Posted by: Kerry Gans | October 4, 2018

Top Picks Thursday! For Writers & Readers 10-04-2018

Welcome to the first Top Picks Thursday of October! It may be Halloween month, but there are no tricks here—just treats!

Brianne Alphonso highlights 14 writers imprisoned for their work.

Victoria Strauss of Writer Beware sends out a small press storm warning about Fiery Seas Publishing.

The Romantic theory of language origin believes that words have soul.

Michael Waters celebrates that Young Adult novels are finally telling the truth about internet friendships.

Great writers never die. Check out Maurice Sendak’s new posthumous children’s book.

“Love Your Bookstore” is a newly launched campaign to promote physical bookstores.


For historical fiction writers in particular, but can be applied to any story. Andrew Noakes discusses accuracy vs. authenticity: 5 tips for writing immersive historical fiction.

Large-scale elements can ruin a story if done incorrectly. Lisa hall-Wilson has a checklist for writing deep point of view like a pro, Jessica Brody has 3 common plotting mistakes when writing a novel, and K.M. Weiland gives us a Q&A of 6 outstanding questions about story structure.

Characters do the heavy lifting in our work. Mary Kole tells us how to write a proactive protagonist, Yvonne Hertzberger explores the beta hero as a non-stereotypical male character, Bonnie Randall discusses leveraging the emotional spectrum in your writing, Janice Hardy has 5 things to consider when choosing a character’s career, and Heather Webb describes how to write the authentic modern woman (especially if you’re a man).

Editing can bring your story to its full potential. Jami Gold gives us 9 steps to save a broken story, Ruth Harris lists 32 fixes for microblocks and miniglitches, Zoe M. McCarthy advises to watch for the word “some” in your story, Janice Hardy brings us 5 edits that can strengthen your writing right now, and Sara Wigal reminds us of the importance of proofing.

We all want to write better, faster. Jane Friedman lays out 3 principles for finding time to write, Emily Temple shares 25 writers’ views on writer’s block, and Laura Drake tells us why learning writing takes so long.

There is a great emotional and psychological component to being a writer. Grant Faulkner discusses overcoming creativity wounds, Laurie Patton reminds us that it’s okay to be a writer and a [fill in the blank], Elissa Gabbert wants to improve her writing memory, and Janet Reid lists 24 writing tips from Matthew Federman.

If you’re a blogger, Cristian Mihai urges don’t think, just write!, and Jordan Peters asks, are you creative enough?


Most authors want to make money on their books. Not only is it validating, but it helps pay the bills. Amy Collins discusses how to diversify one book into numerous revenue streams, and James Scott Bell explains how to make good dough self-publishing.

With the rise of self-publishing, vanity presses are no longer needed, but they still manage to snare enough unsuspecting authors to remain in business. John Doppler examines 5 reasons why authors still fall for vanity presses.

Going to conferences can be a great way to network with writers and other publishing professionals. Rachelle Gardner has some hot tips for conferences.

Those writers toiling in the query trenches sweat over making mistakes in our queries. Here, Janet Reid gives us examples of authors who did nothing wrong in their queries, yet are nonetheless authors behaving badly. So don’t do these things.

Branding and marketing go hand-in-hand. Jami Gold reminds us that our brand is our promise to our readers, Debbie Emmitt explains how to improve your author website with search engine optimization, and Frances Caballo discusses why authors need both email marketing and social media.


Got some cash? Robin Williams’ collection of rare books is up for auction.

There’s a reason so many librarians are also titled media specialists today. Kristen Arnett explores the dual role of librarian and tech whisperer.

Read about the literary heroes of teen Benjamin Franklin.

Danny W. Linggonegoro explains how doctors use poetry to heal.

William Faulkner was a great writer, but a really bad postmaster.

That’s all for this week! Settle into autumn, and we’ll see you next week!

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