Christmas Gifts for Writers (and other hard-to-buy-for people)
Momentary panic set in this past weekend when I came across a count-down-to-Christmas clock on a website. I don’t know what date I THOUGHT it was but seeing that Christmas was about two weeks away made me freak out—just a little bit.
I haven’t bought many gifts and I haven't finished decorating the house because I’m immersed in my work in progress. I’ve been slogging through a middle-grade novel for the better part of a year. This is a book that shouldn’t have taken this long to write, and yet, here I am. The rough draft will be finished by December 22. (Yes, you can hold me to that.)
I will need to take a break to finish decorating and buy some gifts. I am certain some of you have the same gift-giving challenges. I’m sharing some fab gift ideas for your writerly family and friends to help you (and me!) this holiday season. Many of these are also great for readers and other hard-to-buy-for folks. And there’s still time to order and get these before Christmas!
Seriously, I’m buying some of these as I write my blog today. So, hey, that’s a win-win!! To my dear family—this is also a great place for ideas for ME!
$20 OR LESS
These are great for the Jane Austen fan. Too cute!
This waterproof notepad and pencil for the shower comes with 40 perforated sheets. Who hasn’t had a brilliant idea in the shower? Now you won’t lose it!
For the grammarian: This book is described as the most irreverent and helpful book on language since the #1 New York Times bestseller Eats, Shoots & Leaves. The author spent more than three decades in The New Yorker's copy department, maintaining its celebrated high standards. Now she brings her vast experience, good cheer, and finely sharpened pencils to help the rest of us in a boisterous language book as full of life as it is of practical advice.
I’ve met Nathan and own this book. Great advice!
The most important thing to know about writing a novel is this: You can do it. And if you've already written one, you can write an even better one. Author and former literary agent Nathan Bransford shares his secrets for creating killer plots, fleshing out your first ideas, crafting compelling characters, and staying sane in the process.
From Cauldron Cakes to Knickerbocker Glory—More than 150 Magical Recipes for Wizards and Non-Wizards Alike
Ha – who wouldn’t love something with that witty of name? 25 individually tagged teabags with literary quotes from the world over.
Ex Libris Anonymous recycles vintage hardcover book covers and creates 75 page journals. There are a variety of covers to choose from and if you buy 5 you get one free! I really love these. It’s not just adult book covers, they even use covers from Golden Books, Hardy Boys, Nancy Drew, and Dr. Seuss. (You’ll find a favorite—maybe even for yourself!)
This is a book that I will reread every so often! Immensely helpful and illuminating to any aspiring writer, this special edition of Stephen King’s critically lauded, million-copy bestseller shares the experiences, habits, and convictions that have shaped him and his work.
THE EMOTIONAL THESAURUS: A WRITER'S GUIDE TO CHARACTER EXPRESSION by Angela Ackerman & Becca Puglisi $14
One of the biggest problem areas for writers is conveying emotion to the reader in a unique, compelling way. When showing our characters’ feelings, we often grab onto the first idea that comes to mind, and our characters end up smiling, shrugging, nodding, and frowning far too much. This book will help writers get beyond the basics.
These are super fun—from an Etsy store. So quantities might be limited.
Covered with 30 of the Bard's funniest and most biting insults from his plays. (12 oz. mug - dishwasher and microwave safe.) Comes in a colorful box.
FUN POSTCARDS $16 - $19
There’s something special about receiving a handwritten note in the mail. Here are a few postcard sets for the literary minded.
Penguin Classics Postcards $17: A set of 100 classic book covers in postcard form.
Bibliophile: 100 Literary Postcards $16: This collection of 100 postcards showcases bold graphic interpretations of 50 of the greatest literary quotes of all time. From Virginia Wolf to Oscar Wilde, from Brontë to Poe to Austen, each piece will spark your imagination and kindle your creative spirit.
Postcards from the New Yorker: One Hundred Covers from Ten Decades $19: The New Yorker was launched in 1925, and offers reporting, criticism, essays, fiction, poetry, humour, and cartoons.
This set of 26 illustrated idea cards has helpful suggestions and specific tips to try—they can be used by individuals or in a classroom setting.
I own this innovative kit. It includes a 64-page booklet filled with exercises and instructions that focus on a "right-brain" approach to writing. 60 exercise sticks: First Sentences, Non Sequiturs, and Last Straws will get stories off the ground. 60 cards fuel creative descriptions, and four spinner palettes will ignite unexpected plot twists. Fun!
I received this humorous clock as a gift and have it hanging on the wall in my office. It looks great . . . and although I have few visitors in my inner sanctum, it is always a conversation piece when I do.
$20+ AND UP AND UP
What do you get the book lover who has it all? A scratch off wall art poster featuring a bucket list of the greatest books for their personal library, that's what!
If you’ve never heard of Litographs you are in for a treat. This company creates t-shirts, totes, scarves, blankets, posters and more. They take words from our favorite books and create amazing designs that are inventive and witty. Posters are $24. T-shirts are $34.
Always, always back up your work. This hard drive makes it easy peasy.
This is so adorable. Who doesn’t need a typewriter inspired mechanical keyboard? There’s a built-in tablet stand, too.
I have a set of these and love them. These are great for anyone who needs to block out unwanted distractions.
Yes, writers forget to eat . . . this does not happen to me. If you know someone is working hard to meet a deadline and you want them to have some semi-regular decent nutrition, this is an excellent gift. Price-wise snack boxes run about $20/month. Full-meal services are obviously more than that. Mashable has an excellent list of recently reviewed services for ideas.
WRITING CONFERENCES OR ONLINE COURSES
Writer’s Digest Critiques, Workshops, & Webinars: Writer’s Digest offers some excellent online learning through webinars as well as a host of other print and online materials. Most single-session webinars are priced at about $90. You can buy gift cards for the Writer’s Digest products in different (smaller) denominations, too. Click here for the full catalog.
UW-Madison Continuing Studies: Writing Conferences, Workshops, & Courses $50+: If the writer in your life lives close enough to attend the Writers’ Institute in Madison, WI from April 4 – 7, 2019. I highly recommend registering your writer for this conference as a gift ($345). UW-Madison’s Division of Continuing Studies also has an excellent set of online writing courses to choose from starting at $50. (This list of courses includes in-person courses and workshops like “Weekend with Your Novel.”
What's the best writerly gift you've ever received? Comment below!
Happy shopping, everyone!!