Original Written Fiction : Early Writing

The Girl That Was Not Pretty [189?]

A short story titled " The Girl That Was Not Pretty" written by a young Frances Parkinson Keyes

Her writing career can be determined by her early writing during her childhood. Frances Parkinson Keyes claims that her writing began at the age of 7, but it is also said that she didn’t write alone.[1] She always had a teacher along side with her through the process of her learning how to be an author. On her own, Keyes wrote an undated story as a child called “The Girl That Was Not Pretty”[2] which could be identified as writing from her childhood. This story reflects Keyes’s start of her independent storytelling without any guidance from her teacher. It's a rough draft, with corrections made by her to the opening of the short story, and it’s the beginning to the development of her learning what her voice was as an author.   

FPK's Personal Bibliography Journal of Books Read, 1902 and 1903

Her personal bibliography that kept record of the books she has read, who suggested, and her comments and thoughts about the stories. 


As a growing author of her time, Frances was learning on how to be creative and identifying her rhetoric. She kept a Bibliography that was started in 1902. Keyes kept it as a registrar of all the books that she read. Not only did she record the books, she kept record of who suggested it to her, the time she read it, and her own opinion about the book after she was finished reading. Her keeping a record book shows her growth as a writer. Always reading and expanding her knowledge on how other authors wrote. This helped her further in creating a voice for her storytelling. Not only was the Bibliography kept as a book registrar, she used it at the same [in 1902] as a letter registrar as well. Keyes noted the letters whom she received from, the time she received it, and her comment about the letter.  






Early Draft of "Lady Blanche's Farm"

The early draft of Frances Parkinson Keyes's "Lady Blanche's Farm".

As her career started to take off after her first novel was published, “The Old Gray Homestead”, in 1919, she kept on writing more books. Her years with Houghton Mifflin Company in the beginning to become a notable author of her time, she wrote two books that were never published by the Bostonian Company. It was said they weren’t very strong enough to capture the attention of readers.

This is the original draft of “Lady Blanche Farm”, the second story she sent to the publishing company that was rejected by the company. In the draft, corrections were made to the first chapter of the story. She strongly believed this story need to be shared with her fans. She carried the draft with her until a different publishing company later on her career published it.  




[1] Interview with Frances Parkinson Keyes – CatholicAuthors.com

[2] Original Draft of France’s early writing