photo by Roderick Aichinger, used with permission

WELCOME to The Word Studio. Founder Janet Benton has over 30 years' experience as a professional writer and editor and 20 as a teacher of writing. 

MENTORING For writers and other purposeful communicators, Janet offers individualized guidance and support through private mentoring that enables real progress.

WORKSHOPS The Word Studio offers workshops with exceptional writer-teachers to enable further growth in perspectives and methods. Most events take place in or near Philadelphia. 

EDITING Decades of intensive practice make her improvements precise and effective. 

WRITING Benton's historical novel LILLI DE JONG will be published in February 2017 by Nan A. Talese/Doubleday. Set in 1883 Philadelphia, it is the fictional diary of an unwed mother. In addition to writing fiction and essays, Benton crafts writing for cultural and civic institutions that is accurate and engaging. Projects have included the Philadelphia documentary series The Great Experiment, aired on 6abc. She served as script consultant for "Fever: 1793," which won a regional Emmy for best documentary in 2013, and as co-writer for "Promise for a Better City" (1944 to 1964). In 2014, she helped conceptualize and launch History Making Productions' documentary series on Philadelphia women's history. Here are some other recent highlights: 

  • A 2013 essay on how her mother's activism affects her own mothering appeared in the Modern Love column of the New York Times
  • In 2014, Showtime chose three essays from nearly ten years of Modern Love columns to reprint for their Masters of Sex ad on the online New York Times home page. Janet's was the lead essay.
  • A short story in SWITCHBACK, the online literary magazine of the University of San Francisco's MFA Program, was nominated for a 2013 Pushcart Prize. See "Instructions for Failure."
  • A second story, "For Objects Do Sustain," was nominated for a 2014 Pushcart Prize by the Green Hills Literary Lantern.
  • A third, "The Reason I'm Here," with material from a novel in process, appeared in the Tulane Review and can be seen in a pdf here (starts page 92).

Peruse the site to learn more. Feel free to sign up for the mailing list and visit Janet on Facebook. Follow Janet on Twitter! . Or just get in touch.


Thanks to Alaina Mabaso for this interview on her blog. Here's a bit: "What are the stories that only you can tell? To me that’s the first step. What do you know because of what life gave you?…If you can tap into that material, and you can explore it bravely, and put it into words, you will be giving other people a gift, and it’s a gift for you, too . . ."

A Swiss newspaper with a circulation of 550,000, Tages-Anzeiger, published a full-page interview with Janet about mothering and societal support for parents.