WMBTSD Giveaway Day Twenty: September 20, 2007

Today’s giveaway is a real keeper. Belongs on every writer’s shelf, in my opinion.

September 20th: The Beginning Writer’s Answer Book Edited by Jane Friedman (Writer’s Digest Books 2007). Here’s the description:

The Beginning Writer’s Answer Book by Jane FriedmanSome things don’t change-like the answers to great questions about writing-but they do get updated! Now in the 30th anniversary completely revised and updated Beginning Writer’s Answer Book, you’ll be privy to solid writing advice that stands the test of time yet has been brought current by Writer’s Digest Books editor Jane Friedman. Beginning Writer’s Answer Book is for the writer just starting out, for the person who writes for a hobby and doesn’t consider himself a real “writer,” and the writer who’s mastered one area and has questions about other genres or forms.

At a hefty 432 pages, you’ll find expert answers that will work for you no matter if you’re penning prose, giving a nod to nonfiction, finding out what it takes to be a freelancer, and so much more. With a nod to the previous edition, you’ll also be entertained with flashback questions that provide nostalgic amusement to how we approached writing “back in the day.”Beginning Writer’s Answer book is divided into twenty-nine chapters, with useful appendices in the back. It’s not meant to be read cover-to-cover-though you could if you have a voracious curiosity about all things writing.

Here’s what you can expect to find:

  • In Chapters 1 through 7, you’ll find core knowledge for all writers such as everyday publishing jargon, understanding the markets and queries, how to format and submit your work, standard practices and more.
  • Chapters 8 through 15 address book, magazine and freelance basics such as the essentials every novelist needs to know, selling nonfiction work, writing and selling articles, and starting a freelance career.
  • In Chapters 16 through 22, you’ll become familiar with copyright basics, understanding your rights, rules for quoting, seeking permission, providing photographs and art and if you should use a pen name.
  • Chapters 23 through 29 move into the more highly specialized questions of writing poetry, children’s books, scripts, songs, writing for newspapers, and self-publishing.
  • Whether you write for business or pleasure, this is the book that provides the answers you need to know in order to be taken seriously in the writing world.
  • Please answer the following question in 50-300 words to enter today’s giveaway:

    Tell us about your writing reference shelf, if you have one. What reference books do you have there? Which writing books do you find yourself going back to over and over? Which writing books on your shelf have the most highlight marks, underlining and sticky notes? Tell us something revealing about your writing reference shelf. We won’t tell. We promise!


    33 Responses to “WMBTSD Giveaway Day Twenty: September 20, 2007”

    1. 1 beediva September 20, 2007 at 4:08 am

      I want you to brace yourselves. This is huge. Here is my big revelation about my writing reference library…I don’t have one! I need one which why I’m trying to win things from this give away. Unfortunately I have a history of being the world’s biggest giveaway loser. This trend doesn’t seem to be changing anytime soon. We will see!

    2. 2 Andrea McMann September 20, 2007 at 5:47 am

      Revealing… Well how about this? I don’t really have much of a writing reference shelf! I hope you all don’t think I’m awful, but, so far, the only writing book I actually own is “Mama Writer.” I have a birthday coming up, though, and I plan to ask for some of the books that have been given away in this contest. If I need help with grammar or the structure of my writing, I usually head to the library, and what I check out usually depends on what they have on their shelves. Also, I’ve found that the internet can be an invaluable tool when it comes to writing. I can find information about almost anything by surfing the ‘net.

    3. 3 Mary Jo C. September 20, 2007 at 6:04 am

      Love this one! Looking forward to more recommendations from fellow writer mamas!
      On my shelf, or better, strewn about my writing table:

