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Power and Progress: Diverse Stories, Authentic Voices

Published in the June 2019 issue of Books Make a Difference magazine.
The stories we are exposed to shape our understanding of the world, our interpretation of the past, and our view of the possibilities ahead. Good stories illuminate the essence of what it means to be human. They hold the power to inspire, empower, and enlighten readers. Cultivating a collective library of stories with an authentic portrayal of diverse characters is essential and, ultimately, the responsibility of all who create, curate, and consume those stories. […]
JT Blatty at Tuscany Writeaway

JT Blatty: A New Chapter

Published in the January 2019 issue of Books Make a Difference magazine.
Photojournalist JT Blatty came to the Tuscany Writeaway with a hundred pages of an eight-year-old manuscript, hoping to discover the ending to her book. As she sat at the villa table with Writeaways leaders John and Mimi, six other writers, and the time and space to reflect and focus on her writing, JT found the breakthrough she was looking for. With the encouragement of this close community, she wrote about her life, her search for purpose, and the volunteer soldiers in Ukraine she is committed to honoring in her new Chapter One. [...]
John Yewell and Mimi Herman of Writeaways

Writeaways Workshop Leaders Mimi Herman and John Yewell

Published in the June 2018 issue of Books Make a Difference magazine.
She views the world through the eyes of a poet. He constructs scenes with the curiosity of an investigative reporter. As coleaders of their signature Writeaways workshops, Mimi Herman and John Yewell balance differing viewpoints and teaching styles to shepherd a community of writers. Their personalities and writing backgrounds appear so complementary, the pairing seems purposely orchestrated. Their serendipitous relationship is eighteen years strong and growing. [...]
Mary Taris of Strive Publishing

Strive Publishing: Growing Community Uplifts African-American Stories & Dreams

Published in the March 2018 issue of Books Make a Difference magazine.
Mary Taris, founder of Strive Publishing, has a dream to publish children's books and young adult novels that inspire African-American youth to follow their dreams. “Students need books that are contemporary and relatable—books about families that look like them, doing things they do, or things they dream of doing,” she says. “The name Strive Publishing represents the continuous effort and resiliency it takes to turn dreams into reality.” And as her community of supporters grows, Mary is determined to do just that.[...]

A magazine writer and editor for much of her career, Karen writes for and publishes Books Make a Difference online magazine.

She is often asked to write features or columns for various other publications and web sites as well. In this section, you’ll find links to samples of her work.