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

“Few workshops have been as useful to me, a junior scholar, as Kathleen A. Kelly’s ‘From Contact to Contract and Beyond: Best Practices for Publishing Your Book.’ I wish I had had the chance to take something like it as early as my graduate student years. Publishing a book and dealing with editors is a daunting new task, and our tenure often depends on a monograph; Kathleen’s experience and insight in this terrain can be invaluable for early-career academics.”

—Mariann Vaczi, assistant professor and director of Graduate Studies, Center for Basque Studies, University of Nevada, Reno

“I have worked with Kathleen for several years on both academic projects and more creative ones, from scholarly books and articles to flash fiction and the beginning pages of a novel. She has been a shining beacon of wisdom and support, helping me not only to complete numerous projects but to find my voice as an author. Kathleen is an excellent reader and editor, consistently helping to identify and improve big-picture issues related to argument and structure. At the same time, she brings her poet’s ear for language and pacing to recommend word- and sentence-level changes that make writing sing.

“I feel confident sending my work out knowing that Kathleen has reviewed it with her impeccable attention to detail. I have found her to be supportive and professional at every turn. She both honors my vision for my own writing and helps me to refine and revise each manuscript to meet the standards in my field and the publishing industry more generally.”

—Associate Professor, San Diego State University

“Kathleen’s ability to research appropriate Spanish-language publishers for the Spanish translation of my memoir, then crafting a query letter, and submitting materials on my behalf was impressive and incredibly helpful. She is knowledgeable, reliable, and professional.”

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

“I wholeheartedly recommend Kathleen Kelly at Gray Bevins Editorial. She has been integral to the success I have found in developing a book proposal, preparing winning grant applications, and navigating the world of agents and publishers. As someone who had only published with academic presses, Gray Bevins helped me build the confidence that I needed to take my writing career to the next level. Kelly has the unique ability not only to see your whole project as you see it but also to champion it.”

Iris Jamahl Dunkle, author of Charmian Kittredge London: Trailblazer, Author, Adventurer

“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

“It was a pleasure to work with Kathleen. She helped to demystify the publishing process for me, and her editorial feedback was essential for me in finalising my book manuscript before submission. She is an exemplary professional with exceptional attention to detail, and she is a friendly and supportive advocate for authors. I recommend her without hesitation!”

—Lecturer, King’s College London

“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