Karen Outen is working on a first novel, The Life After, about 47-year-old African-American Dixon Bryant who loses his brother on a fateful climb on Mount Everest. After the disaster, an amputee and unmoored, Bryant returns to work as a middle school counselor where he encounters a troubled boy. Their clashes set off a series of events that lead to Bryant’s arrest and threaten to destroy him. Ms. Outen is also working on a collection of personal essays about her mother’s youth and her own adolescence. Her work has appeared in Glimmer Train and The North American Review.
Ms. Outen received her B.A. from Drew University and her M.F.A. from the University of Michigan. Her Writer’s Award will allow her to take a sabbatical from her job at George Washington University Law School to focus her attention on completing her novel. She was a 2019 Sozopol Literary Seminars Fellow in Bulgaria. She lives in Bowie, Maryland.