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
881 354
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
540 202
Mary Shelley is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Best Female Authors of All Time
Frankenstein, Falkner
3
485 199
Charlotte Brontë is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Best Female Authors of All Time
Jane Eyre, Emma
4
515 234
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
515 199
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
530 227
Harper Lee is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Best Female Authors of All Time
To Kill a Mockingbird
7
813 388
J. K. Rowling is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Best Female Authors of All Time
Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone, The Casual Vacancy
8
310 163
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
277 105
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
371 84
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
213 94
Daphne du Maurier is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Best Female Authors of All Time
Rebecca, The Birds, Jamaica Inn
12
345 112
Emily Brontë is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Best Female Authors of All Time
Wuthering Heights
13
317 108
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
258 139
Sylvia Plath is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Best Female Authors of All Time
The Bell Jar
15
284 160
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
181 74
Edith Wharton is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Best Female Authors of All Time
Ethan Frome, The Age of Innocence
17
145 76
Willa Cather is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Best Female Authors of All Time
looksharp added Death Comes for the Archbishop, A Lost Lady, My Ántonia
18
143 80
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
283 196
Anne Frank is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Best Female Authors of All Time
The Diary of a Young Girl
20
96 67
Elizabeth Gaskell is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Best Female Authors of All Time
North and South, Cranford, Mary Barton
21
197 78
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
160 91
Alice Walker is listed (or ranked) 22 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
23
172 86
Ursula K. Le Guin is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Best Female Authors of All Time
Always Coming Home, The Day Before the Revolution
24
330 142
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
99 41
Mary Wollstonecraft is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Best Female Authors of All Time
stubb added A Vindication of the Rights of Woman: With Strictures on Political and Moral Subjects, Mary: A Fiction, A Vindication of the Rights of Men