Women Short Story Writers

Throughout history, there have been many women short story writers who have made significant contribution to the field. The list includes many familiar and great female short story writers such as P. L. Travers, Joyce Carol Oates, Doris Lessing, Louisa May Alcott, Jhumpa Lahiri.The women short story 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.

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 1 Shirley Jackson

Shirley Jackson
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Famous As: Author
Birthdate: December 14, 1916
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: San Francisco, California, United States
Died: September 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

 2 Sylvia Plath

Sylvia Plath
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Famous As: Famous for her Books 'The Bell Jar' and 'Ariel'
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 Katherine Mansfield

Katherine Mansfield
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Birthdate: October 14, 1888
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Wellington
Died: January 9, 1923

Katherine Mansfield was a New Zealand modernist writer best remembered for her short stories. Her life and career inspired several films, plays, novels, and TV series. In 1973, she became the subject of a BBC miniseries titled A Picture of Katherine Mansfield. In 2011, actress Kate Elliott played Mansfield in a TV biopic titled Bliss.

 4 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.

 5 Zelda Fitzgerald

Zelda Fitzgerald
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Famous As: Novelist, Socialite
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.

 6 Eudora Welty

Eudora Welty
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Famous As: Writer
Birthdate: April 13, 1909
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Jackson, Mississippi, United States
Died: July 23, 2001

 7 Carson McCullers

Carson McCullers
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Famous As: American novelist
Birthdate: February 19, 1917
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Columbus, Georgia, USA
Died: September 29, 1967
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 8 Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
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Famous As: Writer
Birthdate: September 15, 1977
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Enugu, Nigeria

Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie is a Nigerian writer and feminist. She is popular for writing novels, such as Purple Hibiscus and Half of a Yellow Sun. She is credited with popularizing African literature among a new generation of readers, especially in the United States. In 2015, she was named in Time magazine's list of 100 Most Influential People.

 9 P. L. Travers

P. L. Travers
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Famous As: Writer
Birthdate: August 9, 1899
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Maryborough, Australia
Died: April 23, 1996

Australian-British author and Shakespearean actor Pamela Lyndon Travers, known by her pseudonym, P. L. Travers, soared to fame with her Mary Poppins series of children's books. Disney later bought the rights to her Mary Poppins series and released a film version. It was later made into a Broadway play, too.

 10 Alice Walker

Alice Walker
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Famous As: Author
Birthdate: February 9, 1944
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Eatonton, Georgia, United States
Author Alice Walker is best known for her National Book Award- and Pulitzer Prize-winning novel The Color Purple. She is credited with coining the term womanist, to mean feminist of color. Her marriage with Melvyn Roseman Leventhal was the first official interracial marriage in the state of Mississippi.

 11 Agatha Christie

Agatha Christie
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Famous As: Writer
Birthdate: September 15, 1890
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Torquay, Devon, England
Died: January 12, 1976

Even after four decades after her death, Agatha Christie remains an influential figure in the world of literature and entertainment as most of her books continue to serve as inspiration to films, TV series, and video games. With over two billion copies of her novels sold, she holds the Guinness World Records for best-selling fiction writer of all time.

 12 Colette

Colette
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Famous As: Novelist
Birthdate: January 28, 1873
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Saint-Sauveur-en-Puisaye, France
Died: August 3, 1954

Colette was a French author who received a nomination for the prestigious Nobel Prize in Literature in 1948. She is remembered for her novella Gigi, which inspired the 1958 movie and the 1973 musical of the same name. Her life and work have inspired several films, including the 2018 biographical drama film Colette, where Keira Knightley played the title role.

 13 Joyce Carol Oates

Joyce Carol Oates
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Famous As: Writer
Birthdate: June 16, 1938
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Lockport, New York, United States

 14 Edith Wharton

Edith Wharton
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Famous As: Writer
Birthdate: January 24, 1862
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: New York City
Died: August 11, 1937

 15 Katherine Anne Porter

Katherine Anne Porter
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Famous As: Journalist, Essayist, Writer, Novelist
Birthdate: May 15, 1890
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Indian Creek, Texas, U.S.
Died: September 18, 1980

 16 Roxane Gay

Roxane Gay
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Famous As: Writer
Birthdate: October 15, 1974
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Omaha, Nebraska, U.S.

