Female Professionals
5.1k voters

The Best Female Authors of All Time

Updated May 15, 2021 34.4k votes 5.1k voters 165.4k views240 items

List RulesVote 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.
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  • 1
    1,307
    495

    Jane Austen

    Pride and Prejudice, Sense and Sensibility
  • 2
    582
    194

    Emily Dickinson

    The complete poems, The letters
  • 3
    773
    303

    Virginia Woolf

    Mrs. Dalloway, To the Lighthouse
  • 4
    713
    281

    Charlotte Brontë

    Jane Eyre, Emma
  • 5
    725
    317

    Mary Shelley

    Frankenstein, Falkner
  • 6
    453
    216

    Toni Morrison

    Jazz, The Bluest Eye
  • 7
    803
    261

    Agatha Christie

    A Witness for the Prosecution, And Then There Were None
  • 8
    398
    158

    George Eliot

    Middlemarch: A Study of Provincial Life, Silas Marner
  • 9
    477
    211

    Louisa May Alcott

    Jo's Boys, Little Women
  • 10
    676
    277

    Harper Lee

    To Kill a Mockingbird
  • 11
    395
    200

    Sylvia Plath

    The Bell Jar
  • 12
    264
    109

    Ursula K. Le Guin

    Always Coming Home, The Day Before the Revolution
  • 13
    256
    113

    Edith Wharton

    Ethan Frome, The Age of Innocence
  • 14
    269
    122

    Flannery O'Connor

    Wise Blood, A Good Man Is Hard to Find
  • 15
    195
    87

    Isabel Allende

    La casa de los espíritus, Daughter of Fortune
  • 16
    468
    151

    Margaret Atwood

    The Year of the Flood, The Circle Game
  • 17
    217
    112

    Zora Neale Hurston

    Sweat, Their Eyes Were Watching God
  • 18
    177
    67

    Mary Wollstonecraft

    A Vindication of the Rights of Woman: With Strictures on Political and Moral Subjects, Mary: A Fiction
  • 19
    185
    63

    Shirley Jackson

    The Haunting of Hill House, The Lottery
  • 20
    1,063
    708

    J. K. Rowling

    Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone, The Casual Vacancy
  • 21
    196
    113

    Willa Cather

    Death Comes for the Archbishop, A Lost Lady
  • 22
    142
    52

    Doris Lessing

    The Golden Notebook, The Grass Is Singing
  • 23
    286
    129

    Daphne du Maurier

    Rebecca, The Birds
  • 24
    230
    125

    Alice Walker

    The Color Purple, Possessing the Secret of Joy
  • 25
    124
    51

    Laura Ingalls Wilder

    Little House in the Big Woods, The Long Winter