Thursday, April 11, 2013

What Books Are On Your Writer's Shelf ?

Here's some treasures and useful tools that sit on my writer's book shelf.

*Chicken Soup for the Writer's Soul by Jack Canfeld, Mark Victor Hansen and Bud Gardner.
Can you guess that I've read this compilation a few times? Aside from being a source of encouragement, it contains my favorite poem by Joe Howard entitled "The Black Stallion." Try finding that on Google. If you do, please send me the link!

*Writer's Guide to 2013 (and 2012)  - Susan M. Tierney, Editor. Want to know about markets, publishing, style, careers, contests, etc? Checkout this goodie.

*Writing Children's Books for Dummies by Lisa Rojany Bucciere and Peter Economy.  No, I didn't read this before I wrote The Big Bad Rain Monster. What a dummy!

*The Elements of Style by Strunk and White. A companion since college, oh, so many years ago. We two can't seem to part.

*Hodges Harbrace College Handbook by Hodges and Whitten. Another aide dating back to college.

*Essentials of English by Hopper, Gale, Foote and Griffith. On my shelf, but second to another.

*On Writing by Stephen King. All praise King. Now we are getting into interesting reading and assistance from my favorite author. A few suggestions from King: "...the cardinal rule of good fiction is never tell us a thing if you can show us... the key to writing good dialogue is honesty... description begins in the writer's imagination, but should finish in the reader's...the basic rule of vocabulary is use the first word that comes to your mind, if it is appropriate and colorful..."

*Write from the Heart by Lesleà  Newman. I'll take this book off the shelf and give it a go again, after all - it is a book for women that want to write, and I am that woman! Perhaps the second time will be the charm.

*10,000 Most Commonly Misspelled Words  - World Book Encyclopedia, Inc. Prior to computers this book was a gem. Might be time to part ways.

*Writing for Story by Jon Franklin. Concentration is on the short story. I will pull this off the shelf as well; light a few scented candles; add bubbles to a warm bath and relax once again with Jon.

*The Writer's Guide to Crafting Stories for Children by Nancy Lamb. I confess. I read this prior to the publication of The Big Bad Rain Monster, but not before it was edited. Most of the pages are full of highlighted sentences and paragraphs that I found informative. Words have been ticked; and too, there's notes that I wrote on the sides, with creases on many of the headers. This book has been so overly marked that would list the re-sale description as "way over-used."

*Writer's Digest Complete Guide to Writing Contests 2010 - Writer's Digest. Although this does get updated yearly, I'm still inclined to keep it or pass it on, but not before I scan through and see where short stories are wanted.

*Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators - May/June 2012 Bulletin -  SCBWI.
Hidden but on the shelf, this particular edition stated that picture books dealing with certain issues related to grandparents and upheavals in life were requested by parents, students, teachers, etc. It might be equally resourceful to read what's currently in demand.

*2010-2011 SCBWI Publication Guide - SCBWI. This covers mostly everything, to include publication and beyond.

And, that's it for the books on my writer's shelf, or at least the ones nearest to my computer. Now that I showed you mine, it's your turn. Will you show or tell me yours?

1 comment:

  1. Thanks, Jeralyn! Great reference books for writers. "Chicken Soup for the Writer's Soul" is one of my favourites, but unfortunately I can't find my copy. I may have to buy another one. That's how good I think it is!

    I have the "Elements of Style" - very handy book. And I've read "On Writing", by Stephen King. I think I may have borrowed that from you, Jeralyn.

    I refer to my copy of "Formatting & Submitting your Manuscript" by Cynthia Lauenberg and the Editors of Writer's Digest Books all the time.

    "Writing A to Z" by Joan Bloss and Colleen Cannon (Edited by Kirk Polking) is a quick and easy reference book. I repeatedly refer to it.

    "Travel Writing for Profit & Pleasure" by Perry Garfinkel is a great little book. Very easy to read.

    Just a small selection, but hope it helps! I have some other suggestions on my website at