Sharpening Your Manuscript


Registration is now open for my next workshop, which takes place:

Mondays at 7:00 pm EST from April 22 to June 17, 2024 

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Become a Published Author with Expert Guidance from an Award-Winning Author and Editor with 30+ years of Experience.

Join former Random House editor, and founder of Write to Sell Your Book, Diane O’Connell for an exclusive 8-week Zoom workshop designed to help writers find literary success.

Transform Yourself From an Aspiring Writer Into a Successful Author

Join a Group of Dedicated Writers

The Sharpening Your Manuscript Zoom Workshop is designed for 4 writers at a time. Together, you’ll share your writing, offer inspiration, and dive deeply into the lessons taught by your mentor, Diane O’Connell.

Tap Into Your Strengths as a Storyteller

Over the course of 8 weeks, you’ll focus on honing your writing skills and identifying the elements that make a manuscript come alive. You’ll be able to pinpoint areas of weakness and enhance strengths.

Get the Skills Needed to Get Published

More than a critique workshop, this 8-week journey is full of insightful lessons and personalized feedback on your submissions. Each week, you’ll perfect new techniques essential to great storytelling.

Right Now, You’re Not Seeing the Hidden Potential in Your Novel

online writing workshop

You’re Too Close to Your Story to Realize How Good It Could Be

The closer you are to your story, the harder it is to see its full potential. With Diane’s expert guidance, you’ll be able to uncover all the possibilities you actually have, and how to best approach them.

everyday life

You’re Letting Everyday Life Take Precedence over Your Writing

And who can blame you? There are a ton of things commanding your attention every second of the day, every single day. But the cards aren’t stacked against you. As long as you shuffle the deck properly, you’ll be productive, effective, and successful.


You’re Dreaming of What It Would Be like to Finally Publish Your Story

As an aspiring author, you spend a lot of time imagining success. You want to be published, but you doubt your abilities. Does your writing really work? Is your manuscript missing something? You have tons of questions, and very little answers.

Now Imagine What It Would Be like to Write a Gripping Story That Readers Can’t Put Down


You’ll Know What Makes Your Story Shine and What Doesn’t

Unlock all the secrets and pinpoint the strategies needed to overcome all the obstacles. Figure out those painful dialogue scenes or those tricky plot twists that seem to fall flat. You’ll know when to ditch an idea and when to follow through. But best of all? You’ll finally understand what publishers want in a novel.


You’ll Finally Know What Publishers Look For in a Novel

Diane O’Connell, a book editor and author with over 30 years of experience, knows exactly how to uncover your obstacles, develop your potential, and awaken the creative writer in you.


You’ll Have a Roadmap for Revision

You’ll be able to revise your manuscript with ease because you’ll know where you’re going and how to get there. You’ll finally go from guessing to knowing in far less time than you would on your own.


You’ll Nail the Few Pages That Get Heavily Scrutinized by Editors

Address flaws and capitalize on elements that editors and publishers automatically uncover in just a few pages of your novel.


You’ll Get the Recognition and Attention You Deserve for Your Writing

Get real, actionable help from an instructor who specializes in mentoring first-time authors. Diane can coax the very best out of you, teach you the story elements publishers crave and propel your writing to a higher level.

You’ll Finally Uncover the Secrets That Successful Authors Use Every Single Day

Turn the page in your own story and join a small group of aspiring authors in the Sharpening Your Manuscript Zoom Online Writing Workshop.

Becoming a Published Fiction Author Is as Simple as 1, 2, 3

Diagnose your Writing

Do a deep dive into your scenes to discover what’s working, what’s not working and learn how to sharpen your writing skills.

Revise your Scenes

With Diane’s guidance and the knowledge you’ve gained from step 1, you’ll be able to address your story’s weaknesses.

Apply your Knowledge

Come away from this workshop with the storytelling skills neccessary to keep writing novels that sell.

Tired of Taking Notes during a Workshop?

Say goodbye to note-taking.

You’ll get your pages—with my notes—sent to you after each session. This also includes a recording of the session so you can refer to it whenever you have the time.

