Posted by: Kerry Gans | June 6, 2013

Top Picks Thursday 06-06-2013

Happy June!

Author Chinua Achebe was laid to rest, and honored by the Nigerian president at his funeral. Meanwhile, a judge has ordered a hunt for the alleged killer of Chilean poet Pablo Neruda.

Nathan Bransford talks about a vitally important issue for any author with a pre-ebook publishing contract: who owns the ebook rights from old publishing contracts?

Dolly Parton has a new title: “Book Lady.” Parton’s charitable organization Imagination Library looks to distribute 1 million free books a month to children in America, Canada, England, and Australia.

Malcolm Gladwell loves libraries, but he attacked the New York Public Library’s new $300 million renovation of their main branch. Meanwhile, Rita Mead has 5 ways you can help your local library branch thrive.

Shakespeare scholars have had it with those who doubt the Bard’s identity and have written a book to dispense with the doubters. Also in Shakespeare-related news, meet The George—the world’s most famous literary pub…almost.

Book Expo America (BEA) has wrapped for another year. Julie Bosman takes the temperature of the show, and Chuck Wendig offers a lively recap of the event.


Rachelle Gardner lists 5 things writers should know right now, and Stina Lindenblatt reminds us to get the FUN back into our writing.

Noelle Sterne tells us how to prevent predictable plots, while Jurgen Wolff channels Anton Chekhov to explain how to make a scene come alive.

Details are so important in writing, yet can be so hard to keep track of! Lisa Hall-Wilson recommends interviewing people so that the details you use are correct AND cool, while Rachelle Gardner advocates making a style sheet for your manuscript to keep everything straight.

A.J. Humpage reminds us that there are two sides to every story, and the antagonist’s side is important to creating a gripping story. One way to hint at the antagonist’s motives is subtext, discussed on the Narrative Breakdown by Matt Bird, Cheryl Klein, and James Monohan.

If your antagonist (or protagonist) was traumatized, author and psychologist Sarah Fine starts her symptoms of PTSD series with Intrusive Recollection.

Editing is essential to getting a great final product. Gemma Cooper gives us some editing tips; Stacy Ennis shares 5 ways to find the right freelance editor; and Jami Gold thinks EVERY story can be saved—if you’re willing to do the work.

Jade Varden reminds us that writing is not easy; Holly McDowell tells us how to keep writing in the face of rejection; Jurgen Wolff explains how to turn sleep into productive writing time; and Michael C. Munger lists 10 tips on how to write less badly.

Dan Josefson has 5 tips for how to write a YA crossover novel; Don Tate gives advice on how to write a multicultural picture book; and Chuck Wendig explores the book blurb from both the asking and the giving sides.


A lot of court activity in publishing this week. Apple is the lone defendant left in the DOJ agency pricing case, and they face an uphill battle. Also, Author Solutions and its parent company Penguin are sued for deceptive practices.

Jane Friedman brings us her Best Business Advice for Writers May 2013.

Querying agents? Jen Karbaek of Foreword Literary examines 10 queries and tells us what worked.

Wondering who to query? These agents are looking for clients: Brooks Sherman of Fine Print Literary, Peter Knapp of the Park Literary Group, and Berta Treitl of Grosvenor Literary Agency.

Got a book out there already? Rachel Thompson answers the perennial question: How do you find time to write AND market?


Can’t get enough PRIDE & PREJUDICE? Check out the Oxford Dictionaries’ interactive text analyzer and see Jane Austen’s words like never before. Want to know what Jane did in her spare time? The amazing site What Jane Saw follows Jane Austen’s visit to 1813’s blockbuster exhibition of the works of acclaimed portrait artist Sir Joshua Reynolds.

Peek inside the mind of Isaac Newtown by examining his Trinity College notebook—with notes in Greek and Latin.

Following the Words, Words, Words: Medieval and Early Modern Dictionaries colloquium, Jenneka Janzen discusses the history of the bilingual dictionary.

That’s all for us!

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