Working with Me

“As a longtime fiction and nonfiction author, I’ve worked with editors at all levels of publishing, and I’m happy to attest to the fact that Kathleen Kelly is a dream to work with. She’s erudite, prompt, smart, so incredibly well read, and she recognizes and articulates the layered intentions in an author’s work. She frames the work in both a literary and a publishing context, offers deft insights and excellent line editing. Her editorial work on my collection of creative nonfiction was inestimably valuable, and I recommend her with enthusiasm!”

Rilla Askew, author of Most American: Notes from a Wounded Place

“I strongly recommend Kathleen Kelly and Gray Bevins Editorial for writers wishing to bring their book projects through final development and into publication. Specifically, I refer to writers wishing savvy counsel on shaping a manuscript into final form; crafting a successful book proposal and the supporting materials that accompany it; in fact, all aspects of the editing and publication process.

“I came to Gray Bevins Editorial with a huge project involving Virginia Woolf, her luminous diaries, and also all the diaries she read. My problem was that this labor of love had led to a manuscript too long for publication. I still marvel that through simply a few questions, Kathleen Kelly was able to lead me to see that I could make my manuscript into three books.

“As I developed my book proposal for volume 1, she recommended additions to my biography that I had overlooked and that strengthened my demonstrations of my credentials—and much more. The first of my trilogy’s books, Becoming Virginia Woolf, was published in the spring of 2014.

Kathleen is a superb sounding board for book projects of all kinds (scholarly and literary).  A published poet, she has a poet’s ear for language. 

“Additionally, she has worked as a publisher’s sales representative, as an acquisitions editor, and as a literary editor as well, so she knows all phases of today’s publishing world.”

Barbara Lounsberry, author of Becoming Virginia Woolf, Virginia Woolf’s Modernist Path, and Virginia Woolf, the War Without, the War Within

“Kathleen Kelly brought a wealth of experience to her discussion of acquisitions with our editors. She was open to our many questions and drew on her personal knowledge in her answers. I’d recommend her to anyone interested in learning from a pro about this specialty in the publishing business.”

—Barbara Fuller, director, Editcetera

“Kathleen Kelly exemplifies true professionalism. Her willingness to share her literary expertise helped make the Oklahoma Book Festival a tremendous success. Kathleen worked diligently to organize and moderate the festival’s poetry stage, which featured award-winning poets and other keynote speakers from Oklahoma and around the nation. She personally reached out to bring these poets and speakers to the festival. Moreover, Kathleen played an integral role in reviewing books and provided recommendations, both pro and con, as to whether an invitation would be forwarded to an author requesting their appearance at the festival. I would have no reservation working with Kathleen again on any project.”

—Connie Armstrong, executive director, Oklahoma Center for the Book, and co-director, Oklahoma Book Festival

“Kathleen Kelly was the acquisitions editor for my second novel, Live from Medicine Park, and recent short story collection, Hit Your Brights. Both projects owe much to her insight and acumen.

Kathleen has the ability to engage with a text on its own merits while also casting it into a wider cultural context, providing the sort of editorial support that helped me bring both books into the world in a way that affirms my own vision for them.

Constance Squires, award-winning author of Hit Your Brights, Live from Medicine Park, and Along the Watchtower

“Kathleen Kelly was a thoughtful and careful champion for my book manuscript What Is a Western? Region, Genre, Imagination. She helped guide the vision for how the book should look, sought out perfect peer reviewers, and promoted the book to the press’s editorial board. From my two-page proposal and stray chapters, the book became a beautifully illustrated and coherent whole book. Kathleen knows publishing and of steering work through its currents.”

Josh Garrett-Davis, author of What Is a Western? Region, Genre, Imagination and Ghost Dances: Proving Up on the Great Plains

“As an editor at the very active University of Oklahoma Press, Kathleen Kelly was responsible for shepherding two of my books, and I am eternally grateful to her for her professionalism, thoroughness, and dedication. Her knowledge of manuscripts and the intricate process of publication is extensive, and I highly recommend her.”

José Antonio Rodríguez, author of House Built on Ashes: A Memoir and This American Autopsy: Poems