The Greatest Female Novelists Ever

Voting Rules
Only women authors. Please rank only based on their fiction novels, not on short stories or non-fiction work.

The best female novelists are arguably the top and most talented women who penned some of the most popular and most influential novels of all time. These women, from around the globe over the last few centuries, changed the landscape of fiction writing with their work. These ladies are not just the best female novelists ever, but easily among the best writers of all time.

These female novelists represent many genres of literature such as romance, science fiction, fantasy, adventure and mystery, to name a few. Their works have inspired countless others and spurred numerous movie adaptations. Quite simply, these women are some of the best female authors to have ever lifted the pen.

From the classics from Agatha Christie and Jane Austen to the modern favorites from Stephenie Meyer and J.K. Rowling, it’s hard to find a book from a female novelist on this list that isn’t a favorite of millions of readers around the world.

Which of these female novelists is the best? Share your picks by voting for your favorites, adding any not listed or re-ranking this list of the best female novelists below!

Photo: Metaweb / CC-BY
Ranked by
  • Charlotte Brontë
    319 votes
    Jane Eyre, Wuthering Heights, Shirley
  • Emily Brontë
    223 votes
    Wuthering Heights, Gondal poems, Poems by Currer
    Wuthering Heights
  • Jane Austen
    432 votes
    Northanger Abbey, Persuasion, Pride and Prejudice
  • Mary Shelley
    275 votes
    Frankenstein, Son of Frankenstein, Political Justice
  • Harper Lee
    329 votes
    To Kill a Mockingbird
  • Agatha Christie
    388 votes
    Murder on the Orient Express, The Murder of Roger Ackroyd, The ABC Murders