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Karen Given

Photo of Karen Given
I'm kinda obsessed with all aspects of great storytelling, from interviewing to structure to scripting and sound design.
Member since 2017


  • Westborough, MA


Contact Karen

  • Editing
  • Producing
  • Reporting
  • Voice
  • Teaching

About Karen

I spent more than 20 years with WBUR and NPR's Only A Game. I started as the show's Technical Director and worked my way up to Executive Producer and Interim Host. Along the way, I won the national Edward R. Murrow Award for Sports Reporting twice -- in 2007 and 2017. For most of the show's 27-year run, Only A Game was a straightforward public radio style newsmagazine. But in 2014, the station decided to switch to a narrative format. The only problem was, no one knew how to do it. It was my job to figure out how to make narrative stories. I sought out all of the common wisdom and developed some “best practices" of my own. Now, I share the lessons I learned along the way with podcasters and public radio newsrooms.

Recent work includes:  

Story Editor - "Open and Shut" - a forthcoming 7-part investigative narrative series from Wisconsin Watch and Wisconsin Public Radio. Executive Producer - "The Long Game" - a narrative podcast about sports and social justice from Foreign Policy and Doha Debates. Writer/Reporter - "Summer of Gold" - a six-part narrative series about the 1996 Summer Olympics from Dear Media and TOGETHXR. Voice/Host Coach - Harvard Business Review

I also write Narrative Beat, a free newsletter for journalists and podcast makers who want to tell better stories.

Karen's Portfolio



  • Mixing
  • Voice Coaching
  • Story Editing
  • Sound Design
  • Show Development
  • Reporting
  • Producing
  • Mentoring
  • Interviewing
  • Hosting