Newsletter, January 1, 2018 ASSIGNMENT 1
1/1/2018 9:18:00 PM by: Cindy Sproles

It's always fun to start out the year with a shout! Isn't it? Here we are, into 2018 and I am so excited. I think I might just see 2020 and the Jetsons! Whether I do or not, is yet to be seen but the wonderful thing about a new year is you have a do over. So do over the things you need to. We have a loving God who is the best as allowing second chances, third chances . . . So happy DO-OVER year.

The conference is quickly approaching and we have a ton of housekeeping. Let's begin with your first of 7 assignments. Now, remember, these are additional learning pieces for you to do at home. We don't want you to email them to us or bring them to the conference. We want you to read them and put them into practice on your current works. Today is the first of 7 assignments. They are short, simple, but hopefully you will participate. Assignment one is entitled Appropriate Emails - [email protected] - Assignment 1. I want you to start your writing career off on the right foot . . . toe . . . uh, you get it. Take time to read through the assignment. Assess your current email address and see if you need to make adjustments. You can find the assignment at . Or just go to and click ACWC Writers Blog.

 Pay close attention to the contest deadlines. Our  Badge of Honor Contest is for book manuscripts. Fiction or Non-Fiction and the prize is an opportunity for your manuscript to go before the board of Lighthouse Publishing of the Carolinas for possible publication. This is such an opportunity. You never know what will come of the effort to enter. Some may win, others not. . . at least not an award, but what you do get - win or lose - is experience. You need the experience. Step out. Enter. You win for yourself just stepping out on the journey. Go to our and read the guidelines, then ENTER. There is a link there for you to pay. 

DEVOTION CONTEST ENDS JANUARY 15 AS WELL - Our devotion contest is open. There are tons of ways to write devotions, but if you need guidance - go to then click on the tab that says WRITE FOR US. You can download our guidelines and even see an example of how to write a devotion the Christian Devotions way. You ask - why do you not give us the link to the download? Well, for a reason. Part of entering contests is learning to follow the instructions and guidelines. This is a learning process we want you to walk away from our conference having mastered. You will need this skill EVERY TIME you submit your work anywhere.  (Same link, just scroll to the bottom of the page.)

We still lack a few registration payments. So many have been "Johnny-on-the-spot" to pay. If you have not, I ask that you take care of this responsibility as soon as possible. I have to pay the Cove next week and if your registration is not paid in full, your reservation will be lost and what you have paid in becomes non-refundable. So please, don't let that happen. When we take on writing as a career, there is always expenses involved. Be prompt and start your career out on the right foot. 

Please keep in mind the invoices that were sent out have the Christian Devotions logo on them. This is because it is our ministry that sponsors this conference. Thank you in advance for handling this matter. I can't wait to see you all and I certainly don't want anyone to lose their money or their spot.

So here's what's coming down.
Just a reminder.
..PROFESSIONAL PHOTOGRAPHS - This year we welcome something new. To help you in your professional writing career, you will need headshots. Nice photographs to submit with your bios and work. Professional photographer and writer, Mary Denman, will be with us to offer your the opportunity to have your pictures made. Her pricing is as follows and payments will be made directly to Mary, not our conference. 
The conference special is:
$50 for 2 poses (Chose either indoor or outdoor photos - weather pending)
$100 for 5 poses. (Includes both indoor and outdoor photos).
Mary will have studio lighting available and the photos made will be delivered digitally to you with copyright permissions granted.

If you need a good photo, now is the time.

MP3's - Yep, I'm mentioning this again, and again, and again . . .
You're going to hear this a lot for the next few weeks. BUY THE MP3's. Again, I can't stress the importance of this - to have this teaching year round to refer's a wonderful tool and a wise business decision. Each year our wonderful radio host, Scott McCausey, records our conference. We've been fortunate to have Scott do this for us. Our conference MP3's will be $25 this year. Every class and keynote is recorded. EVERYTHING EXCEPT WORSHIP. We cannot record the worship music due to copyright laws and we are simply to small to afford to pay the royalties. If you want to take home worship music, LaTan will have her cd's you can purchase. Plan now to purchase the MP3s. It's business smart. It's career smart. It's continued learning smart. If you plan now, you'll be prepared to purchase the MP3's as soon as you see Renee.

Please, please do not reply to this newsletter with your questions or even answers to questions I have asked. I cannot find all the responses.  If you need to respond please email me at [email protected].

Remember, everything you need to know will be posted on the website, even these newsletters. We have a tab called CONFERENCE UPDATES. When you click updates you'll find information on registration, checking in at the hotels, contests as they progress. Any kind of update. Currently this page houses last year's information, but honestly, it won't change much. So read through it.  Under Conference Updates you will also find NEWSLETTERS. You will be able to read every newsletter, so I encourage you to check in on this page and make sure you are getting all the upcoming news, needs, and happenings. 

