Posted by: J. Thomas Ross | July 25, 2019

Top Picks Thursday! For Writers & Readers 07-25-2019

The Author Chronicles, J. Thomas Ross, afternoon storm clouds

Building storm clouds Monday—which resulted in our not having electricity until last night (the reason we are a bit late publishing today).


Welcome to this week’s Top Picks Thursday! Hope you’re enjoying your summer. Thanks for sparing a few minutes to check out our weekly collection of literary links.

For those whose interest in astronaut-themed books has been whetted by the 50th anniversary of the first moon landing, the Seattle Times staff has compiled a list of favorite fiction and nonfiction books, movies, and TV shows in that genre, while offers classic poems about the moon.

In case you need more suggestions for summer reading, Carly Silver shares 22 of the best summer books recommended by librarians.

On the subject of librarians, Literary Hub‘s Book Marks interviews the Houston librarian dedicated to community over quietude.

Susan Faust charts the sea change in diversity of children’s books, from the 1950s to today.

We never thought of this, but The Guardian‘s David Barnett asks: should books include credits like films (mentioning all the people who worked on publishing them)?

Winning Writers shares free literary contests with deadlines to August 31. [Note: some of the deadlines have passed, but there are plenty you can still enter.]

In Memoriam: Andrea Camilleri, beloved creator of Inspector Montalbano, dies at age 93 [reported in The Guardian by Alison Flood and Angela Giuffrida].


The Author Chronicles, J. Thomas Ross, roadside day lilies

Roadside day lilies.




Writers can have a profound influence on readers. Tracy Hahn-Burkett advocates making a difference by telling a story, and Gabrielle Maletto sets out 5 reasons you should mentor a creative writing student.

Going on vacation? Lainey Cameron highlights how to write while traveling.

We found a lot of advice for writers this past week. Amy Jones shares writing tips from Writer’s Digest Conference instructors, and Robert Lee Brewer give us 11 Aldous Huxley quotes for writers and about writing. From her own experiences, Sherry Howard sets down 8 things every writer needs to remember, while Laurence MacNaughton warns of 4 writing pitfalls to avoid at all costs.

In addition, Alycia W. Morales advises writers to know why you’re writing, and Sandy Kirby Quandt offers lessons writers can learn from throwing axes.

Suffering a confidence crisis? Sam Hooker suggests a way writers can improve their mindset: stop reading your book reviews; Angela Ackerman takes a look at how to stop self-doubt from holding you back from writing; and Patty Nicholas urges writers to never give up.

Are you writing in a particular genre? Gordon Long asserts genre writing is like playing jazz, Grace Scheufler avers science fiction is more than just gizmos, and Assaph Mehr considers world-building historical fantasy (or, of unicorns and icebergs).

Anna Schmidt, a romance-turned-literary novelist, offers tips on what to do when you outgrow your genre.

Stavros Halvatzis delves into planning your story, and Lisa Cron presents three simple questions that will unlock your story.

For those working on their plots, Brian Schmidt discusses character narrative as a plot device, and K. M. Weiland spells out how to make our plot a powerful thematic metaphor. Also, Janice Hardy sums up the perils of not knowing what happens next in your story and insists every scene should reveal something new.

If you need to tell your story from more than one point of view, Cassandra Lamb focuses on the right way to include multiple POVs.

Why do your characters do the things they do? Julie Carrick Dalton digs into interrogating characters about their motivations.

Steve Laube looks at oxymorons.

Cecilia Watson reveals 9 things you didn’t know about the semi-colon.

Dawn Field takes a comprehensive look at editing: is your manuscript ready for editing?


The Author Chronicles, J. Thomas Ross, dawn, humid misty summer sunrise

Misty summer sunrise.




Jenn Windrow has suggestions for when no one wants what you write, while Rachel Gardner explores the power of negative thinking (or, in other words, realistic optimism).

Is your manuscript ready for publication? Anne R. Allen names 8 reasons why your manuscript may be getting rejections, while Clare Langley-Hawthorne ponders when is a manuscript ready to be sent to an agent.

For those interested in putting out an audiobook, Nathan Bransford gives his take on Audible’s controversial new feature—Audible Captions, and James Scott Bell writes about producing his own audiobook.

If you’ve decided that self-publishing is for you, David Wogahn recommends that self-publishing authors should consider establishing their own imprints.

Are you marketing your book? Sandra Beckwith lists 13 ways to use a book award for marketing, and Martin Cavannagh asks: can you effectively promote a book on social media without spending money?

For authors who blog, Cristian Mihai lays out the 3 principles of effective blogging.

Do you have an author newsletter? Sandra Beckwith explains how to do an author newsletter swap.

Nate Hoffelder reveals 3 secrets to an effective landing page on your author site.


The Author Chronicles, J. Thomas Ross, tiger, Rick L

Photo by Rick L on Unsplash




Literary Hub‘s Katy Yocom gives us ten enduring stories of an endangered species, the fictional tiger.

Electric Lit‘s Jess Zimmerman writes about the towering influence of Leonard Cohen.

Seán Hemingway, grandson of the famous writer, reveals what Hemingway cut from For Whom The Bell Tolls.

In The Guardian, Mark Brown reports that the Charles Dickens Museum in London has bought a lost portrait of the young author 133 years after it went missing.

On the topic of the exploring the moon, the Boston Globe‘s Alyssa Lukpat tells us about the tiny book Buzz Aldrin took on the historic voyage to the moon, and Literary Hub‘s Martin Parr shows us the heroic Soviet space dogs.


The Author Chronicles, J. Thomas Ross, farm and field, sunset

Farm at sunset.


That’s all for this week’s Top Picks Thursday. Since next Thursday is the first of August, we’ll see you next month with another roundup of writerly links.


The Author Chronicles, J. Thomas Ross, fair weather clouds, fields

Beautiful weather after the storms.



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: