Posted by: Kerry Gans | January 11, 2018

Top Picks Thursday! For Writers & Readers 01-11-2018

Welcome to the first Top Picks Thursday of 2018! We look forward to another year of bringing you interesting and timely links for writers and readers.

Children’s writers, check out the list of SCBWI’s 25 different award and grant programs.

Smashwords’ Mark Coker brings us his 2018 book industry predictions.

Joanna Penn muses on thoughts and goals for a creative 2018, while Andrea Merrell urges us to take a risk in 2018.

Take a look at this infographic analyzing the reading habits of Americans in 2017.

If you are looking for a critique group or partner, check out Janice Hardy’s critique connection.


It’s a new year, full of new possibilities! Jami Gold says to celebrate the New Year by leaving guilt behind, K.M. Weiland shares 4 life-changing New Year’s lessons for writers, and Grant Faulkner has writing tips to fortify your writing resolutions.

Maybe venture into a new format for 2018? C.S. Lakin reveals that the secret to memoir is the mature self, and Jocelyn at Adventures in YA Publishing shows how to improve your novel by writing a screenplay.

When we get down to writing, we have to juggle a lot of structural items. Diana Hurwitz discusses where to begin, Peter Selgin warns against the deadliest first page sin, Laura Davis has 4 ways to develop a unique writing voice , and Jami Gold tells us how to create scene endings that hook readers.

The nitty-gritty writing has its own list of items to attend to. Tamar Sloan lists 3 powerful techniques to harness a reader’s curiosity, Bridget at Now Novel shares 6 simple rules to writing descriptive sentences, and Geer Macallister explains how to use the feedback you don’t get.

Writing has an emotional and psychological component to it as well. Anne R. Allen looks at 8 qualities more important than writing talent, Kristen Lamb explores 5 areas where we need permission for success, Joanna Penn wonders: why write when there are already too many books in the world, and Kathryn Craft reminds us to ask for what you need.


Janet Reid has a hat trick today, bringing us: how to query when current events overtake your story, how to query when suffering from depression, and how long a previous agent has dibs on your deals.

Marketing means getting the word out about your book. Elizabeth Randolph shares marketing ideas for local promotion, Joan Stewart shows how to use freelance journalists in a book publicity campaign, and Ricardo Fayet tells how to leverage book reviews and book promotion sites.

Getting all your online ducks in a row can help your sales, too. David Kudler has 6 secrets to pricing your ebook, Penny Sansevieri shows how to optimize your book’s Amazon keyword search, and Ashley Kimler discusses the benefits of publishing wide and selling books directly from your author website.

Communication with readers is also largely online, so spruce up your online presence in the new year. Adam Connell tells how to prepare for a new year of blogging, Kerilynn Engel has 5 effective backup plugins for WordPress, and Frances Caballo lists 17 Twitter apps for writers.


Although Christmas is past this would work for other gift giving days: 9 (mostly) free gifts readers can give over the holidays.

While reading anything to your baby helps, a brain study suggests the type of book you read to your baby is also important.

Take a peek at Marlene Dietrich’s marginalia.

So, is your vocabulary good enough to pass this synonym test?

Check out these 18 photos that prove that commas matter—a lot.

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

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