Website of Children's Author Karen Autio

About Me

Karen Autio was born in Fort William (now part of Thunder Bay), and grew up in Nipigon, Ontario, on the northern shore of Lake Superior. As a creative, horse-crazy child, she longed for a horse of her own. Karen’s favourite books were Black Beauty, Album of Horses, The Black Stallion, Hardy Boys, and the Dr. Seuss Beginner’s Dictionary. Around the age of nine she began writing stories just so that she could illustrate them.

Karen still likes to keep company with words, whether as a writer, editor, reader, or calligrapher. In her writing, she wants to present authentic historical settings and characters. One of the best parts of writing is when those characters become so “real” that they start directing the story!

Karen also likes to collect objects with stories, such as a wind-up watch that’s older than she is and an antique desk that might have secret compartments. She loves to travel—she’s visited Finland twice!—and has explored Europe, Singapore, Zimbabwe, Zambia, and many areas of North America. Karen now lives in Kelowna, British Columbia, with Okanagan Lake and apple orchards nearby. Between author visits to schools to share her passion for researching history and for writing, Karen is working on her next book.

Karen Autio

Author Information Sheet
June 2016 Word Award for Children's Novel (Winner) for KAH-LAN THE ADVENTUROUS SEA OTTER
January 2016 Green Earth Book Award for Children's Fiction (Nominee) for KAH-LAN THE ADVENTUROUS SEA OTTER
June 2014 Arthur Ellis Award for Best Juvenile/YA Crime Book (Finalist) for SABOTAGE
Spring 2014 SABOTAGE listed in the Canadian Children's Book Centre Best Books for Kids & Teens
April 2014 2015 Manitoba Young Readers' Choice Award (Nominee) for SABOTAGE
May 2009 Chocolate Lily Book Award (Nominee) for SAARA'S PASSAGE
June 2006 Chocolate Lily Book Award (Nominee) for SECOND WATCH
May 2000
May 2002
British Columbia Festival of the Arts — Literary Arts Program (children’s writing) — one of twelve delegates selected by jury, based on excerpts  from SECOND WATCH


CANSCAIP Canadian Society of Children’s Authors, Illustrators and Performers
CWILL-BC Children’s Writers and Illustrators of British Columbia Society
CCBC Canadian Children’s Book Centre


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