broadsideblog

Welcome!

I’m the broad behind Broadside, Caitlin Kelly, a career journalist.

caitlinkelly2014                                                                                         photo: Jose R. Lopez

You’re one of 11,939 followers, from Thailand to Toronto, Berlin to Melbourne.

A National Magazine Award winner, I’m a former reporter and feature writer at The Globe and Mail, Montreal Gazette and New York Daily News, writing freelance for The New York Times since 1990. My other website has clips, resume, and dozens of useful writing tips.

Please follow me on Twitter at @CaitlinKellyNYC.

Six of my posts have been Freshly Pressed; here’s the second most recent, about why saying thank you is so important.

I offer webinars and individual coaching — by email, phone or Skype — for bloggers, freelance writers, new or aspiring non-fiction authors, with many practical tips, insights and advice. Students find my coaching highly focused, practical and immediately useful.

Please sign up here!

My latest book is “Malled: My Unintentional Career In Retail” , a memoir of selling clothing in an upscale suburban New York mall. It’s a no-holds-barred look at life behind the counter — and a detailed analysis of the American retail industry, the nation’s third-largest, and biggest source of new jobs.

You can read some of it here, and buy it here.  It’s also available as an e-book.

malled cover LOW

Entertainment Weekly calls it “an excellent memoir” and Bnet columnist Herb Schaffner says; “the best of reality journalism…a must-read.”

It was published in China in July 2013, and nominated for the 2012 Hillman Prize, given annually to a work of  “journalism in service of the common good.”

A lively and experienced speaker, there’s a link to my most recent talk at the University of Minnesota on the About page.

My first book “Blown Away: American Women and Guns”, includes original interviews with 104 men, women, and teens from 29 states. It’s a clear-eyed, neutral look at why, how and when guns and women intersect.

Cover of "Blown Away: American Women and ...

Cover of Blown Away: American Women and Guns

In 1998, I won a Canadian National Magazine Award for humor for an essay about my divorce; now re-married to Jose, a newspaper photo editor. Born in Vancouver, raised in Toronto, I’m a University of Toronto graduate, living since 1989 near New York City.

I live to travel, 38 countries so far — the most recent, March 2014, being a working trip to the Caribbean coast of Nicaragua with the oldest NGO focused on water, sanitation and hygiene, WaterAid.

I speak French and Spanish and have lived in Toronto, Vancouver, Cuernavaca,  Mexico, London, Montreal, New Hampshire and Paris.

Thanks for visiting!

  1. U of T graduate right! That means you understand more of Marshall McLuhan than most of his readers right? I suppose so. . . I loved today’s entry on Eat, Pray, Love, I just don’t understand why you ended it that way with a ? This is a most profoundly earnest topic worthy of great reflection. I’m struggling to find a way to appreciate what Julia Robert’s character by embracing such autonomy while married. I have read many other similar stories almost all end depressed that they never had marriage and children. Their is a tremendous theology needing quarry in this topic. I kinda dread having to spade it alone. Perhaps such radical autonomy ought to be done before one get’s married. Do we not have a responsibility to discover such identity, places before ‘commitment’. What about the culture of the household and the identity of children. It seems to me that most of feminism erroneously begins from the false premise of masculinity (autonomy), why ignore the intrinsic worth of feminism? Why begin from w/in the house of idealism anyway when discerning freedom and gender? Anyway, nice blog, and great post.
    Peace,
    William

  2. I loved your post about Eat Love Pray. I think whenever anyone, (but especially women) are on a journey to discover who they really are beyond the cultural roles society allots them, the people who are identified into those roles have respond by trying to get the person back into that role by discrediting the veracity of what they are doing. And they often resort to all sorts of nasty methods. The methods go from various forms of name calling, criticism or bigger control factors like in certain Fundamental Muslim countries where they believe it is OK to stone a women to death if she does not conform. Much of this is because people the people who like being in those roles (which for some of us are cages) feel threatened by those who find joy in greater self wisdom.

    • Laurie, thanks. You’ve summed it up eloquently. I am appalled at the finger-wagging.

      I wonder if men tear one another to pieces for “breaking the rules” the way women seem to…

  3. I JUST FOUND YOU…I LOVE YOU ALREADY…HIGH FIVE…WELCOME TO MY WORLD, AS I AM WELCOME TO YOURS…I AGREE 2OO% IN REGARDS TO EAT PRAY LOVE…AND THE OTHER WOMEN ORIENTED FILMS ETC;))

  4. Hi, I loved your blog! About Eat, Pray, Love . . . mid-life crisis is a reality for so many people. Regardless of having a partner, a home, a great job, and kids, a crisis arises when one takes a step back and realizes that the material things aren’t making them happy. When you think you have it all and still aren’t happy, then you know it’s something so deep that it warrants deep reflection.

    The type of crisis that I’m referring to is when we haven’t found our purpose. Having material things or a mate doesn’t define our purpose. It’s my belief that searching within (praying)is the only way to find out what that purpose might be. I didn’t see the movie, and to be honest, I don’t have a desire to see it. It’s just that this movie has received such negative reviews that it makes me wonder what kind of people are on this planet.

    One never knows what goes on in another’s mind, and until that person has walked in the other’s shoes, they never will understand. I don’t care what a person has in terms of “things”, when the crisis hits, it hits in a big way, and one must do what they have to to find their answers. I think America (those who are posting negative comments and reviews) should show more understanding. I would use the word empathy, but then if they had empathy, they would totally get what this is all about . . . having lived through a crisis of their own.

    Again, great blog.

    Valentine deFrancis

  5. Thanks for visiting and your comments. It’s been an eye-opener to see what level of…passion….Gilbert’s story evokes.

  6. I haven’t read the book nor scene the movie “Eat Pray Love,” so my comment has nothing to do with either, but rather is a challenge to your assumption that the world is fine with men taking off and leaving their their families and responsibilities to provide for them. In fact, we have an entire court system dedicated to the pursuit of “deadbeat dads” while the “deadbeat moms” get a pass. In movies, the guys “fear of commitment” is NEVER portrayed positively. Again, saying nothing about the book are the movie, there is a bias in your review that perpetuates social myths that are damaging to men, children and ultimately to the women that they end up with. – Thanks for the opportunity to comment

  7. Hi Caitlin – thanks for some impressive reads. Our cultural paths cross in two places. One would be Eat Pray Love which I wrote about in a recent review:

    http://jmmnewaov2.wordpress.com/2010/08/13/eat-pray-love/

    and the other would be women and guns or as I called it –
    Babes and Bullets: Will I get Lucky or Will I Get Shot?

    http://www.justmemikesnewalsoonvideo.com/2009/02/21/babes-and-bullets-will-i-get-lucky-or-will-i-get-shot/

    I hope you have an opportunity to take a look at my posts. But in any event, I want to thank you for your piece on Eat Pray Love which I found via the Freshly Pressed tool in wordpress.

    I like your style and your brash wayu of speaking your minds.

    jmm

  8. Thanks. Brash is my middle name.

  9. Hi there! Nice to find your blog and see your comments on my blog. We’re thinking about buying a cabin in Sullivan County — not sure if you live near there — but totally love it up there.

  10. Hi Caitlin,

    Thank you for your comment on my recent post! I read the ID post you linked and found myself actually nodding in agreement through the whole thing. Lots of common ground, I think.

    Also wanted to say that a comment on my writing, from a journalist like yourself, means a lot to me.

    Thank you again and I look forward to reading more of your writing!

    Lorna

  11. Amamzing guidance for wannabe writers like me. Thanks a lot! Greetings from India.

  12. You are one rad broad!
    I came across your featured press ‘tips for writers’ and couldn’t agree more with the important points you noted. And the fact that we are in agreement gives me great confidence ;) I may be on to something after all ….
    Thanks for sharing your talent and wisdom!

    You seem like one busy lady, but if you find yourself battling some insomnia or general boredom, you are more than welcome to stop by Bath Tub Fortress, red pen and all … I would be honored for you to criticize every and any thing I have posted.
    And until then, I will be loyally reading your creations!

