Posted by: Kerry Gans | September 20, 2018

Top Picks Thursday! For Writers & Readers 09-20-2018

Welcome to this week’s Top Picks Thursday! September 25th is National Comic Book Day, so break out your favorite comics and enjoy!

Check out the 2018 Dayton Literary Peace Prize winners.

In a controversial move, the Pennsylvania Department of Corrections is cutting off access to volunteer-run free books programs.

The TV show The Great American Reads returns.

Catherine Curan examines bookstores finding creative ways to survive and thrive in the age of Amazon.

Libraries are still important and relevant today, as evidenced by the $7.1 million Radnor library renovations, and other suburban library expansions, and Kristen Arnett asks: do you really need a degree to be a librarian?

Want to make your picture book a bestseller? Get a giddy grandma to read it on tape. Here’s the viral video of a Scottish grandmother reading The Wonky Donkey.


So much goes into even the shortest story. Kristen Lamb looks at time as a literary device, Lee McKenzie shares what photographer Annie Lebovitz taught her about writing, and Jami Gold applies TV lessons to chapter hooks.

Characters are the lifeblood of our stories. Janice Hardy asks: are you making this character flaw mistake?, while James Scott Bell reminds us that true character comes out in stressful moments. When your characters talk to each other, Andrea Mitchell guides us through using speaker tags and beats correctly, and Janice Hardy reviews formatting dialogue in fiction.

Writers are always trying to polish our writing after our drafts are finished. Rachelle Gardner has some tips for tightening your writing, and Julie Glover shares 4 easy edits that make your story flow better.

Sometimes stories require more than one book to be told. Jodi Meadows has 13 easy (and brutally truthful) steps to writing a fantastic sequel, Jo Jakeman explores the lasting appeal of fictional vengeance for the marginalized, and Stephanie Greene discusses 3 types of series.

Every writer wants to enhance productivity and trigger our creativity. Dawn Field shows how to use writing snippets to exercise your creative mind, and Melissa Donovan tells us how to break through a fiction writing block.

Writing is an emotional career. Janet Boyer shares 10 books to read when you are discouraged about being a real writer, Jami Gold wonders what you want to write but haven’t yet, and Zoje Stage discusses the reality of the post-publication blues.


Steve Laube asks all authors: have you checked your copyright lately?

Alicia Adamczyk reminds us that you don’t own the music, movies, or ebooks you buy on Amazon or iTunes.

Nonfiction writers, Erica Meltzer has 6 questions to help nonfiction writers find their niche.

For those interested in creating an audiobook, CJ Critt gives us an audiobook narrator’s guide for authors.

Grace Wynters brings us the writer’s edition of taking care of business, and Joanna Penn shares lessons learned from 7 years as an author entrepreneur.

What does success mean to you? Brooke Warner reframes publishing success.

Janet Reid addresses building a co-career with a writing partner, and what to do when life knocks you down during revisions. Kristen Lamb delves into the all-important log-line.

Marketing is how we sell our books. Speaking engagements and reviews are important avenues for selling your books. Jodee Blanco lists the do’s and don’ts of author speaking, while Melissa Bowersock shares her results from using Voracious Readers Only for revues and sales.

Our author platform supports our books, and many platforms incorporate a blog. Lisa Tener has 7 benefits to growing an author platform before writing your book, Darren Rowse discusses using checklists and templates to make your blogging easier, Zoe M. McCarthy gives us less common interview questions for blog author interviews, Jordan Peters asks 10 questions every blogger should ask themselves, and Cristian Mihai tells us how to end your blog posts like a boss.


Author friendships are so important. Imani Perry examines the radical friendship of Lorraine Hansberry and James Baldwin.

Philip Metres discusses the third most popular poet of all time.

In honor of her birthday, 20 noir-to-the-bone quotes from the queen of crime, Agatha Christie.

Max Booth, III, examines Stephen King as crime writer.

Actress Sally Field talks about her life in her In Pieces memoir.

Stuck on your memoir title? Use this handy chart to title your inspirational memoir.

Your life is a genre. Take the quiz to see what genre it is!

Erin Barnett explores the 10 weirdest places Shakespeare plays have been performed.

Quite a prize! A customer wins his favorite bookshop in a raffle.

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

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