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

On Writing Well Audio Collection
by William Zinsser

The Elements of Style
by William Strunk & E. B. White

On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft
by Stephen King

Writing Down the Bones: Freeing the Writer Within
by Natalie Goldberg

If You Want to Write: A Book about Art, Independence, and Spirit
by Brenda Ueland

Reading Like a Writer
by Francine Prose

Stein on Writing: A Master Editor Shares His Craft, Techniques, and Strategies
by Sol Stein



Spent: Break the Buying Obsession and Discover Your True Worth by Sally Palaian, Ph.D

The Courage to Feel: A Practical Guide to the Power and Freedom of Emotional Honesty by Andrew Seubert

Intimacy, Change, and Other Therapeutic Mysteries: Stories of Clinicians and Clients by David Treadway, Ph.D

Facing into the Wind: A Mother's Healing After the Death of Her Child by Faith Fuller Wilcox

Filipino Cuisine: Recipes from the Islands by Gerry G. Gelle

Learning to Live, Laugh, And Love Again After the Death of an Adult Child by Janet Kay Jaworski

Floods, Famines, and Emperors : El Nino and the Fate of Civilizations by Brian Fagan


I actually own every one of these books. They are my writing library and I recommend you begin building your own.

If You Want to Write: A Book about Art, Independence and Spirit by Brenda Ueland
A classic about how to write your truth, and trust your writing

On Writing Well, 30th Anniversary Edition: The Classic Guide to Writing Nonfiction by William K. Zinsser
Enjoyable must-read for everyone who writes.
If you read only one book on the craft of writing, read this one.

Writing for Story: Craft Secrets of Dramatic Nonfiction by Jon Franklin
How to write dramatic, powerful and compelling nonfiction.

Free Play: Improvisation in Life and Art by Stephen Nachmanovitch
This book explores the interplay between freedom and discipline in creative self-expression

Writers on Writing: Collected Essays from The New York Times by The New York Times
Fascinating essays by successful writers about their writing lives and difficulties

Write the Perfect Book Proposal: 10 That Sold and Why, 2nd Edition by Jeff Herman
A classic, with excellent examples of successful proposals.

The Complete Idiot's Guide to Getting Published, 4th Edition by Sheree Bykofsky
Clear, concise instructions on every aspect of getting published.

Thinking Like Your Editor: How to Write Great Serious Nonfiction--and Get It Published by Alfred Fortunato
Excellent information on how to plan your book to increase odds of getting published. Former NY publishing bigwigs talk about what to consider long before you even begin writing.

Write Is a Verb: Sit Down, Start Writing, No Excuses by Bill O'Hanlon
Clear, no-nonsense advice about starting and keeping going as a writer.

Page After Page by Heather Sellers
Encourages new writers to fall in love with writing.

Poemcrazy: Freeing Your Life with Words by Susan G. Wooldridge
Delightful book about the joy of words and word combinations.

Bird by Bird: Some Instructions on Writing and Life by Anne Lamott
Essays on what the writing life is really like. Sometimes funny, sometimes painful.

The Writing Life by Annie Dillard
Inspiring essays on the joys and hardships of writing.

Imaginative Writing: The Elements of Craft (Penguin Academics Series) by Janet Burroway
Excellent text on the craft of writing, with chapters on every genre and writing exercises for each.

Writing Toward Home: Tales and Lessons to Find Your Way by Georgia Heard
Personal stories and good exercises related to writing what matters most to you.

Writing About Your Life: A Journey into the Past by William K. Zinsser
On memoir, by a master of the art.

Reading Like a Writer: A Guide for People Who Love Books and for Those Who Want to Write Them (P.S.) by Francine Prose
Learn how to develop your craft by reading good writers.

Telling True Stories: A Nonfiction Writers' Guide from the Nieman Foundation at Harvard University by Mark Kramer
Guidance from the best nonfiction writers.

The Courage to Create by Rollo May
The classic on creativity.

The Elements of Style, Fourth Edition
by William Strunk & E. B. White
There's a reason it's the classic on clear writing.

The Paris Review Interviews, I by The Paris Review
Learn from those who have come before. Interesting interviews with the great writers.

Steering the Craft: Exercises and Discussions on Story Writing for the Lone Navigator or the Mutinous Crew by Ursula K. Le Guin
Great exercises and discussions about writing.

Getting the Words Right: 39 Ways to Improve Your Writing by Theodore Cheney
Learn how to revise your manuscript effectively.

Pen on Fire: A Busy Woman's Guide to Igniting the Writer Within by Barbara DeMarco-Barrett
Creative ways to fit writing into your life.

Writing to Change the World by Mary Pipher
Write well to have an impact on others.

Writing Down the Bones: Freeing the Writer Within by Natalie Goldberg
Free writing exercises to find your voice

The Modern Library Writer's Workshop: A Guide to the Craft of Fiction (Modern Library Paperbacks) by Stephen Koch
An excellent guide to the craft of fiction.

Writing the Mind Alive: The Proprioceptive Method for Finding Your Authentic Voice by Linda Trichter Metcalf
A powerful self-guided writing method that can free the writer within.

Elements of Grammar by Margaret Shertzer
Easy-to-use concise book on basic rules of grammar and usage.

On Writing by Stephen King
Inspiring and practical combination of memoir and writing instruction.

Writing Begins with the Breath: Embodying Your Authentic Voice by Laraine Herring

Anybody Can Write a Playful Approach by Roberta Jean Bryant

Breathing Life Into Your Characters by Rachel Ballon

2009 Guide To Literary Agents by Chuck Sambuchino
Besides lists of agents, excellent opening section on how to get prepared.

How to Get a Literary Agent by Michael Larsen
The low-down on getting an agent.

How to Write a Damn Good Novel: A Step-by-Step No Nonsense Guide to Dramatic Storytelling by James N. Frey
Teaches the subtleties of fiction writing, and how to safely break all the rules.

The Synonym Finder by J. I. Rodale
Better than a thesaurus and easier to use.

2009 Writer's Market by Robert Brewer
More guidance and great lists. Essential.

2009 Novel & Short Story Writer's Market (Novel and Short Story Writer's Market) by Editors of Writers Digest Books

2009 Poet's Market by Editors of Writers Digest Books

2009 Children's Writer's & Illustrator's Market (Children's Writer's and Illustrator's Market) by Alice Pope
Reference and guide to publishing children's books.