Newsletter - Assignment 5
Sunday, February 5, 2017 by Cindy

11 days and counting  
I hope you're growing excited about attending our conference. We're excited to have you and our staff and prayer warriors have not stopped praying for you. Start packing your bags. Gather up your work and get ready to roll.

Assignment 5 is up on the site
Assignment 5 is up on the site. You can click here for Andrea Merrell's awesome assignment on using speaker beats and tags properly. This is a common area of concern when writing. New writers tend to tag every line of dialogue and it's not necessary. A good rule of thumb is tag or beat every 5 lines of dialogue. This is good information. I hope you'll spend some time looking over her information and then doing the assignment.  These assignments 7 weeks prior to your arriving at the conference are something we feel sets us apart from the pack. We want to educate you as much as we can and you'll find these little snippet assignments are going to help you prepare your work for the conference. It's my hope you'll take advantage of them. Andrea Merrell is a top notch editor, you'll learn much from her wisdom.

So assignment 4 is up on the site. You can access it today by going to our blog by clicking this link:

It's the little things you do that count - The Asheville Christian writers Conference is a large conference shrunk into 24 hours. We do everything, at this conference, that is done at the largest conferences across the country. We want to be the stepping stones for you to brave the big conferences. Our goal is to give you a taste of everything - teaching, networking, appointments with industry professionals, and friendships that last.

So let's start with some quick suggestions:

Print what you need BEFORE you come to the conference. Make one or two copies of your work. You may or may not need it, but you'll have it. It's handy to have when you make appointments. The editor, publisher, or agent has a sample of your work to glean through. Print before you come. It's hard for faculty and staff to stop and help you get things printed.  (And by the way, you don't need to bring your entire manuscript printed. The first 5 pages is generally enough.)

Business cards - Business cards are nice to have to share with peers. We've provided the roster for you that has a listing of most all your conferee friends, but a business card is nice. Don't panic, you don't have to order fancy cards. Pop by Office Depot or Walmart and grab Avery Printable Business Cards. (Avery® Clean Edge® Rounded Corner Matte Business Cards for Inkjet Printers, Two-Side Printable 88220, Pack of 160 Product Number: 88220). Print them yourself at home. Again, they don't have to be fancy. They simply need the basic info - name, email, website, phone number if you don't mind sharing that. Carry them with you and it's easy to pull one out to share with a new friend, agent, publisher, or editor.
Plan to purchase the MP3s. They're only $15. You'll have our Step Up and Step Out manual with all the class notes. When you add the MP3s, you have the full conference year round.

Practice what you learn - You've spent time and money to be here. Now take it to heart and start to write.

Keep your expectations realistic - All writers want to be published but the hard part about being a writer is understanding that publication rarely comes over night. Writing is an art. You have to learn the basics, practice, shape, reshape, in order to put together a publishable piece. This doesn't mean that you don' t make an effort to become published, but rather that you understand it may take years to accomplish publication. Don't set unrealistic expectations, instead allow the desire to burn deep within you and work toward the goal. Publication is earned. It's not an entitlement. Patience. Practice. Rejections that refine. These all come into play in becoming a published author. Yes, you can self publish but without the experience, know know, and contacts, you may have a book, but it may not be successful.

Keep our conference focused - I've really hated to have to bring this up, but in light of social media and the misfire of political rhetoric, I feel I need to address this issue. We work hard and pray hard to provide you an enjoyable and informative weekend. Our world is in such chaos right now, and though we cannot hide from it, we can leave it outside for a day or two. I realize politics rage in the minds of everyone, but I ask that while we are at the conference, we keep our thoughts and minds centered on the subject at hand. Stay focused on writing, and learning all you can to be better writers. Leave the political rhetoric in the car. The Cove is a beautiful, God-centered retreat. Allow your minds to rest from the world, to focus on the call, and to pray and praise God while you are here. 

All CONFERENCE UPDATES - Please check out the conference update page. If you are a new conferee, recently registered, you will find loads of information there. Those who have recently registered, we need your short bio and a jpg photo for our Roster. Cindy Saab is working hard to pull that together. Please, even if you don't think you have a bio, it's fine. Tell us a little about you. 75 words or less and send us a photo. This roster will be your best friend before and after the conference. Please note, we are not doing a major edit on the roster.
From here forward, you will find all necessary information for your arrival at the Cove at this link.  

Everything from where we meet, to what to wear is on the conference update page.  About check-in - We are tentatively set to stay in Pilgrams Inn (this is the first hotel as you go up the campus of the Cove). You will park your car there and the Cove runs a bus every 10 minutes for the 2 minute ride to the main building. YOU CANNOT PHYSICALLY ENTER YOUR HOTEL ROOM UNTIL AFTER 2 PM...BUT you will go to Pilgrams Inn, check in and get your name badge. You'll also find Dee Dee Parker and Beth Fortune waiting there to give give you all necessary items you will need for the Conference. You'll go straight to the main building, Floor 3, after you get your badge - Early Bird classes begin at 1. There will be time after early bird classes for you to move your baggage into your room. The rooms are not ready for occupancy before 2 p.m. 

