February 12, 2022 NEWSLETTER - Assignment 7
Saturday, February 12, 2022 by Cindy Sproles

Week 7 Additional assignment - This week is your final week of additional instruction.Photo courtesy of & mozlase It's time for you to prepare for the conference. So many of you (literally 93%) have never attended a writers conference or you are brand new to writing. That thrills us, because this is our ministry - to get your feet wet so you can attend larger conferences with confidence. Andrea Merrell gives you the assignment this week of how to get the best out of your conference experience. Click her name or the Week 7 assignment  and visit the blog. Our blog remains active year round. We hope you will utilize that. Also, visit Edie Melson's blog, The Write Conversation. We are fortunate to have Edie and her expertise with us. Her blog is one of the top blogs in the nation. There is always good information out there for you to take advantage.


YOUR TEE SHIRTS - Your tee shirts will be in the bookstore, unless we are able to get them to you at check in. But look in the bookstore. Just ask. They'll be bagged up with your name on them. If we are able to get them up to the check in, you'll see when you walk in. :)
CONFERENCE ARRIVAL. If you missed ordering a shirt, we will have just a handful in the bookstore but we'll provide information for you to contact Taryn after the conference if you want one.


photo courtesy of and hpuppetGRACE, GRACE, GOD'S GRACE - This is where we ask for grace. It has been a long year of planning and so much changed, LITERALLY THIS WEEK. Our schedule had to be revamped, appointments remade. So, please...give us grace. I'd like to tell you we are perfect but Terri and I lost that label 15 years ago. Please have grace. Remember that you are not the only person at this conference and well, like I said, we aren't perfect. But we do our best to make your experience wonderful. Remember our faculty has traveled a long distance, some just a few hours and others half way across the country. There are time changes, jet lag, and well, sometimes just accidentally forgetting things. GRACE PLEASE!


ABOUT OUR WORSHIP - I seriously want you to pay attention here. Because our conference and staff fully believe that God is present at this conference, we will begin our main sessions in praise. Now, this is one of the things that had to change and after praying over this and working through the logistics.Terri, Eddie and I have decided to move the worship on Saturday to 7:30. Now here is where you must offer us grace. The Training OPENS AT 7:30 so we encourage you to be at the door when it is unlocked. Go to the main auditorium and join Billy Wayne in the morning meditation and praise. Then at 8:00 a.m. we will go to breakfast. Billy Wayne is a wonderful worship leader and minister. We are so fortunate to have him this weekend. He's in the middle of a production at his ministry's theatre, The Lamplight Theatre. So to have him take time away from his own ministry, means the world to us. We want you to start your day right. That means putting your priority of God first in line. So we encourage to drag out of bed and start your day in the presence of God. Join Billy Wayne and us in the auditorium as soon as the Training Center doors open. We don't take names or fuss at you if you don't come...but we can see who is holy!  (Baughahahahah - Folks, that was a joke. Don't walk away mad at my joke.) Seriously, we don't force you to attend, but we hope you will start your day of learning in the right frame of mind.


Prepare for Arrival at the Cove

Take note, check the Conference Update page on the site daily to be sure there are no changes. Changes will be noted by the date and be at the top of the page.

DISCLAIMER - WE WILL BE IN SHEPHERD'S INN. If I mess up and say Pilgrams...IT'S SHEPHERD'S! :)

*Shepherd’s Inn at the Cove – It currently looks as though we will be staying in Shepherds Inn on campus. This is the hotel directly beside the Training Center. You’ll go through the security gate, all the way to the top of the hill and around the steep curve into the parking lot... Please park your car in the lot. You may arrive as early as 11 a.m. and thanks to some spiffy work at the Cove YOUR ROOMS WILL NOT BE READY UNTIL 3 P.M. If this changes, you’ll be notified when you check in at the hotel. (FACULTY IS THE EXCEPTION!) Proceed to the Shepherd’s Inn lobby and meet our conference care representatives who will give you your conference materials and have you sign the liability release. All conferees, including off-campus conferees, will come here first to get your name badge which gains you access to the Training Center building. Then you can go to the desk in the lobby and get your room key. YOU MUST WEAR YOUR BADGE AT ALL TIMES TO GAIN ENTRANCE TO THE TRAINING CENTER AND MEALS.

*Rooms will be assigned when you check-in at Shepherds Inn. REMEMBER, even if you have a key, you CANNOT enter the room after 3:00 p.m. Your key will NOT OPEN THE DOOR until 3 p.m. You will check-in when you arrive with our staff, then get your room key.

*Parking – Shepherd’s Inn park in that parking lot is in front of the hotel and directly across from the training center.  If you are off-campus and driving up, you may go to the parking area across from the Training Center building and come down the stairs.

*Arrival time is noon, Friday, February 18 at 11:00 a.m. Please DO NOT arrive any earlier. You will not be allowed onto the property or you will be directed to the Chapel until 11:00 a.m. YOU WILL NOT be able to get into your room. We’ve worked in ample time for you to check into your hotel later in the day if you need it, after the early bird classes. If you are being dropped off, you may leave your bags in the Shepherd’s  Lobby.

Our staff will arrive early to set up. I appreciate all those who want to help us, but our faculty and staff have things under control. We got it covered. You enjoy the conference.  AGAIN, DO NOT ARRIVE BEFORE 11 a.m.

*ALL CONFEREES (Including Off-Campus) Go to Shepherd’s Inn check in with our staff and then to the hotel after 11 a.m. – there’s time after the early bird classes for you to get into your room physically. (Have you read this once before...yep, you have.)  The Cove is cleaning and preparing your rooms early. Be patient. You’ll get your name badge from our Conference Care Representatives. AGAIN, if you are being dropped off, you may leave your suitcase inside the hotel in a corner. It will be safe.

*REPEAT: EVERYONE receives your name badge at Shepherd’s Inn. (You must wear your badge at all times while at the Cove. This is your security pass and your meal pass.) Pin on your badge and head directly to the Training Center. It’s just steps away from the hotel. Without your name badge you will not be able to enter the Training Building which is where our conference is.

*Dress is casual – Jeans and sweaters are fine. Dress modestly and warm. We want you comfortable and we want to be comfortable when we look at you. But do keep in mind you are at the Cove and though they don’t require you to be dressed to the hilt, they do require you be presentable. So be modest. Dress comfortably and not slouchy. Shoes are required (it will more than likely be chilly…doubt you want to freeze your toes.)

*Let’s be neat – In this world of “easy”, it’s very EASY to leave your trash behind. I encourage you to be kind. We are at the Cove under the name of Christian Devotions. Take time to clean up after yourself. The Cove is wonderful to provide, what we lovingly call, the eternal feeding trough. You can get soft drinks, water, and coffee, not to mention ice cream, anytime at no additional charge to you. Thank them by cleaning up your cups and spoons.

You will find the staff at the Cove is wonderful. They are kind and more than willing to help you in anyway. Be kind in return.

*Print before you arrive – Please print anything you will need prior to arriving at the Cove.  We do NOT have printing services at the Cove. If you think you may need something printed – print it at home and bring it with you. In fact, bring two of everything. Be professional and prepared. Print any writing work you will  use for appointments.

*FOR EARLY BIRD CLASSES – TAKE THE ELEVATOR ACROSS FROM THE BIG FIREPLACE and go to the 3rd floor auditorium. There will be someone there to show you where the auditorium is once you get off the elevator. BUT if there isn’t (Someone may have to run to potty – Get off the elevator and walk straight ahead to your right or left past the seating area. TA DA! there you are! Go in a have a seat. Classes will begin at 1. You do not have to pay extra for the early bird classes. These are additional classes we try to make available for those who arrive early.

*Welcome to the Asheville Christian Writers Conference! You’ll be greeted by the lovely and loving, staff.  Kevin Spencer, Bennie and Eddie Jones, Terri Kelly, Andrea Merrell, Wendy Leech, and Cindy Sproles.