Here’s What Awaits You during the 8-Week Sharpening Your Manuscript Workshop

Each week, you’ll email up to 8 pages of material for Diane to review before the group meets over Zoom. She will then share her comments with the class so everyone can learn from each other.


Craft Your Flap Copy

It may seem like a humble start, but your book’s “flap copy,” or teaser influences every aspect of your novel. This guided lesson will help you sharpen your focus and kick off your story the right way.


Week 1

Master Point of View

This class will demystify POV, help you go far beyond just choosing POV to capitalize on the deeper meaning and uses of this essential skill, and help you avoid the most common POV errors writers make all the time.

Week 1

Week 2

Polish Your Backstory and Tie It into Current Story Elements

Get to know your characters and all the past experiences that shaped them into who they are, so you can tell their story with newfound confidence.

Week 2

Week 3

Solve Those Pesky Dialogue Problems

Elevate your dialogue and avoid all those invisible traps that snap your audience out of the story.

Week 3

Week 4

Determine the Actions and Reactions That Shape Your Story

Use action to make your characters pop, and discover how reactions strengthen those pivotal, emotional scenes.

Week 4

Week 5

Master the Art of Showing, Not Telling

Understand the difference between showing and telling — then use that knowledge to find a balance that keeps readers and publishers thoroughly engaged.

Week 5

Week 6

Ramp up the Drama with Tension That Weaves Little Moments with Big Ones

Keep your readers hooked until the very last page with sustained tension — not just in the big moments but also in the little moments in-between.

Week 6

Week 7

Stop Shaking in Your Boots and Tame Your Synopsis

Face the dreaded synopsis and craft something so good, so put-together, it will make
publishers clamor to read your manuscript.

Week 7

Week 8

Get Personalized Feedback on Your Synopsis

Walk away knowing you have a solid grasp on the elements that’ll make for a memorable story over and over again for years to come.


Week 8

Join a Small, Select Group of Highly Motivated, Committed Writers

And Get Personalized Support That’s Well Worth the Investment

Online group workshops usually accommodate more people. However, the disadvantage is that participants don’t always get the specific help they need to meet their goals. They get lost in the group.

The Sharpening Your Manuscript Zoom Workshop is different. After all, it’s just you and 3 other aspiring authors. This allows Diane to focus on each writer, providing highly-personalized help you can’t get anywhere else.

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It’s Time to Sharpen Your Skills and Become the Author You Always Dreamed Of Becoming

Don’t miss out on this opportunity to transform yourself as a writer.

Diane Random House

Join Former Random House Editor and Award-Winning Author, Diane O’Connell

With 30+ years experience as a staff editor at several publishing houses, writing 200+ articles for national magazines, and authoring 6 books, she’s just the right person to help you get through your trials and come out the other side.

Here’s What Some of Diane’s Students Have to Say about Working with Her:

Are You Ready to Supercharge Your Writing Skills and Take Control of Your Future?

Let’s conquer those roadblocks and become the writer you’re destined to become. Only 4 writers can join the 8-week Sharpening Your Manuscript Workshop at any given time — claim your spot now before slots fill up!

$ 2497
8 Week Workshop Access
  • Limited Places
  • Join a small group of aspiring authors with similar goals, so you get the personal attention you need to succeed as an author.

  • Hone your Talents
  • Tap into and massively improve your strengths as a storyteller — hone your writing skills and unique talents.

  • Develop your Strengths & Skills
  • Develop the skills needed to get published and become the author you’ve always wanted to be.

  • Identify Current Problem areas
  • Identify the problem areas within your plot and character development and iron them out with real help from an expert in the industry.

  • Personalized Written and Workshop Recorded Feedback
  • Get personalized feedback from Diane O’Connell — including detailed notes and powerful workshop recordings.

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P.S Here’s my Guarantee:

The biggest achievements in life are usually accomplished with a little help from someone. Mentors, guides, instructors, or even managers—they’re all available to help and give you a chance. This workshop is no different. I guarantee to give you every tool in my arsenal to learn new skills and get your work published. However, I need you to meet me halfway. If you can show up, do the work, and dedicate yourself to mastering new writing skills, I promise you’ll succeed in your writing.

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