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Kay Smith-Blum
Winner of 2023 Black Fox Lit short story contest

aka #discerningKSB

Writing is a conversation. Join me. 


VIRUS DAYS/a humorous essay series



swabs for Testing Testing post.jpg






“Ha! True-to-life and so well rendered.”


author of Failing Paris and Not by Accident: Reconstructing a Careless Life, professor at Chapman University, journalist/editor of Coast Magazine

“Wonderful essay!”


National Best-Selling author, founder Sonoma County Writers Camp, adjunct professor UCLA, Stanford, Rutgers, San Francisco Library Laureate

“Years from now, people will look back at 2020 and scratch their heads trying to imagine what the COVID-19 atmosphere must have been like. KSB summed it up perfectly with humor and grace. I laughed out loud at the spot-on observations!” 


professional editor, The Meticulous Type

Reader Reviews


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Kay Smith-Blum, named Woman Business Owner (NWWA) of 2013 and former President of the Seattle School Board (2012), is a recovering retailer who writes from her bayside perch in Seattle. Her wit, humor and resourcefulness helped her high-end retail fashion business endure multiple economic shifts in a decades-long career. She and her husband sold their company in 2016, giving KSB the opportunity to write full time.

Winner of the 2023 Black Fox Lit short story contest and a 2023 Pushcart Prize nominee, Smith-Blum is a member of the Historical Fiction Writers Group, WFWA (serving on the Scholarship committee), HistFic Feisty Women Anthology 2024, Ravenna Writers Circle, CommuterLit Writers Group, the PNWA and AWP. She has been published in over a dozen literary journals and her two novels of women's fiction, rooted in 20th Century historical facts, are now out for agent and small press review.

As a publicly elected official, she led multiple initiatives on behalf of the students of Seattle. Smith-Blum raised millions of dollars for Seattle Public Schools as a private citizen and has been active on numerous charitable boards in the Pacific Northwest. She is a well-versed public speaker and producer of public events that leverage both traditional and social media.

Smith-Blum, a marketing major at the University of Texas, chaired Downtown Seattle’s first marketing campaign and edited and published a seasonal magazine for 10 years. She co-authored the “Every Man, Every Woman” inspirational series of cards & posters, published by Schurman Fine Papers, Portal Publications and Sawdust City.

Humorous essays from Smith-Blum's "Virus Days" series may be found online at Heavy Feather Review, The Furious Gazelle, Pif Magazine, Quail Bell Magazine, Bewildering Stories and Down in the Dirt Magazine (print issue Nov 2020, Anthology 2020). “Targets” was nominated for Best of the Net 2020.


Her personal essay, "Ten Days," won the 2023 Black Fox Lit short story contest and her creative non-fiction piece, "On Edge," received a 2023 Pushcart Prize nomination. Her short fiction may be found now or in the future at Zoetic Press, Yellow Arrow Publishing, Adelaide Magazine, Change Seven Magazine, Fiction Attic Press, Grande Dame Literary,, Minerva Rising Press, The Stray Branch and Fiction Southeast. 


“Targets,” humorous essay, Virus Days series, nominated for Best of the Net 2020

Heavy Feather Review, May 2020

Down in the Dirt Magazine (reprint):

Online issue, June 2020,

Print version, November 2020,

 Late Frost collection, December 2020,

Anthology 2020,

The Furious Gazelle, (reprint) January 2021,

“Zooming Right Along,” humorous essay, Virus Days series Quail Bell Magazine, June 2020


“Testing, Testing,” humorous essay, Virus Days series Bewildering Stories, June 2020


“Syon and Me,” humorous essay, Virus Days series Pif Magazine, December 2020


“Ringed In,” flash fiction (drawn from first novel), September 2020


“The Newcomer,” flash fiction

Fiction Attic Press, January 2021, reprint June 2021


 “Desco Drive,” a short story (drawn from second novel) Minerva Rising Press, Fall 2021

Print issue


“Reach,” flash creative non-fiction Change Seven Magazine, January 2022


“Wallpaper,” a flash fiction drawn from first novel, The Stray Branch, April 2022


“On Edge,” a creative non-fiction piece, nominated for a 2023 Pushcart Prize,

Yellow Arrow Publishing, Summer 2022

“Lines,” a fictional short story, Grande Dame Literary, August 2022

"Daylight Saves," a flash creative non-fiction piece, Adelaide Magazine, December 2022

"Ten Days," a personal essay, winner of Black Fox Lit's 2023 short story contest, April 2023

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