K J Orr studied English Language and Literature at the University of St Andrews, and won the Dan Hemingway Prize in 1996 for her story, My Parents Had Always Read To Each Other At Night.
She then graduated with Distinction from the MA in Creative Writing at UEA in 2007, and went on to win AHRC funding for a collection of short stories, which she developed as part of a PhD on the short story form at the University of Chichester.
In 2016 she won the £15,000 BBC National Short Story Award for her short story Disappearances, published in her Light Box collection. She has also won the Asham Award and the Bridport Prize. Her work has been broadcast on BBC Radio Four, and published in The Dublin Review, The White Review, The Sunday Times magazine and several anthologies. She is also a playwright, and in 2005 won a Theatre West New Writing Award.
In 2016, her first major collection of short stories Light Box was published by Daunt Books