Apply to speak at Front End North 2020

You may have seen that we have announced our invited speakers for Front End North 2020! We are really excited for them to be coming to Sheffield, but they will only make up half of our speakers on the day. For the other half, we are opening a call for proposals (CFP) to give you a chance to share your ideas and experience on stage!

Sorry, but our CFP is now closed. Still want to help out? Consider volunteering! Register your interest here. If you submitted a talk then we will try to let you know if you have been successful by mid-December.

On the fence? Need some encouragement to submit a talk? We can answer your questions and tell you what it’s like to be on stage. We want you to be here, and if a quick video chat might convince you to submit a talk, we can help. Send us an email at

What we’re looking for

We are searching for four 30 minute talks on any topic surrounding front end development and design. To give you a taste of what we’re looking for, we’ve come up with some ideas to get you started:

  • Javascript, and using it without breaking the web
  • Working ethically in the tech industry
  • The modern web design process
  • Designing for accessibility
  • Unit testing, integration testing and quality assurance
  • Managing and mentoring people responsibly
  • Weird and wonderful ways to use the Web

You don’t have to stick rigidly to these subjects, we’re open to hearing your ideas! The CFP closes on Saturday November 16th.

What we can offer

Attending conferences is expensive, and to help you speak at Front End North we can offer you:

  • A full ticket to the conference
  • A room for two nights at a nearby hotel, breakfast included
  • A standard-class return train ticket to Sheffield, or up to £150 in travel expenses
  • Reimbursement for food and drink expenses while you are in Sheffield, up to the value of £50.

We are targeting a low ticket price for our event, which is why we are not planning on offering speaker honorariums or an organised speaker’s dinner. We know that your time is valuable and this may exclude people from speaking at our event, but we hope you will understand.

How we select talks

Front End North uses a semi-anonymised talk selection process. This gives extra privilege to exciting talk ideas and reduces the influence of established, big-name speakers. We believe this is a vital part of making conferences inclusive events that reflect the community they represent.

Talk selection takes place in two phases; an anonymised voting round, and then a de-anonymised curation round.

Phase 1: Anonymised voting

During this first round the talk selection panel will vote on each talk. Only the talk title, abstract and notes to the organisers fields will be shown at this stage. This biases in favour of the quality of the talk instead of the person who submitted it. We do this because we want to encourage everyone to submit a talk, from first-time speakers to those who have spoken at events across the world.

From our experience working with anonymised selection processes, we know that anonymous systems can occasionally be thwarted by personally-identifiable information (such as famous employers) appearing in the talk abstracts. We will reserve a member of our talk selection team to remove identifiable information from these fields, and this person will not be taking part in the voting round. This member of our team will also periodically monitor the diversity survey section of our submissions to report back on the diversity of speakers who have submitted talks.

At the end of this round, we will arrive at a manageable shortlist of our favourite talks.

Phase 2: De-anonymised curation

When the first round is complete, the talk selection panel will meet to discuss the shortlisted talks. At this stage, submissions are fully de-anonymised and previously hidden fields are revealed. We will use the About you and the Diversity survey sections of submissions to measure the diversity of our shortlist. This is the last time the Diversity survey information will be used, the information will be shown only to the talk selection panel and will not be published.

The purpose of the curation round is to select talks with a complementary mix of subjects, from a set of speakers from diverse backgrounds. We may even explore outside of the shortlisted submissions at this stage if phase one has not resulted in a sufficiently diverse set of speakers.

When we have selected our favourite talks, we will send acceptance emails to make firm plans for speakers to come to the conference. We cannot send out rejection emails until this process is complete, and this can take some time. We appreciate this can be frustrating but it means we can promise that you will hear the bad news personally from ourselves, instead of a speaker announcement on Twitter. If you are successful, please keep this to yourself until we give you the go-ahead to share this news publically - remember that it can be tough to miss out on speaking at a conference.

Occasionally, plans change and things happen that are beyond our control. It’s common for speaker lineups to change when Real Life intervenes. We may get in touch if we need a short-notice speaker!

Added 12th November: We have no set date that we will let you know whether you have been successful or not. This is because contacting speakers to finalise plans can take time, and sometimes plans change. However, we know the speed of our reply is important, and we will try to let everyone know by mid-December.

Code of conduct

By applying to our CFP, you are agreeing to follow our code of conduct. Please read it thoroughly before submitting a talk.

CFP form

You can apply to speak at Front End North by filling out our CFP form - (sorry, CFP is now closed). Please remember that this CFP will close on Saturday November 16th.

Good luck!

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