American Female Writers

Throughout history, there have been many American women writers who have made significant contribution to the field. The list includes many familiar and great American female writers such as Portia de Rossi, Katherine Schwarzenegger, Jamie Lee Curtis, Helen Keller, Mary-Kate Olsen.

This ranking is based on an algorithm that combines various factors, including the votes of our users and search trends on the internet.

Vote for Your Favourite American Female Writers

 1 Maya Angelou

Maya Angelou.
2
Famous As: Poet
Birthdate: April 4, 1928
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: St. Louis, Missouri, United States
Died: May 28, 2014
Poet, author, and civil rights activist Maya Angelou was a champion for black feminism and is best remembered for her autobiography, I Know Why the Caged Bird Sing. The recipient of the Presidential Medal of Freedom and over 50 honorary degrees was also a child sex abuse survivor.

 2 Ayn Rand

Ayn Rand.
2
Famous As: Writer
Birthdate: February 2, 1905
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Saint Petersburg, Russia
Died: March 6, 1982

Ayn Rand was a Russian-American philosopher and writer. Apart from publishing two best-selling novels, Ayn Rand is credited with developing a philosophical system called Objectivism. Over the years, Ayn Rand has been a major influence among American conservatives and libertarians. Some of the famous personalities influenced by her include Amber Heard, Vince Vaughn, Jimmy Wales, Ayelet Shaked, and Mary Ruwart.

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 3 Sylvia Plath

Sylvia Plath.
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Famous As: Poet, Novelist, and Writer
Birthdate: October 27, 1932
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Boston, Massachusetts, United States
Died: February 11, 1963

Sylvia Plath was an American short-story writer, novelist, and poet. Plath is credited with popularizing confessional poetry and won a posthumous Pulitzer Prize in Poetry. Sylvia Plath achieved popularity and critical acclaim despite suffering from clinical depression for the most part of her adult life. Her story inspired the 2003 film Sylvia in which she was portrayed by Gwyneth Paltrow.

 4 Emily Dickinson

Emily Dickinson.
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Famous As: Poet
Birthdate: December 10, 1830
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Amherst
Died: May 15, 1886
Victorian-era poet Emily Dickinson apparently wrote around 1800 poems, mostly revolving around themes such as death and immortality. However, she was a recluse, dressed up in white, and mostly interacted with people through correspondence. Her poems were mostly without titles and had short lines, slant rhyme, and unconventional punctuation.

 5 Harper Lee

Harper Lee.
2
Famous As: Novelist
Birthdate: April 28, 1926
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Monroeville
Died: February 19, 2016

Harper Lee was an American novelist who wrote the Pulitzer Prize-winning classic To Kill a Mockingbird. Despite publishing only two books, Lee was honored with the Presidential Medal of Freedom for her contribution to literature, such was her impact in the world of literature. A friend of Truman Capote, Lee has been portrayed by popular actresses in Capote's biographical films.

 6 Toni Morrison

Toni Morrison.
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Famous As: Novelist
Birthdate: February 18, 1931
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Lorain, Ohio
Died: August 5, 2019
Author, editor, and Princeton professor Toni Morrison is best remembered for her Pulitzer Prize-winning novel Beloved, part of a trilogy. Some of her other notable works include The Bluest Eye and Song of Solomon. She received the 1993 Nobel Prize in Literature. She also wrote several children’s books and plays.

 7 Louisa May Alcott

Louisa May Alcott.
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Famous As: Writer
Birthdate: November 29, 1832
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Germantown, Pennsylvania, United States
Died: March 6, 1888
Novelist and short story writer Louisa May Alcott is best remembered as the author of the 1868 novel Little Women and its sequels, Little Men and Jo's Boys. She initially wrote using the pseudonym “A. M. Barnard.” She never married and remained a life-long feminist and abolitionist.
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 8 Helen Keller

Helen Keller.
2
Famous As: Author
Birthdate: June 27, 1880
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Tuscumbia, Alabama, United States
Died: June 1, 1968

A prolific author, having written 12 published books and several articles, Helen Keller was the first deaf-blind person to earn a Bachelor of Arts degree. Her autobiography, The Story of My Life, made Keller famous and was adapted for film and stage. She was also an activist and campaigned for women's suffrage, labour rights, socialism and other such causes.

