Tasha's Reviews > Spilling Ink: A Young Writer's Handbook

Spilling Ink by Ellen Potter
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Mar 08, 10

bookshelves: nonfiction, childrens-books
Read in March, 2010

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 You sections to get you started, funny stories of both failure and success, and offers a refreshing look at the process of writing.

There are so many parts to love in this book. It has real information about subjects like metaphors, perspective, setting, and plot. At the same time it is light-hearted and very personal. Mazer and Potter have created an invitation to join them in both the success and failure of writing. Their personal stories make the book a pleasure to read, carrying the information easily to readers. Once you start reading, you will find it reads as easily as one of their novels, which is rare in a nonfiction book on the writing process!

Phelan’s art suits the writing well with its organic and natural feel. The illustrations and the fact that the chapters are broken into small bite-sized pieces contribute to the welcoming feel of the entire book.

Highly recommended, I see this as the ideal book to share with writing classes, to encourage young authors, and to hand to adults who want to start writing for children. Not only will it offer those adults the tools they need to write, it will also show them exactly what a great book for children should be.

Appropriate for ages 10-14. (I had to pry it out of my 13-year-old son’s hands to get to finish it. And only by promising not to touch his bookmark!)
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