Posted by: J. Thomas Ross | June 14, 2018

Top Picks Thursday! For Writers and Readers 06-14-2018

The Author Chronicles, J. Thomas Ross, Top Picks Thursday, American flag

Flag Day, June 14 (Photo by Andre Benz on Unsplash)


Welcome to this week’s Top Picks Thursday! If you see people flying American flags today, that’s because it’s Flag Day. Since today is also National Strawberry Shortcake Day, you could also celebrate by having a heaping serving of strawberry (red) shortcake with whipped cream (white) with a few blueberries for the blue.

Possibly because people increasingly have more things to do than time to do them, shorter literary forms are experiencing renewed interest: NPR’s Colin Dwyer notes that poetry is making a big comeback in the U. S. and Mara Purl declares writing short fiction is in: all about novellas, novelettes, stories, and flash.

The Authors Guild announces its creation of regional chapters in 14 U. S. cities.

Lee Wild shares Tom McAllister’s insights into this writing life and why we live it.

Allison Flood reports in The Guardian that Kamila Shansie’s Home Fire wins the 2018 Women’s Prize for Fiction.

Literary Hub‘s Emily Temple has collected the best writing in memoriam of Anthony Bourdain, chef, best-selling writer, and traveling television host, who died last week of an apparent suicide.

The Author Chronicles, J. Thomas Ross, Top Picks Thursday, strawberry shortcake

(Photo by Joseph Gonzalez on Unsplash)



Do you attend writers conferences? Steven Spatz reveals why every writer should attend at least one writers’ conference, and Meredith Schorr shares five things she’s learned from attending a writer’s conference.

Some writers stick to one genre; others explore many. Aminatta Forna illuminates the truth about fiction vs. nonfiction, and Alex Fullerton details 8 tips for writing a cookbook. Also, Lisa Tener examines ghostwriting: what to charge.

For writers who are just getting started — or having trouble getting started — Nancy L. Erikson recommends making a plan to start writing your book, Pat Stoltey spells out her cure for writer’s block and procrastination, and Jami Gold mentions 5 lies writers believe that are holding them back.

Once you’re writing, you want to write well. Roz Morris gives five tips for writing good prose, Stavros Halvatzis advocates brevity, clarity, and simplicity in writing, and Melissa Donovan clarifies using quotation marks for fiction writers.

Nathan Bransford focuses on everything you need to know about novel perspectives, and Janice Hardy relates 5 ways repetition is hurting your novel.

A variety of complex characters brings a story to life. In fact, in The New York Times, Motoko Rich reports that, for Japanese novelist Sayaka Murata, odd is the new normal. Janet Reid delves into the sticky area of white folks writing characters of color, and Piper Bayard gives 5 writing lessons about characters from The Americans. K. M. Weiland lays out 5 steps to writing great character chemistry, while Janice Hardy asks: how much do you need to describe your characters?

Jeanne Kisacky explores non-verbal communication in writing. Lisa Hall-Wilson ponders emotional layers: entry to deep point of view.

Donald Maass advocates building a box: setting story parameters, and Jami Gold asks if sneaky plot holes are lurking in your story, while Jordan Dane presents Pixar storytelling — 20 points writers can learn from animated stories.

For those in the research stage of writing, Chandler Bolt provides 7 killer research tips, and Nick Dybek considers how too much research can ruin your novel.

Creating a believable setting for your characters is important too. Mark Alpert goes over the basics of world building, Laurence MacNaughton zeroes in on 6 secrets of science fiction and fantasy world building, and for those writing crime fiction or thrillers, Ban sets out a primer on organized crime.

The Author Chronicles, J. Thomas Ross, Top Picks Thursday, books

(Photo by Kimberly Farmer on Unsplash)



In regard to book reviews: Judith Briles addresses getting your print books reviewed pre and post publication, Patti Thorn details a book review checklist: what to do before submitting for a review, and Kate Tilton shows how to update your ebook without losing your reviews.

For those interested in marketing, Kimberly Dawn Rempel sets out 5 winning strategies for marketing a book, and Sandra Beckwith gives 6 book marketing lessons from the big guys.

Frances Caballo stresses 7 tips to networking on the social web (part 1).

Kathryn Craft clears up when to put your best writing forward.

Blogging was a popular subject this week. Cristian Mihai explains how to find your blogging muse and how to win friends and influence people (as a blogger), Alee King discusses how to create a simple welcome email series for your blog, and Ryan Biddulph shares 7 tips to simplify your blog for stunning success.

Miral Sattar identifies 7 foolproof SEO tips for authors, and John Burke discusses important author website metrics to monitor.

Chris Syme suggests ways to be prepared for when you are the victim of an online attack.

Judith Briles reveals why authors should be speaking on their books … their expertise. Joanna Penn discusses money for authors: income, profit, and cashflow.

The Author Chronicles, J. Thomas Ross, Top Picks Thursday, open books

(Photo by Patrick Tomasso on Unsplash)



BuzzFeed‘s Farrah Penn introduces graphic designer John Atkinson’s extremely condensed, hilarious versions of famous books.

Atlas Obscura‘s Sarah Laskow rediscovers lost literary treasures of the American Midwest, and Victoria Dailey tells how LA became a destination on the rare book trail.

Literary Hub‘s Book Marks shares the remarks of C. S. Lewis, W. H. Auden, and Edmund Wilson on The Lord of the Rings.

Where do famous writers live? Jamie Doward of The Guardian reports that fans of George Eliot are attempting to kick-start restoration of her crumbling former home in Coventry in anticipation of her bicentennial year in 2019, and Lucia Benavides explores her feelings when she discovered that Gabriel García Márquez once lived in her apartment.

What’s a hero without a villain? Emily Temple lists 40 of the best villains in literature.

That wraps up this week’s Top Picks Thursday. See you next week!


The Author Chronicles, J. Thomas Ross, Top Picks Thursday, blank open journal, pencil

(Photo by Jan Kahánek on Unsplash)


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: