‘ [There] are still people who consider a bookshelf as a mere storage place for already-read books and do not think of the library as a working tool.’ Umberto Eco
Here is a list of some books on writing and the creative process that you may find helpful in supporting your own writing practice.
Writing Alone and with Others by Pat Schneider
Pat is the founder of Amherst Writers & Artists and her book offers so much to those beginning, or beginning again, to write. Full of humanity, compassion and the firm conviction that those of us who write are writers. My bible.
The Rose Metal Press is a small independent press that has published three impressive Field Guides on the process and craft of writing Flash Fiction, Flash Nonfiction and Prose Poetry. Each one begins with an insightful introductory essay by the editor(s) on the genre concerned followed by a lively collection of essays, with writing suggestions, exercises and examples, by current practitioners and teachers of the form. Each of these books will have you itching to pick up your pen and expand your own writing repertoire.
Field Guide to Writing Flash Fiction: Tips from Editors, Teachers, and Writers in the Field, edited by Tara L. Masih
Field Guide to Prose Poetry: Contemporary Poets in Discussion and Practice, edited by Gary L. McDowell & F. Daniel Rzicznek
Writing Down the Bones by Natalie Goldberg
The classic text to set free your creative self
First published in the 1930’s and seldom out of print since. Well worth reading for her insights into the process and difficulties of beginning to write.
The Artist’s Way by Julia Cameron
Well-known and very good. Heavily influenced by the work of Brande above.
Tharp is a well-known choreographer and her understanding of the creative process transfers across all creative endeavours.
This is a great aid to analyzing your own writing – and he introduces you to ‘Fred’.
A great companion book to Knight’s book above
The Portable by Workshop
Written by the Irish poet & fiction writer – this book is packed full of interesting and helpful activities for any writer. It has recently been re-issued.
Poetry: Reading it, Writing it, Publishing it compiled and edited by Jessie Lendennie
Recently published collection of articles by those in the know who address exactly what it says in the title. Worth reading. Jessie Lendennie is the founder of Salmon Publishing.
Fires by Raymond Carver
A collection of essays, poems and short stories – his essay ‘’ is included here, and much, much more.
The by Richard Hugo
Lectures and essays on poetry and writing by an American poet and inspirational teacher
Bird by Bird by Anne Lamott
Subtitled ‘Some instructions on writing and life’ – this cuts to the chase with humour and insight.
Words in Place by Paul Matthews
Subtitled ‘Reconnecting with nature through creative writing’. A very interesting and timely book prompting an engagement with the natural world using creative writing.
Excellent book – how to write the unique story or stories your life makes.
A Writer’s Book of Days by Judy Reeves
This book is organized by month, with different aspects of the craft of writing addressed each month. It also has a writing prompt for each day of the year. A great book to pick up on any given day and work through regularly. It will have you writing even when you think you can’t.