Kelly S. Thompson is a writer and retired officer in the Canadian Armed Forces. Kelly has a Honours Bachelor degree in Professional Writing from York University, a certificate in Publishing from Ryerson University, a master’s in Creative Writing from the University of British Columbia, and is completing a PhD in Literary and Critical Studies, Creative Writing, at the University of Gloucestershire in the UK, where she examines representations of grief and trauma in memoir.
Kelly’s work has won awards in a variety of genres. She won the House of Anansi Press Golden Anniversary Award for Fiction, the 2014 and 2017 Barbara Novak Award for Personal Essay, and was shortlisted for Room magazine’s 2013 and 2014 Creative Nonfiction awards, placing 2nd in the 2019 contest. Her essays have appeared in anthologies across Canada, including Boobs, by Caitlin Press, Embedded on the Home Front, with Heritage House and Everyday Heroes with Simon & Schuster.
Her work has appeared in literary magazines across the country and her professional writing has been printed in Chatelaine, Maclean’s, The Globe and Mail, and more. Her article on military sexual harassment titled “Battle Fatigue,” was runner up for Feature Article of the Year with the Professional Writers Association of Canada. She was also nominated for a National Magazine Award in 2022.
Her memoir Girls Need Not Apply: Field Notes from the Forces with Penguin Random House Canada, was an instant Globe and Mail bestseller and declared one of the top 100 books of 2019 by the Globe and Mail.
Kelly also teaches writing to all levels, having run after-school writing programs for teenage girls, creative writing classes for children, and taught Creative Writing and Communications at Trent University. She now teaches at the University of King’s Creative Non Fiction. She also developed and runs classes for Royal Roads University and Loyalist College.
Kelly’s next memoir, Still, I Cannot Save You, will release with McClelland & Stewart in January, 2023.