Posted by: Kerry Gans | April 13, 2017

Top Picks Thursday! For Writers & Readers 04-13-2017

Welcome to this week’s Top Picks Thursday! We’re heading into Spring Break here, so if you’ve got vacation, enjoy!

The winners of the Pulitzer Prizes, including Colson Whitehead’s Underground Railroad .

Speaking of awards, Joanna Penn discusses what the validation of awards means to writers.

Diversity comes in all shapes and sizes (that’s rather it’s definition, isn’t it?). George Takei is writing a graphic novel about his experience in a Japanese internment camp during World War II, Native Realities Press has rebooted Jon Proudstar’s Tribal Force, the first all-Native superhero comic, and college student Kaya Thomas creates “We Read Too” mobile directory of 600 books that prioritize diversity.

Kim Savage explains how she kept writing after her muse died.

We love our bookstores. Chelsea Hensley shares 5 etiquette tips for the bookstore, and Epic Reads hosts Bookstagrams of beautiful bookstores.

A study shows that liberals and conservatives read totally different books about science.

Help support these stories of public school librarians by SLRI productions with a Kickstarter campaign.


Although we collect mainly writing posts, this SCBWI post has tricks and tips for the illustrators among us.

Want to write your memoir but don’t know where to start? Cyndy Etler shows how to use lists to write a memoir.

The opening of your book is arguably the most important patch of real estate in your story. Hallie Ephron describes the importance of a strong opening scene, Jennifer Probst explains the use of powerful hooks to snag a reader, and James Scott Bell advises creating mystery, not confusion, in the opening.

There are many craft elements you can use to spice up your story. S.C. Sharman discusses when and where to use foreshadowing, Diana Hurwitz talks about injecting humor, Kristen Lamb plunges into deep POV, and Chuck Wendig rushes to defend the semicolon.

K.M. Weiland shows how to write stories your readers will remember, Angela Ackerman delves into the character motivation of gaining fulfillment by giving back, and Chuck Wendig examines “character agency”.

Delilah Dawson talks writing Star Wars and Adventure Time, Chuck Wendig reminds us that we can write at any age, and Shaunta Grimes has 25 habits to make you a better writer.

We all get discouraged sometimes. J.K. Rowling talks about how to deal with failure, while David Barnett says that two unpublished books does not make you a failed author—it makes you a quitter.


Want to freelance, but are uneasy? Linda Formichelli and Diana Burrell take on 4 freelancing myths holding you back.

In self-publishing, Joel Friedlander tackles the fake news about self-publishing, and Ron Vitale show how to identify your audience via Google Anaytics.

Janet Reid explains how to pick between multiple agent offers when they all seem good, and Nathan Bransford demystifies what literary agents do.

Good marketing reaches your readers and connects to them emotionally. Casey Demchak discusses the core messaging marketing toolkit for authors, Judith Briles shows how your media book pitch can open doors, and Anne R. Allen looks at the pros and cons of author newsletter vs. author blog.

Writers have a love-hate relationship with Goodreads. Sonja Yoerg explains why Goodreads is your friend, and Barb Drozdowich shares 6 ways for indie authors to use Goodreads to network.


Finally! Someone to correct all those misspelled signs! Meet the Grammar Vigilante: Defender Of Truth, Justice And The Grammarian Way.

In a wonderful history find, the Smithsonian and Library of Congress purchase a rare 1860s photo of Harriet Tubman.

Ever wonder what the most famous book that takes place in your state is? Wonder no more! Check out the most famous book that takes place in every state.

TV opening titles have evolved into mini-movies.

Did you know these 23 movies you probably didn’t know were based on books.

In 1902, a Frenchman imagined what women might look like if they started taking up “male” professions.

World War I soldiers and aide personnel’s thoughts get heard in an exhibit of WWI military letters voicing the sorrow of fighting a war.

Many people love the scent of old books—but just how can that scent be described? Erin Blakemore follows the quest to better describe the scent of old books.

An accidental auction discovery deepens the mystery surrounding the infamous “Rice portrait” supposedly of a young Jane Austen.

Learn how Charles Dickens fought to keep Shakespeare’s house from being purchased by the dastardly American showman P.T. Barnum.

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


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