Jane's Stories Press Foundation

Thanks so much for a great day with Janes at the retreat in Glenview. What a delightful group of enthusiastic, curious, and fun women. It's good to see the lively interplay among them. My job was easy thanks to the women sharing their experiences and insights. 
--Christine Swanberg 
Hackney's on Lake
1514 E. Lake Ave ~ Glenview, IL 60025 

October 5, 2013
Ghostwriting and Burgers
An Absolutely AMAZING retreat!

We had a fantastic retreat!! Christine Swanberg, awesome poet and fabulous teacher, guided retreaters -- most of us dyed in the wool prose writers -- to a better understanding of poetry! Shobha Sharma, JSPF president, chemist, and writer extraodinairre, led a great Critique Circle. We laughed, learned, talked, and wrote! We all made this a day to remember ~ but don't take my word for it! Read these testimonials from participants:
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The retreat was wow! it lived up  - and more - to JSPF's engaging call letter. What a pleasure - the  critiques, conversation, food, and camaraderie. Most of all, I learned much listening to Christine. Her poetry and instruction were captivating. (Generally, I am not a poetry buff -- this is the first I've enjoyed poems so much.)

Heartfelt thanks to Shobha, Christine, JSPF, and the attendees for making it all happen.

Warm regards,  Kamala Sarma     
It was great to spend the day in the company of so many smart, creative women. And it is always fun to see how writing to a prompt sparks ideas. --Linda Mowry
 For me, listening to new works by a diverse group of women and sharing in a loving, accepting setting, was the highlight of the retreat. What more could a writer want?  --Gayle Ann Weinstein
Jane's Stories Retreats for Women Writers!
If you have any photos of the Retreat or a short memory you would like to share, please send them through the Contact button under the menu.
Harvest Retreat 
For Women Authors
 date:      October 5, 2014
 place:     Hackney's on Lake
Glenda Bailey Mershon & Christine Swanberg
Glenda Bailey-Mershon, author of Eve's Garden and Sa-co-ni-ge/Blue Smoke, and Christine Swanberg author of The Alleluia Tree and  Who Walks Among the Trees with Charity.

We had a really great time and learned a lot! Hackney's was again wonderful to us.
Rescuing Abandoned Fiction

Glenda Bailey Mershon

Do you have a drawer full of neglected stories, or perhaps a ditched novel or two? Let's talk about ways to get them back on track, how to scare yourself into an improved manuscript, and the pitfalls and joys of leaping into a career writing fiction. Glenda Bailey-Mershon will share her story of saving a long-neglected novel from the trash pile and show you how to avoid her past mistakes. This workshop will include exercises to help you over common hurdles, as well as a discussion of readying your work for the marketplace.

You can learn more about Glenda on her website, her blog, or her Women and Books and on our Anthology Authors page.
Poetry Presentation

Christine Swanberg

Christine will share some of her poems and talk about what "prompted" her to write them as well as their "shaping." Q and A follow. The workshop will focus on what prompts a poem into being and on "the shape a poem makes." We will look at various ways of sculpting free verse. We will also revisit the sonnet form to see what we might learn and create from that. Participants will have the following choices: 1. reshape a poem you have already written 2. write a new poem 3. try writing a sonnet. After a break, we'll form a Poetry Circle in which we'll share poems. This will not be a formal critique but a celebration of the work generated or revised today.

You can learn more about Chris at Illinois AuthorsWind Publications and on our Anthology Authors Page. 
The Jane's Stories Press Foundation 2015 Retreat For Women Writers! 

