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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 David Biespiel

Published in 2010 by Kelson Books

The author explores the creative process and imagination. He writes that “failure is the engine of creativity” and provides ways for authors to keep their writing fresh and open to new possibilities.

by Joy Castro

Published in 2013 by University of Nebraska Press

Editor Joy Castro's collection of essays from memoirists explores the complex personal emotions and literary responsibilites writers must negotiate when revealing private information about their families to the reading public.

by Blas Falconer, Beth Martinelli, and Helena Mesa

Published in 2010 by Southern Illinois University Press

In this anthology Falconer, Martinelli, and Mesa compile essays written by leading poets who explore effective ways of writing and revising poetry.

by Kelly L. Stone

Published in 2008 by Adams Media

The author discusses techniques for incorporating writing into one’s hectic, everyday life including how to set up specific writing goals, schedule deadlines, and implement strategies to minimize distractions.

by Sean Manning

Published in 2010 by Da Capo Press

Numerous authors—from Chris Abani and Shahriar Mandanipour to Sigrid Nunez and Xu Xiaobin— discuss works of literature that inspired them as writers.

by Martha Alderson

Published in 2011 by Adams Media

The author provides insight on how to create works of fiction with powerful stories and focuses on how to devise a Universal Plot, plot lines and subplots, compelling scenes, and character transformation.

by Kelly L. Stone

Published in 2010 by Adams Media

Stone explores practical, day-to-day techniques and psychological exercises designed to enable and encourage writers to write more effectively and prolifically.

by Laraine Herring

Published in 2010 by Shambhala Publications

Herring, author of Writing Begins with the Breath, discusses exercises designed to foster greater spontaneity and freedom in one’s writing.

by Vila Gillet

Published in 2011 by Columbia University Press

Renowned contemporary authors—including Rick Moody, Etgar Keret, Colum McCann, and Annie Proulx— select and write about a specific word that is meaningful to them. Their essays reveal to the reader the author’s inner-thoughts and quirky musings.  

by Ellen Bryant Voigt

Published in 2009 by Graywolf Press

The author examines the structure of successful poems written by reputable authors and stresses syntax as one of the most important means for composing rhythmic works.

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