Good Books on Writing

I thought it would be useful to develop a list of recommended books about writing for my writing students.  And so, I posted the question on Facebook.  I am pleased to report that the list spans more than two pages.  Even more surprising was how many of them I’ve already read!  Best surprise is that some of them are available in the ABE Books current sale and I’ve ordered them!  I have also sent the list to the local librarians in Regina Beach, Lumsden and Bethune with a request that they make them available in their library during September and October.

And now, with thanks to Brenda Schmidt, John Oughton, Andréa Ledding, Maureen Bush, Betty Jane Hegerat, Nora Gould, Marian Shatto, Nairn McKay, Jonny Pigeau, Amanda Davies, Aydon Charlton, Beth Gobeil, Carla Braidek, Kathleen Whelan, Catherine Owen, David Bolduc, Don Wren, Dave Margoshes and Lisa Kuzma for the help, here is the list of good books on writing:

Addonizio, Kim. Ordinary Genius: A Guide for the Poet Within. W. W. Norton & Company, 2009. ISBN: 0393334163 (ISBN13: 9780393334166).

Atwood Margaret. Negotiating with the Dead: A Writer on Writing. Cambridge University Press, 2002) ISBN: 1844080277 (ISBN13: 9781844080274).

Bender, Sheila and Killien, Christi. Writing in a Convertible with the Top Down: A Unique Guide for Writers. Blue Heron Publishing, 1997.ISBN: 093608538X (ISBN13: 9780936085388).

Cameron, Julia. The Artist’s Way: A Spiritual Path to Higher Creativity. Tarcher, 2002 (first published 1992). ISBN: 1585421464 (ISBN13: 9781585421466).

Chandler, Raymond. Selected Letters of Raymond Chandler. Delta, 1987 (first published 1981). ISBN: 0385295316 (ISBN13: 9780385295314).

Dillard, Annie. The Writing Life. HarperCollins, 2009 (first published 1989). ISBN: 0060919884 (ISBN13: 9780060919887).

Forster, E.M. Aspects of the Novel. Mariner Books, 1956 (first published 1927). ISBN: 0156091801 (ISBN13: 9780156091800).

Friedman, Bonnie. Writing Past Dark: Envy, Fear, Distraction and Other Dilemmas in the Writer’s Life. Harper Perennial, 1994 (first published 1993). ISBN: 0060922001 (ISBN13: 9780060922009).

Glover, Douglas. Attack of the Copula Spiders: Essays on Writing. Biblioasis, 2012.ISBN: 1926845463 (ISBN13: 9781926845463).

Goldberg, Natalie. Writing Down the Bones: Freeing the Writer Within. Shambhala, 2006 (first published 1986). ISBN: 1590303164 (ISBN13: 9781590303160).

Goldberg, Natalie. Wild Mind: Living the Writer’s Life. Bantam, 1990. ISBN: 0553347756 (ISBN13: 9780553347753).

Heighton, Steven. Workbook: Memos & Dispatches On Writing. ECW Press, 2011. ISBN: 1550229370 (ISBN13: 9781550229370)

Hirshfield, Jane. Nine Gates: Entering the Mind of Poetry. Harper Perennial, 1998 (first published 1997). ISBN: 0060929480 (ISBN13: 9780060929480)

Hodgins, Jack. A Passion for Narrative: A Guide to Writing Fiction. McClelland & Stuart, 1993 (Revised 2001). ISBN: 0771041888 / 0-7710-4188-8.

King, Stephen. On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft. Pocket Books, 2002 (first published 2000). ISBN: 0743455967 (ISBN13: 9780743455961).

Lamott, Anne. Bird by Bird: Some Instructions on Writing and Life. Anchor, 1995 (first published 1994). ISBN: 0385480016 (ISBN13: 9780385480017).

Le Guin, Ursula K. Steering the Craft: Exercises and Discussions on Story Writing for the Lone Navigator or the Mutinous Crew. The Eighth Mountain Press, 1998. ISBN: 0933377460 (ISBN13: 9780933377462).

Leonard, Elmore. Elmore Leonard’s 10 Rules Of Writing. HarperCollins, William Morrow, 2007. ISBN: 0061451460 (ISBN13: 9780061451461).

Lopate, Phillip. The Art of the Personal Essay: An Anthology from the Classical Era to the Present. Anchor, 1997 (first published 1994). ISBN: 038542339X (ISBN13: 9780385423397).

Lopate, Phillip. To Show and to Tell: The Craft of Literary Nonfiction. Free Press, 2013. ISBN: 1451696329 (ISBN13: 9781451696325).

Oliver, Mary. A Poetry Handbook. Mariner Books, 1994. ISBN: 0156724006 (ISBN13: 9780156724005).

Oliver, Mary. Rules for the Dance: A Handbook for Writing and Reading Metrical Verse. Mariner Books, 1998. ISBN: 039585086X (ISBN13: 9780395850862).

Owen, Catherine. Catalysts: Confrontations with the muse. Wolsak & Wynn, 2012. ISBN: 978-1-894987-59-2.

Pressfield, Steven. The War of Art: Break Through the Blocks and Win Your Inner Creative Battles. Grand Central Publishing, 2003 (first published 2002). ISBN 0446691437 (ISBN13: 9780446691437).

Pressfield, Steven. Turning Pro: Tap Your Inner Power and Create Your Life’s Work. Black Irish Books, 2012. ISBN: 9781936891030.

Rilke, Rainer Maria and Kappus, Franz Xaver and Norton, M.D. Herter (Translator). Letters to a Young Poet. Norton, 1993 (first published 1929). ISBN: 0393310396 (ISBN13: 9780393310399).

Sarah, Robyn. Little Eurekas. Biblioasis, 2007. ISBN-10: 1-89723-129-6 ISBN-13: 978-1-89723-129-6.

Smyth, Ethel. Female Pipings in Eden. P. Davies, 1934. LCCN: 34017982.

Stenson, Fred. Thing Feigned for Imagined: A Self-Directed Course in the Craft of Fiction. Banff Centre Press, 2002 ISBN: 0920159931 (ISBN13: 9780920159934).

Strunk, William Jr. and White, E. B. The Elements of Style. Longman Publishing Group, 1999 (first published 1918). ISBN-10: 0205313426 (ISBN13: 9780205313426).

 Truss, Lynne. Eats, Shoots & Leaves: The Zero Tolerance Approach to Punctuation. Penguin, 2006. Group (first published 2003). ISBN: 1592402038 (ISBN13: 9781592402038).

Woolf, Virginia. A Room of One’s Own. Penguin, 2012 (First published Hogarth Press, 1929). ISBN: 0241961904 (ISBN13: 9780241961902).


Here’s the PDF version.



Filed under Books, Last Mountain Lake, Literary Arts, On Writing, Regina Beach, Writer-in-residence

2 responses to “Good Books on Writing

  1. Pingback: Settling into the WIR gig! | This hot place

  2. Pingback: Good books on writing | Weyburn Writers' Group

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