Kelly Thompson

MFA Mentor

Kelly  Thompson Kelly  Thompson

HonsBA (York University), MFA (UBC), PhD (University of Gloucestershire) 

Dr. Kelly S. Thompson is a retired military officer who studied Professional Writing at York University, has an MFA in Creative Writing from the University of British Columbia, a certificate in Publishing from Ryerson, and a PhD in Literary and Critical Studies in Creative Writing from the University of Gloucestershire, where her research centered on memoir and representations of grief and trauma. She has taught creative writing within a broad range of venues, organizations, age groups, and genres. Kelly won the Anansi Press Golden Anniversary Award for fiction, the 2014 and 2017 Barbara Novak Award for Personal Essay, and was longlisted for the CBC Nonfiction prize in 2021. Her essays have appeared in literary magazines, trade publications, and anthologies, as well as publications such as Chatelaine, Maclean’s, the Globe and Mail, and more. Her memoir, Girls Need Not Apply: Field Notes from the Forces, was an instant Globe and Mail bestseller and was listed as one of the top 100 Books of 2019. Her next memoir will release with McClelland & Stewart 31 January, 2023.  

Selected Publications: 

  • Still, I Cannot Save You: A Memoir of Sisterhood and Grief, McClelland & Stewart/Penguin Random House (2023) 
  • Girls Need Not Apply: Field Notes From the Forces, McClelland & Stewart/Penguin Random House (2019) 
  • Fluidity (Fiction), House of Anansi Press, 2018 

Interests: 

Memoir and personal narrative, marginalized voices, illness and disability, feminism, government, crime, social justice