Represented by Joyce Sweeney, The Seymour Agency
Adversity is a catalyst to brilliance.
Tori Kelley is the president and founder of Central Florida Mental Health. She practices telemedicine and writes resilient books for resilient readers all with one goal—Improve the human condition by shining light in the darkness. Tori received her Ph.D. from Barry University and her MFA from the Vermont College of Fine Arts. Tori grew up in Italy but calls Central Florida her home where she enjoys wakeboarding with her family and turning trash into art. She is a singer-songwriter and has two albums out: BEAUTIFUL PAIN and TRUE TO YOU. Tori won an SCBWI Rising Kite Award in the Young Adult category and is represented by Joyce Sweeney at The Seymour Agency.
Adventure Bio (Crazy but True):
Tori Kelley has survived an angry rattlesnake, nearly drowning (twice), crash-landing on a power paraglider, swimming with sharks and a deadly coral snake (not at the same time), and skiing a black diamond glacier in Austria during a blizzard. But she’s most proud of surviving her childhood. Books saved her life. Tori writes resilient stories for resilient readers with humor and heart for her own amusement, but if they help you on your life’s journey, that’s a bonus! Tori doesn’t just survive anymore. She thrives with her husband, two kiddos, a snuggly kitty, and a super chill bearded dragon in Central Florida, wakeboarding only occasionally over a curious alligator. She is represented by Joyce Sweeney at The Seymour Agency.
Ph.D. from Barry University (2005)
Specialization: Counseling/Marriage and Family
M.F.A. Vermont College of Fine Arts (July 2022)
Specialization: Writing for Children and Young Adults
M.S. from Stetson University (2000)
Specialization: Mental Health Counseling
B.A. from Appalachian State University (1998)
Minor: International Business
CERTIFICATIONS & LICENSES:
Licensed Mental Health Counselor
Qualified 491 Clinical Supervisor of Mental Health Counselor Interns
Qualified 491 Clinical Supervisor of Marriage and Family Therapist Interns
Certified Clinical Hypnotherapist
Tori Kelley’s manuscript, HEADBANGER, was chosen for a 2016 SCBWI Florida RISING KITE award, taking second place in the young adult category.
Vermont College of Fine Arts: Summer Residency 2022, Graduate Lecture, TAXI: Buckle Young Readers Into Your Story Car with Neuroscience
Vermont College of Fine Arts: Summer Residency 2023 Workshop Leader with David MacInnis Gill
Clinical On-Site Supervisor of Interns at Central Florida Mental Health
Clinical On-Site Supervisor of Interns, Barry University Counseling Clinic
Presented Stress Management and Mental Health Awareness Seminars for Lockheed Martin, Rotary Club International, and as a Continuing Education Provider
Feel Write seminars, Cooper Memorial Library
Panelist/Presenter, NCTE (National Council of Teachers of English): The In-Between: Bringing Hope to Mental Health Literacy, with Adina Basler, Alena Bruzas, A.S. King, Nora Shalaway Carpenter, and Ashley Wilda
Guidance Counselor at Deland High School
Guidance Counselor at Heathrow Elementary
AVID Guest Speaker, East Ridge Middle School, Florida
Janice SpencerAVID Teacher and Coordinator
Vermont College of Fine Arts, Writing for Children and Young Adults Alumnx (July 2022)
Society for Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators, Member since 2012
Association of Writers and Writing Programs, Member since 2019
WOW (West Orlando Writers) Critique Group Founder, Leader
CAT Writers Group, Founder, Member
Reading on the Highway: How Reading Young Adult and Middle Grade Novels about Trauma Can Change Our Brains through Neuroplasticity by Linking Readers through Sensory Details, Creating New Healing Pathways by Tori Leigh Kelley. Advisor: Linda Urban Fall, 2021. Submitted in partial fulfillment of the requirements of the Master of Fine Arts in Writing for Children & Young Adults Program at Vermont College of Fine Arts.
Treating Depression with Taekwondo. Advisor: Kitty Eeltink Winter 2005. Submitted in partial fulfillment of the requirements of the Doctor of Philosophy degree in Counseling and Marriage and Family Therapy Program at Barry University.
Click the Gallery below to see stories from my writing life.