    Cheers,

    M

  13. Just stumbled upon you as I was sitting my bum down to a couple of hours of revision – a little procrastination never hurt anyone (she typed tentatively). Thanks for a little shot of motivation and hope.

  14. Ten Ways To (Seriously) Improve Your Writing um, isn’t that a split infinitive in your title? i know, i know, pretty archaic grammar but we perfectionists die hard.

  15. Thanks! This is a wonderful(and informative)blog.

  16. Yes, the ‘bum in the chair’ – I have a background in Creative Writing from Toronto and U of Victoria, but the big problems is just that. Have decided to blog excerpt of my book project – book PROJECT sounds less assuming, than book. Something exhilarating about 82 people reading my first blog – even if I directed 41 of them to do just that.

    • Hey, fellow Canadian!

      I did English at U of T. Call it a book Be bold! Name it, and claim it. I love “bum in the chair.” I spent way too much time there, but that’s what get’s it DONE. I’ve never written somewhere lovely and scenic or a cafe….At home.

  17. It’s nice to read about you. We share many interests: travel, cooking, reading, sailing, dance, and an obsession with beauty and great design. I love that you speak French (I have family living in Versailles, France and visit as often as I can).

    How cool that you attended the New York School of Interior Design. I’m sure that experience gave you some new perspectives.

    I hope my blog will bring you some of the same pleasure that your site brings me. Ayez un jour merveilleux!

    • Kate, indeed! Glad you found this site and I look forward to visiting yours. I am my happiest when in France, maybe because there I feel they value all the things in this list: they invented ballet, are amazing sailors, adore and value beauty and order and create great food…The U.S. (now?) seems focused on $$$$$$$ and power and status. Not interesting to me at all.

  18. Stumbled on your Blog and found the frank, to the point direction invigorating. I have wanted to write for years and will continue to read you while I move forward in the endeavor. Thanks.

  19. I picture myself there where you are. I am from a small town north or Seattle, Washington on Puget Sound. But, I am here in Los Angeles and when I read posts like yours, it pains me to think that I do not belong in this huge city that swallows people whole, yet I am here. How to go home? Stuck! In so many ways. I see the exquisite Pacific Northwest and its warmth and know my calling is there. My “aliveness” is there. The spiderweb of living here is stifling and my life purpose drains. My job? To get out, to get home, to save myself. To write and get this first book out before I choke on it. Your communications have struck a responsive chord. A flicker of what I am meant to hear and feel. It is warm connecting with you. It is good to read your words that empower, I am sure, many others.

  20. Good ‘tripping over you’ Broadside… good of you to drop by for a yarn over my way down-under. Glad to find you enjoyed your visit – so please – come again mate! I’ve only ever seen one broadside in my life – and it was a American Warship – part of a training film actually – when I played Navy games, a (not so) long time ago. I’m looking forward to dropping by as often as I can… Cheers mate ;-)

  21. The hook has been set. You’re a writer, which gets my envy running at full flood. And you’ve written for the New York Daily News, the paper of Breslin and Hamill? Geez Louise… I’ll of course be looking forward to Malled, as well as hanging around broadsideblog. Most pleased to make your virtual acquaintance. TGD

    • *blush* Thanks!

      The Daily News is in the book….not a pretty picture for those of us who are less Hamill-esque. But I hope you enjoy Malled! Thanks for coming by.

  22. Hello Caitlin,

    I came here after following your comment on Litlove’s blog (can there be a grander recommendation?). Love what I’ve read so far – especially the scents and Grasse on your home page, though I couldn’t find where to leave a comment there.

    Good luck with the new book!

  23. I am so delighted to find you Caitlin. I will comment on your posts. The first one I read is your April 1st post “Would you Rather Be Productive Or Creative?” Love it and I definitely prefer to be CREATIVE first in order to be inspired and find the words walking through the maze that is my brain then write them first with pen to paper.

  24. Gosh! Thank you ever so much for taking the time to look at my images and send a response, I’m thrilled to meet you. Stumbled on your article on productivity versus creativity and absolutely enjoyed the read. Look forward to reading more.

  25. Just found this and it looks terrific. Can’t wait to pore through more posts. You really seem to capture the spirit of the writing life in a way that’s inspiring. On a more mundane note, how do you add the images to your posts? I’m an advertising writer, but am now starting to pursue self help writing and bloggin. I’d like to use this format for my new blog and can’t quite figure that out. Also– when you list the keywords at the top, I assume that’s a device to help improve your search rankings? Any tips on using this Depro Masthead format would be most appreciated!

    • If you go to the page that allows you to post new pieces, you will see a pace marked “categories” (the titles above my posts in italics) and tags, the ones in gray letters….You have to choose both and add them to every post in order for search engines to find you and them. The photos are from Zemanta…all copyright free.

      Another way I try to keep my search rankings higher is adding my name the name of my book to each pile of tags.

      The Masthead is a nice theme because you always have three posts easily visible at once….I think it gives readers a better taste of what you do and, as you can see if you look at last week’s posts, if there’s a theme having three side by side on the same topic over a few days as a story develops makes it easier to follow.

  26. You commented on my post (http://ericatakesovertheworld.wordpress.com/2011/08/01/the-top-10-annoying-customer-habits/) about a month ago, and I just wanted to thank you for that. As a brand new journalist it is really hard to find that feeling, when I know I’m doing something right. You definitely helped me there. I would love to get a copy of your book and learn more from your lead! I think you’re a really remarkable person and really fascinating. Thank you again.

  27. Thank you for dropping in on my blog, Caitlin, and for your comments.
    I have just read a few of your posts, and love them; especially the one about courage. We can go a long way if we have the courage to do what we know is the right thing – to help, to support, to encourage those on life’s journey; especially the weak.
    Like you, I dislike – no, I detest – the way everyone in the public eye nowadays becomes a hero. Heroes are not those who do well at sport, those who gain fame for their acting, or politicians who are just doing their job. Heroes are those who give their all, beyond the norm, in order to do good to and for others, perhaps at some risk to themselves or their reputation.

    • Thanks for stopping by!

      The word hero is horribly over-used, especially in the States. I think it’s because it’s such a huge place and people are hungry for some way to stand out.

      Smaller, quieter acts of courage do not get attention. but are likely making change in important ways.

  28. Hello Caitlin

    Thank you for calling by the Legion. I have no idea how you found the thing. How did you?

    I had a quick gander there at your “15 tips” and also the “refusing help” posts. Really excellent stuff. I’m now terrified of you!

    Still, glad you passed by and hope you’ll call again and I shall be sure to return the favour.

    The Irreverent Mother

  29. Hi Caitlin

    Thanks for dropping by. How did you find the thing? I’m mystified by how people are drawn to it. Oh, the weird and unexplained forces of WordPress…

    I had a quick gander at your “15 tips” and also your “Refusing help” posts. Excellent stuff. As a result, I am now terrified of you. I hope you’ll call again and I’ll make sure to return the favour.

    The Irreverent Mother

    • Nothing to be terrified of!

      I found your blog the way I find all the blogs I like or commnent on…by spinning the roulette wheel under a random topic. I roamed around under the tag of “nature” and found your gorgeous and highly unlikely photo of an aurora borealis in…Ireland? Who knew? Now, I do!

      • Lovely. Well I’m glad of it. I read O’Casey’s play last week and came across “the aroree boree allis” and it stuck.

        Ireland is 53 degrees north, you know – about the same as Newfoundland, so we are quite northern. If we didn’t have that lovely Gulf Stream keeping us warm we’d be an ice box!

        Take care.

  30. Hi Caitlin,

    I love your book Malled -I wondered if you would like to write something to appear on our PLAZA London blog – a blog concerning public space, especially malls. It would be great for you to talk about your book, we have a wide readership and I think your sense of humor would be well received! Have a look at http://www.plazalondon.wordpress.com and let us know what you think!

