I’m Janet Benton, an award-winning author, editor, and teacher of writing. I offer writers a specialist’s eye through the entire writing and publishing process. With 30+ years of experience, I help serious writers move fluidly through the writing process and into the marketplace, offering crucial support, expertise, understanding, and compassion.
With over three decades of experience in publishing, I offer an unusual range and depth of skills to aspiring and accomplished writers.
As a former co-director of an artists’ colony and a long-time writers’ mentor, I understand the needs and challenges of creative people.
Through editing and writing in-house and as a freelancer for magazines, newspapers, publishers, and major cultural institutions, I’ve learned to write and edit for many audiences and purposes.
Through teaching grammar, composition, copyediting, and creative writing at four universities and privately and serving on the faculty at Drexel University’s low-residency MFA program, I’ve deepened my knowledge of language and story and guided hundreds of students.
Through working closely with writers in varied fields on hundreds of books throughout the United States and abroad, I’ve further developed my mentoring methods and fine-tuned my language and storytelling skills.
Through editing, managing projects, and writing for influential projects in Philadelphia’s civic life, including historical documentaries and proposals for greatly increased green spaces, I’ve learned how putting visions on paper creates change.
And through meticulously crafting my own work, from essays in the New York Times and the Philadelphia Inquirer to a novel, I’ve told some of the stories only I can tell and accomplished some of my life’s dreams. My debut novel, Lilli de Jong, was released by Nan A. Talese/Doubleday in 2017 and by Anchor as a paperback in 2018. It was chosen as a Best Book 2017 by Library Journal, as one of NPR's Best Books of 2017, as a Goodreads semifinalist for Best Historical Fiction 2017, as a BookBub top historical novel of 2017, and more. Kirkus Reviews called it a "monumental accomplishment." You can learn more at www.janetbentonauthor.com.
My students and private clients have gone on to earn MFAs, self-publish, win fellowships, work with agents, and publish award-winning and bestselling books. Our work together will strengthen your writing and help you tell the stories that only you can tell.
I will provide significant guidance and support, whether your current aim is to gain a mentor and improve your work greatly, to reach out to literary agents with stronger materials, to plan and prepare for your book launch, or to bring your book to people who will love it.
Small, focused, profound, and effective: that’s what characterizes Word Studio workshops. Join this community of like-minded writers who seek to improve their craft while going deep into the stories they need to tell.
What clients say: A superb communicator. / Extremely knowledgeable. / Organized and inspirational. / Efficient and rigorous. / The voice of honesty, mixed with care and compassion. / I now have confidence in my product, thanks to you. / Very supportive and constructive. / A tremendous source of inspiration and motivation. / When everyone was asking me how I did it, I forgot to mention that you were the magical ingredient.