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.
8
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 Sylvia Plath

Sylvia Plath.
15
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.

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 3 Emily Dickinson

Emily Dickinson.
14
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.

 4 Harper Lee

Harper Lee.
6
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.

 5 Toni Morrison

Toni Morrison.
4
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.

 6 Louisa May Alcott

Louisa May Alcott.
4
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.

 7 Helen Keller

Helen Keller.
6
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.

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 8 Fran Drescher

Fran Drescher.
4
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.

 9 Danai Gurira

Danai Gurira.
18
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.

 10 Mara Wilson

Mara Wilson.
8
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.

 11 Adrianne Palicki

Adrianne Palicki.
6
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.

 12 Octavia Spencer

Octavia Spencer
4
Famous As: Actress
Birthdate: May 25, 1972
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Montgomery, Alabama, United States

 13 Shirley Jackson

Shirley Jackson.
5
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

 14 Hoda Kotb

Hoda Kotb.
4
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.

 15 Angela Davis

Angela Davis.
4
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.

 16 Zoe Kazan

Zoe Kazan
4
Famous As: Actress
Birthdate: September 9, 1983
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Los Angeles, California, USA

 17 Eartha Kitt

Eartha Kitt.
4
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.

 18 Caroline Kennedy

Caroline Kennedy.
6
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.

 19 Laura Ingalls Wilder

Laura Ingalls Wilder.
4
Famous As: American writer
Birthdate: February 7, 1867
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Pepin County, Wisconsin, United States
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.

 20 Mackenzie Phillips

Mackenzie Phillips.
5
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.

 21 Shonda Rhimes

Shonda Rhimes.
6
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.

 22 Carly Simon

Carly Simon.
6
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.

 23 Fiona Apple

Fiona Apple
4
Famous As: Singer-songwriter, Singer, Composer, Pianist, Writer, Songwriter, Jazz musician
Birthdate: September 13, 1977
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Manhattan

 24 Patti Smith

Patti Smith.
4
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.

 25 Zelda Fitzgerald

Zelda Fitzgerald.
4
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.

 26 Belinda Carlisle

Belinda Carlisle
4
Famous As: Singer
Birthdate: August 17, 1958
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Los Angeles, California, United States

Belinda Carlisle is an American singer, author, and musician. She was part of the Go-Go's where she was the lead singer; during the first half of the 1980s, the Go-Go's was one of the most successful and popular all-female bands. In 2011, she was honored with a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame as a member of The Go-Go's.

 27 Ree Drummond

Ree Drummond.
4
Famous As: Blogger
Birthdate: January 6, 1969
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Bartlesville, Oklahoma

Ree Drummond is an American author, blogger, food writer, television personality, and photographer. In 2010, she was named in Forbes magazine's Top 25 Web Celebrities list. Riding on the success of her blog The Pioneer Woman, which was adjudged Weblog of the Year for three consecutive years at the Weblog Awards, Drummond went on to present her own television program.

 28 Joan Didion

Joan Didion
4
Famous As: Screenwriter, Novelist, Journalist, Writer, Essayist
Birthdate: December 5, 1934
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Sacramento, California, United States

 29 Doris Roberts

Doris Roberts.
4
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.

 30 Gladys Knight

Gladys Knight
4
Famous As: Singer-Songwriter
Birthdate: May 28, 1944
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Atlanta, Georgia, United States

 31 Michelle McNamara

Michelle McNamara.
4
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.

 32 Cybill Lynne Shepherd

Cybill Lynne Shepherd.
4
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.

 33 Isabel Allende

Isabel Allende.
4
Famous As: Writer
Birthdate: August 2, 1942
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Lima
Chilean author Isabel Allende is known for her bestselling Spanish-language novels The House of the Spirits and City of the Beasts. The Chilean National Literature Prize-winner explores women’s perspectives and includes magic realism and autobiographical aspects in her works. She has also received the Presidential Medal of Freedom.

 34 Wendy Williams

Wendy Williams.
5
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.

