Christmas Gifts for Writers

A Google search for gifts for writers(or photographers or gardeners) and out comes a list of blogs to newspapers, all advising what to buy. I noticed that only one or two items on each list interested me, so I’ve put together my own. Some are expensive, some not.

1) A writers’ retreat. My favourites are the Writescape retreats organized by Ruth Walker and Gwynne Scheltema. Find them at

2) Scrivener, a superb writing programme from the folks at Literature and Latte. I’ve been using this gem through two books now and couldn’t do without out. It replaces everything from research notes on random bits of paper to character biographies kept in notebooks without a search function. It   allows the generation of a rudimentary plot synopsis and a virtual corkboard on which scenes can be repositioned. I could go on and on, but try it for a month. Now available for Windows.

3) Pens: To record those thoughts that would other wise be lost. I like Staples Optiflow: ca709364grp_1_std







4) Books on writing: I love to read books about writing. Writers Digest has a good selection, but there are others:

1. Stephen King, On Writing

2.David Morell: Lessons for a Lifetime of Writing

3.William Brohaugh: Write Tight

4. P. D. James: Talking About Detective Fiction

5. Sol Stein: On Writing

6. Jack Hodgins; a Passion for Narrative

5) A Kindle: Writers need to read everywhere and a Kindle is handy on the subway, in a bus, on that trip to  Europe.

7) Coffee maker, coffee mugs, coffee.

8) A web design package, perhaps from Linda Lyall who did Louise Penny’s

9) A smart phone with a camera, because you never know when the perfect scene to jumpstart your imagination will pop up in front of you. (The phone is always in your pocket, unlike your SLR)

10) Time, uninterrupted. If she has children, offer to babysit. If she needs a day away, offer your cottage, or pay for one day in a lovely B&B. I like the Gardener’s Cottage near Elora.

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