Keys to Inspiration: A Teacher’s Guide to a Student-Centered Writing Program


  • Emotion and Inspiration are one and the same. When students trust themselves to write from the heart, they freely express their truth.
  • Edward Albee said, “I write to find out what I’m thinking about,” and it’s true: Thinking leads to questioning, wondering, researching, analyzing, and synthesizing.
  • Writing instruction is still too “top down.” Brenda Ueland taught us long ago that “. . . everyone has . . . something important to say.” If indeed we’re serious about placing students at the center of their learning, we need to start listening to them.

What people are saying:

  • “Mr. Ford, my middle-school writing teacher, taught me to think like a writer, and as a senior English major I still consider him the most influential teacher of my writing career.”
    Kirsten Slungaard, Harvard University, ’10
  • “Steve Ford shows us that when students travel to their emotional center, inspiration follows and they write. Buckle up as he takes us on a genre-writing journey, entertaining us along the way!”
    Judith Mitzuk, literacy coach, St. Paul Public Schools