Spilling Ink: A Young Writer’s Handbook by Anne Mazer and Ellen Potter, illustrated by Matt Phelan
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 agreement. There were new ideas but many observations were things that I have learned only recently. Now do the math here: I am 23, a graduate student, and I have been writing since I was in like the 5th grade, earlier than that if you ask my sister. I can only imagine how much better off my writing would be now if this volume had existed to find it’s way into my 5th grade hands. The book is well broken down so you can bite off just a little bit at a time and mull over it for a while or you can tear through it and easily find the parts you want to go back to later. This book is not a dreary tome of rules; rather it is the first clue that sets you on the path towards great adventure and maybe just maybe great treasure at the end. (Now I better go finish my homework so I can write before my fingers fly off on their own…)