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Article by Write Stuff Conference Chair – Dawn Sooy



David Fessenden Headshot

David E. Fessenden has launched out as an independent editorial and publishing consultant after 20 years in editorial management for Christian publishers. Dave has a B.A. in journalism, an M.A. in religion, and over 30 years of experience in writing and editing. In his previous positions, Dave has edited scholarly and popular journals, served on the staff of a Bible Institute, and edited a regional edition of the largest Protestant weekly newspaper in the country.

GLVWG was delighted when Dave agreed to speak at the GLVWG Write Stuff Conference™ on March 23, 2019, the only problem, he has a robust presentation list and choosing between the topics difficult. We decided on these:

  • The Publishing Contract

Just when you are rejoicing that your book is going to be published, you receive a thick envelope in the mail — the dreaded publishing contract. This seminar will explain the clauses in a standard book contract, from a layperson’s perspective. [Disclaimer — I’m not a lawyer, and I don’t dispense legal advice!]

  • The Writer/Editor Relationship

Writers and editors sometimes have a love/hate relationship — but it doesn’t have to be that way. This workshop covers what an editor looks for in a writer, and how you can be the kind of writer-editors love to publish!

  • The Dreaded Outline: What Your English Teacher Never Told You

Do you dread preparing an outline? It’s not surprising if you are doing it the way you were probably taught in grade school. This workshop shows you how to break free of strict and silly rules so that you can use an outline as a writing plan.

  • Editing Your Own Material (Muhlenberg)
    It’s a basic fact of human nature — we tend to be blind to our own mistakes. (Otherwise, we wouldn’t make the same ones over and over again!) These tips on self-editing show you how to step out of your skin — to be “objective” in the truest sense of the word — and smooth out the rough spots in your manuscript.


Who is David Fessenden?

During my 20 years in Christian publishing, I have learned to wear a lot of hats. Let me tell you about a few of them:

Editorial Coach

I can come alongside you to find ways to bring focus to your manuscript, making it more oriented to a specific audience, more effective and more publishable. I can also help you hone your proposal into a dynamic presentation that will spark the interest of a publisher.

Publishing Consultant

I can assist publishing houses, whether large or small, with editorial services and advice in acquisition, publishing agreements, copyright issues, subsidiary and international rights, production (including printed, e-book and audio formats) and promotion.

Academic Literary Agent

I am available to represent a limited number of authors on a per-project basis at a standard 15% agency rate. I capitalize on two decades in editorial positions with CBA (Christian Booksellers Association) publishers and my seminary training to specialize in the nonfiction Christian book market, with a bent toward authors and manuscripts that are more theological, academic or semi-academic.

David Fessenden Headshot 2

Among many of the hats David wears, songwriting is another. He has delighted music lovers with songs that can be heard on http://fromconcepttocontract.com/daves-songs/

Dave’s God: There is one thing I really want you to know about me: my life is not my own. I have put it in the hands of the One who created the universe. To read more on this “God stuff,” select this link: Dave’s God

My wife and I live in southcentral Pennsylvania; we have two adult sons/daughters-in-law, and three grandchildren.


To read more on David, visit:


And don’t forget to visit his Amazon Page for books he’s written.




Dawn Headshot Updated

Dawn Sooy, GLVWG’s Conference Chairman, is a native of Eastern Pennsylvania, with plenty of experience the four seasons have to offer. Armed with a Computer Science degree, she worked in the tech industry until 2012. As an animal lover, she volunteers at the local animal shelter, sneaking in treats for the four-legged residents.