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Cover image for So you want to start conference speaking? Find open CFPs

So you want to start conference speaking? Find open CFPs

mercedes profile image Mercedes Bernard Originally published at mercedesbernard.com ・2 min read

This is the fifth post in a series on getting started as a conference speaker. This post focuses on finding open CFPs.

Yay!!! At this point, you have all the pieces you need to start submitting your talk to conferences! Remember, you do not need to have the entire talk written before you apply to give it! But how do you find conferences who are accepting calls for proposal (CFPs)?

There are a lot of different sources to find open CFPs. Some conferences share their CFP on multiple sources and some don’t share on any, instead relying on their own social media and newsletters. Finding open CFPs is more of an art than a science.

Here is a list of resources I use and like, and sometimes there is overlap between them.

  • Papercall - Papercall is a platform where you can add your talks and submit them to different CFPs. You can save your talk and submit it to multiple different events which is a nice feature.
  • confs.tech - An open-source and crowd-sourced list of conferences around software development, including ones with open CFPs.
  • CFP Land - A website listing upcoming CFPs, it also has a newsletter you can sign up for to get a digest directly in your inbox.
  • SeeCFP - A Twitter account that tweets out upcoming and current open CFPs. It also has a newsletter you can sign up for to get a digest directly in your inbox.
  • Tech Daily CFP - A Twitter bot that retweets CFPs for tech conferences and code camps. Sometimes there are false positives but still a great resource.
  • Specific conference Twitter accounts - I follow the Twitter accounts of conferences I particularly like so I see updates about when they’re opening their CFPs directly

And <shameless plug>, I created a little React app that’s hosted on a free Heroku dyno to consolidate a bunch of these sources in one place. You can find it at cfp-organizer.mercedesbernard.com. It can be slow to boot up, but it’s a handy little tool if you want to check it out.

Finding open conference CFPs can be a challenge if you don't know where to look. As you start submitting to and attending more conferences, talk to other speakers to find out where they discover open CFPs as well.

Now that you've found a whole bunch (and I mean a whole bunch) of open CFPs, the key to not stressing out is to decide which to fill out and which to skip.

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