Karen J Carlisle is a speculative fiction writer of steampunk, gaslamp, Victorian mysteries and fantasy. She is available for speaking engagements at conferences, libraries, schools, organisations and community groups, and online engagments via Zoom or Skype.
Her rates are reasonable and negotiable. Karen is based in Adelaide.

Current speaking topics include:


  • The Catharsis of Writing – how writing helps me live with anxiety and PTSD
  • The History of Steampunk
  • Self Publishing, From an Australian Perspective
  • Costumes in Writing: Mid-16th Century Florentine Female Clothing and Accessories
  • Costumes in Writing: Late 19th Century Victorian Female Clothing
  • Plotting – for Non-Plotters  (“How to write…”)
  • Creating Your Own Steampunk World or Persona. (How to create your own world – for writers, comic book creators and costumer/cosplayers)


  • Exploring Steampunk: A primer on steampunk and steampunk costuming
  • Steampunk Parasol Duelling – Workshop/Demo
  • Costumes in Detail: Mid-16th Century Florentine Female Clothing and Accessories
  • Creating Your Own Steampunk World or Persona. (How to create your own world – for writers, comic book creators and costumer/cosplayers)

About the presenter:

Karen has been active in steampunk since 2007.  Her Victorian steampunk mystery series, The Adventures of Viola Stewart trilogy, was completed in 2017, and she recently published the first books in the paranormal/fantasy mystery series, The Aunt Enid Mysteries, and a second steampunk series, The Department of Curiosities.

She has been a tabletop roleplayer since 1978, an active costumer and science fiction convention attendee for over three decades, and involved in historical re-enactment since 1994, with a special interest in mid-16th century Florentine clothing and accessories.

Karen has been a member of the Society for Creative Anachronism since 1994. She attended the Florence 2008 Costume Symposium: Janet Arnold Tribute, with lectures by Roberta Orsi Landini and the conservators of the Laboratorio Centro Restauri Tesseli, Pisa.

She has a Bachelor Applied Science in Optometry and worked with children for much of her career.

Karen  is a devoted Doctor Who fan (and willing to talk endlessly on the subject).

Next talk is at:

  • TO BE RESCHEDULED: Celebrating 100th Anniversary of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s visit to Adelaide/ Book launch of A Fey Tale. Book 2 in The Aunt Enid Mysteries (set in Adelaide, during his visit in 1920). This talk is to be held at the Tea Tree Gully Library. This was originally organised for 23rd September, 2020. NOTE: Due to Covid restrictions, this event is being rescheduled.

Karen has previously spoken at:

  • Geek Markets Live 2.0!  Short talk on self-publishing speculative fiction books. This was a Covid-safe, online live event. (Sept, 2020)
  • Adelaide Steampunk Festival, 2020. Virtual talks on this year’s theme (Sept, 2020):
    1. 100th Anniversary of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s visit to Adelaide, 1920
    2. Adelaide’s Fairy doors.
  • Fashionably Victorian…from lace to the Great Air Race (talk on steampunk as part of the scheduled speakers) -State Library of South Australia (Dec) 2019
  • Supanova Adelaide: (November, 2018):
    1. Creating Your Own Steampunk World or Persona (on writing and costuming in steampunk) Video available on youtube.
    2.  Plotting your pants off – Different approaches to writing your book (Panel with fellow Adelaide spec fic authors, Katie Fraser, Kylie Leane and Matt Pike  (on plotting and pantsing). Video available on youtube.
  • Adelaide Steampunk Festival. National Railways Museum, Port Adelaide:  Author Talk (Sept, 2018) Video tba
  • Adelaide Steampunk Festival:  Parasol Duelling Demonstration/workshop (Sept, 2018) Video available on youtube
  • Modbury Uniting Church: On My Books, Writing and Catharsis.  about my books and how writing helps manage my anxiety. (June, 2018)
  • Pop Con 2.0!: Steampunk panel member – talking all things steampunk.(May, 2018) available on youtube.
  • Nullus Anxietas VI:  Steampunk Panel (discussion) – available to view on youTube.  (August, 2017)
  • .Nullus Anxietas VI: How to write your own Discworld Story: Plotting for non-plotters (tailored) workshop (August, 2017)
  • Celebrating 30 Years of Steampunk – Facebook live collaborative event (April, 2017) – available on youtube.
  • Aus Sci Fi & Fantasy group. Talking Steampunk (genre, writing and costume).  Video of talk available on youTube. (2017)
  • Adelaide Oz Comic Con: Open a Book to Self Publishing (see schedule) Video of talk available on youTube.  (2017)
  • Mutant Stepchildren writing group: Why I write steampunk/ self-publishing.   (2016)
  • Aus Sci Fi & Fantasy Club: Steampunk and Self-publishing in Australia (2016)
  • History SA’s Dressing Up Exhibition: Exploring Steampunk (history and costume)  (2016)
  • Critical Mass writing group: History of Steampunk/ Self-publishing , (2015)
  • Steampunk Accessories Panel Armageddon Adelaide (2011)

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Rates (in person/online):

Per Talk: AU$250 (plus GST).
Engagement includes: approx. 45-60 minutes – includes talk and question/demonstration time.

Per Workshop: AU$250 (plus GST)
Engagement includes: approx 60 minutes of workshop/discussion

Per Day: AU$600 (plus GST) per day (3 talks max)
Engagement includes: Up to three talks – approx. 45-60 minutes – includes talk and question/demo time.

Note: Travel costs may be incurred for travel outside of metropolitan Adelaide for in person engagements.

Special arrangements can be made for community and non-profit groups.

To book Karen for a speaking engagement for libraries, organisations or schools,
please contact me
(subject: Speaking Engagment).


Speaking was originally published on karen j carlisle