Group Library

How our “library” works: Email the group and ask to borrow a title. Don’t lose it, ruin it, or keep it forever. If a title you’re interested in isn’t listed, send an email to the group asking whether anyone has a copy.

Writing a Novel

  • Save the Cat Writes a Novel by Jessica Brody
  • Refuse to be Done by Matt Bell
  • How to Write a Damn Good Novel: A Step-by-Step No Nonsense Guide to Dramatic Storytelling  by James N. Frey
  • The Marshall Plan for Novel Writing by Evan Marshall
  • Writing the Breakout Novel (and workbook) by Donald Maass
  • The Fire in Fiction by Donald Maass
  • Writing 21st century Fiction by Donald Maass
  • The 90-Day Novel: Unlock the story within by Alan Watt
    (though 90 days is unrealistic for most of us)
  • The Weekend Novelist by Robert J. Ray and Bret Norris
  • Dwight Swain’s Techniques of the Selling Writer
  • The Essential Guide to Writing a Novel: A Complete and Concise Manual for Fiction Writers by James Thayer
  • The Everything Guide to Writing a Novel by Joyce and Jim Lavene
  • The Everything Guide to Writing a Novel by Joyce and Jim Lavene


  • The Art of Character by David Corbett
  • The Compass of Character by David Corbett
  • Characters & Viewpoint by Orson Scott Card
  • Creating Character Emotions by Ann Hood

Other Specific Aspects of Writing

  • The Writer’s Journey, 3rd edition, Vogler
  • Story by Robert McKee
  • The Emotional Craft of Writing by Donald Maass
  • Setting by Jack Bickham
  • Description by Monica Wood
  • Plot by Ansen Dibell
  • Dialogue by Lewis Turco
  • Conflict and Suspense by James Scott Bell
  • Writing from the Middle by James Scott Bell
  • Plot & Structure: techniques and exercises for crafting a plot by James Scott Bell
  • Conflict, Action & Suspense by William Noble
  • Beginnings, Middles, and Ends by Nancy Kress
  • Theme & Strategy by Ronald B. Tobias
  • Scene & Structure by Jack M. Bickham
  • Techniques of the Selling Writer by Dwight V. Swain
  • Spider Spin Me a Web: Lawrence Block on Writing Fiction
  • Finding your Voice: How to put Personality into your Writing by Les Edgerton
  • Voice & Style by Johnny Payne
  • Martha Alderson’s The Plot Whisperer Workbook: Step-by-Step Exercises to Help You Create Compelling Stories and site
  • Story Physics: Harnessing the Underlying Forces of Storytelling by Larry Brooks and site
  • Writing the Other: A Practical Approach by Nisi Shawl & Cynthia Ward

Agents & Publishing

  • Making the Perfect Pitch: How to Catch a Literary Agent’s Eye by Katharine Sands
  • The Perfect Pitch by Ken Rotcop
  • The Writing & Critique Group Survival Guide by Becky Levine


  • The Writer’s Portable Mentor – Priscilla Long
  • The Grammar Bible by Michael Strumpe and Auriel Douglas
  • The Art of Styling Sentences by Anne Longknife and K.D. Sullivan
  • How to Write a Sentence by Stanley Fish
  • Getting the Words Right by Theodore A. Rees Cheney
  • The Elements of Style by Strunk and White
  • It was the best of sentences, it was the worst of sentences by June Casagrande

Being a Writer

  • Bird by Bird – Anne Lamott
  • On Being a Writer edited by Bill Strickland
  • The Art of Fiction by John Gardner
  • On Writing – Stephen King
  • A swim in the pond by George Saunders


  • Talking about Detective Fiction by P.D. James
  • How to Write Killer Fiction by Carolyn Wheat
  • Cause of Death: a writer’s guide to death, murder and forensic medicine, Keith D. Wilson, M.D.
  • Howdunit: How crimes are committed and solved, ed. By John Boertlein
  • What Cops Know by Connie Fletcher
  • Scene of the Crime: A writer’s Guide to Crime-Scene Investigations by Anne Wingate
  • Police Procedural: A writer’s Guide to the Police and how they work by Russell Bintliff


  • Screenplay: The Foundations of Screenwriting by Syd Field


  • Comedy Writing Secrets, 2nd edition, Helitzer

Short Fiction

  • Creating Short Fiction by Damon Knight
  • Flash Fiction by Michael Wilson
  • Writing in General and the Short Story in Particular by Rust Hills


Header photo: Ithaca, NY courtesy of Paul Joran

Updated January 6, 2024

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