Photo by Steve Ladner,

Photo by Steve Ladner,

Janet Benton began writing early and has worked hard to give books a central place in her life. She grew up in a small town in Connecticut and skipped eighth grade to travel the world with her working-artist mother. Her family history has made her highly aware of the power of the mother-infant bond and of the need to stand up for outcasts. She holds an M.F.A. in English/fiction writing from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst and a B. A. in religious studies from Oberlin College. After working at magazines, newspapers, and publishers and teaching writing at four universities, she began The Word Studio ( to offer workshops and mentoring to writers. She's also a mother, wife, and singer. Click here to read an interview with her in Publisher's Weekly, March 2017, called "Mothers of the Past: PW Talks with Janet Benton." 


  • ESSAY, "The Power of a Diary," May 16, 2017, in Read Her Like an Open Book. 
  • ESSAY, "In storytelling, finding joy and understanding," Sunday Commentary section, March 19, 2017, in the Philadelphia Inquirer. 
  • ESSAY, "A Feminist's Daughter Finds Love in the Kitchen," October 6, 2013: "On Mother’s Day last spring, my 10-year-old daughter listed some things she loves about having me as her mother."  Read more in the New York Times.
  • ESSAY, "In the Name of Fairness, Don't Erase Women's History," lead piece in Sunday Commentary sectionMarch 20, 2016. Read in the Philadelphia Inquirer. 

  • DOCUMENTARY, script co-writer for "Promise for a Better City (1944-1964)."  Episode 3 in the series Philadelphia: The Great Experiment.  Aired on 6ABC. Click title to watch.  
  • DOCUMENTARY, script editor and team member for "Fever: 1793." Episode 2 in the series Philadelphia: The Great Experiment.  Aired on 6ABCWinner of three Mid-Atlantic Emmy Awards. Click title to watch.