Writing Workshops

Karen is adept at curriculum design and is happy to tailor her workshops toward various age groups, and toward student and teacher interests and needs. Her enthusiastic approach fosters excitement and confidence about writing. Karen includes readings from her novels, Vanish and Dog Walker.

To ensure high interaction between author and students, workshops are restricted to a single class with a maximum of 30 students. A short break in the middle is required, and sessions range from 1-2 hours depending on age group and on teacher preferences and objectives.

Some of Karen’s writing workshops include:

“Picking On Your Protagonist” (Grades 4-9)

With emphasis on creating a well-rounded main character, Karen guides students through character-based plot development possibilities. Students will encounter the twists and turns that might befall a protagonist struggling to overcome problems and to survive in his or her world—be it a contemporary, past or imaginary world.

“Stuck In An Elevator Together” (Grades 5-9)

Students role-play awkward or intense situations with their peers. The ensuing dialogues form a basis for creating tension and emotionally-charged dialogue in students’ writing. Additional space might be required beyond the classroom for the role-playing exercise.


Karen’s presentations and workshops address the following Alberta Education learning outcomes:

Language Arts:

  • Explore thoughts, ideas, feelings and experiences;
  • Comprehend and respond personally to oral texts;
  • Listen, speak and write to enhance the clarity and artistry of communication.

Social Studies:

  • Engage in critical and creative thinking
  • Engage in problem solving and conflict resolution
  • Communicate ideas and information in any informed, organized and persuasive manner.

Vanish and Dog Walker address these themes linked to Character and Citizenship Education:

  • Social responsibility;
  • Friendship;
  • Safe, caring school culture;
  • Bullying;
  • Empathy;
  • Honesty.