Monday, 29 April 2013


Abstracts for WC8

If it wasn't for the last minute, nothing would ever get done

Last week I spotted this faux-antique enamel sign in a coffee bar in Birmingham. How apposite! My in-box testifies that I am not the only around the world to be against deadline and scrabbling to submit abstracts to the 8th World CE Congress before books are closed at some time on 30 April.

Keeping within the required length of 2,600 characters has offered a challenging discipline. I suspect that submissions submitted over this length will be automatically trimmed to size by the congress-organizers' computer.

I promised myself that I would submit four abstracts. Pressing the button on seems a very final act. This morning I have closed my eyes, shouted 'Geronimo' and consigned the first to its fate. I shall actually still have until that unspecified time tomorrow to go back into the site and fiddle with it.

Come on in, the water's lovely

There is still time to start another Abstract from scratch, but as far as I am concerned enough is enough.

Maybe someone, somewhere will read this and have a go.


Everything at this stage is automated and I received instant acknowledgement of my submission. I went and looked it up, and was horrified. The formatting was to pot, the punctuation all over the place, and my carefully chosen words had been, well, simplified. My precious Abstract looked like a machine-translation from the Klingon.

I emailed the ever-helpful Jessica Heimbecher at K.I.T. Group, the congress-organizing company. She assured me that everything looked fine at her end. Ah well, one of those mysteries of the compatibility between computers. Anyway, if she says that it is OK, it ceases to be my problem.

It quite took the wind out of my sails though. I shall pop some more up later this evening in the sure confidence that whatever happens next will not be my problem either.

Number 101

By the way, my morning's submission was registered as number 101. It looks like a late-minute field is coming together. Later submission numbers will help monitor this.

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