Karen grew up among a large, extended Irish family in Massachusetts, surrounded by stories and storytellers all of her life. She has been sharing stories professionally with a wide range of audiences since 2000 and is the founder and director of a student storytelling club in her hometown, producing their Storytelling Festival each year since 2002. She is also the author of Story by Story–Building a School Storytelling Club.
Karen is also a contributing author to the National Storytelling Network's recent publications, A Beginner's Guide to Storytelling and Telling Stories to Children. She is a member of the NSN Press Committee and writes a regular column, "Stor e Telling," for Storytelling Magazine. Known for her Internet researching skills, Karen never heard a story she couldn't find!
Karen presents her enthusiastic, interactive and illuminating workshops and residences at conferences, libraries and schools around the country. Combining her passion for literacy and storytelling in delightful programs with stories from around the world, Karen mesmerizes audiences everywhere. She strongly believes that storytelling nurtures children, offering them opportunities to succeed in ways they never imagined!
Karen is the 2011 Recipient of the National Storytelling Network Oracle Award for Service and Leaderhhip for the Northwest Region.
Karen is also the 2009 Recipient of the Brother Blue - Ruth Hill Award from LANES (League for the Advancement of New England Storytelling). Given in recognition of "the extraordinary commitment and efforts to promote a broader understanding of the art of storytelling and the support of storytellers in the development of their art. It serves, as Brother Blue, has said, “To honor those who give their lives to storytelling to change the world.”
- League for the Advancement of New England Storytelling (LANES)
- National Storytelling Network (NSN)
- Northlands Storytelling Network
- YES! (Youth, Educators and Storytelling Alliance), a special interest group of the National Storytelling Network
International Storytelling Network