Kelley Benham has been a writer and editor at the Tampa Bay Times since 2003. She grew up in Florida, taught high school journalism, then earned a master’s degree in journalism from the University of Maryland, where she flunked Jon Franklin’s class on narrative writing. At the Times, she covered local news for six months, then became a general assignment feature writer. She has reported from the delivery room and the death chamber, and from at least five strip clubs in two states. She is the winner of numerous awards for her work, including the Ernie Pyle Award for Human Interest Writing, the National Headliner Award, the Green Eyeshade Award and the American Association of Sunday and Feature Writers awards for general feature and short feature. As Enterprise Editor, she edited two series that were finalists for the Pulitzer Prize: "Winter’s Tale" in 2009 and "For Their Own Good" in 2010. She teaches regularly at the Poynter Institute and has taught at conferences and newsrooms from Alaska to South Africa.
She is married to former Times journalist Thomas French, who won the Pulitzer Prize for Angels and Demons in 1998.