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We know how hard it can be to buy gifts for writers, so we’ve gone ahead and asked our favourite writers, publishers and writers’ organisations what they want for Christmas.
Every two hours today, we’ve been sharing the wish lists we’ve gathered. We asked the Faber Writing Academy what they wanted for Christmas, and their staff, tutors and friends gave us their top picks. They also gave us a gift to fill your stocking!
Sarah Menary - Communications Manager:
With constant problems converting documents from Apple Mac to Microsoft Word for submissions to editors, publishers and writing course tutors, you can’t see what they are seeing and I’ve unknowingly had bold all over my chapters or alternatively strikethrough lines all over my text… so what I am getting for Christmas is Microsoft Word for Apple Mac to harken in a whole new era of stress-free submissions!
Annette Barlow - Faber Writing Academy tutor and publisher at Allen & Unwin:
Give the gift of community with a membership to a state writers’ centre or to a relevant writers' association, for example Romance Writers of Australia.
Support your writer practically with a homemade voucher for a weekend of whatever they need to find the time to write - for example, child-minding, meals on the doorstep or a key to your spare room.
Image source: flickr / hryckowian
Inspire them with tickets to a session or two of a Writers Festival - don't forget the Emerging Writers' Festival and the smaller local festivals near your giftee.
Thrill them with a seat in a writing class, a week's writing time at Varuna - the writers' house or if money is no object, fly them (and you) to Paris, Bali or practically any wonderful city in the world to do a masterclass.
Paddy O’Reilly - author of three novels and a collection of short stories. Her most recent novel, The Wonders, published in August 2014, has garnered much critical acclaim and will be published by Simon and Schuster in the USA in February 2015. Paddy is also a Faber Writing Academy tutor.
If you want to give your writer time and encouragement, try a week in a beach house with meals supplied, or a week at Varuna, or a course. For a smaller gift, I don’t think any writer would be disappointed with a book voucher from one of our fabulous Australian bookshops.
If you’re looking for something more unusual, you could try Aquanotes, a waterproof pad and pencil. The notes and pencil stick to the wall with suction cups and are there ready for when the best ideas arrive – in the shower.
Image source: flickr / olivander
Another thing I love is Magic Whiteboard, a plastic sheet that uses static to stick to the wall. It comes in different sizes and colours. You can write on it with whiteboard markers, erase and write again, and when you're done it peels away from the wall leaving no marks. Great for mapping out structure or jotting ideas on the run.
Scrivener software for the computer is a fantastic tool for large projects. It has many, many features, but using even the most basic ones will save your writer much time and frustration. And of course, if your writer has a book, buying the book and giving it to friends is the best gift of all.
Erica Wagner – Allen and Unwin Childrens’ Publisher. Erica is a Faber Writing Academy tutor, in the Picture Book Masterclass.
I’ve been loving Charlotte Wood’s The Writers’ Room Interviews and would give a subscription to that.
Also, you can never go wrong giving a writer a gift voucher from your favourite bookshop. I yearn for people to give me books and/or vouchers – and they often don’t because they think I don’t need them ... But we wouldn’t be writers or publishers if we didn’t love books!
From Martine Murray, Children’s author and illustrator and tutor for Faber Writing Academy
My first thought for what I would like for Christmas or for anything would be time and travel. Hopefully both at once. Given those wishes are a little abstract and expensive, I would settle for a second hand dishwasher, which would be a roundabout way of giving time. Since that too is a little too hopeful, I would be absolutely thrilled to get a massage or a ticket to a hot springs or some such luxurious lure away from work. Any sort of voucher from Readings would be treasured. Or my new favourite CD, Passerby by Luluc. Otherwise I always like someone to do me a drawing and write something personal on it and then I can stow it away and feel touched whenever I come across it again.
Image source: flickr / fabiolarebello
Writers love books, but choosing something they haven’t read can be like playing roulette. Instead you could buy them a gift voucher from a local independent bookseller, who are the heart and soul of Australian publishing.
All writers need more time for thinking, reading and writing. I’d love a set of vouchers from my significant other: things like 1 x dinner delivered to your desk, 1 x 4 hours quiet time, or 1 x long dog walk. Anything that allows me to spend more time wrestling this manuscript into submission would make me very happy.
And the best gift of all? If your writer friend has books published, buy two or three of their books, and give them to other friends or relatives. That way, everybody wins.
Faber Writing Academy offers you 1 book pack for 1 winner perfect for aspiring writers worth almost $100 ($97.92 to be exact, but when you include the free postage/delivery courtesy of FWA it comes to over $100).
This book pack will contain these 4 books:
Just share this post on Twitter, remembering to tag @writers_bloc, to go into the draw to win!
Sam van Zweden was Writers Bloc’s Online Editor from 2013 - 2015. A Melbourne-based writer and blogger, her work has appeared in The Big Issue, Voiceworks, Tincture Journal, Page seventeen, and others. She’s passionate about creative nonfiction and cross stitch. She tweets @samvanzweden.
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