In honor of the Northwest Christian Writers’ Association’s writing conference this weekend, I’m posting my favorite books for writers. These book are tools to help you become better at your craft, whatever stage you’re at in the writing profession.
1. Bird by Bird by Anne Lamott
A great little book to get you in the mood for writing. Veteran writer Anne Lamott talks you through her perspective about writing, with her often “colorful” language but highly practical tips. If you feel called to write but don’t know where to start, this is a good place to go first.
2. On Writing Well by William Zinsser
Zinsser’s guide is a classic text giving tips on both style and approaching different forms of nonfiction.
3. Rules for Writers by Diana Hacker
I use this text in all my classes. It’s my favorite style guide. Hacker relies on MLA as her basic format, but she also lists other ones as well. If you have questions about how to use a comma or where to put quotes, Hacker is your woman.
4. Eats, Shoots, and Leaves by Lynne Truss
If grammar scares you, this is a fun book to make it a little less intimidating. Keep in mind that Truss is using British standard rules, so some of the comma rules rules are a little different than the US ones. But, it’s hard to resist her playful attitude. Shouldn’t we all have this much fun with grammar?
5. Get a Freelance Life, by Margit Feury Ragland
I suggest this book for anyone who wants to get published but doesn’t know where to start. This book clued me in to the submission process for magazine articles. It’s a great guide to getting your writing “out there.”