Media & Public Speaking

For the Media
Speaking Engagements

Press Contact:


Jessica Napp


UK Media
Nigel Stoneman


Available for download:


Author photo (photo by David Drapkin)
The Ivy Chronicles (high resolution)
The Ivy Chronicles (low resolution)

Television features:

Karen speaks about The Ivy Chronicles on The Daily Buzz
Karen Quinn was featured on The View! Watch the video here
Watch The Ivy Chronicles as featured on The Richard and Judy Show
Watch Karen Quinn’s appearance on 20/20 here!
Watch Karen on CBS 2 News at Noon
New York City school admissions is funny business!
See The Daily Show’s take on the subject here

*These videos are in WMV format and require Windows Media Player. If you do not have Windows Media Player installed, get it here.


"Karen Quinn was a great radio guest in every way - articulate, upbeat, informative, flexible, charming and witty! Wife in the Fast Lane is such a fun and compelling read, I am STILL talking about it with everyone I know!"
Bonnie Graham

Karen Quinn has been featured in...

Big Apple Parent
The Boston Herald
Chicago Sun Times
Chicago Tribune
Child Magazine
The Citizen Telegram (Colorado)
The Daily Mirror (London)
The Daily News (NYC)
The Daily Star (London)
The Denver Post
The Denver News
Entertainment Weekly
Good Housekeeping
The Gothamist
The Hollywood Reporter
New Ideas (Australia)
New York Magazine
New York Newsday
New York Post
New York Times
The Observer (London)
Our Town
The Richard and Judy Show
The Rocky Mountain News
Palm Beach Today
The San Antonio Express-News
The Weekly News (London)
West Side Spirit (NYC)
Woman’s Day
Words (Australia)
WIOD-AM, Miami, Florida
KUTR-AM, Salt Lake City, Utah
WRMN-AM, Chicago, Ill
CRN National Syndicated
KYW-AM, Philadelphia, PA
WSDE-AM, Albany, NY
Doug Stephan's Good Day - National Syndicated
KUCI-FM, Orange County, CA
WCBS News, New York City
KOOL-FM, Denver, Colorado
WIP-AM, Philadelphia, PA
WOCM-FM, Ocean City, MD
WDWS-AM, Champaign, IL
WKCT-AM, Bowling Green and Nashville, KY
WIOJ-AM, Memphis, TN
WNJC-1360 AM, South Jersey and Philadelphia
KUKA-FM, Corpus Christie, TX
KCMN-AM, Colorado Springs, CO
Viewpoints with Pat Reuter, National Syndication
KBEE-FM, Salt Lake City
USA Network , National Syndication
WOR-AM, NY, The Joan Hamburg Show
KLIK-AM, St. Louis, MO
NY1, New York City
WRMN-AM, Chicago, IL

Nationally Syndicated
20/20 – ABC
The View – ABC
(morning show, UK)
Sunrise TV (Australia)
The Daily Buzz

Anchorage - KWBX
Juneau - KWJA
Montgomery - WBMY
Mobile - WBPG
Dothan - WBDO
Jonesboro - KJOS
Fort Smith-Fay-Springdale-Rogers - KWFT
Montgomery - WBMY
Tucson - KWBA
Yuma-El Centro - KWUB
Bakersfield - KWFB
Chico-Redding - KIWB
Eureka - KWBT
Monterey-Salinas - KMWB
Palm Springs - KCWB
Santa Barbara - KWCA
Colorado & Company (NBC affiliate)
Grand Junction-Montrose - KWGJ
Fort Myers-Naples - WTVK
Gainesville - WBFL
Orlando - WKCF
Pensacola - WBPG
Tampa - WTOG
West Palm - WTVX
Tallahassee -Thomasville - WFXU
Albany - WBSK
Atlanta - WUPA - UPN Atlanta
Macon - WBMN
Columbus - WBG
Augusta - WBAU
Savannah - WBVH
Honolulu - KGMB
Twin Falls - KWTE
Boise - KWOB
Idaho Falls-Pocatello - KWIB
Decatur - WBUI
Peoria-Bloomington - WBPE
Rockford - WBR
Quincy-Hannibal-Keokuk - WEWB
Terre Haute - WBI
Fort Wayne - WBFW
Ottumwa-Kirksville - KWOT
Sioux City - KXWB
Topeka - WBKS
Bowling Green - WBWG
Alexandria - KAXN
Lafayette - KLWB
Lake Charles - WBLC
New Orleans - WUPL
Monroe-El Dorado - KWMB
Bangor - WBAN
Presque Isle - WBPQ
Salisbury - WBD
Boston - WSBK
Springfield-Holyoke - WBQT
Alpena - WBAE
Detroit - WKBD
Lansing - WBL
Marquette - WBMK
Traverse City-Cadillac - WBVC
Mankato - KWYE
Rochester-Mason City-Austin - KWBR
Biloxi-Gulfport - WBGP
Greenwood-Greenville - WBWD
St. Joseph - WBJO
Columbus-Tupelo-West Point - WBWP
Meridian - WBMM
Columbia-Jefferson City - KJWB
Springfield - KDL
St. Joseph - WBJO
Joplin-Pittsburg - KSXF

Butte-Bozeman - KWXB
Glendive - KWZB
Great Falls - KWGF
Helena - KWHA
Missoula - KIDW
Billings - KWBM
North Carolina
Greenville-New Bern-Washington - WGWB
Wilmington - WBW
North Dakota
Fargo-Valley City - WBFG
Minot-Bismarck-Dickinson - KWMK
North Platte - KWPL 6am - 9am
Lincoln-Hastings-Kearney - KWBL
Las Vegas - KVTE
Reno - KREN
New Mexico
Albuquerque-Santa Fe - KWBQ
New York
New York City - CBS-2 News at Noon
Binghamton - WBXI
Rochester - WRWB
Utica - WBU
Watertown - WBWT
Elmira - WBE
Cincinnati - WBQC
Cleveland - WBNX
Dayton - WBDT
Lima - WBOH
Zanesville - WBZV

Oklahoma City - KAUT
Bend - KWBO
Eugene - KZWB
Medford-Klamath Falls - KMFD
Erie - WBEP
Rhode Island
Providence - WLWC
South Carolina
Charleston - WBLN
Greenville - WHNS
Florence-Myrtle Beach - WFWB
South Dakota
Sioux Falls (Mitchell) - KWSD
Rapid City - KWBH
Jackson - WBJK
Knoxville - WBXX
Abilene-Sweetwater - KWAW
Austin - KNVA
Beaumont-Port Arthur - KWBB
Corpus Christi - KWDB
Dallas-Fort Worth - KTXA
Harlingen-Wslco-Brnsvl-MCA - KMHB
Laredo - KTXW
Lubbock - KWBZ
San Angelo - KWSA
Tyler - Longview - LFKN & NCGD - KWTL
Victoria - KWVB
Odessa-Midland - KWWT
Sherman-Ada - KSHD
Wichita Falls-Lawton - KWB
Amarillo - KDBA
Salt Lake City - KUWB
Charlottesville - WBC
Norfolk - Hampton Roads - WGNT
Harrisonburg - WBHA
Seattle - KSTW
Yakima-Pasco-Rchlnd-Knnwck - KWYP
Green Bay-Appleton - WIWB
Madison - WBUW
Wausau-Rhinelander - WBWA
La Crosse-Eau Claire - WBCZ
West Virginia
Clarksburg-Weston - WVWB
Parkersburg - WBPB
Wheeling-Steubenville - WBWO
Bluefield-Beckley-Oak Hill - WBB
Casper-Riverton - KWWY
Cheyenne-Scottsbluff - KCHW


Sample Interview Questions

1. The Ivy Chronicles is about a woman who loses her big corporate job and then reinvents herself into a school admissions advisor helping rich Manhattanites get their kids into private school. Isn’t that what happened to you? Is this a thinly disguised tell-all?

2. In the book, desperate parents do outrageous things to get their children accepted into schools. What are some of the craziest things you've seen people do to get their kids into school?

3. Is the admissions scene this competitive in cities other than Manhattan?

4. Why are parents are willing to go to such extremes for a place in nursery school?

5. How do children react to their parent’s anxieties about getting them into a hot school?

6. One of the fun parts of the book was seeing how the super wealthy live. Were your clients typically that rich?

7. There’s a great scene in the book where a character pays $35,000 for a dinner date with George Clooney at a private school auction. How realistic is that?

