5 Must-Watch Documentaries On Writing and Writers

The documentaries in this list are all concerned with the art and craft of writing, and they focus on personalities — different writers have different approaches, after all. Learn from the best, and find those who inspire you by seeing these five must-watch documentaries on writers and writing.

Bad Writing

Have you ever felt that you’re a bad writer? Of course you have. Well, so has Vernon Lott. He though he could be a great poet, but instead he fizzled out, and it never really happened. Watch as he goes around interviewing greats like Margaret Atwood, Nick Flynn and David Sedaris about what makes a writer good.

Stream on Amazon

The Dialogue: Learning From the Masters

This series of interviews with screenwriters has enough material to study to substitute an MFA degree. Each of the interviewees goes in depth into their process of writing and working in the film business.

Stream on Amazon

William S. Burroughs: A Man Within

William S. Burroughs launched a counter-cultural revolution. This doc features never-before-seen footage of him, as well as interviews with John Waters, Patti Smith, Gus Van Sant and Iggy Pop on what it was like to know the outlaw writer.

Stream on Amazon

Tales From the Script

Get insight from top Hollywood screenwriters on what it’s like to be a writer in the film industry, how to from a story from the ground up, and learn to never give in to people making demands that you change your work. Even if you’re not a screenwriter, you’ll find fantastic clues in this series on fiction writing of any kind.

Get the DVD on Amazon

The Charles Bukowski Tapes

Barbet Schroeder interviews and films Charles Bukowski in this four-hour long series. Today, it’s considered a cult classic among Bukowski fans for being so in-depth, multi-dimensional and not whitewashing its subject. And Bukowski does not shy away from showing his true self to the camera: in one scene, a verbal argument with his girlfriend escalates into outright physical violence.

Get the DVD on Amazon

How You Rate This Article?
Laconic Lemming
Content crafter at Write!, spends all his time writing or learning how to write better. A few time was caught reading The New York Times and watching TED talks during working hours.
Share on FacebookShare on Google+Tweet about this on TwitterShare on LinkedIn


  • I am the kind of person who can’t stand spending my time sitting in front of most movies and TV. But documentaries about writing and writers? I’m considering a movie marathon with these. This blog post and the focus feature are what convinced me to buy Write! I could spend all day in your tips and tricks section alone. I love the content, and I think I’m going to love, the app, too.

    • Glad you enjoyed the post, Cheryl!
      Thank you for your kind words, and welcome to the Write! family. We’re glad to have you on board.

  • Burroughs is great.

    • Can’t disagree.

  • Do you have some more videos? I am done with this bunch.

    • We are open for suggestions 🙂

  • Thank you! Awesome time spending watching these videos.

  • I love Charles Bukowski. Thanks for sharing!

  • That Bad Writing doc looks good. Thanks for the recommendations.

    • Nice to hear that you like it