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10 Most Influential Writers of our Time

Updated on December 4, 2016

Can You Name The Most Influential Writers?

Out of all the thousands of writers that have produced such wonderful literature in the world, can you name the writers that have been the most influential in our lives?

I have compiled this review of the 10 Most Influential Writers of our Time after conducting a project of research into who are the most influential writers.

Over many years I have been a writer and avid reader of books, so it gave me great pleasure to undertake this review.

You will find in this list a varied array of subject matter, covering quite a number of years of some truly talented author's work. Although some of the authors are no longer with us, the majority are still producing their masterpieces for our ongoing delight.

Here you will find listed the 10 most influential writers of our time, along with examples of some great pieces of literary work by these highly talented authors.

Most Influential Writer #10

Margaret Mitchell

Margaret Mitchell won the coveted Pulitzer Prize with Gone with the Wind, the novel was adapted into a film of the same name and won an Academy Award.

Gone with the Wind is set in Georgia during the American Civil War and follows the life of Scarlett O'Hara, the daughter of an Irish immigrant plantation owner.

Most Influential Writer #9

George Orwell

As well known as the name George Orwell is, it was the pseudonym of Eric Arthur Blair, an English novelist, essayist and critic, who was famous for his political satires and his influential novel, Nineteen Eighty Four.

The novel has been quoted by both left and right wing political parties.

Most Influential Writer #8

Ralph Ellison

When Ralph Ellison's impassioned, compelling novel Invisible Man was published in 1952; it won the National Book Award for fiction. Although Ellison himself was modest in his estimate of the novel's durability, the book has become an American classic.

The novel traces the life of black people in a white dominated society.

Influential Writers of the Past

There have been many famous influential writers in our past history.

William Shakespeare, Charles Dickens, Orson Welles, Virginia Woolf, Ernest Hemingway, Arthur Conan Doyle, Ian Fleming to name but a few.

Each of them have had their own unique way of writing and have been able to greatly influence many people's lives over time.

The true test of the qualities of an influential writer is the fact that they will still be read over and over again by countless generations and in so doing leave their mark on history.

Enjoy your reading.

Most Influential Writer #7

J K Rowling

The Harry Potter books are a fantasy series of seven novels by British writer J. K. Rowling. The majority of which have been made into action packed movies.

Children and adults alike have been fascinated and greatly influenced by this fiction character and cannot get enough of this young hero's adventures.

Most Influential Writer #6

Napoleon Hill

Napoleon Hill was both influential and motivational as a speaker and a writer. His focus was on providing knowledge that would enhance people's personal development and self improvement.

His writing was often inspired by ideas he conceived from the conversations that he had with the many influential friends that he had accumulated during his life. In fact his most successful novel was inspired by a suggestion that he received from the Scottish-American billionaire Andrew Carnegie.

Taking A Short Break

A Few Words From Your Host

You are halfway through the list of top 10 most influential writers of our time.

So far you have discovered some really great authors, but the most influential writers top 10 list now continues with the writers that have been even more influential in our lives.

Please take a moment to leave a comment with your thoughts about the top 10 list of most influential writers of our time.

And also visit some of the other places that are featured, where you will find some more influential writers.

Enjoy your reading.

Most Influential Writer #5

Doris Lessing

In 2007, Doris Lessing won the Nobel Prize in Literature and she was described as follows, "that epicist of the female experience, who with scepticism, fire and visionary power has subjected a divided civilisation to scrutiny".

Doris Lessing is the oldest person ever to win the literature award. Her most prominent novel was The Golden Notebook.

Most Influential Writer #4

Malcolm Gladwell

Malcolm Gladwell is the New York Times #1 best selling author with four book titles, Blink, Tipping Point, Outliers and his new novel What the Dog Saw. He comments on business strategies, education systems and the way society acts and reacts to certain given circumstances.

Malcolm Gladwell was named by Time Magazine as one of the top 100 influential people in the world.

Most Influential Writer #3

Salman Rushdie

Novelist, essayist, travel writer and screenwriter, martyr for free speech and purveyor of story as political statement, Salman Rushdie has not only achieved the singular distinction of being recognised as an artist in his own lifetime, but is also arguably the most prominent novelist of the late 20th century, both for his literary achievements and the controversy surrounding them.

His novel Satanic Verses caused him to receive death threats from the Iranian leadership.

What Qualities Help An Author To Become An Influential Writer?

Authors in their writing can cover a varied set of subject matter, but it is worthy of noting that this list of the top 10 most influential writers of our time contains writers that are exceptionally good at captivating the reader, provide compelling reading that is full of historical facts and are excellent story tellers.

Maybe this is the formula for their success and why they became the most influential writers of our time.

Ok, so now we are down to the last two writers in the top 10 most influential writers list.

Any guesses as to which writers they are?

Enjoy your reading.

Most Influential Writer #2

Stephen King

The world's greatest living horror fiction author. The Shining, The Stand, Carrie, Salem's Lot and many of his other novels have greatly influenced both young and old. Most of his stories have been made into movies.

In 2003, Stephen King was honoured with a lifetime achievement award, the Medal of Distinguished Contribution to American Letters, with his work being described thus:

Stephen King's writing is securely rooted in the great American tradition that glorifies spirit of place and the abiding power of narrative. He crafts stylish, mind-bending page-turners that contain profound moral truths-some beautiful, some harrowing-about our inner lives.

Most Influential Writer #1

Paulo Coelho

Paulo Coelho is one of the most widely read authors and is also the most influential author writing today.

The Alchemist was published in 1987 and became a Brazilian bestseller, it has gone on to sell 65 million copies world-wide, becoming one of the best selling books in history.

The Alchemist has been translated into more than 67 languages, which has won it the Guinness World Record for the most translated book by a living author.

Tell Me What You Like About 10 Most Influential Writers of our Time - Take A Few Moments And Let Me Know What You Think

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    • EdTecher profile image

      Heidi Reina 4 years ago from USA

      Love Malcolm Gladwell's interesting perspectives on what makes us tick. Definitely in my list of most influential writers.

    • seedlingspublis profile image

      seedlingspublis 5 years ago

      I am amazed the Any Rand has not made this list, considering her effortless foreshadowing of the world we are living in. I think this list hits the mark, however. Thank you for not adding the author of Twilight!

    • OhMe profile image

      Nancy Tate Hellams 6 years ago from Pendleton, SC

      I've never read any of Paulo Coelho's books so will have to do something about that.

    • profile image

      Rakhi_Dalal 6 years ago

      I guess the likes of Kafka, Camus and Fyodor will make a great addition in the list :)

    • profile image

      anonymous 6 years ago

      Stephan King is good, but I prefer Dean Koontz.