Monday, November 23, 2009

For the Writer on Your List

Ten Things That Make Great Gifts for Writers

Books: We write them, we read them, we love them. There isn't a single book gift I've received that I haven't wallowed in during the holidays, especially when it's a surprise book. One year a friend of mine filled a stocking with a mug, some packets of hot chocolate mix and some new mystery paperbacks she thought just sounded cool; I discovered three authors (Harlan Coben, Linda Fairstein and Sue Grafton) I still read ($7.99 for most new paperbacks; B& has free shipping for orders of $10.00 or more for their members)

Bookseller Online Gift Certificates: Hands down the most painless for you/most welcome for them gift for any writer on your list. You purchase and e-mail it to them and you're done (B& offers them in amounts ranging from $10.00 - $250.00)

Healthy Cooking X 2: Cooking Light Magazine is offering a 2-for-1 holiday gift subscription where you get 1 year/12 issues for your writer plus a second subscription for you. ($24.00 = $12.00/subscription)

Just for Journaling: For the writer who doesn't put everything on their blog, Vera Bradley Frankly Scarlet Flexi 6" X 8" Journal has 160 lined/lightly decorated pages and a closure band ($10.36/$9.32 for B& members)

Levengers: With a catalogue writers and readers have been known to drool over, and some very dreamy but extremely expensive items, Levengers is definitely dangerous. But they also have a sales section that usually has some decent buys under $25, like this Notable Impressions Notebook and a colorful collection of Wordsmith's Rubber Bands and Clips, each marked down to $9.95 (various prices)

MagPo: I absolutely love Magnetic Poetry, and there are all kinds of editions for everyone on your list (most are $19.95.) For writers I like to give the Writer's Remedy ($14.95) or The Poet Edition ($19.95.) I admit, the one I still play with most is the little kit in the back of The Magnetic Poetry Book of Poetry ($13.95/$11.92 for members at B&

P&W: It might be stuffy at times -- okay, most of the time -- but the monthly, extensive listings of contests, open calls, grants and other writer sub ops make the print version of Poets & Writers magazine worth the annual subscription rate (currently $14.97/six issues)

Shakespeare's Den: For those classic lit-lovers and calligraphy nuts on your list, I recommend having a look around the unique offerings over at Shakespeare's Den. They always have some cool stuff in the sales and clearance section; I like this stylus and nib set for a very reasonable $9.95 and this very unusual musician's writing set for $19.95 (various prices)

Smithsonian Online: The virtual gift shop of the Smithsonian Museum is where I go when I need a gift for a hard-to-shop-for writer. Like Levengers they can be very pricey, but they run weekly web specials during the holidays and have a decent selection of gifts under $25.00. Two that appealed to me are a set of six Cloisonné pens for $24.00, a set of six Cloisonné kitten bookmarks for $15.99, and a calligraphy letter holder for $14.99 (various prices)

Thesaurus & Art: Thinkmap's Visual Thesaurus is one of my favorite gifts to give to writers; they offer a free 14-day trial if you want to test drive it first, and they also have a couple of subscription options, including online access on a monthly basis, which you can cancel at any time ($2.95 per month as you go, $19.95 for an annual subscription, and $39.95 for CDs for the software.)

Have you guys found any great gifts for writers or readers out there? Tell us about them in comments.


  1. Hmm. I need to let my husband see this post. :-D

  2. Some awesome ideas in there. In addition to books and cocoa, there's tea and cozy fleece socks for curling up to read in when the weather's too chilly to be barefoot.

  3. I am always happy with B&N gift cards.

    Thanksgiving MeMe

  4. For writers: I can't sit in a chair for very long, so I have to write from bed occasionally. I found the Winsome Alden Lap Desk Flip Top & Drawer. I really want this! LOL!

    Surely other writers like (or need) to write from bed like me.

    For readers: If I can, I'd like to plug the ArtFire store of a little girl who's making book thongs and other beading work. She's doing this entirely as a real business venture (with mom supervising of course).

    Distinctively DD (

    When I received my first book thong, I thought it was beautiful, so I custom ordered three more as stocking stuffers for a few friends.

    Disclaimer: While I know this little girl's mother from the blogging world, I am in no way affiliated. In other words, I'm not being paid. :o)

  5. Oh, Lynn! Did you not know that Levenger has an official eBay outlet? Levenger_Outlet. I could be in some serious trouble there!

  6. I've often picked up thumb drives when they are loss leader priced at Staples or Target. Writer types do appreciate them.

    If you are a knitter, the free Fuzzy Feet pattern from Knitty is a fantastic pair of slippers. You can semi-felt them, give them to the recipient and let them do the last bit of fulling so they are a completely custom fit.

  7. Books always rock. Something else I like, iTunes gift cards... I'm always able to find new music to listen to while I write.

    On a personal front, I'm telling the DH just to give me $$. I need a new laptop and the more $$ I get, the better a laptop I can get.

  8. Hey, Shi -- did you read the article about laptops and what makes 1 in 3 of them fail within the first 3 years? It's here; check it out before you buy.

  9. I spent the money and bought a Toshiba and three years later (knock on the proverbial wood) it's still running like I just took it out of the box.

    If there was only a way to put the MAC OS on it...

  10. Anonymous8:38 AM

    I worked for Levengers when it first opened. Nice people to work for: I'm glad they've been so successful. As the owner's husband told the story, the idea for the store struck her vacationing in Denmark. It was initially a fairly small office, mail-order operation in Boca Raton.

    That journal is a steal for the $. I think I found a good stocking stuffer for my wife.

    Magnetic poetry on the fridge is good for the rugrats except when they decide to eat it.


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