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It’s The Cannes Film Festival at the moment, so in honour of the occasion, not to mention HeelGate, I thought I’d round up some women writers’ thoughts on the process, writing female characters, strength and MORE … Enjoy!


1) Nora Ephron

I try to write parts for women that are as complicated and interesting as women actually are.

2) Shonda Rhimes

You can’t tell stories and really walk in someone’s shoes and not have a love for them, even if they’re doing horrible things.

3) Tina Fey

I like to write about women, not so much about the way they relate to men, but about the way they relate to each other. And I don’t think anyone’s really doing it.

4) Margaret Atwood

A word after a word after a word is power.

5) Diablo Cody

I always say when you write a book, you’re a ‘one-man band.’ Whereas, when you finish a screenplay, it’s just a sketch.

6) Toni Morrison

Writing is really a way of thinking — not just feeling but thinking about things that are disparate, unresolved, mysterious, problematic or just sweet.

7) Callie Khouri

I like writing flawed women, and being one, it’s something I feel I can write with some veracity and authority.

8) Laurie Halse Anderson

Write about the emotions you fear the most.

9) Meg Cabot

Write the kind of story you would like to read. People will give you all sorts of advice about writing, but if you are not writing something you like, no one else will like it either.

10) Isabel Allende

Write what should not be forgotten.

11) Sylvia Plath

The worst enemy to creativity is self-doubt.

12) Octavia E. Butler

You don’t start out writing good stuff. You start out writing crap and thinking it’s good stuff, and then gradually you get better at it. That’s why I say one of the most valuable traits is persistence.

13) Maya Angelou

There is no greater agony than bearing an untold story inside you.

14) Zadie Smith

You are never stronger than when you land on the other side of despair.

15) Gertrude Stein

You are extraordinary within your limits, but your limits are extraordinary! 

More links

9 Female Screenwriters Worth Watching 

The 1 Gender Swap That Could Make ALL THE DIFFERENCE In Your Story

33 Experts share Their Notable Female Characters Of Recent Years 

33 Experts Share What They Want Next From Female Characters

5 Ways To Write A Complex Female Character

9 Ways To Celebrate The Progress Of Female Characters, Writers & Makers

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One Response to 15 Fab Female Writers On Writing

  1. Love the one from Meg Cabot. So true. I get asked so often about “how to overcome writer’s block”. I just tell them “If you can’t write it, you’re trying to write the wrong thing. Write something you want to read.”