About Me

at the Mineral School

at the Mineral School

At the close of the 20th century, Janine Kovac was a ballerina. For reals. She danced with the National Ballet of Iceland, Smuin Ballet in San Francisco and Italian dance companies Aterballetto and Fabula Saltica.

Then she traded her pointe shoes for programming and spent several years as a software engineer while completing her degree at U.C. Berkeley. In 2009 she graduated magna cum laude with B.A. in cognitive science. At the end of that year, her identical twins were born at 25 weeks’ gestation and spent three months in the newborn in intensive care unit.

The experience was transformative, both personally and professionally. You can learn more in her memoir, SPINNING: CHOREOGRAPHY FOR COMING HOME.


Janine Kovac is now an executive committee member with Litquake, San Francisco’s literary festival and a founding member of the 501(c)3 nonprofit Write on Mamas.

Her work has appeared in Salon.com, fiction365.com, Literary MamaPregnancy and Newborn magazine, and has been anthologized in Nothing But the Truth So Help Me God and Multiples Illuminated (pre-orders go on sale April 1, 2016!). With Write on Mamas, she co-edited (and contributed to) the anthology Mamas Write: 29 Tales of Truth, Wit, and Grit.

Janine blogs about her experience as a NICU mom for the science-based parenting site Raising Happiness and attends writing workshops whenever she can. Her favorites are Kate Hopper’s Motherhood & Words retreats, Lit Camp and the Squaw Valley Community of Writers (2011, 2012, 2014), to which attendance was made possible by the George Pascoe Miller scholarship, the Carlisle Family scholarship, and the Eshelman scholarship. OH, and the Mineral School. WORD.

She still likes to get on stage and shake a tail feather or just get on stage and talk really loud. She’s been a semi-finalist at Literary Death Match, a loud mouth at Litquake, Lit Crawl, InsideStorytime and the Basement Series and directed the San Francisco production of Listen To Your Mother with fellow Write on Mamas Mary Hill and Tarja Parssinen. She is also available for Ballerina Birthday Parties.

When not writing about preemies, Janine reads about fairies, dinosaurs, and Star Wars. She lives in Oakland with her husband and their three small yet surprisingly noisy children.

She spends her free time wondering if it’s really free time or if she’s just forgotten to do something.


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Please use the form below to request an interview, speaking engagement, book signing, or to simply say, “hello.”




6 thoughts on “About Me

  1. Teri Stevens


    You are an inspiration! I am always amazed at the quality and content of your projects, your energy, enthusiasm and poise, in the midst of raising three kids! I know from my own experience with twins and a third just how little free time there actually is. Much applause to you my dear!

    • Thank you, Teri! I think most of it is just trudging forward while knowing there were a million better ways to have done it but it’s too late now. Something I definitely learned from raising twins!

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