Posted by: Kerry Gans | June 28, 2018

Top Picks Thursday! For Writers & Readers, 06-28-2018

Welcome to the last Top Picks Thursday in June! Thursday, June 28, is National Handshake Day, and Friday, June 29, is National Camera Day.

This week, former poet laureate Donald Hall died at age 89.

Check out these award winners: the 2018 Caldecott, Newbery, and Legacy Awards, and the new Excellence in Graphic Literature Award.

Barnes & Noble will create kids’ graphic novel sections in all their stores.

Consider helping these literary nonprofits using books to make a difference.

In the Big Brother era, Mirela Roncevic examines preserving reader privacy in the age of digital surveillance.

Taking on a hot topic, Bran L. Ayres looks at if we should include trigger warnings for our stories.

As public libraries lose funding, David Barnett explores libraries run by volunteers.

Be creative with your marketing: Sandra Beckwith suggests using crazy July holidays for book promotion.

What does summer hold for you? Jenna Kadlec has summer horoscopes for writers.


Thinking of writing a book? Leigh Shulman has 8 steps on how to write a book, while Sara Shepard shows how to start a novel with a bang to hook readers.

Characters lead the readers through the story world. Mary Kole describes how to write big character life changes, Chris Winkle discusses 5 underused character archetypes, Ellis Vidler examines conflict, Lori Freeland takes a deep dive into dialogue, and Jim Dempsey demonstrates how to create drama with your character’s desires.

If you write romance or have a romance subplot in your story, Bran L. Ayres shows how to develop and show a healthy relationship, and Lisa Hall-Wilson examines the real body language of love.

Once we write, we must revise. Jami Gold breaks down the steps of revision to improve our storytelling, Gordon Long advises that solving your pronoun problems can benefit your writing in general, Janice Hardy has 8 tips for reviewing a manuscript critique, K.M. Weiland shares 6 steps in writing as the art of thinking clearly, and Ellie Maas Davis tells us how to know when your draft becomes a manuscript.

Writers find inspiration and information from many places. Michael Gallant discusses how to identify and contact expert sources for interviews for research, and Icy Sedgwick has 6 ways for writers to find inspiration in a graveyard.

All writers wish we could be more productive. Nathan Bransford extols the benefits of extreme calendaring, Daphne Gray-Grant has a two-fer with how to STOP negotiating with yourself about writing and how to work harder (not smarter), and Jennifer Baruta shares the merits of a writer’s notebook.

Clare Langley-Hawthorne asks if you have a muse, Ruth Harris delves into writers coping with failure, and Julie C. Dao explores knowing yourself better through writing.

Jami Ford has advice for writers just starting out, Joanna Luloff examines relatability in relation to likeability and empathy in fiction, and Jennie Nash discusses the growth mindset for writers.

Ruby Brunton celebrates 5 writers who blur the boundary between poetry and essay, and J. Kathleen Cheney explains why a serial might be a good move for your writing.


Getting published is a difficult journey. Jane Friedman explains how to evaluate small publishers, plus digital-only presses and hybrids; and Erica Liodice has 7 tips for avoiding publisher’s remorse.

People enter contests for a variety of reasons. But what happens when you win a full manuscript request from a publisher you may be less than thrilled to have? Steve Laube gives options.

Seeking an agent is a journey all in itself. Janet Reid looks at the importance of comps, Nathan Bransford tells how to list your publishing credits in a query letter, and Patrick McDonald gives tips to make sure you receive agent responses.

Marketing can be nerve-rattling for introvert writers. Bella Mahaya Carter explains how to harness your Yang to succeed, Dave Chesson examines the psychology of author marketing, and L.L. Barkat shares the introverts’ guide to launching a book.

Marketing is basically how you get the word out about your book. Dave Chesson explains what an author brand is and why you need one, Jeff Shear explores the dynamics of character, writers, and portrait photography; Jodee Blanco tells us how to choose the perfect book excerpt, and Joan Stewart lists 22 tips for breaking bread with journalists.

And if you have a blog as a way of reaching people, Darren Rowse shows us how to find images for your blog that won’t get you sued.


Attention dog lovers! Emily Temple shows us 12 famous authors at work with their dogs.

Lucas Maxwell has 5 reasons to start a Dungeons & Dragons Club in your library.

Books and wine together are fine. Tasha Brandstatter discusses 4 more literary wines.

Like to listen to your books? Maris Kreizman shares the best audiobooks read by authors.

The rise of the machines. RFID machines in British libraries are producing charming found poetry.

That’s all for this week’s Top Picks Thursday! We’ll see you next week for the first Top Picks of July!


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: