Karen S. Bennett
As a kid who was always busy with some creative pursuit, it was obvious that Karen Bennett knew she would grow up to be some sort of artist. When she wasn’t drawing or babysitting, she competed in swimming and diving events, winning a few medals. Years later, she wrote about it.
As a teen, Karen purchased a cello from her babysitting earnings, started lessons, and shortly became an orchestra musician. She attended art school in NYC and found work as a boardwalk charcoal-portrait artist. She continued playing in orchestras and making art, of one form or another, into adulthood. Throughout her childhood and adolescence, Karen gravitated to the written word, later documenting experiences and crafting narratives—if only for herself.
After retirement, Karen wrote about her years of marriage, raising three children, and going through divorce (and annulment). Her life story wended its way through trials and triumphs, from being on welfare to returning to school and becoming a nurse practitioner: a career that lasted over three decades. As an NP, Karen worked in jails and prisons, including New York’s infamous Rikers Island Jail. Her most distant travels took her to St. Petersburg, South Africa, and Vietnam. Karen continues singing, baking, and writing, writing, writing about her diverse experiences. From humble and happy beginnings in Pennsylvania, Karen finds herself in humble and happy surroundings in Baltimore, Maryland.
Winning the occasional award—and getting published—has given Karen the push to finally call herself, at last: a writer.
First place in 2006 in Maryland Writers’ Association (MWA) for a novel, Natural Life, No Parole. This book has been renamed The Dictionary Defense.
Short story award in 2009 MWA for the story, “The Monument.”
Three unpublished novels and one novella finished as finalists and semifinalists in national fiction contests.