Writers Recommend

In this online exclusive we ask authors to share books, art, music, writing prompts, films—anything and everything—that has inspired them in their writing. We see this as a place for writers to turn to for ideas that will help feed their creative process.

Sarah Gorham


“A common statement, I know, but the best stimulant for writing is reading. When it’s prose, I’ll turn to rich sentences from Nabokov or F. Scott Fitzgerald. If poetry, I start with the Eastern Europeans (especially Zbigniew Herbert).

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Emily Rapp


“I am inspired by love, which sounds simplistic and dreamy, but in my case is brutally real. My son, Ronan, is nearly two years old and has Tay-Sachs, a disease that is always fatal and results in a slow regression

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Eileen Pollack


“When I’m stuck, I daydream my way back to a place that still holds a great deal of emotion for me, and a ritual that used to take place there, lingering on the objects that vibrate and glow with some hidden, deeper meaning 

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Hilma Wolitzer


“Whenever I finish writing a novel, I feel bereft of the characters. I also believe I’ve expended everything I know

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Nathaniel Bellows


“Usually when I need to work something out in a poem or a piece of fiction, I go on a walk. 

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Steve Almond


“This is going to sound pretty awful, but I’m inspired by humiliation. My own, mostly, but also what I see in the world at large. 

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Tina Chang


“I am currently surrounded by diapers, squeaky toys, and crayons scattered at my feet. This is the life of a working writer/mother.

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Peter Orner


“I’d like to recommend the great and criminally undersung novelist Wright Morris.

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Kirsten Kaschock


“I’m obsessed with windows. How they organize the world by cutting away most of it. Then let some in.

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