Conference Updates



February 19 – Schedule Update and information

*The Canva Class Pepper Basham will teach is approved and will be taught at the early bird classes. 

*Remember to visit our Bookstore. Only faculty books are sold at the bookstore due to lack of space. We’re sorry, but we just don’t have the space for conferee books. However, feel free to carry your books with you and share/show them to your peers, then share a link for them to purchase.

*The faculty panel on Friday night is nixed due to the schedule changes forcing our time to shorten. If we get ahead, we may squeeze it in.

*Appointments will be made Friday night for the general conferees. Terri will explain how we will proceed to make appointments. We ask that you remember we are in a building, and rushing like a herd of cattle won’t do anything but bottleneck our already tight area. Be patient. There’s plenty of appointments available.

*Appointments will be held in the large conference room and seating area behind the 3rd-floor elevator. 

*Please do not email our liability form. Our Conferee Care Team will be sure you are able to sign one at check in. 

*The weather is supposed to be cool and maybe give us a rain shower or two at night. NO SNOW in the forecast. We do recommend you plan to dress comfortable and warm. The rooms tend to get chilly. So be prepared.

*Unless you are staying off-campus, we ask that you do not leave the campus. If there is a need to leave, please let me, Terri, or our bookstore attendants. Be sure we have a phone number to reach you and that you have my phone number or Terri’s phone number in the event of an emergency.

*We encourage you to spend some downtime in the evenings on the second-floor level of Shepherds Inn. There is a huge fireplace on the main entrance level and on the second floor. Utilize that to enjoy some time getting to know your peers.

Below is an updated schedule for your quick review. Please print and bring with you.


Updated 2/19/24

*Conference room locations:  Conference Room A is directly behind the bookstore.

*Conference room B is located through Conference Room A, through the curtain, and behind Conference Room A



Friday Early Bird classes begin at 1:00 p.m. 

1:00–3:30 (Conference Room A)
Edie Melson: Ins and Outs of Social Media


Billy Wayne Arrington – Lyric Crafting (Conference Room A)

Pepper Basham – Class on Canva (Conference Room B)

4:30 – 5:10 Tammy Karasek – Street Teams and Launch Teams – Do I need them (Conference Room A)

5:00 – Faculty Meeting – Large conference room – 3rd floor


6:00 – 7:00

7:10 – 7:40 Worship

7:45 – 9:00 Report to Duty, opening assembly in the main auditorium – Keynote Eva Marie Everson

Out of the building by 10:00


SATURDAY (Step Up classes are in Conference Room A and Step Out Classes are in Conference Room B)

8:00 – 8:45 – Breakfast

8:50–9:15 – Praise and Worship

9:15– 9:55  Keynote – Eva Marie Everson

10:00 – 10:50   

Step Up Class – Taryn Souders – What Should You Know about Writing for Children

Step Out Class – Vincent Davis – Book Launch Myths & What You Should Do Instead

Step Up Class –  Edwina Perkins – Sensitivity and Diversity in Manuscripts

Step Out Class –  Eva Marie Everson – The All Important First Page

12:00 – 12:30  – Break and bookstore

12:30-1:30 – Lunch

1:40– 2:30
Step Up Class –  Bob Hostetler – Self Editing – 10 Simple Exercises to Elevate your Craft

Step Out Class –  Linda Goldfarb – Audiobooks: Let Your Book Talk for Itself

Step Up Class –  Eva Marie Everson – What Do You Want?

Step Out Class –  Lynette Eason – Is It Time for An Agent?

Step Up Class – Taryn Souders – Tackling Middle Grade: The Middle Child Stories

Step Out Class – Pepper Basham – Writing Romance According to Austen


Step Up Class  – Bob Hostetler – Do I Need an Agent?

Step Out Class – Sarah Loudin Thomas – Setting as Character


6:00 – 7:00 – Supper (For those who live above the Mason Dixon –  THAT’S DINNER) :)

7:10 - 7:45 – announcements and worship

7:45–8:45 –  Bob Hostetler Keynote

8:45 – 9:30ish – Visit our Bookstore

Out of building by 10:00 p.m.



8:00 – 9:00

Worship and Devotion

9:40 - 10:00 – Final opportunity to visit our bookstore

Keynote –  Bob Hostetler                

Awards and Marching Orders

When you arrive - FACULTY! We hope your rooms are ready. CONFEREES, YOUR ROOMS WILL NOT BE READY UNTIL 3. Please don't ask if they are ready. The Cove is turning over 100 rooms from a conference that leaves Friday morning. This takes time. Our faculty rooms are a priority, so they have time to get ready to teach. We hope they are ready.

YOUR BADGE - the badges the Cove provides are pin-on badges. We do have lanyards that you can hook to the pin if you'd like one. You can get that when you get your badge. NOW ABOUT THE POWER OF THE BADGE! If you get hungry at meal times, the power of the badge opens the dining hall meals to you. It is also your on-campus security badge. You must wear your badge at all times. The Cove volunteers are wonderful, but they are also sorta like ninjas. You don't see them. However, they see you. If you do not have your badge, do not be surprised if someone stops you and asks you to retrieve your badge. I know it's a bit frustrating, but one of the things that is a perk at the Cove is knowing that every conferee is 1) prayed over. They ask for a list so their prayer teams can begin praying for you. 2) The meals are awesome 3) The security is top-notch. They keep every conferee so safe. It's really not asking too much for you to wear your badge all the time. At the end of the conference, we will ask you to leave your lanyard and badge.

FRIDAY ARRIVAL – Leave your bags in the car if you arrive for early bird classes. You cannot check in until 3. You may leave them in lobby of Shepherds Inn, but rooms will not be ready until after 3. There will be time for you to check in before supper. If you arrive after 5 p.m. on Friday you will pick up your badge and room key from the main desk inside the Training Center. (Inside the door and to your right).

