I've taught writing at four universities, at conferences, and privately for three decades. Students and private clients have gone on to attend graduate school in writing, to self-publish, and to become published authors of acclaimed short stories, novels, and nonfiction at major publishing houses.

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. 

In addition to these private workshops, I'm available to teach workshops at libraries, community centers, and schools.

2018 WORKSHOPS ARE FULLY ENROLLED—sign up for newsletter to learn of 2019 workshops as soon as they’re available.

DISCOVER YOUR STORY STRUCTURE AND DEVELOP YOUR STORY Three Thursdays, 9:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m., November 1, 8, and 15.

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.

Tuition: $600

 TO SIGN UP or find out more, email me at

TO PAY Once your participation is confirmed, you can pay via check or PayPal. For the latter, click Register 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.


Other offerings have included these:

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 and write in every class. Through interactive talks and exercises created and tested over decades of teaching, you'll learn about finding the stories only you can tell, 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. All levels of fiction writers welcome.

Seven sessions of 3 hours, with a walking break and snacks, and a half-hour private meeting with Janet on an eighth day. 

MORNING JUMP-START   "I want to write, but I can't find the time." Sound familiar? This workshop gives you three hours a week to jump-start your efforts. It offers imaginative prompts designed to open doors into new areas of writing and thinking, whether for a project in process or for something new, fiction or memoir. We'll write, share work as desired, and discuss aspects of craft in a warm, inspiring atmosphere. 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. Each class is three hours long, with one break.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 welcome.

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.