Reading List

An eclectic list to complement the Writing Forge course, chosen to illustrate the goal of each module.

Module 1

  • Surfacing (Margaret Atwood; Virago) *

Module 2

  • The Caine Mutiny (Herman Wouk; Little, Brown and Co)

  • Catch-22 (Joseph Heller; Vintage) *

Module 3

  • The Lovely Bones (Alice Seabold; Picador)

  • The Long Firm (Jake Arnott; Sceptre)
  • The Naked and the Dead (Norman Mailer; Flamingo) *

Module 4

  • Where I'm Calling From (Raymond Carver; Harvill)*

  • White Noise (Don DeLillo; Picador)
  • No Exit (Jean-Paul Sartre; Vintage)

Module 5

  • Trainspotting (Irving Welsh; Vintage)

  • Objects of Desire (CJ Emerson; Allison & Busby) *

Module 6

  • The Big Sleep (Raymond Chandler; Penguin) *

  • Birdsong (Sebastian Faulks; Vintage)

Module 7

  • Dan Leno & The Limehouse Golem (Peter Ackroyd; Minerva) *

Module 8

  • Survivor (Chuck Palahniuk; Vintage) *

  • The God of Small Things (Arundhati Roy; Flamingo)
  • Talking It Over (Julian Barns; Picador)

Module 9

  • The State-Of-The-Art (Iain M. Banks; Orbit)

  • Small Gods (Terry Pratchett; Corgi) *
  • Buffalo Gals and Other Animal Presences (Ursula le Guin; Plume)

Module 10

  • Feersum Endjinn (Iain M Banks; Orbit)

  • Writers and Artists Yearbook (A & C Black)
  • Oxford Guide to English Grammar *
  • Fowler's Modern English Usage (Oxford University Press)
  • The Elements of Style (Strunk & White; Longman)
  • A good dictionary

* = most recommended


  • I have no hesitation in recommending The Writing Forge Courses... more 

    It rewarded the effort I put into each exercise and did not shy away from clearly pointing out areas for improvement. more 

    ... probably the best investment you could make in your writing. more 

  • The Writing Forge was founded by CJ Emerson, author of 'Objects of Desire'

    (Shortlisted for the 2007 Crime Writers' Association 'New Blood Dagger' Award):
    "I started creative writing after spending years working in offices, staring at computer screens, frustrated at my own lack of motivation to fulfil a promise I'd made to myself at school - that one day I'd be ... more 
  • 'Beautifully written ... with a plot like a nest of seething vipers' Andrew Taylor, author of The American Boy
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