Call For Papers

Submissions: Open September 30, 2019 - Close: December 13, 2019

The World Literacy Summit welcomes research papers, projects/organisation presentations or abstracts linked to:

‘Reading Changes Lives!’.

The ability to read and write is directly linked to positive outcomes in education, employment, health, and economic achievement. Yet in 2020, the reality is, illiteracy and functional literacy still impacts our families, communities, schools, workforces and the stability of nations across the globe.

Today within the literacy issue, we often talk about digital literacy, financial illiteracy, generational illiteracy, research gaps, the distribution of evidence-based practices and more.

As leaders in the sector, we strive for improvement, growth, collaboration, and exploration to make a greater impact on our world’s literacy.

‘Reading Changes Lives!’ We know organizations like yours impact research and affect roles to influence global literacy. What everyone needs to know… ‘What is your story?’

The World Literacy Summit 2020 will explore these and associated ideas in the pursuit of improved literacy opportunity across the world.


September 30, 2019      Submissions open

December 13, 2019        Submissions closed

January 10, 2020           Review process completed

January 17, 2020           Letters of acceptance

January 31, 2020           Presenters registration deadline


First Nation
Early Childhood
Girls Education
Research & Evaluation
Functional Illiteracy
Sustainable Development
Literacy and Technology
Goals and Literacy Programmes


  • The portal to submit your application will be live from September 30 until December 13, 2019
  • Submission of an abstract, presentation or research paper DOES NOT automatically register you as a conference speaker. Conference registration must be completed separately.
  • All communications regarding your abstract will be sent to the email address provided by you in the submission document.
  • We recommend the email address belongs to the main author who will be in attendance at the conference.

What is your story?

This is an opportunity for you to share ideas, views and stories with a global audience around one main theme in support of the literacy sector.

Each presentation is focused on one single message delivered in a engaging way to maintain the audience’s attention, curiosity and spark new thoughts and candid input among WLS participants.

WSL 2020 Key Factors

Duration of the session 90 minutes (6 speakers)
Venue Oxford University – Colleges
Oral presentation 12 minutes + 3 minutes for Q & A
Number of participants approximately 60 – 80 per venue
Language English
Theme ‘Reading Changes Lives’
Streams Adult literacy, first nation, early childhood, girls education, research and evaluation, functional illiteracy, sustainable development,
literacy and technology, goals and literacy programmes, other… Select one/two streams that best fit the theme of your research.
  •   September 30, 2019       Submissions open
  •   December 13, 2019      Submissions closed
  •   January 10, 2020       Review process completed
  •   January 17, 2020       Letters of acceptance
  •   January 31, 2020       Presenters registration deadline
Registration Submission of an abstract, presentation or research DOES NOT automatically register you as a conference speaker. Conference
registration must be completed separately. As we are only a small charitable group, with limited funding, unfortunately, our financial
assistance to attend does not extend to pay speakers fees and/or travel arrangements. Register here!

Outline submission

Attending the summit is about more than seeing papers presented. It’s about connecting with your peers, participating in discussion, and being exposed to a myriad of ideas from within the sector and beyond. With this in mind, we encourage submissions that will allow you to actively engage in the conference experience.

You can submit a proposal for any of the following:

  • Research Papers on research studies, case studies, evaluations, or projects. Presentations may also be more exploratory, highlighting a key problem, opportunity or possibility.
  • Abstracts of completed or proposed research studies. Include the research objectives, proposed methodology and a discussion of expected outcomes.
  • Case Studies on research, assessments, or plans. Presentations to include inspective, underlining problem, prospect or likelihood.
  • Student Papers that provide a very short overview of a project, showcase a technology or implementation or highlight a key issue. Ideally to float ideas or gain speaking experience.
  • Report on issues related to Summit topics take an innovative approach to creating engaging audience interaction. Examples include innovation techniques or interactive experiences.  

In the view to present at the summit, prepare yourself for a 12 minutes in length with an additional 3 minutes for question time. It is preferred if your presentation is in a PWT format with embedded files and provided to the organizers in advance. You will have use of a laptop, clicker, lectern, and microphone, please keep in mind that all session rooms will be set up in theatre style for the maximum capacity attendees. Further details regarding this will be provided to you upon confirmation of your inclusion into the program.


Who can submit?

We invite proposals from literacy, academics and educators, libraries and literacy sector professionals, industry partners – essentially anyone with a passion and commitment to the important role that libraries play in our society.

What to submit?

Submissions should include:

  • Title of your paper
  • Name of the author and speaker
  • The name of your department and organisation
  • Address including country
  • Contact information – phone, email, social media links
  • An abstract/paper/case study/student paper etc.. (no less/more than 180 -300 words) 
  • A biography on the speaker which should include an outline of relevant speaking experience and their content expertise
  • A photograph of the presenter
  • An overview of your presentation/talking points/ main ideas in alignment with
  • What attendees will get out of your session
  • Who the session is aimed at
  • how the session fits the conference theme

Please note – All communications about your abstract submission will be sent to the email address that you provided during the submission process. We recommend that the email address belongs to the main author who will be in attendance at the conference.

How to submit?

Submit your Call for Paper, through the Call for Paper submission button below.

Upon receiving your Call for Paper submission, a confirmation receipt will be emailed to you. This confirms your upload has been received by the World Literacy Summit Conference organisers for editorial review.


Important: Ensure your photo is labeled using your full name.

Process  for Editorial Review

The World Literacy Foundation conference organisers will review your submission. The editorial review period; on a rolling basis and no later than mid January.

Criteria being considered when reviewing the proposal;

  • Relevance of the presentation to the WSL theme and programme
  • Creativity, interactivity and engaging dimension of the presentation.
  • Demonstration that the presentation will spark thoughts among participants
  • Clarity and writing style of the proposal

The conference organizers reserve the right to ask applicants to make small adjustments to the shape of their papers to support the needs of the program. 

Presenters may also decide to submit a paper and to have the paper reviewed.

Copyright Guidelines

All paper/abstracts submitted must be original work and not previously presented in any form at other conferences (unless agreed to in writing by the conference organizers). 

By submitting your abstract, you acknowledge that all submissions (abstracts, full papers and presentations) may be part/fully published on WLS websites, phone application and conference handbook (program). You also acknowledge and grant permission to have your presentation live web-streamed, video and or audio recorded and for those recordings to be published via the World Literacy Foundation.

Please note:. Please ensure that your abstract has been proof read before submitting and does not contains any personal or contact details that you do not wish to be distributed or published.

Thank you for your interest in WLS, we look forward to receiving your submission.

Key Guidelines

To facilitate the submission process, please be aware of the following guidelines:
  • You must submit a Call For Paper of your research paper, project/organisation presentation or abstract trough ‘Call for Paper’ Form with 180 – 300 words. Documents that exceed the word limit will be asked for revision.
  • We only accept documents written in English.
  • Please include your following personal information in your document:
    • Full name
    • Position
    • Department and Organisation
    • Country
    • Address
    • Contact/mobile number
    • Email Address
    • Twitter/LinkedIn
  • Select one or two streams of the conference that better describe the theme of your research, abstract or presentation.
  • Digital photo – provide a headshot photo – white background, 300 dpi, jpeg format, and label using your full name.