Also the Newsletters are posted under the conference update tab, by clicking Forms and Newsletters. Each newsletter is placed on this page so you can go back and review information you might need.


PAY CLOSE ATTENTION - DO NOT RESPOND TO ME VIA REPLY ON THIS EMAIL.  Please send any responses to me in a new email to 
[email protected]. With over 120 people responding, the thread grows long and emails are missed. PLEASE ALWAYS SEND ME A NEW EMAIL WITH YOUR CONCERNS OR QUESTIONS
Do not text me or IM me on FaceBook - it is too easily lost.

Mentoring - There is one...hear that...ONE appointment still available with Yvonne Lehman. Don't miss out on this prime opportunity to work one-on-one with the cream of the crop. Contact Terri at [email protected] for an appointment. 

ROSTER DEADLINE - This week is the last week to get your short bio and jpg to Cindy Saab. The roster will email to you in pdf form February 12. This gives you one more week. 7 days. Please, please, please send us your bio and jpg for the roster. This is such a vital part of our conference. We want every conferee in the roster. Please don't miss out on the roster. Send your short bio (under 75 words to [email protected] .

Appointments - We've added a couple of additional folks to meet with. 
Darla Crass with LPC Lamplighter Books, and Marcie Bridges who works with current LPC authors. If you're interested in meeting with Darla about publication with Lamplighter Books then there will be opportunity. And if you are an LPC author, you can meet with Marcie about marketing your books.

Read over the faculty list and see who you'd like to meet with before you arrive at the Cove. This will speed your signup process considerably.

ACWC 2018
We have our booked dates for February 16-18, 2018.  The Cove is wonderful to book ahead for us. Next year we are stepping out on faith and reserving 60 rooms. You have no idea how this scares me. But I want as many ON campus as possible. So if you think you might attend next year, pay your $25 deposit to hold the room of your choice (single or double - you'll tell us your preference when you reserve). This will assure you have a space on campus. This is the 5th year in a row we have sold out this conference. God is good. If you think you might attend, make a small deposit. We'll contact you mid-summer to see if you are still interested. Plan ahead. Get your spot reserved on campus.

MP3s of the Conference - This year our own Scott McCausey will be recording all our classes. He works hard to put them all in MP3 format so you can download them to your personal computer. There is no CD to worry will simply download them from a secure page when they are ready. Our MP3s of the ENTIRE conference are only $35. I encourage you to purchase them. You'll have all the handouts in your ACWC Stepping In and Stepping Out Manual. The two together get you a year-round conference. I encourage you to purchase the MP3s. You'll be glad to have them for future reference.

Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience.Colossians 3:12 NIV

We are called to be writers. Our gifts were pre-designed for us when God placed us in that secret place. He knew just how He would form you in your mother's womb - what hair color, shape of face, color of skin, days that are numbered would be yours. God knew all that long before He created us. 

He also knew the gifts and talents that would fit perfectly into our character. This is why heeding your call is so important. 

For years you've felt this tug to write something...anything. Perhaps you journal daily, or write devotions. Maybe you jot poetry in a beautiful calligraphy or sit for hours crafting the perfect story. Whatever the mode of call, you still feel it burn deep in your soul.

Whether you are called as a writer or a human resource manager, your gifts and talents are embedded in your being and along with those abilities and desires goes the challenge of excellence that God sets for His people.

Believe it or not, it's the same for us all. As God's chosen people, holy and dearly loved (by God), you are challenged to clothe yourself with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience.

Quite the standard to live up to when the junk of life attacks us, when the world hits us with subject matter that is. . .well - hot button topics. All that stuff that winds us up, digs into our souls and makes us want to be heard. 

The challenge is hard because we want to write those blistering words that prove our point, but that is not what God has called us to do. Yes, He's called us to write, but the challenge we should meet raises the bar. God challenges us to write truth in kindness, compassionate, and with humility and gentleness.

When you feel the need to jump into the thick of things with strong, harsh words. Remember the Colossians 3:12 challenge. Write your words and then ask yourself these questions:
Am I clothed with compassion?
Am I kind?
Am I covered in humility?
Am I gentle in my approach? 
If the answer is no, accept the challenge God offers you in Colossians. Be different and remember that there is "faith, hope, and love...and the greatest of these is love." When you accept your call to be a writer always, always, apply this to your work. It's not for your benefit, but for the glory of God. Be the example of honest and truthful words written in love and with kindness and compassion. Readers will learn, hear, and take heed.

See you in 11 days!


Previous Posts

Newsletter September 26, 2017
Cindy Sproles

Newsletter - Assignment 5