December Newsletter
12/30/2019 8:57:00 PM by: Cindy Sproles

We're just over one month out. HELP ME PLEASE! There are some important things I need to have completed. Here's why.

As I told you a few weeks ago, my husband Tim is battling bladder cancer. Long story short, he will have a complete bladder and ureter removal FEBRUARY 5. We will be at Vanderbilt Hospital for 5-7 days and this is crunch time for me. I am fortunate to have an amazing ministry partner in Eddie Jones and to have top notch conference directors who serve as my faculty. Edie Melson has agreed to work with myself and Eddie to be sure the conference comes off without a hitch, whether I'm in attendance or not. At this point, I simply do not know if I will be able to attend. We must see how he does through and after surgery. Keep Tim and myself in your prayers. All that to say, I have to have every detail completed on time in order to hand the reins over to Eddie and Edie if necessary. This is where you come in: PLEASE HELP ME!

1) Bio and photo:  Our roster is a vital part of the conference. It's your networking tool for after the conference and it's your "take the pressure off because I don't know anyone" before the conference. Please, please, if you have not already done so, send a short 25-50 bio that contains your email address and web or blog address, along with a photo to Andrea Merrell at [email protected]. The absolute deadline for this is January 31. Please, please, please - I'm begging make this roster happen by sending us your bio. Once the roster completed you will receive a pdf to download to your desktop prior to the conference. Take 10 minutes and write a short bio (it should be in 3rd person, not 1st person) and send it to Andrea. She will have a list and will mark them off as she receives them. 

2) Please complete your conference payments:   I sent our invoice reminders today. Please check your spam folder and trash folder. Sometimes things coming from Pay Pal go directly there. I don't like to sugar coat the facts because I believe folks need to know what goes on in pulling off a conference. We are obligated by written contract to the Cove for payment of the reservations. This is why it is vital that you send your payment on time. You have all been wonderful to make timely payments and I simply add this because I HAVE TO HAVE THINGS TIED UP before I pass the reins over to Eddie and Edie. Everything has to be done. I have to have paid the bills, reimbursed the travel expenses, and paid the faculty stipends. Your help in completing this step on time will be much appreciated.

3) Mentoring: Look over the mentoring. If this is something you would be interested in, then you need to act soon. Mentors need time to process through your work so they can prepare for a one hour one-on-one meeting with you. Mentoring is an additional cost to you but FOLKS, this is an amazing opportunity to have one of our professionals spend one-on-one time with you working on YOUR manuscript. Please visit and check out our mentors. You will contact Teri Kelly at
[email protected] if you are interested. She will respond with how you make payment and what you are required to send to your mentor. NOTE:  THERE IS A DEADLINE!

4) Paid Critiques: This is pretty much the same as above as far as where to go to look at the critique service. It's on the same page. There are a lot of our faculty standing by to meet with you in a personalized 15 minute appointment and go over your work in progress. Again, this is a wonderful opportunity. Visit You will also contact Teri Kelly for this service and she will direct you on what you need to do.  [email protected].  NOTE: THERE IS A DEADLINE.

5) Bookstore:  Yearly we present books by our faculty. Our faculty is kind to come and teach for a small stipend. Book sales help them make up the difference in the days lost from their working desk at home. Please look over our faculty on the Faculty page and then visit Amazon to see their books. Plan ahead and be ready to purchase one or two. This benefits you because you have amazing books to read and learn from, and it helps supplement our faculty's hungry family. (grin) Seriously, anytime you purchase a book, you are helping those who wrote the book. Please come prepared to shop our bookstore. On a second note, we can only sell faculty books at the Cove. There are couple of reasons, the first being, I am just not up to snuff on running down the sales taxes for multiple states. Much less be able to handle the book work and accounting. Secondly, the Cove is gracious to allow us to sell only our faculty books without going through their bookstore and paying a percent to them. Finally, if you've attended our conference before, you know we are TIGHT on space on the 3rd floor. Those things coupled together, are the reasoning behind only selling faculty books. I hope you'll visit the bookstore and shop. Bennie Jones and Kevin Spencer will help you at the bookstore.