*Be sure you receive your conference name tag and schedule from Shepherd’s Inn. Our staff will have you sign the liability and covid release. They are there to welcome you in, talk with you, pray with you, and make your stay at the conference glitch-free. Martin Wiles and Eddie Jones will provide our recording services this weekend. Wendy Leech will be helping you make a deposit for 2023, and help you purchase MP3s.  Bennie Jones and Kevin Spencer will be in charge of the bookstore. Sarah Thomas has managed our book contest (AND AMAZINGLY, I MIGHT ADD). They’ll help you with those purchases.  Eddie Jones and I will be there to welcome you into the ministry of Christian Devotions and our faculty will be wandering around. They will be spread out through our tables at mealtimes, so join them and enjoy a meal. They are eager to meet you and chat.

Our worship will be different this year. Billy Wayne will provide our short meditation and music. SATURDAY MORNING WE BEING AT 7:30 a.m. The building opens at 7:30, make your way quickly into the main auditorium (past the fireplace and to your left). Our worship will begin as quickly as possible and you’ll go to breakfast right after that. Please come to our meditation and devotion. I know it’s easy to sleep in, but honestly, our day needs to begin in prayer and worship.

*Early Bird classes begin at 1:00 – But our teachers understand folks are arriving at various times. So quietly go in and become a part of the class.

*Please be sure to sign a liability/covid release form. We will have these at check-in and you arrive for early bird classes. Below is the release so you can read it in advance. We must have this signed per the Cove. If you do not agree, you cannot attend the conference. It’s an insurance thing!

**Liability Release Form (SAMPLE)

Liability Release Form

 Event Name: Asheville Christian Writers Conference

In exchange for receiving permission to participate in the event organized by Christian Devotion Ministries, I, for myself and my family, heirs, executors, and representatives agree to the following:

*I assume the risk of any harm or injury that may occur as a result of, or in connection with, my participation in the Event(s).
*I accept full responsibility for myself, my actions, and my possessions while participating in the Event(s).
*I release Christian Devotion Ministries, The Cove, The Billy Graham Training Center, their members, officers, employees, agents, staff, faculty, and volunteers from any and all liability, costs, damages, or other claims that may occur as a result of, or in connection with, my participation in the Event(s).
*I give my consent for Christian Devotion Ministries, its members, officers, employees, agents, staff, faculty, and volunteers to assist me in the event of an emergency, including seeking emergency medical treatment on my behalf and I agree to accept financial responsibility for the costs related to any medical treatment.
*I agree to conduct myself and behave in a Christian manner, treating all individuals with respect, consideration, and charity, at all times during my participation in the Event(s).  I agree to refrain from any behavior that is threatening, violent, aggressive, or sexually or morally improper. 

*I agree to report to Christian Devotion Ministries any behavior by others that I witness that does not meet this standard. 

*I understand that if I engage in inappropriate behavior or fail to report inappropriate behavior that I witness, I may be asked to end my participation in the Event, and if asked, I agree to abide by the decision.

By signing below, I represent that I understand and agree to the foregoing statements:

*After things wind down in the evening, many of our conferees meet in the lobby of the hotel and chat. In fact, we encourage you to spend time with one another. We also ask that small groups meet in the lobby of the hotel rather than in one person’s room. This is a safety issue as well as a noise issue. We love for you to enjoy your writing peers. We simply ask you keep the noise down for those who choose to rest. Off-campus folks are welcome to stop by Shepherd’s Inn and visit.

*Please clean up after yourself – If you use a cup or napkin, please dispose of them. Don’t leave them in the cup holders inside the meeting room.

*APPOINTMENT SIGN UP – Please, please, do not forget you are human and turn into a trampling stampede. There will be plenty of space for you to make an appointment with the faculty member you wish to speak with. If you miss one, share a meal table and chat there. Terri Kelly will explain the process to you after Friday Supper. WHICH TELLS YOU – Signups are after our main session Friday night.

QUESTION CENTER – If you have questions ask Wendy Leech or Andrea Merrell. They have a radio to contact me if they cannot answer your questions. Please do not bog down our bookstore staff with questions. They have their hands full just consigning books and setting up the bookstore so you can glean and shop Friday night, Saturday, and early Sunday morning. Actually, if you’re patient, we’ll answer all your questions on Friday night. I promise.

