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 local publications, including The Washington Post, Family Circle, Catster, German Life, Pittsburgh Magazine, Pittsburgh Quarterly, ReMIND, and others.
In 2018, my first book will be coming out - a book about an aspect of one of my favorite topics, the Civil War. Stay tuned!
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/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: 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.
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 a newspaper or magazine.
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.
Did you see my ad in German Life, Pittsburgh Quarterly, Celebrate Gettysburg or TheKnot? You've come to the right place!
I offer several services to individuals:
Are you getting married, or celebrating a big anniversary? Let me write your love story, which you can share with your family and friends. I will interview you and your partner, and others, about your relationship, how you met, what you've been through together and what makes your love special.
Do you have a loved one who has passed away? Let me honor your loved ones by interviewing people who knew them, and writing a tribute/memorial article about them. I offer compassion-based discounts from my usual rates for people grieving.
Do you have a very special pet? I have profiled so many cats and dogs for pet magazines, and I would love to write a profile about your furry companion, too. I know every animal is special, and the subject of comical and sentimental stories!
The types of articles mentioned here will involve roughly 800 to 1,200 words. The fees vary, and typically begin around $500.
Do you want more? I'm glad you asked!
You can commission me to tell your life stories - either a comprehensive biography, or a series of chapters focusing on a specific area of life or experience. Tell me your stories, and I will translate them into your beautiful memoirs! I offer several memoir/biography packages based on the length and level of detail you want, and your budget. Rates for these memoirs begin 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.