Kara Bickhem May

Literary Coach

Kara May holds a Master of Arts in Education with an English and French focus and a Masters in School Administration. Her passion for writing and the English language extends back more than thirty years. Her particular blend of skills as an educator, a writer and an editor brings a sharp but empathetic eye to whatever writing demands are before her; she enjoys encouraging and supporting authors as they paint their literary vision on paper.

She has had a passion for the written word as long as she can remember. As a child, Kara pored over books of all genres, often reading several of them at a time–adventure, youth and young adult, biographies and informational texts–to be both entertained and enriched.

The not-so-accidental honing of this skill set helped Kara to further develop her passion at Truman State University. In 1998, she began her tenure as a high school English teacher in a Chicago South Suburban high school. Earning her second Master of Arts degree served to further enhance her perception of the intentions of the written and spoken word in both academic and non-academic settings. Currently, as a school leader of a Creative Arts Charter School on the Southside of Chicago, she continues to lend her giftings not only to authors but to young minds who are hungry for growth and self-expression.

Outside of her educational career, Kara has spent over 15 years editing, proofing, writing and coaching for numerous entities. In 2013, she and her devoted husband and partner, André May (BA, Journalism) began Beyond The Pen Consulting and Coaching to formally provide services for clients, reaching to the heart of their words while meeting their editorial needs. Kara is deeply thankful to God for the word gifts that He has given her, and she considers her literary endeavors more of a ministry more than a profession.