Posted by: Kerry Gans | May 31, 2018

Top Picks Thursday! For Writers & Readers 05-31-2018

Welcome to the last Top Picks Thursday of May! Today is National Speak in Sentences Day and the first ever National Smile Day.

As Memorial Day has passed, we have reached the unofficial beginning of summer. Susan LaTempa tells us the best way to enjoy our summer reading.

Speaking of reading, here’s what goes on in a child’s brain when you read a story to them.

Author Philip Roth passed away this week, and Terry Gross shares highlights from her many “Fresh Air” radio interviews with Philip Roth.

Writers deal with language every day—it is the element of our art. Yet, as Heather Altfeld explains, every day another language dies and something irretrievable is lost.

For anyone following the CockyGate kerfuffle and wondering about trademarks, attorney Kevin Kneupper explains how to track and fight bad trademarks.

The new European Union GDPR rules are still giving US authors headaches, so here is some more info on what we need to do. The Authors Guild has a rundown of what authors need to do to be GDPR ready, and Jami Gold discusses if we need to be sending out updated privacy notices, too. 


It’s hard enough writing one good book. R.J. Crayton has some advice on writing a series.

Some writers are solitary, some work well with others. Katherine Corr explores the art of co-authoring.

For all you crime fans out there, R.N. Morris explains how to plot the perfect crime (novel).

There are many elements that create a solid piece of writing. Mary Kole advises that we focus on writing tension not teasing, Melissa Donovan shows how to use metaphors to enhance your writing, and Stavros Halvatzis dissects the story ending.

Intriguing characters keep our readers tuned in. Becca Puglisi tells us how to create character empathy in the first few pages, K.M. Weiland explains how the truth your character believes defines your theme, Jeff Seymour shares the 4 pillars linking character to plot, and Sharon Bially reveals that purpose is the missing link between character’s motives and depth.

Editing polishes the whole thing and makes your story un-put-down-able. Dawn Field asks if your story passes the “slow read” test, and C. Streetlights has 5 editing tips you need to know.

Every writer wants to write better and find more writing time. Sarah Cy lists 8 powerful ways to increase your writing prowess, Karl Taro Greenfeld comes to terms with being a “minor” writer, and Joanna Maciejewska muses on finding time to write.

All writers need to take care of their emotional and psychological health. Kristen Lamb gives us 5 reasons to invest in rest, James Scott Bell tells us how to find our writing sweet spot, and Joanna Penn reminds us that writing doesn’t have to be lonely—we can find a community.


For writers of poetry, here’s what agent Janet Reid has to say about publishing poetry.

Dan Holloway looks at the myriad changes in publishing just this week and tries to sort out some of the confusion in the industry.

Michael Kozlowski explores the growing negative sentiment towards e-readers.

If you self-publish, here’s why you should consider hardback books, why you should put your books on subscription services, and how to make a catalogue for your self-published books.

If you are searching for an agent, Nathan Bransford has a guide to literary agent etiquette, and Janet Reid discusses how you should prep your website before querying.

Marketing means getting your book discovered. David Kudler explores selling wide vs. going exclusive to Amazon, Christina Delay shows how to use Google Adwords to snag readers, Nathan Bransford has the key to marketing success, and Debbe Young reminds us that book marketing doesn’t trump craft.

Author platform is the focus of your marketing efforts. Rachel Thompson tells us why your author branding matters more than you think, Alexa Bigwarfe shares how to effectively grow your author platform, Jodee Blanco lays out how professional speaking can grow your author platform, and Zoe M. McCarthy has tips for presenting a writers’ workshop.

Social media is a main way writers reach readers these days, so authors need to get it right. Sandra Beckwith has 3 book launch mistakes NOT to make on social media, while Frances Caballo challenges: so you think social media won’t sell your books?


Writers love libraries. Peng Shepherd discusses 7 mysterious libraries in literature.

Where do you go when you’re all partied out and ready to write? Find out where Hemingway went to write after partying in Venice.

Here’s some history that might give you some new character and plot ideas: the history of bathhouse keepers.

Caroline Weber writes about the boyhood classmates who drove Marcel Proust to write.

That’s all for this week’s Top Picks Thursday—and for May! See you next month for more links!


  1. Thanks for listing Sarah’s post on our blog! – Writers in the Storm


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: