The best books on screenwriting

Recommended Reading List

Looking for great books? This is my personal selection of the best books on screenwriting. For this book list, I polled filmmakers, writers, producers, and experts in the field on the books they recommend. I try to thoughtfully curate all of my reading lists so that you can be sure that any book recommended on this page is worth your time. On top of that, the page also includes links to notable articles and podcast episodes.

Essays are often written in the first-person, in which writers use their own personal experiences to reflect on a theme or topic for the reader. Many acclaimed authors I love —like James Baldwin and Toni Morrison—combine these pieces into collections of social commentary. The book pickings below are my favorite essays to read and I obviously read every single one of them. Here are some of the best essays to read. ⬇️

The best books about screenwriting

Save the Cat

by Blake Snyder
The Book Depository | Amazon |
Waterstones |

Helps authors to create a plot structure using fifteen plot points.

The Writer’s Journey

by Christopher Vogler
The Book Depository | Amazon |
Waterstones |

A deep analysis on how ancient mythology has an effect on present day movies and television.


“American Screenwriters: The Insiders’ Look at the Art, the Craft, and the Business of Writing Movies,” edited by Karl Schanzer & Thomas Lee Wright

“Backstory: Interviews With Screenwriters, Volumes 1–4,” edited by Patrick McGilligan

“The Craft of the Screenwriter,” edited by John Brady

“The New Screenwriter Look at the New Screenwriter,” edited by William Froug

“The Screenwriter Looks at the Screenwriter,” edited by William Froug

“Screenwriter: Words Become Pictures,” edited by Lee Server

“Screenwriters: The Best in the Businesss Discuss Their Craft,” edited by Joel Engel

“Oscar-Winning Screenwriters On Screenwriting: The Award-Winning Best in the Business Discuss Their Craft,” edited by Joel Engel

“Screenwriters’ Masterclass: Screenwriters Talk About Their Greatest Movies,” edited by Kevin Conroy Scott

“Why We Write: Personal Statements and Photographic Portraits of 25 Top Screenwriters,” edited by Lorian Tamara Elbert

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I’ll be regularly updating this roundup to include additional thrilling new offerings.

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