Posted by: Kerry Gans | April 27, 2017

Top Picks Thursday! For Writers & Readers 04-27-2017

Welcome to the last Top Picks Thursday of April!

Gabriel García Márquez, conjurer of literary magic, dies at 87.

The Man Booker International Prize 2017 shortlist is announced.

Writers, beware—Robin Storey explores the health risks of being a writer.

Ellen Oh talks about the power of representation in literature.

The NYPL Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture acquires James Baldwin papers.

While The Outsiders was groundbreaking, it didn’t create YA fiction.

Reviews are hard to come by, especially for self-published books. Roz Morris opens a dialogue with reviewers about their ban on reviewing self-published books.

Here are 15 images that prove librarians are the cleverest people ever.


Writing a memoir is unlike writing fiction—yet it’s not quite non-fiction, either. Bahar Gholipour explores writing a memoir as a strange psychological trip through your past.

All writers do some research for their books. Morgan Gist Macdonald shares 5 signs you’re doing too much research and it’s time to get back to writing.

Beginnings are hard. Sometimes it’s hard to begin the writing process. Laura Weymouth weighs the merits of plotting vs. pantsing. Sometimes it’s hard to being the actual story. Anne R. Allen lists 6 ways not to start your novel.

Characters are the heart of every story, but they can be difficult. Elizabeth S. Craig dissects the use of unpleasant characters in mysteries, while Jungle Red Writers talk about picking names that fit your story’s historical time.

When editing, there are issues large and small to deal with. Jami Gold discusses re-envisioning: how to fix big problems with small changes; Kris Spisak demystifies often-confused words starting with A, and Lee Lofland gives us a handy murder scene checklist.

There’s nothing like some insider information to help you get through this writing journey. Chuck Wendig shares 25 lessons he’s learned after 5 years and 20 books, and John Scalzi explains 10 things you don’t know about authors on book tour.


When you self-publish, your price is up to you. Nathan Bransford discusses how to determine your price point when you self-publish.

No matter which way you publish, much of the publicity will be up to you. Joan Stewart shares the best way to follow up with publicity contacts.

Agent Janet Reid answers a writer who wants to know if it is possible to be a good writer and still get rejected, and new agent Cari Lamba of Jennifer Dichiara Agency is looking for clients.

Blogs and social media are the way many writers interact with their readers. Joel Freidlander has 3 questions to help bloggers with content creation, and Lisa Hall-Wilson shows how to grow your organic reach on Facebook.


Most writers are huge readers. Zoraida Córdova has 15 weird things you do while reading that are actually totally normal.

When ancient manuscripts saves lives. Medieval medical books could hold the recipe for new antibiotics.

A Breaking Bad writer and producer is behind a new Anne of Green Gables TV series.

An unlikely pairing: when Bram Stoker met Walt Whitman.

The Oxford Dictionaries explore deadline and seven other words that originated during the American Civil War.

Excited researchers find a second parchment copy of the Declaration of Independence.

Here are 18 jokes you’ll only get if you’ve read Shakespeare.

Looking for inspiration? For $100/hour, you can rent the bedroom where Emily Dickinson composed her entire life’s work.

Most people think alcoholism killed Ernest Hemingway, but a psychiatrist argues that multiple concussions may have sped Hemingway’s demise.

This week in literature: Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales may have taken place this week in April.

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

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