They say the best writers are readers, and while there are endless learning opportunities to be gleaned from reading novels and poems, there’s no substitute for a good craft book.
There are many books about creative writing available for aspiring writers, so how can you know which ones to read?
Whether you’re a poet, a novelist, or a content writer, here are 7 books about writing that every writer should read.
And check out the Hire a Writer site for more information on how our team of expert writers can help you tell your story.
7 Book About Creative Writing
Here are my seven top tips to dive into the core tenets and practices that support creative writing.
1. The Elements of Style – William Strunk Jr. & EB White
If you only read one book on this list, let it be this one!
It really doesn’t matter what genre of writing you practice, The Elements of Style should be required reading for every writer. It is the quintessential book about creative writing. Even the most established writers adore this cult favorite from the creator of classics like Charlotte’s Web and Stuart Little.
2. Mouth Full of Blood – Toni Morrison
This book is filled with wise words from a winner of the Nobel Prize in Literature.
Toni Morrison’s non-fiction collection includes essays and meditations on life and the craft of writing. It is spellbinding in both its technique and content. All writers will find inspiration on the power of the craft they love within its pages.
3. Reading Like a Writer – Francine Prose
Level-up your critical reading skills with this book.
This book is especially great for young or emerging writers who are just starting to learn about the craft. It encourages critical reading and helps to establish the groundwork for a writer’s eye that can turn every sentence into a lesson in what to—or not to—do in your own work.
4. Madness, Rack, and Honey – Mary Ruefle
This book is like a poetry masterclass in 300 pages.
For poets, there is no better craft book than Mary Ruefle’s Madness, Rack, and Honey. In her collection of lectures, Ruefle manages to capture essential elements of poetry—which is no easy feat considering that poetry is notoriously difficult to explain or teach.
Her collection of lectures is an amazing book about creative writing that every poet should read.
5. Wonderbook – Jeff Vandermeer
For novelists, there really is nothing out there quite like this book.
Wonderbook is a one-of-a-kind guide to fiction writing. It is an illustrated and immersive book about creative writing that features excerpts and contributions from writers like Ursula K. Le Guin, George R. R. Martin, Neil Gaiman, and more.
If you’re looking to create richly-imagined fictitious worlds with your writing, check it out!
6. The Forest For The Trees – Betsy Lerner
This book claims that all writers should also be editors. Do you agree?
If you’re reading this list, chances are you’re an aspiring writer. While this book isn’t about writing per se, it’s a comprehensive guide for an essential skill all writers need to master: editing.
Lerner’s The Forest for the Trees is an immensely respected guide to editorial best practices for writers. This is a book all writers should read so when they send their work out into the world, they will present themselves as competent and professional.
7. The Writing Life – Marie Arana
Every writer is different, but you’re sure to find anecdotes from a kindred spirit in this book.
This collection contains essays written by iconic writers such as Joyce Carol Oates, Ray Bradbury, and Nadine Gordimer. These writers talk about everything from setting a routine to overcoming writer’s block.
If there’s one takeaway from this collection, it’s that every writer has their own habits and routine—it’s not a profession with a clear set of guidelines. Reading these essays should help you develop your own version of what the writer’s life looks like!
Read More About Creative Writing
That’s our list of the top books about creative writing that every writer should read! Of course, there are many more to enjoy, but this list will provide a good starting point.
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