Posted by: Kerry Gans | October 19, 2017

Top Picks Thursday! For Writers & Readers 10-19-2017

Welcome to this week’s Top Picks Thursday! Autumn is finally here, with cool temperatures and leaves changing colors. Here’s a pile of writerly links for you to jump into!

SCBWI lists these diversity awards and grants for authors.

Gloria Morgan publishes for a purpose: books for dyslexics.

A school district pulls To Kill a Mockingbird because it makes people uncomfortable.

Charlotte Ahlin has 12 ways you could be getting more out of your local library.

Fall means NaNoWri Mo is just around the corner. Ramona DeFelice Long lists the 5Ws of NaNoWriMo, Emily Morgan shares what she learned from failing NaNoWriMo, Kristen Kieffer shows how to rock NaNoWriMo, and James Scott Bell tells us how to use NaNoWriMo to repo your mojo.


Poetry is known for its beautiful use of language. Melissa Donovan discusses figurative language in poetry writing (and we prose writers can use it, too!).

If you are writing cozy mysteries, Elizabeth S. Craig has things to avoid in a cozy mystery.

We’ve all heard “write what you know.” Kathryn Magendie examines writing what you hope to never know while exploring empathy, perception, and projection.

Beginnings are hard, whether it be getting a new idea, or starting that first chapter. Mary Kole walks us through taking a book idea to the next level, Janice Hardy shows how to brainstorm a great novel hook, and Katy Kauffman tells us how to write a captivating first paragraph.

When writing, we have so many tools to work with, sometimes it is overwhelming. Kathryn Craft urges us to value the outsider’s perspective in our writing, Heather Adams has 5 ways to increase micro-tension, Elspeth Futcher explains how clothes can tell a tale, Michael Mohr reflects on sexual tension in fiction, and Jan O’Hara shares Ruby Dixon’s lessons on how to write sex scenes that readers can’t and won’t skip.

Jami Gold explores the idea that genre is a layer of worldbuilding, Bella Pope discusses 5 huge mistakes ruining the romantic relationships in your book, and Roz Morris focuses on what makes good endings.

We all need editing, whether it be for overall continuity or word choice. Jim Dempsy gives us programs to help keep track of all your novel’s details, Mary Kole reminds us to commit to a detail or omit it, Dale E. Lehman lists the top 4 ways to hone your writing, and Sacha Black shows how to improve your sentences.

Writers need to continuously grow to stay creative. Roz Morris describes how travel feeds creativity, Orly Konig explains why every writer needs writer’s events, and Julie Glover says “never stop learning” should be every writer’s motto.

PJ Parrish explores the question: what do readers really want?, while Shannon A. Thompson takes a look at authors who give up.


Major publishers say ebook sales represent 20% of total sales, while book publishers go back to basics.

Graphic novels are hot. So hot that comic shops fight bookstores in the race to sell graphic novels.

Marketing encompasses everything writers put out to the public. Matt Aird discusses the importance of creating video content, Patricia Moosbrugger tells us how to make the most of a professional book review, and Joan Stewart shows how to write a sassy, snarky, sizzling author resource box.

Much of today’s marketing is done online. Frances Caballo talks platform building and media relations, Rachel Thompson has a Twitter guide to make you see what you’re doing so wrong and how to make it right, and Ali Luke shares 3 simple ways to make your blog posts more conversational.


Looking to move? The house that inspired The Great Gatsby is on the market.

Now  you can read anywhere—Amazon is releasing a waterproof Kindle.

Ever feel weird when you hate books everyone else seems to love? Emily Temple shares 14 classic works of literature that other famous authors hated.

Leonard Cohen’s last book, a book of poetry, will be published next year

Daniel Pollack-Pelzner says you’ve probably never heard of America’s most popular playwright.

Check out these 10 publishing-related facts about Winnie the Pooh.

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

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