Race at Churchil Downs

When your Sponsor first mentioned the convention at the start of the semester, you did some quick math in your head and realized that you had over two months until the October-something submission deadline. Oh, sure, you had some peers who were already scouring old flash drives or sorting through the papers they’d arranged neatly in folders labeled by course and professor. But that’s never been your style, just not how you work as a scholar, and you knew you had plenty of time. No procrastination; no need to scramble.

By the end of September, after a couple of chapter meetings, you had heard more about the convention. Set in Louisville? Exposure to famous writers? An opportunity to get away from homework for reasons your professors would accept, even encourage? You knew you definitely wanted to attend, and presenting something you had written would be the icing on the cake. The submission deadline was October 24, you vaguely remembered hearing your Sponsor say. But, fortunately, not knowing what you intended to submit wasn’t a problem. Why, you had nearly a month to work on whatever essay you were writing for Dr. What’s-His-Name’s class. And you thought you might work on a piece of creative non-fiction about your failed attempt to start a dog-walking business. (Who knew how tangled leashes and legs could become?) Plenty of time.

By the middle of October, you had probably seen the website two or three times. With over two weeks to go until the 24th of October, as the email blast from the Central Office had reminded you—wait, two weeks? That couldn’t be right, you thought to yourself.  You counted it out on the calendar. Yep, two. Scrap the idea for the creative non-fiction; you were going to be lucky to study for three midterms and still stay sane.

Whatever happened to plenty of time?

It is now the week before the October 24 submission deadline, and the panic last week reminded you to go looking for that very scholarly critical essay you wrote last spring. By the grace of the academic gods, you’ve also located the professor’s comments and are delighted to be reminded that she was highly complimentary, calling your work “insightful.” How had you forgotten that? you wonder. You dedicate a second of regret to referring to her as an “antediluvian termagant” on RateMyProfessor.com, even though you still like the ring of that phrase. The professor also gave you a marvelous suggestion for additional support from one of the critical works you had read together as a class. (You decide you really should go back and delete that comment from your evaluation.)

Could it happen again? You close your eyes and dig back into the pile where you discovered the graded essay, astonished when you put your hand on the very photocopy you needed. After taking the time to do some minor polishing and to add two quotes from (and a Work Cited entry for) the new source, you go back to the convention website and check the Submission Guidelines. Why not get a jump on this, you decide. You follow the instructions carefully and, in no time at all, have your work submitted through the submission website. What was I waiting for, anyway? you ask yourself.

At the meeting this week, the one where the officers ask for a final headcount of who is planning to submit and/or attend, you admit modestly that you’ve already submitted.  But, hey … you have plenty of time to help your fellow chapter members walk through the submission process. There is no reason to panic, after all—they have until October 24 to submit.

Louisville Clock Submission Deadline

Plenty of time.

Resources

Top 10 Reasons to Submit to Convention
Submissions Overview
Paper Submissions
Roundtable Submissions
Submissions Evaluation Criteria
Hints for Successful Submissions


Shannin SchroederShannin Schroeder
2017 Convention Chair
englishconvention@niu.edu