 9 Amanda Knox

Amanda Knox.
2
Famous As: Writer
Birthdate: July 9, 1987
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Seattle

Amanda Knox is an American woman who made headlines when she was convicted for the murder of Meredith Kercher in Italy. After spending almost four years in prison, Amanda was definitively acquitted after a new trial that found her not guilty. Her story inspired books and documentaries; Knox's memoir Waiting to Be Heard became popular.

 10 Ann Coulter

Ann Coulter.
4
Birthdate: December 8, 1961
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: New York City, United States
Ann Coulter is a political commentator and has written countless bestselling books, including High Crimes and Misdemeanors, which enumerated the reasons why Bill Clinton should have been impeached. She assisted Paula Jones’s attorneys for free. Her columns are featured on various conservative websites. She opposes same-sex marriage and hate-crime laws.

 11 Mara Wilson

Mara Wilson.
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Famous As: Writer, Actress
Birthdate: July 24, 1987
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Burbank, California

Mara Wilson stole the hearts of many with her performance as a child actress in films like Mrs. Doubtfire, Miracle on 34th Street, and Matilda. After growing up, she decided to pursue a career as a writer. In one of her interviews, she spoke about her mental illnesses, including OCD, depression, and anxiety. She also came out as bisexual.

 12 Caroline Kennedy

Caroline Kennedy.
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Famous As: Author
Birthdate: November 27, 1957
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Cornell Medical Center Hospital, New York City, New York, U.S.

Caroline Kennedy is an American author, diplomat, and attorney. The only surviving child of John F. Kennedy and Jacqueline Bouvier Kennedy, Caroline served as the US Ambassador to Japan between 2013 and 2017. A prolific author who writes about civil liberties, Caroline Kennedy has also served as a spokesperson for the Kennedy family's legacy.

 13 MacKenzie Scott

MacKenzie Scott.
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Famous As: Novelist, Ex-Wife of Jeff Bezos
Birthdate: April 7, 1970
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: San Francisco, California

 14 Busy Philipps

Busy Philipps
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Famous As: Actress
Birthdate: June 25, 1979
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Oak Park, Illinois, United States

 15 Jewel

Jewel
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Famous As: Singer-Songwriter
Birthdate: May 23, 1974
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Payson, Utah, United States

 16 Shonda Rhimes

Shonda Rhimes.
2
Famous As: Television Producer
Birthdate: January 13, 1970
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Chicago

Shonda Rhimes is a screenwriter, author, and television producer. She is credited with creating, writing, and executive producing one of the most popular American medical drama TV series ever, Grey's Anatomy. She is also credited with creating series like Private Practice and Scandal. In 2007, she was named in Time magazine's list of 100 People Who Help Shape the World.

 17 Adrianne Palicki

Adrianne Palicki.
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Famous As: Actress
Birthdate: May 6, 1983
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Toledo, Ohio

Adrianne Palicki is an American actress known for playing important roles in TV series like Friday Night Lights and Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. Adrianne Palicki went on to establish herself as a respectable actress despite suffering from celiac disease.

 18 Stacey Dash

Stacey Dash
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Famous As: Actress
Birthdate: January 20, 1967
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: The Bronx, New York City, New York, USA

 19 Patty Duke

Patty Duke
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Famous As: Actress
Birthdate: December 14, 1946
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Queens, New York City, New York, USA
Died: March 29, 2016

 20 Amber Tamblyn

Amber Tamblyn
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Famous As: Actress
Birthdate: May 14, 1983
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Santa Monica, California, United States

 21 Leslie Jones

Leslie Jones
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Famous As: Comedian
Birthdate: September 7, 1967
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Memphis, Tennessee, United States

 22 Octavia Spencer

Octavia Spencer
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Famous As: Actress
Birthdate: May 25, 1972
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Montgomery, Alabama, United States

 23 Wendy Williams

Wendy Williams.
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Famous As: TV Host, Actress, Fashion Designer, Author
Birthdate: July 18, 1964
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Ocean Township, Monmouth County, New Jersey

Wendy Williams is an American media personality, businesswoman, television host, and author. She was the subject of a TV series titled The Wendy Williams Experience, which chronicles her work as a radio show host and her on-air spats with celebrities. As a businesswoman, Williams has created several product lines, including a jewelry collection, a fashion line, and a wig line.

 24 Fran Drescher

Fran Drescher.
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Famous As: Actress
Birthdate: September 30, 1957
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Kew Gardens, New York, United States

Fran Drescher is an American actress and comedian. Characterized by her thick New York accent and nasal voice, Fran Drescher serves as an inspiration to many cancer patients as she successfully fought off the disease after suffering from uterine cancer. She is also an outspoken LGBT rights activist and healthcare advocate.

