Main Street at Culham Writing Company


I am glad you found us!

We help teachers and students reach their writing goals in classrooms across the US and the world. We'd like to help you, too. Our website is designed to be both enjoyable and informative. It is full of new ways to get to know us, the traits, and the Scholastic educational resources.

Use the tabs tothe left to visit THE LIBRARY, THE WORKSHOP, and THE BUSINESS OFFICE. Click on BULLETINS to get the latest happenings here at CWC. As always, we look forward to hearing from you and we are always happy to answer your questions by phone or email.

Keep in touch!

Our Mission

We're a dedicated and experienced team of educators who know the Traits of Writing model inside and out. We've been working with the traits as an assessment model and as a powerful instructional tool since the beginning – over twenty-five years.

In the mid 1980's, a forward thinking and experienced group of teachers examined stacks and stacks of student papers with a common purpose. They wanted to identify the core qualities of great writing and describe the skills required to achieve excellence.

As the national and international leaders in this ever-evolving process, we have worked hard to advance and refine the work, developing the 6 + 1 Traits of Writing over time – a shared language that demystifies great writing and provides an excellent foundation for teaching writing and assessing student progress.

Our partnership with Scholastic Inc. provides unique opportunities to publish a complete line of trait-based materials designed especially to suit the needs of teachers working with students to improve writing performance.

Who We Are


Author Ruth CulhamYou never know what's brewing next with Ruth Culham. She's either on a plane traveling to present her latest thinking about how to use the six-trait model for assessment and instruction, or at home creating new Scholastic resources for K-8 writing teachers.

Ruth spent 19 years in the classroom, the highlight of which was being named Montana's English/Language Arts teacher of the year. She worked as Unit Manager for the Assessment Program at Education Northwest. She finished her doctorate. She wrote her first book: 6+1 Traits of Writing: The Complete Guide for Grades 3 and Up. And the rest is history.

But there is always more - in her heart and on her mind. Her connections to teachers and students keep the work fresh. Her home office keeps her comfortable. Her friends keep her in wine. Her cats keep her company. Life is pretty good. Email Ruth Culham.


Karen is the most talented staff developer you’ll ever find. Her many years of experience working at the Region XIII Education Service Center in Austin, Texas convinced her that the traits could transform writing instruction in all schools.

Newly retired, she works through the Culham Writing Company to go to schools and districts and share her depth of knowledge and passion for teaching students how to write. Email Karen Harris.




As a former classroom teacher and recently retired Literacy Coach in the Brighton School District in Rochester, NY, Libby has first hand knowledge of how the traits work in the classroom.

Currently, she specializes in training and coaching classroom teachers on teaching writing using the Writing Traits. Throughout the past 14 years, she's presented to, and trained, teachers both nationally and internationally.

She knows books, she knows kids, she knows teachers, and she likes to put her knowledge of all three together in her workshops and presentations. Email Libby Jachles.



If it weren't for Office Manager Judy, the cats would be in charge and chaos would reign. We thank our lucky stars for Judy! Email Judy Hood.