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Karen Comer


Karen Comer is an author, freelance editor and writing mentor and presents writing workshops to children and adults. She teaches a ten-month online writing course and presents writing workshops to schools and holiday programs. Her work as a freelance editor includes fiction for adults and children, as well as personal development, memoir, health, wellbeing and general business books. Karen’s young adult verse novel, Grace Notes, was published by Hachette in February 2023. She wrote this during Melbourne’s six lockdowns – nowhere to go, time to write! Her middle-grade verse novel, Sunshine on Vinegar Street, was published by Allen & Unwin in June 2023. This book took her thirteen years to write and metamorphosed from a picture book to a middle-grade prose novel to a middle-grade verse novel.

Karen hopes to introduce more readers to the lyrical wonders of verse novels.

Where were you born?

I was born in Melbourne.

What other jobs have you had?

As a teenager, I worked as a babysitter, a tennis coach, a McDonalds crew member, an after-school-care coordinator, a Year 12 English tutor. As an adult, all I’ve done is work as an editor, with a brief stint in sales.

What themes are recurring in your work?

I’m interested in creativity, friendships, families, possibilities and belonging. I love using symbols to explore these themes.

What have been the highlights of your career?

I was recently the guest speaker at a school’s literature festival. The library team created a backdrop with street art vibes and my initials, and a student played her violin. Seeing the characters from Grace Notes brought to life like this was such an honour!

Where have your works been published?


What are you passionate about?

I’m passionate about creative expression in all forms!

Haven’t I seen you before?

Oh, you read an early poem of mine printed in my primary school newsletter forty years ago?



Karen was absolutely wonderful as our guest speaker for a literary event for students and parents. She shared stories full of warmth and humour, of her writing process, her publishing journey, and the inspiration for her books. Her friendly manner easily engaged the audience, who asked lots of questions after her talk.

—Julia Petricevic, Genazzano FCJ College, Head of Library and Information Services

Based on our love of the book Grace Notes, we invited Karen Comer to be the guest author for our Read with your Dad event, a student parent book-centred evening. Karen was incredible. Her presentation broadened our thinking, extended our love of literature, and her response to students’ questions was thoughtful and generous. Engaging with Karen was a joyful experience, and we hope life affords us the opportunity to work with her again.

—Helen Stower, Head of Library and Digital Services, Mount Alvernia College

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