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Meghan Ward

I'm a freelance writer and book editor represented by Andy Ross of the Andy Ross Literary Agency. You can read an excerpt of my memoir, Paris On Less Than $10,000 A Day, and visit my website for more info about me.

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18 Holiday Gifts for Writers

Yes! It’s that time of year. Time for the Writerland 2011 Gifts for Writers Buying Guide! In addition to the usual case of wine, Moleskine notebook, nice pen, and day-at-the-spa gifts that all writers love, here are 17 other great ideas:

1. Come On All You Ghosts by Matthew Zapruder
I work with Matthew, and he is one damn talented poet whose book was chosen as one of the New York Times 100 notable books of 2011. Matthew’s poetry rocks. And he’s a ridiculously nice guy. And every writer needs more poetry in his/her life. It’s inspirational, it’s thought-provoking, it takes us out of the daily grind of fiction and memoir writing (not to mention day jobs and housework.) Buy this book!

2. A Grotto class
The Grotto doesn’t offer gift certificates YET, but you can buy someone a Grotto class. This winter we will be offering a book proposal writing workshop with a real live agent as well as a performance workshop in addition to the usual novel, memoir, and nonfiction workshops, the social media class that I teach, blogging for journalists, and many more. (I want to take the performance workshop, in case you want to buy me a gift.)

3. A subscription to Poets & Writers, Writer’s Digest, or a literary journal like Zyzzyva or Tin House.
Poets & Writers and Writer’s Digest are both great publications full of author interviews, advice for budding writers, MFA program listings, writing contests, etc. Zyzzyva and Tin House are fabulous literary journals and a great way to support your favorite writers as well as give them gifts!

4. Tin House Writer’s Series
For $49.95 you can get the complete Tin House Writer’s Series, including Plotto, The Writer’s Notbook, The Story About The Story, and The World Within. It’s an MFA in a box! (Well, almost.)

5. Rumpus mugs
If your writer doesn’t have a “Writer Like a Motherfucker” mug, he needs one! Or if your writer is too prude for a motherfucker mug, you can buy him one of these other awesome Rumpus mugs.

6. Little Thinker Literary Plush Dolls
Ever wanted to sit down for tea with Jane Austen, Virginia Woolf, and Shakespeare all at once? Now you can with these literary plush dolls and finger puppets. UPDATE: Also check out these fabulous handmade literary dolls on Etsy.

7. Book Bags and Kindle and iPad cases
These are no ordinary book bags. These are hand bags made from recycled hardcover books, and they are gorgeous (I want one!). You can even custom order the book cover of your choice. Also available: iPad and Kindle cases!

8. Book Journals
Along the same line, book journals made from recycled hardcover books. Love these, too!

9. Boxed Set of Books
If you’re rich enough to buy your writer a $2000 gift, you may be interested in this boxed set of books at Anthopologie.

10. Angry Writer T-Shirts
I listed these T-shirts last year, but they’re still awesome. I like “Beware the Plot Bunny” – reminds me of Monte Python’s Holy Grail. “It’s just a harmless little bunny isn’t it?”

11. Rory’s Story Cubes
Now available as an iPhone app! This game looks super fun. I want to play it.

12. Literati
This game looks super difficult. I’m intimidated to play it.

13. A subscription to the New Yorker
If you have a love/hate relationship with your writer, (s)he will soon love/hate you, too. (S)he will love you for the fantabulous stories and articles in the New Yorker, and (s)he will hate you for the anxiety the weekly delivery causes as issues stack up unread while (s)he tries to finish his/her novel/memoir/short story collection. It’s a win/lose situation.

14. An Amazon or Apple iTunes gift card
If your writer reads e-books on a Kindle or an iPad, this is one of the best gifts you can give her.

15. Kindle, Kindle Touch, or Kindle Fire
At $79, everyone should own a Kindle! Even if you already have an iPad! That way you can read your Kindle e-books both at night and in bright sunlight.

16. Scrivener 2.2
If your writer has Scrivener already, upgrade her to Scrivener 2.2! Scrivener is an indispensable software application for writers working on book-length projects.

17. Other awesome books
Steve Jobs, IQ84, and 11/22/63 are my top pics for this holiday season. Running a close second: The Marriage Plot for Jeffrey Eugenides. All books that you should buy me the writer in your life this holiday season.

18. Writes of Passage This last one comes to us courtesy of Karen Elliott, who commented below. Huge board game fan that I am, I had to include it.

What about you? What are your favorite gift ideas for writers? What books do you want someone to buy you?

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