Kelley Benham French, will join the faculty of the Indiana University Media School (which launches July 1) on August 1 as a professor of practice.
Kelley Benham is an award-winning writer and editor, who previously worked at the Tampa Bay Times, with a special interest in narrative writing and bioethics. Her most recent project, a three-part series about her daughter Juniper, born barely viable at 1 pound 4 ounces, was a finalist for the 2013 Pulitzer Prize in feature writing. Benham discovered journalism at 15 at Poynter’s High School Writer’s Camp and later attended the University of Florida on a Poynter Fund Scholarship. She taught high school journalism for three years, then earned a master’s degree at the University of Maryland’s Philip Merrill College of Journalism, where she studied with the legendary Gene Roberts and Jon Franklin. She joined the then-St. Petersburg Times in 2002 as a beat reporter in a small bureau, where she wrote memorably about a rooster attack. As a feature writer she reported from a delivery room, the Florida death chamber and from at least five strip clubs in two states. She covered Hurricane Katrina and wrote Terri Schiavo’s obituary. She is the winner of the Ernie Pyle Award for Human Interest Writing, the National Headliner Award, the American Association of Sunday and Feature Editors awards for short feature and general feature, the Green Eyeshade Award and a regional Emmy. She has run the paper’s enterprise team and edited its Floridian feature section. She is the editor of Winter’s Tale, a 2009 finalist for the Pulitzer Prize, and For Their Own Good, a finalist for the 2010 Pulitzer Prize and winner of the Dart Award and the Casey Medal. She has taught regularly at Poynter and at writing conferences and universities from Alaska to South Africa.