Saturday, December 18, 2010

Last-Minute Gift Ideas for Book Writers

This week's exercise is to do something wonderful for a beloved writer in your life.  Maybe yourself!  Here's a short list of my favorite last-minute gift ideas for writers trying to get a book written.

Online subscription to the Wall Street Journal.  WSJ has some of the best articles on writing I've recently seen in mainstream media.  Cost $2.29 a week.  More information at

Scrivener.  A software program that's available now for Mac users, in 2011 for PC
users (out now in Beta version for PC), this is one of the coolest ways to do a storyboard online.  Cost $45.  More information at

Membership in International Women's Writers Guild.  Comes with information about Kitchen Table gatherings near your loved one's home for monthly writing groups.  Cost $55.  More information at

Subscription to AWP's Writer's Chronicle, the magazine for serious writers.  Cost $20.  More information at

Claire-Fontaine writing notebooks.  I came across these when I lived in France.  They are gridded pages and nicely bound, but not too nice--so the writer can go wild with scribblings.  I fill about three of them for every book I write--notes, ideas, inspiring pictures.  Cost $10-12.  More information

From Where You Dream.  One of the most effective writing books for anyone wanting to learn how to show versus tell.  By Robert Olen Butler.  Cost about $11.  More information

Collage kit.  Make your own collage kit for a writing friend or family member who needs a creative burst.  You'll need a nice piece of foamcore or posterboard ( 11 x 17 inches is a good size), scissors, a glue stick, and a pile of cut-out photos and inspiring words from magazines.  Include a time to do your collages together (this way, you'll get to do one too).  Cost:  under $10.

Mantra Mug (cool coffee or tea mug) from the inspiring Empoword.   Cost $12.  They also have Window Clings and other inspirational items to keep writers feeling creative.

Gift certificate to Papyrus writing-supply store.  Some great journals and writing implements, as well as beautiful stationery for the long-lost art of letter writing.  Cost $10 and up. More information

Gift of your time to give her/him some time to write.  Offer to take the kids for two hours, run errands, or otherwise free up your friend's time so she can write--alone!  Cost:  Free.

E-book reader.  Kindle is pretty darn popular, so if you want to splurge . . . Cost $139-189 and up.  More information

Writing class.  Check out (The Loft Literary Center) if you live near the Twin Cities.  Or (Grub Street School) if you're near Boston.  Or Hudson Valley Writers' Center near NYC (  All are amazing independent writing schools that feature so many great classes, your mind will spin.  In New Hampshire, there's also the wonderful NH Writers Project ( at Southern NH University.  And Madeline Island School of the Arts in Wisconsin (  I love them all! 

Paid manuscript consultation or editing.  The Loft's website has a good listing of editors and professional writers who read and evaluate manuscripts.   

Subscription to this blog.  Weekly writing inspiration and exercises.  If you sign up someone, be sure to let them know they can unsubscribe anytime.  Where to get it:  Cost:  Free.

Whatever winter celebration you're enjoying this month, I wish you the very best in family, friends, and creativity.


  1. I'm enjoying the gift of the blog subscription!

  2. Thanks Mary - great ideas... and what about your new writing book? Is it coming soon?

  3. Soon, but not in time for this holiday. Early 2011 if all goes as planned. Thanks for asking!

  4. Thanks, Joey! Glad you're enjoying the blog.

  5. Great post! I like the AWP magazine suggestion. I'm looking forward to the annual AWP conference coming to my backyard of Washington, D.C., this February!

  6. AWP is great. Enjoy the conference and thanks for reading this post!

  7. What a great gift ideas I like it. Will certainly visit your site more often now.


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