8. What is the downside of going to an elite private school?

9. Did you work with any famous clients?

10. The Ivy Chronicles is in development as a Warner Bros. film, with Catherine Zeta-Jones attached to play Ivy. Who else do you hope they cast?

11. What's more challenging, working in nursery school admissions or corporate America?

12. When you started your business, did you do so with the intention of writing about it? How did you find a publisher?

Speaking Engagements
For Speaking Engagements, contact:
    Greater Talent Network
Don Epstein
437 Fifth Avenue
NY, NY 10016
Karen Quinn speaking sampler

Watch the video here!

*This video is in WMV format and requires Windows Media Player. If you do not have Windows Media Player installed, get it here.


You Think Getting Into Harvard is Tough – The Crazy Things Parents Will Do to Get Their Kids into the Right Pre-Schools!

Reinventing Yourself – How to Make Your Dream Life Real

Confessions from the Fast Lane

The 10 Laws of Reinvention


More about Karen Quinn

You Think Getting Into Harvard is Tough – The Crazy Things Parents Will Do to Get Their Kids into the Right Pre-Schools!

How far would you go to get your child into a top-notch kindergarten? For New Yorkers, the answer could well be: 'I hired an actor to pretend to be my husband, so we'd look like a traditional family for the interviews. Then when my daughter got into the school, I arranged a fake divorce.'

Welcome to elite Manhattan schools, where four-year-olds have resumes, attempts to buy your way in (in the guise of donations) are the norm and at least ten children vie for every single spot. In this talk, Karen shares some of the craziest experiences she had as owner of Smart City Kids, a New York City consulting firm that helped parents get their children into the city’s top schools. You’ll laugh, you’ll cry, you’ll be glad you don’t live in Manhattan.

Reinventing Yourself – How to Make Your Dream Life Real

In just five years, Karen Quinn went from being a marketing executive to an educational advisor to a bestselling author who sold the movie rights to her story to Catherine Zeta Jones. In this talk, she shares the funny and motivating story of how she did it and what she learned about personal reinvention in the process. Prepare to be inspired!

Confessions from the Fast Lane

After recording how she spent her time each week, wife mother, author, and person-in-her-own-right Karen Quinn realized she was fully booked with obligations for 170 hours a week. Unfortunately, there are only 168 hours in a week and Quinn had forgotten to write down time to sleep. Soon, she penned Wife in the Fast Lane, a hilarious novel about the misadventures of a successful career woman who learns that “having it all” and “having to do it all” are two entirely different things. In this talk, Karen pokes fun at herself as she shares her struggles to keep up with her life in the fast lane, as well as the struggles of thousands of women who entered her Wife in the Fast Lane Contest where they expressed their own truth about doing it all and living to tell the tale.

The 10 Laws of Reinvention

1. You must decide to move on.
2. Do what makes your heart sing.
3. Don’t scale back your dream.
4. Not knowing what you’re doing is no excuse.
5. Get off your butt and make it happen.
6. Setbacks open the door for something better.
7. Fake your way to success.
8. Help will come from where you least expect it.
9. Failure is an option.
10. You get what you believe is possible.


“You delighted our audience with your humor, and I believe you gained quite a few fans on Friday afternoon. The feedback has been overwhelmingly positive.”
—Julie Guerard
Morristown, NJ Junior League

“In the many years speakers have addressed our forum of top executive women, very few have come up to your speaking level…Your speaking talents are rare. It takes great skill to be so relaxed, inclusive and articulate.”
Carole Hyatt
The Leadership Forum

“Your presentation was both comprehensive, hysterical, and highly informative…Your ideas on personal reinvention is something many of us are dealing with right now. Your anecdotes to illustrate each idea were so interesting for us – everyone came away with great ideas on what to do and how to do it…Of course, all of your stories are presented so wittily, so honestly, and so forthrightly that you totally engaged your audience.”
Sally Kurtzman
Denver Woman’s Press Club

“Thanks to you, the program was well attended and received and we believe helped inspire our volunteers to be future entrepreneurs.”
Elizabeth Hessler
NYC Junior League

“Karen was very highly regarded at American Express and held a very visible position in the organization. When it was announced that she had written a book about her experiences as a private school consultant, everyone wanted to know how and why she decided to take such a turn in her career. There were over 120 people who attended the event and Karen did a terrific job. Her presentation was entertaining, informative, and very funny. She is great at adapting her talk to the audience and handling Q’s and A’s. I highly recommend Karen as a keynote speaker.”
Augusta Sterne
American Express Alumni Association

“Your humor, honesty, and enthusiasm was captivating and we were all very impressed by the style of your presentation. It was a delightful evening”
Carol Brecher
Brandeis University National Women’s Committee

“As a speaker, I would describe Karen as both humorous and motivational. Even though the room was packed (over 250 people!), Karen captured everyone’s full attention as well as their hearts. She told the funniest stories about her experiences as a school admissions advisor. The audience was in stitches. Afterwards, people were buzzing about Karen’s wonderful sense of humor. She is a real inspiration…I would go see her again and I would recommend her to any group with no hesitation.”
Kathleen Stowers
Event Organizer, The Fourth Story, The Tattered Cover Bookstore

More about Karen Quinn

A securities lawyer for brokerage firms, an advertising executive for American Express, a kindergarten admissions consultant for New York City’s wealthiest families, and now an author with a movie deal, Karen Quinn had a few false starts before figuring out what she wanted to be when she grew up.

In 2000, Karen was downsized from an executive job at American Express after fifteen years. Her ego shattered, she had no idea what to do next. So, she went to the bookstore looking for inspiration in the business section. There, she found an Entrepreneur’s Handbook that said “if you can think of something people hate doing, and you can make it better for them, there’s a business.” Karen immediately focused on the nightmare she had recently survived – getting her children into private school in Manhattan – a blood sport on the best of days. With no experience, she started Smart City Kids, a company devoted to helping New York parents get their children into the best private nursery schools, kindergartens, and public schools. Her services were in great demand and she soon appeared on 20/20, in the New York Times and Forbes Magazine as an expert in school admissions. Then one day, a client in Pull-ups insisted that Karen stop making her cram for her kindergarten admissions test. “Can’t you see I’m only four?” The child implored. Karen quit the business soon after.

Unemployed again, Ms. Quinn decided to try to write that novel she had always secretly dreamed about. There was just one problem. She had no experience writing anything besides the annual holiday letter. Karen decided that if she didn’t try to make her fantasy come true now, she probably never would, so she went for it. In three months, she had the first draft of The Ivy Chronicles. It is the story of Ivy Ames, a woman who loses her job, her husband, and her fabulous uptown lifestyle. To get back on her feet and support her two daughters, she decides to become an advisor to rich Manhattanites, helping their little darlings get into the crème de la crème of private school. It is a hilarious and heartbreaking story of how Ivy picks herself up after bitter loss, dusts herself off, and creates a new and better life. Like Ivy, Karen Quinn lost her job, her home (but not her husband – whew!) and was forced to start over and reinvent herself, which she did by first starting a school admissions business and then by writing The Ivy Chronicles.

After completing her manuscript, Karen’s road to getting published was serendipitous. Her babysitter knew an agent, and even though the agent wasn't taking new clients, she fell in love with the book and took it on. Soon after, the woman sitting next to Karen at the World Track and Field Championships in Paris, France turned out to be the editor of The Devil Wears Prada. Karen’s husband gave the editor the manuscript. She loved it and wanted to publish it, starting a bidding war between four major publishers. Soon there was a two-book international deal and a movie sale to Warner Brothers with Catherine Zeta Jones set to play Ivy. It’s the stuff dreams are made of.

At the podium, Karen will have you laughing out loud when she describes the craziness she witnessed advising rich and powerful Uptown warriors who would stop at nothing to have their well-heeled spawn land a coveted spot at the city’s fanciest schools. You will be inspired by Karen’s own story as she shares insights about reinvention and her belief that now, more than ever, we must all learn how to find new identities for ourselves as we experience the inevitable changes life delivers. She reveals what she learned when creating her own new life and offers practical advice on how you can turn own dreams into reality.

Ms. Quinn grew up in San Antonio and Austin, Texas. Then she moved to Colorado where she lived for several years before landing in Manhattan. She and her husband have two children. She recently sold her second novel, Wife in the Fast Lane, and completed her third, India Fudge and the Time Travel Tunnel.

© Karen Quinn. All rights reserved. Site designed by
  Kevin Che.