Karleen S McAllester

I’m a lifelong fan of the arts, and I’m especially passionate about writing.

After earning a degree in education, I taught writing as a grade school teacher and became involved with the early Writing Workshop movement, which transformed writing instruction by focusing on the writing process.

Seeking to hone my craft, I completed a graduate degree in journalism, then went on to become a technical and business writer. At each stage of my career, I’ve also worked as a writing tutor, ready to help students build the skills they need to meet their own writing challenges.

When not writing or reading, I can be found enjoying Lake Michigan at Gillson Park, or taking in a dance performance.


M.S. in Journalism, Boston University
B.A. in Education, University of Iowa
  Licensed Teacher Iowa/NY (1983), Grades K-6, English 7-8.


3rd / 4th Grade classroom teacher, Ithaca City School District (1983-88)
In-service instructor on the Writing Workshop Method


Technical and business writer and blogger (1990-present)


  • Private Tutor
    Tutored students in grades 1-6, while working as a classroom teacher. Taught math, reading, and writing skills (1983-88).
  • College Writing Center
    Writing Fellow at COM Writing Center (1989-90). Worked with undergrads on college papers, content development, mechanics of writing, and academic style. Supported English Language Learners.
  • High School Writing Center
    Volunteer writing tutor at Colleen Henry Writing Center at Lincoln Park High School, Chicago Public Schools (2015-16). Worked with high school students on English and history assignments. Supported English Language Learners. Provided feedback on college essays.
  • Oakton College Learning Center
    Writing tutor at the local community college (2019 to present). Work with college students on writing assignments for English and other subject areas. Support English Language Learners. Provide feedback on essays for college transfer applications.

A Note About My Perspective as a Parent

I’m a proud parent of four children who have all graduated from college.

Even a writer’s kids can struggle with writing sometimes… I’ve seen my own kids get frustrated, and felt a parent’s fierce determination to take action.

On a few occasions, my kids have had to “write with Mom” throughout the summer to improve their skills. The reward came after school started in the fall, when they received their first writing assignments, and realized, Hey, I got this!