Posted by: Kerry Gans | March 3, 2016

Top Picks Thursday! 03-03-2016

Welcome to this week’s Top Picks Thursday linkfest! March has come in like a lion here—extremely windy and the chill has returned.

Happy World Book Day! How are you celebrating?

We recently celebrated Dr. Seuss’ birthday, but many people don’t know that he also created anti-Nazi political cartoons and propaganda during World War II.

In celebration of Women’s History Month, take a look at these 5 foundational writers in women’s history.

Diversity in literature, particularly children’s literature, is vital to overcoming prejudice. Simon & Schuster has a new imprint for Muslim-themed kids’ books, and 11-year-old Marley Dias far exceeds her goal to collect 1,000 books about black girls.

Many times lately, political rhetoric has run to the extreme. Je Banach suggests that the answer to increasingly polarized discourse may be by learning from literary discourse and its lessons of respectful disagreement and empathy for the “other”. And for those of you planning to flee to Canada if Trump/Clinton/Cruz/Sanders is elected, Sara Peters shares 20 actual Canadian slang words and what they really mean.

Visit the Moravian Bookstore—the oldest bookstore in America—and its resident ghost.


If you write picture book, Mary Kole discusses the art (and pitfalls) of rhythm and rhyme.

When do you research for a story? Before? During? At the end? Deanna Raybourn describes her research process.

Our stories are nothing without compelling characters. Stephanie Norman gives us 7 tips to creating the perfect anti-hero, Jennifer Ellis shows how to reveal character through dialogue, and Claire Fuller explores using dual narratives in your writing.

Editing is a large part of writing. Jodi Webb talks about how to critique someone else’s work in the most productive way, Alex Limberg tells us how to make every page of our story count, and K.M. Weiland shares a list of recommended book editors.

We all need a morale boost from time to time. Ruth Harris gives us 7 ways to rekindle the joy of writing, Gwenda Bond shares advice from women writers to young female writers, and 25 debut authors share advice for getting published.


We are often told not to chase trends in publishing, but Mary Kole discusses the correct way to write with the market in mind.

With the rise of self-publishing, authors are often paying money out of pocket before they are published, calling into question the old adage that money should always flow to the author. Chuck Wendig clarifies when paying for publishing services crosses the line into being a scam.

Book designer Joel Friedlander describes the importance of book page architecture, and why it is the basis of all design.

A frustrated query writer asks agent Janet Reid why agents don’t simply read the manuscript pages, instead of requiring a query. We all get rejected, but Martina Boone shows how decoding rejection letters can help improve your plotting.

Blog tours and mailing lists are marketing staples. Barb Drozdowich explains why book tours shouldn’t be about selling books, and Kimberley Grabas shares 10 clever ways to seriously grow your email list (and a free checklist).


The French are changing the spelling for some of their words, causing an uproar. The whole spelling kerfluffle makes NPR’s Geoff Nunberg wonder: why is English so weird?

Looking for a literary getaway? Kelly Jensen lists 10 great bookish hotels.

Ever wonder why we spin a tale? Deborah Swift looks at the common arts of writing and weaving.

Writing historical fiction requires research. Check out these 10 books on the Scientific Revolution, and this photo of The Old Curiosity Shop in 1875 London.

Terri Windling examines authors, cats, and feline folklore. And because you can never have too much folklore (lots of grist for the creative mill there), explore the YouTube channel of the Archives of Latvian Folklore.

Clive James discusses poetry, death, and bookshelves.

Allison Hiltz examines how what she is reading affects her relationships in real life.

Seems not much has changed…Dr. Koenraad Claes studies advertising in the 18th century Lady’s Magazine.

Victorian children could learn the alphabet while they sipped tea. Check out this Victorian alphabet cup.

That’s all for this week’s Top Picks Thursday! Try not to get blown away in all the blustery March weather.


  1. Thank you so much for including me in this list! It’s comforting to know that I’m not the only one whose relationships are affected by reading habits.


    • You’re welcome! I also find that what I’m writing can affect my moods and therefore my interactions with other people. We’re lucky our husbands are understanding, LOL!


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