Roxane Gay is an American writer, editor, professor, and social commentator. She is credited with founding an Illinois-based small press called Tiny Hardcore Press as well as the now-defunct Gay Magazine, which was founded in association with Medium. Roxane Gay is the recipient of a couple of Lambda Literary Awards and an Eisner Award for Best Limited Series.

 17 Patricia Highsmith

Patricia Highsmith
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Famous As: Novelist
Birthdate: January 19, 1921
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Fort Worth, Texas, United States
Died: February 4, 1995

 18 Flannery O'Connor

Flannery O'Connor
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Famous As: Novelist
Birthdate: March 25, 1925
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Savannah, Georgia, United States
Died: August 3, 1964

 19 Alice Munro

Alice Munro
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Famous As: Short story writer
Birthdate: July 10, 1931
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Wingham, Canada

Her mother’s struggle with Parkinson's disease pushed Alice Munro into reading as an escape route. Munro later became a housewife, but soon soared to fame for her short story collections such as Too Much Happiness. The Canadian author later won the Nobel Prize and the Man Booker Prize, too.

 20 Jhumpa Lahiri

Jhumpa Lahiri
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Famous As: Writer
Birthdate: July 11, 1967
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: London, England
Jhumpa Lahiri is an Indian-American author who mainly writes mostly about the experiences faced by East Indian immigrants and also about their practices and traditions. Recipient of several awards, she received the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction and PEN/Hemingway Award for her first publication, Interpreter of Maladies.

 21 Veronica Roth

Veronica Roth
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Famous As: Novelist
Birthdate: August 19, 1988
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: New York City, New York, U.S.

 22 Anne Morrow Lindbergh

Anne Morrow Lindbergh
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Famous As: Renowned Author & Aviator
Birthdate: June 22, 1906
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Englewood, New Jersey
Died: February 7, 2001

 23 Dorothy L. Sayers

Dorothy L. Sayers
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Famous As: English crime writer and poet.
Birthdate: June 13, 1893
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Oxford, England
Died: December 17, 1957

 24 Elizabeth Gaskell

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

 25 Donna Tartt

Donna Tartt
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Famous As: Author
Birthdate: December 23, 1963
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Greenwood, Mississippi, United States

 26 Angela Carter

Angela Carter
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Famous As: Author of 'The Bloody Chamber' and 'Nights at the Circus'
Birthdate: May 7, 1940
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Eastbourne, England
Died: February 16, 1992

 27 Deborah Eisenberg

Deborah Eisenberg
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Famous As: Writer
Birthdate: November 20, 1945
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Winnetka, Illinois, United States

 28 Kate Atkinson

Kate Atkinson
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Famous As: Novelist
Birthdate: December 20, 1951
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: York, England

 29 Louise Erdrich

Louise Erdrich
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Famous As: Author
Birthdate: June 7, 1954
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Little Falls, Minnesota, US

 30 Clarice Lispector

Clarice Lispector
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Famous As: Ukrainian-born Brazilian Novelist and Short story writer
Birthdate: December 10, 1920
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Chechel'nyk, Ukraine
Died: December 9, 1977

Clarice Lispector was a Ukrainian-born Brazilian short story writer and novelist. As a young woman, she entered the Law School of the University of Brazil and began her writing career while studying. She soon gained fame as a writer and won the prestigious Graça Aranha Prize for the best debut novel. She died of cancer at a relatively young age. 

 31 Tabitha King

Tabitha King
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Famous As: Writer
Birthdate: March 24, 1949
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Old Town, Maine, USA

 32 Holiday Reinhorn

Holiday Reinhorn
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Famous As: Fiction Writer
Birthdate: March 12, 1964
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Portland, Oregon

Holiday Reinhorn is the author the bestselling book Big Cats. She has written for various literary magazines such as Zoetrope: All-Story and Gulf Coast. She and her husband, actor Rainn Wilson, both follow the BaháΚΌí faith. Reinhorn has also co-established a non-profit for Haitian women interested in writing, named Lide.

