Posted by: Kerry Gans | January 12, 2012

Top Picks Thursday 01-12-2012

This incredible stop-action book video has been making the internet rounds. If you haven’t seen it yet, take a look! Thanks to Jon Gibbs for bringing it to our attention.

Check out Donna Galanti’s great list of author resources to help you get ahead in 2012!

Also check out this interview with Jon McGoran, aka DH Dublin, by Michael Ventrella. Faithful readers may remember that Jon was one of our featured authors during Mystery Month.


Jami Gold is hosting the Pitch Your Shorts contest. This is your chance to get your 10-60K works in front of six editors from Entangled Publishing.

A rare submissions call from Angela James, executive editor of Carina Press.

RT Book Reviews lists 10 places now accepting manuscripts.

And a look at the NESCBWI 2012 conference schedule.


Having trouble sticking to your New Year’s goals? Rebooting your writing routine after the holidays? Can’t find the motivation or get past the self-doubt? Here’s your answers to get you back on the writing wagon. Heather Webb gives us 6 ways to create writing goals that stick. Brian A. Klems lists 6 ways to reboot your writing routine. Elspeth Antonelli kicks in with 10 self-motivators, while Allison Brennan talks about spearing the self-doubt monster.

Even with great advice like that above, the truth is writing is hard work. Kalayna Price examines the drive to write—even when it’s hard. Sometimes we writers are our own worst enemy, as Susan Ricci explains by asking “Why do we sabotage ourselves?” Meanwhile, Greg Frost talks about the constant reinvention a writer goes through—a survival tactic which also feeds our writing addiction. Most writing addictions were sparked by reading addictions, as MB Mulhall reveals in exploring the books that sparked her addictions.

As writers, we all want to evoke emotion in our readers. Editor Jodie Renner explains how to appeal to the senses and emotions, while Julie Wu uses Harry Potter to illustrate how to build emotional clues into scenes. Speaking of Harry Potter, here is Part 2 of JK Rowling’s Writing Process in Her Own Words, a collection of advice gleaned by Shelley Souza. (We linked to Part 1 last week.)

Advice on some of the million things writers need to think about when crafting a story: Keith Cronin holds an unpopular view of adverbs; Stina Lindenblatt tells us how NOT to mutilate a foreign language; Lisa Gail Green talks about the use of internal monologue; and Elise Rome checks off 5 narrative mistakes you can fix now.

Some mistakes are best fixed in the editing process. Lia Mack discovers the true meaning of “kill your darlings,” Aimee L. Salter tells us how to keep the reader engaged, and Chris Grabenstein reveals that even Charles Dickens needed to rewrite.

We’ve all heard that less is more, but Victor Gischler argues that sometimes MORE can be more, too. Chuck Wendig explores 25 things writers should know about finding their voice. Sometimes, as Ross M. Kitson shares, finding that voice means finding that middle ground between the type of fiction you love to read and the type of fiction you’re able to write.

Charlotte Morganti shows how to mine your childhood for story gems; Trish Nicholson lays out how to research; and Faith Mortimer gives tools to know what to do with an unfinished manuscript: burn it, bury it, or finish it.


Kristen Lamb stirs things up by proclaiming that writers blogging about writing is bad, while Patricia Stoltey gives us 10 tips on guest blogging and blog tours. Anne Trubek explores why authors tweet, and Jody Hedlund shows how to make friends in social media without making them feel used.

Tim Kane shows us how to lose agents and frustrate editors; Veronica Roth explores the author-reviewer relationship; and Jody Hedlund tells authors how to get their books into stores.

We’ve all been told not to chase current trends with our writing, and agent Scott Eagan explains why: today’s trends started three years ago. Meanwhile, Maureen Opene gives us Baby Boomer trends to watch in 2012, including how boomers will be using social media.

Writers need to know their rights, and things can get pretty murky in this brave new world of digitial publishing. Jane Friedman explores who holds the e-book rights to your traditionally published book, while Ash Krafton talks about rights every freelance author should know.


Sometimes success is all in who you know. Debbie Ohi has put together a wonderful list of Kidlit/YA book editors and editorial assistants on Twitter.

Good news if you are writing a strong woman protagonist—strong women in film adaptations of books are rocking the screen.

The Phoenix, a weekly children’s comics magazine, launches in the UK.

Does the slightest misuse of a word or grammatical error grate on your nerves? Perhaps you are a pedant like R.P. Kraul.

That’s it from us today! See you next week.


  1. Thank you very much for including ‘Baby Boomer Inspired Guide Trends 2012’ in your piece. Much appreciated. I am honored.

    I love your approach ‘…take on their inner demons and the ever changing world of publishing’ Great! I consider myself to be an Inspired intuitive blogger but becoming a publisher would be nice lol:)

    I really look forward to your next piece.

    Thank You

    Maureen A Opene

    InspiredGuide Career Coach.


    • You’re welcome, Maureen. We’re always glad to share posts that mean something to us and will offer something important or interesting to our readers. I loved your post!


  2. Thanks so much for the mention! I enjoyed checking out some of the other posts here, too.

    Great site! Been here before and will be back.


    • Glad you’re liking the site! I enjoyed your post – I am struggling with adding enough emotion in my work, so it was very helpful!


  3. Thanks for spreading the news about the pitch session. I appreciate it!


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