Posted by: Kerry Gans | April 8, 2021

Top Picks Thursday! For Writers & Readers 4-8-2021

Welcome to this week’s Top Picks Thursday! Saturday, April 10th, is Encourage a Young Writer Day. So send them a link to here to get them started with advice!

Mentors are valuable for beginning writers. Julie Artz explains how to get into mentorship programs for writers.

The quest for diversity and representation in literature continues. Translators weigh in on the Amanda Gorman controversy.

Porter Anderson reports that the US Book Industry Charitable Foundation raised $1 million for bookstores for COVID-19 relief.

Looking for places to get feedback on your work? Diana Hurwitz lists 2021 workshops and conferences from April to June, and Rachelle Gardner addresses whether you should enter writing contests.


If you write picture books, Mary Kole discusses picture books that show character change.

For more genre-specific advice: James Scott Bell on writing hardboiled fiction, Amanda Dennis writes on the narrative thrills of detective fiction, and Alma Katsu has 5 tips for writing a spy thriller novel.

Want to include animals in your work? Moriah Richard discusses how to select or create fantastic animals, and Carla Hoch discusses animals in fight scene.

Writers must master craft elements from the obvious to the subtle. The Book Designer has an overview of story elements, Stavros Halvatzis looks at the power of evocative language, Matthew Norman says scenes matter most, and Garry Rodgers breaks down the process of writing into the dark.

Characters carry our stories. K.M. Weiland explores the Maiden’s shadow archetypes, Sue Coletta discusses character foils, and Katharine Grubb tells how to create a happy protagonist.

Writers are always trying to improve our stories. Anne R. Allen compares writing rules vs. writing fashion, Nathan Bransford explains when to hire a freelance book editor, and The Book Designer has a comprehensive punctuation guide, and detailed guides to periods, commas, and exclamation points.

We can learn a lot about writing from other media. Nancy Johnson shares the valuable writing lessons she learned as a television reporter, Lisa Tener reveals what puzzles teach us about writing, and Deanna Cabinian learned 4 writing lessons from binge-watching TV.

Good writers constantly evolve. Kris Maze has 13 ways your writing inspiration already surrounds you, Roni Loren lists 5 ways to use a reading journal to improve your writing, and Sulaiman Addonia explores how writers without access to books develop a craft.


In further publishing contraction, News Corp nears a deal to buy Houghton Mifflin Harcourt’s consumer publishing arm.

Robert Frank investigates the winner-take-all behavioral economy of the book world.

Are you a freelancer? Carol Tice explains why freelance writer job ads almost always pay crap, and personal finance tips for freelancers, and Andrea Davis compiles 7 greeting card companies that pay freelancers.

For our self-publishers, The Book Designer has Amazon self-publishing facts and FAQs.

Sarah Hannah Gomez reveals how proof listeners make sure the audiobook matches the print, and how you can break into that job.

Marketing your book can be difficult. Kristin Lamb looks at how you can sell more books when you’re terrified of selling, while Penny Sansevieri has unique branding and content ideas for April and an infographic on how to sell books by strategically engaging readers.

In online marketing, Jane Healey shares 5 secrets to a successful webinar series, Charmaine Hammond describes how to get a book sponsor, SCBWI reveals the power of #BookTok, and Belinda K. Griffin advises that sometimes guest blogging is better than blogging.


If you are ever invited to be on a podcast, Colleen M. Story has tips on how to give a great podcast author interview.

On The Maris Review podcast with Maris Kreizman, Jo Ann Beard on what we’re writing when we write personal essays.

Jacke Wilson’s History of Literature podcast revisits the work of Frances Burney, “mother of English fiction.”

On the First Draft podcast with Mitzi Rapkin, Carol Edgarian says we write from our own urgency, our own questions.

Joanna Penn’s The Creative Penn podcast, she has a two-fer: fix your writing tics with Chris Banks and writing dialogue and character voice with Jeff Elkins.


Ashawnta Jackson explains how Kitchen Table Press changed publishing.

In a project meant to protect indigenous knowledge, UCLA’s Archive of Healing, a trove of medical folklore, is now online.

Shakespeare has been around for centuries, but Livia Gershon asks: are we getting Shakespeare’s rhythms all wrong?

That’s all for this week’s Top Picks Thursday! Join us next week for more writerly links!

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