Assistant Professor of English
Kelly Jacobson always loved writing. She was 5 when she wrote, illustrated, and published her first book. Book two, about a teddy bear, followed in third grade.
“I just wanted to tell stories,” she said.
All grown up and the author of several literary books, Jacobson stumbled into young adult fiction by accident. She was talking with a group of queer young adults about her first novel, “Cairo in White,” when they asked if she wrote young adult fiction, too. The answer was no.
“And they were like, ‘We feel like there are no books that represent us,'” Jacobson recalled. “And I was like, ‘I’m an author. I can fix this problem.’ And then I changed my whole career.”
Since then, Jacobson has written “Tink and Wendy” and “Robin and Her Misfits,” queer YA retellings of the classic stories of “Peter Pan” and “Robin Hood.” Her works are “complete reimaginings” and she doesn’t “feel beholden to the original.”
Jacobson, who grew up in Pennsylvania, worked multiple jobs all through her undergraduate career and was a full-time events coordinator while getting her master’s at night. Later, she completed her PhD in between giving birth to her two daughters.
After a year as a visiting assistant professor and writing center director at the University of West Alabama, she and her family came to Lynchburg — a dream job.
Here, she teaches multiple genres, oversees the student literary publication, and is active in the queer affinity group on campus.
“I always say that I don’t understand how I’m getting paid to do this job because I love it so much!” she said.