Karin Melberg Schwier

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Karin is a full-time freelance writer, editor and illustrator. She writes for local and national magazines and newspapers, and a variety of non-profits, businesses and government agencies. Her photographs often accompany her work, and her illustrations appear in books, presentations and private collections. She became the editor of Saskatoon HOME magazine in 2013, and contributes several articles to each issue.

While she has a longtime focus on disability issues, she is a sought-after and versatile writer and handles each job with respect, professionalism and a sense of humour. She can find the thread of a good story in anything from kitchen design, a seniors’ ski team, bariatric weight loss surgery, to energy efficient housing, business profiles, and volunteer accomplishments. One favourite interview had her digging into the childhood memories of a Hollywood actor, who called her “a joy to talk to and an artist” at interviewing. But it is often what she draws from less celebrated people that she finds most interesting. Another favourite was with Ukrainian babas, one 90 and the other 96, sisters who still garden in their Saskatoon back yards.

Her writing has appeared as invited book chapters and in anthologies in Canada and the U.S. The most recent contribution is a chapter in Animal Kin: Extraordinary Encounters with Animals (Nimbus Publishing, 2014). She has written eight books with a focus on the lives of people with intellectual disabilities and edited several others. One best seller was translated into German, Italian, and Korean. She was pleased when actor Benjamin Bratt performed a story from one of her books as a dramatic reading at the Santa Monica Playhouse. Her latest project, Flourish: People with Disabilities Living Life with Passion, was launched in 2012, to critically acclaimed reviews. And she hopes a long-suffering novel will be published sometime before her 87th birthday.

In 2013, Karin was honoured to receive a Saskatoon YWCA Women of Distinction Award in the Arts and Culture category. She lives with her husband, Richard, a professor of education at the University of Saskatchewan, and son Jim, a 20-year veteran volunteer with the Saskatoon YMCA, and Ed and Gracie, courtesy Street Cat Rescue, who can’t believe their good luck. Rick and Karin also have a daughter, Erin, son-in-law Michael and nine-year-old grandboy Alexander, and a son Ben and daughter-in-law Julia.

See more of her work at http://karinschwier.wordpress.com.