Karen Krossing wrote comics and poetry as a kid and dreamed of becoming a published writer. Today, she is the author of many books for young readers, including picture books One Tiny Bubble and Sour Cakes, and novels Punch Like a Girl, Bog, and Cut the Lights. She holds an MFA in Writing for Children and Young Adults from the Vermont College of Fine Arts and regularly teaches writing workshops. Watch for her upcoming middle-grade novel Monster vs. Boy with Charlesbridge Publishing in 2023. Karen lives with her family in Toronto on the traditional territory of the Huron-Wendat, Haudenosaunee, and Anishinabeg and the treaty lands of the Mississaugas of the Credit.
Karen delivers customized writing workshops for all ages – either in person or virtual. Workshops typically include a discussion of specific story-writing techniques as well as inspirational writing exercises designed to generate story ideas and practise particular techniques. Karen’s technique promotes intuitive writing using a variety of stimulating activities, including word games, masks, story dice, photos, and character games. Writing is then shared through positive peer discussion using anti-racist feedback techniques.
The goal of Karen’s book talks is to promote literacy. They may include how she evolved as a writer, the writing life, an introduction to the work, a short reading, a discussion of issues raised by the reading, an oral storywriting exercise involving the audience, and questions and answers. She introduces her books by discussing how they were written, how a story is structured, and the writing techniques used. Her goal is to inspire audience members to share her passion for reading and writing.
For grades K to 2, Karen will showcase her picture books Sour Cakes and One Tiny Bubble with a focus on social-emotional learning, community, and prehistory evolution (STEM).
For grades 4 to 6, Karen will showcase her middle-grade novels: Bog, The Castle Key, and possibly Cut the Lights. Issues such as tolerance and believing in oneself may be discussed.
For grades 7 to 12, Karen’s novels and short stories for teens will be highlighted, including Punch Like a Girl, Cut the Lights, The Yo-Yo Prophet, Pure, and Take the Stairs. Issues such as bullying, depression, social justice, and prejudice may be explored. Performance and visual arts are also featured in these titles.
Book talks may be in person or virtual.