 25 Danai Gurira

Danai Gurira.
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Famous As: Actress
Birthdate: February 14, 1978
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Grinnell, Iowa
Danai Gurira is best known as Michonne from The Walking Dead and as Okoye from the Marvel films Black Panther, Avengers: Infinity War, and Avengers: Endgame. She earned a Tony nomination for writing the Broadway play Eclipsed. She has been a UN Goodwill Ambassador and promotes arts and women empowerment.

 26 Joan Didion

Joan Didion
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Famous As: Screenwriter, Novelist, Journalist, Writer, Essayist
Birthdate: December 5, 1934
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Sacramento, California, United States

 27 Hoda Kotb

Hoda Kotb.
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Famous As: Journalist, Author, TV Anchor
Birthdate: August 9, 1964
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Norman, Oklahoma
Egyptian-American TV journalist Hoda Kotb is best known as the co-host of the shows NBC Morning Show, Dateline NBC, Today. Named to Time 100, she has also authored several books, including a bestselling autobiography. A breast cancer survivor, she now also works to raise awareness about the disease.

 28 Patti Smith

Patti Smith.
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Famous As: Singer & Musician
Birthdate: December 30, 1946
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Chicago, Illinois, United States

Patti Smith is an American singer-songwriter. Referred to as the punk poet laureate, Smith became an influential figure of the punk rock movement with the release of her album Horses. Many world-renowned musicians, such as Madonna and Michael Stipe, have cited Smith as their inspiration. Even actresses like Ellen Page and Maria Doyle Kennedy have called Smith a major influence.

 29 Rosie O'Donnell

Rosie O
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Famous As: Comedian
Birthdate: March 21, 1962
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Commack, New York, United States

 30 Eartha Kitt

Eartha Kitt.
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Famous As: Singer
Birthdate: January 17, 1927
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: North, South Carolina, United States
Died: December 25, 2008

Eartha Kitt was an American actress, comedian, dancer, and singer-songwriter. Renowned for her distinctive singing style, Kitt recorded several chartbusting songs during the 1950s. Also a well-known activist, Eartha Kitt established a non-profit organization called the Kittsville Youth Foundation, which helped underprivileged youths in Los Angeles. She was also an ardent advocate for same-sex marriage and LGBT rights.

 31 Zoe Kazan

Zoe Kazan
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Famous As: Actress
Birthdate: September 9, 1983
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Los Angeles, California, USA

 32 Angela Davis

Angela Davis .
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Famous As: Political Activist
Birthdate: January 26, 1944
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Birmingham

Activist, philosopher, academic and author, Angela Davis is a founding member of the Committees of Correspondence for Democracy and Socialism (CCDS). She has worked in the areas of feminism, class, race and the US prison system. She has also received criticism for supporting the erstwhile Soviet Union and has been accused of supporting political violence.

 33 Carly Simon

Carly Simon.
2
Birthdate: June 25, 1945
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: New York City
Carly Simon began as part of the Simon Sisters, with her sister Lucy. She won a Grammy with her first album and has since delivered many chartbusting tracks, including Nobody Does It Better from the James Bond film The Spy Who Loved Me. She has also written several children’s books.

 34 Joan Rivers

Joan Rivers.
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Famous As: Actress
Birthdate: June 8, 1933
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Brooklyn
Died: September 4, 2014

Famous for her controversial comedic persona, Joan Rivers was a television host and comedian. She broke stereotypes by hosting a late-night television talk show titled The Late Show with Joan Rivers, becoming the first woman to do so. Also an author, Rivers wrote 12 best-selling books. In 2017, she was posthumously inducted into the Television Academy Hall of Fame

 35 Shirley Jackson

Shirley Jackson.
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Famous As: Author
Birthdate: December 14, 1916
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: San Francisco, California, U.S.
Died: August 8, 1965
Shirley Jackson redefined the genres of horror and mystery through her works, which include over 200 short stories and six novels. Her iconic novel The Haunting of Hill House was made into a popular Netflix series and several movies, including the 1963 and 1999 versions of The Haunting

 36 Rachel Dolezal

Rachel Dolezal
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Famous As: Author
Birthdate: November 12, 1977
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Lincoln County, Montana, U.S

 37 Anita Hill

Anita Hill
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Famous As: Attorney
Birthdate: July 30, 1956
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Morns, Oklahoma, USA

 38 Mackenzie Phillips

Mackenzie Phillips.
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Famous As: Actress
Birthdate: November 10, 1959
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Alexandria, Virginia
Mackenzie Phillips made her acting debut at 12, with American Graffiti. Fans loved her in the series One Day at a Time and So Weird. She has struggled with drug issues and has appeared on Celebrity Rehab. She also confessed to being raped by her father, in her memoir.

