Is your niece an up-and-coming novelist? Or, is your son an aspiring proofreader? If so, encourage your loved one’s passion for words this holiday season with these affordable and practical gift ideas, which are (almost) guaranteed to warm the heart of any beginning writer or editor:
1. Collegiate dictionary. Collegiate (or college) dictionaries are much more comprehensive than regular home and office dictionaries. They are usually hardbound, and most are over 1500 pages. No, they aren’t very portable, but they are an invaluable resource for anyone who intends to write or edit professionally. I suggest Merriam-Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary or The American Heritage College Dictionary. One word of advice: regardless of the dictionary you choose, ensure that you select the most recent edition because even small updates can be important.
2. Quality thesaurus. Next to a collegiate dictionary, a quality thesaurus is a wordsmith’s best friend! (And of course, everyone loves to say the word “thesaurus” because it sounds like the name of a dinosaur.) Unfortunately, many of the home and office versions lack depth. Instead, consider expansive options such as Roget’s International Thesaurus, Merriam-Webster’s Collegiate Thesaurus, or The American Heritage College Thesaurus.
3. Writer’s Market. Writer’s Market is the go-to resource for writers seeking publishing opportunities. It includes an exhaustive list of contact information for publishing companies and magazine publishers, as well as advice for achieving that elusive byline. The deluxe version includes a one-year subscription to Writer’s Market Online; however, I personally think that the print-only version is sufficient.
4. Office supplies. Nothing says “Happy Festivus” like a basket full of highlighters, scissors, paperclips, and tape! While this might seem like a rather mundane gift, many writers and editors have an affinity for office supplies. A fresh pack of Post-it notes and a brand new Sharpie present a world of possibilities!
5. Bulletin board. Just like office supplies, a bulletin board is a simple tool that offers endless opportunities for creativity. If you want to add a bit of pizzazz, throw in a pack of decorative push pins. (Search etsy.com for lots of adorable handmade options.)
6. Book bag, laptop bag, or backpack. Do you know how to identify a writer or editor on the street? Just look for the person carrying too much stuff! From library books to laptops, we just can’t seem to leave home without taking 20 pounds of office with us. Help your budding writer or editor maintain a healthy posture by gifting him or her a sturdy bag or backpack.
7. Desk lamp. A stylish desk lamp can transform even the simplest room into a sophisticated writing nook.
8. Headphones, ear buds, or USB speakers. If your writer or editor likes to listen to music while working, consider upgrading his or her auditory experience with new headphones, ear buds, or portable USB speakers.
9. Coffee maker or tea kettle. Hot, caffeinated beverages are an integral part of literary culture. But daily visits to the local café can get costly. Lighten that financial burden with a coffee maker or tea kettle. Include a mug and small samples of seasonal coffee or tea for added holiday flare. (Obligatory common sense caution: electrical appliances should only be given to individuals who are capable of following safety guidelines.)
10. Bartlett’s Familiar Quotations. Yes, the Internet is awash in free quotation sites. But free doesn’t always mean accurate. Bartlett’s Familiar Quotations is the authoritative voice in all things quotable. Plus, reading the quotes at random can inspire unexpected bouts of creativity!
Bonus idea: Tweed jacket with elbow patches. Okay, that’s the gift that I would like to receive. But still, those patches just scream “I have a red pen, and I’m not afraid to use it!” Who wouldn’t want to wake up to that on Christmas morning?
(Please note: I am an Amazon Associate, but this is not a sponsored post. Outside links are provided purely as a convenience to my readers who may want to learn more about the items mentioned in this post.)