Announcing One-Day Intensive Sessions: March 22, 2014

Spring clean your writing!

Midwest Writers Workshop invites you to “Think Spring!” and join us in one of our most popular offerings: The Manuscript Makeover. These one-day intensive sessions offered at the Ball State University Alumni Center, Muncie, IN on March 22, 2014 (9 am to 3 pm) and will help you to de-clutter and polish your manuscript, guided by some of our most popular faculty: Holly Miller and Dennis Hensley, Dianne Drake, and Rebecca Kai Dotlich.

In his bestselling book Outliers, Malcolm Gladwell discovered it takes 100,000 hours—or 100,000 words in this case—to master a profession. But as Coach Vince Lombardi would say: Practice does not make perfect. Only perfect practice makes perfect.

Getting expert advice about your manuscript can put you light-years ahead of the competition. And we all know how competitive publishing is!

Just 20 participants will be able to attend the session of their choice at a cost of $150 (includes a brown bag lunch so the work continues to flow). So here’s how it works:

1) Register for the mini.

2) Submit the requested number of manuscript pages by MARCH 1, 2014.

3) Come to Muncie, IN on March 22 from 9 am. to 3 p.m.) for personalized instruction and a chance to network with other writers.

Let’s get our writing houses in order this spring! Don’t procrastinate! We really want to review your manuscript pages ahead of time, to provide personalized help.

Choose from these three sessions:

Manuscript Makeover with Holly G. Miller & Dennis E. Hensley

This interactive seminar is designed for those fiction and nonfiction writers who are ready to take a quantum leap forward in enhancing their writing skills. Participants will submit a one-page synopsis and the first 10 pages of a manuscript in progress. The instructors will edit and critique these pages and display them (anonymously) to the class as a way of revealing strengths and weaknesses in the material. Additionally, the instructors will lead the students in writing exercises and offer advice on such topics as enhancing dialogue, learning to self-edit, mastering proofreading, finding the right markets for manuscripts and knowing when and how to go into writing full-time.

Note: Holly and Dennis will not be offering Manuscript Makeover at our summer workshop in July, so catch them while you can!

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 me ahead of time to be assured yours will be answered in class:

Writing for Children Manuscript Makeover with Rebecca Kai Dotlich

This interactive workshop is designed for those who write for children and are ready to dig in and explore what makes a picture book (or easy reader, or chapter book) work by looking at mentor texts, and specifically structure, language, the elusive show-don’t- tell, character development, and details. Participants will submit two pages or less of a manuscript in progress. The instructor will lightly edit and critique these pages and share (anonymously) with the class as a way of revealing strengths and weaknesses to focus on improving writing skills in this genre for all attending.  There will also be writing exercises and advice offered, with additional time for questions and answers about the writing process.

Meet the Faculty:

Miller-HollyHolly Miller is an editor with The Saturday Evening Post and co-author of Feature & Magazine Writing. She and Dennis Hensley have collaborated on four novels and three nonfiction books. Holly’s byline has appeared in Reader’s Digest, Writer’s Digest and TV Guide. She is the author of 14 fiction and nonfiction books. She has won awards from the Associated Press, Society of American Travel Writers and Society of Professional Journalists.

Hensley DennisDennis E. Hensley, Ph.D., is a contributing editor for Writers’ Journal and the author of eight textbooks on writing, including How to Write What You Love and Make a Living at It. He has written 51 books, including Millennium Approaches (Avon), Uncommon Sense (Bobbs-Merrill), and Money Wise (Harvest House). He directs the professional writing major at Taylor University. His 3,000 freelance articles have appeared in Reader’s Digest, Success, People, The Writer, Writer’s Digest, and Downbeat, among dozens of others.

Drake DianneDianne Drake has written 50+ romance novels. Since 2001, she’s been writing romances for Harlequin, including everything from romantic comedy to sweet romances. Currently, she writes warm, family-oriented stories often set in small towns or foreign countries for Harlequin Mills and Boon Medical Line. Dianne’s first romance novel for Harlequin, The Doctor Dilemma, was published in 2001and was voted a reader top five favorite for that year. She has published extensively in nonfiction as well. MWW alumni Megan Powell found Dianne’s comments so helpful that she named her in the acknowledgements of her debut novel!

Dotlich, RebeccaRebecca Kai Dotlich grew up in the Midwest exploring trails by the creek, reading comic books, making paper dolls and building snowmen. She is a children’s poet and picture book author of titles such as Bella and Bean (an SCBWI Golden Kite Honor), What Is Science? (a Subaru SB&F finalist and Bank Street’s Best Book of the year,) and What Can A Crane Pick Up? (which received a *starred* review from Publisher’s Weekly.)  She gives poetry workshops, visits classrooms across the country, and speaks at conferences, retreats, libraries and schools to teachers, aspiring writers and students of all ages.  Her books have received the Gold Oppenheim Toy Portfolio Award as well as an IRA Children’s Choice and her work has been featured on Reading Rainbow and the PBS children’s show Between the Lions.  Rebecca still reads comic books and builds snowmen. Her forthcoming picture book, ALL ABOARD! will be published by Knopf in fall of 2014.



For MANUSCRIPT MAKEOVER with Holly & Dennis


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).


Include a one or two paragraph synopsis of your book, single-spaced AND 2 pages of your manuscript. These manuscript pages should be double-spaced and should be the opening pages of your book (picture books, easy readers, and chapter books – NO novels).

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),


Reminder: Save the dates for MWW 2014, July 24-26. Best-Selling Author Elizabeth Berg is coming! Check out our faculty. And watch soon for the schedule!