Krause vs. CCCCs: 0-3-1

I just got the notice that neither of the proposals I was a part of was accepted at the 2009 CCCCs in San Francisco. Frankly, I’m kind of surprised because I was riding shotgun (and/or in the backseat) of a couple of different things that I thought were pretty good. One was a pre-conference workshop with Dennis Jerz, Sharon Gerald, and some other folks I don’t remember now that would have been a workshop on easy uses of free and open-source tools in first year writing classes. The second was a panel organized by Joanna Howard and it would have featured Joanna, me, Matt Barton, and Nick Carbone discussing some of the pros and cons of alternatives to the traditional textbook industry– e.g., the wikibook comp/rhet book that Matt has worked on, my The Process of Research Writing, etc.

I thought the workshop might be tricky because I’ve only been able to pull off one of those in my attempts at the CCCCs and there is always a space issue/lack of technology issue. But I thought the panel on publishing was a shoe-in shoo-in. I mean, a panel about textbook publishing, about multimedia, one that features speakers from very different kinds of schools/occupations from all over the country? What’s not to like?

On the one hand, it’s not that big of a deal for me. It’s not like I need this on my CV, and I had been mulling over in my own mind the choices/opportunities of going to the CCCCs versus going to C&W at UC Davis in late June. My meager travel (and personal) budget can afford only one trip to California this year, and while I think I would have preferred the CCCCs because I didn’t go last year and because it still is the main conference in the field, I think computers and writing is a much more fun conference. Perhaps the fam and I will find a way to make this into a visit to Ashland, OR too.

On the other hand, I am at a bit of a loss at my recent CCCCs proposal record. Between 1995 and 2007, I presented at the CCCCs eight times, was on the program for a couple different special interest groups, and was a part of one workshop. In that time, I think I had a proposal rejected once– maybe twice– and I just decided not to go to the CCCCs that was in Minneapolis (I can’t remember why now). But since 2007, my batting average has been poor to say the least. Two rejections this year, one rejection for 2008 (which was a strange one because I didn’t get the final word until well into October), and one initial rejection but then an acceptance after I appealed (I ended up giving my presentation to an audience of 3, one of whom was, if I recall, Dennis Jerz).

All I can figure is that it’s a combination of bad luck and different emphasis at the CCCCs the last few years. My CCCCs proposal for 2008 was about my on-going research on blogs, and it was rejected; I proposed something pretty darn similar for C&W in Athens, it was accepted, and it was a very well-attended panel. It’s not that the CCCCs hasn’t excluded “technology things” from its program as of late, but it would appear that in the last couple of years, they aren’t that interested in the stuff I’m proposing. For whatever reason.

Oh well, there you have it. If there are any other CCCCs losers out there who want to share their stories, feel free. Or the winners too, you bastards.

By the way, if you are curious to see who did get accepted, check out the CCCC searchable program here.

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12 Responses to Krause vs. CCCCs: 0-3-1

  1. k8 says:

    Winners can also be losers. I’m trying not to think about how expensive it is going to be to go to San Francisco for both MLA and CCCC. Feel free to pity the poor disserators on the market.

    And, I would have found either of those workshops interesting. I’m very very interested in issue of publishing and open access.

  2. Staci PC says:

    I’m sorry to hear about your proposal. I’ve only proposed twice and am 2 for 2, so I don’t have enough experience to really determine why I’ve been accepted twice. Just luck I guess. But if it makes you feel better, I know a lot of colleagues across institutions that didn’t get accepted for CCCC 2009, even though I find their work to be quite exciting. At least you’re not a pesky grad student like me who needs to put things on her cv! :-)

  3. joanna says:

    I know that this is going to sound like sour grapes, but I don’t know if the C’s is really the right venue for me right now, given what I want (to attend C and W and other organizations’ conferences) or need (more hands- on work online). But I really am sorry that our particular panel wasn’t picked up because we would have been excellent–maybe we should take our gig to another group?

  4. Steve Krause says:

    Joanna, I’m totally down with trying to do this for C&W. Multiple submissions are okay with that conference too, so it’d be possible to do this and something else very easily.

  5. Steve, are you up for repurposing our technology workshop for C&W? I’ve never been to that conference, so I’d need some help on that.

    I’d have definitely come to see your textbook/alternative publication presentation!

  6. Steve Krause says:

    Dennis, absolutely. Given the nature of C&W, we might have to be a little more specific, “advanced,” and/or “sexy” to make this work as a workshop. And like I said with Joanna, multiple submissions to C&W is an acceptable practice, so it’d be easy and possible to do a couple of different things.

    And just going to computers and writing is a worthwhile experience. Sometimes, C&W has been a bit of “I’ve got a barn, you’ve got some paint, let’s put on a show” sort of an affair. But given that C&W 09 has a call that is due much earlier than any past C&Ws (September 19, I believe), that the tentative schedule and web site is already very much in place, etc., I think this is going to be another well run affair. Check out and/or drop me an email and we’ll see what we can get together.

  7. Matt says:

    I’m not really surprised at this result. I think C&W is becoming the “major conference in the field” for anyone with a technological bent, and I know I can’t really afford to do both either. I regretted having to leave C&W last year to attend RSA; I was so amazed at what I saw at C&W.

    The only downer is that I won’t get to see some of my colleagues who only go to 4C’s.

  8. sorry to hear it, Steve. suckity.

  9. billhd says:

    Incredibily…I’m in this year with a tech comm proposal! That’s, like, never happened before. Usually have to contort myself into a generic FYC ball to make the program.

  10. cheryl says:

    I think you hit the same wall I did a couple of years ago. Like you, my proposals were accepted year after year and I would pick and choose which years I wanted to attend. During those halcyon years I was researching on women and writing both current and historical, and then suddenly, no dice. The Cs apparently decided that my proposals would be better off somewhere else. Or maybe they decided that looking at women and writing wasn’t all that interesting any more. Whatever. Now, I go to the American Literature Association conference which seems delighted to hear about women and writing. Go figure. Frankly, I think the Cs has become just like MLA: cumbersome and dated.

  11. Marilyn Valentino says:

    Rebecca Howard forwarded me your blog so that I could understand your perspectives and add to the discussion.
    As I told her, we accept the same percentage of research proposals that are sent in, so they reflect the “popular” topics of that year. Yes, technology is difficult to have for all the sessions that require it; however, this year we have 5 internet accessible rooms (3 more than last year at a steep cost for each room) and 11 LCD and projector rooms. Also, as far as workshops go, we had more than double the number of workshops that we had rooms for, since the hotel only allows a few rooms before the conference, and other meetings are scheduled during those times as well.
    There were many good workshops, mostly all-day or on Wed. afternoon, that we just didn’t have space for. Carol Lipson did a study of proposals one year and has the following suggestions according to each category that you might be interested in:

    I do hope you will continue to propose sessions at CCCC. If it’s any consolation, some of my proposals have been rejected as well. It might be that too many proposals of the same type were in that year or that the proposal wasn’t as clearly written or situated in known methodology or theory as I’d had hoped. Since proposals are reviewed anonymously by two, sometimes three reviewers, we try the best we can to make a good, overall program. I also would like to suggest that you meet with Gwen Pough, the program chair for 2010 on Friday at the convention, to talk to her about your research/proposals as well so she can also give you some feedback. Thanks for letting me explain the process a bit more to you.

    Marilyn Valentino, Program Chair

  12. Steve Krause says:

    Thanks for the comments, Marilyn, and I do appreciate the advice. Like I said, I know that workshops are always tough, especially with space demands and technology demands. But the panel I would have been on was very low-tech– at least as far as the presentation goes. So I don’t think we were rejected because of a lack of room or something with internet access. And while I appreciate the link to Lipson’s study, that’s problematic because that was a looong time ago. She based her study on data collected before 1992; I didn’t even start PhD studies until the following year, and I think some stuff has changed.

    And I won’t be able to talk with Gwen either. Without a name on the program, I can’t afford to go. But I will probably propose for the CCCCs in 2010 since it is in Louisville, which is either a short flight or a long drive. We’ll see.

    But hey, life goes on. I’m working on a couple of proposals for C&W in Davis, California, and that’s my favorite conference anyway.

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