 39 Gladys Knight

Gladys Knight
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Famous As: Singer-Songwriter
Birthdate: May 28, 1944
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Atlanta, Georgia, United States

 40 Kayden Kross

Kayden Kross
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Famous As: Actress
Birthdate: September 15, 1985
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Sacramento, California, USA

 41 Amy Sedaris

Amy Sedaris.
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Birthdate: March 29, 1961
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Endicott, New York, U.S.
Amy Sedaris is best known as Jerri Blank from the series Strangers with Candy and its prequel movie. She was also nominated for two Emmys for her comedy series At Home with Amy Sedaris. Some of her other notable projects are Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt, The Mandalorian, and BoJack Horseman

 42 Diane Ladd

Diane Ladd.
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Famous As: Actress
Birthdate: November 29, 1932
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Meridian

Diane Ladd is an American actress, author, and filmmaker. Over the years, Diane Ladd has contributed immensely to the success of several films and TV series. Perhaps, her greatest contribution to Hollywood is guiding and mentoring her daughter and Academy Award-winning actress Laura Dern. Both Ladd and Dern received Academy Award nominations for Best Actress for the film Rambling Rose

 43 Doris Roberts

Doris Roberts.
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Famous As: Actress
Birthdate: November 4, 1925
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: St. Louis, Missouri, United States
Died: April 17, 2016

Five-time Emmy Award-winning actor Doris Roberts is best remembered as Marie Barone from the sitcom Everybody Loves Raymond and as Mildred Krebs from Remington Steele. She also appeared on various talk/game shows and in films such as The Honeymoon Killers. She was a prominent animal rights activist, too.

 44 Michelle McNamara

Michelle McNamara.
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Famous As: Freelance Writer, Blogger
Birthdate: April 14, 1970
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: United States
Died: April 21, 2016

True-crime writer, Michelle McNamara, is remembered for coining the name "Golden State Killer" for the serial killer later identified as Joseph James DeAngelo. Sadly, the author died before his identification and arrest. Fascinated by true crime from a young age, she launched her website TrueCrimeDiary in 2006 and dedicated her life to researching and writing about true crime.

 45 Laura Ingalls Wilder

Laura Ingalls Wilder.
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Famous As: American writer
Birthdate: February 7, 1867
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Pepin
Died: February 10, 1957
Laura Ingalls Wilder authored the iconic Little House children’s book series, including the novel Little House on the Prairie, based on her family’s life in Wisconsin, which was later adapted for many stage and screen versions. She is also known for her autobiography, Pioneer Girl, and many posthumously published books.

 46 Fiona Apple

Fiona Apple
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Famous As: Singer-songwriter, Singer, Composer, Pianist, Writer, Songwriter, Jazz musician
Birthdate: September 13, 1977
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Manhattan

 47 Zelda Fitzgerald

Zelda Fitzgerald.
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Famous As: Novelist
Birthdate: July 24, 1900
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Montgomery, Alabama, United States
Died: March 10, 1948

Zelda Fitzgerald was a painter, socialite, and novelist. Along with her husband Scott Fitzgerald, Zelda became a prominent personality of the Jazz Age. Renowned for her high spirits and beauty, she was named the first American flapper by Scott. For her work as a novelist and painter, Fitzgerald was posthumously made an inductee to the Alabama Women's Hall of Fame.

 48 Cybill Lynne Shepherd

Cybill Lynne Shepherd.
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Famous As: Actress
Birthdate: February 18, 1950
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Memphis, Tennessee, United States
Cybill Shepherd is best known for her roles in films such as The Heartbreak Kid, Taxi Driver, and Alice. Fans also loved her for her Golden Globe-winning portrayals of Madelyn 'Maddie' Hayes in the series Moonlighting and Cybill Sheridan in the sitcom Cybill. She is a follower of goddess-worshipping Paganism.

 49 Amy Fisher

Amy Fisher
2
Famous As: Criminal
Birthdate: August 21, 1974
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Long Island, New York, United States

 50 Piper Kerman

Piper Kerman
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Famous As: writer, memoirist
Birthdate: September 28, 1969
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Boston