Dancing With The All-Stars: Karen Naylor’s Award-Winning Novel

Gates English teacher Karen Naylor wins local writing award


Gates English teacher Karen Naylor (pictured on the right) received the Boston Authors Club Discovery Award

Former Scituate High School English teacher and current Gates Middle School English teacher, Karen Naylor was recently honored for her amazing  debut novel Dancing With the All-Stars, earning the Boston Authors Club Discovery Award. The Boston Authors Club (BAC) is an organization established for authors from the greater Boston area to enhance their writing skills, receive exposure, and connect with other local authors. The BAC regularly hosts panels of authors and literary agents for writers to gain insight and advice from experts. The BAC also holds award ceremonies to celebrate the success of its members. 

Ever since Naylor was young, she dreamed of being able to share stories by becoming a published author. As an English teacher, Naylor is able to share her passion for literature with a greater community. Explaining it took her two years to write the novel, Naylor said, “My first step is to try to get a literary agent to represent me in submitting to publishers, and that is a long road with no guarantees!” Included in the prize Naylor won is a full critique from a professional literary agent. Naylor plans to use this opportunity to edit her manuscript in the hopes that a literary agent would be interested in signing her.  When asked about the publishing process, Naylor responded, “I have this 250-page file on my computer. Isn’t that exciting!”

In addition to her teaching responsibilities, Naylor spends time perfecting her writing skills at GrubStreet in Boston, MA. According to their website, GrubStreet is a “creative writing center for writers and storytellers of every genre.” Naylor said the classes and resources available at GrubStreet guided her to craft her own award-winning manuscript. 

Naylor’s 2021 departure from the high school was met with disappointment by many of her students; however, since transferring to the middle school, Naylor has made a positive impact on the Gates community. Described as an “energetic positive, upbeat, all-around a great person” by Gates principal Ryan Beattie, Naylor’s strong connection with her students–and the time she commits to them–makes her an extraordinary teacher. “She brings an energy with her every single day that motivates kids to do and be their very best,” commented Beattie.