      Bird By Bird – Love it and refer to it often for strength and a dose of humor
      What IF? – great writing prompts, lots of flagged pages, refer to this often
      Writing Down the Bones – Natalie is wonderful, free spirited and encouraging
      The Artist’s Way- In-depth soul searching stuff
      Chicken Soup for the Writers’ Soul – enough said!
      From Inspiration to Publication – rec’vd via a correspondence school
      The Right to Write-another Julia Cameron favorite
      Writer’s First Aid – quick read, packed with time-saving tips
      Writers on Writing – good stuff! (realized I’m normal)
      Six-Figure Freelancer – obviously I need to open this one up again!
      Your Heart’s Desire – not necc. a writing book, but a cleansing spiritual journey that made me think publication was possible!
      Sun Signs for Writers – won from Writers on the Rise site; )
      Myriad of dictionaries and thesauruses (about as fun as saying “rhinoceroses”)
      Much more, but I’m not at home to check…
      *And I’m holding out to win Writer Mama! (If not, it’s going on my b-day list!)

    4. 4 Lisa September 20, 2007 at 6:30 am

      My writing shelf is pretty sparse. I have Anne Lamont’s book, Bird by Bird; Stephen King’s, On Writing; Get That Novel Started, by Donna Levin; 30 Steps to Becoming A Writer and Getting Published, by Scott Edelstein; and Lew Hunter’s, Screenwrting 434. I had a few other books, but they have disappeared!

      I refer to these books a lot, and sometimes I read them more than I actually write! I think I need some new material, because I’m still a beginning writer, and need all the help I can get! I guess the books I refer back to the most are Bird by Bird and Get that Novel Started. They contain a lot of practical advise in a logical order, and I feel like the authors are speaking to me. These are books I would recommend to anyone, no matter what their writing ambitions because they are so well written and interesting to read.

      The book you’re giving away sounds like a treasure and I would love to get my hands on a copy!

    5. 5 Shawn September 20, 2007 at 6:51 am

      What book don’t I have???

      Of course, “Writer Mama.”

      Woe is I for some of those grammar things that still confuse me; The War of Art for the much-needed inspiration to get working; Stephen King’s “On Writing,” because of the humor, which is always needed when writing.

      Also, AP and Chicago style books, a good dictionary, a desk encyclopedia, just for fun.

      I also go to Bird by Bird often. I’ve read many others, but these are close at hand at all times. I also like to keep my favorite books in sight for inspiration: things like The Artists Way, feminist books, good fiction like “Bel Canto” and “White Oleander” as well as books I could never part from like “Pride and Prejudice” and “Her eyes were watching God.”

    6. 6 nicolemarie September 20, 2007 at 7:53 am

      oh how i really need this book. not that begging will help my chances. ugh. let’s see. I’m fairly new to this whole writing things so my writing shelf is simply non existing. Aside from “The Elements of Style” (Strunk & White) that I’ve had since college days, I am also the proud owner of “Writing Down the Bones” by Natalie Goldberg and “Writer [on Writing] Collected Essays from the New York Times.”

    7. 7 Heather Haapoja September 20, 2007 at 7:54 am

      Since I’m a bona fide book addict (kind of goes with the territory, huh?), listing ALL of them would definitely go over 300 words, but here are a few of my most-read favorites.

      * Writer’s Market and Children’s Writers Market (these are the most used, dog-eared, underlined and sticky-noted)

      * Anne Lamott’s “Bird by Bird” and Stephen King, “On Writing” (for pure writing inspiration)

      * Noah Lukeman’s “The First Five Pages,” and Tracey Dils’, “You Can Write Children’s Books”

      * Writer’s Digest “Handbook of Magazine Article Writing” and Shirley Kawa-Jump’s “How to Publish Your Articles”

      Something revealing? Well, I don’t have a shelf – yet! Actually I have lots of shelves, but no room on them for my writing books. My writing books are in a big messy pile on the floor by my desk, getting messier every day from my pawing through them. My market books are so outdated (2002?), they’re practically useless. All of this may *seem* to reveal that I’m a disorganized slob. Actually, I’m just getting back into the writing business after a couple of years’ denial. Things that were stored are coming out of hiding and need a place to live – soon – before my chair becomes an island in a sea of books!

