Top Books on Writing Practice

There’s a saying that a good writer is a good reader.  While it’s extremely important for us as writers to read both in and outside the genre we typically write in, it’s also important for us to read craft books to continue to learn and open our minds to other ways of writing and creating.  I opened up a discussion on the Spalding MFA Alumni Facebook page to hear from all of you about your favorite books on writing practice.


  1. Bird by Bird, Anne Lamott– recommended by Drema Drudge
  2. The Writing Life, Annie Dillard
  3. On Writing, Stephen King
  4. On Writing Well, William Zinsser
  5. The Elements of Style, William Strunk Jr.
  6. The Mental Game of Writing, James Scott Bell– recommended by Alicia Anthony
  7. Imaginative Writing, Janet Burroway– recommended by Michael Jackman
  8. Writing Fiction, A Guide to Craft, Janet Burroway, Ned Stuckey-French, Elizabeth Stuckey-French– recommended by Michael Jackman
  9. Writing Past DarkBonnie Friedman
  10. The Modern Library Writer’s Workshop: A Guide to the Craft of Fiction, Stephen Koch

Let me know some of your favorite books if I’ve left them out!


I’m looking for contributors for the following posts:

DEAR SOARING!: Send me your questions to be featured on the blog. Other alumni will help in answering your questions.

Where in the World: Where have you gone recently? Send me a picture with information on your trip and any writing you may have done about the trip.

Awards and Accolades of Alumni: Time to brag! What have you accomplished recently? I want to help spread the word and show just how great our alumni really are.

Email me at to be featured.

Mackenzie Jervis is a Summer 2016 Graduate. She lives in Texas with her husband, two cats, and puppy. She has way too many books, more cameras than she knows how to properly use, and a never ending need to keep moving. She write about her life and adventures at home and around the world at A Wandering Scribbler.

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