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
839 336
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
510 195
Mary Shelley is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Best Female Authors of All Time
Frankenstein, Falkner
3
467 192
Charlotte Brontë is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Best Female Authors of All Time
Jane Eyre, Emma
4
501 226
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
501 194
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
519 221
Harper Lee is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Best Female Authors of All Time
To Kill a Mockingbird
7
794 378
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
302 159
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
272 98
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
363 80
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
206 90
Daphne du Maurier is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Best Female Authors of All Time
Rebecca, The Birds, Jamaica Inn
12
339 108
Emily Brontë is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Best Female Authors of All Time
Wuthering Heights
13
309 103
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
254 134
Sylvia Plath is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Best Female Authors of All Time
The Bell Jar
15
280 155
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
175 70
Edith Wharton is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Best Female Authors of All Time
Ethan Frome, The Age of Innocence
17
143 71
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
140 75
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
194 74
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
154 85
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
271 191
Anne Frank is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Best Female Authors of All Time
The Diary of a Young Girl
22
91 65
Elizabeth Gaskell is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Best Female Authors of All Time
North and South, Cranford, Mary Barton
23
167 83
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
322 138
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
113 77
Dorothy Parker is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Best Female Authors of All Time
A Star Is Born, Dusk Before Fireworks