Joni B. Cole

Author Teacher  Speaker

Just released: Revised and expanded edition!

Order now at your local bookstore or at:

"A Best Book for Writers." 
      —Poets & Writers magazine

"With a great deal of practical value for aspiring writers and seasoned authors alike, Good Naked: How to Write More, Write Better, and Be Happier. Revised and Expanded Edition is a complete course of instruction under one cover and is the next best thing to sitting front row in one of Joni Cole's creative writing workshops. Thoroughly 'writer friendly' in organization and presentation, "Good Naked: How to Write More, Write Better, and Be Happier. Revised and Expanded Edition" is especially and unreservedly recommended for personal, professional, community, and academic library Writing/Publishing collections."

-- Midwest Book Review 

Book Reviews

GoodNaked 2022.jpeg
GoodNaked 2022.jpeg


craft talks

1:1 coaching


teaching &



GoodNaked 2022.jpeg


Series creator Joni B. Cole was having a bad day when she conceived the idea for the “This Day” books. Trying to deal with a serious illness in her family, job woes, and a child who refused to wear socks in the winter, she wondered if any one else was feeling so low. Surely not. But what were other women doing and feeling and thinking on this very same day? And so a book series was born out of self pity, curiosity, and a need to connect. Each book in the three-volume collection invited about five-hundred women across the country and from all walks of life to create a day diary on a single day…and share it with the reading public.



"My teaching begins with the assumption: If you show up in class, you're a writer. I focus on craft. CRAFT. CRAFT. CRAFT. I don't let writers trash people's work, including their own. I have people share their drafts, however rough, to expose the mysteries of the creative process. My FEEDBACK starts with appreciation. I believe in building stories from their strengths up. I don't let anything slide. I have pet peeves, mostly to do with characters who cry. (A little weeping goes a long way.) Even the most accomplished writers benefit from the  DEADLINES and

VALIDATION a workshop provides. I know how to help aspiring authors get started, and get out of their own way. I know how to help them FINISH. My goal is to make people want to bound to their writing desks, whistling in ANTICIPATION of the work ahead. Short of that, I want them to know that the struggle to find the right words is WORTH it. Because it is." 

Founder of the Writer's Center of White River Junction, Vermont, Joni teaches a variety of workshops in fiction and creative nonfiction online and at her own center. She is a guest instructor at Maine Media College, and has taught in the Master of Arts in Liberal Studies program at Dartmouth College, and as part of the faculty of the former New Hampshire Institute of Art (now part of New England College). Joni works individually with seasoned and aspiring authors to find their voice and develop their writing projects. She is a frequent workshop leader at libraries and academic programs. Joni also leads expressive writing workshops at women’s shelters, the VA hospital, the restorative justice program, and a diversity of other nonprofit organizations.

JoniCard Website.png

For more information about the Writer's Center of White River Junction, VT, and to see our roster of workshops, click here.

Host a half-day or full-day retreat with Joni B. Cole

Consider this intensive workshop the equivalent of a 4-week master class rolled into one session. You'll receive personalized feedback on a work-in-progress. In addition, we'll cover an array of tips and techniques related to craft and cultivating a productive creative process that will leave you inspired and energized long after you return to your writing desk. To host a retreat, you simply need to provide the space and participants, and Joni will tailor the workshop to your group's specific needs.  All levels welcome. Half-day retreat: $135 per participant. Full-day retreat: $185/participant. Min: 6 participants.

Click here to schedule a workshop, talk, or a creative consult.

For a full roster of workshops online and in person, please visit


Photo Credit: Helmut Baer

Joni teaches a series of online creative writing  workshops and retreats through her own Writer's Center in White River Junction, Vermont. She also teaches through Maine Media College, Dartmouth College, and other institutions. Joni also leads writing workshops at women’s shelters, the VA hospital, the restorative justice program, the Hood Museum of Art, and at a diversity of other academic and nonprofit organizations.

Joni B. Cole is the author of two books for writers: Good Naked:  How to Write More, Write Better, and Be Happier (University of New Mexico Press , 2022); and Toxic Feedback: Helping Writers Survive and Thrive  (UNM Press, spring 2023). She is also the author of Another Bad-Dog Book: Essays on Life, Love, and Neurotic Human Behavior. Her newest collection, We'll Never Have Guatemala and other essays is forthcoming in fall 2023. In work and life, Joni looks for the extraordinary in the ordinary, the wonder, humor, and mystery in everyday moments. This focus inspired her to create the three-volume "This Day" series that shares a day in the life of hundreds of women across America and from all walks of life (“fascinating and eye-opening" —Publishers Weekly).

A freelance writer and literary consultant. Joni is a contributor to The Writer magazine and other publications. She served as program director for Bookstock Literary Festival 2022, creating and overseeing 36 author events for this 3-day festival. In addition, she works as a creative consultant for a variety of individual clients, as well as academic and nonprofit organizations.

Guest Lecturer, speaking engagements include:  

Erma Bombeck Writers’ Workshop • Independent Publishers of New England • New England Library Association • Hood Museum of Art, Dartmouth College • New Hampshire Romance Writers of America • Harvard Medical School CME • Road Scholars Program, Lifelong Learning Adventures • Burlington Writers Workshop • League of VT Writers • Bookstock, Woodstock VT • Miami Book Fair • National League of American PEN Women

Nominee, USA Fellowship Award; Pushcart Prize 

Joni Cole - Radio Clips
00:00 / 00:00


For more info or to request an interview, talk, workshop, or retreat, please contact:

Joni B. Cole 

Success! Message received.



October 20-22, 2022

Erma Bombeck Writers' Conference, Dayton, OH
Good Naked: Wit, Wisdom, and a Writing Workshop

This lively, interactive session exposes the creative process in all its glory. You'll discover practical ways to skirt self doubt, mine meaningful material, and make the most of the creative process from your first draft through your final revision. Come prepared to write in response to a guided prompt and share aloud your efforts for insights and appreciation. Bring something to write on and leave all self doubts at the door.

Friday, Nov. 11 2022

Burlington Writers Workshop - Online
10 a.m. - noon 
Good Naked: Wit, Wisdom, and a Writing Workshop

Don’t worry; there will be no shedding of clothes, but this lively, interactive session will expose the creative process in all its glory. Together, we’ll discover practical ways to mine meaningful material and make the most of the creative process from your first draft through your final revision. This workshop also serves as a mini masterclass on craft, with key takeaways that serve across genres. Come prepared to write in response to a guided prompt and share aloud your efforts for insights, feedback, and appreciation. Most importantly, leave all self doubts at the door. 

Registration required:

Saturday, November 19, 2022

Independent Publishers and Authors of New England (IPNE)
Annual (Virtual) Conference 

5 - 6 p.m.
Good Naked: Exposing the Myths and Practices that Undermine Your Creativity

Oh, the things we believe! So many of the ways we think we should write actually get in the way of a positive and fruitful creative process. In this talk, Joni lays bare those counter-productive shoulds—most of them based on long-standing myths of how “real writers” work—and replaces them with practices and mindsets that are foundational to helping all of us write more, write better, and be happier. Expect to leave this lively (semi-interactive) session with lots of actionable do-this-not-that insights that will inspire your creative process from the blank page to your final draft! For more info:

Tuesday, Dec. 6

Enfield Public Library, Enfield, NH
Story Gifts: A Prompt Workshop that Keeps on Giving

12:30 - 2 p.m.

In this workshop you will write from a prompt to tap into your stories, or simply discover the fun and freedom of capturing your thoughts on the page. Whether the result is a meaningful memory or simply a flow of thoughts, this writing is meant to celebrate your voice, and perhaps give you something to pass on to someone else– a story gift, if you will (in lieu of yet another fruitcake!).

Thursday February 16

Enfield Public Library, Enfield, NH
Jumpstart Your Creativity: A Prompt Workshop

12:30 - 2 p.m.

In this workshop you will write from a prompt and be invited to share for appreciation. Who knows what you’ll discover on the page—a memory, a riff, some interesting wordplay …? During the workshop, Joni will also share 5 insights on how to make the most of your own creative process in any endeavor. 

