Posted by: J. Thomas Ross | September 13, 2018

Top Picks Thursday! For Writers & Readers 09-13-2018

The Author Chronicles, J. Thomas Ross, Top Picks Thursday, clouds and mountains

Clouds over the mountains in western Virginia


Welcome to Top Picks Thursday on the second Thursday of September. Summer is quickly coming to an end, although hurricane season seems to be ramping up. We hope everyone weathers whatever storms come your way with little damage or loss.

Whatever the weather, Joanna Penn lists 5 reasons this is the best time to be a creator, and Sue Coletta considers writers and dreaming.

For those just setting out on a writing career, George A. Bernstein shares practical advice for beginning fiction writers, and Sharlene Teo gives us the debut novelist’s guide to battling impostor syndrome.

Many writers have cats, but Cameron Shenassa expounds on why every writer should have a dog.

Since most writers will sooner or later need to speak before an audience, Betsy Graziani Fasbinder explains how writers can overcome their fear of public speaking.

If you’re looking for books for children, Maria Russo suggests 5 plucky, charming children’s books for toddlers.


Photo by Thought Catalog on Unsplash



Debating what to write? Linda Vigen Phillips writes about using free verse to deliver passion, Nellie Hermann contemplates the curious border between fiction and nonfiction, and Rebecca Monterusso sets out 6 things to consider before writing a novel.

For writers wanting to improve their craft, Kethy Steinemann provides 4 tips for better writing by using strong words, and Rochelle Deans gives 3 tips for writing a story that’s better than its flaws.

In two posts, Jami Gold focuses on characters: what it means to create layered characters and character conflict: goals, needs, and false beliefs. In addition, Margot Kinberg considers characters with hypochondria, and Diana Hurwitz discusses characters’ conflicts in communication.

Working on your story? Harrison Demchick presents five crucial tips for convincing action scenes, James Scott Bell goes into how to give your readers unforgettable moments, and BookRiot‘s Katherine Marciniak asks: cliffhangers: is the suspense worth it? Also, Kristen Lamb lays out 5 reasons your story is breaking down.

Donald Maass discusses options for writers feeling stuck.

If it’s time for editing your manuscript, AutoCrit shares a self-editing checklist for fiction writers. For those hiring an editor, Zoe M. McCarthy focuses on tips for cleaning up your manuscript for a hired editor, and Ellie Maas Davis explains how to work with a book editor.

Merilyn Simonds ponders how long it should take to write a book, while Daphne Gray-Grant reminds us why we should resist following the rituals of famous authors.

For those having trouble writing, Edie Melson supplies four tips to distract your internal editor, and Nancy L. Erickson reminds us to finish writing a book, you need to start writing it.


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

Photo by Beatriz Pérez Moya on Unsplash



Writing can be a hobby or a career. Christopher Jan Benitez explains 5 types of writing you can turn into a profitable career.

Looking for an agent? Jennifer Baker insists that if you know how to date, you know how to find a literary agent. If you’re querying, Janet Reid answers a question about whether you should mention your research in your query and how to query the only book you’ve written in a different genre.

Can you pitch your entire story in one sentence? Kristen Lamb examines the log-line.

Sandra Beckwith delves into traditional publishing or self-publishing.

On book marketing and promotion, Rose Andrews presents free book marketing strategies, part two, and Sophie Masson considers book promotion: what’s hot, what’s not. Anne-Catherine De Fombelle advocates going wide and finding global markets and also gives suggestions on going local and selling self-published books direct, while David Kudler takes a look at a new Amazon algorithm that has him revisiting KDP keywords.

Lizbeth Meredith sets out five ways to maintain book buzz while writing and managing post-pub life, and Lee Wind discusses booktubers and reaching your audience.

With advice on social media, Chris Syme declares it’s time for your fall platform inventory, and Kris Bock takes a look at building and sharing your author brand, while Annie Sullivan lists 10 Instagram tips for writers.

For those who have blogs and websites, Cristian Mihai addresses an often overlooked aspect of blogging that matters a lot and identifies 8 blogging mistakes that waste your readers’ time. Also, Jane Friedman lays out 10 ways to build traffic to your website or blog.

If you are considering crowdfunding to finance self-publishing, Becca Spence Dobias explores 7 essential questions for crowdfunding at Inkshares, and BlueInk Review‘s Madeleine Dodge offers 7 keys to crowdfunding on GoFundMe.


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

Photo by Anastasia Zhenina on Unsplash



Andrea Romano shares the 20 books most often left behind in hotel rooms.

Budget Travel‘s Danielle Bauter names 7 unique bookstores in the U.S.

BuzzFeed‘s Kirby Beaton recommends 31 podcasts for every type of book lover.

Matthew Sherrill tells the story of John Quincy Adams’ forgotten epic poem, written after he lost reelection to the presidency.

Literary Hub‘s Melanie Hobson lists 9 novels in which houses have a life of their own, and Becky Chambers explores how The Left Hand of Darkness changed everything.

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


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

Rainbow over I-81, Maryland



  1. Thank you very much for the kind mention and link.


  2. Thanks for the shout-out!


  3. Thanks for mentioning me in the post. Great list – I’m in good company 🙂


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: