Female Professionals The Best Female Authors of All Time  

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List Rules Vote up the greatest women writers based on their works in all genres, including short fiction, novels, poetry, non-fiction, and essays.

Some of the most powerful, influential women in history were authors, writers, and poets. What better way to make your point, affect the world around you, inspire other women to fight for their dreams. or even just simply put your stamp on the world than to have your writing published. Who are the best female authors in history?
 
The female authors featured on this list have gone down in history as the absolute greatest women writers. Many movies have been made either from some of their works, or even based on their lives and what shaped them as a writer. This list of the best female authors has been ranked by the community. Vote up the female authors you think are the best and see how your favorites rank.
 
This list features the best female authors of all time, many of whom wrote best-selling books that are still considered classics today including, Gertrude Stein, Jane Austen, Charlotte Bronte,  Agatha Christie, Maya Angelou, Flannery O’Connor, and Kate Chopin. If the female writer you think is the best isn't already on the list, add her below.
list ordered by

1
785 321
Jane Austen is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Best Female Authors of All Time
Pride and Prejudice, Sense and Sensibility, Mansfield Park

2
479 187
Mary Shelley is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Best Female Authors of All Time
Frankenstein, Falkner

3
438 189
Charlotte Brontë is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Best Female Authors of All Time
Jane Eyre, Emma

4
472 220
Virginia Woolf is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Best Female Authors of All Time
Mrs. Dalloway, To the Lighthouse, A Room of One's Own

5
471 186
Agatha Christie is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Best Female Authors of All Time
A Witness for the Prosecution, And Then There Were None

6
756 349
J. K. Rowling is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Best Female Authors of All Time
Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone, The Casual Vacancy

7
495 215
Harper Lee is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Best Female Authors of All Time
To Kill a Mockingbird

8
284 152
Louisa May Alcott is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Best Female Authors of All Time
Jo's Boys, Little Women, Little Men

9
262 97
George Eliot is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Best Female Authors of All Time
looksharp added Middlemarch: A Study of Provincial Life, Silas Marner, Daniel Deronda

10
337 79
Emily Dickinson is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Best Female Authors of All Time
looksharp added The complete poems, The letters, Acts of Light: The World of Emily Dickinson

11
199 85
Daphne du Maurier is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Best Female Authors of All Time
Rebecca, The Birds, Jamaica Inn

12
313 107
Emily Brontë is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Best Female Authors of All Time
Wuthering Heights

13
284 97
Margaret Atwood is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Best Female Authors of All Time
The Year of the Flood, The Circle Game, Cat's Eye

14
235 128
Sylvia Plath is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Best Female Authors of All Time
The Bell Jar

15
259 151
Toni Morrison is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Best Female Authors of All Time
Jazz, The Bluest Eye, Song of Solomon

16
137 68
Willa Cather is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Best Female Authors of All Time
looksharp added Death Comes for the Archbishop, A Lost Lady, My Ántonia

17
164 68
Edith Wharton is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Best Female Authors of All Time
Ethan Frome, The Age of Innocence

18
131 73
Zora Neale Hurston is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Best Female Authors of All Time
Sweat, Their Eyes Were Watching God

19
145 83
Alice Walker is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Best Female Authors of All Time
stubb added The Color Purple, Possessing the Secret of Joy, The Temple of My Familiar

20
255 185
Anne Frank is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Best Female Authors of All Time
The Diary of a Young Girl

21
179 72
Flannery O'Connor is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Best Female Authors of All Time
Wise Blood, A Good Man Is Hard to Find

22
156 81
Ursula K. Le Guin is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Best Female Authors of All Time
Always Coming Home, The Day Before the Revolution

23
83 62
Elizabeth Gaskell is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Best Female Authors of All Time
North and South, Cranford, Mary Barton

24
308 136
Maya Angelou is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Best Female Authors of All Time
I Shall Not Be Moved, The Heart of a Woman, I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings

25
105 76
Dorothy Parker is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Best Female Authors of All Time
A Star Is Born, Dusk Before Fireworks