Rebecca Zornow is a Wisconsin native who writes science fiction and nonfiction. She was the Editor in Chief of Appleton Monthly Magazine and 2020 winner of The Hal Prize in nonfiction. A voracious reader and writer all her life, she graduated from Lawrence University in 2010 and is a Returned Peace Corps Volunteer.
When my mother took me to my local library as a child, I brought home brown grocery bags full of books and receipts as long as I could stretch my arms. In the evenings, my dad read aloud Calvin and Hobbes to my siblings and me, making up funny voices and sounds. Books have always filled my days: from reading at the breakfast table to reading in bed by flashlight.
I studied English Literature at Lawrence University (and made my major a double with Art History) where I read stacks of books and was challenged to make sense of how books reflected the world around us, even changed it.
After college, I joined the Peace Corps. Stationed at a remote primary school in eSwatini (where remote meant having to walk an hour through the African bush to get a warm bottle of Fanta Orange), I started a library, giving 250 students in seven grades access to those wonderful friends, books.
Reading was everywhere, all the time, but writing crept up on me before descending like a swarm of bees. I kept journals throughout my teenage years and though even the sight of those doodled-on covers make me squirm with embarrassment, they were an essential daily practice in writing. Blogging during my Peace Corps journey built my confidence and taught me to carefully think about what my words meant. My sister, Nicole, has long been my sounding board for my creative writing.
Today, I’m a writer. I’m a former Editor in Chief of Appleton Monthly and the author of two books, as of yet unpublished. Life Without Pants is a memoir Nicole and I wrote together. It’s the story of our time living on opposite sides of the world and how childhood never fades away. My first science fiction novel, Dangerous to Heal, is about cross-solar system immigration set 150 years in the future.
In 2020, I’m writing a book proposal for a nonfiction book on international development. I am also plotting my next science fiction novel. I won the 2020 Hal Prize in nonfiction.
I’ve been married to Oliver for eleven years and have three children, Lydia, Madeline, and Pierce. I am Board President of the Caneille Regional Development Fund which brings education to a rural community in Haiti. I love traveling, the visual arts, walking far away and then walking back, museums, organizing, my local library, and good food.
Enjoy the blog and please get in touch with any ideas, comments, or questions. I’d love to hear from you about what you like to read and write.
Some Favorite Books and Series in No Order Whatsoever:
Bad Machinery by John Allison
Clan of the Cave Bears by Jean M. Auel
Someday my Prince Will Come by Jerramy Fine
Jane Eyre by Charlotte Brontë
Outlander Series by Diana Gabaladon
Memoirs of a Geisha by Arthur Golden
The Magicians Series by Lev Grossman
Game of Thrones Series by George R.R. Martin
Rebecca by Daphne du Maurier
The Time Traveler’s Wife by Audrey Niffenegger
Saga by Brian K. Vaughan and Fiona Staples
Gunnerkrig Court by Thomas Sidell
The Bonesetter’s Daughter by Amy Tan
The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien
Harry Potter Series by J.K. Rowling
The Glass Castle by Jeanette Walls
Little House on the Prairie by Laura Ingells Wilder
Wanderers by Chuck Wendig
Horse Training, Toddlers, and Tradeoffs Winner of the 2020 Hal Prize in the nonfiction category.
Rebecca’s Short Fiction
The Manors – Part 1 An urban fantasy short story about a girl and a….house.
The Manors – Part 2 The last installment of The Manors.
The Midnight Waddler A short, humorous story about a family and their nighttime woes.
Prepper in Demand – Part 1 What happens when a neighborhood blackout leaves some families less prepared than others?
Preppers Exposed – Part 2 A secret stash of food in the middle of a community crisis can only stay secret for so long.
Preppers Without – Part 3 They were prepared for any emergency. Except for themselves.
Rebecca’s Past Blogs
Two Years in the Kingdom Blog The blog my husband and I kept during our two-year Peace Corps service in Swaziland. Tales of primary school students and African animals abound.
Lydia and Madeline Blog A blog my family kept during a long, heart wrenching hospital stay surrounding the birth of my twins, Lydia and Madeline.
Native Author Book Guide (pg 11) A guide to the latest books by Native American authors for readers of all ages.
Introducing Kids to the Fine Arts at an Early Age A Post Crescent article about the pleasures and challenges of introducing toddlers to fine art.
These volunteers find joy and friendship amid the arts A Post Crescent article about my experiences volunteering for the Bergstrom-Mahler Museum of Glass and Fox Valley Sinfonia.
North Carolina Trail Story (pg 9) A story about my mom and siblings backpacking on the Appalachian Trail.
News from the Nations (pg 13, under Rachel Zarnow, opps) A piece comparing Native American life and Swaziland and how I helped bridge the gap in a small way.
Rebecca’s writing also appeared in issues of Appleton Monthly May 2018-December 2019.