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Recommended Books
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  • The Art of Fiction: Illustrated from Classic and Modern Texts
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  • The Art of Fiction: Notes on Craft for Young Writers
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  • The Art of the Personal Essay: An Anthology from the Classical Era to the Present
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  • Bird by Bird: Some Instructions on Writing and Life
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  • Booknotes: America's Finest Authors on Reading, Writing, and the Power of Ideas
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    The Copyeditor's Handbook: A Guide for Book Publishing and Corporate Communications
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  • The Craft of Fiction
    The Craft of Fiction
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  • The Editor's Lexicon: Essential Writing Terms for Novelists
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  • The Elements of Style, Fourth Edition
    The Elements of Style, Fourth Edition
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  • Follow the Story: How to Write Successful Nonfiction
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  • The Forest for the Trees: An Editor's Advice to Writers
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  • For Writers Only
    For Writers Only
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  • William Goldman: Four Screenplays with Essays
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    The Friendly Shakespeare: A Thoroughly Painless Guide to the Best of the Bard
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  • A Glossary of Literary Terms
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  • How Fiction Works
    How Fiction Works
    by James Wood
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    How to Get Happily Published
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  • How to Write Science Fiction and Fantasy (Genre Writing)
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  • How To Write Short Stories: With Samples
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  • Inventing the Truth: The Art and Craft of Memoir
    Inventing the Truth: The Art and Craft of Memoir
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    Keep the Aspidistra Flying (Harvest Book)
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    Letters to a Young Poet: Translated and with a Foreword By Stephen Mitchell
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    Making a Literary Life
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  • Master Class: Scenes from a Fiction Workshop
    Master Class: Scenes from a Fiction Workshop
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    The Midnight Disease: The Drive to Write, Writer's Block, and the Creative Brain
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    Henry Miller on Writing (New Directions Paperbook)
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    New Grub Street (Broadview Editions)
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    Nonconformity
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    On Becoming a Novelist
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    One Writer's Beginnings (The William E. Massey Sr. Lectures in the History of American Civilization)
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    On Writing Short Stories
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    On Writing: A Memoir Of The Craft
    by Stephen King
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    On Writing Well, 30th Anniversary Edition: The Classic Guide to Writing Nonfiction
    by William Zinsser
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    The Oxford Dictionary of Allusions (Oxford Paperback Reference)
    Oxford University Press, USA
  • Poetic Meter and Poetic Form
    Poetic Meter and Poetic Form
    by Paul Fussell
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    The Paris Review Interviews, Vols. 1-4
    by The Paris Review
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    Reading Like a Writer: A Guide for People Who Love Books and for Those Who Want to Write Them (P.S.)
    by Francine Prose
  • The Rhetoric of Fiction
    The Rhetoric of Fiction
    by Wayne C. Booth
  • The Right to Write: An Invitation and Initiation into the Writing Life
    The Right to Write: An Invitation and Initiation into the Writing Life
    by Julia Cameron
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    Self-Editing for Fiction Writers, Second Edition: How to Edit Yourself Into Print
    by Renni Browne, Dave King
  • Dan Poynter's Self-Publishing Manual, 16th Edition: How to Write, Print and Sell Your Own Book (Self Publishing Manual)
    Dan Poynter's Self-Publishing Manual, 16th Edition: How to Write, Print and Sell Your Own Book (Self Publishing Manual)
    by Dan Poynter
  • Simple & Direct
