Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “The Pen Commandments: A Guide for the Beginning Writer” as Want to Read:
The Pen Commandments: A Guide for the Beginning Writer
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

The Pen Commandments: A Guide for the Beginning Writer

3.95  ·  Rating details ·  100 ratings  ·  14 reviews
Thou Shalt Honor Thy Reader, Thou Shalt Not Waste Words, Thou Shalt Not Kill Thy Sentences—these are three of the “pen” commandments through which, with humor and an engaging sense of purpose, Steven Frank inspires his readers not just to write but to write well.

Thou Shalt Take Pleasure in Thy Pen: As Frank watches a group of students huddle around a boy who is gleefully e
Hardcover, 336 pages
Published August 5th 2003 by Pantheon
More Details... Edit Details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about The Pen Commandments, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about The Pen Commandments

This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Add this book to your favorite list »

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
Average rating 3.95  · 
Rating details
 ·  100 ratings  ·  14 reviews

More filters
Sort order
Start your review of The Pen Commandments: A Guide for the Beginning Writer
Fee Scott-Bolden
Aug 18, 2017 rated it liked it
So far so good
Dec 25, 2018 rated it it was ok
I picked up this book in preparation for creating a teen writing program, and I was disappointed. While this might be a good general book for students in middle or high school, it is limited only to 5-paragraph essay writing - a single type of writing that is typically overused in school. I have met so many students who are tired of writing, simply from writing too many essays, which turns them away from the realm of possibilities of the written word. Perhaps this book would be good for a studen ...more
Mike Duron
Oct 10, 2012 rated it liked it
This is a great book for young novice writers. (It may come off as 'cutesy' for an older crowd.)

I would highly recommend this for young people just starting to get serious about writing who are in anything from junior high school to their sophomore year at college. Anything later than that and I would use something else.

This isn't a bad review either. Steven Frank even includes in his title "A Guide for the Beginning Writer." He and Pantheon, the publisher, also include on the cover, "A wise, pl
Jan 05, 2008 rated it really liked it
Steven Frank is an English teacher, and he wrote a book about his experiences. Some chapters were very humorous, while the chapter about essays I did not enjoy. His stories and advice helped out a lot, without having to do separate activities for them. Some situations were a bit exaggerated, which made the advice hard to believe.

This isn’t the typical book that I would review, but never the less, I think I would recommend it to most people who read this blog. It’s more about sharing the love of
Oct 20, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: everyone who is looking at this review, and others
Shelves: writing
This book was fantastic!! J.K. Rowling has fabulous stories, but Steven Frank *writes* better. It was entertaining all through the entire thing, and when it ended it left with a (figurative) sparkle that left the reader with a feeling of closure and good feelings. The book itself is well-organized, smooth, creative, and fun. I read some of the stories Frank uses to teach about writing to my mom, and now she wants to read it too. I even suggested it to my English teacher. (If she were to teach mo ...more
Nov 20, 2009 added it
Shelves: 2009, writing
Noticed this at the library the other day. Hooray! A FUN book about writing! Refreshing to come upon something like this and find yourself chuckling your way through. It's written by a high school English teacher, and he reminds me of my sophomore English teacher. A few weeks before Halloween she had us draw a way someone could die out of a pumpkin bucket and write a story around it, then on Halloween with the lights off and a skull lamp glowing on her desk, we read our stories. I've only just b ...more
Emily D
Feb 18, 2010 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: writing
Someone gave me a copy of this back when I was in college, and I loved it! It's like Strunk & White learned how to be funny, relatable, and easier to understand.

To the non-writers who need to learn how to write for the sake of getting that grade in Lit class, this is the one for you. (It's a painless way to learn, promise!)

And for those of you who love to write, it makes for a refreshing review.
Aug 02, 2011 added it
This was a gift from a student, and I now see why she wanted to share it. Contrary to the subtitle, it's helpful even for those who fancy themselves old hands in writing. Mr. Frank gives a lot of help in the writing process --- and squeezes in a grammar lesson or two. ...more
Sep 05, 2007 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Writing lovers.
One of the best, best books I have ever read for beginning writers. It covers everything you need to know in writing well. Taught by a former English teacher, it will make writing so much more clear and fun for you.
Apr 10, 2008 rated it liked it
Shelves: teaching-english
This is one of those books I like but haven't really worked into my teaching. For young writers, it is a readable guide to the basics of serious writing. If money were no object, I'd love to have this to teach from. ...more
Marty Fowler
Mar 31, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Over the last few years of owning this book I've gone back and read parts of it over and over correcting my poor writing skills. Its fun, interesting and everyone should give this to their teen before entering high school. ...more
Jul 28, 2009 rated it liked it
Shelves: writing
It's a funny read. Highly entertaining. ...more
Apr 23, 2011 rated it liked it
I had to read this for Honors English. I learned a lot about writing and it was fun to read.
Nielmarie Rose
rated it really liked it
Feb 22, 2013
rated it liked it
Oct 01, 2016
rated it really liked it
Nov 11, 2008
rated it it was ok
Jul 31, 2017
Fione Lim
rated it it was amazing
Jan 22, 2013
rated it it was amazing
Jan 21, 2021
Alana Gale
rated it it was amazing
Sep 01, 2019
rated it it was amazing
Aug 29, 2015
rated it it was amazing
Aug 21, 2013
Kristina Nikolic
rated it did not like it
Apr 09, 2012
rated it really liked it
Dec 09, 2013
rated it really liked it
Jun 01, 2012
Matt Barlow
rated it really liked it
Sep 20, 2012
rated it it was amazing
Jan 05, 2018
rated it it was amazing
Jul 15, 2015
rated it really liked it
Aug 25, 2014
Jill Marcotte
rated it liked it
Sep 14, 2013
« previous 1 3 4 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »

Readers also enjoyed

  • The Iliad
  • The Art of Dying Well: A Practical Guide to a Good End of Life
  • A Sense of Urgency
  • Rosalind Franklin: The Dark Lady of DNA
  • Last Chance to See
  • A Book About Love
  • Mere Christianity
  • Holy Bible: King James Version
  • Surprised by Joy: The Shape of My Early Life
  • Wherever You Go, There You Are: Mindfulness Meditation in Everyday Life
  • The Voyage of the Dawn Treader (Chronicles of Narnia, #3)
  • The Sonic Boom: How Sound Transforms the Way We Think, Feel, and Buy
  • The Horse and His Boy (Chronicles of Narnia, #5)
  • Mindset: The New Psychology of Success
  • The Case for Easter: A Journalist Investigates the Evidence for the Resurrection
  • Redwall (Redwall, #1)
  • Pre-Suasion: A Revolutionary Way to Influence and Persuade
  • Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion
See similar books…

Related Articles

  Discover lots of new and upcoming nonfiction reads this spring with our author interviews, articles, and book lists!   Interviews with...
4 likes · 3 comments