6) 2021 Pre-registration and 2020 MP3s:  At our bookstore you will be able to register with a $25 deposit to hold a room for you at our 2021 conference. We will notify you in late August and be sure you are still planning to attend. At that time we'll offer you a payment option. This $25 deposit is only good during the conference so if you don't take advantage of it then, you will miss out.  MP3's will be available after the conference. For $35 you will be able to purchase all the conference classes and keynotes. You will receive a book when you arrive at the Cove with all the class handouts. Between this book and the MP3s you will have full access to the conference year round. We only sell these MP3s to our conferees and we ask that you do not share them. It's not fair to you or our faculty if you pass them around. If you are serious about your writing career, plan to purchase the mp3s so you have full learning anytime you want to revisit. You will be able to purchase the MP3s and make your deposit with Wendy Leech at the bookstore. 

7) Seven weeks of additional training:  Beginning the first week in January we will send you a blog post lesson per week. These are additional things that you can learn from and put into practice prior to the conference. To my knowledge, we are the only conference who does this and it's because we want you to learn as much as you can. Each blog post will contain a short post and a challenge or practice activity for you to do at home. Look for these and read them. We want to give you as much learning as possible. 

8) AS THE CONFERENCE APPROACHES: I will be updating the website with information. EVERYTHING you need to know for check-in will be on the website under Conference Updates. Currently, the info there is from last year but most of this does not change. However, from time to time tweaks have to be made. Please keep a check on this page and also on the NEWSLETTERS. If you are not receiving the mailchimp email, I send a link in your personal email AND they are posted on the website under NEWSLETTERS. There is no reason you cannot have every opportunity to get the information. Just pull up the page and look.

9) Conference Mission - Each year we place the BOB BOX on the desk at the bookstore. We collect funds to send to the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation. Our own Bob Hostetler has two grandkids who deal daily with CF. Christian Devotions then matches the funds we collect and add this to Bob's personal fund raising challenge with the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation. Let me just say, we have rarely sent less than $1500 to help the CFF. This is only from the goodness and generosity of our conferees. Please plan to give a little something to the Bob Box while you are at the conference. God calls us to care for others.  Help us give back.

10) CONTESTS:  Visit and check out entering the Sparrow Award Book Contest or the Devotion Contest. This is a wonderful opportunity for you to see how your work fairs among your conferee peers. You can't win if you don't try. DEADLINES ARE QUICKLY APPROACHING.

Finally, we are poised to sell out again this year. Currently we have 11 rooms left ON CAMPUS and approx. 20 slots total for conferees. If you are staying off campus, please note that you will not be saving any additional money by staying in a hotel off campus. The cost per person at the Cove works out within a few dollars of what you pay off campus. Plus you are not hit with taxes since the Cove is a non-profit. If you might be interested in changing to a room at the Cove, let me know quickly as they will fill quickly. [email protected]

IF SOMETHING SHOULD HAPPEN THAT YOU CANNOT ATTEND: Our Cancellation Policy is as follows:  Cancellations can be made prior to January 1 with full reimbursement. Cancellations after January 1 are non-refundable.

Get your running shoes on! We're about to hit the downhill slide! SHARE OUR CONFERENCE WITH YOUR PEERS. INVITE THEM TO COME!


Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you. - 1 Peter 5:7 NIV

It's been crazy since summer. It never occurred to me how many plates I juggled until my sweet ministry partner and his wife pointed it out. "Cindy, you don't have to do it all. You've put people in place that handle things perfectly. Delegate."

I had already delegated a lot of the work. Bennie and Kevin do the bookstore, Teri manages the appointments and mentoring/critiques, Beth and Dee Dee manage the intake of conferees on conference day. And oh my, sweet Sarah handles the contests. Eddie and Edie could and would run the conference if I couldn't be there. What would I do without them? 

God has blessed me with folks who just take the ball and run. I never have to worry about the tasks being completed, so when Eddie and Bennie pointed a finger and insisted I delegate the remainder of the conference work, I had to loosen my whitened knuckles and let someone else manage it.  Andrea stepped up to help with the roster, and Denise took on the manual. I could take a deep breath.

Suddenly the anxiety left me. 

I realize now, God had a hand in making sure I could manage His conference. I guess Peter knew what he was talking about when he said to cast our anxiety on Him because He cares for us. God does care for us, first in His love and patience and second in His provision. He knows what we are facing come February 5th with Tim's surgery. Each day, someone else steps up in another aspect of my life to help me out. 

