12 Wonderful Women Writers’ Names

The name of a favorite female author can make a meaningful inspiration for your daughter’s name. And you’ll notice that a surprising number of these writers –five out of twelve–went by their more distinctive middle names—so that might inspire you to put special focus on her second name if you have literary aspirations for your baby girl.


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The best known bearer of this name, French-Cuban writer Anais Nin, was born Angela Anaïs Juana Antolina Rosa Edelmira and is most famous for her diaries, which spanned sixty years. In addition to being the name of a popular perfume, this lovely French Provencal version of Anne was used by rocker Noel Gallagher for his daughter.

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10 Responses to “12 Wonderful Women Writers’ Names”

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lemon Says:

November 11th, 2011 at 2:42 am

Fabulous list! I love Edith Wharton and Beatrix Potter, and ‘My Antonia’ is a literary gem. But, this list of names! So good. Anais, Beatrix, Bronte, Flannery, Harper, Louisa, Willa, and Zora – they’re all fabulous! But, I even love Potter, Charlotte, Ellis (aka Emily Bronte), Nelle, Lee, Marguerite, May, Alcott, and Antonia.

Others I adore:

(1) Austen, for Jane, and my favorite Austen character name, Eliza [since Elizabeth goes by Eliza and Lizzy]
(2) Charlotte, for Mrs. Perkins Gilman, author of “The Yellow Wallpaper,” a slightly disturbing favorite story of mine
(3) Aurelia and Otto, parents of renowned poet Sylvia Plath

Side note – I’m obsessed with Edith Wharton’s estate, The Mount. ( It’s beautiful! I want to get married there. 😉

catmcroy Says:

November 11th, 2011 at 3:36 am

I LOVE Beatrix! Love it! Another literary light for the list is Christine de Pisan, the first woman to earn a living as a novelist (in the 16th century).

Lorene Says:

November 11th, 2011 at 8:44 am

Great list and there’s a gold mine of women writer’s names: Virginia for the controversial Ms Woolfe. The Grand old name honors Mary Shelley who wrote Frankenstein, French writer Collette christened Sidonie Gabrielle, Aphra Ben one of the first professional female writers, playwright, Lillian Hellman, perennially popular Agatha Christie, Former Slave, Sojourner Truth – though illiterate, others wrote down her words for her. Wit and college fav Dorothy Parker, Edna for Ms. Ferber and poet St. Vincent Millay, Maryam bint Abi Ya’qub al-Ansari – 11th century Spanish-Moorish lyric poet: “What can you expect/from a woman with seventy-seven years…”Japanese author Lady Murasaki Shikibu (The Tale of Genji ca. 1000) Harriet Beecher Stowe the little lady who started the big war when she wrote Uncle Tom’s Cabin, the late great Iris Murdoch, Living authors I love: Margaret Atwood, Toni Morrison, Alice Walker, Isabel Allende, obviously I could go on

shieldsc Says:

November 11th, 2011 at 11:28 am

Great list! I love all of these. Willa, Maya, Edith, and Zora are my favorites. And like Lemon, I also love the Jane Austen names. In fact, I wanted to name my kids Austen and Jane, but my hubby said no. 🙂 They became Alexander and Madelyn instead. My second daughter was almost Elizabeth (nn Eliza, like Elizabeth Bennett), and sometimes I still question whether that would have been a better name for her than Genevieve.

Lola Says:

November 11th, 2011 at 11:36 am

Ooh, I adore Trixie, and Beatrix is my favorite way to get it!
I also like: Anaïs, Edith, Louisa & Zora.

I also am beginning to adore Joanna anew, which surprises most people I know. But overall, I’m a bigger fan of their characters.

I’m baffled over Carson & Flannery. Carson screams ‘Boy’ to me and Flannery is too close to flannel for my tastes, I might use it on a cat someday. Flan! Yum!

spotlightstarlit Says:

November 11th, 2011 at 12:13 pm

I can’t believe Virginia Woolf is not a part of this list!

Virginia, Beatrix and Zora may be family names, but as an author I love that they have these perks, as well!

Also, the Bronte sisters first used Bell as their last name when they couldn’t publish books as women! Bell is another great quasi-literary appellation.

linda Says:

November 11th, 2011 at 6:39 pm

Virginia came very close to being in the final dozen.

Namestory Says:

November 11th, 2011 at 9:15 pm

I’m not a literary type, but so many of these names are awesome! Love Anais, Beatrix, Louisa & Edith.

skizzo Says:

November 11th, 2011 at 10:02 pm

Carson is wonderful on a girl? Seriously? I dont think I even like it for a boy.
Flannery reminds me of flannel too, kinda unatractive.
Harper is overrated, and I don’t care for the name – it still hold some appeal for boys though.
Anais, Beatrix and Louisa are by far my favorites, stunning names. Although Anais may cause a few problems…

Ald14 Says:

February 9th, 2018 at 11:24 am

Our beautiful little daughter is called Nelle ( like Nelle Harper Lee). We love it. It’s much more original than Harper and more feminine than the alternative spelling, Nell.

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