Maria Snyder is the Keynote speaker at this year’s Write Stuff conference. She’s also doing two half-day workshops at the conference. Here is an interview with Maria by GLVWG member Donna Brennan. Register for the conference here.
By Sara Karnish
A longtime friend of GLVWG, Job Gibbs will be presenting three sessions at the 2023 Write Stuff Conference: “The Three C’s of Conflict: Part 1,” “The Three C’s of Conflict: Part 2,” and “The Funny Pages.” Here is a complete conference schedule.
Born in England, Jon Gibbs now lives in New Jersey, where he was Author-in-Residence at Georgian Court University from 2012 to 2017.
Jon is the founder of:
- The New Jersey Authors’ Network (www.njauthorsnetwork.com)
- NJ Writing Groups.com (www.njwritinggroups.com)
- The I are a writer! (and more) store (www.iareawriter.net).
His middle grade fantasy, Fur-Face, was nominated for a Crystal Kite Award. Originally published by Echelon Press in 2010, the second edition was released in November 2022. The sequel, Barnum’s Revenge, was published by Echelon Press in 2013. The second edition is due out this year.
Jon’s latest book, Abraham Lincoln Stole My Homework, is due out this year.
When he’s not chasing around after his children, Jon can usually be found hunched over the computer in his basement office. One day he hopes to figure out how to switch it on.
Contact him at email@example.com.
Q: One of your sessions is called ‘The Funny Pages.’ What will we learn during this session?
JG: We’ll be looking at how humor comes in many forms, and how we can use it in lots of different ways, whether it’s to lighten the mood after a shocking or stressful scene, or show us a little backstory, or even to make us like a character we aren’t supposed to – Think the Sherriff of Nottingham in Kevin Costner’s Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves.
Q: Humor is difficult to achieve in writing. What are a few key elements to ‘writing funny’?
JG: I think we all have slightly different ideas as to what counts as funny, but when it comes to using it in a book or story, I’d say the most important thing is that whoever’s writing it finds it funny. Also, consistency is important. Humor is part of our personality. If a story character switches between self-deprecating humor and one-liners to snarky jokes and sarcasm without any obvious reason, it can be jarring (at least, it is for me as a reader).
Q: Can you give us a sneak preview of your ‘3 Cs of Conflict’ 2-part sessions?
JG: Using examples from books and movies, we’ll be looking at some of the many ways to insert conflict in a story, and how we can use it to do more than just provide an obstacle for our characters to overcome. We’ll also be looking at examples from attendees’ current works-in-progress to see how we can ramp up the conflict while also helping to move the character/story arc along.
Q: What does conflict add to a piece of fiction?
JG: Conflict certainly isn’t everything, but without it, any story (and most of real life) would be pretty boring. It doesn’t all have to be car chases and brawling; in fact, most conflict is pretty subtle, but if it’s not there, readers soon start flipping ahead a few pages, or worse, simply put the book down.
Q: You write middle-grade fiction. What are some must-haves for writing middle-grade?
JG: Usually, the main character has to be middle-grade age. Adults can help solve the story problem, but they can’t be the driving force behind it. Aside from that, I’d say the must-haves are the same as any other fiction. Characters the reader cares about, good story, etc.
Q: How is writing middle-grade different than writing for adults?
JG: There are some basic differences, most of which are common sense. The official age range for middle-grade readers is between 8 and 12, so there’s an awful lot of scope for the type of story you can tell (as well as in how you tell it). Across the board, though, really bad language, sex, etc., are definite no-nos.
Book-length tends to be a lot shorter – usually between 20K and 50k words. If there is a romantic interest, it’s subtle – think Ron Weasley and Hermione Granger in the first few Harry Potter books.
Author and developmental editor Kathryn Craft is one of the presenters at the 2023 Write Stuff Conference
Interview by Sara Karnish
Long a leader in the southeastern Pennsylvania writing scene, Kathryn served for more than a decade in a variety of positions on the boards of the Greater Lehigh Valley Writers Group and the Philadelphia Writers’ Conference, and was named the 2020 Guiding Scribe for the Women’s Fiction Writers Association. Kathryn leads the Your Novel Year small-group mentorship program, has served as adjunct faculty for Drexel University’s low-residency MFA in Creative Writing program, hosts writing retreats for women, and speaks often about writing. She writes a monthly series, “Mad Skills,” at the award-winning blog, Writer Unboxed.
Her debut novel, The Art of Falling, set in the Philadelphia dance world, a harsh microcosm of our society’s celebrity-driven expectations of women’s bodies, is available from Sourcebooks. Her follow up novel, The Far End of Happy, is based on true events surrounding the 1997 suicide standoff that resulted in her husband’s death. Originally meant to be a memoir, she decided to novelize.
Kathryn will be facilitating a half-day workshop focused on dialogue, “Say That and More”, on Thursday, March 23. I sat down with Kathryn to talk about the importance of dialogue and so much more.
Q: Can you give us a sneak preview of your half-day workshop “Say That and More” at the Write Stuff Conference?
KC: Dialogue, if used well, can be an incredible multi-tasker. It can build characterization, deliver information, enhance conflict, further the plot, reveal the motivations of non-point-of-view characters, expose hidden loyalties and secrets, and more. In fact, if it’s only doing any one of these things, it’s not doing enough! By analyzing powerful excerpts of dialogue from bestselling novels, we’ll figure out what these authors have done so well, and then give each technique a shot with either prompts or characters from our own works in progress. It will be both fun and eye-opening!
Q: Why is strong dialogue so critical to a novel?
KC: We humans communicate with each other primarily through speech. Imagine speed-dating without it! The first “I love you” will change a relationship, for better or worse. A baby’s first word is joyfully celebrated. Asking for what we truly need can be nerve-wracking. Losing our voice before a speech or performance can be a tragic loss of opportunity. One’s dying words can carry a lifetime of meaning. We can feel lost when someone is desperately trying to communicate with us in a language we don’t know. Since such situations are common to all humans, well-written dialogue can gain immediate emotional investment from your reader.
But equally important to dialogue is what isn’t said. If that first “I love you” is met with silence, we know things aren’t going so well. Same if the baby’s first word is “Da-da” and the mom whisks the baby from “Da-da’s” arms to go down for a nap. By tapping into these universal human emotions through a rich tapestry of actions, memories, and setting, we can invite the reader to add up what’s on the page for themselves. After all, they’ve been reading signals during conversations their whole lives.
Q: Authenticity is key to capturing how characters speak, and sometimes this means writing regional dialect. How should a writer handle dialect, colloquialisms, and “folksy expressions” in a novel?
KC: This has changed a lot over the years as the publishing industry has gotten twitchier. There’s the fear that today’s busy readers will no longer put up with phonetic spelling and dropped syllables, even though doing so brought the series characters of middle grade authors like J.K. Rowling and Brian Jacques to vibrant life. A more recent concern is the fear that trying to write dialect will come off as prejudicial, racist, homophobic, xenophobic—if there’s even a whiff of political incorrectness in the way you’ve presented a character as “other than,”, there’s a possibility you’ll cross a line and lose readers.
One solution is to evoke the sound of the language without full-out transcription. If a young woman says she could listen to her daddy all night long, his dropped syllables making his stories roll like waves, a periodic transcription of his language won’t cause a problem. If you need to convey the speech of a foreigner with minimal English, study the syntax of his native language (lack of articles in Russian, adjectives following many nouns in French) and mimic it.
Q: You’ve drawn on your personal experiences for your novels The Art of Falling and The Far End of Happy. What are some tips for writers to capture personal experiences—events, even interesting dialogue—and possibly use them later?
KC: I give a separate workshop on this, which was a direct result of all I learned while obtaining my PhD in self from the School of Hard Knocks. Since our emphasis here is dialogue, I’ll share one pertinent story from The Far End of Happy.
After I’d already filed for divorce from my first husband, and within a month of his suicide, he said to me, “I guess you don’t like me very much.”
This line of dialogue was seared into my memory to the point that I wanted to include it in my novel. But when my editor read that line of dialogue, floating as it was within the fictionalized version of real events, it made less sense. “The scene reads fine without it,” she commented. “Just delete it.”
That I couldn’t do. To me it had the feel of an important turning point in this couple’s awareness of what was (or wasn’t) happening between them. So instead of deleting, I went back several chapters to better set up this important moment.
My takeaways: 1) while listening to your editor is important, you don’t have to solve problems in the way they suggest, and 2) just because it was spoken in real life doesn’t confer power to a line of dialogue, and setting it up might be a long game.
Q: Dialogue aside for a second—you are a developmental editor through your business, Writing Partner. How do we maintain the tension throughout a novel and keep readers’ interest?