      Speaking of books, I have to thank Christina for telling us about the “Writer Unblocked Contest! Contest!” I made the top ten!! I doubt I’ll be winning that fabulous stack of (new!) market books, but it was sure fun trying. Everybody, if you haven’t already, please go vote! ;o)

    8. 8 Bet September 20, 2007 at 7:54 am

      I am very fond of my writing reference shelf, which includes such tomes as The Concise OED, the Oxford American Writer’s Thesaurus, and the 2005 Writer’s Market (virtually unopened). I have The Artist’s Way by Julia Cameron and Becoming a Writer by Dorothea Brande. But the books I always come back to are If You Want to Write by Brenda Ueland and Bird by Bird by Anne Lamott. I find them most inspiring and helpful.

    9. 9 Stephanie September 20, 2007 at 8:40 am

      Books I Have On My Bookshelf:
      1. On Writing Well
      2. The Elements of Style
      3. Bird by Bird
      4. Writers Market (2002 edition, too outdated for much use)
      5. TONS of other non-fiction and fiction books (reading makes you a better writer, right?)

      Books I’d Like to Have on My Bookshelf:
      1. Writer Mama
      2. Ready, Aim, Specialize
      3. The Renegade Writer
      4. Writer’s Market 2008
      5. Christian Writers Market Guide 2008

    10. 10 Audra September 20, 2007 at 9:46 am

      Oh my – where does one start? I think the most used reference book I own would be The Synonym Finder. The poor thing is well-worn and beginning to shed its pages.

      I have a 2005 Writer’s Market – I think I’d better trade it in for a newer model.
      Another book I find myself seeking out whenever I write a query is How to Publish Your Articles by Shirley Kawa-Jump. Her book is informative and interesting.
      When I’m writing poetry, I find The Complete Rhyming Dictionary a great tool.
      Other books on my shelf include On Writing Well, Writing Successful Self-Help & How-To Books, No Plot? No Problem!, The First Five Pages, , On Writing, Baby Names Around the World (with six children – this serves more than one purpose in our home hehe), and a few other books including photography which helps with the inspiration.
      Now if I would actually READ all of these ALL the way, I might become a brilliant writer. One can hope and dream anyway.
      There are several books on my wish to own, I mean READ list. I’d love to add The Beginning Writer’s Answer Book.
      I’m also really hoping to add Writer Mama (did I mention 6 kids? I have the mama part down, but need help with the writer part). 🙂

    11. 11 Cheryl M September 20, 2007 at 9:49 am

      I have the following books on my writing shelf:
      The Elements of Style by Strunk and White
      Writer Mama
      Errors in English and Ways to Correct Them by Shaw
      How to Write Short Stories by Sorenson
      Writing the Memoir by Barrington
      Writing with Style by Trimble
      Bird by Bird (out on loan to a friend)
      I admit that many of these are left over from my days of writing scientific papers. Really the one book that has got me being more proactive is Writer Mama. It made me realize that I don’t have to write a huge, important story, but I can write a tip or a how to article.

    12. 12 Melissa September 20, 2007 at 9:52 am

      My reference shelf is… highly variable. There’s stuff for all different genres, and a ton of editing books. This may have something to do with the fact that my husband is also a writer/editor, and we share a bookshelf. Or it may just imply that I jump from one type of project to another.

    13. 13 Kate September 20, 2007 at 9:57 am

      The Canadian Writers Market. I last bought it in 2002, but it sits on my shelf reminding me where I came from and why I write. I check its listings for updates and write in new information as I need it. I think of it as an address book for old friends who move a lot.

    14. 14 Mrs. Jones September 20, 2007 at 9:59 am

      I don’t know that these technically count as Reference Books, but they are the books I personally refer to.

      I came across Anne Lamott on accident. I used to live in Marin and on occasion, I would visit a small store, quaintly named The General Store. In the front, they had a table with books by local writers that were signed. I bought Bird by Bird. From then on, I added a book here and there that seemed to call out to me. I accidentally came across Natalie Goldberg, as well, but sort of backwards. I bought Wild Minds so many years ago. My copy is pretty tattered, like a well loved blankie. I return to it often to get past my avoidance behavior. I only recently added Writing Down the Bones, which has already started to get the same tattered look to it.

      Also on my writing shelf are:
      •Room to Write by Bonni Goldberg
      •If You Want to Write by Brenda Ueland
      •For Writers Only by Sophy Burnham
      •The New Well-Tempered Sentence by Karen Elizabeth Gordon
      •The Thinker’s Thesaurus by Peter E. Meltzer
      •The Best American Essays of the Century, edited by Joyce Carol Oates
      •When I Am an Old Woman I Shall Wear Purple, edited by Sandra Martz
      •Writing Women’s Lives, edited by Susan Cahill
      •Nothing But You, edited by Roger Angell

      So the last several are not instructions on writing, rather collections of wonderful writings. I use them to open my mind to the possibilities of what is acceptable to use as material in writing. What I’ve learned is (big duh breakthrough, here), EVERYTHING is material. I had to get past my Good Girl thinking in order to understand that I can write about life without having to automatically start on my retractions or apologies.

      One of the most recent purchases I made has been an absolute boon for my forward movement. A flood of activity has happened ever since I opened up and read the introduction. “Motherhood and writing… can they go together? Yes!” This purchase spoke to me, begged me to pick it up with that beautiful heart-warming yellow. (Great color choice, by the way!) I proceeded to the register with Writer Mama in hand. This book has been the Just Do It to my day-dreaming. The Yin to the Yang, I suppose. Thanks for writing it, Christina!

    15. 15 marnini September 20, 2007 at 10:15 am

      I have a Writing Basket.
      Inside my Basket are numerous books about writing. Strunk and White’s Element of Style is a necessity. I read it from cover to cover hoping info will sink in but I still find myself looking at it often

      Book Markets for Children Writer’s-I love this book because in the beginning it gives great examples of proper Manuscript set ups and Query Letters

      The Writer’s Mentor -Received this as a birthday gift and I love it. It provides plenty of inspiration

      The Writer’s Handbook-Very Helpful It’s the New Milennium Edition-I thoroughly enjoy reading this book

      I have many many other’s that I have not read yet or skimmed through. But the ones I listed are my favorites so far.

    16. 16 Chris September 20, 2007 at 10:23 am

      I have a good deal…my library varies from Naked Playwriting to the Writers Market to the Elements of Style to many business writing books, to Web content writing to style guides.

      I’d love to add this book to my repertoire, because it seems to be a comprehensive tome with lots of great advice.

    17. 17 Besu September 20, 2007 at 10:25 am

      I recently moved and I traded in some of my books that I knew I wouldn’t read again, such as On Writing by Stephen King. Here are my books specifically on writing:

      – Give’em What They Want by Blythe Camenson and Marshall Cook (just finishing my second read-through so I can start *gulp* mailing queries)
      – Roget’s International Thesaurus
      – Merriam-Webster Dictionary (I admit I use dictionary.com more now)
      – Writer’s Guide to Everyday Life in the Middle Ages (owned since I was 16)
      – Shortest Distance Between You and a Published Book by Susan Page (signed by author, but out-of-date now)
      – Writing For Quick Cash by Loriann Oberlin
      – 2007 Novel & Short Story Writer’s Market
      – Elements of Style by Strunk and White
      – The Writer’s Idea Book (never utilized)

      I’ve collected these reference books for years because I always wanted to BE an author, even if I never actually sat down to write. Give’em What They Want and the 2007 Market were texts for a Writer’s Digest Workshop Online I took earlier this year; it was a great class that helped me to stop procrastinating and actually complete things like a query letter and synopsis. I’m about to crack open ye old Market book to start making a list of agents to query.

      I’m embarrassed to say that I do not own Writer Mama yet, but it’s been on my Amazon wish list since I first read about it in Writer’s Digest. I hoped to win the magazine contest. I WILL own it by the end of the year!

    18. 18 Cath September 20, 2007 at 11:45 am

      Mmmmm…I’m a BIG believer in the library, so I’ll check there first for a read. Occasionally, I have to bite the bullet and buy a book.

      So here’s The List Of Books I Broke Down and Bought:

      1. Writing Children’s Books for Dummies
      2. How to Write A Children’s Book and Get it Published by Barbara Seuling
      3. Children’s Writer’s Word Book
      4. Book Markets for Children’s Writers 2006
      5. Children’s Writer’s and Illustrator’s Market 2007
      6. Words Fail Me by Patrica T. O’Conner
      7. The Writer’s Book of Wisdom (101 Rules) Steven Taylor Goldsberry
      8. Strunk and White’s Elements of Style

      The jury’s still out on whether they were worth it (just mailed my kid’s manuscript this week!)

    19. 19 Heather Haapoja September 20, 2007 at 12:11 pm

      Uh-oh, looks like my morning post didn’t make it through. I’ll try again, and if it ends up posting twice, I’m sorry! lol

      Since I’m a bona fide book addict (kind of goes with the territory, huh?), listing ALL of them would definitely go over 300 words, but here are a few of my most-read favorites.

      * Writer’s Market and Children’s Writers Market (these are the most used, dog-eared, underlined and sticky-noted)

      * Anne Lamott’s “Bird by Bird” and Stephen King, “On Writing” (for pure writing inspiration)

      * Noah Lukeman’s “The First Five Pages,” and Tracey Dils’, “You Can Write Children’s Books”

      * Writer’s Digest “Handbook of Magazine Article Writing” and Shirley Kawa-Jump’s “How to Publish Your Articles”

      Something revealing? Well, I don’t have a shelf – yet! Actually I have lots of shelves, but no room on them for my writing books. My writing books are in a big messy pile on the floor by my desk, getting messier every day from my pawing through them. My market books are so outdated (2002?), they’re practically useless. All of this may *seem* to reveal that I’m a disorganized slob. Actually, I’m just getting back into the writing business after a couple of years’ denial. Things that were stored are coming out of hiding and need a place to live – soon – before my chair becomes an island in a sea of books!

      Speaking of books, I have to thank Christina for telling us about the Writer Unblocked Contest! Contest! I made the top ten!! I doubt I’ll be winning that fabulous stack of (new!) market books, but it was sure fun trying. Everybody, if you haven’t already, please go vote! ;o)

    20. 20 Rose September 20, 2007 at 12:16 pm

      Thanks to librarian relatives, a husband who is in his 7th year of graduate studies, my own insatiable book lust and an insufficient number of bookcases – my apartment resembles a used book shop, not to mention a major fire hazard. Eclectic and semi organized, it’s not heavy on writing reference titles.

      The Writing Life by Annie Dillard – Every time I read one of her books I feel like I have mud between my toes. It’s my instant literary spa, transporting me out of the dizzying concrete jungle.

      Bird by Bird by Anne Lamott – Where would we be without Anne Lamott?

      Various style books – Dusty, because I usually hit the internet for the ho-hum reference stuff.

      Typographic Specimens: The Great Typefaces – Bembo. Bodoni. Didot. Just looking at all this delicious type is enough to get my pen out on the dance floor.

      The Alphabet of Grace by Thomas Merton – Who reminds me that the writing life is about both.

    21. 21 Abbey September 20, 2007 at 1:17 pm

      Having recently moved, my books are scattered throughout my house, but here are some I can recall off the top of my head.

      The Copywriter’s Handbook
      The Well-Fed Writer
      The Renegade Writer
      Query Letters that Rock
      Six-Figure Freelancing
      2007 Writer’s Market
      AP Stylebook
      Writer Mama

      Something revealing? When I started exploring freelance writing about a year ago, I was set on doing copywriting. I have a background in marketing and public relations, so it is a natural fit. As I began researching, soul-searching, and just starting to write – I realized my true passion is non-fiction articles, etc. I’m sure my writing career will morph again at some point, but right now I love writing about anything and everything for local publications.

    22. 22 Megan September 20, 2007 at 1:42 pm

      Let’s see, looking across at my bookshelves:

      I join the crowd with Bird by Bird and Writer Mama. 🙂 Plus a ton of quotation books (I love quotations). When Words Collide, Writer’s Market Companion, Creative Interviewing, Inter/View, Guide to Freelance Rates & Standard Practice (old!), St. Martin’s Handbook, The Screenwriter’s Bible, Writing for Television & Radio (nope, never actually read or done that one!), Magazine Writing that Sells, Mass Comm Law & Ethics, Renegade Writer, Nonfiction Book Proposals Anybody Can Write, Ready Aim Specialize, a stack of Writer and Writer’s Digest Magazines, and files of various other magazines.

      Plus, a half-filled journal, my inspiration books (mostly Buddhist), and a zillion other books on various topics from feminism to careers to education theory to fiction to Black British cultural studies.

      My revealing facts: My books are the least organized they’ve ever been (a total mess, in fact), and I still haven’t read them all!

    23. 23 Renee Roberson September 20, 2007 at 1:49 pm

      Honestly, the three books I look at the most these days are “Writer Mama,” “How to Make a Real Living As a Freelance Writer,” and The AP Stylebook. I’ve got an outdated copy (2005) of the Writer’s Market that I’m ready to give up on. I also have a copy of “The Well-Fed Writer,” but I haven’t ventured too much into copywriting lately so it’s mostly unread at this point.

      I’d love to get “Six-Figure Freelancing” and the latest copy of the Writer’s Market. I got “The Renegade Writer” in the mail from Christina last week and I’m already loving it!

    24. 24 M3ryl K. Evans September 20, 2007 at 3:48 pm

      I’ve got one tall bookshelf in my little office with mostly writing books and references. First, I don’t like to write in my books (college textbooks excluded). In fact, I like my books to be blemish and wrinkle free. I’m strange that way.

      I like Flip Dictionary for when I can’t think of another word and I keep using the same words repeatedly. It can work better than a thesaurus (online or not). When working on an ad-related project, I open Words That Sell and More Words That Sell. Since I have so many books waiting for me — I rarely re-read non-reference books.

      However, when I run into a situation or assignment and need guidance, I’ll look through my shelf for the one with the answer — no one book can cover them all.

    25. 25 Julianne September 20, 2007 at 5:16 pm

      “Writer Mama” is the only book I have on my shelf. It is such a complete reference that I do not need anything else. If I have a question, I simply open the book and turn to the table of contents to find my answer. It doesn’t disappoint. I used to have a copy of “Writer’s Market” but I gave it away when I discovered “Writer Mama.” Who needs a market when you have the GrandMama of writing books right at your fingertips?

      Everyone else might as well throw in the towel. It’s a done deal for me today!

      Other super secret references that I keep hidden under my copy of “Writer Mama”:

      “The Grammar Bible”
      “The Magazine Writer’s Handbook”
      “If You Catch an Adjective, Kill It”–one of my faves

    26. 26 Rhianna Finnegan September 20, 2007 at 5:58 pm

      Elements of Style, Will write for shoes, See Jane write, writing down the bones, writers market 2001 (i know, I got it at a yard sale, my goal is to actually finish a novel before I invest in the real THIS (OR NEXT) years version)Websters English Dictionary/Thesaurus, Grammar handbook and the portable writers conference. I LOVE writing how to books, and blogs (wink, wink) but sometimes they can be disheartening, like the Miss Snark blog, I have to take it in small doses. I’ve ordered writer mama from amazon, and I am anxiously waiting by the mailbox!!thanks for all the great fun giveaway and info!!

    27. 27 Beth Browne September 20, 2007 at 6:34 pm

      My writing reference shelf contains my all-time favorite Bird By Bird, Stephen King’s On Writing, and The Writer Magazine. I have a section of poetry books and my favorite poetry handbook is The Poet’s Portable Workshop. Marge Piercy’s So You Want To Write is a favorite as is Tillie Olsen’s Silences.

      I also have a folder full of writing prompts from various workshops and a container of single word prompts, but I don’t seem to get around to using them as much as I would like. Lots going on, life is getting in the way quite a bit lately. C’est la vie.

