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About Ryan

Ryan Kelly is a former reporter and is a decorated Iraq War veteran. He commanded 100 soldiers and piloted Blackhawk helicopters in the war. He was awarded the Bronze Star for his service. He also worked at Ground Zero during recovery operations after the September 11 attacks.

An award-winning writer, his work has been published by The New Yorker, Samuel French, Random House, The Denver Post, The Associated Press, The New York Times, The National Endowment for the Arts, The PEN Center, and Pearson among others.

He was featured in Lawrence Bridges’ documentary Muse of Fire: Operation Homecoming with Ray Bradbury and Kevin Costner. Ryan’s work was inducted into the National Archives, The Library of Congress, and read into the Congressional Record. He has written TV pilots, screenplays and is a military consultant for TV and film. His stage plays have been performed in New York, Los Angeles, Denver, and London. Ryan holds an MFA from Columbia University.

Ryan Kelly
Ryan Kelly

Captain Kelly at 30

Ryan Kelly with Jarvis

Ryan and his service dog, Jarvis

Works

Publications

  • The New Yorker, excerpts, March 2013,
  • Letters from Iraq, letters, The New Yorker, Summer Fiction Issue
  • Was, Samuel French, Inc.
  • Writing the Wartime Experience, A Guide for Writers, National Endowment for the Arts
  • Operation Homecoming, letters, Congressional Record, House of Representatives
  • Veterans and the NEA, academic essay, Congressional Testimony, U.S. House of Representatives
  • Literature for Life, featured author, Pearson
  • Steel Springs, Dramatists, (2014)

Films

Muse of Fire: Operation Homecoming, documentary.
• Featured author with Richard Bausch, Mark Bowden, Ray Bradbury, Andrew Carroll, Kevin Costner, Dana Gioia, Stephen Lang, Marilyn Nelson, Jeff Shaara, Richard Wilbur.

The Green Dress, short film.
• Columbia University, New York, NY.

The Artist, Feature-length screenplay.
• Tribeca Film Center, New York NY.
• National semi-finalist (top 3%), Chesterfield Writers Film Project, Los Angeles, CA.

Theatrical Productions

Rendition, full-length play
• Bleeker Street Theater, At War: American Playwrights Respond to Iraq, Fire Dept. Theater, Co., with Jose Rivera, David Strathairn, Janeane Garofalo, New York, NY.
• National Arts Center, New York, NY, as part of At War: American Playwrights Respond to Iraq, Fire Dept. Theater, Co., with Jose Rivera, David Strathairn, Janeane Garofalo, New York, NY.
• LARK Play Development center, New York, NY.
• Denver Center for Performing Arts, Jones Theater, Stories on Stage, Denver CO.
• Playwrights Showcase of the Western Region, Denver, CO.

Steel Springs, 10-minute play
• Kennedy Center, American College Theater Festival, national winner, Washington D.C.,
• Jerry Herman Ring Theater, 10TH Anniversary Summer Shorts Festival,
• Miami, FL.
• Broward Center Amaturo Theater, 10TH Anniversary Summer Shorts Festival
• Ft. Lauderdale, FL.
• University of Nevada – Las Vegas, American College Theater Festival,
• Las Vegas, NV (regional winner).
• Fullerton Theater, West Coast Ten-Minute Play Contest, national winner, Fullerton CA.
• Vanguard Theater Company, Six at Eight Ten-Minute Play Festival,
• Los Angeles, CA.
• Orange County Theatre, Orange County Playwrights Alliance Play Contest, national winner, Fullerton, CA.
• NBC Here Space Theatre, Eight x Ten Play Festival, New York, NY.

Was, a full-length play
• DR2 Theatre, New York, NY, with Mary Louise Burke.
• Actors Theater of Louisville, Humana Festival, Louisville, KY (finalist).
• City Stage Ensemble Theatre, Denver CO.

The Great Dane, full-length play
• Los Angeles Theater Center, Wordsmiths Playwriting Workshop,
Los Angeles, CA.
• Playwright’s Inc. Theatre, Denver, CO.

In The Mouth of a Blackbird, one-act play
• NBC Here Theatre, NBC HERE SPACE Theater.

Paper Tigers, 10-minute play
• Battersea Arts Centre (BAC), Eight Ten Minute plays, Lavender Hill, London.
• Columbia University Black Box Theater, New York, NY.

The Agreement, a ten-minute play
• Columbia University Black Box Theater, New York, NY.

The Bell Ringer, 10-minute play
• Columbia University Black Box Theater, New York, NY.

The Composers, 10-minute play
• Columbia University Black Box Theater, New York, NY

The Dinner Guest, 10-minute play
• Columbia University Black Box Theater, New York, NY.

How Things Came to Be, 10-minute play.
• Columbia University Black Box Theater, New York, NY.

Song of a Lark, 10-minute play
• Columbia University Black Box Theater, New York, NY.

Essays

This is not a Game
• Random House, New York, NY.
• New Yorker Magazine, New York, NY.

A Look at Who is Fighting this War
• Random House, New York, NY.
• New Yorker Magazine, New York, NY.

Anthologies

Literature for Life
• Pearson Education Inc., New Jersey, NJ.

A Guide for Writers
• National Endowment for the Arts, Washington, DC.

Other Writing Honors & Awards

  • Winner, People’s Choice Award for Writing, Cheyenne, WY
  • Honorable Mention, Wyoming Press Association, Best Feature Writing
  • Winner Third Place, Colorado Press Association, Best Sports Column

Other Military Honors & Awards

  • Bronze Star Medal
  • Army Commendation Medal
  • Army Achievement Medal
  • Army Reserve Components Achievement Medal (3rd award)
  • Global War on Terrorism Service Medal
  • Iraq Campaign Medal
  • Armed Forces Reserve Medal with ‘M’ device and Bronze Hourglass
  • National Defense Service Ribbon (2nd award)
  • Army Service Ribbon
  • Overseas Service Ribbon
  • Sikorsky Aircraft Rescue Award
  • George C. Marshall Award for Leadership
  • Nominated for the Air Medal and the Meritorious Service Medal
  • Airborne Badge
  • Aviation Badge

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