Memorial Hall Library

Writers on Writing

November is National Novel Writing Month, aka NaNoWriMo. Looking for inspiration before you attempt to write your own novel? Check out these 10 books written by writers about their writing process.


	Bird by bird : some instructions on writing and life
Bird by bird : some instructions on writing and life
by Anne Lamott

A step-by-step guide to writing and managing the writer's life covers each portion of a written project, addresses such concerns as writer's block and getting published, and offers awareness and survival tips.

	Black ink : literary legends on the peril, power, and pleasure of reading and writing
Black ink : literary legends on the peril, power, and pleasure of reading and writing
by Stephanie Stokes Oliver

Spanning 250 years, a collection highlights the hard-won literary progress of black people in America, who were once forbidden by law to learn how to read, with essays from Frederick Douglass, Solomon Northup, Booker T. Washington, Maya Angelou and many more.

	Conversations on writing : Conversations on Writing
Conversations on writing : Conversations on Writing
by Ursula K. Le Guin

Discusses the author's craft, aesthetics, and philosophy in her fiction, nonfiction, and poetry, offering her personal insight into such subjects as the genre wars, the patriarchy, the natural world, and what makes for great writing.

	Daemon voices : on stories and storytelling
Daemon voices : on stories and storytelling
by Philip Pullman

The internationally best-selling author of the His Dark Materials trilogy shares insights into the art of writing while exploring how education, religion and science, as well as his favorite classics, helped shaped his literary life.

	Draft no. 4 : on the writing process
Draft no. 4 : on the writing process
by John McPhee

A guide to writing long-form nonfiction, written by the legendary New Yorker author and teacher, is presented as a series of lighthearted essays that share insights into the lessons he has learned on the writing process during his years at Princeton University.

	The hidden machinery : essays on writing
The hidden machinery : essays on writing
by Margot Livesey

 New York Times best-selling author presents a collection of essays that dive into the inner workings of fiction and discusses how modern stories are best crafted through studying classic literature and pairing them with our own life experiences.

	Life inside my mind : 31 authors share their personal struggles
Life inside my mind : 31 authors share their personal struggles
by Jessica Burkhart

Thirty-one YA authors share their own struggles with mental illness, ranging from such topics as neurodiversity and addiction to OCD and PTSD.

	A lowcountry heart : reflections on a writing life
A lowcountry heart : reflections on a writing life
by Pat Conroy

A collection of letters, interviews and magazine articles spanning the career of the best-selling author of The Prince of Tides is complemented by some of Conroy's top-selected pieces of short nonfiction, his speeches and a poignant letter to his grandson.

	On writing : a memoir of the craft
On writing : a memoir of the craft
by Stephen King

The author of The Stand, The Shining, and other great books shares his insights into the craft of writing, offering a breezy, humorous perspective on his own experience as a writer.

	The opposite of fate : a book of musings
The opposite of fate : a book of musings
by Amy Tan

The author reflects on her family's Chinese American legacy, her experiences as a writer, her survival of natural disasters, and her struggle to manage three family members afflicted with brain disease.
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