January 6, 2019 Newsletter - Assignment 2
1/6/2019 9:16:00 PM by: Cindy Sproles

This is really your January 1 letter!
Assignment 2 is up on the blog
I was so excited when Beth Fortune sent me a note and asked if I wanted an assignment for the conference. I COULDN'T SHOUT YES loud enough. This week we thank her for a great post. Beth is a writer and a speaker and she knows, as any serious writer knows, speaking and writing go hand-in-hand.
Here's the link! Go to it.

We love to provide you additional learning. These assignments are for your use at home. I hope you get some great information from this post. THANKS BETH.

The roster is a real chore. I've asked every newsletter for you to send a 50 word or less bio and a jpg photo to [email protected]

Will I be mad if you don't send it. Nope. But the purpose for the roster is two-fold. 1) you are able to see other conferees BEFORE the conference. Fit names with faces. It helps ease the tension of not knowing folks. At least you'll see a familiar face. 2) Following instruction. Publishers are sticklers about following instruction. If you can manage to send something as simple as a bio, how will you manage to send manuscripts formated according to guidelines listed on deadlines. There is method to our madness with this roster. 

So, I am going to list here the names of folks who need to send me a bio. It will be the last time I send a list. After that, I will just continue to remind you in newsletters until February 9. After that, if I do not receive it, you will not be listed in the roster. So begin your writing career on the right foot and follow this simple instruction. Learn from it. Practice. You'll need this skill as you begin your writing career.

Many of the names listed are newcomers and have not had this information. Others are not. Please help me make this roster a success. It will serve as your continued networking tool.

D. Adams            T. Armtzem          S. Adloms      S. Ayers
J. Baldwin           H. Barry              B. Bynum       D. Carter
C. Cascio            A. Chastain           M. Chastain  
D. Chestnut         P. Clabough           T. Clark        B. Comolli
B. Coots              D. Crass               R. Critchely
K. Crutchfield     M. Dyer               K. Evans         L. Floren
A. Friend            M. George            C. Heilman     S. Hitch
D. Kincheloe        W. Leech             M. Mabrey     
D. Mahan            M. Mahan             K. Mears        P. Mills
S. O'Neal           M. Puccini            A. Pyle           D. Pyle
M. Ramsey          S. Reynolds          T. Russell       T. Sharpe
S. Spraker          C. Stratton          C. Szalay       C. Tarter
M. Wiles             Mic Wiles           M. Wilken      A. Wirtz

From here forward you will need to be sure to check the conference updates numerous times. I will send ONE NEWS LETTER PER WEEK and any additional updates will be on the Conference Update page. Under Conference Updates you will find a link called CURRENT UPDATES. This link will have important information about your check in at the Cove, last minute important news, attire, what to bring, all that kind of stuff. I cannot do this for you. Check the website on or after the third week of January at I'll start to populate that page.

Our book contest and devotion contests are nearing their deadlines. Please, the website under Contests and you'll find the information you'll need about the contests, deadlines, and how to submit.

Start to pray seriously over this conference. Ask God for safe travel. Good health and perfect weather. Lift up our faculty, your peers, and the staff. We want this conference smothered in prayer.


We still have mentoring spots available with Eva Marie Everson. I realize Eva was a last minute add but let me tell you...if you want to learn fiction. Sit at her feet. She has space for two mentoring appointments. I hope you'll take advantage of that.
I believe there is one or two still available with Les Stobbe. And perhaps one with Edie Melson. Contact Terri at [email protected] to grab one of those last available spots.

Deadlines are quickly approaching. Visit for further information. Don't miss out on stepping forward in your writing career. It's not about winning a's about stepping out to enter. Taking a chance. Learning how to move forward in your writing. It can be scary, but you will never know until you make the effort. Writing is all about stepping out. Entering a contest is the first step in believing in yourself and trusting God will use you.


Those pesky invoices
Finally, there are still some outstanding invoices. Those invoices have to be paid. I have sent reminders. If you know you owe money but did not get the reminder via Pay Pal, know that I also forwarded to you from my email.  Still, we can't always control technology, so if you know you owe money and you need the link to pay, please send me a private email to [email protected] 

Once again, PLEASE DO NOT REPLY TO THIS EMAIL. If you want to send me an email, PLEASE, PLEASE send it directly to [email protected]  If you reply to this newsletter I am not going to see it, so don't be upset with me if I don't respond. SEND A NEW EMAIL!

Please complete your payments for the Cove. Enter your contests and pay. You can do it. I can't wait to see all the entries.

Your Spiritual Take Away
Faith Tested
He replied, “Because you have so little faith. Truly I tell you, if you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move. Nothing will be impossible for you.”  - Matthew 17:20 NIV

It was beautiful. My hand shook as I held the tiny round glass bulb attached to a gold chain. Inside an even smaller black dot.

"Do you know what that is?" Mrs. Currie asked. She was a super Sunday school teacher who always knew just the perfect thing to do that would help her students remember.

"No, but it's so delicate and pretty."

She brushed my hair over my shoulders and hooked the necklace around my neck. I grasped it and gazed at the dot.

"That, sweet girl, is a mustard seed. Jesus told us if we could even have the faith of something as tiny as a mustard seed, we could move mountains. You remember that. Strong faith will move you through anything. It may not be easy, but it move you through."

She was right too. Everytime I hit a snag in life, I remembered that tiny mustard seed and I spent time developing a deeper relationship with Christ because I wanted that type of faith.

I've not always been successful but I believe God knows I'm far from perfection. Still He helps me groom my faith. So when I stepped out to attend that first writers conference, I wasn't sure what was ahead. I attended alone, much like many of you. I didn't know a soul. Had no idea what the lingo was for a writers conference...I was, by all due rights, pretty green.

I took hold of that faith and asked God to guide me. "Lord, I just want to be a writer. Will you let me be a writer for you?"

I got slamed a lot for using that prayer. Folks told me it was an insult to God. Said I had no faith in the gifts I'd been went on and on. But to me, the prayer was important. I would do my part to learn the craft, make the effort, work hard, and I pleaded God would see that effort and desire and allow me the dream.

He did too, but not in my timing. Eight years after I prayed that prayer the first time, God opened the necessary doors for me. I was ready. I'd remainded faithful and trusted He would answer my prayer, see me through - and I kept my end of the request. I learned all I could.

It wasn't easy. Rejections sting but I began to look at each one as a rung on a ladder. For every rejection, I was taking one new step upward to the goal.

God delights in giving us our dreams. The thing is, He may approach the dream from an angle you didn't expect. And with each motion of His plan your desire swings toward the plan He has for you. You'll find your niche' in the writing world. You may think it's writing a memoir but it may be writing a novel or vice versa. The point is, be faithful. Work hard. Pray without ceasing that God will use the work you produce and as you grow in the knowledge of the craft, God will make your efforts successful.

Is your faith the size of a mustard seed? Can it move a mountain? Only you can answer that question but don't stop practicing the craft. Keep at it and your faith will move mountains.

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