Newsletters

December 17 Newsletter
Friday, December 17, 2021 by Cindy Sproles


ISN'T THIS WHAT IT'S ALL ABOUT?

Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is the Messiah, the Lord. This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.” - Luke 2:11 NIV

(I usually put your short encouragement devo at the end. But today, I wanted it up front and center.)

I've never been anything less than transparent. It's been that way since I was a child. I don't wear my feeling on my sleeve, I wear them on my heart, and sometimes that makes for a heart that aches. Folks say I'm a worrier. I suppose I am. They say I over think things. Maybe I do. Sometimes, my heart is simply overwhelmed.However, within my worry and thinking...the pondering...My mind is seeking a deeper relationship with Christ. It is the only place I find rest.

Easter is tough for me. I have a hard time taking in the cruelty Christ suffered...and that He suffered it for me. My HEART breaks when I think of this and when I realize just how far away from being what I need to be, that I am. Winter is not my favorite season, I think of those homeless and wandering, and then I think of how Jesus wandered the countryside. He wandered so He could teach, and my HEART, though it's cold from the nip in the air, is warmed by this thought. Spring and summer bring me joy. My toes aren't cold anymore and I think continually, as I see the beauty around me in the mountains. Jesus loves even ME! My HEART is happy. Then fall and thanksgiving and my HEART is grateful. But Christmas...it's not about the presents and decorations for me, it's all about JESUS. And my HEART rejoices. 

Jesus Christ. The Son of God. And His HEART smiles over us. As the Christmas season progresses, we celebrate a day of the year,  when collectively, our HEARTS turn toward Him. I hope this Christmas as you enjoy friends and family that this name - the Name above all NAMES, will be first in your thoughts. I hope your HEART swells. You were given not only a gift to write, but the gift of Jesus. Just for you. Your name was on the swaddling clothes wrapped around the baby. Did you know that? Did you know, your name was already written on His HEART even as His momma rocked Him in her arms? I hope your HEART leaps. After all, isn't this what it's all about? - Merry Christmas.

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ABOUT REGISTRATION:  It's CRAZY!!!! (Did you see all the rules I just broke about !'s?)
I vaguely remember Monday. But that is nothing new. My brain deletes cookies at the end of the day. :) For me, I am on a self-imposed work schedule. There is editing jobs to be completed, more to come. A novel to be finished and 2 proposals to complete. There is coaching and Zoom book interviews. Doctor's appointments before my insurance ends, a messy office that needs to be cleaned, cookies to be made, a Momma in assistive living that is relentless with errands for me, AND CONFERENCE STUFF. My head hurts. But today, just so you know, I have completed updated invoices and sent reminders. Hopefully you all got what you needed to finish your registration process. I encourage you to please take care of that obligation as soon as possible. Those final payments are due January 5. Let me know if you did not receive yours or if there is an error. Believe me, I can make them. Just ask the two Nancy's (well, you can't, but they know how I can mess up). Please bear with me. If the list above isn't obvious enough, have grace. I am working through things as quickly as I can. I have to finalize our registration by mid January so lend a hand if possible.

WE ARE SOLD OUT OF ROOMS ON CAMPUS. In fact, before I could get it off the site, we oversold. So a giant thank you to the Cove for their grace. Just because we are sold out of rooms ON-CAMPUS does not mean our conference is closed. WE ARE OPEN FRIENDS.  There is plenty of off-campus housing at the 3 hotels just outside the gates of the Cove. We have plenty of room for your peers to attend. If you know someone who wants to attend, welcome them. Off-Campus, just means they make their own housing reservations off-site. There are three hotels listed on our website. All just a couple of minutes from the gates of the Cove and rates are very comparable. OFF-CAMPUS registration includes all your meals, Friday night, Saturday and brunch on Sunday and it includes your conference fees. So encourage your friends to attend. We want to grow this conference. We feel God is leading us in that direction...which leads me to the next thing:

FACULTY - I have stepped out in faith this year to invite the largest faculty in our 15 year history. Some you have seen in years past, like Bob Hostetler, Eva Marie, and Edie. Others are new to us but equally the powerhouses as those three. We welcome DiAnn Mills (IN PERSON THIS YEAR) and Edwina Perkins, Suzanne Kuhn, Lori Hatcher, Candy Arrington, and oh my goodness...there is more, I just can't spit all their names out. We have Billy Wayne leading our worship this year. He is new to all of you but I promise you will be blessed. And we still have our mentors, Linda Gilden, Eddie Jones, Larry Leech, Edie Melson and DiAnn Mills. FOLKS, trust me. If I missed a name, which I'm sure I did (Les Stobbe - yep...Les will be back). OH..Taryn Souders, Lori Marret, Linda Glaz, Nancy Lohr. Forgive me if I miss someone. Check out our faculty page. Plan a paid critique or mentoring with one of these folks. WE HAVE AN AWESOME FACULTY.
    NOTE TO AWESOME FACULTY : Send those class blurbs. AND if you have  handouts, send those to Eddie. I'll send you a note later on this. We will upload them on the site as PDFs (this is news to Eddie :) But then, he surprises me with things all the time).

