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Karen Bass

Karen Bass

Photo: Ellen Birkhahn

Karen has always been an avid reader and for many years reading satisfied her love of story. That changed when she was hired to manage the local library and the desire to write took root. Since then her stories and articles have been published in local newspapers, magazines and anthologies, plus a few national publications. But if you ask, she will tell you that she is primarily a novelist.Six of Karen's YA novels, and one middle grade, have been published to date. Four of her novels explore various aspects of her long-standing fascination with World War Two. Spice that up with a contemporary fiction, and a spooky supernatural, and round it out with a time travel story. Bottom line: Karen just loves stories.A fourth-generation Albertan, Karen grew up on a farm in the Peace Country, attended the University of Alberta, and received a psychology degree from the University of Victoria. After twenty-seven years in northwest Alberta, she and her husband recently pulled up stakes and headed east, excited to explore another part of Canada.

City:
Hamilton
Province:
Ontario
Genre:
Young Adult & Middle Grade novels
I write professionally in the following language(s):
English

Publications

Blood Donor. 2021, Orca Books
Two Times a Traitor. 2017, Pajama Press
The Hill. 2016, Pajama Press
Uncertain Soldier. 2015, Pajama Press
Graffiti Knight. 2013, Pajama Press
Drummer Girl. 2011, Coteau Books
Summer of Fire. 2009, Coteau Books
Run Like Jager. 2008, Coteau Books

Awards

Junior Library Guild Gold Standard Selection for Blood Donor, 2021
Junior Library Guild selection for Two Times a Traitor, 2017
Sunburst Award for YA nominee for The Hill, 2017
White Ravens selection for The Hill, 2016
OLA Best Bets Honourable Mention for The Hill, 2017
OLA Forest of Readin Red Maple Award nominee for The Hill, 2017
Geoffrey Bilson Award for Historical Fiction for Young People winner for Uncertain Soldier, 2016
IODE Violet Downey Award nominee for Uncertain Soldier, 2016
OLA Forest of Reading Red Maple Award nominee for Uncertain Soldier, 2016
Geoffrey Bilson Award for Historical Fiction for Young People winner for Graffiti Knight, 2014
R. Ross Annett Award for Children’s Literature winner (Alberta) for Graffiti Knight, 2014
USBBY Outstanding International Book for Graffiti Knight, 2015
CAA Exporting Alberta Award winner for Graffiti Knight, 2014
Bank Street Best Book for Graffiti Knight, 2015
CBC Books’ 100 YA Books That Make You Proud To Be Canadian for Graffiti Knight, 2015
Eligible for National Public Readings Program:
Yes

WITS

Are you available for public presentations and/or workshops:
Yes
Presentation Description

Examples of presentations by grade:

3 to 6: Writing Workshop – Dynamic Descriptions. A sixty-minute interactive romp that encourages students to improve their storytelling using metaphors and strong verbs & adjectives.

Two Times a Traitor: (4 to 8) pre-Confederation, history, Canadian history, 7 Years War, life in 1700s, identity, French & English conflict. Powerpoint pictures with costume/props.

The Hill: Covers identity, Indigenous stories, Indigenous folklore, Cree legend, Cree culture. Indigenous in modern society, cultural conflict, economic disparity. Powerpoint pictures.

5 to 12: The WWII history in Karen’s stories, with age-appropriate anecdotes. With Powerpoint pictures & props.

Uncertain Soldier: Covers identity, immigration, coming to Canada, bullying, racism, WWII, prisoners of war, living in the 1940s.

Graffiti Knight: Covers freedom of expression, protest movements, graffiti as protest, WWII, Soviet Zone, post-WWII Germany, living in war-torn countries.

Run Like Jager: Covers friendship, bullying, student exchange programs, immigration, WWII, Germany, Eastern Front in WWII.

Blood Donor:  “How I Learned to Love Outlining” Covers story ideas, writing methods, writing craft, teen homelessness, thrillers, YA, reluctant readers.

Presentation Length:
1 hour
Genre:
Children's Fiction, Historical Fiction, Writing Process
Grades:
Ages 10 to adult.
Audience Size:
Any
Presenation:
$275 for one session, $500 for two, $800 for a full day (max four sessions) plus mileage. Shorter virtual presentations available at a reduced rate.
Workshop Description:

Sample of workshop topics: characters, plot, dialogue, writing action. Other topics upon request.

Workshop Length:
1 or 2 hours
Workshop Intended Audience:
Grades 7 to 12 & Adult
Workshop Audience Size:
20
Workshop Fee:
$275 for one session, $500 for two, $800 for a full day (max four sessions) plus mileage. Shorter virtual presentations available at a reduced rate.
Are you available for school visits?:
Yes
School Presentation Description:

Examples of presentations by grade:

3 to 6: Writing Workshop – Dynamic Descriptions. A sixty-minute interactive romp that encourages students to improve their storytelling using metaphors and strong verbs & adjectives.

Two Times a Traitor: (4 to 8) pre-Confederation, history, Canadian history, 7 Years War, life in 1700s, identity, French & English conflict. Powerpoint pictures with costume/props.

The Hill: Covers identity, Indigenous stories, Indigenous folklore, Cree legend, Cree culture. Indigenous in modern society, cultural conflict, economic disparity. Powerpoint pictures.

5 to 12: The WWII history in Karen’s stories, with age-appropriate anecdotes. With Powerpoint pictures & props.

Uncertain Soldier: Covers identity, immigration, coming to Canada, bullying, racism, WWII, prisoners of war, living in the 1940s.

Graffiti Knight: Covers freedom of expression, protest movements, graffiti as protest, WWII, Soviet Zone, post-WWII Germany, living in war-torn countries.

Run Like Jager: Covers friendship, bullying, student exchange programs, immigration, WWII, Germany, Eastern Front in WWII.

Blood Donor:  “How I Learned to Love Outlining” Covers story ideas, writing methods, writing craft, teen homelessness, thrillers, YA, reluctant readers.

School Presentation Length:
1 hour
School Intended Audience:
Grades 5 to 12.
School Audience Size:
Any
School Presentation Fee:
$275 for one session, $500 for two, $800 for a full day (max four sessions) plus mileage. Shorter virtual presentations available at a reduced rate.
Interested in participating in the Union’s Ontario Writers-in-the-Schools program:
Yes
Interested in participating in the Northern Ontario WITS program:
Yes