Newsletters

Newsletter for January 15, 2023
Thursday, January 18, 2024 by Cindy Sproles

There's an issue on the website..."Oh, bother...

Before you start to bombard me with emails, there is a problem with our blog site. I have contacted our web guys, and they're on it, but until tomorrow, when they get it ironed out, your Week Two Extended Learning will be inside this newsletter. I have not tried to post on the newsletter page, but my guess is the same issue is there as well. That said, for those faculty members who have sent me updates, it'll be tomorrow before I can make those updates. It was Eeyore who lovingly said, "Oh, bother." And, yep. That's true. Oh, bother. Hopefully, by tomorrow, the issue will be corrected.
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Good news, we only have four places left before we are SOLD OUT. God never fails us. I know those will fill because He is a keeper of His promises. So, if you have a friend who wants to attend, please encourage them to register now. There is only one link available and it is off-campus in full. At this late date, new conferees must use the pay-in-full link. Spread the word. 
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Denise and I worked several hours last Monday sending out final payment invoices. I will be making a trip to the Cove next week, and they'll expect a payment. So, if you are able, go ahead and complete your payment. We have given you until the 31st, but if you can complete this, we can pay our bills. Thank you in advance. One other thing: if you do not complete your registration, your reservation will not be extended, and you may be standing at the gates of the Cove wondering why you can't get in :).  Seriously, the sooner the better helps Terri and I do what we need to do to prepare for you.
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Mentoring and Critiques - Most of our mentoring slots are filled. I talked with Terri today, and she is working like a wild woman to make sure everyone gets a mentor who wants one. If you choose a mentor that is filled, trust Terri to place you with a mentor who is equally qualified. Our mentors are full-time editors, managing editors, and published authors (and by that, I mean multi-published), so whomever she talks with you about mentoring will fit the bill perfectly. 

In the meantime, read down that list of critiquers and grab one. The time is much shorter with them but I promise you'll get amazing feedback. Don't forget to check out our folks who are doing critiques.

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The Bob Box
I haven't mentioned the Bob Box very much. So here goes. Since ACWC is a ministry of Christian Devotions Ministries, Eddie and I have always been a firm believer in not only tithing back to great causes but in encouraging our conferees to work with us to give back. You'll meet Bob Hostetler, an amazing writer, speaker, and agent. Bob has two sibling-grandchildren who were diagnosed at a very early age with Cystic Fibrosis. It's enough to have one child with CF, but to have siblings - well, it's double the worry and fear.  I also have a dear family member who just hit her mid-20s and was diagnosed in her teens. The Cystic Fibrosis Foundation and its researchers have, in the last few years, developed some groundbreaking medications that have proven more than successful with Bob's grandchildren and with my sweet Taylor. To give you an example, Taylor averaged 3-5 hospital stays a year until this new medication. She has not been hospitalized in three years and is doing so well on these medications that they have removed the port she has lived with for six years. For this reason, we have chosen the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation as our "give it back" cause. When you arrive on the 3rd floor of the Cove, you'll see a box labeled THE BOB BOX. All weekend, that box will be available for you to drop in a contribution. At the end of the weekend, we'll tally the money, and Christian Devotions Ministries will MATCH what is in the box and present that to Bob to add to his CF campaign. The really cool part is that all the funds Bob raises are then sent to his son, who works for a prominent tech company, who then doubles the amount. Last year, we gave Bob $1500, which he then passed to his son, and the company he works for doubled that amount. That $1500 became $3000. And that $3K helped develop the medications that Bob's grands and my niece benefit from daily. I encourage you to prepare ahead of time and plan to give a little something to the Bob Box. We appreciate your giving and this is how we help others.

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Conference MP3s
We will, hopefully, be recording all our classes this year. This is something else I encourage you to take advantage of at the conference. You can't physically attend every class, but you can purchase the MP3s and download them to your computer. They'll be there year-round for additional teaching. I always get MP3s when I attend a conference. It's my continued education. This is an investment in your yearly learning. The MP3s are $45, and every penny goes into our scholarship fund to help those who want to attend our conference but can't without assistance. You will be able to purchase the MP3s from our bookstore all through the conference. It takes a couple of months to get them ready, and then we'll email you the link to download.

