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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 Diane Lockward

Published in 2013 by Wind Publications

In this resource for poets, Lockward offers practical advice and insights about establishing sound, voice, and syntax in poetry while also providing writing prompts and other poems as inspiration.

by Susan Bell

Published in 2007 by W.W. Norton

In this resource, the author provides a guide filled with writing examples, strategic tips, exercises, and interviews that explore the complex and necessary art of self-editing.

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.

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