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Best Books for Writers

From the newly published to the invaluable classic, our list of essential books for creative writers.

by Deborah Levy

Published in 2014 by Bloomsbury

Author Deborah Levy responds to George Orwell's classic 1946 treatise "Why I Write" from a female writer's perspective. Levy includes personal history and discusses how her experiences have shaped her novels.

by Lori A. May

Published in 2014 by Bloomsbury

The Write Crowd offers tips and examples of how writers contribute to the literary community, the success of others, and their own well-rounded writing life. 

by Peter Turchi

Published in 2014 by Trinity University Press

In the follow-up to Maps of the Imagination: Writer as Cartographer, Peter Turchi presents the similarities between writing and puzzle-making, as well as puzzle-solving.

by Louise DeSalvo

Published in 2014 by St. Martin's Press

Award-winning teacher and writer Louise DeSalvo offers advice on how to explore the complexities of craft by getting to know your stories, and yourself, more fully over a longer period of time. Included are anecdotes from writers such as John Steinbeck, Junot Díaz, and Salman Rushdie.

by Literary Arts

Published in 2014 by Tin House Books

Tin House Books has compiled an anthology of speeches made by renowned authors and storytellers from the lecture series at Literary Arts, which celebrates its thirtieth anniversary this year. Featured writers include Ursula K. Le Guin, Margaret Atwood, and Wallace Stegner.

by Joyce Carol Oates

Published in 2003 by Ecco

Award-winning author Joyce Carol Oates answers essential questions about narrative craft, and provides valuable lessons on how language, ideas, and experience come together to create a work of art.

by David Grambs and Ellen S. Levine

Published in 2014 by W. W. Norton

Unlike your typical dictionary, this one concerns itself primarily with the observable—from shapes, to buildings, to people. With a reverse definition-to-term format, it is easy to find the descriptive word you're seeking. This expanded and updated edition includes examples of passages from authors including Khaled Hosseini, Zadie Smith, and Donna Tartt.

by Roy Peter Clark

Published in 2014 by Little, Brown

Journalist and educator Roy Peter Clark offers examples from the tradition of short-form writing to help writers produce well-crafted prose with a limited word count.

by Maxine Clair

Published in 2014 by Agate Bolden

Through personal stories, award-winning author Maxine Clair offers insight into the creative process, how to find your creative outlet, and how to trust moments of inspiration. 

by Philippe Petit

Published in 2014 by Riverhead Books

Author and high-wire artist Philippe Petit, best known for his walk between the Twin Towers of the World Trade Center in New York City in 1974, shares his unconventional strategies and methods of practicing, problem-solving, and perfecting his craft. The ideas offered can be applied to various creative outlets including writing, music, and dance.

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