Women Non-Fiction Writers

Throughout history, there have been many women non-fiction writers who have made significant contribution to the field. The list includes many familiar and great female non-fiction writers such as Svetlana Alexievich, Caroline Kennedy, Rachel Carson, Martha Gellhorn, Princess Michael of Kent.The women non-fiction writers featured in this list are from United States, United Kingdom, Canada & Australia and many more countries.

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 Women Non-Fiction Writers

 1 Virginia Woolf

Virginia Woolf.
4
Famous As: Novelist
Birthdate: January 25, 1882
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: South Kensington, London, England
Died: March 28, 1941

Virginia Woolf was an English writer who pioneered a narrative mode called stream of consciousness to describe the thoughts and feelings of the narrator. Regarded as one of the most prominent modernist 20th-century writers, Woolf's works have gained much attention for inspiring feminism. Her life and work have inspired several films, novels, and plays.

 2 Sylvia Plath

Sylvia Plath.
4
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.

 3 Mary Wollstonecraft

Mary Wollstonecraft.
4
Famous As: Novelist
Birthdate: April 27, 1759
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: London, England
Died: September 10, 1797

Mary Wollstonecraft was an English writer, advocate of women's rights, and philosopher. Wollstonecraft, who attracted a lot of attention for her unconventional personal relationships, is widely considered a founding feminist philosopher. Although her unorthodoxy initially attracted criticisms, her advocacy of women's equality became increasingly important during the 20th century. Modern-day feminists cite her works and her life as important influences.

 4 Hannah Arendt

Hannah Arendt.
4
Famous As: Philosopher
Birthdate: October 14, 1906
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Hanover, Germany
Died: December 4, 1975

Hannah Arendt was a political theorist. Widely regarded as one of the 20th century's most prominent political thinkers, Hannah Arendt's articles and books have had a significant influence on philosophy and political theory. Her life and work inspired the 2012 biographical drama film, Hannah Arendt. Her work has also inspired several biographies written by popular authors.

 5 Joan Didion

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

 6 Rachel Carson

Rachel Carson.
3
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.

 7 Susan Sontag

Susan Sontag.
4
Famous As: Writer
Birthdate: January 16, 1933
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: New York, New York, United States
Died: December 28, 2004
Susan Sontag is best known for her essay anthologies such as Against Interpretation and her novels such as In America. She wrote about diverse issues such as human rights, photography, AIDS, and leftist beliefs, and also visited war-torn areas. The National Book Award-winning author was also openly bisexual. 
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 8 Betty Friedan

Betty Friedan.
3
Famous As: Feminist, Writer
Birthdate: February 4, 1921
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: eoria, Illinois, United States
Died: February 4, 2004

 9 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.

 10 Geri Halliwell

Geri Halliwell.
4
Famous As: Singer
Birthdate: August 6, 1972
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Watford

Geri Halliwell is a British singer-songwriter who achieved international fame as part of the popular girl group, The Spice Girls, which has sold more than 85 million records worldwide. Also a well-known philanthropist, Geri Halliwell has worked closely with the United Nations Population Fund, becoming its goodwill ambassador in 1998. She is widely regarded as a girl power icon.

 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 Padma Lakshmi

Padma Lakshmi.
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Famous As: Model
Birthdate: September 1, 1970
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Chennai

Padma Lakshmi is a model, television host and author. She has hosted cooking competition program Top Chef and has published cookbooks. She has acted in films and television too and is also an activist working for immigration and women’s rights and is a critic of skin-lightening creams. She was married to novelist Salman Rushdie for a little over three years.

 13 Germaine Greer

Germaine Greer.
3
Famous As: Writer
Birthdate: January 29, 1939
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Melbourne, Australia

Australian author and feminist Germaine Greer made headlines with her first book, The Female Eunuch, which focused on female sexuality. Greer’s career boasts of a PhD in literature, and she has also taught at the University of Warwick and other institutes. She was later named an Australian National Living Treasure.

 14 Caroline Kennedy

Caroline Kennedy.
4
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.

 15 Mary Seacole

Mary Seacole.
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Famous As: Heroine of the Crimean War
Birthdate: November 23, 1805
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Kingston, Jamaica
Died: May 14, 1881

Mary Seacole was a British-Jamaican nurse, businesswoman, and healer. She played a major role during the Crimean War, providing aid for wounded servicemen and nursing them back to health. In 1991, Seacole was posthumously honored with the Jamaican Order of Merit. In 2004, she was named the greatest black Briton for her contribution during the war.