We have a site, acwc.live, where we will post all the MP3s and also all the handouts. We try to be "green," and truth be known; I hate picking up the left-behind handouts from the floor. There'll be more on acwc.live as we get closer to the conference.
FACULTY - send your handouts to Eddie at [email protected]
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Finally, here is your WEEK TWO EXTENDED LEARNING.

Give Me A Professional Email Address

Who doesn't love a fun email address? JollyRoger@pirateplace or Bubbles@gumballsunlimited. Fun right? Uhhh. Well, maybe, maybe not.

A fun email is perfect for friends and family, but it's not great for your writing career. Here's a strange story why.
Several years back, I kept getting emails from lickmylollipop@. (Do not judge me.) Of course, I chuckled when I saw it land in my email box, and there was no question that I would NOT open it. Who knows what lurked on the other side of that email address – a virus, a less-than-savory person? It could have been anything. Still, it bothered me since I was in the middle of preparing for this conference. What if it was a potential conferee, and I didn't respond? What if it was laden with a virus?

The message sat in my box for a couple of weeks, haunting me every time I opened my email. I finally succumbed and opened the email. To my surprise, it was perfectly innocent. It was a conferee. Once I read the email, I contacted her and asked her to call me. In just minutes, she was on the phone.

"I need to talk to you about your email," I said. I proceeded to explain why I had not responded sooner kindly. I couldn't be sure the email was safe. After we had a good laugh, she let me know that she was the owner of a candy store. That made perfect sense, though it still sounded less than appropriate, so we chatted for a minute, and I explained my reasons for her needing an appropriate business email. (By the way, she gave her permission to share this story. She has since changed her email.)

Here's why you need a professional email.

  1. You are allowed to have more than one email account – just an FYI.
  2. How does your email address make you appear to business professionals?
  3. Find a combination of your name to use in your email.
  4. Professionals can't locate you with a cutesy email.

 
Let's dig in. Many folks do not realize you can have more than one email address. Grant you, the more you have, the more you have to keep up with, but there are easy ways to manage those addresses. You can forward additional emails to one primary account. Managing emails is easily done through Gmail, AOL, or Outlook and is accomplished through your email account's settings or preferences tabs. Take time to get yourself a professional email and veer away from Hotmail. Not that Hotmail is a bad email, but the name lends itself to less than appropriate. It's fine for your personal email, but steer toward a more professional-sounding carrier like Gmail, AOL, or Outlook – even local internet carriers have email. Check those out. If you choose Hotmail, then use your name or some form of it and steer clear of the cutesy stuff.

It's important that you present yourself as professional. If you were in the corporate world, would you want your biggest client to think of you as Lickmylollipops? Of course not. You'd want to be recognized for who you are – professional, serious, and well-versed. Though your email address will probably not cause you to lose a contract, it does certainly make professionals wonder what sort of person they would be working with. Are they reliable, like-minded, and serious about their work? And this is only if the email address squeaks through their internet security. Many companies' internet security will stop questionable email addresses and/or remove them. Your work may never reach the editor's desk that you are sending it. Perception is important. Start your career with good perception.

Find a mix of your name for your email. The reason is simple. An editor will search their email for your name. If it's not there, you may lose out. In my early years of writing, I named my personal ministry – mountainbreezeministries@. The sheer length of that email address is terrible, but I realized after my first conference that those editors who took my work couldn't remember Cindy Sproles was really mountainbreezeministries. I'd shot myself in the foot before I'd gotten started. I simply didn't know, but I quickly learned that I needed my name there.

If you have a common name like Sue or Bob, you may have to tinker with different combinations, for instance, SueS or StattonS1981. At least, this is a version of your name that an editor can search. They can type in Sue, and all the Sue's come up. Then, they can scroll down and find your email by your business card.

As you start your writing career, these are business decisions – career decisions that will help you as you move forward. Get a professional email address, and you'll be glad you did.

Your assignment this week is easy. Look at your email address. If you do not have a professional email, consider making one using your name or some portion of it. Then begin to use this email address for all your writing. You'll not regret it.

Counting Down the Days Until We See You!
Cindy


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