Posted by: Kerry Gans | July 6, 2017

Top Picks Thursday! For Writers & Readers 07-06-2017

Welcome to this week’s Top Picks Thursday! We hope everyone had a safe and happy 4th of July.

In the spirit of celebration, here are some excerpts from Thomas Jefferson’s last public letter, written on the 50th anniversary of the 4th of July.

Small libraries are all the rage now. Check out this Detroit Doctor Who fan who built a replica TARDIS library for his neighborhood.

Looking for good reads for these long summer days? Tobias Carroll recommends books that combine horror and history, Oprah’s new Book Club selection is Imbolo Mbue’s novel Behold the Dreamers, and librarian Nancy Pearl gives us her Summer Reading List.

Jeanne Kisacky poignantly examines the heavy burden that is the weight of the undone.


Nathan Bransford asks: when did you start writing?

Susan Donovan shares the not-so-funny truth about writing humor.

When we start writing, we have to figure out how we’re going to get from idea to final product. Clare Langley-Hawthorne takes us from idea to novel, Becca Puglisi shares her 3-step plan for outlining a novel, and K.M. Weiland explains flat plots.

Jeff VanderMeer has 5 writing tips, while Anne R. Allen reminds us to write for the 21st century reader.

Oliver Thiermann explores how to create immersive worlds for science fiction and fantasy, while Hye-Young Pyun discusses the role of suspense in storytelling.

Characters carry the story, but how do you get the readers inside their heads? K.M. Weiland has 6 questions to help you choose the right POV, Thelma Adams asks what’s the point of point of view, and Jo Eberhardt examines the power of the unlikeable protagonist.

Revision and editing make our rough drafts into polished gems. James Scott Bell recommends listening to your book, Shannon A. Thompson tackles rewriting your first draft, and Ellie Mass Davis discusses book editing, writing style and writer intuition. Janice Hardy opens her biannual critique group or partner match-up.

Creativity is the nectar of writers, so how can we get more creativity when we need it? Joel Friedlander shares his top 7 tools for creativity, Drew Chial talks about what happens when more than one writer has the same idea, and Jessica Brody shares a science secret that gets you quickly into the writing zone every single day.

Rachel Thompson has 4 top tips to overcome your fear of writing, Jami Gold tells us how to reconnect to your storytelling passion, while Jane Friedman wonders if the advice to follow your passion is all it’s cracked up to be.

For creatives, art infuses every part of their world. Katherine Boland compares the arts of painting and writing, Sherman Alexi discusses life as the Indian-du-jour, and Elizabeth S. Craig shows how to find the art in the everyday.


Sometimes writers need guidance for the business side of publishing. Justine Clay lists 7 things to consider before hiring a career coach.

You’ve got your book all ready to go. Steven Spatz examines when is the best time to publish your book.

We all know how important customer reviews are for selling our books. Kathryn Brown looks at the value of editorial book review for indie authors.

Is it worth it to go to that writing conference? Tamela Hancock Murray lists the intangible benefits of attending a conference.

Janet Reid discusses the advisability of giving agents “exclusive” reads on your manuscript, and also gives advice on how widely you should query when your book may be seen as niche.

Interacting with our readers is a way to build audience and keep them interested between books. Joan Stewart suggests using cheat sheets and checklists to entice and engage readers, Maria Salomão-Schmidt shows how to grow a loyal fan base the LOFABA way, and Janet Reid talks about self-publishing short stories to grow your audience even before seeking an agent.

Social media is the main way writers and readers connect. Roz Morris has 2 reasons to use your official author name on Twitter, and Penny Sansevieri shares what you need to know for successful Amazon ads.


Ellie Bates compiles 33 little things you may not know about J.K. Rowling.

A new museum exhibition looks at the whimsical chameleon figure behind the myth of Sylvia Plath.

Brooke Hauser looks at the feminist legacy of The Baby-Sitters Club series.

Book lovers, here are some “weird” book quirks that are actually quite justified.

Language is always evolving—from pictographs to alphabets to emojis. Can emojis help start the conversation on topics that are often uncomfortable and sometimes actually taboo, such as menstruation? One group thinks so.

In 1838 Salem, a Southern gentleman sought an elusive Nathaniel Hawthorne—or did he?

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

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