Posted by: Kerry Gans | February 7, 2013

Top Picks Thursday 02-07-2013

Brian Grove posts lists by genre of book publishers accepting non-agented submissions.

Congrats to the great books that have been awarded the Caldecott, Newbery, Coretta Scott King Book awards! And check out the 30 Best Children’s Books of 2012 from Children’s Book Guide.

Historian and journalist Stanley Karnow, author of ‘Vietnam: A History,’ dies at 87.

Conferences for everyone: a new 2-day online conference, WANACon 2013; and check out the 50 literary agents taking pitches at the Writer’s Digest Conference in NYC in April.

Looking for just the right book? Joanna Penn explores how ebook readers shop and the importance of sampling, while Shelley Diaz lists resources for finding Latino kid lit.

Ever wish that a book could cure what ails you? In Britain, doctors may soon be “prescribing” books as a stress-buster, since studies have shown that reading reduces stress by 67%.


Bharat Tandon examines Pride and Prejudice at 200; read a letter Jane Austen wrote to her sister days before the novel was published; peek at the new Jane Austen commemorative stamps; and delve into the world of the Janeites, the American cult of Jane Austen.


Rachelle Gardner wonders, in the new publishing era, does story trump craft? If you think craft wins, Janice Hardy has 5 edits to strengthen your writing right now.

Tyson Adams on how to combat writer’s block, and Roz Morris lays out how to keep writing even when you’re stuck or blocked.

Cassandra Marshall lists 8 reasons she might hate your book, while Jami Gold wonders if omniscient POV  will ever be popular again.

Paul Liadis talks about the pantser vs. plotter debate, and Melissa Donovan has 100 common sense ways to write better regardless of which category you are in. 

Do you write picture books? Have you ever laid out a “dummy” of your text to find issues with the writing? Terry Pierce says you should!

Jami Gold explores the mystery and magic of how our morals can differ from the morals of our characters, while Carol Despeaux tells us the number one way to create a likeable character.

When you get to the revision stage, there’s a lot of work to still be done. Janice Hardy shows us 3 ways to add tension during revisions; Laura Ellen tells us how to use criticism; and Kevin Hanrahan debates the assests of a hired editor versus unpaid critique partners and beta readers.

Karen Bender talks about her “accidental” entry into writing after getting hit in the head with a rock. No matter how you come to writing, Andrea Mack has questions every author should be able to answer.

Tom Bowler explores what it takes to be a novelist in this publishing environment, while C.J. Lyons talks about being a hybrid writer, reaping the best of both worlds.

Beth Kephart on why some teens DON’T read YA, and what they’re looking for instead.

Neil Gaiman shares the best advice he ever got from another author.

As we all know, writing is a business as well as an art. Ash Krafton tackles writing and taxes, while Chuck Wendig visits the dark side of business with 25 thoughts on book piracy.

We all have heard that e-readers track how readers read your book, but NPR’s Lynn Neary asks: Is this ereader data useful to authors?

Susan Steinberg wants to know what happened to experimental writing.

Chuck Wendig lifts our spirits by assuring us that, yes, we all can be paid writers, too.


Jane Friedman’s Best Business Advice for Writers, January 2013 is a great round-up of publishing-related links.

Kindle news: Kindle formally launchs in Canada, and Amazon is readying its plan to put advertising on Kindles.

UK indie publisher Quercus plans a September launch in the United States.

Robert McCrum explains why literary prizes are vital for books today, and acquisitions editor Sunny Frazier gives tips to aspiring writers.

Query advice: Dos and Don’ts of writing queries; what to avoid in queries; a dissection of a query by Daphne at KT Literary; and why not to make audacious claims about your book’s impact in your query.

Porter Anderson takes a look at the role of agents in the new paradigm, and how agents could groom writers for publishing stardom. Some agents looking for clients to propel to stardom: Anna Sproul-Latimer of the Ross Yoon Agency; Rachel Hecht of Foundry Literary Media; Margaret Bail of Andrea Hurst Literary; and what Marie Lamba is looking for in memoirs.

Need to build your platform? Caitlin Muir has 3 simple ways to engage on your author Facebook page, and Iain Broome rounds up 7 articles about how to get the most out of Goodreads.


The Atlantic examines several literary conspiracy theories, such as: Was Hogwarts all in Harry’s head?; and Panayiota Kuvetakis lists 10 literary female friends we wish were our BFFs in real life.

If a house could speak…Rudyard Kipling’s home is now on twitter. Hello, @BatemansNT!

The town of Thornton, birthplace of the Bronte sisters, wants its share of the Bronte tourism pie, currently being eaten mostly by Haworth, home of the Parsonage where they wrote their novels.

See stills from Sherlock Holmes, William Gillette’s lost 1916 silent film.

Researchers take note: Cambridge University Press has free access to ALL of its 2012 content for six weeks; and the British National Trust has 800,000 details of its collections online.

In a potentially heartbreaking story, thousands of priceless Medieval manuscripts are missing in Timbuktu.

Have some fun: the mock Caldecott results are in at The Horn Book.

Want to sound wise at cocktail parties? Check out the 11 common words you’re probably mispronouncing.

That’s all for this week!

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: