About Kelly

Kelly Creighton was born in Belfast but spent her early years living in Australia and England before settling in Bangor, Co. Down where she developed an overactive imagination, writing first chapters of books that were sadly cut off in their prime. After school she had a stint on an architecture course before realising she was only interested in how personalities are built.


After graduation, she worked in supported living schemes supporting adults with learning difficulties. After a while, she decided it was the right time to write that book. This took two years. A period she considers her apprenticeship.

Kelly studied creative writing and is now published in many journals, such as: Litro, The Stinging Fly, Cyphers, Lampeter Review, Crannog, Southword journal, spontaneity.org, Honest Ulsterman, Banshee, and more.

Her work has been noted in a few competitions: Michael McLaverty Short Story Award, inaugural Seamus Heaney Award for New Writing, Cúirt New Writing Prize for Fiction, Fish Short Story Prize, Abroad Writers’ Conference Short-Short Story Award and the Gregory O’Donoghue Poetry Prize, mainly. She published her first poetry collection THREE PRIMES in September 2013 with Lapwing.

inc art

In 2014, Kelly became an arts facilitator and creative writing tutor, and founded The Incubator which she still edits: the journal showcases new writing from NI and Ireland, with focus on the contemporary Irish short story.

In 2015, her first novel, THE BONES OF IT, received critical acclaim: it was the San Diego Book Review novel of the year 2015, nominated for the 2016 Kate O’Brien Award and is currently being studied on the Political Science degree course in the United States. Doire Press published Kelly’s first short story collection BANK HOLIDAY HURRICANE in September 2017. She is the grateful recipient of a 2018 ACES Award from the Arts Council of Northern Ireland, which will allow Kelly time to work on a new novel set in South Dakota.


She lives in Newtownards where she is one of the co-founders of The Square Circle Writers. She shares her writing space/sofa with one husband, and many children and dogs. At the minute she is working on a new novel, her second story collection and the occasional poem. She teaches creative writing to community groups and mentors new writers. Kelly is the secretary of Women Aloud NI.