Ten of the Best Books on Writing

3 minutes read

We’ve brought together some of the best books on writing to help you invigorate your practice with inspiration and motivation – no matter where you are in your writing journey.

Book cover of On Writing by Stephen King
On Writing by Stephen King

Part memoir, part masterclass by one of the bestselling authors of all time, this superb volume is a revealing and practical view of the writer’s craft, comprising the basic tools of the trade every writer must have.

Book cove of Bird by Bird by Anne Lamott
Bird by Bird by Anne Lamott

Bird by Bird is the bible of writing guides – a wry, honest, down-to-earth book that has never stopped selling since it was first published in the United States in the 1990s. Bestselling novelist and memoirist Anne Lamott distils what she’s learned over years of trial and error. Beautifully written, wise and immensely helpful, this is the book for all serious writers and writers-to-be.

Book cover of Your Story Matters by Nikesh Shukla
Your Story Matters by Nikesh Shukla

Nikesh Shukla, author, writing mentor and Faber Academy tutor, knows better than most the power that every unique voice has to create change. Whether it’s a novel, personal essay, non-fiction work or short story – or even just the formless desire to write something – Your Story Matters will hone your skill and help you along the way.

Book cover of The Writing Life by Anne Dillard
The Writing Life by Annie Dillard

In these short essays, Annie Dillard – the author of Pilgrim at Tinker Creek and An American Childhood – illuminates the dedication, absurdity, and daring that characterize the existence of a writer. A moving account of Dillard’s own experiences while writing her works, The Writing Life offers deep insight into one of the most mysterious professions.

Book cover of Story by Robert McKee
Story by Robert McKee

Robert McKee, a Fulbright Scholar, is the most sought-after story authority in the world. His international screenwriting workshops have long won acclaim from celebrities, film industry professionals and enthusiastic students alike. In this guide, he presents his knowledge of the essentials of screenwriting and storytelling.

Book cover of Sin And Syntax by Constance Hale
Sin And Syntax by Constance Hale

Everyone needs to know how to write stylish prose – students, professionals, and seasoned writers alike. Whether you’re writing to sell, shock, or just sing, Sin and Syntax – now celebrating 20 years in print–is the guide you need to improve your command of the English language.

Book cover of Steering the Craft by Ursula le Guin
Steering The Craft by Ursula Le Guin

Le Guin lays out ten chapters that address the most fundamental components of narrative, from the sound of language to sentence construction to point of view. Each chapter combines illustrative examples from the global canon with Le Guin’s own witty commentary and an exercise that the writer can do solo or in a group. She also offers a comprehensive guide to working in writing groups, both actual and online. Masterly and concise, Steering the Craft deserves a place on every writer’s shelf.

Book cover of Writing Fiction by Janet Burroway
Writing Fiction by Janet Burroway

Janet Burroway’s best-selling classic is the most widely used creative writing text in America, and for more than three decades it has helped hundreds of thousands of students learn the craft.

Book cover of Writing a Novel by Richard Skinner
Writing a Novel by Richard Skinner

The essential companion for your writing life from the Director of the Fiction Programme at Faber Academy and creator of our flagship Writing a Novel six-month course. Writing a Novel is not a set of instructions: it is a way of thinking, a conversation, a relationship in itself.

Book cover of On Writing by A.L. Kennedy
On Writing by A.L. Kennedy

After six novels, five story collections and two books of non-fiction, and countless international prizes, A.L. Kennedy certainly has the authority to talk about the craft of writing books – it’s just a wonder she’s found the time. These are missives from the authorial front line – urgent and vivid, full of the excitement, fury and frustration of trying to make thousands of words into a publishable book.


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