Romance Manuscript Makeover with Dianne Drake

Midwest Writers Workshop has the antidote to a winter that is dragging on forever! Focus on March 22nd, Manuscript Makeover Day at the Ball State Alumni Center, Muncie, IN. We offer three choices of one-day intensive sessions, each one a chance to immerse yourself in polishing your manuscript with hands-on guidance from a professional, award-winning author. This remedy to the winter of 2014 costs just $150, which includes lunch.

We get that the economy is tight, but this is a bargain, spending a day with a author who can help bring your book closer to “sold!”

Drake DianneAuthor Dianne Drake will lead a session Romance Manuscript Makeover and Other Important Publishing Insights and we’re keeping the numbers way low to provide personalized attention. Dianne’s 50+ published books have been translated into many languages around the world. She’s currently under contract for multiple books by three publishers.

How helpful can Dianne be to your writing? We asked Megan Powell, a MWW alum who snagged an agent and released her first novel in urban fantasy with a “little” help from Dianne. Megan thanked Dianne on her debut book, No Peace for the Damned, acknowledgement page.

Megan Powell“In 2009, I submitted the first five pages of my unedited manuscript to Dianne Drake for critique — an opportunity offered through the Midwest Writer’s Workshop,” Megan says. “Dianne didn’t write the same genre as my novel — her abundant success was in romantic fiction while my novel was urban fantasy — but as another fiction author, I’d hoped to gain some helpful insight.

“In Dianne’s 15-minute critique session, I was given instruction that strengthened the voice of my main character in ways I hadn’t even considered. She pointed out subtle inconsistencies in my writing and unnecessary, repetitive descriptions that, once applied to my complete manuscript, made it query ready. Even more, Dianne introduced me to one of the workshop’s participating agents who, after querying my manuscript, eventually signed me for representation. Two published novels later, I am still grateful for Dianne’s direction and feedback.”

It took Megan only 15 minutes to learn from Dianne, and we’re offering an entire day — from 9 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.

Still not convinced? Dianne’s road to writing was full of detours, and she used those side trails to help develop her writing career.

First, Dianne went to college and majored in music –specifically the flute. Next, she earned a degree in the medical field and became a critical care nurse. Then, after being a stay-at-home mom and launching two kids into the world, something happened that changed her direction. Dianne’s mother died, with some of her life’s ambitions untried, and Dianne decided to follow her heart and become a writer. Starting out writing nonfiction, she ultimately developed an amazing career, eventually landing as a romance writer, specializing in medical stories. Maybe her own winding road is why Dianne is so passionate about helping others.

If writing is not your first career–or second or third–Dianne is someone you will relate to, and she welcomes the chance to meet you. She’s happy to let you pick her brilliant writer’s brain.

So, what are you waiting for? Register now. Don’t procrastinate. We need your manuscript pages in time to read them ahead. Deadline is MARCH 1st .

Note: Read more of Dianne’s bio here, where she tells her story in detail. Check her website and follow her on Twitter: @DianneDrake

And, check out Dianne’s latest book, A Child to Heal Their Hearts from Harlequin Mills and Boon Medical Romances, which released in September of last year.

Learn more about MWW alum, urban fantasy author Megan Powell, who found Dianne’s guidance so helpful that she felt prepared to query an agent — and found representation, here: and Twitter: @meganpwrites.


Romance Manuscript Makeovers and Other Important Publishing Insights with Dianne Drake

Do you know what a trope is?  Or how to arc your book to get the most out of it?  Since all romances seem to fall into a formula, how can you make yours stand out as something different?  These questions and many more will be answered at MWW’s one-day session Romance Manuscript Makeovers and Other Important Publishing Insights.  So, if you want your manuscript critiqued and if you have specific questions about romance that have always bugged you, or maybe you just want to learn what the author of 50 romances knows, this is the place to be.  Please feel free to send your questions to her ahead of time to be assured yours will be answered in class:




Include a one-page synopsis of your book, single-spaced AND the first 10 pages of your manuscript. These manuscript pages should be double-spaced and should be the opening pages of your book (the books can be fiction or nonfiction and don’t have to be completed; can be works in progress).

All submissions should be appropriately labeled (i.e., LEFT CORNER: your name, address, phone, email) and MUST BE RECEIVED by MARCH 1, 2014.

Email synopsis and manuscript pages to:  Jama Kehoe Bigger (MWW),

ALSO on March 22, we will offer Manuscript Makeovers with children’s author Rebecca Kai Dotlich and a joint session with Dr. Dennis Hensley and Holly Miller. We’ll share more about them in the next E-pistle. (Or read our blog post).

Mini-conference in Cicero, Ind.

Think spring! 

Make plans to attend the Midwest Writers’ Mini-conference, March 16 at the Hamilton North Public Library, 209 W. Brinton Street in Cicero, Ind., where authors will share their hottest writing tips!

Register early! Seating is limited. Midwest Writers Workshop will conduct a mini-conference, “Getting Serious About Your Writing,” Saturday, March 16, 10 a.m.-1 p.m. at the Hamilton North Public Library in Cicero, located in Hamilton County, north of Indianapolis.

Cicero Library

Three writers will be presenters at the mini-conference, which will include talks about getting published, participation in break-out groups and a panel question-and-answer session.

This 3-hour intensive mini-conference is just $10, and registration is required. Light refreshments will be served.

The speakers include: Kelsey Timmerman, whose debut book, Where Am I Wearing?, was chosen as Ball State University’s Common Reader for freshmen, and whose second book Where Am I Eating? will be released in April; Terence Faherty, author of two mystery series, a winner of the Macavity Award, and a short fiction author whose stories appear regularly in mystery magazines; Megan Powell, whose debut urban fantasy novel, No Peace for the Damned, was contracted through an agent she snagged at Midwest Writers Workshop; Moderator will be Cathy Shouse, workshop coordinator of special events.

Faherty Portrait Powell Megan Kelsey

Each mini-conference attendee will receive a $20-off voucher for their registration for 2013 Midwest Writers Workshop scheduled at Ball State University July 25-27th.

Register here. To receive further information, please phone 317-984-5623.