4 writing books you need

Do you love a new writing book as much as I do?

Even after co-writing my own book about writing (So You Want To Be A Writer: How To Get Started While You Still Have A Day Job), I find myself adding new writing books to my shopping cart way too frequently – particularly when they come with a recommendation!

I’ve put together a list of writing books (new and old) that have been recommended either to me or by me in recent months.

I think it’s always worth remembering that writing books are like writing processes – not the same for everyone. A book that might bring out 1000 lightbulb moments for you may not resonate with someone else.

But I always take a long look at a book that comes with a glowing recommendation.

Happy shopping!

1. Picturebook Makers by Sam McCullen

This stunning book asks the question ‘what exists in the space between the words and the pictures?’ and asks 12 of the world’s best contemporary picturebook makers to share their experiences, challenges, doubts, sketches, and insights in an attempt to answer.

A must for anyone creating picture books, whether as an author, illustrator or author/illustrator, or any reader who just wants a look at how the magic happens.

2. Story Genius: How to use brain science to go beyond outlining and write a riveting novel by Lisa Cron

This book promises to be a ‘blueprint for riveting story’, revealing how to use cognitive storytelling strategies to build your story scene by scene. It was highly recommended to me by an emerging writer who had marked every second page with a Post It note and was using it to tear a draft apart to rewrite.

3. Headstrong Girl by Kim Wilkins

This short (58 pages) book of essays by Kim Wilkins was recommended to me by an award-winning writer who told me ‘Kim just gets it’.

And she does. With more than three million words in print across various pen names and genres, Wilkins shares her advice on being a writer and telling great stories.

4. So You Want to Be a Writer by Allison Tait and Valerie Khoo

Okay, I’m biased. But Valerie Khoo and I set out to write the kind of book that we wished had existed when we started out in the industry. If you’re thinking of dipping your toes in the waters of writing, this is the ideal place to start. It’s part motivation, part inspiration and part “how to”. Enjoy!


Author bio

Author Allison Tait smilingAllison Tait is the author of three epic middle-grade adventure series for kids: The Mapmaker Chronicles, The Ateban Cipher and the Maven & Reeve Mysteries. A presenter at AWC and former co-host of the So You Want To Be A Writer podcast, Al’s next middle-grade novel will be out in July 2023. Find out more about her at allisontait.com.

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