Enter your mobile number below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
Getting the download link through email is temporarily not available. Please check back later.

  • Apple
  • Android
  • Windows Phone
  • Android

To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.

Buy New
$6.77
Qty:1
  • List Price: $11.99
  • Save: $5.22 (44%)
FREE Shipping on orders with at least $25 of books.
Only 5 left in stock (more on the way).
Ships from and sold by Amazon.com. Gift-wrap available.
Spilling Ink: A Young Wri... has been added to your Cart
Have one to sell? Sell on Amazon
Flip to back Flip to front
Listen Playing... Paused   You're listening to a sample of the Audible audio edition.
Learn more
See all 3 images

Spilling Ink: A Young Writer's Handbook Paperback – March 30, 2010

4.8 out of 5 stars 63 customer reviews

See all 12 formats and editions Hide other formats and editions
Price
New from Used from
Kindle
"Please retry"
Paperback
"Please retry"
$6.77
$3.75 $0.80

Up to 50% off select Teen and YA books
Featured titles are up to 50% off for a limited time. See all titles
$6.77 FREE Shipping on orders with at least $25 of books. Only 5 left in stock (more on the way). Ships from and sold by Amazon.com. Gift-wrap available.
click to open popover

Frequently Bought Together

  • Spilling Ink: A Young Writer's Handbook
  • +
  • Writing Magic: Creating Stories that Fly
  • +
  • Rip the Page!: Adventures in Creative Writing
Total price: $21.55
Buy the selected items together


Editorial Reviews

From Booklist

Two fine writers put their heads together and come up with an equally fine guide to their craft for beginners. Avoiding traditional chapters, the coauthors address issues by turns in short personal takes. Mazer speaks to beginnings, for example, while Potter tackles endings; and both have diverting things to say about everything that happens in between, whether it’s the narrative voice or (eek) writer’s block. Always agreeable, practical, and commonsensical in their approach, the two are also refreshingly permissive (“it’s fine to break rules”), though they add the caveat that rule breakage should come from a knowledge of said rules and a good reason for breaking them. Their text is enlivened with sidebar features, personal anecdotes, and suggestions to readers for exercising their new skills (happily these aren’t called “Exercises” but, instead, “I Dare You”). Such devices, along with the authors’ unfailing good humor, will go a long way to convincing their audience that writing can actually be fun! A notion that is nicely underscored by Phelan’s engaging and always appealing illustrations. Grades 5-9. --Michael Cart --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Review

“Cogent and invaluable.” ―Publishers Weekly

“The best of recent volumes on the subject.” ―Kirkus Reviews

“Two fine writers put their heads together and come up with an equally fine guide to their craft for beginners.” ―Booklist

“For years I have been thinking about writing a HOW TO book for kids who want to write. Now I don't have to. Anne and Ellen have crafted such a wonderful, funny, wise book about how to craft a wonderful, funny, wise book that when eager young writers send me a letter seeking my advice I can now simply say, ‘Read this!' My hat is off to this dynamic duo.” ―Bruce Coville, author of Jeremy Thatcher, Dragon Hatcher

“The singular, intense yet funny voice of SPILLING INK shares advice--how to convince your characters they are alive, avoid noisy dialog tags, wear sunglasses to feel like a spy--with much lively wisdom, and nary a hint of adult condescension. An outstanding book.” ―Nancy Springer, author of The Enola Holmes Mystery series

NO_CONTENT_IN_FEATURE

New York Times best sellers
Browse the New York Times best sellers in popular categories like Fiction, Nonfiction, Picture Books and more. See more

Product Details

  • Paperback: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Square Fish; 1 edition (March 30, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 159643628X
  • ISBN-13: 978-1596436282
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.8 x 8.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 10.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (63 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #12,129 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Kate Coombs VINE VOICE on April 4, 2010
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I haven't come across a "How to" book for kids about writing that has impressed me--till now. Spilling Ink is a chatty, informed, get-real look at writing by two children's book authors, and it doesn't waste time diagramming sentences and listing common spelling errors. Anne Mazer, author of series like Abby Hayes and Sister Magic, and Ellen Potter, author of books like Olivia Kidney and Slob, lay out what it means to be a writer and tell kids how to get the job done.

This book is written in a thoroughly reader-friendly style, with the two authors taking turns giving advice in a manner reminiscent of blog posts. Hayes and Potter know their stuff, and it shows: as a writer, I was pleased to see such good ideas expressed so simply, not to mention humorously. For instance, the chapter and section titles are often entertaining: "More Crawling Lizards, Please," "Truth or Dare," "The Robo-Narrator," and "Belly Buttons" are a few of my favorites.

Take a look at the book's tone in this selection from Ellen Potter: "Before I started writing seriously, I was under the delusion that 'real' writers sit down and write out the entire story in one nearly perfect, spectacularly clever draft. Oh, sure, maybe they would change a word or two, or rename one of their characters 'Nathan' because his original name, 'Jake,' reminds them too much of their cousin Jake who belches the theme music to retro TV shows. But that's about it. Wrong! Hugely, profoundly, utterly wrong."

Spilling Ink offers instructive analogies, such as comparing a story's setting to a mood ring, and useful techniques, such as "the chicken-nugget circle." The authors provide short writing samples to illustrate their points here and there, which is so much more helpful than mere explanations.
Read more ›
3 Comments 34 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This was recommended to me by a teacher friend. I am a former teacher and current homeschooling mom schooling children in several grades from kindergarten through middle school. I am using this book with my 4th and 7th graders. It is perfect. The practical, personal advice is written in a funny, easy-to-read format. The "I Dare You" ideas are getting my kids writing - without tears and arguments. I have to admit it's motivating me, too. We are loving the writing process! I highly recommend Spilling Ink for all educational settings and elementary through middle schoolers.
Comment 18 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
A Kid's Review on April 14, 2011
Format: Hardcover
I really loooooooooooooove this book! I have been trying to write books forever and this will surely help! I am a 6th grader and this book has wonderful ideas and I love how they don't make it all about spelling and the boring stuff - you can get the other writing books for that-! The pictures are cute and funny, and how they word things in here are hilarious!I would recommend this book to kids or adults,this book is totally awesome!The only thing is that I would like a little more info for starting stories and how to not get bored with what you are writing. Overall, this is a fantastic book!
Comment 20 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
As a fourth grade teacher, I appreciate a writing book that speaks directly to kids instead of to teachers. My school subscribes to the methods of Lucy Caulkins and the Columbia Teacher's College Writing Workshop. This book fits that program perfectly. The writing exercises and the language are fun, and any references are kid-friendly. I use this in combination with Writing Magic, by Gail Carson Levine. My lessons have included more fun writing time since buying this book. My students love it.
Comment 8 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I am a professional freelance writer, and recently my little sister (almost 12) has expressed an interest in writing as well. Whether she decides to pursue it as a career or not remains to be seen, but I wanted to give her the tools necessary to succeed should she decide to do that - and this book promises to help even hobbyist writers.

First let me say, this is MUCH more in-depth than I thought it would be! I had expected it to be like a "kid's version" of Joanna Penn's "How to Make a Living with Your Writing" (which I love and have read three times, but figured the tips were catered toward adults). However, this is more like a COMPLETE manual, and it's broken down into very informative sections. I haven't flipped through the whole thing (don't want to ruin the "fresh binding" for her) but here's the chapter list, as an idea:

1 - Is It Really This Simple?
2 - Ugly First Drafts
3 - Inspiration
4 - Convincing Your Characters That They Are Alive
5 - Naming Your Characters
6 - Blackberries, Raspberries, and Story Ideas
7 - Now We Get to the Weird Stuff: Plot
8 - Who Is Telling Your Story? The Narrative Voice
9 - Starting Points
10 - How to Create a Great Story Setting
11 - Suspense
12 - Title Tattle
13 - How to Write Dialogue
14 - Description
15 - More Crawling Lizards, Please: Talking About Illustrations
16 - Shape Shifters
17 - Ta-Da!
18 - Revision
19 - Journaling
20 - Two Heads Are Better Than One
21 - The Writing Process
22 - Hellooooo? Anybody Out There?
23 - Keeping Your Readers Awake
24 - Writers Are Strange Creatures. Thank Heavens!
Read more ›
Comment 2 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse

Most Recent Customer Reviews

Set up an Amazon Giveaway

Spilling Ink: A Young Writer's Handbook
Amazon Giveaway allows you to run promotional giveaways in order to create buzz, reward your audience, and attract new followers and customers. Learn more about Amazon Giveaway
This item: Spilling Ink: A Young Writer's Handbook