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Spilling Ink: A Young Writer's Handbook

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4.33 of 5 stars 4.33  ·  rating details  ·  621 ratings  ·  147 reviews
LEARNHOW TO WRITE LIKE THE EXPERTS, FROM THE EXPERTS.

Practical advice in a perfect package for young aspiring writers.

After receiving letters from fans asking for writing advice,accomplished authors Anne Mazer and Ellen Potter joined together to create this guidebook for young writers. The authors mix inspirational anecdotes with practical guidance on how to find a voice,
...more
Hardcover, 288 pages
Published March 30th 2010 by Flash Point
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Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone by J.K. RowlingThe Lost Hero by Rick RiordanHarry Potter and the Deathly Hallows by J.K. RowlingHarry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix by J.K. RowlingHarry Potter and the Goblet of Fire by J.K. Rowling
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Maine Student Book Awards 2011-2012
29th out of 42 books — 17 voters


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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 1,283)
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Betsy
I was child writer. Which is to say, I was one of those kids who wrote endless stories between the ages of nine and fourteen or so. Of these stories, I finished only one. And I remember taking a writing class over a summer once that I enjoyed, but otherwise I didn't have a lot of direction when it came to my writing. I dabbled a bit in high school, but for the most part my creative side floundered for many years before getting a bit of a revivification in adulthood. So it's impossible for me not ...more
Cherylann
Admittedly, this book sat on my desk at school for 7 months before I picked it, and I only picked it up because I was feeling guilty that I was hogging a book from the school library that a student or two probably wanted to read. I took it from the library because I thought it sounded like a good read. I had no idea what a good read this book is! I can't wait to book talk it to my students. The book is full of sound writing advice for kids. And the best part is they'll probably take it for two r ...more
AryaTheFangirl
Liked this more than I thought I would. Most writing books one reads are really dense but this one wasn't. Also some unique advice which tends to be lacking in most writing books.
Barb Middleton
Good grief. I have 10 pages of notes on this book. Don't worry, I won't put you to bed with a long review, but the great phrases, advice, and lesson ideas had me paraphrasing oodles of sections. Speaking of "oodles," it is a word I've been hooked on lately. Go ahead, say the word. Now get a good gob of spit in the back of your throat and say it like a five-year-old blowing bubbles. My grandson reminded me of this fun bubble-spit game. This book advises to beware of certain "writing tics" such as ...more
Tasha
Two veteran authors take their years of writing, their know-how, and their energy and offer it happily to new authors, both young and old. What could have been a dry subject is definitely not in their hands. Simply starting the book will have you hooked and make you wonder why you never wrote that book that you know you have inside you. Mazer and Potter take on all of your excuses, throw in some great advice, and really inspire you to go for it! Written with lots of humor, this book has I Dare Y ...more
Amy Carr
Whether you are a child, teenager or adult...whether you are a writer or just secretly dream of writing...this is a wonderful reference book to get you writing or help improve what you have written. It is written for an audience 3rd grade and older and really breaks down not only the process of "writing" but all the different elements of story, character, voice, etc. It gives "writing" assignments, examples, and tries to break down this overwhelming task into bite size pieces. I loved the book.. ...more
Jennifer Duell
Spilling ink: a young writer's handbook. (2010) New York: Scholastic Inc.

Citation by: Jennifer Duell

Type of Reference: Handbook

Call Number: REF 808

Content/Scope: A writer's handbook targeted to upper elementary and middle school students. Contains personal narratives, prompts, and real-life authors talking about writing. This handbook will appeal to upper elementary students beginning on-demand writing along with journal writing.

Accuracy/Authority/Bias: Scholastic is a global publishing company
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Guy
"Spilling Ink" by Anne Mazer and Ellen Potter is about a young girl teaching the reader how to write. The young girl is supposed to portray Anne Mazer as a child and how she lived her life.
The main theme of this book is how to write. One lesson that this book teaches is how to improve your writing by using various techniques. One of these is criticism, like how to take criticism and how to differ between good criticism and bad criticism. Another lesson is how to overcome difficulties while writ
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Penny McGill
I never wanted to be a writer when I was a kid and almost don't understand my own kids and how much they love their notebooks and writing so when a book like this is returned or I see it on the shelf I always bring it home to try and get into that headspace. I never succeed. It always feels 100% foreign to me, as if I were reading a book about milking a cow (who was the first person to think that was a good idea?) but a book like this makes me see why it might seem like fun to other people and, ...more
Brandie
Potter, E., Mazer, A. (2010). Spilling ink: A young writer's handbook. New York: Roaring Brook Press.

Citation by: Brandie McKinney

Type of Reference: Handbook

Call Number: 808.02

Content/Scope: The contents of this handbook is related to young readers and their writing. Two authors created this book to inspire others to learn about the different aspects of writing and having fun creating writings.

Accuracy/Authority/Bias: The authors of this book are authors themselves and are conveying personal k
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Kaitlyn M
Mar 26, 2014 Kaitlyn M is currently reading it
I really like this book it gives really good advice on writing books and coming up with the people in the books. My favorite part so far is when you start to write about a person pretend they are alive and real after doing that it should be easy to write about them. Another thing the aouther said was you could base people in your book after people in real life. Your story could also e somthing that really did happen to you. Another idea i really liked was write some names and put them in a bowl ...more
Abby Moreland
This was like my 7,000,000 read. This is an amazing, amazing writing book. It covers plot, characters, writing style, writing habit, metaphors and similes, writing picture books, battling writers block, dealing with criticism, and so much more. I go back to it whenever I'm stuck. And though I've checked it out at the library each time, I'm ordering it on Amazon soon. Best yet - Anne and Ellen put it all together with a modern, humorous, and anything-but-boring style!
Anastacia *Wonderful Mistake of Nature* Asbury
ummm not sure what page but this will sure help me!!! there are some very unusual but very, very, very, VERY useful tips and ideas in here....like having a sleepover with your characters where you ask them about themselves... Best writing book ever!!!!!!!!!!!
Wendy
This is a joyous energetic writing guide, good for any age! Seems especially appropriate for middle-grade authors.
TheLibraryOfSarah
Loved this helpful and motivating/inspiring book =)
Cindy Dyson Eitelman
This is a book I wish I'd read forty years ago. I always wanted to write, and I always did write, but I never wrote often enough or adventurously enough. With this kind of encouragement, my life might have turned out a whole lot different.

There wasn't any fan fiction on the internet in my younger days (there wasn't even any internet), and the idea of writing down stories to share with my friends would never have occurred to me. And I had the idea that writing, any writing, had to be totally orig
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NebraskaIcebergs
Having never heard of Anne Mazer or Ellen Potter before, their writing biographies initially felt a little less important than the tips about writing that I could pick up from their guide: Spilling Ink. Ironically, I've now added their novels to my reading list. Such is the power of a good writing guide! (It also doesn't hurt that Mazer has written a series of books about a girl who wants to be a writer.) If you aren't a fan of novels where the character viewpoints switch back and forth (and I'm ...more
Stephanie Jobe
First off just because something is illustrated doesn’t mean that there are huge amounts of images. I always love having a well placed smattering of pictures and Matt Phelan’s sketch style illustrations fit right in with the creative atmosphere of this book. I’ve always been drawn to things with stark contrast so the black and white on this cover styled like the yellow legal pads I used to tear through makes my heart happy.

I spent much of this book smiling a very silly smile and nodding in agree
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Ciarra
Apr 13, 2011 Ciarra rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Young Writers
Spilling Ink By Ellen Potter and Anne Mazer is a handbook for young writers. In this book Ellen and Anne give all sorts of tips and advice on making a book. From making characters come to life to how to turn on your idea radar, this book has it covered. Spilling Ink also gives some insight on making picture books and more on being a writer instead of just how to make a book.

Spilling Ink really is a great handbook for any young author. I feel like a changed writer after reading it. I feel more co
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Deana Chandler
Phelan, M. l., Potter, E., & Mazer, A. (2010). Spilling ink: a young writer's handbook. United States of America: Flash Point.

Citation created by: Deana Chandler
Call Number: 808

Description: This is a how-to manual that serves as a guide for aspiring writers.

Content/Scope: The book offers advice about the writing process. It covers everything from character and plot, to accepting criticism and dealing with writer’s block.

Accuracy/Authority: This handbook has received positive reviews by repu
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Charity
Phelan, M. l., Potter, E., & Mazer, A. (2010). Spilling ink: A young writer's handbook. United States of America: Flash Point.

Reference Type: Handbook

Call Number: 808.02

Content/ Scope: This handbooks guides students (gr. 4-7) through process it takes to be a writer. It offers tips and opportunities for the reader to use the knowledge they have gained though “I dare you” sections. The handbook is available in audio format.

Accuracy/Authority/Bias: The authors are experienced writers. The tips
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M. Neeley
Jun 22, 2012 M. Neeley marked it as to-read
Shelves: reference
Melissa Neeley

Title:
Mazer, A., Potter, E. (2010). Spilling ink: A young writer’s handbook. New York, NY: Roaring Book Press.

Type of Reference: Handbook
Call #: Y808.3 Mazer
Cost: $15.34

Description: This book offers playful advice on how to progress through the writing process for intermediate students.

Relevance and Relationship: A useful writing guide for older elementary or middle grade students, this handbook can be used in all content areas across the curriculum.

Purpose: This handbook analyze
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Elizabeth Lamantia
Jun 22, 2012 Elizabeth Lamantia marked it as reference
Reviewed by: Elizabeth LaMantia
Format: Handbook
Item Title (APA Style):
Phelan, M. l., Potter, E., & Mazer, A. (2010). Spilling ink: a young writer's handbook. United States of America: Flash Point.
Call number: 808.3
Reviewed in: Brownson, A. (2011). Spilling Ink: A Young Writer's Handbook. School Library Journal, 57(7), 52.
Price: $17.99
Description:
Book of helpful hints for young writers.
Relevance and Relationship:
This book would be appropriate for the collection analyzed during my field ex
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Brandi Plumlee
Name: Brandi Plumlee, LME 508
Potter, E., & Mazer, A. (2010). Spilling ink: A young writer’s handbook. New York, NY: Roaring Book Press.
Cost: $8.99 (Barnes and Noble)
Dewey/Call Number: (Not available from Library of Congress)

Reading Level: 9-14 years

Category: Elementary Level/Non-fiction Reference-Handbook

Review Citation:
Brownson, A. (2011). Book Review [Review of the book Spilling Ink: A Young Writer’s Handbook]. School Library Journal, 57(7), 72. Retrieved on June 16, 2012 from Academic Se
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Jean V. Naggar Literary
“Agreeable, practical, and commonsensical...Engaging and always appealing illustrations...Will go a long way to convincing their audience that writing can actually be fun!” --Booklist

“Cogent and invaluable.” --Publishers Weekly

“Engaging and informal...[Readers] will feel as if they have been allowed into a friendly conversation with masters of their craft. The best of recent volumes on the subject.” --Kirkus

“Terrific...practical and delightful...crafted with joy and verve.” --VOYA

"One of the bes
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Michelle David
Jun 18, 2012 Michelle David marked it as reference-collection
Handbook Reference

Name: Michelle David

Phelan, M., Potter, E., & Mazer, A. (2010). Spilling ink: A young writer’s handbook. New York: Roaring Brook Press.

Dewey: 808.3
Reading Level: 5-8 (Ages 9 and up)
Category: Nonfiction Reference/Handbook

Review Citation:
Y.K.S. (2011). [Review of the book Spilling ink: A young writer’s handbook]. Journal of Children’s Literature, 37(2), 43.

Description: This title prepares a young writer from the beginning. It goes through getting started, staging, revising a
...more
The Reading Countess
Publisher’s Summary:

LEARN HOW TO WRITE LIKE THE EXPERTS, FROM THE EXPERTS.

Practical advice in a perfect package for young aspiring writers.

After receiving letters from fans asking for writing advice,accomplished authors Anne Mazer and Ellen Potter joined together to create this guidebook for young writers. The authors mix inspirational anecdotes with practical guidance on how to find a voice, develop characters and plot,
make revisions, and overcome writer’s block. Fun writing prompts will help
...more
Jamie
Citation by: Jamie Schenck

Type of Reference: Handbook

Call Number: TEEN 808.3

Brief Description: This handbook provides tips for young people who want to become writers. The writing tips come straight from experts - the writers of this, and many other books.

Citation for where the item has been reviewed:
Brownson, A. (2011). Spilling ink: A young writer's handbook. School Library Journal, 57(7), 52.

Content Scope: This book is geared toward higher level elementary students and middle school studen
...more
Sheba.ramseyharlan.kyschools.us
Phelan, M. l., Potter, E., & Mazer, A. (2010). Spilling ink: a young writer's handbook. United States of America: Flash Point

Citation by: Sheba Ramsey

Type of Reference: Handbook

Call Number: 808

Content/Scope: This reference is a tool to help students become good writers. It covers the steps in the writing process as well as suggestions for brainstorming.

Accuracy/Authority/Bias: Review sources suggests this to be a reliable reference tool.

Arrangement/Presentation: This reference is arranged in
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Bridget R. Wilson
You want to be a writer? This is the book for you. Two skilled (and published) authors cover every topic from getting started, revision, and writer's block. It's all there.


What I thought: Wow! What a great book for young writers. I would have loved to have had a book like this when I was younger. I've read quite a few writing books (both for children and adults) and Spilling Ink is one of the better ones. A side note: as an adult, I still prefer the children's writing books. I loved the book's o
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Ellen Potter is the author of many children's books, including the Olivia Kidney series, Pish Posh, SLOB, and The Kneebone Boy. Her non-fiction book, Spilling Ink; a Young Writer’s Handbook, was co-authored by Anne Mazer

Olivia Kidney was awarded Child magazine’s “Best Children’s Book Award” and was selected as one of the “Books of the Year” by Parenting magazine.

SLOB is on more than 10 state book
...more
More about Ellen Potter...
The Humming Room Slob The Kneebone Boy Pish Posh Olivia Kidney

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