Posted by: Kerry Gans | March 22, 2012

Top Picks Thursday 03-22-2012

Tuscon, AZ, culls Mexican-American studies from its curriculum, over objections from school administrators, students, and an impartial auditor they themselves had hired. Michael Winerip brings this story of censorship today.

Author Chronicle Mystery Month guest blogger Merry Jones’ new book, Behind the Walls, is available now!

Friend of the blog Donna Galanti’s blog tour for her debut book, A Human Element, lands here on April 3rd! Join us on April 2nd for a review of her paranormal suspense novel.

Ever wanted to be a super-spy? According to John Le Carre, all artists are spies.


Sometimes writing short can help you write long. Jenny Hansen explores how blogging can help your writing process, and Alan Rinzler gives advice on growing a short story into a novel.

When it comes to writing, the devil is in the details. C.S. Lakin lists three things you must have in your novel’s first paragraph; Karen Harrington demonstrates the use of vivid detail; Constance Hale examines the sentence as a miniature narrative; ideas for creating character names from Scott Myers; and Jill Kemerer reveals the most important question in writing.

Cora Ramos explores humor as a facet of writing voice, while Susan J. Morris reveals the secret art of funny fiction.

Some claim that writing is rewriting. When revising, Melissa Anne Wuske advises: question everything. Anne R. Allen tackles the question: when should an author hire an editor?

Maria Popova explores how creativity works, and Steve Feasey talks about the creativity in what writers do when they’re not writing. Writer’s block sometimes stymies creativity, so Jeffrey A. Carver serves up some block-busting tips. Reading is a good way to get unblocked, but Christine Murray has the opposite problem: so much writing, no time for reading.

Rachelle Gardner asks: do you have a thick skin?; Edan Lepucki has a homework assignment designed to inspire you; and Lydia Sharp shares a hilarious reason she will never give up her non-writing day job.

And in a double-double today, Tim Kane talks about deleting the boring parts of your book and making your first 15-30 pages sing like a siren, while Chuck Wendig lists 10 things you should know about setting and 10 things you should know about endings.


Authors Guild president Scott Turow has been very vocal in speaking out against Amazon and the DOJ investigation of agency model pricing. Kevin O. McLaughlin counterpunches Turow’s arguments, and wonders why the Authors Guild president would be in favor of agency pricing—since agency pricing brings LESS per book sale to the author.

Jane Dystel of literary agency Dystel & Goderich laments the demise of the physical Encyclopedia Britannica, and wonders how soon all reference books will become digital only.

Author Mary DeMuth answers the question “Do authors really need to promote their own books?”; Ken Brosky shares how to get media coverage for your books; and Janet Reid’s quiz tests your submission knowledge.

Social media is a large part of any marketing strategy these days. Jeff Goins tells bloggers how to get more comments on blog posts; Debbie Ridpath Ohi (@inkyelbows) provides a Writer’s Guide to Twitter; Mary Lindsey explains how to secure online reviews; and Publishing A Book Is An Adventure lists 5 mistakes to avoid when requesting a book review.

Victoria Strauss offers resources for publishing industry terms and contracts; Jill Corcoran asks if authors should go with start-up publishers; and Caren Estesen wonders if the business start-up paradigm translates when applied to a writing career.

Laura Miller gives a fascinating look into the making of the Hunger Games phenomenon; Jonny Geller offers an agent’s manifesto; and Writers House is now headed by Amy Berkower and Simon Lipskar.

John A. Sellers takes us inside the Bologna 2012 Tools of Change conference; Mike Vardy lists the 5 best writing apps for the iPad; and Dennis Abrams looks at who is publishing the most innovative kid’s digital books.


Listen to “Annabel Lee” set to music in the style of Poe’s time.

Adam Douglas explains why the first printed English book was not printed in England.

The British Library presents a Medieval manuscript about the Peasants Revolt of 1381, and is also digitizing more than 100 Medieval scientific manuscripts from its Harley collection.

That’s all from us!


  1. Thanks for the link guys!


    • No problem! It’s an issue a lot of writers face.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.


%d bloggers like this: