Helen Kelly

Novelist, Playwright
Aston University

Helen Kelly has written theatre for casts of one and casts of sixty, including a number of pieces for the Stephen Joseph Theatre, for both young and adult audiences. She gained an MA with distinction in Playwriting and a PhD on dramatic structure from the University of Birmingham, where her large-cast, mostly female play Faith was produced by the Drama department. The Violent Romantic Hero in Women’s Fiction won the Literary Consultancy prize and Catchment Christians, about faith schooling in Birmingham, was produced in 2011.

Helen’s most recent theatre work has been with BOLDtext Playwrights, writing site-specific, collaborative theatre. Commissions include pieces for a nineteenth-century police station, Birmingham Digbeth Coach Station and Soho House, home to the eighteenth-century Lunar Society, comprised of leading scientists and engineers of the Industrial Revolution.

Helen grew up in an Irish immigrant, Catholic family and finds that this impacts everything she writes, whether she wants it to or not. Most recently she’s written a novel: an epic romantic adventure, spanning the Irish War of Independence and the Russian Revolution.

When she can, she loves to walk the secret routes of the city; canals, rivers, ribbon nature reserves, commons, heaths and parks. Reading poetry also feels to her like a special place to go, as it’s no longer something she writes.

Helen is currently raising a son in the splendour of south Birmingham.

Helen Kelly

Fellowships

Aston University 2020/21