Author Karen E. Dabney, a native Detroiter, possesses a BFA from The University of Michigan and a BA from the University of Detroit Mercy.
She has been/is involved with youth as a speaker, mentor, teacher, recreation supervisor, “cheer leader” and friend.
Her publications as author or artist include: 44th Barack H. Obama The Commemorative Edition, Michigan Chronicle, For My People newspaper, Journal of Non-White Concerns, The University of Michigan Institute for Social Research Newsletter, The University of Michigan Dearborn’s The Michigan Journal, To the Poet in You, and Necessary Roughness: a self-published book of poetry.
Karen attended writing workshops with the Voices of Our Nation’s Arts Foundation (VONA) and The Hurston/Wright Foundation. She is a member of the International Reading Association, National Association of Teachers of English, National Conference of Artists, The Southern Poverty Law Center, Motown Writers’ Network, Broadside Poets’ Theatre, Concept East, Project B.A.I.T., Urban Theater Magazine, and Detroit Unity Poets’ and Authors’ Society (DUPAAS).
The Magic Pencil is Karen’s first novel for young adults. Although the book is geared toward the “tween” crowd, it is enjoyed by people of all ages. Through the story, Karen has inspired, uplifted, and captivated reluctant and uninspired readers. Her intentions have always been to stem the tide of youth falling through the cracks in life. The Magic Pencil imparts means and methods to increase their skills for successful navigation and mastery through self-determination and reliance. These qualities are fostered within the story by its empowering effect on the reader/listener.
Karen feels she was born with a pencil in her hand. She wrote and illustrated her first “real” book, Unhappiness Is, at 14 years of age. The book sheds a comedic light on everyday situations and challenges and is appreciated by all who have read or listened to it. An updated version of the book’s illustrations is in progress. Karen is the owner of Dabs & Company; an organization dedicated to promoting literacy and keeping minds ‘lit’.