Posted by: Kerry Gans | March 11, 2021

Top Picks Thursday! For Writers & Readers 03-11-2021

Welcome to this week’s Top Picks Thursday! Sunday, March 14th is National Write Down Your Story Day. Even if you don’t have a fiction story to write, write down your family history story. As a genealogist, I can tell you that future generations will love you for it.

For International Women’s Day, Publisher issues a diversity toolkit to help publishers see where they are in diversifying, and giving tips to help them improve.

The line between music and poetry has always been a fine one, and Adam Bradley introduces the artists dismantling the barriers between rap and poetry.

Victoria Strauss of Writer Beware issues the following publisher cautions: Riverdale Avenue Books, Breaking Rules Publishing, and Adelaide Books.


Do you ever wonder how poets decide how to order their poems in a collection? There are many different ways to approach it, and Rachelle Toarmino describes how to arrange a poetry collection using mix tape rules.

Writing time-travel? Nicole Galland has 6 things to ask yourself about your time-travel story.

If you like to write short, Gina Barreca lists 6 essentials for writing flash fiction and nonfiction.

For all the crime and thriller writers: Russ Thomas shares 7 tips for writing police procedurals that readers love, and Garry Rodgers explains Locard’s Exchange Principle for mystery and thriller writers.

If your interests leans toward nonfiction, Melissa Donovan presents a guide to writing creative nonfiction.

Lots of writing craft can be broken down and analyzed and rules distilled, but some are more elusive. Terry Odell takes a look at voice, while Janice Hardy shows us 5 places to find your novel’s theme.

Structural analysis can help you find the issues with your story, and point the way to fixing it. Gabriela Houston discusses intimate vs. epic narration, Kristen Lamb points to common story-telling flaws in horror, and Janice Hardy examines how the midpoint reversal works and asks: does your novel have a problem?

Beyond structure, there are myriad other craft components to consider. Marilyn Simon Rothstein has 6 ways to add humor to your novel, Stavros Halvatzis urges us to infuse texture, color, and music in your writing, Becca Puglisi shares 11 techniques for transforming clichéd phrasings, Janice Hardy reveals 6 places info dumps like to hide in your novel, and Jenna Harte gives us tips on writing “the boring stuff” readers tend to skip.

Characters—and their interactions—push the story forward. K.M. Weiland continues her archetypal character arc series with the King arc, Carla Hoch talks fight scenes and dialogue, and Kris Maze lists 5 dialogue quick tips for page-turning fiction.

We all know good editing makes or breaks books. Jeanette at DIYMFA has 8 essential edits, Porter Anderson extols the benefits of professional editing, and Steve Laube shares proofreading tips and tricks.

Ever wonder what it takes to collaborate with another author? Each team likely has their own way of working, but Simon Turney and Gordon Doherty explain how to co-author a book: building continuity and avoiding pitfalls, and Shakil Ahmad and Ehsan Ahmad have 3 tips for writing with a co-author.

Making the most of our time is a constant effort. Shannon Swendson lays out how to make the most of the 24 hours we all get, Lincoln Michel investigates the invisible architecture that we use to keep us writing, and James Scott Bell discusses turning envy into energy.

So much of the writing process is subconscious and emotional. Tilia Klebenov Jacobs ponders where ideas come from, Rebecca Yarros has 5 tips for evoking emotion in writing, Katharine Grubb lists 9 signs of amateur writing, and Lisa Tener suggests a nonfiction writing meditation for digging deeper.

Writers have many obstacles to overcome. C.S Lakin tells how to face down writer fear, Isabel Allende writes on literary ambition and the power of mentorship, and Alexandra Oliva discusses being a writer when you literally cannot visualize scenes.


Where can freelancers find jobs? Evan Jensen has 14 freelance comedy writing jobs that pay you to make people laugh, and reports on LinkedIn Marketplaces: 4 updates on a new platform for writers.

If you are going indie, Kim Catanzarite lists 11 signs you’re ready to self-publish.

Going traditional? Janet Reid answers if you are pitching book 2 of a series, how much of book 1 should you mention?; Angie Hodapp tells how to pitch a character-driven novel, and Rachelle Gardner explains how to find comps for your books.

Marketing is all about platform. Nathan Bransford defines what an author platform is, Laura Drake discusses author as brand in 2021, Kacen Callender talks unfair social media expectations publishers throw on authors, and Courtney Maum believes that passion can be platform.

Mark Walker-Ford has the 8 best social media platforms to market your business in 2021, Sonja Yoerg explains how to make great visual ads, and Leila Hirschfeld lists 30 ways authors use videos to engage with readers.

Elizabeth S. Craig gives tips for easier book launch days, Penny Sansevieri shows how your Amazon bio can sell more books, and Sandra Beckwith brings us 10 free ways to increase author website traffic.

Once at your website, Lyn Wildwood  tells how to write an About page for your blog, Jane Friedman looks at blogging vs. email newsletters for writers, and Lindsay Liedke shows how to add both a contact form and a photo gallery to your WordPress website.


On The Creative Penn podcast, Joanna Penn discusses writing, marketing, and mindset with Steven Pressfield.

The Quarantine Tapes podcast with Paul Holdengraber has a two-fer this week: Wayne Koestenbaum on his quarantine-induced need to read poetry, and Johnny Temple on the elitism of the publishing industry.

On The Literary Life podcast with Mitchell Kaplan, Carol Edgarian reminds us that with every book, you have to woo your readers again.

Mitzi Rapkin’s First Draft podcast features George Saunders on thinking of story as ceremony.


Language is shaped by world events. Pia Araneta shows how people are tracking the changing ways we talk  in the Covid-19 era.

W.S. Winslow visits darkest New England in exploring what is the Northern Gothic literary tradition.

James Scott Bell introduces us to Bat Masterson, writer.

Spring is here (almost)! Kelly Jensen gathers ideas to upgrade your space by decorating with books.

Allison Flood asks: why are Lewis Carroll misquotes so common online?

Melissa Febos writes on the word “loose.”

Get excited: Julius Lobo has a brief history of the exclamation mark.

Alexandra Andrews delves into the great, mixed-up literary tradition of doppelgangers and impostors in crime novels.

That’s all for this week’s Top Picks Thursday! We’ll be back next week with more writerly links.


  1. […] Top Picks Thursday from The Author Chronicles – Best compilation of craft, inspiration, marketing and miscellaneous info from the internet. I skim it, and save stuff to read later. Excellent source […]


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: