I've taught writing at four universities, at conferences, and privately for three decades. These intensive, inspiring, focused workshops are limited to five students each. We'll meet in a lovely space (see image) a short walk from the Jenkintown/Wyncote SEPTA regional rail station, just outside Philadelphia. Yummy snacks are provided.
2018 WORKSHOPS with spaces remaining
TUESDAY MORNING JUMP-START
Begins Sept. 4, 2018. Meets for six Tuesdays, 9:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m.
"I want to write more, but I can't find the time." Sound familiar? This workshop gives you three hours a week for six weeks--eighteen inspired hours--to jump-start your efforts. It offers imaginative prompts designed to open doors into new areas of your project-in-process or into something new. We'll write, share work as desired, and discuss aspects of craft in a warm, inspiring atmosphere. All levels and genres welcome. Maximum enrollment is five. Ample snacks provided. Take this chance to make sure you get writing done, and use the scenes and ideas you generate to spur further writing for months to come. All levels and genres welcome.
Dates: 9/4, 9/11, 9/18, 9/25, 10/2, 10/9.
DISCOVER YOUR STORY STRUCTURE AND DEVELOP YOUR STORY
Begins November 1. Three Thursdays, 9:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m.
This intensive class is a highly effective way to focus and direct your efforts for months or years to come. What is the premise of your story, memoir, or novel? How do you get to the heart of what you want to reveal and create a structure that reveals this? Our class will guide and support you in answering these questions and in building a story structure that can carry you to the end of your manuscript. We'll examine what a story premise is, discuss our premises, spin out our plots, try several methods of structuring those plots, and break them down further to get at the heart of what we want to explore and reveal. Then we'll get some key moments on the page. I'll offer guidance on issues of craft, process, confidence, getting past blocks, and other concerns. I'll also provide methods to help you work at home in a writing diary. Handouts will supplement our meetings.
All levels and genres welcome. Maximum enrollment is five. Ample snacks provided.
Dates: 11/1, 11/8, 11/15.
TO SIGN UP or find out more, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
TO PAY Once your participation is confirmed, you can pay via check or PayPal. For the latter, click Payment and Shopping link. Web processing fees are added to payments made online.
PAYMENT POLICY A commitment to take a workshop is a commitment to pay in full. Fees are nonrefundable except in the case of a medical emergency. In other circumstances, no refunds are offered for classes missed.
WHAT STUDENTS SAY
"I call it the Benton standard, and it has clearly worked for me." --Pam Jenoff, New York Times bestselling novelist
"You helped me to explore a creative side that I could never unleash on my own. You showed me how to become a risk-taker. You challenge me." --Kimberley Jones, teacher
"Janet is knowledgeable, engaging, and approachable. She pushes me to challenge myself as a writer and never settles for anything less . . . She reminds me to tell a compelling story. Her workshops have been the best learning experiences I've ever had. Janet has a special ability to draw from her students their best attributes, while encouraging them to continue improving their deficiencies." --Elvedine Wilkerson, retired school principal
"Janet is a diplomat and handles her students well--while still maintaining control, she lends an air of empathy and sensitivity." -- student evaluation, Temple Center City
"This course has been one of the best learning experiences I've ever had. Janet Benton is a superb teacher!" -- student evaluation, University of the Arts
THE WRITERS' TOOLKIT
Do you have all the tools you need to craft memorable fiction? This workshop offers a chance to learn or polish fundamental skills for writing powerful fiction. Through interactive talks and exercises created and tested over decades of teaching, you'll learn about crafting plots, creating convincing settings, writing genuine dialogue, forging complex characters, using sensory details, exploring voices, and understanding and utilizing points of view. Includes a half-hour private session with me, in person or on the phone, on your work in progress. Handouts will supplement our meetings.
Six sessions of 3 hours, with a walking break and snacks, and a half-hour private meeting with Janet on a seventh day.
CLASSIC FICTION WORKSHOP Craft guidance, in-class writing, two dates for work submission (up to 15 double-spaced pages), detailed written feedback, and snacks.
FINDING YOUR GOLD For someone inclined to write, any powerful, formative experience is a nugget of gold. By working from that material, you can create moving stories that forge a strong bond with readers. So what are the stories that only you can tell, because of what life has given you? Through my talks, several guided exercises, and our discussions, you'll deepen your story resources. Three-hour class, with a walking break and snacks.
THE VOICES IN YOUR HEAD The voices in a piece of writing—narrators and characters—are amazing living things that come off the page and become real to us. Writers can create many—perhaps innumerable—voices. What voices do you want to explore? There are ways of speaking and thinking that are distinctive to your family, places you've been, cultural environments you know. Through talks, exercises, and discussion, you'll bring more of these unique voices to the page. Three-hour class, with a walking break and snacks.