Favourite Writing Books

An ongoing list of our favourite books to learn about writing, listed alphabetically.

(By the way, if you purchase any of these books by clicking through from this page, a portion of the sale will go to the Dragon Writer kitty for competitions & prizes)

250 Things You Should Know About Writing – Chuck Wendig

“I recommend everything ever written by Chuck Wendig on writing because he just shakes things loose and makes you take it all a little less seriously.” – Helga Pearson

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Big Magic – Liz Gilbert

“It really was magical. I’ve been feeling a bit disillusioned with writing lately and it’s become more and more of a chore. This book is just a lovely little bit of inspiration and kind advice – exactly what I needed. Highly recommended!” – ‎Hailey Griffiths

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Bird By Bird – Anne Lamott  

“Just a wonderful book for bad spots, though not so much for structured advice.” – Cat Corona Hellisen

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Difficult to Explain – Finuala Dowling

Difficult to Explain

“For poetry, this is lovely (with the added bonus of lots of poems included).” – Crystal Warren

(Not currently available on Amazon)

Eats, Shoots and Leaves – Lynne Truss

“The ultimate guide to understanding grammar and punctuation.” – Tallulah Habib

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On Writing – Stephen King

“I found it so inspirational. Half of the book is about Stephen King’s life, which you can ignore. The other half is his style, how he writes, etc. It’s a very good read.” – Graham van der Made

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Solutions for Writers – Sol Stein

“This guy knows his stuff!” – Ian Tennant

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Sometimes the Magic Works – Terry Brooks

“Terry Books writes a professional memoir of his writing life and then bookends it with some great writing advice. Nice glimpse into the head of a writer.” – Helga Pearson

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Structuring Your Novel: Essential Keys for Writing an Outstanding Story – K.M. Weiland

“This book is invaluable. I refer to it with every book I write. So, so good.” – Angela Meadon

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The Complete Handbook of Novel Writing – Writers’ Digest

“This is an awesome book of essays on writing that I stumbled upon in a second hand book store and was so good that my dad actually purchased the second edition for himself. Some of the essays are quite specific (“how to write about light”) while others are more general (“how to nail a good ending”), but practically all of them are very insightful.” – Tallulah Habib

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The War of Art –  Steven Pressfield

“I found it a useful way to sidestep writer’s block.” – Cat Corona Hellisen

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The Writer’s Book of Days – Judy Reeves

“This is my favourite. It is filled with advice, quotes about writing, exercises, interesting information about how other writers work – and has a writing prompt for every day.” – Crystal Warren

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The Writer’s Journey – Christopher Vogler

“Probably one of the most fascinating books I’ve ever read on writing. It’s based on The Heroes Journey by Joseph Campbell. Really, really good.” – Cristy Cuthbert Zinn

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The First Five Pages – Noah Lukeman

“This book has been invaluable. It goes through some of the “mistakes” that you might not even think are mistakes and is aimed at buffing your completed manuscript into something shiny and almost ready for publication.” – Tallulah Habib

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Write Away – Elizabeth George

“I have never actually read an Elizabeth George fiction title but I LOVE this book! In Write Away, George gives you a thorough, well-structured rundown of everything from coming up with your ideas, planning your book and then actually writing dialogue, characters, setting. It’s comprehensive but very easy to read. One of my favs.” – Helga Pearson

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Writing Alone and With Others – Pat Schneider

“Although Pat Schneider focuses more on memoir writing and ‘writing what you know’, it’s still beautiful and very helpful and a must read as far as I’m concerned.” – Helga Pearson

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Writing Down the Bones – Natalie Goldberg

“I have found this book really helpful while doing my MA.” – Jeannie Wallace McKoewn

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