Update 2020-09-14: Added timezone information (9am to 5pm Toronto/EST). Moved CFP end date to October 7, 2020.

EmacsConf 2020 | November 28 and 29, 2020 | Online Conference

The Call for Proposals for EmacsConf 2020 is now open, until October 7, 2020.

After a successful EmacsConf 2019, we are back again this year and are once again calling for your participation!

EmacsConf is the conference about the joy of Emacs, Emacs Lisp, and memorizing key sequences.

We are holding EmacsConf 2020 as a virtual (online) conference again this year, especially now, given the current state of the world with the ongoing global pandemic. We remain fully committed to freedom, and we will continue using our infrastructure and streaming setup consisting entirely of free software, much like the last EmacsConf.

We welcome speakers of all backgrounds and all levels of experience, including newcomers submitting a proposal to give their first talk!

Important dates

Mark your calendars: EmacsConf 2020 will take place on November 28-29! We're planning for 9am to 5pm Toronto/EST (2pm-10pm UTC, 3pm-11pm Zurich/CET). Depending on people's availability, it might be two half-days.

CFP opens August 24, 2020
CFP closes October 7, 2020 (new date)
Speaker notifications October 14, 2020
Schedule published November 7, 2020
EmacsConf 2020! November 28 and 29, 2020

Please note that although we will try our best to stick to the above dates in the coming months, given the current state of the world, we may have to move things around a bit in case of unforeseen events. Thank you for bearing with us as we all navigate these trying times.

Talk formats

The following are the main formats for EmacsConf 2020 talks:

  • 10 minutes (Lightning talk): Quickly present a cool project, concept, or trick in 10 minutes or less!

  • 20 minutes (Standard talk): Introduce the audience to a new Emacs mode, concept, or just talk about something not necessarily shiny and new but that you find really neat nonetheless.

  • 50 minutes (Extended talk): Take your time going more in depth, and/or do a demo! Extended talks are a great way of really educating the audience about something you enjoy.

We hope to have lots of great submissions this year, just like last year. In order that as many people as possible can present, it helps if presenters can be flexible about their time slots. So, for non-lightning talk submissions, please let us know besides your main preferred format if a shorter format would also work for your talk.

Q&A time is included in the Standard and Extended time slots; please time your presentation accordingly. If you would like to take questions live, we recommend aiming for a 15-minute presentation for the Standard time slot, and for 40-45 minutes for the Extended time slot. However, as the speaker, the exact allocation of your time is up to you, so long as it does not exceed the allocated time slot.

Other session formats such as tutorials, workshops, and hangouts are welcome as well, especially considering all that is going on around the world, in case you would find those other formats preferable to a traditional talk format. If you are interested in these or other session types, please get in touch with us publicly or privately; we will be happy to work something out with you.

To help minimize disruptions in case of potential technical issues that may arise during the conference, we ask that our speakers either schedule a short tech-check with us, or submit a prerecording of their talk (especially for lightning talks, where the allotted time slot is rather small and any issues that cannot be resolved quickly will greatly detract from the presentation). We will send an email about this with more details further down the line.

Keynote speaker(s) for EmacsConf 2020 will be introduced in a future announcement.

Topic ideas

Not sure what to talk about? You might find some neat ideas on the ideas page. Feel free to add yours there too! If you're still not sure, come by our IRC channel #emacsconf on chat.freenode.net and say hi. You can join the chat using your favourite IRC client, or by pointing your web browser to chat.emacsconf.org which runs our self-hosted instance of The Lounge free software web IRC client.

A great way to get started with writing a proposal is to start by exploring the programs from previous years: 2019, 2015, 2013.


Once you're ready to submit your proposal, the submit page has the instructions on how to submit your talk.

All kinds of people use Emacs for all kinds of things. We would love it if EmacsConf 2020 could highlight interesting perspectives and reflect the diversity of our community. If you know someone who might have a good idea for a talk, please reach out to them and encourage them to submit a proposal. Many people (especially from underrepresented groups such as women, people of colour, and non-developers) might not consider themselves expert enough to share their thoughts. If you let them know that you value their knowledge and maybe even suggest something that you think others would like to hear more about, they may realize that they have something worth sharing and that we would love to hear from them.

This year, we are experimenting with an anonymized submission process. Identifying information will be removed from submissions by a conference organizer who will not participate in talk selection. The anonymized submissions will then be reviewed by a selection committee. We hope this will help reduce bias and encourage contribution. We look forward to hearing from you (and the people you want to nudge to speak)!

Getting involved

If you would like to get involved with the various aspects of organizing the conference, such as planning the sessions and helping with the infrastructure, see our planning page and come say hi to us at #emacsconf on chat.freenode.net.

Don't forget to subscribe to our mailing list, emacsconf-discuss, for discussion and announcements about the EmacsConf conference.

We look forward to your ideas and submissions!