Bibliographer for English
- English Research Guides
- English Literature Subject Guides
- British & American Poetry
- African American Literature
- American Literature — Prose
- Asian American Literature
- Children's And Young Adult Literature
- Creative Writing
- Medieval Literature
- Transgender Narratives and Theories
- Victorian Literature
- English Course Guides
If you are using the library to conduct background research for your creative writing, you could of course be searching for anything. This guide covers the more predictable reasons you might use the library (books on craft of writing, books on craft of teaching creative writing, style manuals, books on publication and the publishing industry) as well as a general outline of the infinite other topics you might explore here. At the end, there is a list of websites particularly useful to writers.
“Creative writing” is a subject heading, however, it seems it's most often used from an educational perspective. Subject headings for books about the craft of creative writing tend to end with “authorship.” You will find MANY titles if you do a search within your genre this way:
- Children's literature—Authorship
- Translating and interpreting
- P306+ — Language, linguistic theory—translating and interpreting
- PN1059-1065 — Poetry—theory—technique
- PN1660-1653 — Drama—technique to dramatic composition
- PN3355-3373 — Prose fiction—technique, authorship
The Craft of Writing: A small sampling of craft books at Queens by genre:
On Poetry: PN1059—
- The eye of the poet : six views of the art and craft of poetry / David Baker
- PN1059 .A9 E93 2002
- Towards the open field: poets on the art of poetry 1800-1950
- PN 1064 .T68 2004
- An exaltation of forms: contemporary poets celebrate the diversity of their art
- PN 1064 .E94 2002
- Conversations with Rita Dove / Rita Dove
- PS3554 .O884 Z467 2003
- What is found there: notebooks on poetry and politics / Adrienne Rich
- PS3535 .I233 W45 2003
On Literary Translation: PN306—
- The translation studies reader / Lawrence Venuti
- P306 .T7436 2000
- Translation and creativity: perspectives on creative writing and translation studies / Eugenia Loffredo
- P306.2 .T73589 2007
- Can these bones live? : translation, survival, and cultural memory / Bella Brodzki
- PN241 .B67 2007
- Why translation matters / Edith Grossman
- PN241 .G75 2010
- The art of translating poetry / Raffel Burton
- PN1059 .T7 R34 1988
- Reading Rilke: reflections on the problems of translation / William H Gass
- PT2635 .I65 Z72 1999
On Fiction: PN3355—(novel) PN3373—(short fiction)
- Fiction writer's workshop : the key elements of a writing workshop / Josip Novakovich
- PN3355 .N68 2008
- Thirteen ways of looking at the novel / Jane Smiley
- Story logic and the craft of fiction / Catherine Brady
- PN3355 .B68 2010
- On writing short stories / edited by Tom Bailey
- PN3373 .O52 2000
- On the origin of stories: evolution, cognition, and fiction / Brian Boyd
- PN3451 .B68 2009
On Playwriting: PN1661—
- Playwriting master class: the personality of process and the art of rewriting / Michael Wright
- PN1661 .P63 2000
- How plays work / David Edgar
- PN1661 .E34 2009
- Playwriting / Sam Smiley
- PN1661 .S65
- Building your play: theory and practice for the beginning playwright / David Rush
- The playwright's muse / edited by Joan Herrington.
- PS350 .P57 2002
- The elements of style / Strunk, William
- Art Reference Level 6: PE1408.S772 2000b
- The Oxford style manual
- Art Reference Level 6 PN147 .O88 2003
- Dramatists sourcebook: complete opportunities for playwrights, translators, composers, lyricists and librettists. / Tony Kushner. 25th Edition.
Note: Most print directories of agents and editors are now pubished online. See the Website section below for resources.
We have a print periodicals section on the first floor (two below ground) which might prove more creatively inspiring than electronic databases because you can see the context in which the articles originally appeared. To find print journals in the CUNY Catalog select “journal title search” in the orange banner to conduct a search only for journal titles. You can also peruse the section (which is arranged alphabetically) in person.
You might be searching for articles on any subject imaginable to support your creative writing. Here are some handy tips to discover which database might be best for you.
