Quote of the Month

When love and skill work together, expect a miracle. John Ruskin

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Striking It Rich...Writers That Is

Last Monday, March 26, I posted a review of Ellen Potter's newest title, The Humming Room, a stunning story inspired by The Secret Garden. (I ended up having to draw names for the distribution of the newly acquired multiple copies in our library media center.) As is my custom, prior to writing a review, I like to learn as much as possible about an author or illustrator by going to their website, blog or reading interviews they have given to other bloggers or journalists.  At Potter's website I clicked on the For Kids tab to discover that she and Anne Mazer have written a book, Spilling Ink:  A Young Writer's Handbook (Flashpoint, March 30, 2010) with illustrations by Matt Phelan. 

Not only do they have a list of hints about creating a sizzling character but they include links to other helpful websites for aspiring young writers.  But it was when I selected the For Teachers tab that I struck pure gold; The Official Website of Spilling Ink The Book!  Across the top visitors to the site can choose, About, Creativity Blog, Spilling Ink Writer's Club, Teacher's Kit, For Kids, Ask Us Anything, Press or Contact.

The About tab gives short descriptive information concerning the book, each of the authors and the illustrator.  The most recent post under the Creativity Blog heading features photographs with a big "WOW" factor by a thirteen year old member of a Spilling Ink Writer's Club.  You are invited to create your own caption for these story starters.  If you have ever wanted to start a writer's group, then look no further.  The Spilling Ink Writer's Club page is jam-packed with information on how to begin a group, free inspiring downloads, how to publish your work, other books for young, older teens and adult writers, links to great websites about writing by authors and a truly succinct video by Neil Gaiman who tells it like it is.

Downloads such as prompts, "I Dare You" cards, bookmarks, an official license to write, posters, bookplates and a partner writing contract are more than enough to jump-start an engaging writing program in any educator's classroom.  I'm going to print off the bookmarks to use during April is National Poetry Month when my students are writing poems. 
If children or young adults are coming to the website on their own all of the items listed under the Teacher's Kit are also included under the For Kids tab.

 Ask Us Anything is a discussion forum where questions asked are answered.  I can speak from experience, these two authors are never too busy to respond.  After reading all the comments from the Press about Ellen Potter's and Anne Mazer's book, Spilling Ink:  A Young Writer's Handbook you will want a copy of your own, if you do not have one already. 

Everything about the website, The Official Website of Spilling Ink The Book! is welcoming; the layout, the ease of navigation, and information for every age and taste.  After spring break I will be sharing this with many of my classes.

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