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Why We Write

“Bird by Bird: Some Instructions on Writing and Life” by Anne Lamott
“The Writing Life” by Annie Dillard
“Becoming a Writer” by Dorothea Brand
“If You Want to Write” by Brenda Ueland
“The Artist’s Way Every Day: A Year of Creative Living” by Julia Cameron

Learning to Write

“On Writing” by Stephen King
“Lessons from a Lifetime of Writing: A Novelist Looks at His Craft” by David Morrell
“From Where You Dream: The Process of Writing Fiction” by Robert Olen Butler
“Steering the Craft: A Twenty-First-Century Guide to Sailing the Sea of Story” by Ursula K. Le Guin
“Joy Writing” by Kenn Amdahl
“The Art of Fiction: Notes on Craft for Young Writers” by John Gardner
“Stein On Writing” by Sol Stein
“Writing the Breakout Novel” by Donald Maas
“Writing the Memoir” by Judith Barrington
“Write Great Fiction – Plot & Structure” by James Scott Bell
“Writing for Story: Craft Secrets of Dramatic Nonfiction” by Jon Franklin
“Writing the Nonfiction Book” by Eva Shaw

Grammar and Style

“On Writing Well: The Classic Guide to Writing Nonfiction” by William Zinsser
“The Elements of Style” by Strunk and White
“Grammatically Correct: The Essential Guide to Spelling, Style, Usage, Grammar, and Punctuation” by Anne Stillman
“The Wordwatcher’s Guide to Good Writing and Grammar” by Morton S. Freeman
“The Synonym Finder” by J.I. Rodale

Writing Exercises

“Writing Down the Bones: Freeing the Writer Within” by Natalie Goldberg
“Walking on Alligators: A Book of Meditations for Writers” by Susan Shaughnessy

Writing Fiction

“Scene & Structure” by Jack Bickham
“Novelists Essential Guide to Creating Plot” by J. Madison Davis
“Novelist’s Essential Guide to Crafting Scenes” by Raymond Obstfeld

Writing Children’s Books

“You Can Write Children’s Books” by Tracey E. Dils
“How to Write a Children’s Book and Get It Published” by Barbara Seuling
“The Writer’s Guide to Crafting Stories for Children” by Nancy Lamb
“Writing with Pictures: How to Write and Illustrate Children’s Books” by Uri Shulevitz

Writing for Young Adults

“Wild Ink: How to Write Fiction for Young Adults” by Victoria Hanley

Writing Science Fiction & Fantasy

“How to Write Science Fiction & Fantasy” by Orson Scott Card

Writing Mystery & Suspense

“How to Write Killer Fiction” by Carolyn Wheat

Writing Memoir

“How to Write Your Own Life Story: The Classic Guide for the Nonprofessional Writer” by Lois Daniel
“Writing About Your Life: A Journey into the Past” by William Zinsser
“Your Life as Story: Discovering the “New Autobiography” and Writing Memoir as Literature” by Tristine Rainer

Writing How-To Books:

“Writing Successful Self-Help and How-To Books” by Jean Stine


“Self-Editing for Fiction Writers: How to Edit Yourself into Print” by Rennie Browne & Dave King
“Revising Fiction: A handbook for writers” by David Madden
“Revising Prose” by Richard A. Lanham
“The Complete Guide to Editing Your Fiction” by Michael Seidman

Getting Feedback

“Writing Alone, Writing Together: A Guide for Writers and Writing Groups” by Judy Reeves

What Happens Next?

“Writer’s Market FAQ’s: Fast answers about getting published and the business of writing” By Peter Rubie

How to Prepare Your Work for Submission

“The Insider’s Guide to Getting Published: Why They Always Reject Your Manuscript and What You Can Do About It” by John Boswell
“The Sell Your Novel Tool Kit” by Elizabeth Lyon
“Formatting & Submitting Your Manuscript” by Editors of Writer’s Digest

Must-Have Books for Starting to Submit:

Get the current year’s version of the following

Literary Market Place: The Directory of the American Book Publishing Industry
Writer’s Market: The Most Trusted Guide to Getting Published
Novel & Short Story Writer’s Market
Children’s Writers & Illustrator’s Market


“Complete Guide to Self Publishing: Everything You Need to Know to Write, Publish, Promote, and Sell Your Own Book” by Tom & Marilyn Ross
“Dan Poynter’s Self-Publishing Manual: How to Write, Print and Sell Your Own Book”

About Agents:

“The Insider’s Guide to Getting an Agent” by Lori Perkins
Literary Agents: What They Do, How They Do It, and How to Find and Work with the Right One for You (Wiley Books for Writers Series)
“Be Your Own Literary Agent” by Martin Levine

Finding Your Agent:

Guide to Literary Agents (updated yearly)

Jeff Herman’s Guide to Book Publishers, Editors and Literary Agents (updated yearly)

Writing Book Proposals

“Write the Perfect Book Proposal: 10 That Sold and Why” by Jeff Herman and Deborah Adams
“How to Write a Book Proposal” by Michael Larsen


“1001 Ways to Market Your Books: For Authors and Publishers” by John Kremmer
“The Complete Guide to Book Marketing” by David Cole
“Guerrilla Marketing for Writers: 100 No-Cost, Low-Cost Weapons for Selling Your Work” by Levinson, Frishman and Larsen
“Sell Your Book on Amazon” by Brent Sampson
“Jump Start Your Book Sales: A Money-Making Guide for Authors, Independent Publishers and Small Presses” by Marilyn Ross