Fine Toothed Comb

a short story writing class

Next round: probably autumn 2024


For when you just need a little guidance and clear feedback on your stories, from other people.

​This is a straightforward writing class focused on craft – editing and revising long-form essays and stories.

“Sending you a big ’thank you’ for the Fine Toothed Comb group. It’s the first time I’ve been able to tell these stories, as I haven’t felt ‘heard’ before. Thank you for having established a safe zone to share them.”
~ Anonymous, writer and former educator, BC, Canada
One of the Fine Toothed Comb participants submitted three of the stories for publication. They were all published!
  • All genders welcome.
  • Weekly sessions (with some breaks)
  • Maximum 6 people per session.
  • Online via Zoom videocall.

We refine the stories in community so you can feel good about sharing them and/or submitting them for publication in literary journals and magazines.

This is how A Fine Toothed Comb works:

  • We’ll have 10 sessions together, plus 4 integration weeks.
  • I keep the circles small – no more than 6 people per circle
  • Each session is 2 hours and 15 minutes.

The arc of the 10 sessions will look like this:

We’ll gather, discuss and establish the kinds of stories we want to write, and go over feedback and critiquing guidelines.

Each participant will have the opportunity to submit and receive feedback on a minimum of 2 stories, maximum of 4 stories (we’ll determine a pacing that works for the group.)

The stories can be up to 2,000 words long.

The focus is personal narrative, but I won’t rule out fiction is that’s what you want to play with.

In between in-person sessions you will be:

  • writing your stories (unless you’ve already written them)
  • reading your classmates’ stories
  • offering feedback and critique on your classmates’ stories using googledocs (don’t worry, I provide guidance on critiqueing and feedback)

All of the submitting and critiquing will happen in an agreed-upon timeframe – so it all flows

During our sessions we come together and discuss the feedback and the writing.

Reading and offering feedback on each other’s stories is one of the fastest ways I know to improve our writing and self-editing.

And to get inspired.

We keep doing this till we run out of sessions together.

Sometimes we intersperse with discussion, based on what the group as a whole wants to learn and discuss.

This is a class that requires a commitment to writing and editing (like a fine-toothed comb) in between sessions.

 It’s a deep, informative and fun class.


You’ll also get support on:

  • creating your writer’s bio and media kit
  • researching literary journals and magazines (to submit to)
  • cultivating a healthy attitude towards rejection
  • actually submitting your pieces

This is a fantastic next step from the Art of Personal Mythmaking and the Keep Writing Circle.

You’ve been generating plenty of stories – now it’s time to pick a few and polish them up.

It’s a real treat for me to teach this!

So why don’t you join in!

Sign up for A Fine Toothed Comb below.

IMPORTANT: I only record the critiques for these sessions.
Once you’ve signed up below you’ll receive an e-mail with the Zoom call details.

Next round: probably autumn 2024

Here’s an example schedule:

In this series we have 10 Fine Toothed Comb sessions, spread out over 14 weeks.

2:30pm-4:45pm Pacific Time

In this format:

  • September 6 & 13
  • no session September 20th (a break for writing)
  • September 27, October 04
  • no session October 11th (a break for writing)
  • October 18 & 25
  • no session November 1st (a break for writing)
  • November 08 & 15
  • no session November 22nd (a break for writing)
  • November 29 & December 06

Payment plans available (click the link to see)

$800 USD

Canadians – if you’d like to pay in Canadian $$ via e-transfer, you’re welcome to pay $1,000 CAD to jaha (at)

Meet your guide:

Hi! I’m Janelle Hardy. I work with creative, sensitive, big-hearted people, helping them to grow, heal and thrive.

I’ve been working as a trauma-informed Structural Integrator doing one-on-one hands-on healing bodywork for over 14 years, and teaching individuals and groups for even longer.

I’ve got a particular passion for our individual and cultural stories, a deep reverence for the power of stories and identity, and great respect for the immensely beautiful force of questioning our stories, even as we honour them.

My passion lies is weaving our connection with the creative arts and the body together with deep cultural knowing and self exploration (and life stories and memoirs are a great way to do that) to create spaciousness, ease and joy in our lives.

What this means for you is that I’ve got an uncommon ability to listen deeply, ask useful questions, see patterns, draw threads together, do my research and guide you towards your goals.

I’m also a published writer with a BA in Anthropology, an MA in Dance and a Diploma in Hellerwork Structural Integration. I’ve worked as a research assistant at Yukon Archives, as a teacher and teaching assistant at various colleges and universities, and taught creative writing and healing workshops online and in person.

So let’s step towards our calling, towards our stories, towards our personal mythologies, and start the mythmaking. Short story and essay style.


Frequently Asked Questions

Do you record the sessions?

I only record the critiques. However, these are live workshops, designed to be participatory. Therefore, you need to commit to showing up – which is why you’re signing up, right? 🙂

What do I need to participate?

An email account. The link to the workshop videocall will be send to you via e-mail.

Access to the internet. Our videocalls require being connected to the internet.

A Google account so you can use googledocs. Don’t worry if you don’t have that, or haven’t used googledocs. I can do an orientation walkthrough.

Time. Each session is about 2 hours and 15 minutes. 

You’ll also need to write your stories in between sessions, and edit/give feedback on others’ stories (I’d budget about an hour per story.)

Optional: earbuds/headphones so the sound quality on the calls is better (recommended if you’ll have background noise and/or get distracted by background noise.

A notebook and writing implements: I recommend handwriting first, typing second. But do what works best for you. Pen, paper, keyboard.


How are you qualified to teach this work?

Thanks for asking.

I’ve got over 5+ years of circle facilitation experience, over 15 years of adult teaching experience and 14+ years of hands-on one-on-one healing experience.