Joy of WP

They Picked Me To Speak At WordCamp Europe 2023? Really?

WordCamp Europe Athens, Greece June 8 - 10, 2023
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A couple of years ago I was watching a live stream from Paris. It was WordCamp Europe 2017. Or maybe it was WordCamp 2018 from Belgrade? Or maybe, WC EU coming from Berlin?

Looking back, it doesn’t really matter. All I thought was, “Wouldn’t it be cool to go to WordCamp Europe one day?” Anywhere would be fine with me. After all, I thought of WordCamp Europe as WordCamp World. I don’t mean to dis WC Asia or the two WordCamps US that I attended.

Fast forward to February 2023. I got the crazy idea of applying to speak, figuring that would be my ticket to attend. I told my wife, Arlene, about this and everyone else. I said I had a 1 out of 1000 chance of being chosen. While I had spoken at a few WCs before, I had gotten rejected twice by WC US. My prospects were not good.

I submitted just one topic. It was unique to me. “Using Low Vision As My Tool To Help Me Teach WordPress.” I had spoken on this at WC Boston 2019 and got accepted to speak at WC DC and WC Chicago in the spring of 2020 but we know what happened to those WCs.

After submitting my talk, the wait began. I was expecting to get rejected in early March but got an email saying that I would not hear anything until the end of March.

Finally, on the morning of March 31 at 6:15 AM I awoke to these words in the body of an email: We are thrilled…

And I stopped right there.

No way.

I continued reading.


Yes, I was accepted to speak at this year’s WordCamp Europe and they loved my topic. I wanted to wake my wife but was patient knowing she’d be up soon. After she did her morning stuff I told her to read the email. I watched her head do a double take and we both reveled in our states of shock.

We put ourselves in scramble mode to organize the trip together in the ensuing weeks. Of course, we’re going to Santorini after Athens for a 4-day post-WC EU recovery.

Today, I am putting on the finishing touches of my talk thinking, “How could they not pick me? In one title I have two things the WordPress Community loves – Disability and Teaching WordPress.”

I should have known all along. But I didn’t and the shock will never wear off.

What about you? Are you going to WordCamp Europe? Will you be speaking too? Or are you going to live stream it? Let us know!

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