Posted by: Kerry Gans | June 7, 2018

Top Picks Thursday! For Writers & Readers 06-07-2018

Welcome to this week’s Top Picks Thursday! A couple of us Chroniclers will be attending the Philadelphia Writers’ Conference this weekend, hoping to pick up some more writing wisdom.

SCBWI writes in memory of Richard Peck, who died this week.

Porter Anderson discusses the final “Cockygate” court ruling in favor of the Authors Guild.

Anne R. Allen shines a light on some new writing scams.

Elise Juska examines teaching writing in the age of school shootings.

The New York Times lists 73 books for your summer reading.

You may find some of those books at the library. Discover why Finland is home to the world’s most radical libraries.

Want to enter contests but unsure which ones are best? Arthur Klepchukov has the summer 2018 edition of fiction writing contests worth your time.


We focus mainly on long fiction here, but there are many other styles and formats of writing to test your pen on. Paeony Lewis talks about starting to write children’s picture books, and Sandra Beckwith shows how to write an op-ed column or essay.

Every writer has their own style. Debbie Young tells us how to create and use a style-sheet to keep the details of your book consistent, Jo Eberhardt demonstrates how to write like the Dickens, and Nancy Johnson guides us in finding the rhythm in our prose.

When you start your project, there are many elements to consider. Amanda Rawson Hill describes how to use theme to determine subplots, supporting characters, and tension, while James Scott Bell reminds us to be clear about WHO and WHERE in the opening.

Your characters lead your readers through your story, so it’s important to get them right. Stavros Halvatzis explores working with character traits, Mary Kole wants us to write emotional meaning, and K.M. Weiland shares 4 ways to write a better antagonist.

Revising and editing put the final touches on our manuscripts. Molly E. Lee investigates revision, Nils Olund tells us how to get good feedback on your writing, and Hayley Milliman lists 7 errors your grammar checker is missing.

While writers long to be more productive, sometimes life does not cooperate. Aimie K. Runyan discusses summer struggles for writers, and Jami Gold talks about how to deal with writer burnout.

Conferences, conventions, and festivals are all different experiences of being a writer. Zoe M. McCarthy lays out the preparation for leading a writing workshop, Damon Suede dissects how to pick the best con event and build a great genre experience, and Dave Penny explains why writing festivals are worthwhile.


Nathan Bransford has some advice on how to make the leap from self-publishing to traditional publishing. He also reminds self-publishers not to neglect your book’s interior design. Michele Cobb describes how self-published authors can create an audiobook.

When you are querying or working with an agent, there are many things to know. Janet Reid shares the best way to query a novella, Steve Laube examines the non-fiction annotated outline for a book proposal, and Janet returns with how to protect yourself from embezzlement.

Book marketing encompasses many things, including branding and networking. Brian Jud erects the 4 pillars of successful book marketing, Charli Mills explores how to strategically build a brand experience, and Donna Galanti has 11 ways to find and connect with other authors in your genre.

Successful marketing improves discoverability. Natalia Sylvester explains how to perform—not just read—your work in front of audiences, Frances Caballo shows where and how to get free promotions, Dave Chesson gives us SEO for authors, and Tanya Hall tells us what to look for in a book publicist.

Social media is often the path to connecting with readers today. Frances Caballo lays out how she accumulated 40,000 Twitter followers, Eddie Shleyner talks how to start blogging, Adan Connell lists the 11 best social media plugins for WordPress, plus the Passive Voice gives us a humorous model privacy policy courtesy of XKCD.


Want a library in your home? Sarah S. Davis has a librarian’s top 5 tips to help you build a home library.

Manuel Betancourt outlines the 4 rules for a good book club (and how the group featured in the movie Book Club breaks almost all of them).

Rejection is nothing new in the writing profession. Check out when Walt Whitman’s poems were rejected for being too timely.

Mary and Percy Shelley’s story is often romanticized, but Fiona Sampson takes a look at the treacherous start to Mary and Percy Shelley’s marriage.

What’s the weirdest thing you ever bought? Erin Bartnett reveals 9 weird literary relics people spent serious money on.

That’s all for this week’s Top Picks Thursday! Tune in Friday, Saturday, and Sunday for our annual nightly recaps from the Philadelphia Writers’ Conference.


  1. Thanks for including my article on 11 ways to connect with authors in your genre!


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