Frequently asked questions
How can I commission a piece of writing from you?
That's easy, just contact me at: (860) 231-9369 or email Lfelsonwriter@gmail.com
Will you work as a ghostwriter on my novel?
Sure, I'm happy to have the conversation. I've worked as a ghostwriter on many projects and am happy to explore if this is a good fit for both of us.
How do I get permisison to reprint something you've published?
Please let me know the name of the piece, the name of the publication, and the date of publication and, if it's possible, I'll send you a contsent form.
Are you available for long-term writing projects?
If my scheudle permits, I am. Today— it's easier and easier to work on long-term projects, especially if I can work remotely. Please feel free to reach out to me directly to discuss. Thank you for considering me for your project.
Who Is Leonard Felson?
The idea came to Leonard Felson in the fourth grade. He had crumpled his paper during a writing exercise and re-started. The young substitute teacher noticed.
“Writers re-write and re-write all the time,” she said, suggesting perhaps he was a writer in the making. He wrote a play that year, which he and classmates performed on Parents’ Night. He wrote another in fifth grade on slavery, and staged it. In high school and college, he wrote for the school newspapers.
After graduating from the University of California, Berkeley, as a history major, he realized he had failed to plan his next steps. Fortunately, his father offered him a job, also in the East Bay, where the Felson family had moved in the late 1950s from Seattle.
The business was primarily residential property management, and Leonard was a jack-of-all trades, painting the insides of housing units after tenants moved out, weeding common grounds, and working as a laborer when hid dad started new building projects. His father was always on the lookout for land that was for sale, usually ones covered with pear or apricot trees, big enough for a small development of modest one- and two-bedroom apartments with names that hinted at the land’s history, like Bartlett Court.
Leonard was grateful for the work, but resented his dad’s management style, treating him like a kid who needed to be told what to do. He didn’t much care for living at home either.
“I got to get out of this situation,” he told himself around his year anniversary on the job. That’s when he blanketed the state of California with letters and resumes, sending them off to newspapers from San Diego to Eureka, looking for a job as a newspaper reporter. It was the summer of 1976, and the first offer came from an editor at a rural paper called The Daily Press, in Paso Robles, today a thriving wine region with its own appellation, then largely ranch country, politically and culturally conservative.
Three years later he moved across the country, after seeing the writing on the wall. He got interviews in the newsrooms of his dream papers like the San Francisco Chronicle and The Oregonian in Portland, but editors offered him little hope. They were inundated with veteran East Coast reporters, fed up with cold, snowy winters. They couldn’t wait to live and work on the West Coast.
“I’ll move anywhere, but Arkansas,” his girlfriend, Julia, said. She had moved in to his central California garage apartment, after finishing a graduate program in public health administration, also at Berkeley.
After interviews from Cleveland to Boston, he took a job as a reporter at a feisty afternoon tabloid across the Connecticut River from Hartford, the Journal Inquirer. Two years later, he moved to a group of suburban community weeklies, as an editor before taking a job as a staff writer for The Hartford Courant, the state’s largest paper and the oldest continuously operating one in America.
After 10 years at The Courant, in part because he had turned 40 and wanted more out of work and life, he left to carve out a career as an independent writer. Leonard Felson’s byline appeared on feature stories for The New York Times, The Boston Globe, Reader’s Digest, and several regional magazines including Connecticut Magazine, Hartford Magazine and Seasons Magazine. He developed new specialties including personal essays and coverage of the American-Jewish world, of which he’s a part, writing for Tablet Magazine, The Forward, The Jerusalem Report and JTA, the Jewish Telegraphic Agency, considered the Associated Press of Jewish journalism.
He continues to look for compelling narratives, whether about the personal or the communal. He’s a proud member of UPOD Academy, where freelance superheroes learn to fly. Less than a year after moving to Hartford, he married his girlfriend, the one who wouldn’t move to Arkansas. They celebrated their 38th anniversary this summer. They’re proud parents of a daughter and two sons, one of whom is married. Their dog, a Wheaten Terrier, is named Darla.