Before I share a few things I learned in a seminar from Pat, I want to encourage you to keep your eyes open for free online writing seminars. Sure, some of them will have minimal content and are mostly just a segway to try to sell you something else, but I have also come across TREASURES (like this one).

Inspriational Woman

I was inspired when I heard Pat Zietlow Miller talk about her path to publication.

She started getting serious about it when she was 39. (My age!!!) Pat received 129 rejections over the course of 4 years before publishing SOPHIE’S SQUASH. (One of my ABSOLUTE favorites!)

Improving your Manuscript

Pat’s seminar, titled Rising From the Wreckage (sponsored by Dreambank), was all about revising your manuscript.

She said, “Revision is a skill, but also an attitude.”

She also said, “All manuscripts need to be revised and refined.”


My favorite advice Pat gave about revising is to make sure you have a goal for your story. “What do you want people to feel after they read it?” Always keep your goal in mind.

You can add heart by making sure the book is founded on “a universal truth that makes a reader nod in recognition.”

Work on the characters, plot, structure, and heart before refining.


Pat’s biggest tip for refining is to get rid of extra words. Overused words, tags, adverbs, adjectives, passive voice etc.

Less is usually more.

Learning from Pat Zietlow Miller

If you ever get a chance to attend a class or online seminar with Pat, DO IT!!! She is a wealth of knowledge and a master at revision. I barely scratched the surface of all the information she shared.


If you haven’t read any of her books, you are missing out! I recently reviewed her newest book, WHAT CAN YOU DO WITH A ROCK, and highlighted a couple of my favorites (THE QUICKEST KID IN CLARKSVILLE and SOPHIE’S SQUASH) on Instagram. I will add links to those and others below so you can also check them out on Amazon if you would like.

Links to my Highlights on Instagram:

Links to Pat’s Books on Amazon

Happy reading and writing!

Jamie Bills