Hackney's on Lake
Glenview, IL 60025
August 1, 2015

Again Hackney's on Lake opened their doors for a fun and informative retreat! Our presenter: author, poet and dramatist Yolanda Nieves, a second-generation Puerto Rican woman born and raised in Chicago's Humboldt Park neighborhood, delighted everyone with a workshop called "Voices at the Center of the Intersection: Poetic Memory Past and Present," in which she will address playwriting as well as poetry. 
Yolanda Nieves
Jane's Stories 2016
Retreat for Women Writers
featuring: Mary Anne Mohanraj
Sunday, September 25, 2016
Hackney's On Lake
Glenview, IL
Mary Anne gave a wonderful presentation on the steps to publishing a short story, essay or novel. In addition to covering market listings, agent research, and other traditional approaches to publishing she reviewed newer models, including crowdfunding and self-publishing. Her teaching style resonated with the enthusiastic retreat participants, and we all had a great time.

Mary Anne was born in Colombo, Sri Lanka on July 26, 1971, of Tamil parents from Jaffna and Negombo. Though she spoke fluent Tamil as a very young girl, moving to the United States and learning English deprived her of the ability to speak it. Fortunately, she can usually understand her family.

In the local elections of April 2017, she was elected to the Library Board of Oak Park, IL

Mary Anne writes in multiple genres: mainstream fiction, nonfiction, science fiction/fantasy, and erotica. Her most recent book of fiction is The Stars Change, a novella composed of linked stories, telling the story of a university planet where war has just broken out.

​Watch This Space for Information on Jane's Stories Press Foundation 
2018 Retreat for Women Writers
Jane Stories 2011 
Retreat for Women Authors
Our deepest thanks to authors Karen Salyer McElmurray, Georgia Ann Banks-Martin and Sandra Gail Lambert for making this our best retreat! Watch this page for more photos and other memories! And if you'd like to share your experience with us through words or JPEGs, please, forward them through the contact button above.
Jane's Reading at Anastasia Book Store was exhilarating!!

Thanks again to Anne for holding the Friday night Social in her home. Shobha and I wished we could have gotten Karen and Georgia there earlier, but US Air would not cooperate!
Members listen to Karen discuss the "Floating Element" of memoir.
The presenters engaged us at the workshops at A1 Ale!

Georgia gave us insight into Archteypes and how they stem from Fairy Tales.
Sandra talks about her search for an agent.
October with the Janes"

So many friendly faces
People in from different places
Across the country and just right here
St. Augustine’s Jane Retreat
Gave me great cheer!

It was a delight to sit with all you Janes
But I won’t get real mushy
From that I’ll refrain!

Must say, though, that being with you, m’dears
Certainly addressed some basic fears…

Fear of writing, fear of being heard
Fear of letting our voices be shared
Fear of taking those very first steps
Seeking agents, publication
And all the rest.

Just know that this retreat
Buoyed my confidence
Gave me more contacts
And helped me make sense

Of these feelings, this knowledge
This ability to write
Sharing my ideas, my thoughts
My beliefs and my insights.

Thanks to everyone for being honest and authentic
My time with you was really well spent!

-- Helena Angell
It was a most wonderful workshop, in which everyone felt free to participate, and had valuable things to say. For me the most important part was being with women who are writers, who know what writing involves, and think it is worthwhile work.

They have experienced writing as I have. Mucking around in my mind to dig up thoughts, and catching them as they fly out. Beginning with a plan, or throwing scraps at the screen to see what happens. Returning the next morning to find words dead on the page or a sentence that sings. Tidying up the mess - one of my favorite parts, as I am a decisive editor. Exulting when, after many revisions, a draft feels final. (It never is.) 
--Elizabeth McCulloch, "The Feminist Grandma"
-----Read more on her website.
Though I have no photographs of the recent Jane's retreat, I do have "snapshots in my mind" of the event: listening to the snippets of writers chatting as they gathered around the little feast at Anne's house; gazing at the stars outside together as St. Augustine lights twinkled in the distance; enjoying the speakers while watching boats out in the bay; hearing the (writing exercise) descriptions of several women's childhood yards and homes (Shobha's, with the pillars and the roses!). More than anything, I enjoyed hearing the stories of each writer's life.
--Inez Holger