The month of March is a big deal for women. March is Women's History Month, so here at Write On, we're celebrating the women writers who have had great impacts on us. I want to share a few of my favorites with you. These women have greatly impacted my life, my writing, and my career, and they are women that you should definitely know.
1. Mary Oliver - A phenomenal poet who won the National Book Award and the Pulitzer Prize, Mary Oliver is very special to me. I studied her work in college and then cherished it when I began my own career in poetry. She was a true gift to the written word. Her poems will make you want to take in the world in a new way and see meaning in the very simplest moments of your day. Recommended work: A Thousand Mornings
2. Maggie Stiefvater - I couldn't count on all my fingers and toes the hours I've spent poring over Maggie's work, wishing that someday I might be able to utilize language the way she does. Nobody does it like Maggie, and it's apparent from the very first page of any book she's ever written. Maggie writes magical realism novels that introduce readers to realities we all wish we could be a part of. A writer, an artist, and a musician, Maggie is a true treasure. Recommended work: Shiver
3. Sarah Dessen - Of all the writers I've ever encountered, Sarah is the one who has had the most impact on my work. When I first started writing novels as a teenager, I spent my time modeling my work after her own, to my great success. She taught me how to write exactly the kind of novel I wanted to be known for: a romantic and moving one. She is known as the Queen of YA, and for good reason. For decades, her work has touched teenagers and changed lives. Recommend work: Saint Anything
4. Jane Austen - When I was in school, I was in all of the advanced reading and English classes. We read Shakespeare and Dickens and Homer, but never once did we pick up a novel by Jane Austen. When I was 17, I joined a book club and read Emma for the first time. It changed my life. Austen defined much of my late teenage years, and she will forever hold a special spot in my heart. Jane is one of the most popular and influential writers of all time, a title that she earned through humor, romance, and unparalleled work. Recommended work: Persuasion
5. Sally Rooney - I must admit, Sally is new to me. I discovered her about the same time as the rest of the world, but in the year that I've known of her and her work, she has caused a complete shift in my mindset and in my work. She changed where I thought I fit in this industry, and I hope to some day be able to thank her for that. As a young writer, Sally has been able to introduce a new perspective into literary fiction and reach a generation that is experiencing life in a new way. Recommended work: Normal People
6. Diana Gabaldon - Anyone who knows me could have seen this one coming. Diana Gabaldon is a force to be reckoned with in this industry. The author of one of the most popular novel series of all time, Diana is a gorgeous writer, a fierce woman, and the storyteller we all need in our lives. Recommended work: Outlander
7. Karen Blumenthal - Karen was an author of non-fiction for young adults and my good friend. She passed in 2020, and if there was ever a voice for libraries and children's literacy, it was Karen. She was kind, strong, and sharp as a tack. I wouldn't be where I am today if she hadn't taken me under her wing. To read Karen's work is to know what it means to be an influential woman. Recommended work: Bonnie and Clyde: The Making of a Legend
Let us know in the comments who your favorite women writers are!