    28. 28 Jolynn September 20, 2007 at 7:43 pm

      I don’t have very many writing books, just 2. Most of my information books I’ve checked out from the library. Another great place I’ve found great information is on the internet. I really like to look at authors web-sites. The only 2 books I have is 2004 Writer’s Market. (Which is getting out-dated, it still has useful articles.) My other only book is The Children’s Picture Book- How To Write It- How To Sell It. This book I bought from Ebay about 2 weeks ago, and I really like it, except it was copyrighted in 1987 so alot of the information is out-dated as well. I Really Need The Book in today’s giveaway.

    29. 29 Laura September 20, 2007 at 7:44 pm

      In a corner of my bedroom is my writing desk & bookshelf. On my writing desk are only five essential volumes. First, of course, is a combination dictionary & thesaurus. Alongside that dogeared book is a copy of Writer Mama (of course) & On Writing, by Stephen King. I also have a copy of this year’s Writer’s Market, a book festooned with post-it notes tagging certain potential publishers, magazines & contests. The final book in my small writer’s reference is one that is not targeted solely for writer’s. However, it is the book that helped me realize that my lifelong dream has always been, and will always be to writer & get published. The book is called Wishcraft, and it is all about finding your core dream, and planning the steps to achieve it. This is the book that is the most underlined, most dog-eared, most written in.

      After following this blog & this contest for the last few weeks, I have developed a wish list of books I want. I have even visited them at my favorite Barnes & Noble bookstore. The next book I buy will be The Write-Brain Workbook, which I recently peeked at. Wow. I would really appreciate winning today’s featured book, but if I don’t, I will be checking it out soon, and probably adding it to my wish list. Hmm…and my birthday is coming up soon, last day of this contest.

    30. 30 Jennifer Applin September 20, 2007 at 8:26 pm

      I’m a book junkie and whenever I hear a great recommendation I cave and buy the book. Here’s my list:

      Writer Mama, both Renegade Writer books, The Elements of Style, On Writing Well, Ready, Aim, Specialize, Six-Figure Freelancing, The ASJA Guide to Freelance Writing, Make a Real Living as a Freelance Writer, Writer’s Market (2006), How to Become a Fulltime Freelance Writer, The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Publishing Magazine Articles, and The Freelance Writer’s Bible.

      After reading the other comments it looks like I’ll be adding a few more to my shelf!

      Revealing fact: You can always tell which books are my favorites because the pages are wrinkled from reading in the bathtub 🙂

    31. 31 Laural Ringler September 20, 2007 at 8:39 pm

      I have On Writing Well by William Zinsser, and Thunder and Lightening by Natalie Goldberg. But I don’t read them. I’ve borrowed lots from the library for info (Writer’s Market) and interest (Stephen King’s On Writing). Mostly I reference good writing by flipping through a book by someone who writes well (like Barbara Kingsolver), or look through magazines to think about what/how I could write for them.

      The library and the Internet are my low budget reference shelf.

    32. 32 Darren Lipman September 20, 2007 at 10:25 pm

      The single book I’ve found most helpful for both my writing and my editing has been “Self-Editing for Fiction Writers” by Renni Browne and Dave King. It’s easily read and even more easily understood, and it talks about the simplest things you can do to make your writing read better, much better. It’s truly incredible, incredibly useful, and, to a use a well-known cliché, definitely worth its weight in gold.

      I know it’s after midnight, so I’m not eligible for the day’s drawing, but I just wanted to mention this book since no one else has.

    33. 33 Mary Jo September 20, 2007 at 10:51 pm

      About 5 years ago, I joined the Writer’s Digest Book Club, and I’ve accumulated a whole shelf full of writing books! There are several MARKET GUIDES, including CHILDREN’S WRITER’S AND ILLUSTRATOR’S and CHRISTIAN WRITER’S, which are my two areas of greatest interest. I’ve got several “How to” books on writing for children, including Tracey Dils’ YOU CAN WRITE CHILDREN’S BOOKS. And I’ve got some books on the business side of things, like AGENTS, EDITORS AND YOU and THE SAVVY AUTHOR’S GUIDE TO BOOK PUBLICITY. One of my latest purchases was WRITER MAMA, and it is chock full of practical information and inspiration. It’s great!

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