Writing from the Heart

Writing from the Heart

When we speak in the language that is ours, and tell our own stories, poems and truths, we are surprised that this is the source of our true writing. Listen. Pay attention. Feel. Keep your words flowing!

“Fill your paper with
the breathings of your heart.”
- William Wordsworth



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Reviews of Heart Maps:

“Georgia Heard’s newest book, Heart Maps – Helping Students Create and Craft Authentic Writing explores the thing most central, most essential, and most necessary in teaching writing.

What is that one, most essential thing? It is the heart. Your own heart, and your students’ hearts.

In this book, Georgia offers practical tools to spark ideas for writing. The work is accessible and feels doable even for a writing workshop novice — but the maps are so much more than just a tool for generating ideas. The book, organized into twenty or so ingenious templates for heart mapping, offers a way to study the heart from all angles. There is a template for mapping important memories, places, and people. There’s one for mapping the things that inspire you as a writer, and another for exploring your heart as a reader. There are others for gratitude, wishes, people you admire, and more. The list of ways to study what lives in your heart is long, and inspiring, and beautiful.”
-Elizabeth Moore, TwoWritingTeachers.org.  To see the entire review, click this link:  https://twowritingteachers.org/2016/10/17/heart-maps-a-review-and-a-giveaway/

“We understand that children read and write more earnestly and truthfully when engaged by emotion. We have, in Heart Maps, a stunning array of potential discoveries for young readers and writers: discoveries about what really lies within our complex emotional lives; about the budding passion they find in the social or natural world; and about the hearts of those around them. The discoveries and insights children will make as they craft heart maps will be lasting and profound.”
Ellin Keene, author of Talk About Understanding; coeditor of The Teacher You Want to Be

“Passion drives effort. If we want students to invest effort in learning to write well, we must provide opportunities to explore their passions and find relevance in their writing. Georgia Heard shows us how to open students’ hearts, discover their stories, and bring their passions to the page. Rich with practical strategies, student examples, and lists of mentor texts, Heart Maps is a book that I will use and recommend to teachers for years to come.”
-Donalyn Miller, author of The Book Whisperer

“This book will steal your heart. Filled with strategies, student work examples, stories from the classroom, mentor texts, inspiration, and practicality, you’ll find yourself relying on this book again and again as a trusted source as you help your student writers craft a writing life.”
-Jennifer Serravallo, author of The Reading Strategies Book and the forthcoming The Writing Strategies Book

“From the first page of Heart Maps, Georgia takes us on a journey of ‘possible’ from a child’s-eye-view with 20 heart maps as our navigation tool. She helps us envision writing from the inside out, taking us on a passionate voyage unfettered by impersonal rules where joyful meanderings of powerful, personal, purposeful writing keep ‘possible’ in view.”

-Dr. Mary Howard, author of Good to Great Teaching and RTI from All Sides

Heart Maps is filled with wonder and beauty. It will capture and hold the why of any writer’s journey: to name the passions that live inside of us, waiting to be written. Georgia offers wise guidance and practical tools for writing teachers of all ages, including 20 kinds of heart maps and dozens and dozens of mentor poems and gorgeous student examples to spring deep thinking across genres. This is a rich and lasting gift for my own teaching and an essential book for all who lead writers.”
-Penny Kittle, author of Book Love and Write Beside Them

Heart Maps shows and powerfully provides a tangible way for a teacher to help a child plumb their natural creativity. The heart map method is also a bridge: by using and being open to it, a solid connection between the teacher and student is inevitable. Even more, by practicing heart maps, a child can learn to connect with their own vast and unique identity as a writer-for-life. There may be no greater gift a teacher can give.”
-John Fox, author of Finding What You Didn’t Lose: Expressing Your Truth and Creativity Through Poem-Making; founder of The Institute for Poetic Medicine




September 10, 2016

Heinemann Podcast:  Heart Maps by Georgia Heard


April 18, 2016

The Power of Poetry / Teacher Magazine / Scholastic.com

April 19, 2016





Take a look inside your heart, That’s where a poem truly likes to start.
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Writing & Revision

If you are a teacher, writer, poet, or someone seeking to find your writing voice again, or for the first time, click below to learn more.
Writing Revision


Nonfiction & Wonder

“I value that little phrase ‘I don’t know’ so highly. It’s small, but it flies on mighty wings.” (Wislawa Szymborska) Learn more about how nonfiction “flies on mighty wings.”
Nonfiction Wonder


Heart Maps

Begin here. With the map you’ve already made in your heart. Click here to learn more about heartmapping.
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A lot of people ask me how did I become a writer. I’m never really sure how to answer that question because there weren’t any writers in my family, no one who encouraged me to become a writer, nor any footsteps to follow.

My mother was the librarian at our school where my three sisters and I attended. She was an avid reader of books, but also of newspapers, so reading was always a big part of our home life. I always say, you can’t be a writer without being a reader. I didn’t read widely but I read deeply. My favorite book was The Secret Garden; I must have read that book a dozen times looking for clues into my own life.

For my 10th birthday, my mother and father gave me one of those little diaries with a lock and key attached, and I started to write poems, record my feelings, thoughts and secrets. For family birthdays, I wrote down my poems and gave them away as birthday gifts. I was amazed that sometimes my words brought tears to my mother or father’s eyes. It was then I realized that words have the power to open/touch hearts.

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Upcoming Speaking Schedule

  1. NCTE 2016: Faces of Advocacy

    November 17 @ 8:00 am - November 20 @ 5:00 pm
  2. FULLY BOOKED DECEMBER 1, 2016 – AUGUST 1, 2017

    December 1, 2016 @ 8:00 am - August 1, 2017 @ 5:00 pm
  3. Teachers College Reading and Writing Project

    April 4, 2017 @ 8:00 am - 3:00 pm

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Please email Georgia Heard at Heard_Georgia@yahoo.com (Note: There is an underscore between Heard and Georgia)

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