It’s getting late in the gift-buying game, but there is still a moment or two to remember the writers and editors on your list, or give yourself the gift of encouragement for 2009.
I doubt that it could be shipped in time for the holidays, but Levenger has a sweet editor’s desk that I’ve had my eye on for a long time. Modeled after the desks of the medieval scribes, this piece of portable furniture allows you to read material that’s propped upright while you write or use a laptop. It’s solid alder with a cherry veneer, so it’s not cheap ($148 + S/H), but as Levenger asserts, “Our design is so solid, it’s good for at least a century.”
Another pertinent gift for those wanting to hone their craft would be paying for their tuition at a writer’s conference or workshop. A meta-list of good conferences is available at Writers’ Conferences and Centers (WC&C), which is run by the Association of Writers & Writing Programs (AWP), a nonprofit organization dedicated to fostering literary talent and achievement, advancing the art of writing as essential to good education. The site has a nice search function, so you can drill down to the type of program you want, and you can also sign up for an RSS feed to receive news of workshops that have been added to WC&C.
Other workshops that might be a delightful gift for the right writer in 2009 include the Poynter Institute’s low-cost National Writers Workshops for journalists, or the Clarion Science Fiction & Fantasy Writers’ Workshop which has been in business since 1968 and recently moved its headquarters to the University of California, San Diego. If your gift recipient is the type who doesn’t like to leave home, Writer’s Digest offers scads of online writing courses. Right now, all new class sign-ups also come packaged with a free Resource Guide CD.
If your writer or editor fancies producing creative nonfiction, head on over to Brevity, the magazine of the Creative Nonfiction Foundation, and order him or her a subscription, the organization’s latest anthology, or even a mug or T-shirt that exclaims, “You Can’t Make This Stuff Up!”
Finally, remember that almost any writer or editor will be pleased with a gift card to his/her favorite bookstore. Most of us buy books first, then pay for the necessities of life, so it’s really hard to go wrong with the written word. (Plus, it’s always been a bonus for me that books are easy to wrap and fit nicely into gift sacks.) Here are a couple of “gift pack” pairings that will make you a hero to your recipient and not break the bank, either.
The Vision Pack
Writing Begins with the Breath: Embodying Your Authentic Voice by Laraine Herring
Developing Story Ideas, 2nd Edition by Michael Rabiger
You’ve Got To Read This Book! by Jack Canfield and Gay Hendricks, with Carol Kline
Whatever gifts you decide to purchase, here’s to a successful, profitable and productive new year for all who care about words and language!