Hi! My name is Rebecca Klempner and thanks for visiting my site.
Writing was not in my original plan. Oh, no! I thought I would be a real-life, female Indiana Jones, at least until the realities of archaeology landed in my lap (focused attention to tiny details, backbreaking labor, long days of tedium under a hot sun with nothing to show for it – you get the picture). That’s when I turned to cultural anthropology. I studied how to observe behavior, identify the patterns and logic in different systems, analyze linguistic data – all tools that later helped me become a better writer. Moreover, my anthropology coursework forced me to read case study after case study and write paper after paper.
After a couple years of graduate school, I decided that a stint in Teach for America would add to my skill set. Instead, I discovered that teaching was a more effective way to contribute to the world than anthropology.
So, you may ask, how did I end up as a writer?
One evening in 2003 or 2004, I was tutoring a teen, and she said, “Why do I have to write in my journal? Do you keep a daily journal?”
I confessed, “Uh…no.”
Throughout high school and college, I had written poetry and articles in the school newspaper along with all the aforementioned papers, but I’d never thought of myself as good enough to do it professionally. My student’s challenge got me writing again. About a year after that, I sold my first book.
Today, I’m the author of Glixman in a Fix, A Dozen Daisies for Raizy, Mazal’s Luck Runs Out, and Sliding Doors and other stories, as well as many short stories and articles. These have appeared in:
- Mishpacha Junior
- Binah and Binah BeTween
- The Jewish Press
- The Jewish Home – L.A.
- Jew In the City
- The Forward
- Ami and Aim!
I enjoy writing for children, teens, and adults. My experience in anthropology brings unusual insight into my depictions of human behavior, and my years as a teacher help me explain concepts in a clear, logical way. While I generally write short fiction, essays, or features, I’m currently working on two novels. I love to switch off between different genres, including contemporary fiction, personal essays, science fiction, fantasy, and magic realism.
Additionally, I do author’s visits to schools, teach writing workshops, edit, copyedit, and coach new writers. Oh – and I arrange Open Mics for women here in L.A.
“Now I have a complete story I can share with people if I want. More than that, overall my fiction writing skills have improved – both from practice and from learning the basic rules of fiction writing.” E. A., 22 year-old workshop participant
“I enjoyed the relaxed atmosphere and the helpful criticism and advice from everyone.” D. Y. S., teenage workshop participant
“Dear Mrs. Klempner, Thank for coming to our class twice for teaching us about poetry and for printing our poetry out. We really appreciated it. Thank you for teaching us about haikus!” S.V., third grader and participant in a series of classroom visits