Karen Barnett is the award-winning author of four novels, and she enjoys speaking at churches, libraries, business groups, women’s events, schools, and Christian writing conferences.
Below is a sampling of some of her favorite subjects, but she’s open to other requests as well. If you have questions or would like to invite Karen to speak, click the “contact” tab on the top menu. There is also a short speaking sample at the bottom of the page.
For Churches or Women’s Groups:
- How Big is Your God?
I was never very good at trusting God with the big issues in my life. Sure, I’d send up little balloon prayers (God, help me with_____), but I rarely expected Him to answer. That all changed when my five-year-old taught me an unforgettable lesson of faith.
- A Tiny Teacup of Blessing
“It’s okay, God. I can do it myself.” When I first started writing, I had a small vision of what I might achieve under my own power. How did God help me stretch my goals?
- Beautiful Child of God
This discussion of God’s grace was designed for a mixed audience of adults and children. Sometimes we think our sins have stained our lives beyond help, but our Heavenly Father is ready and waiting to make us new. (Hear a sample below.)
For Libraries, Schools, and Community Organizations
- From Idea to the Finished Novel
Everyone seems to be writing a novel these days. I read a statistic once that said 97% of people who start writing a book never finish. How do you become part of the 3%? Once you get done, how do you get published?
- The Author’s Life: Dream and Reality
How do you picture an author’s day? Typing quietly away in a secluded cabin in the woods? A whirlwind book tour? Lines of eager readers waiting for you autograph? Spending all day in your pajamas while drinking lots of coffee? Which of these is true, and which is myth?
- Sharing our Stories
Our lives are full of lessons that should be shared, but how does one get started? Whether you’re interested in writing a memoir for your grandchildren or you dream of being a fiction writer, this is a good place to begin.
For Fiction Writers
- Launching Out
First book? From contract to release day and beyond–how to build the excitement in your audience.
- Making Every Scene Count
Learn how to involve your reader into each scene from the first line until the last. Includes details on grounding, character voice, sensory detail, and writing powerful hooks.
- What Disney Songs Can Teach Us About Great Storytelling
From “I’ve Got No Strings” to “I Just Can’t Wait to Be King” and “Let It Go,” Disney songs embody some of the best story-telling techniques that any writer could hope to have in their toolbox. Learn about the power of character desire, weaknesses/powers, romantic tension, dark moments, and more–all while humming some great tunes.
When I speak, I love to use story and visual aids to illustrate points. During this sample, you can hear me address a Mother’s Day “Teddy Bear Tea” at Willamette Community Church in Albany, Oregon. The audience contained a wide mixture of ages (including young kids) and a variety of church backgrounds. To tell the story of how sin separates us from God and His holiness, I mention treasured childhood toys and how sometimes bad things can happen to them (and us). As I talked, I de-stuffed a teddy bear–pulling out mounds of soiled stuffing. Next, I repacked it with clean filling, explaining how Christ makes us a new creation from the inside out. (This is a 17 minute selection from a longer talk).