Posted by: Kerry Gans | October 25, 2018

Top Picks Thursday! For Writers & Readers 10-25-2018

Welcome to the last Top Picks Thursday of October! It’s National Chocolate Day, so celebrate with your favorite form of chocolate.

Anna Burns wins the 2018 Man Booker prize for Milkman.

A review of Milkman made Roz Morris question if we need a new term for literary fiction now.

Good news! Judy Blume has finally agreed to make a movie of Are You There God? It’s Me, Margaret.

NaNoWriMo is on many writers’ minds in these days waning days of October. Janice Hardy has tips to prep your novel’s middle and your novel’s end, while Anne R. Allen wonders if NaNo can help heal creativity wounds.

Is a workshop more your style? Diana Hurwitz lists writing workshops for November and December 2018.


No matter what fiction format we write in, the common denominator is that we need a good story. Melissa Donovan goes over the elements of plot and also gives us a storytelling exercise focused on process. Bill Ferris has a humorous look at the hack’s guide to writing an outline, and Lisa Cron tells us how to nail the first three pages.

Research of some kind is needed for almost every story. J. Kathleen Cheney tells us how to start the worldbuilding and research…and when to stop, while Dan Koboldt focuses on how to research your writing to ensure technical accuracy.

Characters populate all our writing. Dorian Cirrone shares 5 stops on your main character’s inner journey, Stavros Halvatzis examines strong character relationships in stories, Lisa Hall-Wilson has 5 tips on writing a trauma backstory, and Sue Coletta delves into psychology while explaining how to use false eyewitness testimony in thrillers.

Editing can be painful. Debbie Burke urges us to throw away scenes that just don’t fit, and Andrea Mitchell reveals tricky and confusing words to look for.

Writers take lessons from everywhere. Amber Mitchell gives us writing lessons from Dungeons & Dragons, Harrison Demchick lists 4 things writers can learn from making a movie, and Jenny Hansen explains the bikini wax theory of writing.

Creativity is a wonderful and elusive thing. Gordon Long pits creativity vs. grammar. Originality is also a sought-after commodity, and Kathryn Craft has some thoughts on “originality” in fiction.

Writing is often done alone, and usually built from an idea on up, but not always. Aria Grace shares the 5 top tips for successful co-writing, and Kim Bullock explores the idea of resurrecting a shelved manuscript.

Writers are forever searching for more productivity. Rachel Thompson tells us how to focus on writing right now, Rachelle Gardner urges us to find a time to write, and Zoe M. McCarthy advises finding worthy rewards for meeting your manuscript word-count goals.


Jane Friedman brings us the best marketing advice of 2018, Gila Green discusses a formula for the writing-marketing balance, and Sherrilyn Kenyon shares tips for long-term author success.

Porter Anderson reports on a study showing that sci-fi and women lead Canadian audiobook consumption.

On Writer Beware, Victoria Strauss highlights the continued decline of Author Solutions.

Publishing has changed drastically over the past few decades. Paul Goat Allen says the future of books is genre-blending fiction, and Alison Morton shows how writing of different lengths offers a book marketing advantage.

Although self-publishing is booming, agents are still vital for those wanting a more traditional deal. Bob Hostetler shares the best parts of being an agent, while Janet Reid answers ALL the questions this week: how to survive the on-sub process, what to do if you need pre-publication permissions, why you do not register copyright before publication, and why NOT to approach a movie agent with your manuscript.

Marketing means getting people to find your book and then enticing them to buy it. Sarah Bolme lists 5 obstacles to overcome to sell more books. Many of them can be overcome with ideas found in BlueInk Review’s 10 tips for hosting a successful book launch party, Sandra Beckwith’s 3 ways to pitch your book as a good holiday gift, and IngramSpark’s how to write a good book description.

Much of our marketing life is spent online these days. Joey Garcia advises us to streamline our online presence and gain more time to write, Frances Caballo says every author needs visual marketing, and Joel Friedlander explains the kinds of traffic that come to your site.

A major connection to your reader is often your blog. Cristian Mihai insists that nobody gives a damn how many blog followers you have, and also asks why should people read your blog? David Hartshorne tells us how to promote our blog, while Cait Reynolds reveals why she hates blogging…but does it anyway.


What makes classic stories classic? Sarah McCoy explores why Anne of Green Gables and Little Women still inspire us today.

S. Yurvati show us the making of a fable.

Jami Gold tells book lovers how to easily search for books at libraries, and Morgan Murrell has a quiz to find out how normal are your reading habits?

Now you can read to your kid with perfect sound effect accompaniment.

Arnold van de Laar diagnoses what mysteries and medicine have in common.

Like to travel? Beatriz Serrano has 4 British author destinations to add to your travel list.

For those of us who have always loved fantasy, Lev Grossman explains why we’ve always needed fantastical maps.

That’s all for this week’s Top Picks Thursday! Join us for the first Top Picks Thursday of November next week!


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: