Why We Write about Ourselves: Twenty Memoirists on Why They Expose Themselves (and Others) in the Name of Literature
I keep returning to this book for inspiration and practical advice from other memoirists. Plus it led me to a lot of great authors I hadn't read yet.
Melissa Febos$16.95 $15.76
After reading her essay "Mind Fuck: Writing Better Sex," included in this collection, I knew I would be pre-ordering anything Febos writes on craft.
Vivian Gornick$16.00 $14.88
The first time I sat down with this book I wasn't ready for it, but the second time I couldn't get enough. Essential reading for anyone attempting to nail down what feels elusive in writing essays or memoir.
Thomas Larson$16.95 $15.76
This is the only book I have read that examines how the act of writing memoir affects and changes the writer themself as it situates them within the greater story. A good companion to Gornick's The Situation and The Story.
Before and After the Book Deal: A Writer's Guide to Finishing, Publishing, Promoting, and Surviving Your First Book
Courtney Maum$16.95 $15.76
With verve, wit, and compassion, Maum offers guidance for writers no matter where you are on the publication journey.
This anthology illuminates the vast range of experiences memoirists and essayists can experience when writing about family. Worth it just to know you're not alone.
You Can't Make This Stuff Up: The Complete Guide to Writing Creative Nonfiction -- From Memoir to Literary Journalism and Everything in Between
Lee Gutkind$17.99 $16.73
A crash course in creative nonfiction from The Godfather of the genre himself. Includes writing exercises.
Dinty W. Moore$17.99 $16.73
Dinty W. Moore walks you through how to craft personal essays of several different styles. Includes examples and a comprehensive reading list.
Jessica Handler$17.99 $16.73
Jessica Handler gently and courageously guides the writer through writing about grief and loss. Includes writing exercises and stories from her own work.
Wired for Story: The Writer's Guide to Using Brain Science to Hook Readers from the Very First Sentence
Lisa Cron$15.99 $14.87
Pretty much what it says in the subtitle. A practical guide complete with helpful end-of-chapter checklists.
Allison K. Williams$19.95
This eminently readable and encouraging book walks you through all the steps you'll need to make your finished manuscript a reality.
Douglas Glover$17.95 $16.69
Worth it for the title essay alone, which changed how I edit my work.
A Swim in a Pond in the Rain: In Which Four Russians Give a Master Class on Writing, Reading, and Life
George Saunders$18.99 $17.66
Though it focuses on fiction, this in-depth walk-through of seven Russian short stories is a master class on what makes for compelling writing. Definitely contains lessons to apply to memoir and nonfiction narrative. The audiobook features multiple narrators that add a whole new dimension.
Todd Klick$28.95 $26.92
Even though I never intend to write a screenplay, I found this scene-by-scene breakdown of three different movies highly instructive when thinking about nonfiction narrative storytelling.
Scott McCloud$25.99 $24.17
Fascinating. Even if you aren't a graphic artist or really into comics, I guarantee you will come away with some new ways of thinking about storytelling.
Matthew Salesses$16.95 $15.76
Why had I never heard anyone talk about how craft is the product of cultural expectations before this? I underlined like crazy.
Mary Karr$15.99 $14.87
If Mary Karr is writing about memoir, I am reading it.
DeSalvo interviewed dozens of writers as well as drew from her own experience to curate pithy chapters on all phases of the writing process. I will definitely be pulling this off the shelf periodically for wisdom nuggets when I'm looking for inspiration at any point in my writing. My one complaint is I wish more diverse voices had been included.
Judy Reeves$18.95 $17.62
Daily prompts and monthly inspiration. Great for getting the creative juices flowing.
M. S. Lmft Freedman$25.29
Freedman touches on all the basics of character, plot, arc, scene, and voice in this very accessible book.
The Rose Metal Press Field Guide to Writing Flash Nonfiction: Advice and Essential Exercises from Respected Writers, Editors, and Teachers
Includes flash essay examples and writing prompts. Great for both learning about the genre and getting started writing flash.