Posted by: Kerry Gans | November 2, 2017

Top Picks Thursday! For Writers & Readers 11-2-2017

Welcome to the first Top Picks Thursday of November! Halloween maybe over, but we have plenty of treats for you today!

Donald Bain, known best for Murder, She Wrote, dies at 82.

Check it out, children’s authors: there’s a new children’s book award for comedy.

Speaking of awards, Colson Whitehead is honored by the Zora Neale Hurston/Richard Wright Foundation for his acclaimed novel The Underground Railroad.

For all you workshop and retreat lovers: the Highlights Foundation new workshops have been announced!

Many writers struggle with writing diversity. Bran L. Ayers talks about wanting to write with diversity but not being sure how. Reading is also a great way to research diversity, so here are 6 books to read about the history of immigration in America.

K-Fai Steele discusses why we can’t talk about diversity in children’s literature without talking about money.

Hulu will develop a series based on Ralph Ellison’s Invisible Man.

A viral “angriest librarian” explains why America needs libraries now more than ever.

It’s NaNoWriMo time! Jenny Hanson has 10 ways to make NaNoWriMo work for you, K.M. Weiland has a great novel-writing checklist to keep you moving, Savvy Book Writers celebrates NaNoWriMo, Rachel Dacus prepares for NaNoWriMo and tells why you should do it, E.C. Myers shares NaNoWriMo tips from someone who has never done it, and The Plot Hotline gives us what to do when you suspect you may fail NaNoWriMo.


Beginnings and endings—arguably the most important parts of any story, chapter, or scene. Jordan Rosenfeld shares 4 ways to launch a scene, and Stavros Halvatzis shows how to fine tune the story climax.

When developing our fictional world, every detail must fit and must serve a purpose. J.W. Barlament tackles creating a fictional religion, while Ruth Harris explores how authentic historical detail can trigger emotions in your readers.

Characters are key to reader engagement. Tamela Hancock Murray shows how writing sympathetic characters hooks your reader, Mary Kole discusses interiority and why it matters, Gray Marie shares why she hates strong female characters, Mary Kole looks at bringing dead characters to life, and Debbie Burke shows us how to become a crime victim painlessly.

Writing is only the beginning—then we have to go back and fix it all up! Gwen Hernandez details 4 ways to make notes in Scrivener, and Kelly Gurnett celebrates 6 old grammar rules that are finally going out of style.

The internet is a boon to all new writers out there seeking advice. Joe Fassler interviewed 150 writers to gather the 7 best pieces of writing advice, while Joe Coccaro has 7 essential writing tips for authors.

Being a writer can be a frustrating career. Ginger Moran shows that knowing what kind of writer you are can stave off frustration, while Sue Ward Drake discusses staying positive in a negative writer’s world.

We all have ways of dealing with the psychology of being a writer. PJ Parrish talks about the rituals of writing, Set Godin takes down imposter syndrome, and Marie Lamba examines the power of a do-over.


There are so many publishing options out there for authors today. Parul Macdonald explores big publisher vs. small publisher, Lizbeth Meredith has 3 reasons not to go with hybrid publishing, and Cait Reynolds dissects Kindle Direct Publishing and Kindle Unlimited (or, the hamster wheel of death).

Scott McCormick discusses how to get the best royalties for your picture book, Melinda Clayton looks at 3 reasons your book might not be selling, and Debbie Young has 8 tips for pricing your self-published ebook.

If you look for an agent long enough, you are bound to make a query mistake at some point. Janet Reid tells us how to recover from a queryfail of epic proportions.

We all need visibility for our books. Jane Tabachnick shares 3 ways to get publicity for your book, Joel Friedlander has a primer on book reviews for self-published authors, and Donna Galanti describes how to do in-person presentations with confidence.

Like it or not, the online world is where we engage most with our readers these days. Frances Caballo shares the most retweetable words for engagement on Twitter, David Hartshorne compares WordPress vs. Blogger, and Sue Coletta has social media, blogging, and SEO tips.


Pablo Neruda did not die of cancer, raising the possibility he was murdered.

Many of us have a bookcase worth of used books. Jesse Doogan shares 5 of the best places onlines and in person to sell used books.

At a time when science and math is being pushed at most schools, Marilynne Robinsons offers a defense of the humanities.

Kelly Coyne uses Sylvia Plath’s letters to reveal often-overlooked sides of Sylvia Plath.

Infographic: Read a book and develop superpowers!

How Boris Pasternak won and lost the Nobel Prize.

The Boston Public Library is digitizing 200,000 vintage recordings.

Einstein’s maxims on life fetch $1.8 million at auction.

What does the painting Surrender of Lord Cornwallis have to do with author Edith Wharton?

A newly-translated 16th-century Japanese text offers advice to warrior who had yet to face battle.

Colin Kaepernick has signed a book deal.

Hidden in a basement for 70 years, newly discovered documents shed light on Jewish life and culture before WWII.

A new theater project uses Greek tragedies written centuries ago to heal modern day traumas.

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



  1. Thank you for including my post!


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.


%d bloggers like this: