Monday, March 22, 2010

The Fabulous Anne Mazer and Ellen Potter Talk to YOU about writing

It's spring and we're jumping right in for a special interview and comment contest with the fabulous dynamic writing team, Anne Mazer and Ellen Potter who co-authored SPILLING INK a funny, inspiring book of advice, questions, and writing prompts for young writers. I'm holding a copy in my hand right now that's been donated by Anne and will be sent to one of you lucky readers who leave a comment even if it's to say, "Pick me!"  But you definitely want to check out the web-site for the book. Here's the link:  You'll find free downloads for bookmarks, posters, and so much more. I don't want to spoil the fun. Just click and go! By the way, even if you're not a teen or tween, you'll find a lot of good advice in Spilling Ink that will inspire you. Ever have trouble with sub-plots? Need I say more?

That's just the beginning, because Ellen Potter has donated an autographed copy of her new book, SLOB.   

"A sensitive, touching, and sometimes heartbreakingly funny picture of middle school life." --School Library Journal, starred review
Just in case you don't already know these two fabulous authors, here's a little bit about them:

Over to the right is Anne Mazer. She is the author of over forty books for young readers, including the award-winning The Salamander Room, the Sister Magic series, and the bestselling The Amazing Days of Abby Hayes series. Her favorite thing about being a writer is being able to write in the middle of the night in her pajamas. I've known Anne for about twenty years, and she is amazing and lots of fun. She sparkles!

Learn more about Anne here:

To your left is the lovely Ellen Potter. She is the author of the award-winning middle-grade Olivia Kidney series, as well as the middle-grade novels Pish Posh and Slob. Ellen's favorite thing about being a writer is that she gets to spend the day with Mongolian yak herders, psychics, and bank-robbing wood sprites without ever leaving her house. I hope to meet Ellen sometime soon!

Learn more about Ellen here:

To celebrate these authors and the publication of their lively and upbeat book on writing, I'm sponsoring a Writing Contest for grades 6-10. If you know of a young writer or if you are a teacher, librarian or interested parent, please pass this information along.  Thank you!
The contest will run from now until April 9th. The winner will be announced on April 14th, 2010. Anne and Ellen and I will choose the winners.
First prize: $25 gift certificate to the bookstore of the winner's choice, a guest spot on my blog, and his/her choice of any one of my books  
2nd prize: a gift certificate for $15 to the bookstore of the winner's choice, a guest spot on my blog, and a choice of one of my books. 
3rd prize: A guest spot on my blog and choice of one of my books.

All entries must be sent directly to me  If you attend a private/public school,
the entry must include the name of your school and your Librarian or English Teacher or Reading Specialist or Writing Teacher. (They may enter for you if your school computers don't allow access) You may enter more than once, but your entry must be written from a Spilling Ink writing prompt in 250 words or less. Longer entries will be automatically disqualified. Oops! Don't have the book yet? It's not available until March 30th, so here I am to the rescue:

Writing Prompt #1: I DARE YOU Rewrite a scene from your life. Think of something that happened today. Something that wasn't perfect--maybe something that was even downright mortifying--and rewrite it as you would have wanted it to happen. (Tip from me: Remember that scenes have a beginning, middle, and end!)

Writing Prompt #2:  I DARE YOU Think of two people you admire. Now think of the thing you admire most about each of them. Combine those two qualities into one person and write about that person in the following situation: She or he is walking down the street and a strange man hands your character a small sealed carton and says, "Don't let anything happen to this!" Then the man sprints away. What does your character do next?  
STOP! Don't go anywhere, because you don't want to miss the interviews with the authors. How fun for me that I didn't have to do anything, because they interviewed each other:

WAIT! What's that? We're out of space today. Boo! Hiss! I was really looking forward to their friendly chat. You'll have to come back later this week for the next exciting installment of Ellen and Anne and Spilling Ink

Leave a comment here and now to win Spilling Ink or Slob.  Enter the writing contest to win a gift certificate to your favorite bookstore by e-mailing me:  Good luck writers! I look forward to hearing from you soon. Remember the deadline is April 9th!


  1. What a great contest! These look like excellent books. I'd love a chance to read one.
    baileythebookworm at gmail dot com

  2. Ooh, I have a friend in that age range, so I will have to run and tell her about this contest. Yay!

  3. Dear Aching Hope,

    Thanks so much for passing the word. Your name goes in for a chance to win one of the books!

  4. Bailey, Thanks so much for posting a comment. Your name is entered for a chance to win one of the books. Good luck!

  5. This looks like such a fun contest! And Spilling Ink looks great. I'll definitely keep my eye out for it - that is, if I don't win it :)

  6. Thanks for dropping by to leave a comment, SonshineMusic! Your name is entered in the drawing!

  7. Cool writing contest and both books sound great. I will pass info along about writing contest. :)


  8. Margo, Thanks for passing along the info about the writing contest! Your name goes in for the books, too!

  9. Oh Clara, this is wonderful! Please enter my name in the contest, and I have a grandson that may be interested in submitting something! I'll tell him about it tomorrow! Thank you!

  10. Hi Becky, Thanks so much for dropping in! I'd love to have your grandson submit. Your name is entered for the comment contest!

  11. It is always fun to pop over to your blog and this one was especially pop-worthy!

  12. Clara, posted your contest on my blog-kids are excited!
    Thanks again, Karla

  13. Mrs. Duff, Your interest in Spilling Ink was the inspiration for the writing contest, so thank you. I look forward to receiving entries from your class!

  14. cmills, Delighted that you popped over and left a comment. Looking forward to featuring you when your new book comes out in the fall.

  15. I'd LOVE 2 win a copy of Spilling Ink! Plzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz let me win! :) Pick me?!?

    Your blogs # 1 fan,


  16. Dear Aishah, Love your comment! You're sweetly unique!

  17. I just finished SLOB. Boy! What a great book. I blogged about it and booktalked it to my sixth has not been on the shelf since! (An extra copy would be great!) I can't wait to read through Spilling Ink. Sounds like it would work perfectly with my writing workshop. Thanks for sharing the interviews! I came to your blog via Twitter and Donalyn Miller.

  18. Hi DA Tyo, Thanks for the spectacular comment. I know Ellen will be thrilled. Oh, yeah!

  19. hello
    Im darian
    if that book contest
    isn't over could u add
    my name
    Annie is my hero