As part of our call for papers for Afrotech Fest 2019, we’ve prepared a blog series to shine as much light on the CFP process as possible. We’ll be highlighting amazing conference speakers who have things to share, as well as guidance on responding to CFPs, particularly our call for submissions, which is open now.

The Afrotech Fest 2019 Call For Submissions is officially open! We’re excited to receive submissions on a range of topics like open-source, web accessibility and digital activism, from experienced and (especially!) first-time speakers and workshop facilitators. If you have an idea for a workshop, but are new to delivering workshops or not sure how to start writing a submission, then this blog post is for you. Otherwise, if you’re after talk preparation and more general submission tips, check out our “Demystifying Conference Speaking” blog posts. After reading this post, you should have an idea of what we look for when reviewing workshop submissions and tips to prepare one that will stand out.

But first, an introduction 👋🏽 I’m Abby, one of the Afrotech Fest 2019 organisers. I’ll be helping to review your submissions and looking after the participants - speakers and workshop facilitators whose submissions have been accepted - in the run up to the festival. I’m a Software Engineer by trade who runs regular functional programming workshops, delivers conference talks and reviews submissions for another large programming conference in London.

So, you have an idea for a workshop that would be a great fit for Afrotech Fest? Let’s get started.

Tell us about yourself!

First of all, we want to know about you! Give us a brief idea of your background and interest in this topic: what is it about your experience that will help to make this a fantastic workshop? We’re not expecting you to be an expert at delivering workshops, but we’d want to see examples of your interest, experience or a different perspective on your chosen workshop topic.

Theme and content

Have a think about whether there’s a central theme to your workshop that can be linked to any of our listed topics; we’ve suggested these as we think they’ll be particularly interesting to the Afrotech Fest audience, so if there is a link, highlight it clearly in your submission. If not, that’s ok, just give us an idea of why you think it’ll be of interest and benefit to the Afrotech Fest audience in particular.

What’s the overall output, learning outcome or call-to-action from your workshop? Will attendees leave with something they’ve made, extra knowledge, or inspired to go out and do something after your workshop? Is there anything attendees will need to know or prepare in advance? These are all things that not only give us a good idea about your workshop, but will be used to get attendees excited about joining your workshop if your submission is accepted.

Workshop structure and delivery

Next, have a clear idea what you want the workshop to look like in terms of attendance, format and outcome. Let us know the workshop’s target audience, and whether it would be part of the dedicated youth track at Afrotech Fest. What will the format be: small groups, one-to-one, self-directed or delivery to a larger group? How many are you hoping to have attending, facilitating and supporting the running of the workshop? We’ll have volunteers available on the day, but let us know in advance if you’ll need extra support.

In summary, we really want to see that you have a clear idea for the workshop, that you’re excited and prepared to organise one, and that attendees will enjoy your workshop and come out of it with something. If some of the questions or tips above don’t apply to you, or you’re unsure, don’t worry about it. You can alway get in touch at if you have questions.

Lastly, have fun - don’t be afraid to show us if this is something you’re passionate about! Promote it like it’s your friend’s big idea and you want to see them succeed.

Good luck!