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Karen Krossing

Karen Krossing

Photo: Helen Tansey

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. Karen lives with her family in Toronto on the traditional territory of the Huron-Wendat, Haudenosaunee, and Anishinabeg and the treaty lands and territory of the Mississaugas of the Credit.

Fiction and nonfiction for children and teens (picture books, novels, short stories)


One Tiny Bubble: The Story of Our Last Universal Common Ancestor. 2022, Owlkids Books, illustrated by Dawn Lo
Sour Cakes. 2021, Owlkids Books, illustrated by Anna Kwan
Punch Like a Girl. 2015, Orca Book Publishers
Bog. 2014, Fitzhenry & Whiteside
Cut the Lights. 2013, Orca Book Publishers
The Yo-Yo Prophet. 2011, Orca Book Publishers
Pure. 2005, Second Story Press
Take the Stairs. 2003, Second Story Press
The Castle Key. 2000, Dundurn Press
“Profanity” in Cleavage: Breakaway Fiction for Real Girls. 2008, Sumach Press
“Dragon’s Breath” in Opening Tricks. 1998, Thistledown Press


Ontario Library Association Best Bets selection for Sour Cakes, 2021
Joan F. Kaywell Books Save Lives Award, Runner-Up for Punch Like a Girl, 2017
Best Book for Teens selection, Canadian Children's Book Centre for Punch Like a Girl, 2015
SCBWI Crystal Kite Award for Canada for Bog, 2015
Ontario Library Association Best Bets selection for Bog, 2014
Best Book for Kids selection, Canadian Children's Book Centre for Bog, 2014
Ontario Library Association Best Bets Honourable Mention for The Yo-Yo Prophet , 2011
Best Book for Teens selection, Canadian Children's Book Centre for The Yo-Yo Prophet , 2011
Ontario Library Association White Pine Award nominee for Take the Stairs, 2004
Eligible for National Public Readings Program:


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

Karen Krossing offers in-person and virtual visits to schools, libraries, festivals, and conferences, including book talks, writing workshops, lectures, and keynotes. She loves meeting readers and writers of all ages.

Workshop Description:

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.

Workshop Length:
1 hour to several sessions, depending on content
Workshop Intended Audience:
Ages 9 and up
Workshop Audience Size:
Maximum 30 participants, although larger groups can be accommodated
Are you available for school visits?:
School Presentation Description:

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.

School Presentation Length:
1 hour
School Intended Audience:
Grades K to 12
School Audience Size:
Single or multiple classes
Interested in participating in the Union’s Ontario Writers-in-the-Schools program:
Interested in participating in the Northern Ontario WITS program:

Equity Initiative

As part of the Union’s Equity Implementation Plan, we are committed to increasing awareness of authors who are Black, Indigenous, racialized, LGBTQI2S, or living with a disability. This author identifies as: