The year 1893 in literature involved some significant new books.
- February/March - The 22-year old writer Stephen Crane pays for publication of his first book, the Bowery novella Maggie: A Girl of the Streets, under the pseudonym "Johnston Smith" in New York. Coming to be considered a pioneering example of American literary realism, the first trade edition (rewritten) comes out in 1896 after Crane has attained fame with The Red Badge of Courage.
- April 19 - First performance of Oscar Wilde's social comedy A Woman of No Importance at the Haymarket Theatre, London, with Herbert Beerbohm Tree in the lead.
- May 17 - First performance of Maurice Maeterlinck's symbolist play Pelléas and Mélisande.
- May 27 - First performance of Arthur Wing Pinero's problem play The Second Mrs Tanqueray at the St. James Theatre, London, with Mrs. Patrick Campbell in the title rôle.
- June 14 - Opening of Shelley Memorial at University College, Oxford (from which the poet was expelled in 1811), designed by Basil Champneys with a reclining nude marble statue of Percy Bysshe Shelley by Edward Onslow Ford.
- October - André Gide begins his travels in North Africa, where he comes to accept his homosexuality.
- November 11 - Jerome K. Jerome founds To-Day, "A weekly magazine-journal."
- Arthur Conan Doyle surprises the reading public by revealing in the story "The Adventure of the Final Problem", published in this month's Strand Magazine, that his private detective character Sherlock Holmes had apparently died at the Reichenbach Falls on 4 May 1891.
- W. B. Yeats publishes The Celtic Twilight, giving a popular name to the Irish Literary Revival.
- December 16 - Establishment, in Yorkshire (England), of the Brontë Society, possibly the oldest literary society of this nature, dedicated to establishing what will become the Brontë Parsonage Museum.
- December 20 - The first story featuring the private detective character Sexton Blake, "The Missing Millionaire", appears in Alfred Harmsworth's new boys' story paper The Halfpenny Marvel (London), written by Harry Blyth under the pen-name Hal Meredeth.
- Bangiya Sahitya Parishad established as "The Bengal Academy of Literature".
- E. F. Benson - Dodo
- Byron A. Brooks - Earth Revisited
- Rhoda Broughton - A Beginner
- Hall Caine - Cap'n Davey's Honeymoon
- Mary Cholmondeley - Diana Tempest
- Arthur Conan Doyle - The Refugees
- Marie Corelli - Barabbas
- Stephen Crane - Maggie: A Girl of the Streets
- Anatole France - At the Sign of the Reine Pédauque (La Rôtisserie de la reine Pédauque)
- Mary E. Wilkins Freeman - Jane Field
- André Gide
- La tentative amoureuse
- Le voyage d'Urien
- George Gissing - The Odd Women
- Sarah Grand - The Heavenly Twins
- H. Rider Haggard - Montezuma's Daughter
- Beatrice Harraden - Ships That Pass in the Night
- "Two Women of the West" (Alice Ilgenfritz Jones and Ella Merchant) - Unveiling a Parallel
- Henry Olerich - A Cityless and Countryless World
- Bolesław Prus - The New Woman (Emancypantki; serialization completed)
- Addison Peale Russell - Sub-Coelum
- Robert Louis Stevenson - Catriona
- August Strindberg - The Defence of a Fool (Le Plaidoyer d'un fou)
- Ivan Vazov - Under the Yoke (Под игото, Pod Igoto)
- Jules Verne
- Lew Wallace - The Prince of India or Why Constantinople Fell
- Stanley J. Weyman - A Gentleman of France
- Émile Zola - Le Docteur Pascal
- Gabriele D'Annunzio - Odi Navali
- Maryana Marrash - Bint fikr
- Eric Stenbock - The Shadow of Death: poems, songs, and sonnets
Hart's Rules for Compositors and Readers at the University Press, Oxford, 1st edition Henry James - Essays in London and Elsewhere Alois Riegl - Stilfragen: Grundlegungen zu einer Geschichte der Ornamentik
January - Maria Jolas, born Maria McDonald, American-born French literary publisher (died 1987) January 13 - Clark Ashton Smith, American poet and short-story writer (died 1961) February 11 - Nan Shepherd, Scottish novelist and poet (died 1981) March 11 - Wanda Gág, American children's author and artist (died 1946) March 18 - Wilfred Owen, English war poet (killed 1918) April 9 Victor Gollancz, English publisher (died 1967) Mahapandit Rahul Sankrityayan, Indian historian, writer, scholar (died 1963) June 13 - Dorothy L. Sayers, author (died 1957) August 14 - Francis Dvornik, Czech historian (died 1975) August 22 - Dorothy Parker, poet, journalist and wit (died 1967) October 9 - Mário de Andrade, Brazilian writer and photographer (died 1945) October 15 - Saunders Lewis, poet, dramatist and critic (died 1985) November 10 - John P. Marquand, novelist (died 1960) November 14 - Carlo Emilio Gadda, author (died 1973) December 29 - Vera Brittain, memoirist, novelist, feminist and pacifist (died 1970)
January 7 - Jožef Stefan, Slovenian physicist, mathematician, and poet (born 1835) January 15 - Fanny Kemble, English actress (born 1809) January 22 - Kawatake Mokuami, Japanese dramatist (born 1816) April 19 - John Addington Symonds, English poet and essayist (born 1840) June 14 - Jakob Frohschammer, German theologian and philosopher (born 1821) July 6 - Guy de Maupassant, French novelist and short story writer (born 1850) November 12 - Baroness Tautphoeus, English-born novelist (born 1807)
Newdigate Prize - John Burland Harris-Burland