Karen Tyrrell

Karen Tyrrell


Speaker type

  • Author
  • Storyteller / Performer
  • Educational consultant
  • Motivational
  • Virtual visits
available for virtual visits

Karen Tyrrell is an award-winning author and Gifted & Talented teacher. She writes junior fiction and picture books with strong characters and problem-solving themes. She presents interactive costumed reader’s theatre, engaging talks and writing workshops, empowering kids and adults to live STRONG and care for the environment.

Karen won an Arts Queensland grant to research Song Bird Drought Rescue in Winton and Longreach. It addresses environment care, Banjo Paterson, dinosaurs, Royal Flying Doctors and water management. Karen presents an interactive power-point talk on how she collaborated with writers, illustrators and schools.

In 2019, Speech Pathology Australia shortlisted Song Bird Rainforest Rescue for Book of the Year. Rainforest Rescue is Highly Recommended by Reading Time - Children's Book Council of Australia. Karen has also won an Arts Queensland grant for her picture book Ready Set Discover Logan.

Her acclaimed books: Song Bird Superhero, Song Bird The Battle of Bug World, Song Bird Rainforest Rescue, Song Bird Great Barrier Reef Rescue, STOP the Bully, Bailey Beats the Blah, Harry Helps Grandpa Remember and the Super Space Kids series share messages of bully prevention, resilience and caring for the environment. Karen has won 4 awards, 7 literary grants, 3 book sponsorships and a mentorship through the Society of Editors (QLD).

Karen and hubby Steve perform interactive readers theatre and pantomimes in fun costumes, utilising props, music and humour to schools, kindies and libraries. Their Song Bird reader’s theatre and Bailey Beats the Blah pantomime are amusing and popular. As a survivor of workplace bullying, Karen shares bully prevention, resilience, self-care and coping skills at teacher’s conferences, schools and festivals.

Karen provides imaginative writing workshops for Meanjin Writing Camps, Brisbane Libraries, Queensland Writers Centre and writing festivals. She presents empowerment presentations to all ages from kindy to adults, tailor making her talks to specific needs. Karen has judged writing competitions, co-ordinated a writer’s collective, organized a writer’s festival and presented Book Marketing Masterclasses. She speaks on radio and TV about bully prevention, resilience, and eco issues.

When Sir David Attenborough implored ‘The Great Barrier Reef is in grave danger. It’s time to step up'. Karen took his challenge to heart, writing Song Bird Great Barrier Reef Rescue to educate and empower kids to care for the reef, seas and creatures. Karen was thrilled to receive a congratulatory letter from Sir David Attenborough below and listen to the podcast of her interview on:

ABC Brisbane Radio

 Courier Mail Article

To view more examples from Karen's multifaceted career, follow the links to her Website and YouTube Channel

 See Karen's new Youtube channel:

Karen Tyrrell Self-Isolation Book Show

Karen Tyrrell is an award-winning author. She wrote eleven books for children including picture books, chapter books, novels and a series. Karen was shortlisted for the Speech Pathology Book of the Year Awards. Her books feature animals, friendship, the environment, and child self-empowerment.
Her titles include Song Bird Drought Rescue, Song Bird Great Barrier Reef Rescue, Song Bird Rainforest Rescue, Song Bird The Battle of Bug World, Song Bird Superhero, Ready Set Discover Logan, Super Space Kids series, Harry Helps Grandpa Remember, STOP the Bully, Bailey Beats the Blah.
Travelling throughout Australia, Karen delivers talks and workshops to children and adults at preschools, schools, libraries, bookstores, literary festivals, teacher’s conferences, writing camps and writers’ centres.


(Prep – Year 8)

General Author Talk

Karen shares her research and real-life journey that inspired Song Bird Drought Rescue. She reveals her writing process, her collaborations, world building, plot development, editing, solving problems and drawing one’s own experiences in writing. This talk can be tailored to your needs. Includes costumes, props, power point show and dramatic book readings.

Aussie Animals Galore!

Learn about your favourite Aussie animals including koalas, turtles, dinosaurs, bees, rosellas, and wallaroos. Hear about the inspiration behind Karen’s stories and read along with her.

Saving the Environment through Story

Karen is passionate about preserving the environment and she’ll show you how you can too! Using her latest environmentally-themed junior novels, Karen will take students on a journey of discovery and learning, showing them how to keep oceans clean, care for rainforests, reduce pollution and save natural habitats. Includes costumed reader’s theatre!

Bully Prevention Talk

Children develop strategies for bully prevention, exploring coping skills. Karen’s powerful interactive author talk includes power point, costumes, props, role play and Q&A. Kids Helpline and Kids Matter endorse her talks.

Self-Care, Coping skills and Resilience Talk

Karen presents an interactive power point talk sharing self-care, resilience, bully prevention and coping strategies to promote optimum wellness and happiness. Role play and Q&A

Superhero Story Writing Workshop

Create a superhero story, boosting creativity and writing skills. Children write a superhero story with SUPER characters, SUPER villains and SUPER powers. Includes planning sheet, power point, costumes and props.

Adventure Story Writing Workshop

Write an exciting adventure story with tips on developing plot, creating tension, drama and cliff hangers. We look at using our imaginations and inspiration to keep our characters in trouble. Includes Power point show, planning sheet, props, costumes, props.

Narrative Writing

Karen guides students on writing narrative including: orientation, complication, resolution and coda. She also discusses the ‘5Ws + 1H of Writing’. Students follow a series of exercises to empower them writing their own short story narrative.

Build a Hero Character

Create an unforgettable hero character with hero traits, goals and fears. Participants strengthen a character, show action, create dialogue and display thoughts.

First Chapter

Karen uses visualizing techniques to guide writers to develop a first chapter. Children create setting, Point of View character, description, narrative and action.

Create a Picture Book

Plan, write and illustrate a picture book. Karen provides an insight into how picture books are constructed. Students are led through exercises to create their own picture book, designing and illustrating the front cover, creating a blurb, and writing and illustrating a simple story.

Structure your Book

Hero’s journey. How I structure my Song Bird series. Develop an engaging story to hook in the reader using story arc, character goals, conflict and resolution.

Bailey Beats the Blah Pantomime – Friendship skills

Karen dressed as Bailey and Steve as fuzzy the dog, bring to life picture book Bailey Beats the Blah as an interactive pantomime with fun costumes, props, songs, role play, Q&A and kid’s activities. Children learn how to make and keep friends.

Harry Helps Grandpa Pantomime – Memory skills & Grandparents

Karen dressed as Harry and Steve as Grandpa, bring to life picture book Harry Helps Grandpa Remember as an interactive pantomime with fun costumes, props, music, role play, Q&A and activities. Children learn memory boosting skills, value of communication Family relationships.

*Schools receive extra value in our talks: 2 interactive performers for the price of one




  • Our Year 2 Students thoroughly enjoyed watching Karen’s stories come to life, through their very engaging storytelling skills. The presentation was perfect for the year level.

    Islamic College of Brisbane - September 2020

    Islamic College of Brisbane - September 2020
    Karen Tyrrell
  • Karen linked her presentation with current school initiatives. She was enthusiastic about working with our students. She had costumes, props and a few giveaways.

    Guardian Angels School - 2017

    Guardian Angels School - 2017
    Karen Tyrrell
  • Karen is a dynamic visiting author. Children were inspired and engaged throughout her sessions which focused on developing their own creative writing.

    Meanjin Writing Camps, USQ - 2018

    Meanjin Writing Camps, USQ - 2018
    Karen Tyrrell
  • The children were excited to be part of the interactive puppet show, whilst our secondary students made real life connections to the story. A fantastic, age appropriate experience

    Logan City Special School - August 2018

    Logan City Special School - August 2018
    Karen Tyrrell
  • Our students were engaged in the entertaining pantomime and drawn in by the author's character portrayals in the book readings

    Norfolk Village State School - August 2018

    Norfolk Village State School - August 2018
    Karen Tyrrell
Karen Tyrrell