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Under the Influence

This morning, I asked on Twitter:


And you may be wondering, why am I asking about women who have influenced men who are writers? I regularly see men list other men in their influences (in cover letters, in interviews); I rarely see them list women. So.

Here’s who guys said. I’m so happy to see all these names — some were mentioned more than once!

Abi Morgan

Adrienne Rich

Agatha Christie

Alice Munro

Alice Sheldon

Alice Walker

Allison Coudert

Andre Norton

Angela Carter

Angela Slatter

Angelica Gorodischer

Anna Akhmatova

Annalee Newitz

Anne McCaffrey

Anne Petry

Anne Rice
Annie Bellet

Annie Proulx

Arundhati Roy

Audre Lorde

Audrey Niffenegger

Bessie Head

Betty MacDonald

Beverly Cleary

C.J. Cherryh
C.L. Moore

Caitlín R. Kiernan

Carol Cuomo

Caryl Churchill

Cat Rambo

Catherynne Valente

Charlaine Harris

Christine de Pizan

Colleen McCullough

Connie Willis

Daphne du Maurier

Deborah Harkness

Diana Wynne Jones

Diane Arbus

Donna Tartt

Dorothy Dunnett

Dorothy Parker

E. Nesbit

Elaine Cunningham

Elfriede Jelinek

Elizabeth Bear

Elizabeth Hand

Elizabeth Moon

Ellen Datlow

Emily Bronte

Emily Dickinson

English teachers

Enid Blyton

Eudora Welty

Flannery O’Connor

Gail Simone

Gail Simone

Gillian Flynn

Gjertrud Schnackenberg


Helen Dunn

Herta Muller

Hope Mirlees

Ida B. Wells

Iris Murdock

Isabel Wilkerson

Isak Dinesen

J.K. Rowling

Jacqueline Carey

Jane Austen

Jane Espenson

Jane Langton

Janny Wurts

Jean Rhys

Jeanette Winterson
Jennifer Egan

Jessie Fause

Jhumpa Lahiri

Jo Duffy

Jo Walton

Joan Aiken

Joan Didion

Joanna Russ

Josephine Tey

Joyce Carol Oates

Judith Butler

Judith Merrill

Judy Blume

K.J. Bishop

Kaaron Warren

Kameron Hurley

Karen Joy Fowler

Kate Atkinson

Katherine Dunne

Katherine Locke

Katherine Mansfield

Kathy Acker

Kay Ryan

Kelley Eskridge

Kelly Link

Kim Johnson
Kristen Britain

Lauren Beukes

Leigh Brackett

Livia Llewellyn

Lois McMaster Bujold

Lorrie Moore

Louise Fitzhugh

Louise Gluck

Louise Simonson

Lucy Corin

Luisa Igloria

Lynn Freed

Madeleine L’Engle

Maeve Benchley

Margaret Atwood

Margaret Luongo

Margaret Storey

Margaret Weiss

Margo Lanagan

Marie Lu

Marjane Satrapi

Marjorie Chibnall

Martha Nussbaum

Martha Wells

Mary Oliver

Mary Roach

Mary Robinette Kowal

Mary Rosenblum

Mary Shelley

Maureen McHugh

Maxine Hong Kingston

Megan Abbott

Megan Whalen Turner

Melanie Rawn

Melanie Thon

Mercedes Lackey


N.K. Jemisin

Nahnatchka Khan

Nalo Hopkinson

Nelly Reifler

Nnedi Okorafor

Octavia Butler

P.L. Travers

Pam Houston

Pamela Smith

Paola Zambelli

Pat Cadigan

Patricia Briggs

Patricia C. Wrede

Patricia Highsmith

Patricia McKillip

Phillis Levin

Poppy Brite

Rachel Aaron

Rachel Sobel

Radclyffe Hall

Robin Hobb

Robin McKinley

Rumiko Takahashi

S.E. Hinton

Sarah Shotland

Sarah Vowell

Sarah Waters

Seanan McGuire

Shelly Wotowiec

Sherri Tepper

Sherrie Flick

Shirley Jackson

Sofia Samatar

Susan F Schaeffer

Susan Sontag

Suzan-Lori Parks

Suzanna Clarke

Suzy McKee Charnas

Sylvia Townsend Warne

T. Kent

Tamara Guirado

Tamora Pierce

Tanith Lee

Toni Morrison

Ursula Le Guin

Vernon Lee

Virginia Hamilton

Virginia Woolf

Willa Cather

Z.Z. Packer

Zadie Smith

Zora Neale Hurston

If you’re a guy, and you’re a writer, and you’re considering putting down your influences in a cover letter or an interview, think a moment and include a woman or two. And if you can’t come up with any, get thee to a bookstore!

It’s a broad universe, after all! (Was that corny? I hope that was corny.)

Thank you, guys!

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