Workshops from The Word Studio

Real Writing, Real Writers
writers in workshop at The Word Studio

The Word Studio’s mission is to enrich writers’ works and lives. Our small workshops and private mentoring attract people who aim to grow as writers, to gain support and community, to complete projects, and to publish, whether via traditional means or by self-publishing. Opened by Janet Benton in fall 2010, The Word Studio is in a lovely second-story space at 86 Bethlehem Pike in Chestnut Hill, Philadelphia, a short walk from the Chestnut Hill East and West train stations, with plenty of parking.
Query and Pitch Clinic
with Agent Marie Lamba
Are you working on a fiction or memoir manuscript that you’d like to sell? Spend four Marie Lamba hours with an agent who’s also a novelist, and get ready to present your work to agents at this year’s writers’ conferences!  Class limited to eight participants.
Class 1: How to write a query and create a pitch. The ins and outs, do’s and don’ts, based on Marie’s working knowledge of today’s market.

Class 2: Share your query letter with the group and get feedback. Deliver your pitch and query and get an immediate response from Marie and class members.

Dates: Sunday, April 7 and Sunday, April 14 from 1 to 3 p.m. Fee is $225.

Marie Lamba is associate literary agent at the Jennifer DeChiara  Literary Agency in NYC (, where she represents young-adult and middle-grade fiction, along with general and women’s fiction and some memoir. Marie is also the author of the young adult novels What I Meant . . . (Random House, 2008), Over My Head, and Drawn. Her articles have appeared in over a hundred publications, including Writer’s Digest. See

Navigating the Maze of Your Fiction
with Nomi Eve
 Writing novels or stories can be like entering a maze. Writers are often unsure of what paths to follow, and blind alleys and false corridors beckon. Whether you are a veteran writer or new at the craft, this short course will provide you with some highly effective “navigation” tools. This will be a skills-based, roll-up-your-sleeves experience. All writing will be done in class, and at each of our six sessions, we’ll explore an essential and often overlooked quality of good writing. Topics include these:

  • What the heck should I write about?
  • Sensory writing
  • Scenic writing
  • The stop-motion technique
  • The effective use of timelines

You’ll leave the course with concrete and effective tools to help you navigate your own creative maze. Class is limited to seven members.

DATES: Meets six Sunday mornings from 10 to 11:30 a.m. , on April 7, April 14, April 21, April 28, May 5, and May 12.

Fee is $300.

Nomi Eve is a graduate of Penn State University Nomi Eve photo and of Brown University’s MFA program. Her first novel, The Family Orchard (Random House, 2000), was a Book-of-the-Month Club Main Selection and an L. A. Times bestseller and has been translated into ten languages and published in twelve countries.  Her next novel, Henna, is forthcoming from Scribner’s in 2014. Her short stories have appeared in Glimmer Train and other journals. Nomi teaches creative writing and literature at Penn State Abington.

Writing from Life with Ilene Raymond Rush
This course will teach you how to shape your experiences into meaningful first-person essays and articles using the techniques of fiction writing. We’ll cover how to generate ideas, how to employ narrative techniques, and how to expand personal (and sometimes minor) experiences to achieve a more universal meaning that readers and editors can appreciate. We’ll look at some eIlene Raymond Rushxamples of published essays to see how they succeed. Students will write in-class and out-of-class writing assignments and will end up with one finished 750-word piece and ideas for five personal essays. Ilene’s intention is to help each writer create publishable work. To learn about Ilene, see column to left. Class is limited to seven members.Dates: Meets five consecutive Mondays, 7 to 9 p.m., January 28 and February 4, 11, 18, and 25.Fee is $250.
Writing Intensive with Janet Benton
Now in its 14th year! Looking for a supportive, engaging community of writers? This private workshop offers one, along with structure, feedback, guidance on craft and process, and concrete goals to enable you to make real headway. Of seven published area novelists profiled in a 2010 Inquirer article, two spent years in this workshop.At each meeting, we critique the work of two writers; Janet also leads a discussion of techniques related to those works and supplies writing prompts to sharpen skills and awareness. Each submission receives written critiques from Janet and members. Each writer can submit up to 20 pages of a novel, a short story, or a work of creative nonfiction (such as a memoir) twice. See info. on Janet to left. Class is limited to seven members

Dates: Meets eight times, every other Thursday night from 7 to 9 p.m. (but first class will be on a Wednesday). Wednesday, January 23, then February 7 and 21, March 7, April 4 and 18, and May 2 and 16.

Fee is $480.

Private Mentoring with
Janet Benton
Would you like someone to help carry your book? Writing can be a solitary pursuit, but working with an editor will ease the isolation and bring an invaluable outside perspective to your efforts. Whether you’re on your first book or your fifth, drafting the first chapter or holding a heavy manuscript in your hands, this work will sharpen your writing, your awareness, and your skills. Doing this work with someone you can trust will also increase your chances of publication. Here is some of what you’ll get from working privately with Janet:Due dates The writer’s best friendEncouragement What keeps writers going

Input Detailed, useful suggestions that will move the work along and fuel the fire

Technical know-how  Up-close information to help you become more aware of your methods and to increase quality and power

Meaningful and effective, this work gets books written and strengthens writers! Email


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