MP3's -
This year we have our MP3s for sale for $50. This is the full conference and the funds are placed in our scholarship fund. We will also go back to running our two tracks of learning Stepping Up - for newer writers and Stepping Out for more seasoned writers. You don't need to sign up for classes, you'll just choose a track when you arrive. You can move between tracks but we encourage you to stay in your chosen track then purchase the MP3s from our bookstore. You can down load those and have them FOREVER. You won't miss a thing. I am toying with the idea of MP3 conference attendance where non-conferees can purchase the mp3s - I'm still waiting to discuss this with Eddie and hash out the pros and cons. At any rate - plan on purchasing the MP3s of the conference. They will provide years of learning for you down the road.

BOOKSTORE - We will again host a bookstore that includes faculty books. I'm sorry we cannot include conferee publications in our bookstore, but there are a number of reasons why. Trust me. My plate can't hold another thing and filing multiple tax forms is not on the list. Please stop by our bookstore, browse and buy. It's a sweet why to thank our faculty.

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IF YOU REGISTERED WITH A SPOUSE AND HAVE NOT CONTACTED ME - Please send me an email with the name of your spouse and their email. In order to complete their registration, I have to have their names and email. Please send me an email at [email protected].

Also, if you are one of those folks who uses a separate email address (perhaps under a husband's name or a business name), I NEED TO KNOW YOUR NAME.
So if Jane Doe registered with her hubby's email on Pay Pal [email protected], I am not going to know 1) if you are male or female (which definitively effects rooming), and I cannot fully register you without YOUR NAME. So please just verify with me if you used a hubby's or business acct. to register on Pay Pay. I need to get your name. OTHERWISE, WE WON'T KNOW WHO YOU ARE AND WE CAN'T LET YOU ON CAMPUS. The Cove is picky about that sort of thing. Please help me out. Send me an email at [email protected] This is what makes invoicing a long a tedious process and why it takes me days to accomplish. Pay Pal works off of the email you use to pay with, and many times, that is not the email you use for correspondence or it's a business, ministry, or spousal account.

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CONTESTS - Our book contest ends the end of December...if you want to enter, hop to it. Visit our contest page. You can click on the above link for the page. HURRY! It's such a good thing for you to enter contests. It is valuable experience in learning how to step out and share your work, take helpful information, and test the waters. Sarah Loudin Thomas is heading up the book contest, and SHE IS WAITING FOR YOUR ENTRIES.

DITTO ON THE DEVOTION CONTEST!

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Mentoring and Paid Critiques -
If you are interested in a paid critique, our faculty is wonderful to give you very concise and amazing feedback. Our mentors....oh my, they are awesome. If you choose a mentor then you will spend one hour with the menotr you have chosen and it's one-on-one. Oh goodness...this is so amazing. How I wish this would have been available for me when I got started in writing. Spending that one-on-one time with a professional will not only help you with your work, but will also, give you encouragement. You'll see how much you can glean from those who have already been down that starting road. SO, choose a mentor. It will cost you a few dollars, but trust me...money well spent.
Visit our mentor and critique page here for details.

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THE BOB BOX - If you know our conference, then you know we never do a conference without doing mission work as well. We are, after all, a ministry.  Each year we opt to support the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation. Our own Bob Hostetler, has two grands who have Cystic Fibrosis, I have a family member with this, and a number of ministry friends also either suffer with CF or have children who do. It is only fitting that we support this as a ministry. Each year, we set a box in our bookstore, lovingly labeled the BOB BOX, and we hope you feel moved to donate. Whatever is in the box at the end of the conference, the ministry matches the amount and we then hand it over to Bob Hostetler, whose son works for a company that doubles every donation. So by all due rights, it's multiplied three times. Which is awesome. Please consider donating to the Bob Box and let's do as we are commanded...to care for others. We will also provide a link via Pay Pay that you can also donate on line. DONATE TO THE BOB BOX.

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I THINK THAT IS ALL - Continue to check the website NEWSLETTER page for updates. Just before the conference happens we'll post all your registration information on the conference update page.NOPE...NOPE, IT'S NOT!

SO, here is a special offer for you. Thanks to the amazing, and secret superpowers of Taryn Souders, YOU TOO CAN HAVE THIS SHIRT.

I don't know about you, but I so enjoy wearing my writing shirts out in public. They always make people ask questions and open an opportunity for me to 1) share my books 2) Share I am a Christian Writer 3) make for great openings to getting speaking engagements. They are very useful.

Taryn was gracious enough to make these shirts. You can purchase one  for $14 and it will be available for you to pick up in our bookstore when you arrive. These are nice quality shirts. I LOVE MINE. I hope you will want one too! If that link doesn't work...You'll find it on

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