My publisher told me "not to fret" they would help me anyway they could while Tim was having surgery. My executive editor lives in Nashville. I was completely blown away when she said, "Cindy, I'll come sit with you while Tim is in surgery." It brought tears to my eyes. My boss (the one with the day job) reminded me not to worry for days off. Do what I needed to do. Honestly, how often does that happen? Folks at church have slipped sweet notes in our hands that carry gift cards to restaurants, or Visa gift cards so we have money to help us out while we are living in Nashville for two weeks. I was able to sell items that have bugged the tar outta me for years, and put additional money in our travel kitty. A friend from college sent me a note and told me he was driving from ST.  LOUIS (mind you) to Nashville on the day of Tim's surgery to be with me. I am simply overwhelmed at the kindness. 

It's sad that it took my ministry partners to make me realize what I should have already knew. God will care for me and does care for me. I just have to open my eyes and let Him.

Life can punch us in the gut and even put a halt to the things we know we need to do, but it's important to not fall victim to the garbage. Sure, we're facing some bumpy road in the next few weeks, but I can clearly see that when I placed my anxiety in Him, He kept His promises.

As conference time approaches, you'll probably get your feet stomped a few times. Satan likes to do that. Your job is to cast your anxiety on Him and let Him do what must be done. I haven't stopped doing my conference prep or quit writing. I'm still going to work at the day job, still working as women's ministry coordinator at church, still planning for my family, still keeping house. But I've relinquished some of the details and my plates are spinning much easier these days. 

I realize everyone doesn't have a Bennie and Eddie to pop them with reality because they love you, but we all have God. We all have the same gifts from Him IF we choose to cast our anxiety on Him.

Get to work. Hand off the hard stuff to God and let Him move you forward faster than light. He has gifted you to write. Do it. Offer your time up to Him and let Him clear the path.

I look forward to seeing you in February. I know, I said earlier I may have to hand over the reins, but that is preparation. I still believe God will make clear the way and I will welcome you at the door.  That's the way it is until He says, "Wait. I'm changing the plan." If I can do it in the midst of havoc. . . so can you. 

Previous Posts

One Final Note
3/19/2021 7:05:00 PM  by: Cindy Sproles

February 24 - Final Newsletter
2/24/2021 10:05:00 AM  by: Cindy Sproles

2/22/2021 9:24:00 PM  by: Cindy Sproles

February 15, Assignment 6
2/15/2021 12:36:00 PM  by: Cindy Sproles

February 6, 2021 - Assignment 5
2/6/2021 3:33:00 PM  by: Cindy Sproles

January 31, Week 4 Assignment
1/31/2021 7:00:00 AM  by: Cindy Sproles

January 21 - Assignment 3
1/22/2021 6:12:00 PM  by: Cindy Sproles

January 11 UPDATES
1/11/2021 7:49:00 PM  by: Cindy Sproles

January 10, Assignment 2 (1 or 2 assignments)
1/10/2021 7:00:00 AM  by: Cindy Sproles

January 5, Assignment 1 - Let's Begin with a Bio
1/5/2021 1:59:00 PM  by: Cindy Sproles

December 26 Newsletter
12/26/2020 10:57:00 AM  by: Cindy Sproles

December 5 Newsletter
12/5/2020 2:19:00 PM  by: Cindy Sproles

November 2020 Newsletter
11/3/2020 5:54:00 PM  by: Cindy Sproles

September Newsletter - Regarding 2021
9/1/2020 11:03:00 AM  by: Cindy Sproles

MP3's Available Sunday, March 29
3/27/2020 10:25:00 AM  by: Cindy

3/10/2020 6:43:00 PM  by: Cindy Sproles

February 19 - Final, Final, FINAL update
2/19/2020 10:06:00 PM  by: Cindy Sproles

February 19 - Final, Final, FINAL update
2/19/2020 10:06:00 PM  by: Cindy Sproles

February 16 Final Newsletter & Roster
2/16/2020 9:29:00 PM  by: Cindy Sproles

February 7 Newsletter - Assignment 7
2/7/2020 7:00:00 PM  by: Cindy Sproles

February 1 Newsletter - Assignments 5 & 6
1/31/2020 10:34:00 PM  by: Cindy Sproles

