As a journalist, I have spent more than a decade of my life telling other people's stories. Here, I will tell you my own.
I was like many little kids in that I fantasized and role-played many different possibilities for what I wanted to be "when I grow up." The choices ranged from doctor to pilot to archaeologist to even biologist. The only problem was, I bombed in science classes!
Then, something really funny happened in junior high: Teachers pulled me aside to tell me how good my classroom essays were, and recipients of my letters from summer camp found the epistles about life in the Prescott, Arizona pines very entertaining.
Was I on to something here? Were these experiences cues about my future career? It appears so, as a love affair with journalism and writing began with a gig on my high-school newspaper. Like all lifelong relationships, this love affair has had its bumps and major challenges, but I couldn't do anything else.
I graduated with a bachelor's degree in journalism from the University of Texas at Arlington, then a master's degree in Public Affairs Reporting from the University of Illinois at Springfield. My professional career started in 1996 with an internship at the Fort Worth Star-Telegram, and since then has included stints with Copley News Service, The Associated Press and the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review.
At the end of 2015 - after 13 years at the Trib, where I served mostly as a features and A&E writer - I left my newspaper job to pursue a freelance career. The vast majority of journalists have left the field, due to the lack of jobs and other factors. But I just can't stomach doing anything else, as journalism/writing isn't what I do. It's who I AM. And I plan to never, ever retire. So long as I have air in my lungs, stories to tell and fingers to type, I will be writing into my oldest age.
After running a side freelance business for several years outside of my job, I am thrilled now to be writing for many top national and regional publications and organizations, including The Washington Post, Woman's World, Smithsonian, Catster, the History Channel, the American Heart Association, Pennsylvania Magazine, and others.
Just in time for Memorial Day 2023, I was very excited to publish my first book through my new book label, Geeky Chic Publications! Scroll down to the bottom section to learn more about "Cease Firing! Life and Death at The Swope Manor" - a Civil War narrative about a historic inn in Gettysburg.
Thanks for visiting my website. Perhaps I can write for your publication or business - or maybe you'd like to commission me as your own personal journalist to write your stories! See my "What I Do" section for more information. I'd love to hear from you.
Keep reading, and I will keep writing!
Kellie B. Gormly
(P.S. The "B" stands for "Blaine," and I'm very attached to my middle initial!)
I work with three different types of clients:
JOURNALISM: If you are an editor or publisher seeking a talented freelance writer for your magazine/newspaper/website/book publisher, let's talk! I have strong credentials and many areas of interest and expertise, including: arts and entertainment/celebrity interviews/pop culture; classic and modern television and music; health and fitness; government and politics; American history; German subjects; and all things pets and animals.
BUSINESSES/NONPROFITS: If you have a non-publishing business with a website that needs written content, or you need someone to write your monthly newsletter, let's talk! By outsourcing your writing tasks to a pro, you can focus on other parts of running the business. I also have written fundraising materials and human-interest stories for nonprofits.
INDIVIDUALS: In my years as a journalist, I have learned that everybody has a story that is worth telling. The problem is, only a few people make the cut of newsworthiness and will be covered in the media
But that's where I can come in, as your own personal journalist-for-hire. You can commission me to write a professional-publication-quality story, which you then can use for your website, scrapbook, etc. I have had some memoirs clients publish their books into hard copies and sell them. I allot time to work with only one or two clients a year on writing their memoirs, or editing memoirs they write.
I can write either a comprehensive biography, or a series of chapters focusing on a specific area of life. Tell me your stories, and I will translate them into your beautiful memoirs! Rates for writing these memoirs begin at $2,000, and editing begins at $1,000.
Please contact me for details. I look forward to hearing from you and telling your story! It is worth telling, newsworthy or not.
What is my writing style? Many say witty and funny, intellectual, engaging, moving and touching. It all depends on the type of story and who will be reading it.
Here, I shall apply two principles I learned in journalism school. One, know your audience and tailor your writing accordingly. Two, show me, don't tell me - in this case, about my writing style.
So, here are some samples of my best articles. Enjoy!
Let's start with my first article for The Washington Post: a comical story about a cat named Limberbutt McCubbins who ran for president, along with other nonhuman politicians.
Below, I demonstrate my warm human-interest writing that captures personalities. This story I wrote about a singing obstetrician for the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review was a finalist for a Robert L. Vann Media Award.
Next, I offer a sample of entertainment writing on one of my favorite subjects: television, with a story about CBS' "Code Black."
Do you like animal humor and cats? Check out my comical blog on fostering kittens and all things feline: Mother Catresa's Chronicle. It is all based on a true story: I foster homeless kitties, and I donate a portion of my income to animal rescue. (2023 Note: This blog has been on hiatus for a few years, but will return soon).
So what it this publishing company with the quirky name? And where did the name "Geeky Chic" come from?
It all started a few years ago when a friend from high school named Rebecca called me "Geeky Chic" as a term of endearment. To her, it means a woman who is really brainy, goofy, intellectual and, yes, a bit geeky - but in a cute, charming, stylish and cool way. Rather than the social-outcast geek label of the 1980s, to be Geeky Chic means to be smart and cool! Well hey, I told Rebecca, I happily accept and shall wear the Geeky Chic label with pride!
Then, I started pursuing my longtime dream to not just write articles, which I have been doing since the '90s, but to write books. I stumbled onto a historical gold mine with the discovery of the untold story behind The Swope Manor in Gettysburg, and I pounced on the opportunity to write a book. While I initially thought I would sell the manuscript to a small niche publisher, for a variety of reasons, I decided to launch my own book-publishing label. When thinking of a title, I remembered Rebecca's term of endearment, and I just knew that Geeky Chic Publications was the perfect fit. I am going to be focusing on niche historical topics, and they don't call buffs of the past "history geeks" for nothing. I totally geek out on my love of history, and I could talk about it for hours! Even better than talking about history, I like to lose myself in researching and writing about it.
While I hope to write more than one type of book, initially, Geeky Chic Publications will publish a series of books about historic inns and houses that have a fascinating past: Civil War-era houses, houses with a tie to film/pop-culture history, and the like. The business plan is for the books to be available for sale to guests of the inn, through me, and through local retailers like museum and souvenir gift shops. These books will be passion projects for Author Kellie B. Gormly, and at this time, we are not publishing other authors' work.
While I may change the plan in the future, for right now, Geeky Chic books will not be sold on Amazon. We are a small, grassroots operation that worked hard and invested a lot of time and money to write, design, produce and print the books. When books sell through Amazon, small publishers lose a good deal of their profits to a billionaire and major corporation. I realize this reduces my books' visibility, but if you like my writing, I hope you will spread the word!
So, please check out our first book - "Cease Firing! Life and Death at The Swope Manor" - and be transported back to 1863 in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania.
Let's geek out together!
Yours in Geeky Chic-ness,
Kellie B. Gormly
Stay tuned for the story behind my new book: "Cease Firing! Life and Death at The Swope Manor.."