Kelly Thompson was a captain in the RCAF where she served for almost a decade before being medically discharged. She is now an instructor and mentor at the University of Kings College in Halifax, NS in its creative nonfiction writing program.
Kelly’s educational and publishing credentials are impressive. She holds a BA (Hons) from York University where she studied professional writing, an MFA from UBC in creative writing, and a PhD in literary and critical studies in creative writing from the University of Gloucestershire.
In 2019 McClelland & Stewart/Penguin Random House published her military memoir Girls Need Not Apply: Field Notes From the Forces. The book was an instant Globe & Mail bestseller and was listed as one of the top 100 Books of 2019. If there was a URP book club, Girls Need Not Apply would be on the list.
In this episode Kelly and I discuss her experiences growing up in a military family, and how that experience and the events of 9/11 influenced her decision to put on a uniform. We also explored many of the themes covered in her book: her experience as a young woman in basic training, dating within the military, physical performance standards, sexual harassment, career advancement and mentorship.
Kelly’s next work, Still, I Cannot Save You: A Memoir of Sisterhood and Grief, also published by McClelland & Stewart/Penguin Random House is due out in January, 2023.
Under Reserve thanks Capt. Thompson for her time, and her service.