuss, informally, their displayed work.

Half-Day Workshop: Workshops take place from 11:30 a.m. until 3:30 p.m. on Thursday, the first day of the Convention, and require an additional registration fee for attendees. Proposals must be explicit about the activities in which participants will engage and the apportionment of time to various activities throughout the afternoon.

Special Interest Group Meeting: Special interest group meetings and programming are guaranteed sessions submitted by NCTE Assemblies and groups. These events usually take place early Saturday evening.

Meeting: This session type is for meetings of NCTE committees.


Session Strands

Proposals may be selected for inclusion in special program strands. These selections are suggested by the proposal submitter and then verified by convention planning committee reviewers representing committees, caucuses, conferences, or affiliated groups. A brief description of each strand follows.

Early Childhood Education Strand: Early Childhood Education Strand proposals focus on issues pertaining to the education of children from birth to age eight, their families, and their teachers. Early literacy is a key concept in identifying Early Childhood Education Strand proposals. Reviewers look for proposals that address diversities in early childhood and highlight practices and processes that are situated in social, historical, and cultural contexts.

ELATE Strand: ELATE Strand proposals focus on issues, research, and practices pertaining to teacher development, professional development, and teacher education programs, including preservice and induction programs. Successful proposals highlight the practice of those who prepare literacy educators or support their continued development through courses, workshops, and inquiry.

LGBTQ Strand: LGBTQ Strand proposals focus on issues pertaining to lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender students, their families, and their teachers. When selecting LGBTQ Strand sessions, reviewers look for proposals that address representations of sexual and affectional difference, a broad understanding of diversity, free inquiry and expression, critical pedagogy, democratic teaching practices, and for proposals that encourage the creation of safer, more inclusive schools.

Literacies & Languages for All Strand: LLA Strand proposals focus on whole language theory and practice, to be reviewed by Literacies & Languages for All leaders. Reviewers look for proposals that push understandings of critical literacy, inquiry, and collaborative learning, and those that integrate literacy with other sign systems and knowledge systems situated in social, historical, political, and cultural contexts.

National Writing Project Strand: National Writing Project Strand proposals focus on research, practice, and innovation at Writing Project sites, including promising designs for professional learning and leadership programs, youth, community, and civic engagement projects, and fresh looks at curriculum and pedagogy in the teaching of writing. These sessions highlight the potential of teacher-leaders, and educators more broadly, to work collectively to improve the teaching of writing for all learners.

Rainbow Strand: Rainbow Strand proposals focus on issues and strategies related to teaching and affirming culturally and linguistically diverse students. Affirming people of color is the key concept in identifying Rainbow Strand proposals. Reviewers look for proposals that affirm African Americans, Latinos/Latinas, American Indians, Asian Americans, and Pacific Islanders.

Research Presentation Strand: The NCTE Standing Committee on Research invites proposals that discuss new research advancing NCTE’s mission “to promote the development of literacy, the use of language to construct personal and public worlds, and to achieve full participation in society, through the learning and teaching of English and the related arts and sciences of language.” Submissions should include a clear theoretical framework, research design, and anticipated or completed results. Proposals are evaluated through a blind-review process based on contribution to the field, soundness of argument and/or research design, appropriateness of conclusions, and clarity.



Topics of Emphasis


  • Advocacy
  • Argumentation
  • Assessment
  • Community/Public Literacy Efforts
  • Content Area Literacies/Writing across the Curriculum
  • Composition/Writing
  • Digital and Media Literacies
  • Early Literacies
  • Equity and Social Justice
  • Informational Text
  • Literature
  • Multilingualism
  • Narrative
  • Oral Language
  • Reading
  • Rhetoric
  • Teacher Education and Professional Development