Good Books To Read On How To Write

The Elements of Style by William Strunk & E.B. White

The Courage to Write: How Writers Transcend Fear by Ralph Keyes

The Huffington Post Complete Guide to Blogging by the editors of the Post.

Thinking Like Your Editor: How to Write Great Serious Nonfiction–and Get It Published by Alfred Fortunato and Susan Rabiner

The Forest for the Trees: An Editor’s Advice to Writers by Betsy Lerner

The Portable MFA in Creative Writing by The New York Writers Workshop

On Writing Well by William Zinsser

Also check out:

Poets & Writers magazine (

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  • Ditto on Zinsser. When I ask my students what was the best thing they got from my magazine writing class, many of them (particularly older students) say Zinsser. (I keep wanting them to say “Jane’s great wisdom!)

    I would add Italo Calvino’s Six Memos for the Next Millennium. It isn’t exactly a how to book, and it doesn’t even have six memos (he died before he finished the set he was writing for the Charles Eliot Norton Lectures at Harvard). Rather, it’s 5 essays on the qualities in writing he admired: lightness, quickness, exactitude, visibility, and multiplicity. It is a delight.

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