    Simple & Direct
    by Jacques Barzun
  • Sister Bernadette's Barking Dog: The Quirky History and Lost Art of Diagramming Sentences
    Sister Bernadette's Barking Dog: The Quirky History and Lost Art of Diagramming Sentences
    by Kitty Burns Florey
  • The Situation and the Story: The Art of Personal Narrative
    The Situation and the Story: The Art of Personal Narrative
    by Vivian Gornick
  • The Sound on the Page: Great Writers Talk about Style and Voice in Writing
    The Sound on the Page: Great Writers Talk about Style and Voice in Writing
    by Ben Yagoda
  • Story: Substance, Structure, Style and The Principles of Screenwriting
    Story: Substance, Structure, Style and The Principles of Screenwriting
    by Robert Mckee
  • Stylish Academic Writing
    Stylish Academic Writing
    by Helen Sword
  • Successful Television Writing
    Successful Television Writing
    by Lee Goldberg, William Rabkin
  • The Summing Up
    The Summing Up
    by W. Somerset Maugham
  • 13 Ways of Looking at the Novel
    13 Ways of Looking at the Novel
    by Jane Smiley
  • Tales from the Script: 50 Hollywood Screenwriters Share Their Stories
    Tales from the Script: 50 Hollywood Screenwriters Share Their Stories
    by Peter Hanson, Paul Robert Herman
  • To Show and to Tell: The Craft of Literary Nonfiction
    To Show and to Tell: The Craft of Literary Nonfiction
    by Phillip Lopate
  • Understanding Comics: The Invisible Art
    Understanding Comics: The Invisible Art
    by Scott Mccloud
  • What If? Writing Exercises for Fiction Writers
    What If? Writing Exercises for Fiction Writers
    by Anne Bernays, Pamela Painter
  • The War of Art: Break Through the Blocks and Win Your Inner Creative Battles
    The War of Art: Break Through the Blocks and Win Your Inner Creative Battles
    by Steven Pressfield
  • Why We Write: 20 Acclaimed Authors on How and Why They Do What They Do
    Why We Write: 20 Acclaimed Authors on How and Why They Do What They Do
    Plume
  • Women Writers at Work: The Paris Review Interviews
    Women Writers at Work: The Paris Review Interviews
    Modern Library
  • The Writer Got Screwed (but didn't have to): Guide to the Legal and Business Practices of Writing for the Entertainment Industry
    The Writer Got Screwed (but didn't have to): Guide to the Legal and Business Practices of Writing for the Entertainment Industry
    by Brooke A. Wharton
  • Ambrose Bierce's Write It Right: The Celebrated Cynic's Language Peeves Deciphered, Appraised, and Annotated for 21st-Century Readers
    Ambrose Bierce's Write It Right: The Celebrated Cynic's Language Peeves Deciphered, Appraised, and Annotated for 21st-Century Readers
    by Ambrose Bierce, Jan Freeman
  • The Writer's Chapbook: A Compendium of Fact, Opinion, Wit, and Advice from the Twentieth Century's Preeminent Writers (Modern Library)
    The Writer's Chapbook: A Compendium of Fact, Opinion, Wit, and Advice from the Twentieth Century's Preeminent Writers (Modern Library)
    Modern Library
  • The Writer on Her Work, Volume 1
    The Writer on Her Work, Volume 1
    by Janet Sternberg
  • The Writers Journey: Mythic Structure for Writers, 3rd Edition
    The Writers Journey: Mythic Structure for Writers, 3rd Edition
    by Christopher Vogler
  • The Writer's Legal Companion: The Complete Handbook For The Working Writer, Third Edition
    The Writer's Legal Companion: The Complete Handbook For The Working Writer, Third Edition
    by Brad Bunnin, Peter Beren
  • A Writer's Reality
    A Writer's Reality
    by Mario Vargas Llosa
  • A Writer's Time: Making the Time to Write
    A Writer's Time: Making the Time to Write
    by Kenneth Atchity
  • Writing About Your Life: A Journey into the Past
    Writing About Your Life: A Journey into the Past
    by William Zinsser
  • Writing Down the Bones: Freeing the Writer Within (Paperback)
    Writing Down the Bones: Freeing the Writer Within (Paperback)
    by Natalie Goldberg (Author)
  • Writing in General and the Short Story in Particular
    Writing in General and the Short Story in Particular
    by L. Rust Hills
  • Writing for Your Life
    Writing for Your Life
    by Deena Metzger
  • The Writing Life
    The Writing Life
    by Annie Dillard
  • The Writing Life: Writers On How They Think And Work
    The Writing Life: Writers On How They Think And Work
    by Marie Arana
  • The Writing of Fiction
    The Writing of Fiction
    by Edith Wharton
  • Writing the Novel: From Plot to Print
    Writing the Novel: From Plot to Print
    by Lawrence Block
  • Writing Past Dark: Envy, Fear, Distraction and Other Dilemmas in the Writer's Life
    Writing Past Dark: Envy, Fear, Distraction and Other Dilemmas in the Writer's Life
    by Bonnie Friedman
  • You're a Genius All the Time: Belief and Technique for Modern Prose
    You're a Genius All the Time: Belief and Technique for Modern Prose
    by Regina Weinreich, Jack Kerouac
  • Zen in the Art of Writing: Releasing the Creative Genius Within You
    Zen in the Art of Writing: Releasing the Creative Genius Within You
    by Ray Bradbury

