Newsletters

January 5, Assignment 1 - Let's Begin with a Bio
Tuesday, January 5, 2021 by Cindy Sproles

Assignment 1

For those returning to our conference, you will remember that 7 weeks prior to our conference our wonderful staff begins to send you additional study materials. They're just nice like that. :) The truth is, we are only a 24 hr conference and there are ONLY 24 hours in a day and well...that's just not enough. Soooooo! You guessed it. We want to give you more. For the next 7 weeks, you will receive a weekly study boost - a shot in the arm, so to speak. We'll begin with the bio. This week you'll read briefly about the types of bios and then your assignment is to write three. Not one, not two, but you guessed it...THREE.  Read the lesson and you'll see why. You can click on the Let's Begin with a Bio link. Head on over there and start work on your bio. Who knows what next week will be!

Pass the Word Along...
It's not too late to join us either on campus or virtually for this conference. Pass the word along to your peers. Actually, we'd love to have you all in person but we understand if Covid still gives you the willies. It's nothing to ignore. Still, at this current time, we are able to continue with full confidence that things will be great. REASSURANCE: You must know that neither Eddie nor myself would jump into this conference feet first unless we'd been shown first hand, just how much has been done to protect you from Covid. We are going virtual for those who are unable to attend and then at the Cove, wow - just wow. First of all, it's beautiful from the makeover after the fire last year. But they have made social distancing and cleaning a priority. There are amazing steps put into place. Enough so, that Eddie and I both, when we visited, felt very safe. Now, that being said, there are a few rules that will not have exceptions.

1) MASKS ARE REQUIRED. They are required by the state of NC, the Cove, and this conference. If you plan to come in person and you are unable to wear a mask, then you will want to let me know so we can switch you to virtual and you can participate from home. I'm sorry, your safety is first at this conference. If you can't wear a mask, let's make arrangements for you to participate from home virtually. By the way - I have ordered spiffy masks for you. JUST IN CASE YOU FORGET YOURS. 

2) ARE YOU FEELING UNDER THE WEATHER? Then DO NOT ATTEND THE IN-PERSON CONFERENCE. Just don't even get in the car...instead send me a note and we'll work out the refund portion of your on-campus registration and get you set up for virtual participation.

3) I cannot assign roommates this year due to Covid. If you have signed up as a Double Occupancy and you do not have a roommate, you can expect to be placed in a single room with a single room rate. We have been upfront about this from the beginning. Nothing was hidden. So, if you do not have a roommate, you can expect this change. You will be notified shortly of the price difference. 
Also...if you are sharing a room, would you please drop me an email at [email protected] and just verify your roommate. I would appreciate that so I can double-check to be sure I have everyone registered appropriately.

CONTESTS AND MENTORING

Well, these are shaping up. The book contest is buzzing along however, the devotion contest is lagging. I currently only have ONE SUBMISSION for the devotion contest. If these do not pick up we will cancel the devotion contest until next year and refund the fee but I hope you'll consider entering. Remember, entering contests is great practice for you. Sarah and I have already begun plans for expanding the Sparrow Awards next year to include non-attending conferees. We are excited about this and both feel like this would be a great expansion for the conference. As you know, we are small - INTENTIONALLY - BY CHOICE - but we feel our reach is large. So when God calls, we answer. We'll see what He has in store for us. in the meantime, we have mentoring and critiques available. If you are a virtual participant, you can still take advantage of these services. You'll check out the critique page and send Terri an email. She'll set you up for a virtual appointment with your mentor or critique person. In-person folks will still have their opportunity for this one-on-one, mask-to-mask help in a very safe manner.

OUR BOOKSTORE AND THE CHRISTIAN WRITERS MARKET GUIDE - OH YES! We have the Market guide!

