A PyTN speaker teaching attendees about some standard library functions

Speak at PyTennessee

PyTennessee prides itself on being a small conference where speakers can take risks. We are seeking speakers of all experience levels and backgrounds! You don’t need to be an employed software developer who uses Python every day to submit a talk. Some of our favorite talks have been from people who use Python to support a hobby or as a side part of their non-programmer day job. All speakers get a free ticket to PyTN, access to financial assistance to help get them to the conference, and access to speaker mentoring. We would love to see you speak at PyTennessee!

We’re still filling out our resources and information, so if you have a question that isn’t answered here, please don’t hesitate to contact the organizers.

Important Dates

Here are the important dates you need to know for speaking at PyTennessee 2020:

Where to Submit Your Proposal

This year, PyTennessee is using PaperCall to manage the Call for Papers. PaperCall is a free service for speakers, but you will need an account in order to submit. Once you have an account with PaperCall, submitting your talk is as easy as clicking this link and submitting your talk.

If you have any questions about the proposal process or the CFP form, please let the organizers know.

Financial Assistance

We don’t want expenses to be a discouraging factor for submitting to PyTennessee. Once talk selection is over, if your talk has been accepted or selected for standby, you will receive a link to a financial assistance request form. The conference will pay for airfare to get here and lodging for Friday and Saturday nights. If you need financial assistance above that, there will be a place in the form to let us know. Because the financial assistance process doesn’t happen until after talk selection, whether you need financial assistance or not does not factor into our talk selection process.

Speaker Mentoring

A new program we’re trying at PyTennessee this year is offering speaker mentoring/coaching. The coaching sessions will initially be available to first-time speakers only, but may be opened up to experienced speakers as well (this will depend on interest from first-time speakers). The cost of the sessions will be handled by the conference, and will not cost the speakers anything. We’ll have more details about the coaching program in the coming months.

Session Type Information

We encourage everyone to submit a talk or a tutorial, regardless of experience level. PyTennessee does best when there is a range of experience on display and when that range is reflected in the talks. If you’re at all interested in speaking, we hope you submit something to PyTennessee.

Take a look below at the various session types available at PyTennessee and figure out which one is right for you!


These are the “standard” talk style: speaker at the front of the room, audience watching, lecture style. There’s no specific format required for a talk. Some people use slides, some people live code, but you’re welcome and encouraged to try anything. At PyTennessee there are two lengths of talks, a 30min talk and a 45min talk. You should choose the talk that gives you enough time to run through your material and still have time for questions. And don’t worry, if you pick a 30min talk and end up go over, it’s no big deal; we arrange our schedule to allow for that.

We don’t restrict the topics of talks in any way, though topics that are most successful are topics that are about Python, the Python community, or the shared experience of being in a professional setting.

We encourage speakers to submit as many talks as they’d like, though we try our best to only select one talk per speaker if possible.


Tutorials are similar to talks in their layout: speaker up front, audience watching, lecture style. Where tutorials differ is in their length and delivery. Tutorials come in two flavors: 1 and 2 hour. Tutorials are usually about a single piece of software and how to use it or about working through a process, and are formatted to encourage the audience to follow along with the presenter. Tutorials can require a bit more preparation, but engagement with the audience can be higher and more hands on.

Like talks, we don’t restrict the topics of tutorials in any way, and encourage people to try new things and take risks.

Code of Conduct

All speakers at PyTennessee are expected to have read and to abide by our Code of Conduct. The content of a talk or tutorial (as well as the content on any slides) should be appropriate for a professional audience that includes people of any different backgrounds. Sexual language and imagery are not appropriate, and neither are language or imagery that denigrate or demean people based on race, gender, religion, sexual orientation, physical appearance, disability, or body size.

Special Accommodations

The PyTennessee venue is a school, so is reasonably well set up for speakers. Each room has a podium in the front of the room with a project above the speaker’s head. The seating in most rooms is stadium seating. Rooms are well set up for speakers to give their talks without amplification, but microphones will be provided in each room in case the speaker would like to use one. The venue provides adapters for most computers:

If you require an adapter that isn’t in the above list, or you need any other special accommodations for your talk, please let the organizers know.