We may be having an unseasonably warm December this year, but that doesn’t give you an excuse not to do your holiday shopping!
If you’re looking for something special for the writer in your life, then look no further. We know what writers really want. First, get them a StoryStudio gift certificate, which they can use towards any class in our Chicago studio or online. Then, check out our Annual Holiday Gift Guide for Writers below.
1. Literary Magazine Subscription
Do you know a writer who is ready to start putting their work out there? One of the best pieces of advice for writers trying to get stories, essays, and poems published in literary magazines is to actually read the magazines you’re sending your work to. Help a writer out by letting them sample a variety of literary magazines with a subscription to Journal of the Month. Reading these publications is also a great way to keep up with the literary scene and support other writers, making this a gift that’s warm and fuzzy in addition to being seriously practical. – Maria Hlohowskyj
2. Evernote Notebook
Does your writer have a lot of loose sheets of paper like I do? I found that using Evernote is a great way to keep my writing notes, and my life, a bit more organized. If I want to disconnect from the hive mind, I can use the Evernote notebooks – they are Moleskine and come with a few months of Premium! You can use the Evernote Camera to take pictures of your notebook pages. Evernote recognizes handwriting within captured images, so you can search and find a specific word later. It’s a great way to combine old school techniques with tech. A basic Evernote subscription is free, but you can always gift your writer the Plus or Premium options. – Sherry Welch
3. Cooking Classes
My favorite gift for writers this year? Time to get out of our heads and away from the computer! Sometimes the best inspiration comes from going into the world and trying something new. I love taking cooking classes at The Chopping Block. They offer classes for kids, teens, and adults – all hands on and open to every level of experience. You can choose classes like Pasta Workshop, Tapas Party, Sunday Roast, Food and Wine of France, and more. I don’t cook very often and that’s what makes it fun! It’s an evening of being creative without any pressure of perfection. Plus, you get to eat the finished project- that never works with my first drafts. – Jen Coffeen
4. Delightful Detox Day
Help your favorite writerly person procrastinate better — all under the guise of good health!
Writing can be hard on the fingers from typing, hard on the lumbar from sitting, and hard on the digestion from all of that despair. We can write only as well as we feel, and so send your aspiring novelist or essayist to Lincoln Square Massage for an hour of muscle kneading (or hot stones, or reiki…). Or get them to Earth’s Healing Cafe and treat them to any number of power smoothies, from the poetic (“Liquid Sunlight”) to the practical (“My Liver Is Clean”). Both options are close to the studio, convenient for a pre- or post-workshop detox. – Scott Onak
5. Typewriter Dessert Plates
If there’s one thing that’s guaranteed to help me out when I’m feeling stuck, bummed out, or uninspired, it’s an energetic workshop session with my best writer friends. Encourage the writer in your life to host a workshop night with these adorable typewriter dessert plates from Circa Ceramics. Who wouldn’t want to get together for a feedback session while eating a slice of pie served on one of these? Plus, in addition to being cute and sturdy, Circa Ceramics products are handmade just two blocks away from StoryStudio. – Maria Hlohowskyj
6. A Typewriter Keyboard
If you want to pamper your writer, consider giving them the classic feel of a typewriter keyboard that actually works with their computer. Qwerky Toys offers a typewriter keyboard (with classic mechanical switches) that connects to your computer wirelessly. With a splurge price of $349.00, it’s definitely an investment. But imagine the feeling of typing a novel with those satisfying typewriter clicks! – Sherry Welch
7. Pie Charts
Sometimes, the best gifts are the ones we give ourselves, and a pie chart– yes, a pie chart– is not only a great gift to give yourself, but a necessary one.
Yes, yes, we need those gorgeous Italian leather notebooks and fancy pens made from reclaimed wood, and a dozen apps on our phones and computers. But more than anything, a writer needs time. Time to develop thoughts, to exercise the writing muscle, to write bad sentences that will later be turned into good ones. But time is in short supply these days and writing time in particular gets sandwiched in between work, the gym, kids’ soccer games, and checking Facebook.
So here’s your gift: Take a half hour to think about how you really want to spend your time next year. Draw a pie chart to display that time visually. Choose colors and attach minutes, hours, or percentages to those desires. And whatever time you commit to your writing on your pie chart, then commit that time to your writing in 2016. – Jill Pollack
(Jill practices what she preaches. Check back on this blog in January to see Jill’s pie chart for 2016.)