January 26 Newsletter - Assignment 4
1/27/2020 12:04:00 AM  by: Cindy Sproles

January 18, Assignments 2 & 3
1/18/2020 5:10:00 PM  by: Cindy Sproles

January 11, Update and Assignment 1
1/11/2020 8:13:00 PM  by: Cindy Sproles

January 8, UPDATE
1/8/2020 10:42:00 PM  by: Cindy Sproles

1/3/2020 3:28:00 PM  by: Cindy Sproles

December Newsletter
12/30/2019 8:57:00 PM  by: Cindy Sproles

November Newsletter
11/17/2019 9:05:00 PM  by: Cindy Sproles

October Newsletter
10/20/2019 7:29:00 PM  by: Cindy Sproles

2020 Asheville Christian Writers Conference - Welcome - August 2019
8/24/2019 5:49:00 PM  by: Cindy Sproles

2/20/2019 3:45:00 PM  by: Cindy Sproles

February 10 and Assignment 7
2/10/2019 7:05:00 PM  by: Cindy Sproles

January 27 - Assignment 5
1/27/2019 10:38:00 PM  by: Cindy Sproles

January 13, 2019 Newsletter - Assignment 3
1/13/2019 9:13:00 PM  by: Cindy Sproles

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

January 1 Newsletter - Assignment 1
1/3/2019 2:01:00 PM  by: Cindy Sproles

12/28/2018 9:56:00 PM  by: Cindy Sproles

December 2018 Newsletter
12/28/2018 9:50:00 PM  by: Cindy Sproles

November Newsletter
11/30/2018 9:53:00 PM  by: Cindy Sproles

November Special Note
11/18/2018 9:51:00 PM  by: Cindy Sproles

October Newsletter 10/24/18
10/24/2018 8:44:00 PM  by: Cindy Sproles

OCTOBER Newsletter
10/6/2018 8:36:00 PM  by: Cindy Sproles

September 5, 2018 Asheville Christian Writers Conference - And the Fun Begins!
9/5/2018 5:33:00 PM  by: Cindy Sproles

2018 Writers Charge
2/18/2018 10:26:00 PM  by: Cindy Sproles

February 11, 2018 - Assignment 7 - Final Assignment and Roster
2/11/2018 8:27:00 PM  by: Cindy Sproles

Newsletter, February 4, 2018 - Assignment 6
2/4/2018 9:30:00 PM  by: Cindy Sproles

January 28, 2018 NEWSLETTER - Assignment 5
1/28/2018 9:06:00 PM  by: Cindy Sproles

January 14, 2018 - Assignment 3
1/14/2018 9:41:00 PM  by: Cindy Sproles

February 7, 2018 Newsletter & Assignment 2
1/7/2018 9:12:00 PM  by: Cindy Sproles

Newsletter, January 1, 2018 ASSIGNMENT 1
1/1/2018 9:18:00 PM  by: Cindy Sproles

Newsletter, December 21, 2017
12/21/2017 12:45:00 PM  by: Cindy Sproles

Newsletter, December 4, 2017
12/5/2017 9:03:00 AM  by: Cindy Sproles

Newsletter November 14, 2017
11/15/2017 9:38:00 PM  by: Cindy Sproles

Newsletter - October 28, 2017
10/28/2017 7:18:00 PM  by: Cindy Sproles

Newsletter September 26, 2017
9/26/2017 3:40:00 PM  by: Cindy Sproles

Newsletter - Assignment 5
2/5/2017 2:18:00 PM  by: Cindy

Newsletter - Assignment 4
1/30/2017 2:21:00 PM  by: Cindy

Newsletter - Assignment 3
1/20/2017 2:22:00 PM  by: Cindy

Newsletter - Assignment 2
1/13/2017 2:24:00 PM  by: Cindy

Newsletter - Assignment 1
1/7/2017 2:26:00 PM  by: Cindy

Newsletter December 18
12/18/2016 3:31:00 PM  by: Cindy

Newsletter December 8
12/8/2016 3:34:00 PM  by: Cindy

Newsletter November 23
11/23/2016 3:37:00 PM  by: Cindy

Newsletter November 12
11/12/2016 3:39:00 PM  by: Cindy

Newsletter October 29
10/29/2016 3:41:00 PM  by: Cindy

Newsletter October 9
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Newsletter October 1
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Newsletter August 23
8/23/2016 3:44:00 PM  by: Cindy

Newsletter Assignment 5
2/6/2016 10:10:00 AM  by: Cindy

Newsletter Assignment 4
2/1/2016 10:12:00 AM  by: Cindy

Newsletter Assignment 3
1/13/2016 10:37:00 AM  by: Cindy

Newsletter Assignment 2
1/8/2016 10:39:00 AM  by: Cindy

Newsletter Assigment 1
1/1/2016 10:42:00 AM  by: Cindy