Essential Reading for Writers

Disclosure: Buying books from our site may earn us a commission from, whose fees support independent bookshops.

On Writing – A memoir of the craft
Stephen King.
Informative and inspiring. If this book doesn’t make you want to write I don’t know what will.
The Elements of Style
William Strunk Jr.
The only style manual to appear on the best-seller lists. It’s written so clearly there isn’t a superfluous word in sight.
The Little Red Writing Book
Brandon Royal.
This book offers all writers a clear, concise guide to writing strong and effective work for all occasions.
Wired For Story
Lisa Cron.
What does the brain crave from every tale it encounters? What keeps readers transfixed? This book reveals those cognitive secrets.
Pengion Guide to Punctuation
A Penguin reference book.
Indispensable for anyone who needs to get to grips with using punctuation in their written work. Clear and succinct.
An accessible, example-rich approach that emphasizes the importance of playfulness as well as pragmatism.
Chris Sykes
Takes you step by step through the process of creating a compelling and coherent plot and structure.
George Saunders
A deep exploration not just of how great writing works but of how the mind itself works while reading, and of how the reading and writing of stories make genuine connection possible.
New Hart’s Rules
Oxford University Press
Information on all aspects of writing and of preparing copy for publication, whether in print or electronically.
The Bookseller’s Tale
Martin Latham
A story of our love affair with books, whether we arrange them on our shelves, inhale their smell, scrawl in their margins or just curl up with them in bed.


Writers’ Forum Magazine
Workshops, exercises, and market news to help you write better.
They have the largest single prize for writing competitions in a (UK) magazine.
National Novel Writing Month. Write a novel in one month. Find all the help and support you need with NaNoWriMo.