The wonderful thing is that we have it 4.99 cheaper than the retail. So for $20, you can own the new updated version. I can officially say, WE WERE THE FIRST CONFERENCE TO GET THESE! Woot, woot! It pays to know people - well, not really, but I did ask Steve Laube if we could have a link to a case of them and boom. He sent it. So we call that KNOWING SOMEONE - grin. The hitch in the giddyup is I only have one case. So we have twenty (20) copies. When they are gone, they are gone. Virtual folks, you can let me know and I can sell you one, but you will have to pay $7 in postage, so, Amazon may be your best bet. But I'm willing to send it you are willing to pay.  Email me at [email protected]. This is, bar none, one of the most valuable books you will purchase each year. YES, I said each year because it is updated yearly with the most current information. Well worth your time and effort that is unless you order Eva Marie's book on Common Mistakes Writers Make - Just sayin'.

Finally, yearly this conference and its attendees support a mission of some sort. We have faithfully supported the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation for the last 4 years in honor of Bob Hostetler's two grandchildren who have cystic fibrosis. We will do that again this year BUT we feel it is important that we give again and again, so in order to help others on our staff, we are also going to add two other names to the Bob Box. We will be adding Edie Melson to this list in honor of her daughter-in-law who was lost at Thanksgiving in a tragic accident. Edie's son and daughter-in-law have a new baby boy and with the sudden loss of this sweet baby's momma, we will take a portion of the money we collect as a gift to help Edie help her son and grandbaby. Edie gives so much. It's time we give back. And finally, you will not see our sweet, sweet face of Dee Dee Parker this year. Dee Dee is our prayer warrior leader and your welcome hug when you come through the door but due to Covid and Dee Dee's health issues, she will not be able to attend this year. Dee Dee lost Mr. Jim, her husband of over 50 years, at New Years so a portion of our funds collected will go to help Dee Dee. 

Having said that, I cannot tell you what it means to Christian Devotions Ministries and the Asheville Christian Writers Conference when you give to our BOB BOX. God is so good to us. To all of us...and it's important that when we have the privilege to attend a conference, we make the intentional effort to return to the people of God. This is what we are called to do as a church, and as Eddie has aptly said numerous times, our conference is a church of sorts. So please, come prepared to place a dollar or two or three or $100 in our Bob Box and know that the money is being given to those who freely give.

 

In the Dawn of a New Year
Wash and make yourselves clean. Take your evil deeds out of my sight; stop doing wrong. Learn to do right; seek justice. Defend the oppressed. Take up the cause of the fatherless; plead the case of the widow. - Isaiah 1: 16-17 NIV

 

So many were ready for 2020 to come to an end. It was a tough year. I can't remember a time when the entire country fell to such hardship since the '70s when gasoline was rationed. If you're old enough...remember? It was frightening and that was gasoline. Now we face the brutal enemy of Covid. Even more frightening.

Conspiracy theories are welded like a mighty sword and the battle is waged against our health and safety. Politicians yank at our very being as families struggle to simply eat. It's been horrible. But the wonderful thing about God is that He never turns away from us. He is omnipresent, omniscient, omnipotent. He is mighty. Powerful. Forgiving. Loving. Hopeful. Wise. Filled with Discernment. Faithful. Blessed. He is Almighty God and with each morning, He offers us the dawn of a new day. A new year. 

His commands do not change. He is immovable. Convincing. Truthful. He defends and He asks us to defend those who cannot defend themselves - the weak, the widows, the oppressed. God instructs us to take up the causes of those who need to be lifted, to plead their cases. To care for them. He asks this of us in the dawn of a new year, of a new day.

Our Father has gifted you with talent. He calls you to not only use that gift and talent but heed His call for His people. Lift your pen high. Write the words that will make a difference and in the process - serve. Serve. Serve. Your gift is not about you. It is about HIM and how you can serve. This is the dawn of a new year. Take up your cross and follow.

Much love,
Cindy

 


Comments

Gail W, Cartee From Campobello, SC At 1/7/2021 3:33:27 PM

Cindy, thank you for putting so much time into ACWC and for giving us encouraging words "In The Dawn of a New Year."

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