The Situation and the Story, the art of personal narrative by Vivian Gornick
On Writing Well, the classic guide to writing nonfiction
Give the gift of time. Send your writer on a retreat. Offer to babysit or book them a room at a retreat center or if you have a cabin or empty room at your home, invite them to use it. Then when they come over, do.not.engage with them. Let them write and be silent and don’t interrupt.
Classes. Online or in person. See if your town has a literary center. If not, check out The Loft online courses or Gotham Writers Workshop. I have loved The Loft and am still in regular contact with several writers I met through classes there 7 years ago.
Subscription to their goal publication magazine or a beautifully produced magazine that really deserves to be read in print. Suggestions include Plough Quarterly, Ruminate, the Pacific Standard.
Tiny notebooks. Every writer needs several of these, one for every bag they carry, for the car, for the bedside table, maybe even for their running kit.
Pens. These are the only pens I will write with. Trouble is, the clip part always snaps off. I think the packages should come with extra caps. Oh well, I can rotate the caps after I use up the pens.
Small candy. I suggested this last year, too, specifically Swedish Fish. So this year I’ll suggest gum drops. They are small, so writers can eat a good-sized handful. And, they stick in the teeth, so the flavor and chewing lasts an extra long time.
Also, candy canes.
Jane Austen book coasters. Last year I shared this Jane Austen mug. This year, put it on something.
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*for more ideas, see the 2017 list
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