SUNDAY MORNING - pack your bags and put them in your car. If you are being picked up, you may leave them safely by the fireplace on the first floor of of Shepherds Inn. You must check out of your room by 10 a.m.

PRINT BEFORE YOU COME - We cannot print critiques or proposals for you. Print copies before you come. There is no account for conferees to use printing at the Cove. Please print what you think you may need and bring it with you. This includes the schedule, faculty photos if you need them, etc. If you think you need it printed, then print it before you leave home.

When you arrive, go to the Shepherds Inn and get your name tag, then walk next door to the Training Center. It’s only a few steps and if it is raining there is a covered walkway. Take the elevator to the 3rd floor. Classes begin at 1:00 p.m. (NO, you do not register for classes). There will be time to check in after Early Bird classes.

Our schedule is locked in.

FINDING THIRD FLOOR - Easy peasy! Walk into the Training Center, and you will see the monster fireplace to your right and to your left is the elevator. We try to place our banner by the elevator. Take the elevator to the 3rd floor. When you step off the elevator, you will see our bookstore. You may browse, but the store is not open for sales. They have to check in books from faculty, take inventory, and enter it into the computer. There's a lot to do to get the store ready.  You will be able to make a small deposit to hold your 2025 registration if you like. This will be taken off the price when you register on the site. This is non-refundable, and if you do not respond to us when we notify you about registration opening later in the year, we will fill your slot. The funds go into our scholarship fund.

Both Step-Up (Classes geared more toward newer writers) and Step-Out (classes geared more toward seasoned writers) are on the 3rd floor, BEHIND OUR BOOKSTORE. Step Up classes are in the first conference room, and you continue walking past the stage to the back conference room for Step Out. Now, we can't force you to stay in a track so you can wander between rooms for classes. Just be quiet as you do so. Our faculty is very seasoned to folks meandering in and out for appointments. It's fine and acceptable.

We've mentioned MP3s numerous times. We recommend you purchase the MP3s so you have the full conference at home after this weekend. You will be able to purchase those in our bookstore. They are ready about a month after the conference, and we will notify you when you can download them. MP3s take the pressure off of you in deciding what class to take. Buy the MP3s and you have the full conference afterward. Take the face-to-face classes you can take while at the conference. The rest you can listen to at home.

Our appointments and mentoring will be held in the large conference room BEHIND the elevator. There is a living room area and then the conference room. Terri will go over all that with you on Friday night. I will say, all of our faculty are awesome to meet with and chat. They all have tremendous experience  - so though we know you are just dying to spend time with BOB HOSTETLER (it goes to his head...truly it does), we have other faculty who have amazing experience. Vincent is the Amazon wizard, Pepper is releasing books left and right, Edie is the social media queen, and Eva is in a race with Bob to see who has written more books! Lynette is not only a 3 million book seller but she is also an agent. Billy is awesome to talk music or screenplays with. They all have superpower. So think through who’d you like to meet with and make a plan. My point is when appointment time arrives to sign up...consider all our faculty. They are here for you, and they are all very knowledgeable. It's time well spent to just pick their brains. Run your idea past them. Just network.

Anyway, everything you need is on the 3rd floor.

The Eternal Feeding Trough - This is what we lovingly refer to as the place where you can always find refreshment. It is one of the amenities at the Cove. There are always drinks available and ice cream in the hallway by the dining hall. Our floor has coffee and tea. I recommend you bring a nice drinking cup with a lid (we don't want spills) so that you can take advantage of this constant flow of drinks if you need them. There is also a drink station on the second-floor lobby of Shepherd's Inn. You do not have to bring water or drinks in your car. These are provided for you at these stations. NICE, HUH?

AGAIN - Clean up after yourself. Please put trash in the trash cans. I hate picking up trash, and my momma taught me that when I leave a place, it should look better than it did when I arrived. Please be neat. The Cove is beautiful, and again, their ninja staff comes and goes, and you rarely see them. You may look around, and your paper cup is gone. LOL.

Off-campus folks, drive up to the assigned Inn and get your name tag, then go to the training center. If you arrive after 5 p.m., you will get your name tag at the office in the Training Center. Go in the door, make a fast right, and the office in is that little cubby.

THE WEATHER IS SUPPOSED TO BE NICE - We want you comfortable, and the temperature will drop in the mountains when you least expect it. So nice sweaters and jeans are the perfect attire for our conference. Think modesty.

Liability Release – You will be asked to sign a liability release form when you check in. Please do that for our event insurance.

Our bookstore will open on Friday after supper. Feel free to browse, but our staff is not ready to sell until after supper. They are checking in inventory, adding it to our inventory in the Square, and making sure things are priced. Keep in mind there are times when the internet will be slow at the Cove with the hundreds of folks using it. That does, at times, affect how quickly our charge cards run. Don't grow frustrated with our staff, they have no control over the internet speed. Just chat with the folks next to you for a minute, and things will go through.

We are a fragrance-free conference. Please help us by leaving your perfumes and body sprays at home. Several of faculty have to carry epi-pens because of perfumes. Please be kind and trust your soap in the shower will keep you fresh.

The Cove has brochures with their events. Please take one. They’ll be placed throughout the building and we want you to read about all they offer. From wonderful speakers, preachers and even singers, they have it all. Check out their brochures and visit the Cove at other times during the year.

Keep in mind the Cove is Alcohol and Smoke-Free. If you are caught with these things, their security will ask you to leave. You must go to your car if you are a smoker. ABSOLUTELY not smoking, alcohol, or vaping is permitted inside any room or building. Please don’t put yourself in the position to be asked to leave.