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by Patricia Fry

Give Your Favorite Author the Write Gift

by Patricia L. Fry
(SPAWNews, December 2000)

‘Tis the season to be giving, so I'm devoting this column to gifts for writers. Use the following to select the perfect gift for your writer friends or clip it and send it to those who will be remembering you this holiday season.

Gifts for writers come in all sizes, shapes and prices. Starting at the top of the price scale, how about a new computer? He or she may also appreciate a comfortable office chair, a filing cabinet, a fax machine, a digital camera or the fee for an upcoming writers’ conference.

Books are always excellent gifts for writers. I recommend books in two categories: inspirational and reference. Inspirational books include "The Artist's Way" or a book of quotes. A good choice in reference books is a current dictionary, a thesaurus, the "Information Please Almanac" or "The Chicago Manual of Style."

Additional books of value to writers are The 2001 Edition of "Writer's Market" (Writer's Digest Books), "The Self-Publishing Manual" by Dan Poynter (Para Publishing), "The Author's Toolkit" by Mary Embree (Seaview Publishing), "A Writer's Guide to Magazine Articles" by Patricia Fry (Matilija Press), "Over 75 Good Ideas for Promoting Your Book" by Patricia Fry (Matilija Press), and "How to Market Your Book" by Richard F.X. O'Connor.

Another excellent idea is to give a subscription to a magazine such as "Writer's Digest." Membership to a writing organization is another good gift idea. Membership in SPAWN, for example, is only $45 a year.

Less expensive gifts for writers include a postage scale, paper, calendar, ergonomic mouse pad, coffee warmer, containers for disks and CDs or an inspirational poster. Stuff a writer's stocking with pens, a roll of stamps, highlighters, paper clips, and other office supplies.

If you prefer to give a sentimental gift, frame a treasured photo of the family, the grandchildren or a favorite pet for the writer’s office.

Patricia Fry is the author of A Writer’s Guide to Magazine Articles for Book Promotion and Profit (Matilija Press, 2000).

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