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
805 324
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
488 189
Mary Shelley is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Best Female Authors of All Time
Frankenstein, Falkner

3
450 190
Charlotte Brontë is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Best Female Authors of All Time
Jane Eyre, Emma

4
485 220
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
483 189
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
505 215
Harper Lee is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Best Female Authors of All Time
To Kill a Mockingbird

7
769 363
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
295 154
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
265 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
348 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
202 86
Daphne du Maurier is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Best Female Authors of All Time
Rebecca, The Birds, Jamaica Inn

12
325 107
Emily Brontë is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Best Female Authors of All Time
Wuthering Heights

13
295 99
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
243 129
Sylvia Plath is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Best Female Authors of All Time
The Bell Jar

15
268 152
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
170 68
Edith Wharton is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Best Female Authors of All Time
Ethan Frome, The Age of Innocence

17
139 68
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
136 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
188 72
Flannery O'Connor is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Best Female Authors of All Time
Wise Blood, A Good Man Is Hard to Find

20
150 83
Alice Walker is listed (or ranked) 20 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

21
257 188
Anne Frank is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Best Female Authors of All Time
The Diary of a Young Girl

22
160 82
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
85 63
Elizabeth Gaskell is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Best Female Authors of All Time
North and South, Cranford, Mary Barton

24
314 136
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
100 48
Isabel Allende is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Best Female Authors of All Time
Anna Åhlin added La casa de los espíritus, Daughter of Fortune, Eva Luna