Women Short Story Writers

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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.
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 1 
Shirley Jackson
(American Writer Known Primarily for Her Works of Horror and Mystery)
Shirley Jackson
7
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 
Flannery O'Connor
8
Birthdate: March 25, 1925
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Savannah, Georgia, United States
Died: August 3, 1964
 3 
Katherine Mansfield
(One of the Most Highly Regarded Short Story Writers of the 20th Century)
Katherine Mansfield
6
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
6
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 
Sylvia Plath
(Famous for Her Books 'The Bell Jar' and 'Ariel')
Sylvia Plath
9
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.

Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
4
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.

 7 
Alice Walker
(The First African-American Woman to Win the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction)
Alice Walker
5
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.
 8 
Carson McCullers
(American novelist)
Carson McCullers
3
Birthdate: February 19, 1917
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Columbus, Georgia, USA
Died: September 29, 1967
 9 
Eudora Welty
(Writer)
Eudora Welty
4
Birthdate: April 13, 1909
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Jackson, Mississippi, United States
Died: July 23, 2001
 10 
Agatha Christie
(English Author Known for Her Detective Novels and Short Stories)
Agatha Christie
0
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.

 11 
Anne Rice
(American Author Best Known for Her Series of Novels ‘The Vampire Chronicles’)
Anne Rice
4
Birthdate: October 4, 1941
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: New Orleans, Louisiana, United States
 12 
Diana Gabaldon
(Author Known for Her 'Outlander' Series of Novels)
Diana Gabaldon
4
Birthdate: January 11, 1952
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Williams, Arizona, United States

Author Diana Gabaldon, daughter of Arizona senator Tony Gabaldon, is best known for her Outlander novel series, which has also been adapted into a TV series. Gabaldon has also authored the Lord John series. She is known for mingling several genres, including historical fiction, mystery, science fiction, and romance.

 13 
Joyce Carol Oates
4
Birthdate: June 16, 1938
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Lockport, New York, United States
 14 
N. K. Jemisin
(Science Fiction and Fantasy Writer Known for Her 'Inheritance' Trilogy)
N. K. Jemisin
4
Birthdate: September 19, 1972
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Iowa City, Iowa, United States

N. K. Jemisin became the first writer to win the Hugo Best Novel award thrice consecutively and is best known for her Inheritance trilogy and her Broken Earth series. The African-American author is also a trained psychologist and has worked as a counsellor in several universities.

 15 
Edith Wharton
5
Birthdate: January 24, 1862
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: New York City
Died: August 11, 1937
 16 
Roxane Gay
(Writer Known for Her 2014 Essay Collection 'Bad Feminist')
Roxane Gay
4
Birthdate: October 15, 1974
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Omaha, Nebraska, United States

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 
Katherine Anne Porter
(Journalist, Essayist, Writer, Novelist)
Katherine Anne Porter
3
Birthdate: May 15, 1890
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Indian Creek, Texas, U.S.
Died: September 18, 1980
 18 
Patricia Highsmith
5
Birthdate: January 19, 1921
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Fort Worth, Texas, United States
Died: February 4, 1995
 19 
Anne Perry
(Author of Historical Detective Fiction, Best Known for Her 'Thomas Pitt' and 'William Monk' Series)
Anne Perry
6
Birthdate: October 28, 1938
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Blackheath, London, England

Juliet Hulme, better known as Anne Perry, is the bestselling author of the widely popular William Monk and Thomas Pitt series of novels. She changed her name after a 5-year sentence for killing her friend’s mother at age 15. She has also worked as a flight attendant.

 20 
Amy Tan
(American Author Known for Her Novels: ‘The Joy Luck Club’ and ‘The Bonesetter’s Daughter’)
Amy Tan
4
Birthdate: February 19, 1952
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Oakland, California, United States
 21 
Alice Munro
(Canadian Short Story Writer and Winner of 2013 Nobel Prize in Literature)
Alice Munro
4
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.

 22 
Anne Morrow Lindbergh
(American Aviator and Writer Who Became the First Woman to Receive a U.S. Glider Pilot License)
Anne Morrow Lindbergh
4
Birthdate: June 22, 1906
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Englewood, New Jersey
Died: February 7, 2001

Anne Morrow Lindbergh was an American aviator and writer. She is best remembered for her exploratory flights along with her husband and pioneer aviator, Charles Lindbergh. Anne was the first woman to earn a US glider pilot license in 1930. In 1996, Anne Morrow Lindbergh was inducted into the National Women's Hall of Fame.

 23 
Deborah Eisenberg
3
Birthdate: November 20, 1945
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Winnetka, Illinois, United States
 24 
Veronica Roth
(Novelist)
Veronica Roth
4
Birthdate: August 19, 1988
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: New York City, New York, U.S.
 25 
Jhumpa Lahiri
(American Author Best Known for Her Books: ‘Interpreter of Maladies’ and ‘Unaccustomed Earth’)
Jhumpa Lahiri
4
Birthdate: July 11, 1967
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: London, England, United Kingdom
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.
 26 
Tabitha King
(Writer)
Tabitha King
5
Birthdate: March 24, 1949
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Old Town, Maine, USA
 27 
Donna Tartt
(Author)
Donna Tartt
9
Birthdate: December 23, 1963
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Greenwood, Mississippi, United States
 28 
Elizabeth Gaskell
3
Birthdate: September 29, 1810
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Chelsea, England
Died: November 12, 1865
 29 
Angela Carter
(Author of 'The Bloody Chamber' and 'Nights at the Circus')
Angela Carter
3
Birthdate: May 7, 1940
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Eastbourne, England
Died: February 16, 1992
 30 
Dorothy L. Sayers
(English crime writer and poet.)
Dorothy L. Sayers
3
Birthdate: June 13, 1893
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Oxford, England
Died: December 17, 1957
 31 
Louise Erdrich
3
Birthdate: June 7, 1954
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Little Falls, Minnesota, US
 32 
Holiday Reinhorn
(Fiction Writer)
Holiday Reinhorn
5
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 Baháʼí faith. Reinhorn has also co-established a non-profit for Haitian women interested in writing, named Lide.

