Whether in essays, critical reviews, or novels, Dell drew heavily on his own experience in everything he wrote. His first novel, Moon-Calf, appeared in 1920 and recounted the story of Felix Fay, a thinly disguised young Floyd Dell. He included accounts of his own family and their frequent moves, showing how Felix Fay's character was shaped by the poverty of his own early years. Critics reviewed Moon-Calf enthusiastically. It went through several printings and sold more than 40,000 copies, bringing Dell nearly $15,000. The Brooklyn Public Library considered the book so racy it restricted its sole copy to approved readers. His story of a sensitive young man who rebels against small-town respectability to seek success in the city took its title from a 1901 science fiction story by H.G. Wells. "I should define a 'moon-calf,'" he told a reporter from the New York Herald in February 1921, "as an awkward young man with a touch of intellectual lunacy." Years afterward Dell attributed the book's success quite as much to popular misconceptions about it as to acceptance of its virtues. No other writer of the 1920s so successfully explored the maturation of the young and sensitive intellectual who finds himself isolated and alone in the cities and towns of the American Middle West.
“Love in Greenwich Village” New York: George H. Doran,1926 is a book of short stories and poems.
Floyd Dell's non-fiction includes “Women as World Builders. Studies in Modern Feminism”, Chicago: Forbes,1913; “Upton Sinclair. A Study in Social Protest”, The Murray Hill Biographies series. New York: George H. Doran, 1927; “Were You Ever a Child?” New York: A.A. Knopf,1919; “Looking at Life”. New York: A.A. Knopf,1924; “Intellectual Vagabondage: An Apology for the Intelligentsia”, New York: GeorgeH.Doran,1926; “The Outline of Marriage: Pamphlets on Birth Control,” No.12. New York: The American Birth Control League, 1926; “Love in the Machine Age: A Psychological Study of the Transition from Patriarchal Society”, New York: Farrar and Rinehart, 1936; and “Homecoming: An Autobiography” New York: Farrar and Rinehart,1933.