Thanks for joining us! In this episode we’ll talk about books every writer should have in their writing library.
In order to grow as a writer, you want to have several different categories of books in your arsenal that will encourage and instruct you in the craft. The key here is to build a collection of what I call “The Essentials.”
Listen in to hear about the basic books you should have in your writing library to help you hone your skills as a writer. These are just a few of my favorites in styles and genres I typically write in. I would love to know what books you turn to for writing instruction and inspiration, as well. Please leave a comment and let us know which writing books you recommend!
The ABC’s (plus one) of Your Writer’s Library
As with most books we recommend at DIY MFA, the below are Amazon Affiliate links. This means if you choose to purchase via one of these links, we will receive a small commission at no cost to you. Thank you for supporting DIY MFA!
Start with an anthology of short form literature in your genre. Why? Reading short form work allows you to get a macro- and micro-view of each piece, analyzing overall structure and details in one sitting.
- The Art of the Short Story by Dana Gioia and R.S. Gwynn
- Best American Short Stories (choose the most recent, or go with an edition edited by an author you know)
- Good Poems by Garrison Keillor
- Poetry 180: A Turning Back to Poetry by Billy Collins
Books of Prompts
A good book of prompts helps to get the creative juices flowing and encourages you to write outside of your comfort zone.
- The 3 A.M. Epiphany: Uncommon Writing Exercises that Transform Your Fiction by Brian Kiteley
- 4 A.M. Breakthrough: Unconventional Writing Exercises That Transform Your Fiction by Brian Kiteley
- The Now Write Series by Sherry Ellis
Craft Reference Books
Find a reference book that focuses on your genre. Also the DIY MFA book has a substantive section on the craft of writing.
- Writing Fiction by Gotham Writers’ Workshop
- Writing Irresistible Kidlit by Mary Koke
- Save the Cat by Blake Snyder
These are writers’ memoirs that inspire and motivate you in your writer’s journey.
- Ordinary Genius: A Guide for the Poet Within by Kim Addonizio
- On Writing: A Memoir Of The Craft by Stephen King
- Bird by Bird: Some Instructions on Writing and Life by Anne Lamott
- Writing Down the Bones: Freeing the Writer Within by Natalie Goldberg
- Take Joy: A Writer’s Guide to Loving the Craft by Jane Yolen
What books do you have in your writer’s library?
Link to Episode 17
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Until next week, keep writing and keep being awesome.