Date TBD

Maine Media Center, Rockport, Maine - Online
Mundane to Meaningful: How to Craft Powerful Personal Essays
6:30 – 8 p.m. (Plus a 20-minute private consultation per participant)
Instructor: Joni B. Cole

The personal essay form not only offers you stories to share with your family, it is also especially popular in today's wide variety of print and online publishing venues. But how do you tap into meaningful story material? How do you turn a memory or life experience into a powerful essay? In this interactive workshop, you’ll learn how to structure essays and the key narrative techniques that make readers care, understand, think, laugh, or all of the above. Expect submission deadlines, brief in-class writing exercises, instruction on craft, and feedback discussions that serve every participant’s work from the first draft to the final form. You should leave with at least one essay close to being finished, as well as several new ideas. Open to writers of all levels. Max enrollment: 12.

Register through Maine Media:

                PREVIOUS EVENTS


Tuesday, September 20, 2022

Women Business Owners Network Gratitude Conference
(In Person)
Location: Echo Leahy Center, Burlington, VT 
11:30 - noon
Keynote Talk: Finding Gratitude in Unexpected Places

Our family and friends, our co-workers and employees, our teachers and mentors, our good fortune and successes…. Acknowledging all the good things in our life offers so many physical and psychological benefits. But what if we expanded our sense of gratitude to those people or circumstances that we typically think of as obstacles or setbacks... but end up offering surprising rewards?

For more info:

Saturday,  Sept. 17

Burlington Writers Workshop - Online

5 Tips to Productive Revision
10 a.m. – 12 p.m. 
Instructor: Joni B. Cole

We've all heard the adage: Writing is rewriting. But for too many aspiring authors the revision process is fraught with wrong decisions, or simply a sense of overwhelm. Where do you start when confronted with a messy manuscript? How do you continue to make inspired choices that move your work forward? What are some tricks to elevating your prose, especially when you're all too familiar with the material? This master class on revision offers five key takeaways that will help you revise faster, smarter, and with more enjoyment. As part of the class, participants will be invited to share aloud 100-150-word excerpts (an opening or closing paragraph, a favorite or troublesome passage, a dialogue exchange, a short scene, etc.) from a work-in-progress to help exemplify some of the concepts in this talk. Required reading: Good Naked: How to Write More, Write Better, and Be Happier 


Registration required:

Tuesday, Sept. 13

Enfield Public Library, Enfield, NH

12:30 - 1:30 p.m.

Good Naked: Wit, Wisdom, and Writing Workshop

Come one, come all! Join author and writing teacher Joni B. Cole as she shares insights from her new release Good Naked: How to Write More, Write Better, and Be Happier. (“Who says books about writing have to be dull, dry, and pretentious?...In Good Naked, [Cole] is part teacher, part cheerleader, and part laugh-out-loud humorist. What’s not to love?” The Writer magazine). Cole, a seasoned workshop leader in MFA programs and writing conferences across the country, will lead participants in an interactive workshop that invites you to write from a “prompt” and see what happens. Expect to share your writing aloud for verbal responses, insights, and appreciation. Come. Have fun. Write on!

Sept. 1

Still North Books, Hanover, NH

5:30 - 7 p.m.

FREE and open to all

A Pub Date. A Prompt. A Party!

Come one, come all to this celebration of the creative process...and the pub date of the new and expanded version of Good Naked: How to Write More, Write Better, and Be Happier (listed as one of the “Best Books for Writers” by Poets & Writers magazine). Join author and writing teacher Joni B. Cole in this fun, interactive workshop where everyone writes from a prompt, shares aloud, and feels a whole lot happier than if they'd stayed home on the couch. Bring something to write on/with and leave all self doubts at the door. 

PLUS! $2 Creative Juices Sangria when you buy the book!


Saturday April 23, 2022 - 10AM - Noon  

Waterbury Public Library - 28 North Main Street Waterbury, VT 

Good Naked: Wit, Wisdom, and a Writing Workshop

As part of this online gathering you will be invited to write from a “prompt” as a means of mining your own meaningful story material. Whether you consider yourself a writer, an artist, a wannabe, or an enthusiast for new experiences, this event offers participants a chance to uncover the creative potential within all of us. Come, learn, have fun, and leave your self doubts at the door. 

For more info: (802) 244-7036