Christmas presents are difficult. To help you buy a genuinely useful and appreciated gift for the writer(s) in your life, we’ve sought out the Christmas wish-lists of some of our favourite bookish people.

xmas presents Flickr Alice Harold

Photo via Flickr/Alice Harold


Krissy Kneen: novelist and bookseller at Avid Reader, Brisbane

*Time to write: Best gift ever would be a week at Varuna to write uninterrupted with the wonderful Sheila bringing me meals every evening.

*A subscription to Lapham’s Quarterly. I just discovered this journal which brings together the best writing on a particular topic. Death, eros, food, travel, the sea. I am addicted. Every essay or short story or poem is amazing. The editor Lewis Lapham is my new hero. This journal will blow your writerly mind.

*Moleskine notebook Lined large – this is an essential part of my writerly kit. Nothing can beat a fresh Moleskine and preferably with a Moleskine pen wrapped in with it.

*A gift voucher from your nearest independent bookstore. It is really hard to chose books for me unless you know what project I am working on so a book voucher would be amazing. Yes. A book voucher from Avid Reader would be greatly appreciated even though I work there.

*For Christmas I would really just like people to buy my book for all their friends and send me a card telling me who they bought my book for. To tell you the truth, nothing would make me happier than to know that my friends liked my work enough to buy all their friends a copy of Steeplechase. That would make me the happiest ever.


Thuy On, books editor at The Big Issueand a Melbourne-based reviewer, copywriter, and manuscript assessor.

* I’d say that the best thing to buy for a writer is a book voucher.

Yes, do not attempt to try and determine what s/he would like because chances are s/he would already have the book, so to be on the safe side, a voucher is a boring if fail-proof idea. There are fab deals at the Sun Cinema in Yarraville, where you can buy a voucher for a movie ticket plus a voucher for the nearby bookstore and even a coffee voucher to boot. Win win and win!


Julia Tsalis: Program Manager at NSW Writers’ Centre

* I would love tickets to Melbourne to attend the Melbourne Writers’ Festival and the Emerging Writers’ Festival.

* Subscriptions to Belvoir St and Griffin theatres – because they present great Australian plays.

* If I ever left the NSWWC I’d want a lifetime membership so that I can come to all our great events, festivals and courses.

* An access all areas pass to the Sydney Writers’ Festival

* Holiday time in order to read all the great books on my to-read pile.


Lisa Dempster: director of Melbourne Writers Festival

* Tools. The Asylum Seekers Resource Centre’s Christmas gift guide has a beautiful selection of pens, notebooks, journals and teas.

* Inspiration. Feed their mind for a year with subscriptions to awesome literary journals like The Lifted Brow, Review of Australian Fiction, Voiceworks, Meanjin, Kill Your Darlings or the Griffith Review.

* Procrastination. Video games, cookbooks, crafty gifts and DVD box sets are all wonderfully distracting gifts.

* Learning. Book them into a short course with your local writers centre or CAE.

* Time. The thing every writer needs most. Book them into a country retreat, make them vouchers for dinner cooking/house cleaning/dog walking or promise to be their very own literary commando and force them to do their daily word counts.

Thanks Krissy, Thuy, Julia and Lisa for your fantastic suggestions!

What about you, dear Reader/Writer? What would you like for Christmas?

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