Karen K. Ford is the granddaughter of O.K. Ford, actor and mentalist, who toured the country with his vaudeville troupe “Ford and his Little Lincolns” in the 1920’s. Later he went on to greater obscurity as a bit-player for MGM and Warner Brothers. Her sense of the theatrical comes from O.K. via her father, a vaudevillian himself until the age of eight.

Her sense of just about everything else comes from her mother.

Karen has been a professional writer since the summer after high school graduation, when she was drafted by a graphic designer who’d just broken up with his girlfriend/copywriter. She wrote ad copy for many now-defunct businesses while working nights as a file clerk in the Radiology Department of UCI Medical Center, putting herself through school at Cal State Fullerton. Further professional experience led to jobs as an agency copy director and creative director. She moved to Ashland, Oregon in 1989 and worked as marketing director for a small winery (some grape stomping was involved) and, later, for a manufacturer of high-end audio equipment, where she mostly kept her shoes on.

After 13 years in Southern Oregon she returned to Los Angeles to pursue writing full-time. She lives in Mandeville Canyon with her husband, writer S.L. Stebel, and their rescue mutt, Dude. The Dude abidesShe is an award-winning fiction writer, faculty member of the Santa Barbara Writers Conference and contributing editor for American Salon magazine. Her debut novel, Salvage, is currently seeking publication.


  • Short story “Nature” winner of bosque (the magazine)‘s 2015 Fiction Contest
  • “Nature” also shortlisted for the 2015 Tobias Wolff Fiction Prize (Bellingham Review) and the 2015 Lorian Hemingway Contest
  • Winner of Narrative Magazine‘s Winter 2013 Fiction Contest for “The Tracks”
  • One act play “Star Map” was performed in a staged reading by Celebrationworks Theater Company, Encinitas, CA
  • Short Story “Firewatch” anthologized in Ginosko Anthology 2, published 2014. (Originally appeared in Issue 5 of Ginsoko Literary Magazine, November 2007)
  • Winner of the Fiction Prize from Goliards Literary Magazine, Fall 1998 issue
  • Faculty member, Santa Barbara Writers’ Conference
  • Contributing editor, American Salon magazine

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