 33 Edna O'Brien

Edna O'Brien
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Famous As: Novelist
Birthdate: December 15, 1930
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Tuamgraney, County Clare, Ireland

Irish novelist Edna O'Brien is known for dealing with themes related to women’s issues, such as sexual repression of women in a male-dominated society. While she initially studied pharmacy, she later soared to fame with novels such as The Country Girls trilogy, some of which were banned in Ireland for their sexual openness.

 34 Jean Rhys

Jean Rhys
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Famous As: Writer
Birthdate: August 24, 1890
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Roseau, Dominica, British West Indies
Died: May 14, 1979

Born in Dominica, to a Welsh father and a Creole mother, Jean Rhys grew up to be a celebrated author. She soared to fame with her novel Wide Sargasso Sea, which was inspired by the tale of Jane Eyre’s “madwoman in the attic.” She died before completing her memoir.

 35 Anne Tyler

Anne Tyler
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Famous As: Novelist
Birthdate: October 25, 1941
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Hennepin County, Minnesota, United States

 36 Celeste Ng

Celeste Ng
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Famous As: Novelist
Birthdate: July 30, 1980
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, United States

 37 Mary Stewart

Mary Stewart
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Famous As: Author
Birthdate: September 17, 1916
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Sunderland, England
Died: May 9, 2014

 38 Maeve Binchy

Maeve Binchy
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Famous As: Novelist
Birthdate: May 28, 1939
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Dalkey, Dublin, Republic of Ireland Ireland
Died: July 30, 2012

 39 Jennifer Egan

Jennifer Egan
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Famous As: Novelist
Birthdate: September 7, 1962
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Chicago Chicago, Illinois

 40 Mahasweta Devi

Mahasweta Devi
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Famous As: Human rights activist, Writer, Poet, Novelist, Educator, Short story writer
Birthdate: January 14, 1926
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Dhaka
Died: July 28, 2016

Ramon Magsaysay Award-winning Indian author Mahasweta Devi is regarded as a gem of the Bengali literary world. She had also been a left-wing social activist, and her works such as Hajar Churashir Maa and Rudali have either tribals or people from the marginalized communities as their protagonists.

 41 C. J. Cherryh

C. J. Cherryh
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Famous As: Writer
Birthdate: September 1, 1942
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: St. Louis, Missouri, United States

 42 Zhang Ailing

Zhang Ailing
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Famous As: Writer
Birthdate: September 30, 1920
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Shanghai, China
Died: September 8, 1995

 43 Radclyffe Hall

Radclyffe Hall
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Famous As: Poet
Birthdate: August 12, 1880
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Bournemouth, United Kingdom
Died: October 7, 1943

 44 Mavis Gallant

Mavis Gallant
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Famous As: Writer
Birthdate: August 11, 1922
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Montreal, Canada
Died: February 18, 2014

 45 Edwidge Danticat

Edwidge Danticat
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Famous As: Author
Birthdate: January 19, 1969
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Port-au-Prince, Haiti

Apparently, Haitian-American author Edwidge Danticat, known for books such as Breath, Eyes, Memory, had begun writing to escape the bullying she faced because of her Haitian ways after she moved to the U.S. as a young girl. Although her parents wanted her to study medicine, she took up French literature.

 46 Elizabeth Bowen

Elizabeth Bowen
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Famous As: Novelist
Birthdate: June 7, 1899
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Dublin, Ireland
Died: February 22, 1973

 47 E. Annie Proulx

E. Annie Proulx
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Famous As: Novelist
Birthdate: August 22, 1935
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Norwich, Connecticut, United States

 48 Lydia Davis

Lydia Davis
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Famous As: Writer
Birthdate: July 15, 1947
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Northampton, Massachusetts, United States

 49 Kamala Suraiyya

Kamala Suraiyya
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Famous As: Poet
Birthdate: March 31, 1934
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Thrssur, Kerala, India
Died: May 31, 2009

Kamala Suraiyya, also known by her pen-name Madhavikutty and by her married name Kamala Das, was a Malayali poet who is remembered for her liberal treatment of female sexuality in her works. Her writings, such as Summer in Calcutta, form an integral part of Indian literature written in English.

 50 Min Jin Lee

Min Jin Lee
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Famous As: Novelist
Birthdate: April 18, 1968
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Seoul, South Korea