Nancy Hayes Kilgore

I live and write in Burlington, Vermont. Formerly a parish pastor (Presbyterian and Congregational,) I have been writing fiction and essays and practicing as a pastoral counselor (psychotherapist) for over twenty years. In my therapy practice I have incorporated spirituality and creativity and have trained in and used mindfulness-based cognitive therapy. Most recently my work in creative writing, spirituality, meditation and psychology has coalesced in leading classes and workshops, as well as coaching individual writers.

In my fiction writing, I like to integrate the psychological and spiritual, not through exposition or talking about the issues, but through exploring how these dimensions play out in the ways my characters live their lives.


BITTER MAGICa novel based on the story of Isobel Gowdie, 17th confessed witch in Scotland.

WILD MOUNTAINa novel about small-town Vermont, a community in conflict over gay marriage, and a midlife love story.

SEA LEVELa novel. An artist coming home and a clergywoman starting at her first church in a small coastal town in 1980 when women were first breaking into ministry.

In Search of Isobel, in The Bottle Imp, the Association for Scottish Literary Studies–a travel piece on my trip to Scotland to research BITTER MAGIC.

A Thousand Half Loves, short story, winner of the Vermont Writers Prize 2016, Vermont Magazine, March-April, 2016

Reflections on a Train, a Vermont Public Radio Commentary, February 2015. Kilgore: Commuting By Train

Writing Fellowships and Residencies

Virginia Centre for the Creative Arts, Vermont Studio Center, Turkey Land Cove Foundation, Louisville Pastoral Institute, Silver Bay YMCA of the Adirondacks Ministry Program, Writers in Paradise.


DMin (Doctor of Ministry) in Religion, Culture and Personality, Boston University
Certificate in mindfulness-based cognitive therapy
Certificate in Creative Writing, Radcliffe College Writing Seminars
MDiv (Master of Divinity), Pittsburgh Theological Seminary
BA, Comparative Literature, Columbia University
Vassar College