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Books on Writing

Updated: Feb 28

This list isn't exhaustive, but is a great start for writers.


  • Making Comics. Scott McCloud


  • The Art of Subtext: Beyond Plot. Charles Baxter

  • Writing Flash Fiction: How to Write Very Short Stories & Get them Published. Carly Berg

  • Writing Fiction: A Guide to Narrative Craft, 8th Edition. Janet Burroway

  • The Art of Fiction. John Gardner

  • A Passion for Narrative: A Guide for Writing Fiction. Jack Hodgins

  • The Art and Craft of Fiction: A Writer’s Guide. Michael Kardos

  • What If?: Writing Exercises for Fiction Writers, 3rd Edition. Anne Bernays & Pamela Painter

  • On Teaching and Writing Fiction. Wallace Stegner

  • How Fiction Works. James Wood

  • Reading like a Writer. Francine Prose


  • The Writing Life. Annie Dillard

  • The Art of Description: World into Word. Mark Doty

  • Writing Down the Bones. Natalie Goldberg

  • Work Book: Memos & Dispatches on Writing. Steven Heighton

  • On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft. Stephen King

  • Metaphors We Live By. George Lakoff & Mark Johnson

  • Bird by Bird: Some Instructions on Writing and Life. Anne Lamott

  • The Elements of Style. Strunk & White


  • The Art of Memoir. Mary Karr

  • Old Friend from Far Away: The Practice of Writing Memoir. Natalie Goldberg

  • Your Life as Story. Tristine Rainer


  • The Situation and the Story: The Art of Personal Narrative. Vivian Gornick

  • To Show and to Tell: The Craft of Literary Non-Fiction. Phillip Lopate

  • On Writing Well: An Informal Guide to Writing Nonfiction. William Zinsser


  • The Poet’s Companion: A Guide to the Pleasures of Writing Poetry. Kim Addonizio & Dorianne Laux

  • Writing and Workshopping Poetry. Stephen Guppy

  • Real Sofistikashun: Essays on Poetry and Craft. Tony Hoagland

  • How to Read (And Write About) Poetry. Susan Holbrook

  • The Triggering Town: Lectures and Essays on Poetry and Writing. Richard Hugo

  • The Art of the Poetic Line. James Logenbach

  • My Poets. Maureen M. McLane

  • Madness, Rack, and Honey: Collected Lectures. Mary Ruefle

  • After Confession: Poetry as Autobiography. Ed. Kate Sontag and David Graham

  • The Making of a Poem: The Norton Anthology of Poetic Forms. Mark Strand & Eavan Boland

  • The Writing Moment: A Practical Guide to Writing Poems. Daniel Scott Tysdal


  • Writing short films: Structure and Content for Screenwriters, 2nd Edition. Ed., Linda J. Cowgill

  • The Short Screenplay: Your Short Film from Concept to Production. Dan Gurskis

  • Save the Cat! The Last Book on Screenwriting You’ll Ever Need. Blake Snyder

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