Are you a thought leader? I’m your thought writer.

I write about education because it’s in my DNA. I’m from a family of educators, a longtime teacher and a connoisseur of classes.

Let’s chat: karin@treefalls.com, 773-458-0581

Pop Quiz:

Are you an overworked academic communicator?

Are you an alumni magazine editor who needs captivating content?

Would you like regular blog posts, timely newsletters, faculty features?

Do you want to conduct interviews but don’t have the bandwidth?

Do you need regular press releases and media advisories?

Do you have collegiate marketing dreams yet slim staffing?

Answer Key, Answer McKie:

If you’re a college, university, school or education provider, I’m your freelance institutional support. I create features, newsletters, eblasts, blogs, bios, websites, marketing materials, press releases, media alerts, scripts, speeches.

I write about education and nonprofits, public relations and marketing, as well as the scholastic aspects of design, activism, travel, culture and the humanities including film, theater, museums. 

I’ve been an educator and college lecturer for decades in critical reading, creative writing, and public relations, so I bring experience from the trenches to your writing projects. I help execute everything English on the page and on the stage.

Let’s share some knowledge: karin@treefalls.com, 773-458-0581


SCOPE: I write about education and nonprofits, public relations and marketing, as well as the scholastic aspects of design, activism, travel, culture and the humanities.

CLIPS: Below are features from the alumni publication  Washington Square Magazine, Perspective design journal, Chicagoplays, The Book: An Actor’s Guide to Chicago, and business marketing materials.


ALSO: I’ve edited Perspective, books, and Reed, the oldest literary magazine west of the Mississippi (breaking submissions records). I’ve also written about:


PUBLIC RELATIONS & MARKETING: I’ve written 10,000+ press releases, media advisories and PSAs garnering prominent media coverage for 100+ organizations, artists and festivals, plus seminal series from DC’s WETA TV, the third largest public broadcasting station,  including Ken Burns’ The Civil War and In Performance at the White House. I received PBS’s Advertising and Promotion Award for the pregnancy series Nine Months.

EDUCATOR: I’ve lectured about and taught creative writing and critical reading, Shakespeare scholarship and comparative literature, public relations and marketing, at universities, schools and arts institutions.

I’ve interviewed GWAR.

Let’s collaborate: karin@treefalls.com, 773-458-0581


Business Marketing Postcard Campaign


I’ve read my writing on Chicago Public Radio (listen below), and at Write Club, Show & Tell, Loose Chicks, Found Pussy, Chicago Dramatists’ Scream, and my live lit improv series Kill Your Darlings.

Rufus Thomas and the Funky Chicken:

Sleep and Liam Neeson:

Sister Sledgehammer and Stage Combat:


 Kimzyn Campbell: “As Karin’s editor at Third Coast Review, I am happy to say that her works as an arts and culture writer is professional, punctual and nothing less than inspired. Her knowledge of theater is instrumental in the comprehensive reviews she writes for and she produces thorough and meticulous work, making my job easier. I highly recommend you hire her.”

Dr. Andrew Fleck: “Karin is a really talented writer and an energetic spark plug. Her writing has life and vitality, with a great range beyond the kind of academic writing she produced in my classes. She knows how to craft a message, how to turn a phrase, how to craft an arc. Her writing has power: it punches the reader in the gut with emotional intensity and lifts the reader with its optimism. I love to read whatever she writes. Karin is also energized by the politics of our day. She may have a degree in English, but would also be successful in a communications department: she knows how to find the right buttons to get people motivated to act. She would be a powerhouse in a political consulting firm or a public relations outfit. She’s got talent. Karin has mastered the word. Not some inert word in the dictionary. She knows how to make words work. Relying on Karin to make words sparkle is the best decision anyone can make.”


Julia Borcherts: “We hold you in high regard at the Chicago Tribune. I was trained using your press releases as models. My job would be much easier if you were to represent everyone.”

Jenny Lawton: “I feel so lucky to have had the chance to work with you. Thank you for being endlessly accommodating and patient, for always finding me the resources (and minutia) I begged for. You are an amazing resource. Thank you for making my job easy and fun.

You’re a tremendous asset to the organizations you assist.”

Dr. Denise La Grassa: “Karin is an active creative thinker and formulator of exactly the right message for the given project or event. Her ability to synthesize that message quickly and help make connections to people who can build your audience is invaluable for me as an artist. Her years of experience writing and connecting with the public are invaluable. When it comes to hiring millennials with plenty of knowledge of the latest social platforms, the latest tech whatever, all good, but it comes down to the story. How do you tell it? Do you know your audience? If you have spent your time connecting with tech to make community engagement happen, how is that connection really human? Karin has the heart, the warmth, and the years of experience with real people, real face-to-face situations, and she’s super-bright and always on-time, on budget, on deadline.”


I’m Karin McKie, freelance writer and editor focusing on education.

I’ve got a Communications and Theater BS, and a Creative Writing MFA.

The 70th Annual Philadelphia Writers’ Conference awarded me the Mabel Love Memorial Scholarship and Chicago Dramatists gave me the M.E.H. Lewis Memorial Fund Scholarship.

I’m the daughter of a cultural anthropologist, the retired education director of the Smithsonian’s National Museum of Natural History, and the FCC’s retired deputy managing director so communications is in my blood. My grandfather, sister and aunts are teachers and principals so education is a family value.

I grew up outside the Beltway, have lived in London, Amsterdam, and the Bay Area, have taught and performed in Edinburgh and around the Americas, and was a China/Taiwan Global Technology Scholar. I spent Y2K in Buenos Aires, and now I’m a Windy City culture vulture. I like dogs and cats, yoga and weight lifting, acting and activism, as well as narrative nonfiction, natch.

I’m a spokesperson and a SAG-AFTRA actor (hence headshots!). I speak to students and professionals about public relations and media marketing:

  • DePaul University, “Careers in Public Relations and Advertising”
  • Roosevelt University, annual fall “Theater Public Relations” lecture
  • North Park University, media writing lectures
  • James Madison University, “Theater and Public Relations”
  • San José State University, School of Journalism/Mass Communications, arts public relations lectures
  • Public Narrative (formerly Community Media Workshop), “Arts Promotion Toolkit” and “Making Media Connections”
  • Arts Management Project at the Athenaeum, “Critics Choice: Developing Media Relationships That Get You Covered” and “Marketing Tips You Can Use”
  • Fernwork Arts Incubator, “PR for the Arts” and “How to Talk About Your Work”
  • WGN Radio, notable documentary recommendations 
  • WDCB’s The Arts Section, harassment awareness (19:10-25:47)
  • Four You talk show host and producer
  • ShakesBEERience reader
  • Chicago Public Radio, “Theater Public Relations and Marketing” –

Let’s communicate: karin@treefalls.com, 773-458-0581