18. Gifts for Writers: Ask Audrey & Lacy


We’ve got our list–for Santa and our listeners–of great Christmas gift ideas for writers! If you’re shopping for a writing friend, or if you’re a writer who needs to inspire those who love you in this season of gift-giving, you don’t want to miss this episode {26:40}.


#1 A DIY Writing Retreat

Time, space, and money. It’s hard for anyone to get her hands on all three at once. Gift your favorite writer a couple of nights away! Find an affordable hotel (we also suggest exploring AirBnB for options) and book a weekend someplace easy enough for the writer to reach without too much travel time or personal expense, but far enough away for him or her to feel as though she has retreated from real life and can truly create!

#2 Out of Print Clothing

These folks put cool, bookish images on t-shirts, tote bags, etc. Darling options for both men and women. Don’t forget to check out the Poe-ka-dots Collection! Visit outofprintclothing.com today to take advantage of their Cyber Monday deals.

#3 Book Store Gift Cards

Far from being the worst, most impersonal gifts in the world, gift cards from book stores are usually a big hit with the writing crowd. Really, what you’re saying when you give a book store gift card to a writer is:

“I understand that this is your thing and that you have very nuanced tastes that I can’t even begin to predict. So, please, have at it! Go wild with whatever you want to buy!”

And please don’t use Amazon. Shopping for books at Amazon is like under-cutting every would-be author’s future in publishing. The best option is to patronize your local, independent bookseller, but we know online shopping is extremely convenient. We recommend that you look to BookDepository.com (They ship for free worldwide!) or ABEBooks.

#4 A Subscription to a Literary Magazine

Beyond being excellent reading, these will encourage the writer in your life to submit his or her own work! A few of our favorites: Ploughshares, The Paris Review, Granta, Gulf Coast Magazine, and Glimmer Train. Another idea: a subscription to Poets & Writers Magazine. Lots of great writerly resources in there!

#5 Writer’s Market 2015

This comprehensive resource for writers looking to publish is updated every year. Having the latest book on hand, along with access to the online database, is a fantastic tool. Visit the website.

#6 Books to Inspire Aspiring Writers

Classics we suggest: Writing Down the Bones by Natalie Goldberg, Bird by Bird by Anne Lamott, Still Writing by Danny Shapiro, This Won’t Take a Minute, Honey by Steve Almond, Zen and the Art of Writing by Ray Bradbury.

#7 Games Revolving Around Words & Letters

Scrabble, Boggle, Balderdash, Quiddler, and Bananagrams!

#8 Beautiful Things Made From Repurposed Books

Visit Etsy for more ideas like this one: a Christmas garland made from the pages of A Christmas Carol. Sweet, right?

There are also non-Etsy options, like this colorful, dramatic jewelry made from the pages of used books.

#9 Custom Journals

While Moleskines are a safe bet, there are lots of unique options out there. Ward Maps in Boston will cover journals with vintage maps!

#10 Books by the Postmasters Stable of Authors

So many of our authors have books out right now. Most recently, The Book of I by Jorge Armenteros got a big release, and Cameron Conaway’s Malaria: Poems has received some fantastic press, too! Visit our interview archive for a list of our authors. Links to their most recent books can be found on their individual posts.

Audrey’s Notes on the 2014 Tomales Bay Writing by Writers Conference

“The highlight of my whole experience was the Fellowship Winners Reading, because the eight fellowship winners were each introduced individually and then we each got to give a five-minute reading of our own work… I got to have Pam Houston introduce me at a reading.”

“It’s so gratifying as a writer to have people come up to you afterwards and say things to you like, ‘I would read the rest of this book.'”

Apply to Tomales Bay 2015

Closing Quote

“I tell them about Edgar’s sign-in sheet. I tell them to give this great dream that is burning them down like a house fire one lousy hour a day for one measly month, and when they’ve done that–one month, every single day–to call me back and we’ll talk. They almost never call back. Do you want to do this thing? Sit down and do it. Are you not writing? Keep sitting there. Does it not feel right? Keep sitting there. Think of yourself as a monk walking the path to enlightenment. Think of yourself as a high school senior wanting to be a neurosurgeon. Is it possible? Yes. Is there some short-cut? Not one I’ve found. Writing is a miserable, awful business. Stay with it. It is better than anything in the world.” ~ Anne Patchett, The Getaway Car

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