- Check out the research guides section, which provides lists of useful resources in each discipline.
- After you click the database tab on the library's homepage, note that you can limit your search by field using the dropdown tab in the center of the screen.
- Here is a tutorial on general searching.
Feel free to come in and ask a reference librarian for help. There is someone in the reference office, located across from the circulation desk, during the hours the library is open.
- The Oxford English Dictionary
- The OED is the authoritative dictionary of the English language and provides both current and historical definitions of over 500,000 words. Includes etymological notes and extensive quotations documenting the usage of words over time.
- Oxford Reference Online Premium
- Subject-specific encyclopedias and dictionaries in a variety of disciplines.
- Encyclopedia of Life Sciences
- Peer-reviewed encyclopedia articles in all areas of the life sciences. For topics such as biochemistry, ecology, evolution, genetics, immunology, microbiology, morphology, and virology.
- Dictionary of Art Online
- A comprehensive visual arts encyclopedia, with full text of The Dictionary of Art (1996), regularly updated coverage, articles and bibliographies. Searchable art images and maps; links to other art resources; lesson plans, timelines, and thematic guides.
- New York Times Historical
- Indexing begins in 1851 through 2007, with images of the original news clippings and the full page for a sense of context. It's possible to search for only advertisements or only obituaries, and more. Excellent resource for original reporting on 20th century America.
- Digital library of nearly one million images in the areas of art, architecture, the humanities, and social sciences, with a set of tools to view, present, and manage images for research and teaching.
- Pop Culture
- It's all around us and influences our lives every day. This collection provides useful information for any researcher in a social science, history, art or liberal arts course. This collection is made up of more than 100 subject-appropriate full-text periodicals.
- For academic articles, JSTOR indexes 500+ core journals in the arts, humanities, social sciences, and sciences. Cover-to-cover full-text from a journal's first issue until about five years ago.
- American Literary Translators Association
- A place to look for conferences, grants, and awards.
- Association of Authors' Representatives
- They maintain a directory of member agents.
- Author's Guild
- Professional advice on all things writerly.
- AWP: The Association of Writers and Writing Programs
- They hold an annual writer's conference.
- CLMP: Council of Literary Magazines and Presses
- Publishes an annual directory of literary journals who are CLMP members; this organization also holds frequent readings and provides practical advice for anyone starting up a new literary journal.
- Publisher's Weekly
- A trade magazine for the publishing industry, this magazine reports on publishing trends and new book deals.
- Poets & Writers
- They publish monthly contest, grants, and writer's retreat deadlines. They also have the largest database of literary journals, both print and online, and a database of agents.
- National Endowment of the Arts (NEA)
- The NEA produces annual grants in the arts; they also publish a magazine.
- PEN American Center
- They publish an annual list of grants and awards; they also hold fantastic readings, conversations, lectures, and conferences.
- Center for Book Arts
- They teach book making classes, have a museum and bookstore, and rent studio space.
- Chapbook Festival
- An annual event planned by CUNY's the Center for Humanities, CUNY's Creative Writing Affiliation Group, Poetry Society of America, Center for Book Arts, Poets & Writers, and Poet's House.
- Poetry Society of America
- Lists annual awards and presents an annual chapbook fellowship; they also list poetry readings in NYC.
As mentioned, you could be doing research on any subject imaginable to support your creative writing. Encyclopedias are useful for finding quick and interesting baseline facts about a subject you are unfamiliar with. You can limit your search in the databases to only encyclopedias by using the scroll down box and selecting “encyclopedias.” We have MANY, but here are a few examples of encyclopedias in widely different disciplines:
You may also be interested in Gale Virtual Reference Library, a multidisciplinary collection of encyclopedias that you can search all at once.
A short list of intriguing databases:
We subscribe to hundreds of databases here at Queens, any of which might be useful to your studies. To discover databases useful to your topic of study, you can narrow your search by using the dropdown box and searching by discipline. Here is a small selection of databases that seem particularly conducive to creative inspiration:
This is an incomplete list of websites which cater specifically to writers. While there is of course overlap, these websites are organized by the function they'll serve in your writing life.