Rejection, finally

I finally heard officially that my proposal for the CCCCs this year has been rejected. And that bothers me.

It’s not that I am that bothered about not being on the program this year. I mean, I’m of course disappointed because I thought it was a good proposal. But frankly, I don’t really need to give anymore conference presentations at this point in my career, and, without going into great detail here, I think I’ll be able to re-purpose my proposal for Computers and Writing or another conference easily enough. And since I’ll be spending my meager travel funds at NCTE in New York City next month, I was going to have to pay for all of the CCCCs out of pocket if I was on the program or not.

What bothers me is I am not hearing about this until the middle of October. That’s about a month and a half late.

Now, if I did actually have plans of having some travel money available and if EMU wasn’t in the midst of a financial mess (really, the whole state of Michigan) that will probably make getting funding from other sources on campus difficult if not impossible this year, this would have/could have been a problem. I would have probably had to apply for funding by this point in the process.

And beyond that, why the heck does it take over six months to get an official answer on this? The CCCCs is a big conference of course, and I understand there were some issues regarding space with the hotel in New Orleans. But it’s not that big of a conference and they could have obviously figured out the issues with the venue long before September. If reviewers, the chair, and/or people at NCTE are just going to sit on the proposals for several months, then why not move the deadline for submissions to June or July?

From what I’ve been able to gather from various sources, there was a “first round” of invitations sent out, some things the chair was going to pick personally, and then they were waiting for people to accept or decline coming to the conference before they sent out another round of invites. When did this become the policy? I always thought the CCCCs was pretty much entirely blind submission, and this is the first time in the 12 or 13 years I’ve been going to this thing where I’ve heard of multiple rounds of review based on who has accepted an invitation in the first round.

It all strikes me as rather bizarre.

But I’ll probably go to the CCCCs this year anyway (along with my wife). Why? New Orleans, baby, New Orleans! I’ll carve out a space for some conference stuff, for some fine dining, some French Quarter bar crawling, etc., and I suppose like a lot of other people, I’m kind of curious to see some of the Katrina damage first-hand. So even with these conference hick-ups, I’m sure it will be a fine event.

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