 16 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.

 17 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.

 18 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.

 19 Jane Jacobs

Jane Jacobs.
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Famous As: Journalist, Author, Activist
Birthdate: May 4, 1916
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Scranton, Pennsylvania, United States
Died: April 25, 2006

American-Canadian journalist Jane Jacobs is best known for her book The Death and Life of Great American Cities. A specialist in urban culture and its issues, she was one of the few women who excelled in a male-dominated field. The Vincent Scully Prize winner was initially scorned at as a housewife.

 20 Naomi Klein

Naomi Klein.
3
Famous As: Author
Birthdate: May 8, 1970
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Montreal, Quebec, Canada

Canadian author, social activist, and filmmaker Naomi Klein is known for her criticism of corporate globalization and capitalism. She became internationally known following the release of her alter-globalization book No Logo. She often appears on global and national lists of top influential thinkers and is the recipient of the 2016 Sydney Peace Prize. She is a prominent environmentalist as well.

 21 Lady Colin Campbell

Lady Colin Campbell.
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Famous As: Writer
Birthdate: August 17, 1949
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: St. Andrew Parish, Jamaica

Jamaican-born British writer, socialite, and TV personality, Lady Colin Campbell, is known for publishing four books about the British royal family, including a biography of Diana, Princess of Wales. While her books about the royal family made her popular, she also faced criticism for some of her claims. She once kindled controversy for supporting sex offender, Jeffrey Epstein, on TV.

 22 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.

 23 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.

 24 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.

 25 Valerie Harper

Valerie Harper.
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Famous As: Actress
Birthdate: August 22, 1939
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Suffern, New York
Valerie Harper is best remembered as Rhoda Morgenstern from The Mary Tyler Moore Show and its spin-off, Rhoda, with the role winning her four Emmys. She also hosted Nova and was seen as Valerie Hogan in the sitcom Valerie. She also earned a Tony nomination for the play Looped.

 26 Kayden Kross

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

 27 Anita Hill

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

 28 Sela Ward

Sela Ward.
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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.

 29 Assata Shakur

Assata Shakur.
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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.

 30 Jill Ireland

Jill Ireland.
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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.

 31 Cilla Black

Cilla Black.
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Famous As: Singer
Birthdate: May 27, 1943
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Vauxhall, Liverpool, Lancashire, England
Died: August 1, 2015
Priscilla Maria Veronica White, better known as Cilla Black, is best remembered for her chart-topping hits You're My World and Anyone Who Had a Heart. She had her own show, Cilia, and also acted as a comedy actor. She later presented shows such as Blind Date and Surprise Surprise.

 32 Taya Kyle

Taya Kyle.
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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.

 33 Ann Coulter

Ann Coulter.
10
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.

 34 Loretta Swit

Loretta Swit.
4
Famous As: Actress
Birthdate: November 4, 1937
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Passaic, New Jersey, U.S.

Loretta Swit is a veteran American stage and small screen actress who became a household name with her award-winning portrayal of Major Margaret ‘Hot Lips’ Houlihan in M*A*S*H, a comedy-drama series on CBS television. Apart from playing a wide range of character roles on television and stage, she also appeared in movies and hosted a documentary on the Korean war.

 35 Suzanne Somers

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

 36 Jill St. John

Jill St. John.
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Famous As: Actress
Birthdate: August 19, 1940
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Los Angeles, California

Jill St. John is an American actress best known for portraying the first American Bond girl Tiffany Case in the 1971 film Diamonds Are Forever. Jill St. John is also credited with founding the Aunts Club, a group of women who provide financial support for children.

 37 Svetlana Alexievich

Svetlana Alexievich.
3
Famous As: Write and Nobel Prize Winner in Literature
Birthdate: May 31, 1948
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Ivano-Frankivsk

Nobel Prize-winning Belarusian journalist and oral historian Svetlana Alexievich is known for her signature documentary-style novels, which mingle fiction and reporting. Her five-part Voices of Utopia mirrored the lives of people in the Soviet Union. With her writing, she often criticizes the governments of Belarus and the Soviet Union.