QUOTE OF THE DAY

Monday
Apr102017

You Can't Learn to Write in College

You can’t learn to write in college. It’s a very bad place for writers because the teachers always think they know more than you do—and they don’t. They have prejudices. They may like Henry James, but what if you don’t want to write like Henry James? They may like John Irving, for instance, who’s the bore of all time. A lot of the people whose work they’ve taught in the schools for the last thirty years, I can’t understand why people read them and why they are taught.

RAY BRADBURY

Sunday
Apr092017

Stay Afraid

Stay afraid, but do it anyway. What’s important is the action. Just do it and the confidence will follow.

CARRIE FISHER

Saturday
Apr082017

Voice Emerges from an Informed Intelligence

My least favorite received idea about writing is that one must find one’s voice, as if it’s there inside you, fully formed and ready to turn on like a player piano. A voice is what emerges from an informed intelligence as it reaches toward accurate perception.

SARAH MANGUSO

Friday
Apr072017

Great Writers Make It Look Easy

A lot of younger writers tend to think it all boils down to genius. That, for the great writers, it’s all there—they just sit at the typewriter, or computer, and everything comes out. But the truth is that it never works that way. These young writers don’t know the enormous struggle that it happens to be. On the page, great writers make it look easy—but the ease is an illusion.

COLUM McCANN

Thursday
Apr062017

Self-Doubt Can Be an Ally

Self-doubt can be an ally. This is because it serves as an indicator of aspiration. It reflects love, love of something we dream of doing, and desire, desire to do it. If you find yourself asking yourself (and your friends), "Am I really a writer? Am I really an artist?" chances are you are. The counterfeit innovator is wildly self-confident. The real one is scared to death.

STEVEN PRESSFIELD

Wednesday
Apr052017

Writers Must Fortify Themselves with Pride and Egotism

Writers must fortify themselves with pride and egotism as best they can. The process is analogous to using sandbags and loose timbers to protect a house against flood. Writers are vulnerable creatures like anyone else. For what do they have in reality? Not sandbags, not timbers. Just a flimsy reputation and a name.

BRIAN ALDISS

Tuesday
Apr042017

It Is People's Secrets We Want to Know

God preserve us from writers who regurgitate what they have learnt from books! It is people’s secrets we want to know -- it is the natural history of the human heart that we have been trying to put down for a thousand years and everyone must and can leave their contribution.

AUGUST STRINDBERG

Monday
Apr032017

The Best Literature Is Always A Take

The best literature is always a take [in the musical sense]; there is an implicit risk in its execution, a margin of danger that is the pleasure of the flight, of the love, carrying with it a tangible loss but also a total engagement that, on another level, lends the theater its unparalleled imperfection faced with the perfection of film. I don’t want to write anything but takes.

JULIO CORTÁZAR

Sunday
Apr022017

Art Pulls People Up Short

Art can make a difference because it pulls people up short. It says, don’t accept things for their face value; you don’t have to go along with any of this; you can think for yourself.

JEANETTE WINTERSON

Saturday
Apr012017

You Must Read Everything

You must read everything, and you must let it all the way into your life, all the way into the part of you that makes writing, and you must let every good thing in — none of this reading a few lines of so-and-so with the hope that you might write something that sounds like it.

SARAH MANGUSO

Friday
Mar312017

One Must Be Drenched in Words

One must be drenched in words, literally soaked in them, to have the right ones form themselves into the proper pattern at the right moment.

HART CRANE

Thursday
Mar302017

Editors Make Mistakes

Editors make mistakes. By actual count, 121 publishers said “No thanks” to Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance. Roger Tory Peterson’s Field Guide to the Birds and Lolita were turned down too, again and again. The Clan of the Cave Bear, The Spy Who Came in from the Cold, The Peter Principle, Watership Down, To Kill A Mockingbird—rejected, every one.

JUDITH APPLEBAUM

Wednesday
Mar292017

Your Mother Will Not Make You a Writer

Notice how many of the Olympic athletes effusively thanked their mothers for their success? “She drove me to my practice at four in the morning,” etc. Writing is not figure skating or skiing. Your mother will not make you a writer. My advice to any young person who wants to write is: leave home.

PAUL THEROUX

Tuesday
Mar282017

Be Interesting

The Number One rule, in my prose boot camps? Be interesting. This doesn’t necessarily mean zany or pyrotechnical; in fact those things can so often be like the loudmouth brayings of a narcissistic bigmouth who understands with his every drawn breath how deadly uninteresting he really is. There are infinite ways to be interesting. One way is to pursue, with passion, something, anything, beyond the realm of writing.

RICK BASS

Monday
Mar272017

One Must Be Poisoned by Emotion

I think that to write well and convincingly, one must be somewhat poisoned by emotion. Dislike, displeasure, resentment, fault-finding, imagination, passionate remonstrance, a sense of injustice—they all make fine fuel.

EDNA FERBER

Sunday
Mar262017

Writer’s Block Is Real

In my experience, writer’s block is very real. You’ll be writing something and suddenly it stops. The characters stop talking. You’ve been happily just transcribing everything they’ve been saying, and suddenly they sit down and shut up. Suddenly, you are in deep trouble. It does happen. It’s very real.

NEIL GAIMAN

Saturday
Mar252017

Write Anywhere

I can write anywhere. I made up the names of the characters on a sick bag while I was on an airplane. I told this to a group of kids and a boy said, “Ah, no, that’s disgusting.” And I said, “Well, I hadn’t used the sick bag.”

J.K. ROWLING

Friday
Mar242017

Get a Day Job, but Don't Get Too Good at It

The most defeatist thing I hear is, I’m going to give it a couple of years. You can’t set a clock for yourself. If you do, you are not a writer. You should want it so badly that you don’t have a choice. You have to commit for the long haul. There’s no shame in being a starving artist. Get a day job, but don’t get too good at it. It will take you away from your writing.

MATTHEW WEINER

Thursday
Mar232017

If You Want to Write, You Can

If you want to write, you can. Fear stops most people from writing, not lack of talent, whatever that is. Who am I? What right have I to speak? Who will listen to me if I do? You’re a human being, with a unique story to tell, and you have every right. If you speak with passion, many of us will listen. We need stories to live, all of us. We live by story. Yours enlarges the circle.

RICHARD RHODES

Wednesday
Mar222017

Five Common Traits of Good Writers

(1) They have something to say.

(2) They read widely and have done so since childhood. 

(3) They possess what Isaac Asimov calls a “capacity for clear thought,” able to go from point to point in an orderly sequence, an A to Z approach.

(4) They’re geniuses at putting their emotions into words.

(5) They possess an insatiable curiosity, constantly asking Why and How.

JAMES J. KILPATRICK