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Karen Connelly

Karen Connelly

Prefer not to disclose
Eligible for National Public Readings Program:


Presentation Description

Typically, I tell students about my travels and living experiences abroad. I have lived and worked for long periods of time in Thailand, Burma, Greece, Spain, and France. I often solicit questions and begin a discussion with the kids, if time allows. Then I read from my work. I am an excellent reader and have presented my work in festivals, workshops, reading series, and writing conferences across Canada, in the U.S., in Asia, and in various countries in Europe and the Middle East.

After my reading, the students are encouraged to ask questions. We often get into interesting discussions about living in different cultures, feeling divided between different cultures, speaking other languages, and the difficulties and joys of living abroad. Much of my writing is focused in way or another on human rights and censorship issues, which I can focus on or minimize according to the school's needs. I believe that students are citizens, and have a responsibility to learn about and act upon the principles of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. This can be applied in a very direct way to discussions about bullying, as dictatorial governments are organizations of bullies. To frame a political discussion in this way is very helpful in getting kids to understand that the people who suffer under corrupt and violent regimes are just like them--people who want to live free, healthy, and safe lives.

Presentation Length:
It can be tailored to the needs of the school and the class level. For older students, an hour is a good length. Younger children (under 10) can get a lot out of a 40-45 minute session without getting bored.
Fiction, Nonfiction, Poetry
While my writing is considered 'adult' literature, I have material that is engaging to grade school audiences. I've read and workshopped with kids from Kindergarten up to Grade 12. My bk. Touch the Dragon is a high school text in some provinces.
Audience Size:
I am fine with small, intimate audiences or large groups.
Workshop Description:

Depending on the genre, I tailor my workshops to the ages and needs of the kids, as well as taking into consideration time constraints and the teacher's specific needs. I have taught creative writing to students and adults for 20 years, and am a relaxed, fun, enthusiastic, and very professional educator.


contact me directly at