WHERE ARE CLASSES HELD? – We inhabit the main auditorium. Early bird classes are in the auditorium on the 3rd floor. Our bookstore, appointments, and mentoring are on level one. Take the elevator down one level or take the big staircase. Easy to find. There is only one way to the meeting rooms.

PRINT BEFORE YOU ARRIVE – We do not have the ability for you to print documents at the Cove. We are not paying for that service. Please print all you need to print PRIOR to your arrival at the Cove. WE CANNOT PRINT DOCUMENTS FOR YOU.

PROPER ETIQUETTE FOR APPOINTMENTS – We practice the hummingbird hover. 15 minutes will pass quickly, and we want everyone to get their time fairly. If you arrive at your appointment and it is TIME for your appointment, just nicely walk up behind the person seated with the faculty member so you can make eye contact with the faculty member. This gives them the cue it’s time for your appointment. Our faculty tries their best to stay on time with their phones, but occasionally we get one of those people who refuses to stop talking. Your hummingbird hover allows the faculty member an “out”. And if you’re the one in the seat, be polite and end your appointment time. Chat with the faculty member during a meal or in line at the dining hall, or in the lobby.

GIVE US GRACE – We have no control over the speed of the internet at the Cove. Rest assured we have tested our computers and our charge card machines. But we cannot control the bandwidth at the Cove. Sometimes it grinds down to a snail’s pace. Give us grace. We’re doing the best we can. If you want to jot your card number, expiration, code on the back, and zip code down on a sheet of paper and give it to the staff along with your purchase, they will return that paper to you in your bag with your purchase. Otherwise, know we are working hard to move as quickly as possible.

WORSHIP IS NOT RECORDED – This is a copyright issue.

All you really have to do – is enjoy! Purchase the mp3s and get ALL THE CLASSES. The website will house all the handouts if there is one for a class. You will have all you need once you get home to continue your learning. Be sure to print your handouts.


“Because he holds fast to me in love, I will deliver him; I will protect him, because he knows my name.
 When he calls to me, I will answer him; I will be with him in trouble; I will rescue him and honor him. With long life I will satisfy him and show him my salvation.” - Psalm 91: 13-15 ESV

For the last 12 months I have worked on preparations for this conference. There were times I wondered if the conference would happen. If there would be enough money. Would God show up and would YOU show up? Scheduling and faculty was tossed to the wind, hoping the chaff would fall in the right place. I invited more faculty than I actually had spots for them to teach, so you could have a strong introduction to the publishing world. I've worried over covid. State mandates. Masks or no masks. Controversy over masks or no masks. Vaccinations or not.  Truthfully, my body is tired. When I lay down at night but my mind keeps me up until the wee hours of the morning. But then...I told you I was a worrier.

From my own selfish desire...I just want you to have a wonderful experience. I want you to walk away and say you felt the love of the faculty, their desire to help you, and that you felt the presence of God. You see, that is ultimately why we do this conference. We want you to feel your call. We want you to know He loves you.

Everything that was created was created to multiply and be fruitful and through that fruitfulness, we bring glory to God. Being fruitful is not necessarily the offspring of your body, but the offspring of the gifts and work God has given you. He delights in your fruitfulness and glory rises out of that for and to Him.

This coming weekend is what it is. It will have it's snags and imperfections, but it will certainly have this promise from Psalm 91. He holds fast to you! (AWESOME HEH?), He will protect you, deliver you because HE KNOWS YOUR NAME! You aren't just a blip in the universe. God knows your name. He calls you - please listen and answer. He will answer you, be with you in trouble. He will rescue you, honor you, and show you satisfaction and ultimately, salvation. What a promise.

So as I pack up the ACWC containers and load my car, my prayer is that you will feel this promise. I mentioned this to you back in the beginning. Before you leave this conference, you will be given a card to write down WHEN YOU FIRST FELT THIS CALL TO WRITE. You don't have to sign it. God knows who you are. You'll give that to us and in May, Eddie and I will walk the mountain in Black Mountain. We will dig a hole in the dirt, read every card. Pray over every card. Anoint them and then cover them...laying them at the feet of Jesus. That is just HOW MUCH we love you and this ministry.

May you walk away from this conference, a glory to God!

Much Love,

TYPOS should be forgiven, auto correct hates me!

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