Reference

Here is where you can find English and foreign dictionaries, thesauruses (what is another word for thesaurus?!); phrase books; books about words and language; atlases; dictionaries of quotations, etiquette, and various subjects; and reference books about writing, editing, and publishing.

If you can't find what you are after, please contact us via our enquiries page.

Draft No.4: On the Writing ProcessCover Image, How to be a Writer

John McPhee
Text Publishing
ISBN 9781925603651
Trade Paperback 2017
Price $AU 29.99
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The long-awaited guide to writing long-form non-fiction by the legendary author and teacher.  In Draft No. 4 John McPhee shares insights he has gathered over his long career, and has refined while teaching at Princeton University, where he has nurtured some of the most highly regarded writers of our time. He discusses structure, diction and tone, observing that `readers are not supposed to notice the structure. It is meant to be about as visible as someone’s bones'.

This book is a vivid depiction of the writing process, enriched by personal reflections on the life of a writer. Everything in this luminous book is enlivened by McPhee’s keen sense of writing as a way of being in the world.
 

Making Sense: The Glamorous Story of English GrammarCover Image, Making Sense

David Crystal
Profile Books
ISBN 9781781256022
Paperback 2017
Price $AU 22.99
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The world's greatest authority on language explains the secrets and subtleties of the grammar of English. David Crystal explores its history and varieties, explains its rules and irregularities and shows how to navigate its snares and pitfalls. He gives practical guidance on how grammar is used in different ways for different purposes and in different social settings. In a series of revealing illustrations he also considers what learned and prominent people have said about English grammar over the centuries. Like its three companion volumes Making Sense will appeal to everyone interested in the English language and how to use it.


Style Manual: For authors, editors, printers 6th edCover Image, How to be a Writer

Various
John Wiley
ISBN 9780701636487
Paperback 2002
Price $AU 49.99
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This is an essential book for people in the world of publishing, whether for government agencies or in a publishing house.  The sixth edition of the Style Manual provides guidance and detailed advice on publishing in both print and electronic formats, and represents a substantial revision in response to the rapid and extensive changes that have occurred in publishing.

Best practices in design, editing, production and writing are all in the Style Manual, and its reputation as an outstanding Australian reference still stands for the best and most effective communication for print.


How to be a WriterCover Image, How to be a Writer

John Birmingham
NewSouth
ISBN 9781742234847
Paperback 2016
Price $AU 24.99
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Most novelists attempt to write their first novels in small snatches of time-a few hours here, a few hours there. This book is designed to accommodate this writing approach, featuring a combination of exercises, how-to instruction, and motivational passages to keep writers moving forward every time they sit down to write. For fiction writers of all skill levels and genres.This book(full title being: How to be a Writer: Who Smashes Deadlines, Crushes Editors and Lives in a Solid Gold Hovercraft) is goal-oriented, helping writers meet certain benchmarks as they work toward completing their novels.


Worst WordsCover Image, Worst Words

Don Watson
Random House
ISBN 9780857983442
Trade paperback 2015
Price $AU 29.99
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Dr Don Watson - with his trademark wit and wisdom - says enough already! The English language is complex and evolving, and can win minds, hearts and nations. Why don't we try using it? Depending where you are on the change continuum, a quick pulse check will be in order and a scan of the forthcoming weather events before you move forward with your shark mitigation strategies. Were any animals were harmed in the above statement? The level of customer-centric vigilance remains below acceptable benchmarks and weasel words continue to fill our mailboxes, inboxes, ears and minds.


The Writing BookCover Image, the Writing Book

Kate Grenville
Allen & Unwin
ISBN 9781742373881
Paperback 2010
Price $AU 24.99
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The Writing Book doesn't just talk about how to write fiction; it takes you, step-by-step, through the process of doing it. Each chapter concentrates on one aspect of writing: getting started, bringing characters to life, writing convincing dialogue, revising and writer's block, etc. Exercises in each chapter are carefully structured so that each one builds on the one before. Examples from contemporary Australian writing demonstrate how different writers tackle the technical aspects of their art. By working your way through this book, you'll gradually craft a piece of fiction, and develop confidence in your own fictional voice.


Eats, Shoots & LeavesCover Image, Eats, Shoots and Leaves

Lynne Truss
HarperCollins
ISBN 9780007329069
Paperback 2009
Price $AU 19.99
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A witty, entertaining, impassioned guide to perfect punctuation, for everyone who cares about precise writing. When social histories come to be written of the first decade of the 21st century, people will note a turning point in 2003 when declining standards of punctuation were reversed. Linguists will record Lynne Truss as the saviour of the semi-colon and the avenging angel of the apostrophe. 


The Ode Less TravelledCover Image, The Ode Less Travelled

Stephen Fry
Cornerstone
ISBN 9780099509349
Paperback 2007
Price $AU 22.99
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 Stephen Fry believes that if you can speak and read English you can write poetry. But it is no fun if you don't know where to start or have been led to believe that Anything Goes. Stephen, for his own private pleasure, invites you to discover the incomparable delights of metre, rhyme and verse forms. Whether you want to write a Petrarchan sonnet for your lover's birthday, an epithalamion for your sister's wedding or a villanelle excoriating the government's housing policy, The Ode Less Travelled will give you the tools and the confidence to do so.


Troublesome WordsCover Image, Troublesome Words

Bill Bryson
Penguin Books
ISBN 9780141040394
Paperback 2002
Price $AU 24.99
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What is the difference between mean and median, blatant and flagrant, flout and flaunt? Is it whodunnit or whodunit? Do you know? Are you sure? With Troublesome Words, journalist and bestselling travel-writer Bill Bryson gives us a clear, concise and entertaining guide to the problems of English usage and spelling that has been an indispensable companion to those who work with the written word for over twenty years.


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