    PLAZA

  31. Just purchased a copy of Malled on my Kindle! Can’t wait to dig into tonight before bed. :)

  32. Thank you for stopping by my page, I’m glad you did because I found that “Malled” is something I’d love to read! I worked in one of H&M’s stores in a mall for a few years, almost made me hate people at the end ;)

  33. Nice to come across your blog, and thanks for your recent comments.

  34. Thank you for commenting on my blog post…it is so interesting to learn how other countries such as Canada compare to the U.S. when it comes to women “bullying” other women with their critical blog posts and blog comments.
    Your blog is fabulous…I have a connection to Tarrytown…where I went to Marymount High School in the 60’s. What a bucolic and carefree time it was in my life. I grew up on the Hudson…
    I am pleased to make your acquaintance in the blog world and look forward to your book and future posts.

    • Do you know that Marymount (two blocks from my home, where I taught a class one semester) became a campus of Fordham and is now owned by EF, a Swedish language school? Now it’s filled with students who come here from all over the world to learn English.

      Canadians, in general, are far less amused by and interested in conflict than Americans, in every way. It’s a major cultural difference.

      • Oh…how things change. It was a wonderful time for me…and there were many students at my high school from South America. I also went to their elementary school which was a boarding school at the time and students came from Cuba back in the days before Castro. Such a beautiful area of Westchester Co., Pocantico Hills was also one of my favorite spots as well. Thanks for filling me in on the changes. :)

  35. How neat to hear a bit of local history! The campus looks probably very much as you knew it…no new construction and nothing removed or changed externally.

  36. Caitlin, thanks for stopping by http//theviewfromhere.ca and leaving your mark :-) Wow! You ARE accomplished and a former Torontionian to boot. Two big checks. I love what you have going on here and I am glad the guys can stop by to chat occasionally.
    I always hope to build strong relationships wherever I am and very much hope this connection leads us in that direction

  37. I have enjoyed many of your posts and therefore have nominated you for the versatile blogger award. More details at the link below…

    http://kmstoffel.wordpress.com/wp-admin/post.php?post=266&action=edit&message=6&postpost=v2

  38. You are my new heroine :)

  39. Sorry I missed the recent Freshly Pressed moment. I loved that blog, but all your writing makes me think and feel a little differently than if I hadn’t read it. Congratulations!

  40. Do you have a “Follow” Widget on your blog somewhere so I can follow you?

  41. To get a “Follow” Widget

    Hover cursor over blog name at top left of screen. A window will open up.
    Go to “Widgets”.
    Find the “Follow” widget (widgets are in alpha order)
    Hold mouse cursor down on widget and “drag” it to your sidebar. I put it on the top. Just below the “search” widget so people could find it easily.

  42. Congrats on your memoir! That looks exactly like the type of book I like to read, so I will check it out for sure. I am in the process of (re)writing my own memoir. It requires such enormous effort- I imagine it must be very satisfying for you to see the finished product :)

  43. Alright. Malled just went on my reading list. I work retail currently, and sometimes you just need to know that other people understand what it’s like.

  44. Would love to hear more about “– driving from Perpignan to Istanbul with a French truck driver.”

  45. I just heard your YouTube keynote speech. It was excellent and I will check out the book despite never having worked in retail–or perhaps because I have not. I knew very little about you when I first “followed” and now have great regard for your writing and impact. Thanks for your erudite and fun blog as well!

    • Thanks so much! I’m delighted you made the time to watch the video (which was aimed at retail students) but there’s a lot in Malled that any shopper can relate to.

  46. Clicking around the blogsphere and found your blog. I do love funny women, and love love funny women writers. Will be back to read your work.

  47. Hello Career journalist and author. This blog complete informative and nice for me i m still student to learn all the topic what`s going on in this Earth and environment your site is amazing and All post are well written and i really love to read posts..

  48. I’ve been following your blog for awhile and really enjoy it and wanted to let you know I nominated you for a Very Inspiring Blogger Award. Thank you for your contributions. All the best.

  49. […]    Jodie Llewellyn     Don Charisma      Callum McLaughlin     Tipsy Lit     Broadside     20/20 Hines Sight        D. Marie ProKop     Writer’s Notebook       […]

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 12,098 other followers

%d bloggers like this: