The Literary Ladies’ Guide to the Writing Life

literary ladies' guide to the writing life

Finalist, Benjamin Franklin Awards for books published by independent presses.

The Literary Ladies’ Guide to the Writing Lifepresents twelve celebrated women authors and draws on their diaries, letters, memoirs, and interviews to show how they expressed their views on the subjects of importance to every writer– from carving out time to write to conquering their inner demons to developing a “voice” to balancing the demands of family life with the need to write.

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Atlas provides her own illuminating commentary as well and reveals how the lessons of classic women writers of the past still resonate with women writing today. This beautifully illustrated book, filled with more than 100 archival images, will inspire anyone who loves to write, no matter where they are on their creative journey.

Find out more about the authors whose journeys are detailed in this book, with additional inspiration from other classic women authors on the book’s companion web site.  Published by Sellers Publishing.

Observations and wisdom from:
Louisa May Alcott  /  Jane Austen  /  Charlotte Brontë  /  Willa Cather
Edna Ferber  /  Madeleine L’Engle  /  L.M. Montgomery  /  Anaïs Nin

George Sand  /  Harriet Beecher Stowe  /  Edith Wharton  /  Virginia Woolf

This bountiful literary quilt of quotations and intimate glimpses of writers’ work lives is an ideal gift for your favorite book mama…or yourself. —Nina Shengold, Chronogram Magazine

That these women are shown to have been vulnerable not only brings them to life, but suggests that the path to writing well lies in the very risky process of actually doing it, not in the over-reaching goal of landing in the literary archives. —Julie Ann Charpentier, ForeWord Reviews 

Atlas gifts to us (women writers) a beautiful little tome of relaxation, discovery and tutelage at the hands of the greats. This book is simply a delight that is likely to live on your bedside table or among your favorites. —Allena Tapia, writing

Wouldn’t it be great to have Willa Cather, Virginia Woolf, Jane Austen or Anais Nin all hanging out in your kitchen, offering you support and wisdom, food for thought to continue on? …  I can turn to any page and find inspiration, guidance, and wisdom from some of the most amazing writers of the last two centuries. — Alexandra Jamieson (Oprah-featured author of The Great American Detox Diet, and co-star of the Oscar-nominated hit movie Super Size Me)

I’ve only read through the book once and already my copy has those post-it flags all along the sides signaling places for me to come back to when I need a literary kick in the pants. —Katie Sluiter, Katie’s Bookcase 

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18 comments on “The Literary Ladies’ Guide to the Writing Life

  1. Barbara Pollak

    Madeleine L’Engle, “Many Waters.” My daughter’s favorite as a pre-teen 20+ years ago, and I can understand why. “Many waters cannot quench love!”

  2. Paula

    I love your book concept, Nava, & I look forward to reading it. My favorite classic female authored book is Virginia Woolf’s Mrs Dalloway (fiction) or A Room of One’s Own (nonfiction). Thanks for the giveaway!

  3. Heather B.

    There are so many wonderful female authors (and I keep thinking of more!). I absolutely LOVE Little Women (and the entire series), Jane Eyre, and let’s not forget Laura Ingalls Wilder!

  4. Laura S

    I have to CHOOSE my favourite classic? Damn, that’s hard! I’d say Little Women is my favourite growing-up classic, and Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen and Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte are 2 other major favourites of mine. Oh, also, Northanger Abbey by Jane Austen. It’s SO underrated! I also find it more fun to read than P&P, even if P&P has intrigue and is a big romance and all of that.
    Thanks for hosting this contest! :D
    – Laura

  5. Rebecca

    I’ll always have a soft spot for Louisa May Alcott, Little Women was a childhood favorite! Anais Nin, however, is one hot ticket.

  6. Lauren

    It’s always a challenge for me to single out one book by a female author because there are so many that have moved me. “Uncle Tom’s Cabin” by Harriet Beecher Stowe was poignant and instrumental to the future of our nation during the time it was written. “Their Eyes Were Watching God” by Zora Neale Hurston was a moving tale of a woman coming into her own. “Frankenstein” by Mary Shelley was inspiring in part because it was not common for women to be writers during her era. Lastly, I enjoyed “The Book of the City of Ladies” by Christine de Pizan because it’s by one of the few female writers from Medieval times that I’ve read and demonstrates that women throughout the ages have faced the same challenges and joys.

  7. Diana

    I’ll never forget discovering Rose Wilder Lane in junior high school. She is the daughter of Laura Ingalls Wilder (didn’t know that until much, much later), My favorite book penned by Ms. Lane was Let the Hurricane Roar. I think I checked it out of the library 4 times!!

  8. Yourfriendtasha

    I’ve just rediscovered Louisa May Alcott’s, Little Women. I’ve also fallen in with L M Montgomery and the Ann series after reading it this summer and I wonder why I waited so long to read them when I had grown up on the movies! The books are so much better!

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