Posted by: Kerry Gans | May 17, 2018

Top Picks Thursday! For Writers & Readers 05-17-2018

Welcome to our mid-May Top Picks Thursday!

In honor of Mother’s Day, Annie Neugebauer  brings us 9 memorable literary mothers.

In sad news, best-selling author Tom Wolfe died Monday at age 88.

James Hamblin explores the scientific case for two spaces after a period.

Take a tour of the 12 most popular libraries in the world.


When you’re writing a memoir, Neal Thompson lets us know how to tell your family that you’re writing a memoir.

If you’re a poet, Melissa Donovan shares 36 poetry writing tips to improve your craft.

If your opening doesn’t grab your readers, they’ll put your book down. Kristen Kieffer shows how to nail your novel’s opening chapters, Peter Selgin begins the search for the inciting incident, and Janice Hardy has 8 signs you may be over-plotting your novel.

Pull your reader in with compelling characters. Stavros Halvatzis knows that conflicting characters sell stories, Melissa Donovan has 12 character writing tips for fiction writers, and Dave King demonstrates how to hook your readers with characters.

Julia explains how to write relationships your readers can get behind, Janet Reid mulls grief as a character flaw, Janice Hardy shows how to write with emotional layers, and Kathryn Craft explores your character’s “I Want” song.

Writers can learn lessons from many media formats and gather inspiration from anywhere. Victoria Grace Howell discusses writing lessons learned from the video game Conquest of the Longbow, and A.E. Lowan researches world-building for fantasy by exploring women in the Medieval world.

Writers always strive for greater productivity. Lynsey May has writing techniques to quash procrastination, Joanna Penn gives us healthy writer tips to manage stress, anxiety, and burnout, and Karen McCleary discusses thinking with a child’s brain.

William Kenower shows how re-evaluating your writing goals can help you achieve success, Drew Chial writes on writer’s block and maladaptive daydreaming, and Jami Gold asks: how can you tell if your own writing is any good?

Writing can be lonely and emotional. Jami Gold reflects on why we all need a writing community, Henry McLaughlin shares his writing regrets, and James Scott Bell rides the writer roller coaster.


Helen Sedwick has 10 things every writer should know about copyright.

If you write romance, check this out: Alex Green reports that indie bookstores find a new love for romance books.

Thu-Huong Ha tries to answer the question: are ebooks dying or thriving?

Nothing like the voice of experience to teach us. Eldonna Edwards shares her experience and insights about indie vs. traditional publishing.

When seeking representation, there is a lot to know about the process. Amy Collins explains why knowing comps for your book is important, Nathan Bansford has everything authors need to know about pitching, and Janet Reid discusses social media platforms and authors.

How do you get that book deal? Nathan Bransford tells how to write a nonfiction book proposal, Susan DeFreitas explores how 3 different authors got their first deals, and Jason Lefebvre outlines his long journey to becoming a published children’s author.

Marketing is the key to success—get people to notice your book! Melissa Bowersock details her experience getting reviews through Voracious Readers Only, Larry James shares 35 ways to make your next book signing an event, and Penny Sansevieri has 6 reasons to relaunch your book.

Iola Goulton reveals remarkable confessions from book bloggers, John Burke shows how to use your author website for book marketing, Carolyn Howard-Johnson demonstrates how to use book excerpts to promote your book, and Orly Konig tells us how to survive a book launch as a card-carrying introvert.

Blogs and other social media can be vital to connecting with your audience. Barb Drozdowich explains why it’s important to check your blog stats and how to do so, Kirsten Oliphant has important reasons authors need to think about blogging, Ali Luke lists 5 ways to encourage your readers to comment more often, and Frances Caballo gives some examples of things to talk about on social media.


Love to travel but can’t get out as much as you’d like? Tasha Brandstatter takes us on a literary tour of the bookstore bars and cafés of Paris.

Sophie Yeo explores the problem of how to protect rare books and manuscripts from the ravages of climate change.

Jessica Plummer has some tongue-in-cheek advice for fathers in romance novels.

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

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