Books for Writers

On Writing by Stephen King  

Inspiring and full of good advice, well worth buying

From Pitch to Publication by Carole Blake  

Invaluable guide to getting published from an experience agent, again well worth buying

The Right to Write by Julia Cameron  

One of the best books about being a writer and living a writer’s life I’ve ever found. Direct and truthful, this is a book I come back to over and over again if I’m in need of a little writerly pick me up.

Write Away by Elizabeth George  

Excellent if you want to write crime

Writing for Success by Patricia O’Reilly  

Sensible advice with a useful Irish slant

The Forest for the Trees: An Editor’s Advice to Writers by Betsy Lerner (American)         A fascinating book described as ‘a riveting safari through the wilds of a writer’s brain'. Ever wondered what exactly editors think about when faced with a manuscript, then this is the book for you!

Bird by Bird by Anne Lamott

More memoir than writing guide, but very entertaining

Writing Down the Bones by Natalie Goldberg  

How to ‘free the writer within’

Your Writing Coach by Jurgen Wolf

If you need some motivation and sensible, down to earth advice, this book covers all the bases.

Self-Editing for Fiction Writers by Browne and King

The best book I’ve ever come across about editing your own work. Contains lots of examples to explain its points. Especially good on things like showing not telling and dialogue. Highly recommended.

The Elements of Style by Strunk and White – if you need to check your grammar, this is the book.

Books On Writing for Children

Children’s Writers and Artist’s Yearbook  

Comes out every year and contains essays and advice from bestselling authors like J K Rowling and Eoin Colfer. Very useful!

Juicy Writing by Brigid Lowry  

Exercises and practical advice on writing – written for teens but great for all ages!

The ‘Ultimate’ Guides to Children’s Books – First, Age 8 to 12, and Teen – depending on what age your are most interested in. Highly valuable guides – packed with info on a wide range of children’s books – mostly UK but Irish, and world also. Well worth investing in.

Writing for Children by Pamela Cleaver  

One of the best practical books I’ve seen recently

Mad About Books – the Dubray Guide to Children’s Books edited by Sarah Webb – can be bought on their website. A guide to over 300 wonderful children’s books.

Writing Picture Books by Ann Whitford Paul

Especially good on how to write a rhyming picture book and how to check your rhythm and rhyme.

How to Write a Children’s Picture Book by Andrea Shavick

A good general guide to writing picture books.

Illustrating Children’s Books by Martin Sailsbury

A must have for illustrators. Full colour hardback with lots about technique.

Writing with Pictures: How to Write and Illustrate Children's Books by Uri Shulevitz  

Excellent book, well worth reading. Especially good on format.

Writing Children’s Books for Dummies by Lisa Rojany Buccieri

Don’t let the title put you off, this is a useful, sensible book. Especially good on age groups and genres.