BIOS for our ROSTER (If you are new to the conference in the last few weeks)
YEP - I'M STILL HARPING ON THIS ONE TOO.  The roster provides you a future networking tool. If you've never attended a conference, it allows you the opportunity to see who else is attending. It breaks the ice. Not only that, but it provides our conference care representatives, Dee Dee Parker, Beth Fortune, and Cathy Baker, the opportunity to know you by name and FACE. It's vital for our little family to be strengthened as a family. And that's what we want you to think of this conference  - your family. We're here for lasting relationships with you, not just a weekend. So be a part of the family.

We need a new photo and a short (50 word bio).  Even if we had it last year, RESEND IT THIS YEAR. Things change through the year and honestly, I can't go back and hunt through hundreds of emails and roster photos and neither can my amazing sister-in-law, Sheila, who is taking on this project for me. Send us new information. Please send those to [email protected].  You may put your bio in the body of the email, but attach your photo as an attachment.  Please label your email in the subject line BIO, so we know to send it to me.  I need a 50 word bio, written in 3rd person, and a photo of yourself. Please make your photo of you and not your entire family. We just don't have the space in our roster for large photos. Please keep your bio down to 50 words. Add your email address. This will be your networking tool. To my knowledge, we are the only conference that provides this networking tool. Help us make it successful.

And then...
Pray for this conference, for our faculty and for the conferees God will send. Pray for good weather. We don't mind cold, but we don't want snow. This is so important to us. Like I said, we began praying for you the day the 2017 conference ended. Begin to prepare your hearts. 

Mentoring is something that we offer as a sideline. It's an opportunity for you to sit for one hour with a mentor working specifically on your needs as a writer. IT IS AMAZING and well worth the investment.
Our mentors: Yvonne Lehman - Yvonne will work with fiction writers. If you have a manuscript at least 5 chapters in, Yvonne can help you pinpoint issues, make adjustments, deepen characters. Well worth your time.
Larry Leech - Non-fiction (memoirs especially) and fiction. Larry is a ghostwriter who spends a great deal of time writing for others. He can help you be sure you are taking the right steps, to have your book moving ahead.
Linda Gilden - Speakers and non-fiction is Linda's forte. If you are a speaker or looking to add this to your tool box, spend time with Linda. She is the queen of non-fiction having a number of excellent  books under her belt and she's an amazing speaker.
Edie Melson  - Author and social media guru, Edie will help you with your social media and blog or webpage. With over a million hits on her webpage...I think Edie knows her stuff. Spend a little time and let her get you up to snuff on your site and social media. Click this link to read more about mentoring

Please read the site. I am still updating information weekly. These newsletters are all published on the site as well. 

Send your bio and photo to [email protected]
Talk us up
Pray for us

FINALLY, let me share where God is leading us this year . . .

Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come. The old has gone, the new is here!  2 Corinthians 5:17 NIV

It was only yesterday when I strained to keep my eyes open just to watch that ball drop in New York City. Now here I am, 11:55 p.m.–waiting for the same thing again.

Time dragged when I was a child. January 1 came and the count down for Christmas began with carefully scoping out the newest toys. Things like Slinkys, bicycles, and Easy Bake Ovens. It seemed like time went into slow motion as we scoured the Sears catalog. Or when my feet were cold and I longed for spring. Or when the end of the school year was only a month away. Even when the sun took its time warming the creek so we could bear diving our fingers into the icy waters in search of crawdads. It felt like it stopped when November rolled around and Christmas approached.

These days I let things slip that I shouldn't. This only causes a backlog of work and I wish I could start over. It's that way with my writing at times too. I work hard for a bit and then life, busyness, and yes, even laziness sets in. The pieces I started grind to a halt and weeks later, I'm wishing again for a do-over. 

I suppose it’s the season of life I’m in. Maybe it was season of life Paul was in as well. From Saul to Paul, he realized just what it meant to have life in Christ. After all, no one had made a bigger change in their life than Paul. He understood what it meant to have the “old” taken and the “new” arrive. Paul went from murderer to holy peace maker.

Being new in Christ comes slowly for us humans. We like to hang on to the past and dwell there, never loosening our grip on what once was. The truth is, when we take on a Christian life, “new” washes over us like a tidal wave, and, if we are faithful, it continues to wash over us daily–hard, fast, and fresh. In Christ the new has arrived and the old . . . well . . . it’s history. And this is how it should be.

We are one day into the new year and our God of second, third, and 100th chances, allows us a do-over. That is the wonderful thing about a loving and forgiving God. So today, throw out the old habits and start anew. Make Christ the center of your day and when you have trouble kicking in and getting things done, ask for help throwing out the old and ringing in the new - for He promises in Christ, the old is gone and the new is here!

Happy New Year,

Much Love,

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January 8, UPDATE
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November Newsletter
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