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 (www.thewordstudio.us) 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." She'll be pleased to answer just about any question; for a short list that might get your thinking started, see below.
- 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 section, March 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 6ABC. Winner of three Mid-Atlantic Emmy Awards. Click title to watch.
SOME QUESTIONS JANET ALWAYS ENJOYS ANSWERING
- What inspired you to start writing this novel?
- Why did you choose to make Lilli a Quaker?
- Why is the novel in the form of a diary, and what does keeping a diary do for Lilli?
- What are some interesting bits of Philadelphia history that you learned while researching?
- Are there aspects of your own background that inform the novel?
CONNECT WITH JANET!