Books for Writers

In association with Amazon

There are several categories of books for writers in the list below, including Poetry, Short Story, Novel and General.  Clicking on the book titles will take you to the relevant Amazon page where you can place your order.

Please note that prices are subject to change, and occasionally a title may become unavailable. If a second-hand copy is on offer, this will be shown on the Amazon page.

Some of the comments below regarding the books are from Amazon, some are mine.

Poetry Writing Books

The Haiku Handbook - William J. Higgins
‘The most comprehensive compendium of the haiku - its nature, uses, and history - ever to appear in English.’ - Cor van den Heuvel, author of The Haiku Anthology
   Our Price: £7.69

How to Write, Recite, and Delight in Poetry - Joy Hulme
   Our Price : £4.93

Short Story Writing Books

How to Write Short-Short Stories - Stella Whitelaw
Advice on how to write a short-short-story, covering the different types of story, how to present work to editors, length, ideas, shape and structure, the opening paragraph, characterisation and cutting.
   Our Price: £7.19

Writing Short Stories and Articles - Adele Ramet
Writing successfully for magazines and newspapers requires not only the skill to capture and hold the attention of the reader, but also to write strictly to editorial requirements. This guide shows how to produce manuscripts to fit a specific slot, adapt style to suit different markets and how to utilize research material to write both fact and fiction for publication.
   Our Price: £9.99

How to Write Short Stories - Sharon Sorenson
Offers advice on using characters, setting, plot, and dialogue to create an effective short story and includes sample short stories with analysis.
   Our Price: £6.41

Novel Writing Books

How to Write a Damn Good Novel - James N. Frey
   Something of a classic, this.  An invaluable companion if you’re about to make an assault on the north face of your first novel.
   Our Price: £18.04

How to Get Published and Make a Lot of Money - Susan Page
   This text leads the frustrated writer to success, with steps including: the three ‘magic first steps’; methods for finding a good title; the formula for writing proposals that get read; a method for finding the right agent; and the six most important things to look for in a publisher's contract.
   Our Price: £7.69

How to Plot Your Novel - Jean Saunders
    This guide takes the aspiring novelist from the initial idea, developing it into a workable plot to producing an irresistible page-turner. Characterization, background settings, methodical construction and making use of library resources are dealt with in a clear, down-to-earth fashion.
     Price : £6.99

How to Write a Blockbuster - Sarah Harrison
     Form the author of The Flowers of the Field this inspirational guide to writing a potential bestseller covers capturing the elusive ‘X’ factor, generating the narrative drive, busting blocks and how to write about sex.
     Price: £8.99

Writing the Popular Novel - Loren D Estleman
    What does it take to craft a best-seller - one that tops the charts week after week and leaves everyone talking? In this groundbreaking guide, successful author Loren D. Estleman shares the process. Readers will learn: The four essential traits best-selling authors possess; The specific challenges in a variety of genres and how to overcome them for writing success; The benefits of exploring more than one genre for a fulfilling career - and more.  Upbeat, engaging, and personal, Writing the Popular Novel provides readers with the instruction they need to craft the books that become best-sellers.
     Price: £6.99

Writing the Breakout Novel - Donald Maass
     A breakout novel is one that rises out if its category - such as literary fiction, mystery, romance, or thriller - and hits the bestseller charts. Maass explains the elements that all breakout novels share and shows readers how to use these elements to write a novel that has a good chance of succeeding in a crowded marketplace. They'll learn to: - Create a powerful and sweeping sense of time and place - Develop larger-than-life characters - Sustain a high degree of narrative tension from start to finish - Weave sub-plots into the main action - Explore universal themes that will interest a large audience.
     Price: £13.99

Crime Writing Books

Teach Yourself Writing Crime Fiction - Lesley Grant Adamson
    This book’s author has written successful crime novels and she obviously knows her stuff.  A useful intro to the genre.
    Price: £1.28

Write Away - Elizabeth George
     I’m sure I don’t have to tell you that Elizabeth George is the creator of Inspector Lynley.  As such, she must know how to put a good story together and how to spin it into a lucrative series.  Mariella Frostrup says the book is indispensable, although as she isn’t a mystery writer (as far as I know), I suppose she could mean it’s a handy paperweight or something.
    Price: £12.99

General Writing Books

Fiction Writer's Handbook - Hallie, Burnett
The co-editors of Story Magazine explore numerous facets of writing as an art and vocation and explain the essential elements and development of the short story and novel.
   Price: £11.81

Zen in the Art of Writing: Releasing the Creative Genius Within You - Ray Bradbury
   An unconventional book to help get the words flowing, by a master of the writing craft.
   Price: £11.15

