About Karen

About Karen O. Cotton

Karen O. Cotton is one of Wyoming’s premiere children’s authors. A talented author, a passionate mother, and an active member of her community.

I am the author of the children’s chapter book, Carol and Santa, which talented screenwriter Lorenzo Leonard is transforming into a beautiful screenplay that we will be pitching to Hollywood execs soon!

I am also the author of two children’s non-fiction picture books; “Vedauwoo: Hidden Faces in Mysterious Places,” and published May 9, 2017, “K-9 & Deputy Heroes of the Laramie County Sheriff’s Department,” which was funded from a Wyoming Arts Council grant. A portion of the sales from the K-9 book go directly back to the Laramie County Sheriff’s Department’s K-9 unit fund. So, please purchase this book to help them! They continue to do incredible things for our community and the surrounding area.

I love hearing from my readers! Please contact me on my contact form. I will get back to you!

Teachers, learning coach parents, and home school parents; I am doing virtual author visits this year over video platforms of all kinds. I charge $150 for a two hour visit. $100 for an hour. And $50 for thirty minutes. And, hopefully by the summer I plan to do in person visits in Wyoming, Colorado and possibly Georgia.

I also teach piano over Zoom, so if you have ever wanted to play and you own a piano or full-sized keyboard feel free to contact me on my contact form. I charge $20 for a half hour lesson or $35 for a full hour lesson. I offer military discounts and discounts for families with multiple students.

I also have an Etsy shop Karen Cotton Creations, a Shop Vida store, and other links available on my social media tab of my website.

I am hard at work on a cook book memoir, a romance under my pen name, a brand new picture book, and a few other projects.My Vedauwoo book can be purchased at Barnes and Noble, the Depot Museum in Cheyenne, Wyoming, the University of Wyoming Bookstore in Laramie, Wyoming, at Wind City Books in Casper, Wyoming and online at Barnesandnoble and Amazon.

I am an entertainment and features reporter/editor. I own my own magazine, Sweet as Cotton Candy, that covers entertainment and the arts all over the world, but specifically in Wyoming and Colorado. I worked at the Wyoming Tribune Eagle for almost 12 years. I interviewed thousands of celebrities, some of those are; B.B. King, Naomi and Wynonna Judd, Clint Black, members of KORN, Michael Connelly, David Copperfield, Nicholas Sparks, Rodney Carrington, Larry the Cable Guy, Josh Groban, the Jonas Brothers, Katy Perry, Blake Shelton, Foreigner, KISS, Chris LeDoux, Kevin Bacon, Cowboy Troy, Suze Orman, and Taylor Swift. I also wrote features articles about many subjects such as NASA, the Union Pacific Steam Program, Xeriscaping and gardening, home decorating, holidays, relationships, organizing, pets, health care, finances, etc. I parted ways with them in March of 2011 because I was pregnant, I also pursued my music career. I created Sweet as Cotton Candy, my online entertainment magazine, while I was in the NICU in Children’s Hospital Colorado with my daughter when she was a preemie newborn in December of 2011.

I also am an award winning musician, songwriter, dancer, artist and photographer. I play the piano, guitar, violin, clarinet and percussion, many world instruments, and I sing mezzo soprano. I also dance. My daughter and I have performed in the San Diego Ballet’s Nutcracker Cheyenne performance.

I’m a member of the Gospel Music Association and the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators. I’ve been a member of the Western Writers of America.


  • I was awarded a Professional Development Grant by the Wyoming Arts Council in fall of 2019. This enabled for me to afford and attend the Rocky Mountain Chapter’s SCBWI conference in Golden, Colo. in order to advance my career as an author.
  • In 2016 I was awarded an Individual Professional Artist Development grant from the Wyoming Arts Council for my book, “K9 and Officer Heroes of the Laramie County Sheriff’s Department.”
  • I won numerous awards as a reporter. One of those was a fellowship.
  • I am a National Endowment for the Arts Fellowship recipient for the Arts Journalism Institute in Theater and Musical Theater at the University of Southern California Annenberg’s School of Journalism. The link to find out more information about this is https://news.usc.edu/17112/USC-Annenberg-Announces-NEA-Fellowships/
  • I am still a theater and music critic. That was also a role that I had at the Wyoming Tribune Eagle.
  • In the summer of 2011 I received an Individual Professional Artist Development Grant from the Wyoming Arts Council. The grant was for songwriting. I attended the Gospel Music Association’s conference IMMERSE.
  • In the fall of 2011 I received a music scholarship to Laramie County Community College. I was a vocal performance major and I was an editor of the High Plains Register, the school’s literary journal.
  • In September of 2011 I had a photography show at the Clay Paper Scissors Gallery in downtown Cheyenne. My show, “Rising from the Ashes: New York City 2005″ featured photos of New York City four years after the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks. In December my “Rising from the Ashes” show was shown at the Cheyenne Family YMCA. That exhibit is on permanent display in Cheyenne at Cheyenne’s Fire and Rescue building. My photograph, “Robin in the Snow,” was juried into the Governor’s Capitol Art Exhibition.
  • I also am an Individual Professional Artist Development Grant recipient from the Wyoming Arts Council for my Vedauwoo book and an SCBWI Rocky Mountain Region conference that I attended in the past.