From the early days when her father read Sherlock Holmes to her and her little brother or spun fantastical yarns about vampires chasing him at the Jersey shore, Kirkley knew she wanted to tell stories. After growing up in the Main Line area of Philadelphia and attending The Shipley School in Bryn Mawr, Pennsylvania, she earned a BA in English and Cinema Studies from Oberlin College and studied film production at NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts. She moved to Hangzhou, China in 2005, where she wrote, taught English, and learned Mandarin for more than two years. She has an MA in English from Temple University and is a former Leighton Artists Colony writing fellow at Banff Centre for Arts and Creativity. Her work has been published in Turk’s Head Review‘s best pieces of the year, 34th Parallel, The Write Launch, and Extract(s). Currently, she is at work revising an alternate history novel with fantastical elements. She is also at work on a memoir of her family and her travels throughout China. Her sister likes to call Kirkley “Lady Magellan.” Kirkley has taught writing to university students in Boston, Philadelphia, and throughout China, including at the University of Pennsylvania, Drexel University, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), China Jiliang University, and Bentley University.