The 38 Most Common Fiction Writing Mistakes - Jack M. Bickham
Provides suggestions for correcting common writing mistakes and offers advice on developing a fiction writer's attitude, refining ideas and language, and submitting manuscripts.
   Price: £9.99

The Elements of Style - William Strunk Jr
Some acclaim for previous editions: "Buy it, study it, enjoy it. It’s as timeless as a book can be in our age of volubility." - The New York Times. "No book in shorter space, with fewer words, will help any writer more than this persistent little volume." - The Boston Globe.  "The book remains a nonpareil: direct, correct, and delightful." - The New Yorker.  "Should be the daily companion of anyone who writes for a living, and for that matter, anyone who writes at all." - Greensboro (N.C.) Daily News.
   Price: £9.99

The Oxford Dictionary for Writers and Editors edited by Robert Ritter
   This is a good one for the pro or serious amateur.
   Price: £11.19

Creating Suspense in Fiction - John Paxton Sheriff
    Successful author John Paxton Sheriff presents the art of creating suspense in easily understood, practical terms.  Less familiar literary devices are dealt with as well as the usual techniques of hooks and cliffhangers.
    Price:  £6.17

Dynamic Characters - Nancy Kress
     In this guide, award-winning author Nancy Kress explores the crucial relationship between characterization and plot, illustrating how vibrant, well-constructed characters act as the driving force behind an exceptional story.
     Price: £14.99

THE JOY OF WRITING SEX - Elizabeth Benedict
     The Sunday Times called this a quietly perceptive guide, while author Peter Carey says it will teach you everything you need to know about writing good fiction.
     Price: £9.99

The Seven Key Elements of Fiction - L P Wilbur
     L P Wilbur deals with each element of fiction individually, beginning with the development of ‘Plot’.  He explains the importance of  ‘Conflict’ to writers such as Shakespeare, Hardy and Poe, while in the section on ‘Setting’ he focuses on the development of sense of place and mood.  In ‘Dialogue' he emphasizes reality in the creation of characters, while in both ‘Point of View’ and ‘Style’ he considers the more technical aspects of writing. The last element, ‘Character’ highlights the fundamental importance of well-rounded, unforgettable characters and looks at twenty-five different ways of creating those characters.
     Price: £3.36

Creating Unforgettable Characters - Linda Seger
     Discusses back stories, psychology, research, relationships, supporting characters, stereotypes and character problems, and offers advice on writing dialogue.
     Price: £11.99

Writing for Children

Writing a Children’s Book - Pamela Cleaver
   This guide covers the writing of picture books, plots and planning, teenage fiction and non-fiction books. The author also deals with the business side of publishing, including market research and finding a publisher.
    Price: £6.99

How To Write for Children   - Tessa Krailing
    Writing Magazine called this one an excellent and professional guide to the genre - which seems a pretty good recommendation.
     Price: £6.99

Writer’s Handbook Guide to Writing for Children - edited by Barry Turner
     This features articles and interviews with established authors and experts in the trade.  It explores the key to success in writing for children and offers all the necessary advice for newcomers, as well as advice on dealing with agents and contracts.
     Price: £.6.99

The Writer’s Guide to Crafting Stories for Children - Nancy Lamb
    This book features an in-depth examination of storytelling and story structure.  Using examples from classic and contemporary sources, Nancy Lamb explores all the key elements of children's storytelling: point of view, structure, plotting, pacing, etc. She uses worksheets, exercises, and checklists to show writers how to grab and hold on to a young reader's attention, whether the topic is fact or fiction.
     Price: £12.99

Sci-Fi and Fantasy Books

Writing Fantasy & Science Fiction - Lisa Tuttle
    Fantasy and Science Fiction are popular genres, especially with the success of the Harry Potter books. Lisa Tuttle begins by looking at the many different kinds of novels covered by these genres. The book then moves on to look at ideas, world-building, language, structure, short stories, and finding an agent.  The book provides authors with an insight into how publishers work and contains illuminating interviews with editors (e.g. (not in the book - this is from the casebook of Michael Shenton): ‘Tell me, Mr Editor, what exactly is it that you are looking for in a novel?’  ‘Buggered if I know - but why don’t you spend the next two years of your life writing one and then I’ll maybe have a look and tell you if it’s anything like it.’)
    Price: £6.41

Writing Fantasy & Science Fiction - Orson Scott Card
     This award-winning classic on the art and craft of writing science fiction and fantasy provides invaluable advice for every science fiction and fantasy writer interested in constructing stories about people, worlds and events that stretch the boundaries of the possible - and the magical. They'll learn:. What is and isn't science fiction and fantasy, and where their story fits in the mix. How to build, populate, and dramatize a credible, inviting world readers will want to explore. Where the markets are, how to reach them and get published There's no better source of information for writers working in these genres.
     Price: £9.99


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