KC: This isn’t just a whole other workshop; I’m writing a craft book on the topic! Just about all fiction craft can be geared toward sustaining the reader’s interest. The most important foundational concept is what I call psychological tension—the relationship an author builds between the protagonist and the reader. A reader is hooked when a protagonist’s deeply desired goal raises a related question in the reader’s mind that she wants answered (“Can this character achieve his goal, given all the obstacles ahead?”). Now you have the reader looking around every corner to see how it’s going for the protagonist. It’s only once this relationship is created that the author can raise, dash, and reward reader expectation, which is the very definition of a satisfying read.
This year’s Write Stuff Conference runs March 23-25 at the Best Western Lehigh Valley Hotel. Registration is open! www.glvwg.org
Award-winning author and journalist, Jeanette Windle, will be at the GLVWG Write Stuff Writers Conference™, “2020 Vision”, on Saturday, March 14, at the Best Western Lehigh Valley Hotel & Conference Center.
Jeanette will hold three craft sessions:
Using the Six Senses Purposefully
A Story to Tell – Your Own or Another’s
The A to Z of Writing a Sellable Article
** Scroll Down for Details **
As daughter of missionary parents, award-winning author and journalist, Jeanette Windle grew up in the rural villages, jungles, and mountains of Colombia, now guerrilla hot zones. Her detailed research and writing is so realistic that it has prompted government agencies to question her to determine if she has received classified information. Currently based in Lancaster, PA, Jeanette has lived in six countries and traveled in more than thirty on five continents. Those experiences have birthed 16 international intrigue titles, including bestselling Tyndale House Publishers release Veiled Freedom, a 2010 ECPA Christian Book Award and Christy Award finalist, sequel Freedom’s Stand, a 2012 ECPA Christian Book Award and Carol Award finalist, and Congo Dawn, 2013 Golden Scroll Novel of the Year, the political/suspense best seller “CrossFire” and the Parker Twins juvenile mystery series.
Saturday March 14, 2020
Using the Six Senses Purposefully
Bring Your Storytelling Alive! Fiction or non-fiction, effective telling of the story is what transports your reader into the world you want to share. And this is done most effectively through the six senses: sight, sound, smell, touch, taste, and that all-important sixth sense of the writer–emotion. Bring pen, paper and creativity because this will be a hands-on exercise.
A Story to Tell – Your Own or Another’s
Non-fiction biography is the bread-and-butter of freelance writing. Whether writing your own memoir or someone else’s life story, this workshop will walk you through the practicalities of breaking down, organizing, and weaving into story form a compelling life narrative. Not writing a full book? Principles apply as well to the personal experience short story/article.
The A to Z of Writing a Sellable Article
Where to find material or choose a topic? What makes an attention-grabbing lead and headline? What to include and how to organize? A great conclusion or just petering out? Taught by a twenty-year-veteran missions journalist and editor, this workshop lays out in practical steps how to turn out consistently exciting, tightly written articles, no matter your theme or subject matter.
INTERNATIONAL INTRIGUE WITH INSPIRATIONAL IMPACT!!
“Jeanette Windle is a top-notch storyteller”—PUBLISHERS WEEKLY
“You can’t finish a Windle novel without being deeply moved and better informed about the world around you.”—ROMANTIC TIMES
You can find Jeanette Windle on her website: http://jeanettewindle.com/
And you can follow her on:
Timons “Tim” Esaias, adjunct professor at Seton Hill University for the Masters level program in writing popular fiction, will open the GLVWG Write Stuff Writers Conference™, “2020 Vision”, on Thursday, March 12, at the Best Western Lehigh Valley Hotel & Conference Center.
He will conduct a two half-day sessions on Thursday, March 12:
What to Put In & What to Take Out:
How to remove meaningless stuff from your prose, and put content back in.
Selected Elements of Style
Key rules, the genre differences, and how to think about the morass of conflicting advice
Then on Saturday, March 14, Tim will facilitate four sessions:
Getting Conflict on the Page
Don’t Be a Bobble Head
Those First Few Lines
Writing Poetry for Genre Markets
Timons Esaias lives in Pittsburgh, in the Squirrel Hill neighborhood, with his wife who is a physician. He writes satire, speculative fiction, poetry, and the occasional essay. His work has appeared in over a dozen different countries, and fifteen languages. He has been a finalist for the British Science Fiction Award (1998) and the Rhysling Award (5 nominations, Third Place 1997), and he won the Asimov’s Readers’ Award for Poetry (2005). He is a member of the Pittsburgh Poetry Exchange; a Member Demeritus of the Worldwrights; and a certified Rogue in Lair #1 of the Rascals, Rogues & Rapscallions.
** Click “Continue Reading” for Tim Esaias Interview and course syllabus **
JD Barker, international bestselling author, will be the headliner and Keynote Speaker at the GLVWG Write Stuff Writers Conference™, “2020 Vision”, on March 13 -14 at the Best Western Lehigh Valley Hotel & Conference Center.
Friday, March 13, JD will facilitate a Full Day Writing Development Workshop.
On Saturday, he will give sessions with From Indie to Traditional; Every Dirty Little Secret You Need to Know, and Crossing Genres – and Why You Should Do It!
J.D.Barker (Jonathan Dylan Barker) is an international bestselling American author whose work has been broadly described as suspense thrillers, often incorporating elements of horror, crime, mystery, science fiction, and the supernatural.
J.D. Barker has successfully crossed over from horror, to paranormal, to thriller, and back again, snatching readers from multiple genres and expanding his audience like a literary Pied Piper. Learn how to avoid the genre box and tell the story you want to tell to the largest possible group.
As a child I was always told the dark could not hurt me, that the shadows creeping in the corners of my room were nothing more than just that, shadows. The sounds nothing more than the settling of our old home, creaking as it found comfort in the earth only to move again when it became restless, if ever so slightly. I would never sleep without closing the closet door, oh no; the door had to be shut tight. The darkness lurking inside needed to be held at bay, the whispers silenced. Rest would only come after I checked under the bed at least twice and quickly wrapped myself in the safety of the sheets (which no monster could penetrate), pulling them tight over my head.
I would never go down to the basement.
Learn more about JD Barker at jdbarker.com
And in case you hadn’t noticed, JD will be speaking on Friday the 13th.
** Click “Continue Reading” for JD Barker Interview and course syllabus **
Article by The Write Stuff Conference Chair, Dawn Sooy
Kathryn Craft writes stories that seek beauty and meaning at the edge of darkness. Rich with material for further thought or discussion, her novels make a great choice for book clubs.
Her first novel, The Art of Falling (Sourcebooks), grew from her 19 years of experience as a dance critic for The Morning Call newspaper. Set in Philadelphia, every page of the novel is infused with a dancer’s heightened awareness of the human body and its movement.
Her second novel, the IPPY award-winning The Far End of Happy (Sourcebooks), is based on the true events surrounding the 1997 suicide standoff that resulted in her husband’s death. It was these events that launched her interest working through troubling psychosocial issues by writing fiction.
Over the past decades she has served on the boards of the Greater Lehigh Valley Writers Group and the Philadelphia Writers Conference and worked with the Women’s Fiction Writers Association; she hosts writing retreats for women and often speaks about writing. She is a regular contributor at two of Writer’s Digest’s Top 101 Websites for Writers, Writer Unboxed and Writers in the Storm.
Who is Kathryn Craft?
“I love the sound of snow crunching beneath boots, the taste of butter, and pumpkin pancakes with real maple syrup (What can I say? I was born in Syracuse, NY). Perfume isn’t for me. When I’m swimming in a northern spring-fed lake, and my nose is right down near the water–that’s my favorite scent in the world. The next is baking bread, which reminds me of my grandmother (I’ve spent every summer of my life at the same lakeside cottage, where I can still conjure her spirit).”
Kathryn was a favorite speaker at a past conference and we were delighted when she was available for us in 2019. She will be presenting the following sessions at the Write Stuff Conference, Saturday March 23.
- Those Critical First Pages
An agent’s request for a full manuscript is so exciting for an aspiring author—but how much of your novel will an agent really read? Perhaps only a few paragraphs—about all you would give a book when browsing in the bookstore. We’ll analyze opening pages that refused to let publishing industry pros go.
- Say That and More: Writing Effective Dialogue – Seating Limited to 24
In this two-hour workshop, you will participate in a series of exercises that will challenge you to improve your dialogue writing. Prepare to leave with a whole new respect for this multi-tasking tool—and perhaps the germ of a new story idea, as well.
- To take advantage of Kathryn’s experience and expertise join us at The Write Stuff
March 21 – 23, 2019
Kathryn lives with her husband in Doylestown. She is the proud mother of two sons: an opera singer and a traffic engineer.
To read more on Kathryn, visit:
Interviews with Kathryn:
- with Debra Pinkerton on Good Day PA ABC27, January 2016 (TV)
- with Will Broaddus in The Salem News (MA), February 2014
- with Jaclyn Fulmer in Shelf Awareness for Readers, January 2014
- with George and Kate Scuffle, WDIY Arts Salon, December 2013 (radio)
- by Gwen Shrift, Bucks County Courier-Times (PA), December 2013
- by Milton D. Carrero, The Morning Call (PA), December 2013 (includes video)
Article by Dawn Sooy, The Write Stuff 2019 Chair.
Dawn 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.
As a member of the Greater Lehigh Valley Writers Group, Dawn fulfills the duties of Secretary, Conference Chair for the 2019 GLVWG The Write Stuff Conference™ and is part of the 2019 Anthology team. She has published six short stories, the most recent, “Love Knows No Boundaries,” featured in the 2017 GLVWG anthology, “Write Here – Write Now.” She plans to contribute a story to the 2019 GLVWG anthology “Rewriting the Past.”
“From the Darkness” is her first novel, self-published in March 2018. This is based on a true story about a woman with bipolar depression.
Dawn and her husband Bob reside in Kempton, PA. Between them, they have four children, two grandchildren, and one great-grandchild.
By Charles Kiernan
Resident traditional storyteller and author, Charles Kiernan, offers us a perspective on GLVWG’s Dr. Larry “Rock ‘n’ Roll!!!” Schardt, whose life mission is to “plant seeds of love and happiness wherever he goes.”
Dr. Schardt is dedicated to helping people in any way possible. Through his workshops, he shares ways to help you maximize your joy in life, find your writing muse, and live a life of Success That Rocks . . .
Did you ever wonder:
- How you can find happiness and success with all that’s going on in life?
- Why some people are happy, and others just plod along?
- What it takes for you to enjoy your days?
- What it takes for you to feel successful?
During “Success that Rocks:”
- You will experience ideas on how to enjoy life to the fullest.
- You will learn the 3 Key Habits (Golden Keys) for Happiness and Success.
- You will learn the success formula to change adversity into victory.
- You will learn how to be a victor instead of a victim.
- You will learn wisdom for fixing problems.
- You will learn the many virtues of happiness and success
Put a Positive Spin on Rejection – Propel Your Writing and Yourself into Success that Rocks.
A writer’s work is always on the line for criticism or rejection or both. When rejected you may be tempted to toss your computer off a cliff, watch your hard work smash into tiny shards on the rocks below, crawl in a cave, and sink into the gloomy dungeon of self-pity.
This workshop will provide you with the tools to help you escape from the dungeon and explore rejection from a different perspective . . . So you can grow, persist, and flourish.
You will learn the secrets of becoming a victor instead of a victim, making happiness a habit, and overcoming the diseases of cynicism, negaholism, and blame. You will also learn the secrets of enjoying a life of “Success That Rocks.”
Powerful Tools to Enhance Your Writing Success and Rock Your Life . . .
Suffer from writer’s block, overwhelm, lack of focus, stalled creativity, anxiety . . . ? Yikes! In this workshop, Dr. Larry “Rock ’n’ Roll” Schardt shares ways to blast through these maladies and empower your writing, and your life.
From daily routines, to mindfulness, to programs, to conferences, to potent psychological tools, and beyond, Larry shares secrets to improve your life and enhance your creativity. Supercharge your mindset, and your writing, with tools to help you reach your maximum potential.
Dr. Schardt will present at the GLVWG Write Stuff Conference™ March 23, 2019:
A seemingly insignificant incident transformed Larry’s life when he was 15. While he was delivering newspapers, he found a copy of a Reader’s Digest sitting on top of a bundle of trash. The headlined condensed story “How to Win Friends and Influence People” caught his eye. He sat on the curb, read the article, and changed his perspective forever.
Ever since that day his passion has been to explore and spread happiness and success. As a trainer and teacher he continues to hone his craft.
Dr. Schardt has a Masters in Education and Communications and earned his PhD in Education and Instructional Systems Design. Larry has toured the country motivating audiences from all 50 states and US Territories, with his presentations on success, leadership, writing, and happiness.
Dr. Schardt has been teaching at Penn State University for the past 25 years. He has also taught at University of Pittsburgh, Dickinson College, and University of the Virgin Islands. Schardt is co-founder and facilitator of the highly successful Mindful Writers Retreats and is presently co-authoring a book on Mindful Writing and Retreats.
He is also a regular speaker at writing conferences (where he receives rave reviews). His talks provide writers with tools and motivation to enhance their craft and Rock Their Worlds! . . .
He wrote the textbook Natural Resources Conservation and Community Sustainability, published by Penn State Press. He has stories published in Chicken Soup for the Soul: Find Your Happiness and Chicken Soup for the Soul: The Power of Gratitude.
His teaching philosophy is one of the few included in The Penn State Teacher II. He also authored manuals on grant training, mentoring, leadership, nonprofit management, and other educational trainings.
When he’s not writing, speaking, researching, or teaching you will find Larry involved with small businesses, community activities, and storytelling. He is a music junkie! His other hobbies include walking, skiing, rollercoasters, and people!
During his presentations, you will experience an atmosphere of fun and levity by sharing stories of life and triumph over adversity. Live Success That Rocks!
Article by Charles Kiernan
Charles Kiernan is the proud author of two, entirely unpublished, middle-grade fantasy novels. He is better known as a storyteller—as in, stand up in front of a crowd and tell them a tale. He has also pawned himself off as Mark Twain to the unwary, but with no success to literary agents.
Charles was featured on GLVWG Write Stuff Blog this past September, Charles Kiernan: Mark Twain impersonator, traditional storyteller, and writer
He is also coordinator for the Lehigh Valley Storytelling Guild, Pennsylvania State Representative for the National Youth Storytelling Showcase, Pennsylvania State Liaison for the National Storytelling Network, recipient of the 2008 Individual Artist Award from the Bethlehem Fine Arts Commission, and grand slam winner at the Lehigh Valley Story Slam, November 2017.
He is proudest of his blog on fairy tales, Fairy Tale of the Month, which he has been writing since December 2010.
Article by Write Stuff Conference Chair – Dawn Sooy
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:
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.
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.
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 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.
Article by GLVWG member Tammy Burke
As you probably guessed from the wording on his favorite mug, he are a writer. And GLVWG knows, Jon are also an in-demand conference speaker and will be presenting the following topics at the GLVWG Write Stuff Conference™ on March 23, 2019:
Are Your Characters Right for the Part?
When you create a character for a book or story, it’s tempting to stick with the first ‘person’ who turns up to audition, but what if he/she isn’t really right for the part? How can you make sure the ‘actor’ you end up using is the best one for the role? Join New Jersey author, Jon Gibbs, for a fun, informative, workshop on auditioning potential characters. Also, there may be candy.
Please note: This is a hands-on session. Attendees should bring pens and plenty of paper to work with.
The Seven-Sentence Solution.
Can you tell your novel’s story in seven sentences? What about your characters? Can you tell their arc, and how the story has changed them, in seven sentences? Join New Jersey author, Jon Gibbs, to learn how applying the Seven-Sentence Solution to your story (and to the people who take part in it) can make writing your book a lot easier, and reading it a lot more fun. This is a two-hour session. Also, there may be candy.\
A writer of thrillers, fantasy, horror, etc. (most of it for Middle Grade), Jon’s middle-grade fantasy, Fur-Face (Echelon Press), was nominated for a Crystal Kite Award.
Jon was ‘Author in Residence’ at Georgian Court University, in Lakewood, New Jersey, from 2012 – 2017.
In addition to his Fun with Fiction School program, Jon is the founder of The New Jersey Authors’ Network (NJAN). He has appeared with fellow NJAN members at panel/Q&As in libraries around the Garden State. He has also given numerous solo presentations and workshops on writing and blogging, as well as the occasional after-dinner speech. Jon’s 60-minute presentation, GETTING PUBLISHED: 10 Things Every Writer Should Know was broadcast on local cable TV in the Fall of 2012.
Born in England, Jon moved to New Jersey with his wife and children in 2004. He became a US citizen in 2016.
When he’s not running around after his special-needs children, Jon can usually be found in his basement office, staring at the computer – one day he hopes to figure out how to switch it on.
To read more about Jon, visit:
Tammy Burke, past GLVWG conference chair and president, has published over 400 articles in daily newspapers, newsletters and regional magazines. She is shopping her first YA fantasy manuscript, Hazel Lies, and is revising her second book. In addition to writing, she spearheads marketing for a fire and security systems company, raises a brilliant ADHD middle-grader, fences with rapier swords in the Society of Creative Anachronism (SCA), and considers herself a student of the fantastic and mundane.