 33 
Anne Tyler
(Novelist)
Anne Tyler
3
Birthdate: October 25, 1941
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Hennepin County, Minnesota, United States
 34 
P. L. Travers
(Best Known as the Author of 'Mary Poppins' Series of Books)
P. L. Travers
0
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.

 35 
Jean Rhys
(British Novelist Best Known for Her Novel 'Wide Sargasso Sea')
Jean Rhys
4
Birthdate: August 24, 1890
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Roseau, Dominica
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.

 36 
Selma Lagerlöf
(First Woman to Win the Nobel Prize in Literature)
Selma Lagerlöf
3
Birthdate: November 20, 1858
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Mårbacka, Värmland, Sweden
Died: March 16, 1940

Selma Lagerlöf was a Swedish teacher and author. In 1909, Lagerlöf became the first woman to receive the prestigious Nobel Prize in Literature. In 1914, she became the first woman to be elected as a member by the Swedish Academy. In 1991, Selma Lagerlöf was depicted on a Swedish banknote, becoming the first woman to enjoy this honor, albiet posthumously.

 37 
Clarice Lispector
(Internationally Acclaimed Brazilian Novelist and Short Story Writer)
Clarice Lispector
3
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. 

 38 
Kate Atkinson
(Novelist)
Kate Atkinson
3
Birthdate: December 20, 1951
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: York, England
 39 
Celeste Ng
(Novelist)
Celeste Ng
4
Birthdate: July 30, 1980
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, United States
 40 
Mary Stewart
(Author)
Mary Stewart
3
Birthdate: September 17, 1916
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Sunderland, England
Died: May 9, 2014
 41 
Mahasweta Devi
(Human rights activist, Writer, Poet, Novelist, Educator, Short story writer)
Mahasweta Devi
6
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.

 42 
Ali Smith
(Scottish Author, Playwright, Academic and Journalist)
Ali Smith
3
Birthdate: August 24, 1962
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Inverness, Scotland

Born to working-class parents in Scotland, Ali Smith grew up to earn a PhD from the University of Cambridge. While teaching at the University of Strathclyde, she developed chronic fatigue and took a break to write. Known for books such as Autumn, she often collaborates with her partner Sarah Wood.

 43 
Radclyffe Hall
3
Birthdate: August 12, 1880
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Bournemouth, United Kingdom
Died: October 7, 1943
 44 
Eileen Chang
(Chinese-born American Novelist, Essayist, and Screenwriter)
Eileen Chang
3
Birthdate: September 30, 1920
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Shanghai, China
Died: September 8, 1995

Zhang Ailing was a Chinese-born American novelist, essayist, and screenwriter. A realist and modernist writer, Chang is credited with writing the scripts of many successful films like Miserable at Middle Age, Qing Chang Ru Zhan Chang, and Jin Suo Ji. Zhang Ailing is also credited with influencing and inspiring many creative writers in Taiwan, including Chu T’ien-wen and Yuan Chiung-chiung.

 45 
Mavis Gallant
(Canadian Writer Best Known For Her Short Stories)
Mavis Gallant
2
Birthdate: August 11, 1922
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Montreal, Canada
Died: February 18, 2014

Mavis Gallant was a Canadian writer who specialized in writing short stories. A critically acclaimed writer, Gallant was honored with several prestigious awards including the Matt Cohen Prize. In addition to short stories, Mavis Gallant also wrote novels, plays, and essays.

 46 
E. Annie Proulx
(Novelist)
E. Annie Proulx
3
Birthdate: August 22, 1935
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Norwich, Connecticut, United States
 47 
Elizabeth Bowen
(Novelist)
Elizabeth Bowen
3
Birthdate: June 7, 1899
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Dublin, Ireland
Died: February 22, 1973
 48 
Nella Larsen
(American Novelist Who is Considered as the Most Important Novelist of the Harlem Renaissance)
Nella Larsen
3
Birthdate: April 13, 1891
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Chicago, Illinois, United States
Died: March 30, 1964

Nella Larsen was an American novelist who also worked as a librarian and nurse. Among her literary work were her novels, Quicksand and Passing; the latter was adapted into a film of the same name in 2021. Larsen's work has gained renewed interest since the 20th century. Today, she is recognized as the most important novelist of the Harlem Renaissance.

 49 
Edna O'Brien
(Novelist, Playwright, Poet and Short-Story Writer)
Edna O'Brien
3
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.

 50 
Johanna Spyri
(Swiss Novelist and Children’s Story Writer Best Known for Her Book 'Heidi')
Johanna Spyri
3
Birthdate: June 12, 1827
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Hirzel, Switzerland
Died: July 7, 1901

Johanna Spyri made a significant contribution to children’s literature with her novel Heidi. After the death of her husband and her child, the Swiss author focused on charitable causes. A professor later claimed Heidi had been plagiarized by Spyri, though later studies proved the claim was baseless.