All the Top Writers for 2016 have been declared, but some of our favourites, unfortunately, didn’t make the list. Who are your favourites who didn’t make the list, and should be a new Top Writer in 2017?

This question propagates through friendship networks, and I’ve been reluctant to join in. I don’t want my nominations to be a mutual backslapping club; Top Writers are seen by outsiders as a clique already. And I’m unhappy about the lack of transparency of the award, or the fact that they hang in a closed Facebook group.

On the other hand, let me not be ungracious to my fellow mutual backslappers. It’s not like I knew them before I joined Quora, and it’s not like I friended them for the hue of their eyes. I don’t need a red quill to tell me that Michael Masiello and Dimitra Triantafyllidou are amazing and perceptive writers. Or that they are good souls.

So. I will not nominate them, out of an abundance of caution, though it is blatantly obvious to me that if they don’t deserve a red quill, noone does. For the same reason, I subscribe to the virtues of Joachim Pense and Dimitris Almyrantis that they have pointed out, and will not name them either.

I will instead go through the list of people I follow, and pick others I think are clear candidates, that have not already been mentioned. I’m stopping at three, because otherwise the choices get too painful:

  • Irene Colthurst. This woman is not already a Top Writer why, exactly? A walking encyclopaedia of Americana and American politics. A courageous and minutely well-informed voice.
  • Kelley Spartiatis. Just a fricking, foul-mouthed ray of sunshine. Engaging, hilarious, forthright.
  • Lara Novakov. For the sheer joy of seeing her explore the world with unjaded eyes.