Here is a collection of books recommended by Book-in-a-Week members as excellent reference books for writers including Markets, Style Guides, Dictionaries and other reference books:
Writer’s Market — “Over 4000 market listings for consumer magazines, book publishers, trade journals, and contests and awards, along with 50 listings for literary agents.Dynamic interviews with established writers, including Julia Cameron and Dave Barry, and industry insiders, including publishers, editors and successful freelancers. Essential publishing information and advice, including payment rates and tax answers, a guide to publisher imprints, online publishing basics, and valuable self-marketing tips.” Purchase the latest Writer’s Market from Amazon.
Children’s Writer’s & Illustrator’s Market — “information on hundreds of book publishers, magazines, and play publishers, plus other exciting opportunities, including markets for young writers. Each entry includes up-to-date contact names submission guidelines, pay rates, Websites, email addresses, phone numbers and more.” Purchase the latest Children’s Writer’s & Illustrator’s Market from Amazon.
Novel & Short Story Writer’s Market — “2000 completely updated listings, including magazines, book publishers, literary agents, contests and literary journals, plus 350 listings new to this edition. Expert advice from a spectrum of fiction writers, including Margaret Atwood, horror writer Douglass Clegg, romance writer Debbie Macomber, mystery writer T. Jefferson Parker, and more. Helpful resources listing conferences, workshops, and writing programs.” Purchase the latest Novel & Short Story Writer’s Market from Amazon.
The Canadian Writer’s Market — “The authority on who publishes what and how best to bring your work to their attention. It offers practical advice on everything from manuscript preparation to copyright law, from information on pay rates to writers’ workshops. This useful guide also includes comprehensive and up-to-date listings for: consumer magazines; literary and scholarly journals; trade, business, and professional publications; daily newspapers; book publishers; literary agents; awards, competitions, and grants; writers’ organizations and support agencies; writers’ workshops, courses, and retreats.” Purchase the latest Canadian Writer’s Market from Amazon.
Christian Writer’s Market Guide By Sally E. Stuart — “The ultimate reference resource for successful Christian writers, The Christian Writers’ Market Guide 2002 includes listings of over 1,200 markets for books, articles, stories, poetry, and greeting cards. Topical listings tell writers which magazine and book publishers are interested in various topics, while additional sections provide market analysis, lists of literary agents, editorial services, writers’ conferences and groups, writing contests, writing resources, and much more.” Purchase the latest Christian Writer’s Market Guide from Amazon.
On Writing Well by William Zinsser — “Over 4000 market listings for consumer magazines, book publishers, trade journals, and contests and awards, along with 50 listings for literary agents.Dynamic interviews with established writers, including Julia Cameron and Dave Barry, and industry insiders, including publishers, editors and successful freelancers. Essential publishing information and advice, including payment rates and tax answers, a guide to publisher imprints, online publishing basics, and valuable self-marketing tips.” Purchase On Writing Well from Amazon.
The Elements of Style, Fourth Edition by William Strunk Jr., E.B. White — “This is the braille version of the timeless reference book. “No book in shorter space, with fewer words, will help any writer more than this persistent little volume” (The Boston Globe). Two volumes in braille.” Purchase your Elements of Style from Amazon.
The Associated Press Stylebook and Briefing on Media Law By Norm Goldstein — More people write for the Associated Press than for any newspaper in the world, and more writers –over 1,750,000–have bought The AP Stylebook than any other journalism reference. It provides facts and references for reporters, and defines usage, spelling, and grammar for editors. There are separate sections for journalists specializing in sports and business, and complete guidelines for how to write photo captions, proofread text, file copy over the wire, handle copyrights, and avoid libel. Purchase your Associated Press Stylebook and Briefing on Media Law from Amazon.
The Chicago Manual of Style, 16th Edition By University of Chicago Press Staff — The essential reference for authors, editors, proofreaders, indexers, copywriters, designers, and publishers in any field. from publishing formats to editorial style and method. From documentation of electronic sources to book design and production, and everything in between. All chapters are written for the electronic age, with advice on how to prepare and edit manuscripts online, handle copyright and permissions issues raised by technology, use new methods of preparing mathematical copy, and cite electronic and online sources. Purchase the Chicago Manual of Style from Amazon.
The Dictionary of American Slang By Barbara Ann Kipfer and Robert L. Chapman — “Contains more than 19,000 terms of representing the variety and vigor of American slang, from the most widely acceptable to the taboo, and covering all periods of American history — from the gypsies, soldiers, railroad workers and cowboys of the 19th century to more modern spawning grounds such as the rock ‘n’ roll world, the corporate sector, African-Americans, gays and lesbians and many more.” Purchase the Dictionary of American Slang of Amazon.
Shorter Oxford English Dictionary — The Shorter covers virtually every word or phrase in use in English–worldwide–since 1700. Each definition’s changing meanings are followed throughout history and are illustrated by more than 83,000 quotations from some 7,000 authors. The world’s most comprehensive, thorough, and up-to-date unabridged dictionary, The Shorter Oxford English Dictionary is an essential resource for every library. Purchase the Shorter Oxford English Dictionary from Amazon.
Dictionary of American Regional English — “This series capture the language spoken on America’s main streets and country roads, words and phrases passed along within homes and communities, from east to west, north to south, childhood to old age. Built upon an unprecedented survey of spoken English across America and bolstered by extensive historical research, this series preserves the language with all its idioms and peculiarities.” Purchase the Dictionary of American Regional English from Amazon FYI: sold in section i.e. Section A to C, Section D to H etc.
Roget’s Super Thesaurus By Marc McCutcheon — “Pocket size. More than 400,000 synonyms and antonyms, organized in a clear and accessible way. The indispensable time-saving “Word Find” reverse dictionary. Vocabulary builders illustrated with sample sentences and well-known quotations.”
Modus Operandi: A Writer’s Guide to How Criminals Work By Mauro V. Corvasce — “Detectives Corvasce and Paglino provide writers with the facts they need to give their mystery and detective novels necessary grit and authenticity. Writers will learn how criminals carry out murder, arson, smuggling, armed robbery, safe cracking, and more.” Purchase Modus Operandi from Amazon.
Outwitting Writer’s Block By Jenna Glatzer — “Provides tricks of the trade to help any writer break through the dreaded block and become a more creative and better writer than before. Filled to the brim with exercises designed to jump-start creativity, encouraging tips from fellow writers and instructors, and tools for analyzing the causes and cures for the nefarious Blank Page syndrome, this book is like Drain-o for clogged creative pipes.” Purchase Outwitting Writer’s Block from Amazon.
The Renegade Writer By Linda Formichelli and Diana Burrell — “Forget the ‘rules’ of freelance writing and succeed! The Renegade Writer is packed with tips on how to get more freelance work, earn more money doing that work, and get paid faster — all while breaking the standard “rules” that bind most freelancers. It’s a resource for new freelancers and veterans seeking to expand their profits.” Purchase The Renegade Writer from Amazon.
If you have a writing reference book recommendation please leave it in the comments below.