 38 Delta Burke

Delta Burke.
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Famous As: Actress
Birthdate: July 30, 1956
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Orlando, Florida

Delta Burke is an American actress, author, and producer. She is best known for playing Suzanne Sugarbaker in the popular TV series Designing Women. Despite struggling with issues, such as eating disorders, depression, and overweight, Delta Burke has managed to establish a successful acting career and serves as an inspiration to people suffering from similar problems.

 39 Christina Crawford

Christina Crawford.
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Famous As: Author, Actress
Birthdate: June 11, 1939
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Los Angeles, California, USA
Actor and author Christina Crawford is best known for her memoir Mommie Dearest, which described her relationship with her adoptive mother, movie star Joan Crawford, highlighting the abuse she had been subjected to. It was later adapted into a film. Christina has also appeared in stage productions, films, and series.

 40 Ursula K. Le Guin

Ursula K. Le Guin.
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Famous As: Author
Birthdate: October 21, 1929
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Berkeley, California, United States
Died: January 22, 2018

Ursula K. Le Guin was an American author. In a career spanning almost six decades, Ursula wrote about political and social themes like race and sexuality. Throughout her career, Ursula had a major influence on speculative fiction. Her book A Wizard of Earthsea is credited with inspiring ideas like 'wizard school', which was later popularized in the Harry Potter series.

 41 Sara Pascoe

Sara Pascoe
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Famous As: Comedian
Birthdate: May 22, 1981
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Dagenham, London, England

Born to musician Derek Pascoe, comedian Sara Pascoe was raised by her mother amid poverty after her parents’ divorce. Initially a tour guide, she later stepped into comedy and never looked back. She is known for shows such as 8 Out of 10 Cats Does Countdown and Twenty Twelve.

 42 Gertrude Bell

Gertrude Bell.
4
Famous As: Writer, Diplomat
Birthdate: July 14, 1868
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Washington, United Kingdom
Died: July 12, 1926

 43 Kennedy Montgomery

Kennedy Montgomery.
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Famous As: Commentator
Birthdate: September 8, 1972
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Indianapolis, Indiana, United States
Political commentator and host Lisa Kennedy Montgomery, began her career as MTV VJ “Kennedy” on the alternative rock shows 120 Minutes and Alternative Nation. She has authored two books and has also hosted Fox network shows such as Kennedy and Outnumbered. She has also been a panelist on The Five.

 44 Elizabeth Gaskell

Elizabeth Gaskell.
3
Famous As: Novelist
Birthdate: September 29, 1810
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Chelsea
Died: November 12, 1865

 45 Lana Wood

Lana Wood.
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Famous As: Actress
Birthdate: March 1, 1946
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Santa Monica, California, United States

Lana Wood is an American actress known for playing Plenty O'Toole in the 1971 film Diamonds Are Forever and Sandy Webber in the popular TV series Peyton Place. The younger sister of popular actress Natalie Wood, Lana followed in the footsteps of her sister, initially appearing in films that starred Natalie until the 1960s when her own career took off.

 46 Dorothy Bush Koch

Dorothy Bush Koch.
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Famous As: Author
Birthdate: August 18, 1959
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Harris County, Texas

The author of the New York Times bestseller My Father, My President, Dorothy Bush Koch is the sixth child of former U.S. president George H.W. Bush, and the sister of George W. Bush. A Eucharistic minister, she is also the founder of BB&R Wellness Consulting, centered on health and well-being.

 47 Patti Davis

Patti Davis
4
Famous As: Actress
Birthdate: October 21, 1952
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Los Angeles, California, USA

 48 Andrea Tantaros

Andrea Tantaros.
4
Famous As: Political Analyst
Birthdate: December 30, 1978
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Allentown, Pennsylvania, United States

 49 Michelle Malkin

Michelle Malkin.
4
Famous As: Blogger
Birthdate: October 20, 1970
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States

Michelle Malkin is an American blogger, author, political commentator, and businesswoman. Her weekly syndicated column gets featured in several websites and newspapers. Apart from writing four books and contributing to TV channels, such as Fox News, Michelle Malkin is also credited with founding the conservative websites Hot Air and Twitchy.

 50 Glennon Doyle Melton

Glennon Doyle Melton.
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Famous As: Author, Activist, Public Speaker
Birthdate: March 20, 1976
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Burke, Virginia

The author of New York Times bestsellers such as Untamed and Love Warrior, Glennon Doyle Melton was once described as the patron saint of female empowerment by People magazine. She is also an avid philanthropist, who heads the all-woman non-profit Together Rising, which caters to women and children.