Great Books on Writing

Read your way to better writing! The BARN Writers’ Studio offers the following list of highly recommended books on writing from a variety of writers, book stores, industry publications, and blogs. What would you add to the list? Write us at info@bainbridgebarn.org.

  • A Guide to the Craft of Fiction by Stephen Koch
  • A Million Miles in a Thousand Years by Donald Miller
  • A New Guide to Better Writing by Rudolf Franz Flesch and A.H. Lass
  • Art and Fear by David Bayles and Ted Orland Becoming a Writer by Dorothea Brande
  • Becoming a Writer by Dorothea Brande
  • Bending Genre: Essays on Creative Nonfiction by Margot Singer and Nicole Walker, editors
  • Big Magic: Creative Living Beyond Fear by Elizabeth Gilbert
  • Bird by Bird: Some Instructions on the Writing Life by Anne Lamott
  • Bullies, Bastards & Bitches: How to Write the Bad Guys of Fiction by Jessica Page Morrell
  • Creating Unforgettable Characters by Linda Seger
  • Eats, Shoots, and Leaves by Lynne Truss
  • Gift from the Sea by Anne Morrow Lindbergh
  • Hooked by Les Edgerton
  • If You Want to Write: A Book About Art, Independent and Spirit by Brenda Ueland
  • On Moral Fiction by John Gardner
  • On Writing by Eudora Welty
  • On Writing Well by William Zinsser
  • On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft by Stephen King
  • Plot and Structure by James Scott Bell
  • Save the Cat by Blake Snyder
  • Self-Editing for Fiction Writers, Second Edition: How to Edit Yourself Into Print by Renni Browne and Dave King
  • Stein on Writing by Sol Stein
  • Still Writing by Dani Shapiro
  • Story: Style, Structure, Substance, and the Principles of Screenwriting by Robert McKee
  • The Art of Asking by Amanda Palmer
  • The Art of Fiction: Notes on Craft for Young Writers by John Gardner
  • The Art of Writing: Teachings of the Chinese Masters translated by Tony Barnstone and Chou Ping
  • The Artist’s Way by Julia CameronBook suggestions
  • The Blue Jay’s Dance by Louise Erdrich
  • The Creative Habit by Twyla Tharp
  • The Elements of Style by William Strunk, Jr. and E.B. White
  • The Essential Guide to Writing a Novel by James Thayer
  • The Hero with a Thousand Faces by Joseph Campbell
  • The Mother Tongue by Bill Bryson
  • The Practice of Writing by David Lodge
  • The Successful Novelist: A Lifetime of Lessons about Writing and Publishing by David Morrell
  • The True Secret of Writing: Connecting Life with Language by Natalie Goldberg
  • The War of Art: Break Through the Blocks & Win Your Inner Creative Battles by Steven Pressfield
  • The Well-Tempered Sentence: A Punctuation Handbook for the Innocent, the Eager, and the Doomed by Karen Elizabeth Gordon
  • The Writer’s Home Companion edited by Joan Bolker
  • The Writer’s Portable Mentor: A Guide to Art, Craft, and the Writing Life by Priscilla Long
  • The Writer’s Journey: Mythic Structure for Writers, 3rd Edition by Christopher Vogler and Michele Montez
  • The Writing Life by Annie Dillard
  • The Zen of Creativity by John Daido Loori
  • This Year You Write Your Novel by Walter Mosley
  • Voice: The Secret Power of Great Writing by James Scott Bell
  • Walking on Water: Reflections on Faith and Art by Madeleine L’Engle
  • Writing Down the Bones: Freeing the Writer Within by Natalie Goldberg
  • Writing Fiction: The Practical Guide from New York’s Acclaimed Creative Writing School by Gotham Writers’ Workshop
  • Writing the Breakout Novel by Donald Maass
  • Writing Tools: 50 Essential Strategies for Every Writer by Roy Peter
  • Zen in the Art of Writing by Ray Bradbury