Posted by: Kerry Gans | February 22, 2018

Top Picks Thursday! For Writers & Readers 02-22-2018

Welcome to this week’s Top Picks Thursday! After the long President’s Day weekend, it’s back to work with a load of writerly links for you!

Take a look at how famous authors stay inspired and keep writing.

Zachary Lazar explains the importance of teaching poetry in prison.

Auour Ava Olafsdottir discourses on the courage of writers: why the hardliners of the world fear the word.


If you create your own language, Chris Winkle discusses using your conlang without ruining your story.

Every story has large, overarching elements writers have to deal with. Daeus Lamb gives us theme made easy, and Les Edgerton unpacks using 3rd person vs. 1st person novel narratives.

Our characters carry the story. Mary Kole has tips for writing child characters, Kristen Lamb delves into the brain behind the story: the big boss troublemaker, and Janice Hardy has 5 traits to help you create your character’s personality.

Narrative flow and story momentum are important, but as with all craft elements, the rules about them are not set in stone. Interrupting that narrative flow can be effective, as Margot Kinberg shows us, and Stavros Halvatzis explores story momentum.

Craft is the art of getting it right on the page and making readers feel emotions. Gordon Long discusses the 8 elements of tradecraft, John Gilstrap gives details on hollow point bullets,  and Vaughn Roycroft muses on writing and crying.

Editing is a large part of making our stories great. Jami Gold shares her master list of copy editing skills, and Janice Hardy teases apart the difference between a revision, a rewrite, and a redraft.

Creativity is the holy grail of writers. We seek to find inspiration anywhere we can find it. Tim Knox has 10 ways to overcome Lonely Writer Syndrome, Mary Carroll Moore examines refueling your creativity by planning recovery time after you finish a book, and Janice Hardy shares the benefits of writing a novel “just for fun.”

Technology can help our productivity, but sometimes even ultimate efficiency isn’t enough to meet a deadline. Gwen Hernandez explores the exciting new features in Scrivener’s upgrade, while Bill Ferris has tongue-in-cheek top 8 excuses for when you’re about to blow a deadline.


We all have our dreams, but Joel Friedlander warns us to beware of the impossible book project, while J. Kathleen Cheney explores 3 ways to get book covers on a shoestring budget.

Roz Morris lays out why self-publishers should follow the traditional publishing production stages, and Alison Morton has essential insights into translation for indie authors.

Janet Reid doubles up today discussing the most important thing about picking a pen name, and what to do about querying a book that had previous representation but didn’t sell.

Marketing is about enticing readers to buy the product. Sue Coletta shows how to write a better book description in 3 easy steps, David Kudler walks us through creating a compilation or box set ebook, and Tess Taylor looks at the art of publicity: how indie publicists work with writers.

Online is a great place to meet readers. Dani Shapiro explores the hard art of balancing writing and social media, Fauzia Burke examines how Facebook’s latest changes will impact authors, Penny Sansevieri lists 5 unique book marketing strategies for Goodreads, and Anne R. Allen gives us 8 reasons to start an author blog.


Caitlin Macy reminds us that before there was YA, there were horse books.

Emily Temple brings us 25 legendary literary feuds.

Check out a rare look at correspondence from Arthur Miller to his wife, Mary.

Writing historical middle grade or YA? E.L. Skip Knox examines Medieval childhood as history for fantasy writers.

That’s all for Top Picks Thursday this week! Join us next week for the first Top Picks Thursday of March!


  1. Thank you very much for including my post. 🙂


  2. Thanks for including my Kill Zone post!


    • You’re welcome. We’re happy to share the helpful information!


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