This Is Not A Writing Manual – Resources
This is a list of other great books and websites on writing and the writing life that I wholeheartedly recommend. (Remember, too, that TINAWM has a whole bibliography at the back, too; and like that bibliography, this is a highly personal list, not meant to be canonical or exhaustive!). I’m starting this list early in 2014, and I’ll be adding to it, so please check back. Thanks!
Books that will help your get the job done:
- Spilling Ink by Anne Mazer & Ellen Potter
- Rip the Page: Adventures in Creative Writing, by Karen Benke
- A Teen’s Guide to Getting Published; Publishing for Profit, Recognition, and Academic Success, by Jessica Dunn & Danielle Dunn
- Seize the Story: A Handbook for Teens Who Like to Write, by Victoria Hanley
- Writing Magic: Creating Stories that Fly, by Gail Carson Levine
- Unjournaling, by Cheryl Miller Thurston
- Just Write by Walter Dean Myers
- Reading Like a Writer: A Guide for People Who Love Books and for Those Who Want to Write Them by Francine Prose
- The Forest for the Trees by Betsy Lerner
- The Art of Fiction: Notes on Craft for Young Writers by John Gardner
Books that will help you polish your prose, and even make you laugh:
- Eats, Shoots & Leaves: The Zero Tolerance Approach to Punctuation by Lynne Truss
- The Elements of Style by William Strunk Jr. & E.B. White
- Any of Grammar Girl‘s good stuff
Books that will inspire you to stay on the road:
- Bird by Bird: Some Instructions on Writing and Life by Anne Lamott
- Writing Down the Bones: Freeing the Writer Within by Natalie Goldberg
- The Artist’s Way: A Spiritual Path to Higher Creativity by Julia Cameron
- On Writing by Stephen King
- The Writing Life by Annie Dillard
There are a jillion books out there that every writer really ought to read (Great Gatsby, anyone?), and I wouldn’t pretend to have read even half of them. But I would entreat you to read as many of those classics your teachers, parents, mentors, and arty friends are always at you to read. Even if you hate Moby Dick like I did, you can at least say you read it, and have some real reasons why you didn’t like it instead of just a sneaking suspicion of why you won’t like it.
Hi there teachers, librarians, literacy specialists, and anyone invested in the education of young people: You guys are awesome. Thank you for doing what you do; not only are you potentially teaching the next New Yorker writers and lit mag founders, you are bringing an essential, timeless literary awareness into the consciousnesses of young people assailed by other media. You work incredibly hard, and I want to help you with your budding (and reluctant!) young writers. To do that, I’ve put together a Teacher’s Edition of This is Not a Writing Manual. (I’m a teacher, too!)
My Teacher’s Edition is a FREE PDF you can get here, on the Writer’s Digest Books site (the lovely folks who published my book), and it includes:
- 5 of my favorite creative writing lessons plans, complete with time break-downs for hour-long class sessions. Each lesson can be used on their own, or as part of a progressive unit. They all are tailored to help you meet those Common Core Standards, too. I also offer advanced options in each lesson for older and/or more experienced writing students. Plus, these are fun lessons designed to help “writer” students improve, and reluctant writers engage–with strategies like writing from the point of view of a dog, and ruminating on TGIF, students will hardly realize they are learning to use writing essentials like voice, theme, showing-not-telling, dialogue, critique, character development, and more.
- A Bonus revision workshop called “Cut Half” (which requires students to, yes, cut half of a draft–gulp!).
- Workshop Ground Rules
- Guide to Forming a Teen Writing Group
- A Reader’s Guide full of excellent questions for discussing This Is Not a Writing Manual, designed by Lourdes Keochgerien, YARN’s Editor-at-Large (who also freelances as a guide creator, should you need those services yourself).
You can’t get all this material in one place anywhere else. (And let me repeat: It’s FREE. Though it must be said that it pairs best with This Is Not a Writing Manual!)
As always, I welcome comments, questions, Tweets, and reviews on Amazon and Goodreads! Please help me spread the word about this resource for educators! Thank you.