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20 Pieces of Writing Advice from William Faulkner | Literary Hub

I haven’t read a lot of Faulkner, but I remember loving his comedic coming-of-age novel The Reivers, which was made into the true-to-the-book 1969 movie starring Steve McQueen. Here, Emily Temple shares a collection of Faulkner’s rarely publicized, but brilliant, writing tips.

“William Faulkner is one of the best writers America has ever produced, with a distinctive voice and a relentless intelligence that earned him a Nobel Prize in literature at age 52—not to mention two Pulitzer prizes, two National Book Awards, and the undying love of many readers. He’s one of those writers you can read again and again without really understanding how he’s done what he’s done; he has that magic. But that doesn’t keep anyone from trying to learn from him. Though he didn’t much care for interviews, he has shared his expertise in a few; he also served as the Writer-in-Residence at the University of Virginia in 1957 and 1958, and some of his pedagogical conversations with students there have since been made public…”

~ Emily Temple

READ MORE: 20 Pieces of Writing Advice from William Faulkner

Enjoy some quick Faulker in The Reivers clip below:

Tips for Writers



About The Author

JoAnn Chateau

JoAnn Chateau likes progressive politics and loves the canines. She writes fiction about an alpha Bichon named Chester, and his friends–with a dash of humor and a dab of poli-sci. JoAnn worked professionally in the Psychology and Information Science fields. Retired now, she enjoys the creative life.


  1. Rosaliene Bacchus

    Great advice from William Faulkner! He also raised the issue of writing dialect. Since the characters in my stories speak a Caribbean Creole English, I have found it challenging to find the right balance so that readers would not be confused.

    • JoAnn Chateau

      That sounds tricky, Rosaliene. But I have the greatest confidence you will find the right balance. All the best with your book!

  2. Animalista Untamed

    Love this – thank you JoAnn! “Ode on a Grecian Urn is worth any number of old ladies.” 😄

    • JoAnn Chateau

      My pleasure. Interesting quote you share!


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