My picture book is due out very soon and with it I usher in a new phase of my author journey, the school visit. I am comfortable with the material for the pre-K and Kindergarten-Third grade crowd, but what do you do with those oh so sophisticated 9-12 year olds? The answer is talk about the writing process. But how do I address the tough issues of rewrites, writer’s block and everything in between? Help is on the way.
Spilling Ink: A Young Writer’s Handbook, written by veteran authors Ellen Potter and Anne Mazer and illustrated by Matt Phelan. This is a great book filled with writing tips for the 9-12 year olds (and certain adult picture book authors too).
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.
I found this book to be fun and very insightful. The tips are easy to understand and written in a way that kids will understand. This book would be a great gift for the kids who want to work on their writing, teachers looking for some fantastic tips, or picture book writers who want to improve their craft.
Nice job ladies.
Writing on the Sidewalk