Posted by: Kerry Gans | February 26, 2015

Top Picks Thursday 02-26-2015

Welcome to the last links round up in February!

As writers, we all know we need to be available for marketing purposes. Mickie Kennedy asks: How available should you be? Where is the line? Kennedy gives tips to help you decide.

Attorney Leslie Budewitz gets down to copyright basics.

In the ongoing issue of books in prison in the UK, independent booksellers can now apply online to be approved retailers for prisons.

John Dugdale documents literature’s greatest comeback stories—among them, Kazou Ishiguro, whose new novel The Buried Giant, is perhaps the riskiest book in his 33-year career.

Chuck Wendig answers the eternal question: Why are so many adults reading YA and teen fiction?

This article about the Crisis Text Line is not about writing, although it is evidence of the power of the written word. It also has great insights into teenage communication. Most importantly, the Crisis Text Line has already and will continue to save people’s lives—so feel free to share the information in your circles.


Calls for “strong female characters” are common. Chuck Wendig explores how strong female characters can still end up weak and powerless. An 11-year-old girl asks DC Comics to remember its female readers and give them more girl superheroes—and they answer her.

If you’ve ever wondered if your story idea has merit, Martina Boone has 9 ways to test your core idea. And once you’re ready to write the story, Christy Distler discusses cutting to the chase, in medias res.

To keep you going, Chuck Wendig gives us 5 stupid writing tricks, Mary Kole shares the proper way to write interruptions and trailing off, Lucy Walton-Lang has fantasy writing tips, and Joan Stewart list the top 9 writing mistakes and how to fix them.

Nathan Bransford has 4 tips for handling multiple POVs, while Kathy Crowley shows how to tame the multiheaded beast that is a novel with many narrators.

Once your work is ready for other eyes, you need a critique partner. Megan Harris gives us a few things to consider when choosing a critique partner. Whether you’re revising before or after your crit partner sees the work, check out Janice Hardy’s revision plan to keep you focused.

We all have our own writing process. Adriana Mather discusses the mini outline, perfect for the hybrid pantser-plotter. We’re all looking to streamline the writing process so we can write more in less time. Jamie Todd Rubin compares writing tools Google Docs vs. Scrivener. If you enjoy white noise as you work, Lynn Viehl gives us sources for online background noise.

If you teach writing, J.P. Choquette lists the top 5 sites for first time authors, and learn in depth how Stephen King teaches writing.

Jane Lebak suggests that one way to stay productive is to have measurable goals, and Antonio Gabric lists 4 tips to boost your productivity.

One lovely thing about writers is that we teach each other, share with each other, and inspire each other. Margi Preus shares 9 things we can learn from other writers, Jeff Norton writes about the magic of middle grade and how he found his love for books, and Tony Bradman was inspired by historical novelist Rosemary Sutcliff.

Jami Gold asks: What scares you about writing or publishing? One fear is being unable to sell your next book. Kathryn Craft tackles that fear in 5 ways to weather a creative winter.


It’s been hard to self-publish a kids’ picture book as an ebook. Laura Backes discusses the new programs and opportunities for publishing picture ebooks for kids. Much of the issue with picture ebooks was formatting—the illustrations gave ebooks problems. As Kait Nolan explains, good formatting matters in regular novel ebooks, too.

Sue Coletta explains why she is still pursuing a traditional publishing dream, while Ruth Harris lists the 10 real reasons your book was rejected. If you are submitting, take this quiz: Can you spot the fatal submission mistakes? from Wendy Lawton.

Agent Janet Reid addresses several career option questions that people asked her. First up, is it a good idea to have someone else write your query for you? Then, if you were originally published by a small publisher, what should your strategy for your second book be?

On your website or blog, you have an About Me page. Rachel Gurk lays out 5 important components of your About Me page to encourage visitors to stay a while. If you think blogging takes up too much time, Nina Amir shares tips from 6 experts on how to blog faster.

Jane Friedman shares 5 digital media resources for every writer’s toolbox, Tara Lifland has some cool ways to promote your Facebook event, and Jody Hedlund gives us the in’s and out’s of creating a launch team for a book release.


Have you heard of the Little Free Libraries? Here are 14 photos of Little Free Libraries that you’ll want to build in your community.

We all know about the big literary monsters—the cool ones like vampires and werewolves. J.W. McCormack has gathered 31 obscure literary monsters for us to explore.

Author Francesca Simon ends her Horrid Henry series after 21 years.

Leonora Epstein compiles 18 things all writers wish they could say.

Want to add to your reading list? The Strand Bookstore employees share their go-to recommendations.

Think you’ve read all there is of the Sherlock Holmes canon? Think again. A lost Sherlock Holmes short story has been uncovered.

If you and your friends love Jane Austen, Anika Mehta shares how to host a Jane Austen girls’ night in.

Think reading a Medieval book is easy? Erik Kwakkel explains how to crack the codes in Medieval books.

In a video with English subtitles, you can explore a Dutch manuscript treasure in Berlin.

How laser scanning, hyperspectral imaging and spectroscopy can unlock the secrets of the Medieval Gough Map.

That’s it for us this week!


  1. Thank you very much for the mention, really appreciate it.
    I really like the idea of this post, never seen it before. Keep it up!


  2. Thank you for including Kathryn Craft’s post from Writers In The Storm. I found it so inspiring. I love seeing others benefit from her wisdom. 🙂


    • It was a great post. Kathryn’s great, too. I and Nancy Keim Comley (another Chronicler here) have taken a number of workshops with her. We love learning from her!

      Liked by 1 person

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