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About Keely

"If specificity as well as concreteness is crucial to vivid writing, so too is the significance carried in those concrete details, the ideas or qualities that they suggest, the way they reveal character, attract or warn us; the way they lead us to think or feel."


Janet Burroway

Imaginative Writing, The Elements of Craft

I'm a fiction writer and editor with cerebral palsy, whose love of writing became real when I received a bursary to attend an Arvon Foundation writing retreat in 2009.

From there, I studied at the University of Gloucestershire, where I earned a BA in creative writing and an MA in creative and critical writing.While at university, I won the Francis Hall Close Award for the highest dissertation mark. This is an achievement I'm still incredibility proud of.

I love and will dive into most forms of writing but do gravitate towards shorter works. I’m drawn to flash fiction because of the level of clarity it calls for and its need for constant forward momentum. For me, there is nothing more exhilarating than landing on the exact word or image that conveys your meaning perfectly. In flash, immediacy and urgency are everything.  

Fortunately for me, in my role as Managing Editor at Flash Fiction Magazine, I get to be immersed in flash fiction every day. Whether that’s reading some of the brilliant stories we receive or working with authors from around the world to help them hone their craft, being part of an editorial team is something I adore. 

As a writer, I understand the important role editing plays in making a story the best it can be and personally, I believe we are never done learning and improving.

 

That’s why in 2021, I’ve pushed myself to take my own writing to the next level. I've been part of Dahlia Books' “Brief Pause Fringe Programme” with Farhana Shaikh. And I was also chosen to be a mentee in Dialect’s mentorship programme making 2021 my busiest and most focused writing year to date! Thanks to Dialect, I was lucky enough to be mentored by novelist Mahsuda Snaith. 

My work can be found in over twenty-plus literary magazines and anthologies, including Flash Fiction Magazine, as part of the Solstice Shorts Festival 2020 with Arachne Press, in 50-Word Stories, Ghost Orchid Press and in The Daily Drunk to name a few. My stories have been nominated for a Pushcart Prize. I have been shortlisted for Mslexia’s Memoir Competition (2013) as well as being twice shortlisted in Retreat West contests, and for the Bath Flash Fiction Award in 2021.

When I’m not writing or editing, I work in a primary school, where I support children with SEND needs, teach creative writing and tutor English.