Posted by: Kerry Gans | February 16, 2017

Top Picks Thursday! For Writers & Readers 02-16-2017

Welcome to this week’s Top Picks Thursday! The wind where I live is threatening to blow the house off its foundation, but I am cozy inside with this weeks writerly links for you.

Ursula K. Le Guin takes exception to comparisons of “alternative facts” with science fiction.

Kristen Lamb suggests some ways to get paid to write.

Agents put out an open call for Muslim authors.

Lee Wind learned that POC (people of color) does NOT cover Native Americans.

Lindsay Quayle explores why libraries are about more than just books.

Need an image? The Metropolitan Museum just made 375,000 public domain images free.


If you are contemplating historical fiction, Ashley Hope Pérez has tips to create unforgettable historical fiction.

What do you do when a you need a story idea and nothing’s coming to you? Tal Valante shares a 5-step story idea process that works every time.

Once you have the idea, don’t forget the plot. K.M. Weiland tells us how to write a story without a plot (and why you shouldn’t).

Plot is important, but characters will keep your readers intrigued. Emily Morgan has 10 signs of underdeveloped characters in your novel, and Bridget McNulty shares character description examples: 7 lessons from famous books.

You’ve written! Now to edit. Christina Delay lists 5 steps to avoid overwriting, Naomi Hughes focuses on line editing, and Brandon Taylor gives us a self-editing checklist for short story writers.

Rochelle Deans contemplates the circular nature of our writing journey as she advocated working on your worst writing issue, making it your best, then moving on to the next—over and over, and Lara Elena Donnelly shares 5 things she learned writing her latest book.

Marcy Dermansky has words of encouragement for writers who are also the mothers of small children (would apply to fathers who are primary caregivers, too).

Neil Gaiman talks about the journey to his Norse Mythology book.

These days, publishers want companion material to fill in between books. Laurie Forest offers tips for writing companion novellas.


Hayley Cuccinello explores how fanfiction grew from dirty little secret to a money machine.

Janet Reid answers an author who wonders if self-publishing will doom her, Jane Friedman shows how to get your book distributed if self-published, and Reedsy takes a detailed look at the process and cost of cover design.

Anyone with an agent wants one who will be tenacious—but Janet Reid warns that sometimes “I never give up” is NOT a plus in an agent.

Much of a writer’s marketing these days is online. Jane Freidman looks at online education as a pre-marketing tool, and Joel Friedlander shares top 15 tips for webinar wannabes.

Other ways writers can help their marketing effort can include bringing in an outside publicist to work with the publisher’s PR department, and dressing up your author media kit with 5 fun facts about yourself.


Libba Bray has some thoughts about being a woman today: Womanifesto.

Archaeologists might have found another Dead Sea Scroll cave.

The Mark Twain Museum battles mold infecting over 5,000 artifacts.

How do you envision Jane Austen’s Mr. Darcy? Meet the historically accurate Mr. Darcy.

King George III’s wife Queen Charlotte is now online.

Clare Holman-Hobbs shares some underrated BookTube channels.

Are you a Dracula fan? You might love Dracula’s lost Icelandic sister text.

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


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