Introducing Karen

Karen screen shot



Karen Mocker Dabson, an experienced author of numerous short stories and poems, released an award-winning debut novel, The Muralist’s Ghost, in 2014. She currently seeks publication of her second novel, Tarentum, and a third novel is under revision.


Meet Karen

  • Writer of three novels and numerous poems, short stories, and journals
  • The Muralist’s Ghost, her debut novel published by Covered Bridge Publishing, is available at local independent bookstores, can be ordered by public libraries, or can be found on-line at,, and other places paper- and e-books are sold.

Writing Awards

  • 2020 First place for Flash Fiction from Columbia Chapter of the Missouri Writers Guild (CCMWG)
  • 2017 First place for poem in State of Missouri, Missouri Writers Guild Annual Contest
  • 2016 Second place for Flash Fiction from CCMWG
  • 2015, The Muralist’s Ghost, Missouri Writers Guild founders award (the Walter Williams Award), second place, for a book worthy of special recognition due to its research or high literary quality
  • 2015 First place for Flash Fiction from the CCMWG
  • 2015 & 2016 Juried placement in the Columbia Art League’s Interpretations III & IV shows and anthologies of short stories and poems
  • 2013 Editor’s fiction pick for 2013 Anthology of the CCMWG
  • 2013 Second place award in the Story Circle Network’s annual Life Writing contest

Other Publications

  • Flash fiction in the 2019 anthology of CCMWG
  • Mystery story in the 2014 anthology, That Mysterious Woman, published by the Mozark Press
  • Poems and articles published in the journal of the national Story Circle Network, 2012 – 2015

Memberships and Professional Development

  • Member of the North Carolina Writers Network, Columbia Chapter of the Missouri Writers Guild, and the Pennsylvania Trolley Museum. Member emerita of the Missouri Writer’s Guild and Story Circle Network,
  • Professional writing development – Iowa Summer Writing Festival, 2011; on-line courses through Story Circle Network and Writer’s Digest, 2010-2013; participant at the Missouri Writer’s Guild annual conference, 2011 – 2014, the Columbia Chapter conference, 2012, 2015; workshop with Quarry Heights Writing Workshop director, 2016; the Fall conference of the North Carolina Writers Network (NCWN); monthly seminars of the NCWN, Durham/Orange Counties branch 2016 – present; Iowa International Writing Workshop, on-line, 2017; Spring NCWN conference, 2019.
  • 2012 – Streetcar operator training of 1923 hand-controlled streetcar, Pennsylvania Trolley Museum, Washington, PA


  • Purdue University, BA, Sociology, 1974; minors in languages and philosophy
  • Case Western Reserve University, 1980; MSSA, Social Service Administration

Other Experiences and Background

  • Past community development consultant owning and operating OrgMent, a business devoted to working with nonprofit practitioner organizations around the nation to achieve mission, with a focus on rural communities, community development finance, refugees and immigrants
  • Author and co-author of several articles and guides on entrepreneurship and microenterprise, published by nonprofits in hard copy and electronic formats
  • Co-founder of national nonprofit, Credit Builders Alliance –
  • Senior positions at the CDFI Fund, US Treasury, the Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland, Enterprise Development Corporation, and the Ohio Department of Development
  • Originally from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania; now resides in Durham, North Carolina
  • Avid reader, walker, gardener, and ocean-side wanderer
  • Enthusiastic traveler, visiting most of the USA and UK, parts of Australia, Europe, the Amazon, Canada, Costa Rica, Peru, Nicaragua, and Madagascar; and a trip to Croatia for research on The Muralist’s Ghost– wonderful!
  • Best place for writing – tucked up in my writing nook where forest, ravine and sky pour in through the big windows