 35 Amy Sedaris

Amy Sedaris.
4
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

 36 Anita Hill

Anita Hill
4
Famous As: Attorney
Birthdate: July 30, 1956
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Morns, Oklahoma, USA

 37 Holly Madison

Holly Madison.
4
Famous As: Author, Model, Reality TV Star
Birthdate: December 23, 1979
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Astoria, Oregon, United States

Holly Madison is American model and television personality who made her presence felt on the small screen with roles in the TV shows,The Girls Next Door and Holly's World. A former girlfriend of Hugh Hefner, Holly Madison has the credit of leading the then-largest bikini parade with the Las Vegas mayor in 2009. Her memoir, Down the Rabbit Hole, briefly topped the bestseller list.

 38 Kayden Kross

Kayden Kross
4
Famous As: Actress
Birthdate: September 15, 1985
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Sacramento, California, USA

 39 Ayn Rand

Ayn Rand.
11
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.

 40 Busy Philipps

Busy Philipps
6
Famous As: Actress
Birthdate: June 25, 1979
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Oak Park, Illinois, United States

 41 Sela Ward

Sela Ward.
4
Famous As: Actress
Birthdate: July 11, 1956
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Meridian, Mississippi

Sela Ann Ward is best known for her Emmy-winning role of Teddy Reed in Sisters. She won another Emmy and a Golden Globe for playing Lily Manning in Once and Again. Fans also loved her in the series House and CSI: NY, and the movie The Day After Tomorrow.

 42 Rachel Carson

Rachel Carson.
4
Famous As: Marine biologist
Birthdate: May 27, 1907
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Springdale
Died: April 14, 1964

Rachel Carson was a conservationist, marine biologist, and author. She is credited with authoring an influential book titled Silent Spring, which played a significant role in advancing the global environmental movement. Carson is also remembered for her book, The Sea Around Us, which earned her a U.S. National Book Award. She was posthumously honored with the Presidential Medal of Freedom.

 43 Jill Ireland

Jill Ireland.
4
Famous As: Actress
Birthdate: April 24, 1936
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: London
Died: May 18, 1990

Jill Ireland was an English singer and actress. She is best known for working with her husband Charles Bronson in 15 films. After being diagnosed with breast cancer, Ireland started writing books chronicling her fight with cancer. She also started working with the American Cancer Society. Her fight with cancer inspired the movie Reason for Living: The Jill Ireland Story.

 44 Nicolle Wallace

Nicolle Wallace.
4
Famous As: Former White House Communications Director
Birthdate: February 4, 1972
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Orange County, California, United States

Nicolle Wallace has been Jeb Bush's press secretary, the White House communications director under George W. Bush, and John McCain’s senior political advisor. She has also hosted Deadline: White House and The View, and written three political novels, including Eighteen Acres. A self-proclaimed “non-practicing Republican,” she supports same-sex marriage.

 45 Cheryl Ladd

Cheryl Ladd
4
Famous As: Actress
Birthdate: July 12, 1951
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Huron, South Dakota, USA

 46 Taya Kyle

Taya Kyle.
4
Famous As: Activist, Author
Birthdate: September 4, 1974
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Portland, Oregon

Taya Kyle is an American political commentator and author. Since the death of her husband US Navy SEAL sniper Chris Kyle, Taya Kyle has been working towards the welfare of military veterans' family. In 2014, she established the Chris Kyle Frog Foundation as part of her work. In the 2014 movie American Sniper, Taya Kyle was played by Sienna Miller.

 47 Suzanne Somers

Suzanne Somers
4
Famous As: Actress
Birthdate: October 16, 1946
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: San Bruno, California, United States

 48 Piper Kerman

Piper Kerman
4
Famous As: writer, memoirist
Birthdate: September 28, 1969
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Boston

 49 Debi Mazar

Debi Mazar.
4
Famous As: Actress
Birthdate: August 13, 1964
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Jamaica, New York, United States
Debi Mazar is known for films such as Goodfellas and Little Man Tate and series such as L.A. Law and Civil Wars. She has also appeared in several videos by Madonna. She is married to Italian celebrity chef Gabriele Corcos and co-hosts the show Extra Virgin with him.

 50 Assata Shakur

Assata Shakur.
4
Famous As: Murder Convict
Birthdate: July 16, 1947
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Jamaica, New York, United States

Assata Shakur is a former member of the revolutionary organization 'Black Liberation Army'. Sentenced to life for murder, Shakur escaped from the 'Edna Mahan Correctional Facility for Women' and was eventually granted political asylum in Cuba. She is the first woman to be added to FBI's Most Wanted Terrorists list. Her life inspired the documentary film Eyes of the Rainbow.