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
866 350
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
531 201
Mary Shelley is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Best Female Authors of All Time
Frankenstein, Falkner
3
477 198
Charlotte Brontë is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Best Female Authors of All Time
Jane Eyre, Emma
4
509 233
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
512 198
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
523 226
Harper Lee is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Best Female Authors of All Time
To Kill a Mockingbird
7
808 386
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
308 163
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
275 104
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
367 83
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
211 93
Daphne du Maurier is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Best Female Authors of All Time
Rebecca, The Birds, Jamaica Inn
12
343 112
Emily Brontë is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Best Female Authors of All Time
Wuthering Heights
13
315 107
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
258 138
Sylvia Plath is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Best Female Authors of All Time
The Bell Jar
15
284 159
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
179 73
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 74
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 78
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
280 195
Anne Frank is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Best Female Authors of All Time
The Diary of a Young Girl
20
197 77
Flannery O'Connor is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Best Female Authors of All Time
Wise Blood, A Good Man Is Hard to Find
21
158 89
Alice Walker is listed (or ranked) 21 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
22
94 67
Elizabeth Gaskell is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Best Female Authors of All Time
North and South, Cranford, Mary Barton
23
171 85
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
328 141
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
98 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