I am writing a few research papers for an upcoming conference and things have been going decently. But I could really use more time to analyze my papers.

I am new to writing and this entire conference process, however - How should I e-mail the organizer requesting a deadline extension?

Hi Dr. Bobster,

I would like you to extend the deadline for the
international conference on procrastination.


Also if it helps: I should make this extra polite because this is also someone of high influence.


It looks like for the past versions of this conference, they gave at least a week extension. This is a fairly well known event, though it doesn't usually end up presenting any ground breaking research.

It looks like the past few events had extensions, its a well-known event but not too crazy. There's no way I can finish this with the other things I have..

If anyone wants an update, I cut the paper short, finished it on time and submitted it.

I asked for an extension. I didn't get a reply - so I thought that they thought I was being stupid. BUT.... they extended the deadline! Phew!! Maybe I didn't have to cut it short..

  • 2
    Perhaps rather than procrastonating more and going onto stackexchange, you should knuckle down and finish your paper before the deadline rather than trying to get an extension.
    – Toby Allen
    Jan 10, 2015 at 16:17
  • Yeah Toby you are so right.. Time for some sleepless nights ahead.. blahh
    – ᴇcʜo
    Jan 10, 2015 at 18:50

3 Answers 3


The words you propose are reasonable, but unlikely to have much effect. Usually, you just plain cannot affect the deadlines of a significant conference. If it is a small conference, however, there is a good chance that you can get a one week extension, and even that they may give a blanket one week extension to everybody.


It is very unlikely that there will be any extension due to your request. If you are "new to writing and this entire conference process", you are presumably not well-known / important enough that a conference organiser will make exceptions/changes to accommodate you specifically.

However, that does not mean that there certainly will not be an extension. In my field, many conferences (especially smaller ones) have the annoying habit of always extending their deadline for a week or more. Contrary, the largest and most prestigious conferences in my field make it a point to never, and for nobody, extend the deadline.

Whether your conference is likely to extend can be predicted pretty accurately by looking at the past. Check out the previous web pages of the same conference - if they extended the last one or two times, they will likely do so as well this year.

  • 2
    you are presumably not well-known / important enough — In my experience, neither is anyone else. The deadline is the same for everyone.
    – JeffE
    Jan 10, 2015 at 18:48
  • 2
    @JeffE You live in a more ethical world than me. In Applied CS, small conferences make exceptions all the time.
    – xLeitix
    Jan 10, 2015 at 18:49
  • 1
    @xLeitix I don't think it's a particularly significant ethical issue---it's just that different communities have different practices of flexibility. I have never known a conference with flexible deadlines to discriminate in who they give flexibility to.
    – jakebeal
    Jan 12, 2015 at 14:33
  • 2
    Though, if Einstein wanted an extension to my event - i'd probably give it.
    – ᴇcʜo
    Jan 12, 2015 at 15:01
  • It looks like the past few events had extensions.. its a well known event I believe - but fairly medium sized.. I'm going to e-mail an organizer.. Hopefully this goes well.
    – ᴇcʜo
    Jan 12, 2015 at 15:03

The wording you propose is ambiguous: do you want an extension for yourself or for everybody. It only makes sense to ask for an extension for yourself if the request does not waste the time of the PC member to whom you send, and the PC will be usually be most busy in the timeframe around submission.

And the PC is only likely to grant an extension for the whole conference if many more people will fail to meet the deadline than they expected: to do so is embarrassing for them -- although not as embarrassing as failing to have enough speakers to fill the promised number of days.

The PC for workshops and more informal conferences are likely to be generous in granting individual extensions, but there is only a point in asking if you give them some information that is relevant to them: the minimum should be (i) some information about what kind of thing you will hopefully submit, and (ii) name a deadline that they can grant with the one-word email "Sure" or decline with "Sorry". And (iii), something to say why you are attracted to the conference is often appreciated. So for asking for an individual extension, I recommend that your email looks something like:


I won't be able to submit all the materials required by $DEADLINE - does it make any sense
to submit later?  I attach the short version of my abstract below, and will provide the
rest of the materials by $IMUSTREALLYFINISHBYTHISDATE.

I hope that it will still be possible for me to present my work with you at $CONFERENCE.   


And something along the lines of $PERSONRESPECTEDBYPROGRAMCOMMITTEE spoke highly of $HISorHER experiences at your past conferences and I would greatly look forward to the chance to present my information with you would be appropriate for the third point.

  • 1
    thanks - it looks like the past two events had extensions for some reason.. i could definitely use this time!!
    – ᴇcʜo
    Jan 12, 2015 at 14:08

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