Karen Smythe is a Guelph, Ontario-based writer who thrives on change. Born in Winnipeg and raised in Toronto, she has lived in six Canadian provinces and considers herself a Maritimer at heart. She holds a B.A. in English from the University of Western Ontario; both her MA and PhD degrees are from the University of Toronto. In 2015 Karen earned a Letter of Distinction from the Creative Writing Correspondence Program at Humber College, working under the mentorship of Diane Schoemperlen.
On faculty from 1990-1993 at the University of Regina, Karen taught Canadian Literature and Critical Theory, discovering that she preferred editing and writing fiction to teaching literature. She guest edited The Wascana Review (1991-2) and the "Michael Ondaatje Issue" of Essays on Canadian Writing (1994), and she was the Fiction Editor at The Pottersfield Portfolio from 1994-1998. Before holding a series of senior administrative positions at universities in Nova Scotia, Ontario, and Prince Edward Island, Karen published several short stories in literary magazines including Fiddlehead, Grain, and Antigonish Review. A collection of her stories, Stubborn Bones, was published in 2001. Her first novel was published by Goose Lane Editions in September 2017. Karen now works full-time in her writing studio, a.k.a. her fabulous backyard shed.