Based in Washington, DC, Karin Palmquist writes and designs for a long and diverse list of publications and clients—national newspapers, foreign governments, large associations and small start-ups. The road to a sustainable freelance existence has been interesting to say the least.

Born and raised in Sweden, Karin came to the United States on a college scholarship. After college she worked as a model for two years. There are only so many miles of runway you can walk, however, before those four-inch heels start to wear on you. She left the runways for a more respectable job at an ad agency, Laughlin, Marinaccio & Owens, where she worked on such accounts as the Army National Guard and the Consumer Information Center. She then talked her way into a job as a freelance writer at The Washington Times. For three and a half years she traveled to every godforsaken corner of the world for the Times, writing and producing their international supplements. She had the chance to interview ten heads-of-state and countless ministers and she came away with some amazing experiences. Not everybody can say they've had the president of Indonesia fall asleep on them (protocol censored her questions, she was getting bored as well), or seen members of parliament in Kyrgyzstan completely naked.

When one of her managers at the Times left to start his own communications company, she followed him and worked for his company, East West Communications, (and for clients such as the governments of Greece, Kazakhstan and Ukraine) for four years. She helped these clients with conceptualization and implementation of ad campaigns, websites and other digital communication, and with media outreach. Some of the work involved on-going campaigns, while other projects were tied to a specific event, such as the work she did for Greece during the run-up to the 2004 Olympics.

Karin went completely freelance in 2006 (yay!) to broaden her portfolio to include clients in non-government sectors. She has spent her time since writing, researching, designing and producing for Web and print for Public Broadcasting Service, AARP, and the U.S. Navy (she’d be more than happy to provide you with a complete list of projects for bedside reading).

Karin’s designs and photographs have appeared in The Washington Post, The New York Times and The International Herald Tribune and her illustrations in magazines such as Good Housekeeping and Martha Stewart Living. Her writing credits include media outlets such as National Public Radio and, and she is a contributing editor to five Fodor's guidebooks (an imprint of Random House) and two guidebooks by SAS Media, Scandinavian Airlines’ media division. Her misadventures while traveling can be found in 'I Should Have Gone Home: Tripping Up Around the World' (RDR Books), 'I Should Have Stayed Home: Tantalizing Tales of Extreme Cuisine' (RDR Books) and 'The Risks of Sunbathing Topless' (Seal Press).

Karin can be reached by phone at 202.251.0485, and by email at




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