Sunday, 7 June 2009

Essential Reference Books for Writers

Five recommended additions to any writer's library...
The Writer's Handbook 2011

A comprehensive guide to markets for creative writing and journalism with current freelance rates listed as well as sections addressing various subjects and issues relevant to the new or established writer. With listings for publishers in UK and USA as well as agents, packagers, magazines, TV and radio, small presses, literary prizes, granting bodies, courses... Necessary for any professional writer.
Buy This Book

Brewer's Dictionary Of Phrase And Fable

This expanded 'Millennium Edition' of the famous volume has an additional 1000 entries, bringing the total to 18,500! A fascinating read in itself, the encyclopaedic examination of the origins of words and phrases, the potted biographies of historic personages and events (apocryphal and real), is a tremendous tool for any individual who wishes to have an expansive general knowledge and doubly so for any creative. This up-dated edition has an introduction by Terry Pratchett who states that, "No bookshelf, no world, is complete without it".
(Cassell, ISBN 0 304 35096 6)
Buy the Millennium Edition, 16th edition - or - Buy the 2009, 18th edition

Story: Substance, Structure, Style and the Principles of Screenwriting

Robert McKee tells us, "story is not what you have to say, but how you say it." This is one of the simple truths that many a writer overlooks, and this book is brimming with even more revelations and ‘wake-up calls’ for the creative mind. Geared mainly to the film industry, this is a must for anyone interested in understanding movies, writing scripts and screenplays, or studying the Media… It is also invaluable for anyone who uses words to affect others. So if you are interested in writing stories that grip an audience, and stir their emotions, this contains many method-changing lessons. As you would expect, it is well written and readable.
Buy This Book

The Chambers Dictionary

The best-selling and most comprehensive single-volume English dictionary. The new edition claims more than 215,000 references and over 300,000 definitions which often read like informative mini-entries from a well researched encyclopaedia. Chambers is fast becoming the recognised standard for dictionaries and is the official reference dictionary for Scrabble(R)...
Buy the Standard Edition or the Thumb-index Edition of this book

On Being A Writer

This compilation of revealing interviews with various popular and respected writers forms a superb book about writing. Journalists, novelists, playwrights, commentators, poets, academics all talk about their backgrounds and the way they approach the job of writing and the writer's life... Featuring wisdom from such greats as Capote, Hemmingway, Steinbeck, Vonnegut, Faulkner, Jong, Bradbury, Ginsberg... 32 interviews, in all, addressing all aspects of writing.
(Writer's Digest, ISBN 0 89879 522 2)
This book seems to be out of print, but can still be ordered from some public libraries and is often available from sellers via
Buy This Book