Books on Writing: Craft, How-To & Inspiration

The Art of Fiction: Notes on Craft for Young Writers by John Gardner

Aspects of the Novel by E.M. Forster

Big Magic by Elizabeth Gilbert

Bird by Bird by Anne Lamott

Burning Down the House: Essays on Fiction by Charles Baxter

Conversations on Writing Fiction: Interviews with 13 Distinguished Teacher of Fiction Writing by Alexander Neubauer

From Where You Dream: The Process of Writing Fiction by Robert Olen Butler

The Hidden Writer: Diaries and the Creative Life by Alexandra Johnson

Imaginative Writing: The Elements of Craft by Janet Burroway

Mystery and Manners by Flannery O’Connor

The 90-Day Novel: Unlock the Story Within by Alan Watt

On Becoming a Novelist by John Gardner

On Writing by Stephen King

One Continuous Mistake: Four Noble Truths for Writers by Gail Sher

One Writer’s Beginnings by Eudora Welty

A Poetry Handbook by Mary Oliver

Practice of Poetry edited by Robin Behn & Chase Twitchell

The Rhetoric of Fiction by Wayne C. Booth

Screenplay: The Foundations of Screenwriting by Syd Field

The Stuff of Fiction: Advice on Craft by Douglas Bauer

The Unstrung Heart, or Mr. Earbrass Writes a Novel by Edward Gorey

What It Is by Lynda Barry

Writing Fiction: A Guide to Narrative Craft by Janet Burroway

Writing in General and the Short Story in Particular by L. Rust Hills

The Writing Life by Annie Dillard


The Art of the Personal Essay edited by Phillip Lopate

The Art of the Story: An International Anthology of Contemporary Short Stories edited by Daniel Halpern

Best American Essays of the Century, edited by Joyce Carol Oates

Best American Nonrequired Reading

Best American Poetry, series editor David Lehman

Best American Short Stories, series editor Heidi Pitlor

A Book of Luminous Things: An International Anthology of Poetry edited by Czeslaw Milosz

My Mistress’s Sparrow is Dead: Great Love Stories, from Chekhov to Munro, edited by Jeffrey Eugenides


Poets & Writers

Check out the excellent weekly prompts, exercises, contest information and author interviews offered by Poets & Writers Magazine.

Writer’s Digest

Excellent resource for articles, competitions, prompts, writing groups and market advice. Explore the website at Writer’s Digest.



A subscription-based service for writers that offers a searchable database of fiction, poetry, and non-fiction markets.


Writer’s Bone

Author Daniel Ford and screenwriter Sean Tuohy discuss the craft of writing with best-selling authors, well known screenwriters, and comedians with the help of the most badass up-and-coming writers on the Internet.

Writing Excuses

Writing Excuses is a fast-paced, educational podcast for writers, by writers. Episodes end with a writing prompt, and with an injunction: “You’re out of excuses. Now go write.”


“The Danger of a Single Story” by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

“The Love Affair Between Creativity and Constraint” by Tess Callahan

“How to Get a Great Idea” by Matthew Diffee

“Your Elusive Creative Genius” by Elizabeth Gilbert