Posted by: Kerry Gans | February 2, 2017

Top Picks Thursday! For Writers & Readers 02-02-2017

Welcome to the first Top Picks Thursday of February! Hard to believe that January is already behind us.

If you are looking for some worthwhile entertainment, check out these two ALA lists: the 2017 ALA Youth Media Awards, and the 2017 Rainbow Books List.


If memoir is your genre, Paul Alan Fahey explores writing short memoirs and personal essays rather than a full-blown book.

All writers want to tell a great story. Roz Morris shares the 5 qualities of a brilliant story, Jami Gold gives us the most important question in storytelling—why?; developmental editor Naomi Hughes explains the top 3 story issues she sees, and Kristen Lamb reveals the single largest problem of most first-time novels.

Good writing is psychological as well as action. Tamar Sloan has 5 things psychology can teach writers, Rae Elliott explores what makes a fantastic villain, and Anna Pitoniak shares what being an editor taught her about writing.

Writers always want to write more, better, faster. R.S. Mollinson lists 3 ways which she inadvertently limited her writing, and Tina Radcliffe tells us how to overcome Goldilocks Syndrome.

Every writer knows how hard it is to balance writing and life—and how hard to keep up with the changes in the publishing world. Clare Edwards and Joanna Penn discuss 3 key strategies for thriving in the ever-changing world of being an author, Dr. Jeffrey Steinbrink talks about the self-compassion of writing, Janalyn Voigt explains why books have margins (and so should you), Mary Kole looks at balancing writing and life, and Lance Rubin shows how to keep a productive writing routine during dark times.


Rick Pullen shares how Kindle Press made his novel a best seller.

Many writers still want a traditional agent, but having an agent can have its own set of issues. Janet Reid tackles two of them this week. First, if your current publisher is imploding, should you mention that in a query? Second, what do you do if your agent won’t tell you where your book has been submitted?

Marketing ourselves and our books is never-ending. Judith Briles looks at creating a sell sheet to help people get to know you and your work, while Keely Brooke Keith lists 7 essentials for your book launch.


Readers share 15 of the greatest lessons they learned from a book.

That’s all for this week’s Top Picks Thursday! See you next week!


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