Posted by: Kerry Gans | March 2, 2017

Top Picks Thursday! For Writers & Readers 03-02-2017

Welcome to the first Top Picks Thursday of March! Is March coming in like a lion or a lamb where you are?

Many of us read to escape for a while. Jessi Lewis looks at how re-reading a book brings comfort.

Some books worth reading: Tor announces the 2016 Nebula Award nominees, and Imogen Russell Williams lists a children’s book roundup of books to look forward to.

Australian children’s book writer Mem Fox is detained at the LA airport, and has something to say about it.


Let’s be honest, sometimes we writers avoid the elements or parts of the process that we find hard. Roz Morris talks about conquering your fear of the blank page, and Jami Gold asks if there are story elements you avoid writing.

Kristen Lamb looks at beginnings, with 3 ways to hook a reader and the 7 deadly sins of prologues.

Writing emotions can be difficult. Mary Kole examines what feelings feel like, and David Corbett discusses emotions vs. feelings and how to evoke more from readers.

After we’ve written something, we need to make it shine. K.M. Weiland shares 8 ways to troubleshoot a scene and 5 ways to make it fabulous, while Martina Boone explains how to let IBM’s Watson artificial intelligence analyze your story for free.

Ruth Harris parses the difference between stress and burnout, Claire Swinarski explores the use of essential oils to inspire writing, and Adrienne Proctor reveals how to stay positive on the path to getting a book published, Nicole Valentine advocates taking your characters to work, and Kate Brandes discusses how her science work informed her writer’s voice.


Writers have to find support where we can find it. Jane Friedman advises writer not to look down upon the Mall of America writing residency and others like it—they may not be right for you, but they will be a perfect fit for someone. If you are looking to try out a new genre, Emily Grosvenor suggests crowdfunding to allow you to experiment with new works.

Getting a publicist is not a bad idea, but Janet Reid stresses things to consider before deciding what to pay a publicist to do.

Marketing is everything. Karen Woodward walks us through 7 ways to write an effective book description to turn browsers into buyers.

Frances Caballo has her indie author apps, tools, and plug-ins 2017 (part 2), and Jami Gold shows how to make out blog images tell a story.


You’ll soon be able to read a long-lost novel by Walt Whitman.

You can also play the new Walden-themed video game.

You can delve into the 90-years-in-the-making encyclopedic dictionary of the dead Assyrian language.

Or, you can find out why Lord Byron was a staunch defender of the Luddites.

That’s all for this week’s Top Picks Thursday! Come back next week for more writerly links.

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