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All I Want for Christmas – Gift Ideas for Writers

Article by Site Editor © 13 December 2012 .
Posted in the Magazine ( · News for Writers ).

Coming up with original and useful gifts at Christmas can be tricky, but if you have a writer in the house, we have some solutions!

A week away…

Anam Cara Writers and Artists Retreat is positioned high on a hill in a tranquil spot on the Beara Peninsula – set apart to nurture and to provide sanctuary for those who create. Run by Sue Booth-Forbes, an experienced writer and editor, an ambience and a daily schedule will help you concentrate your energies on your artistic endeavor; in the evening, you may want to share your work in conversation with others in front of a turf fire or watch the sun set in the magical west-of-Ireland sky. To make the most of the location and environment, Anam Cara recommend that you stay for at least a week. We ran a competition with Anam Cara last year – writers had to write a nightmare review. Here’s what the winner’s thought of their prize:



The stunning photograph in the header of their Facebook page sums up the location perfectly.

Writers can visit Anam Cara to work on their own project, or attend one of the top quality workshops run every summer. An Anam Cara gift vouchers is a very special gift – contact Sue Booth Forbes at anamcararetreat@gmail.com to find a solution that suits your budget.


A gift that keeps on delivering…

For the writer in the house, a subscription to The Stinging Fly or The Moth literary magazine could be a turning point for them – all writers read, and both of these magazines contain up to the minute writers just bursting with talent. If your writer friend is a poet, consider Bare Hands or The Poetry Bus – both brilliant new publications that have come into being through the shere determination of the editors.


The Stinging Fly is 128 pages and is only €20.00 for a one year subscription. By giving a subscription your writer friend will be among the first to receive each new issue of The Stinging Fly (they publish 3 issues per year, in February, June and October). You can make further savings by subscribing for two years/six issues.

Also consider supporting the magazine’s efforts by gifting an annual patronage of €50.  This money goes directly towards covering their day-to-day costs and helps them plan for the magazine’s future. Patrons automatically receive copies of each new issue. A list of patrons appears on their website and in each issue of the magazine.


The Moth costs just €5 for a single issue (including postage). An annual subscription costs €20.

The Moth is the winner of the DAA Arts Award at the 2012 Business to Arts Awards. Paul Durcan said, ‘The Moth is a a NEW magazine in every best sense of the word NEW: it is exquisitely designed and choc-a-bloc with exciting new artworks and wordworks.’
The Moth is a rare literary gem … filled with the local and the global … and the silent sayings.’ Dermot Healy
 If you would like to order a ‘gift subscription’ just indicate this in the ‘special instructions’ when you click on ‘annual subscription’.
Bare Hands Poetry Magazine The Bare Hands Journal showcases contemporary poetry & photography from around the world. ‘Write it with your bare hands’. Edited by the fabulous Kerrie O’ Brien & Sarah Griffin, Jessie Lendennie, Editor of Salmon Poetry describes the collection as: “The Bare Hands Anthology – full of energy and beauty – stands out among literary journals, online and off. The excellent mix of writing and image is perfect; each work is definite in its space and time; holding the eye, enriching the mind.” –
Containing 25 poems and 15 photographs, here is their rather fabulous trailer:

Bare Hands Anthology from Bare Hands on Vimeo.

The Bare Hands Print Anthology is €8.00 – click the buy now button at the top of the page here to order your copy: http://barehandspoetry.tumblr.com/post/15088388198

The Poetry Bus Magazine The Poetry Bus is a magazine of the people, by the people, for the people.  It aims for the highest standards and broadest horizons. Made possible by a FundIt campaign (as is Bare Hands) The Poetry Bus is ‘130 pages of brilliance,  perfect bound and encased in a matt laminate cover and given electrical charges and vodka until it comes pounding into life!’
Edited and created by Peadar O’Donoghue, who describes himself as ‘a practising insomniac and keen spaceman.’ Some of his works have appeared in magazines including Poetry Ireland Review, The SHOp , The Stinging Fly, Magma,The Dubliner, Village , Revival, Bare Hands Poetry, Can Can,The Burning Bush. His first collection of poetry ‘Jewel’ was published by Salmon in 2012. He says, he is ‘Currently …almost in control of The Poetry Bus. His ambition is to get a good nights sleep.’
Prices are €14 for Ireland and €15 for the rest of the world and include postage and packaging and a “MIGHTY 12 track CD of music and spoken word.”
Writers’ essentials – the perfect stocking fillers!


Go Away I’m Writing Mug

£5.99 from Amazon. Says it all!

Write Drunk: Edit Sober Mug

We’ve slightly missed the shipping deadline for this for Christmas, but loved it so much we had to include it! You can order a similar version here (but not as nice)

This mug is $16.00,  handmade in New Jersey featuring an image of a vintage typewriter against a glossy white background. The interior is glazed a glossy jet black. The image was applied using a screening technique with ceramic glazes- kiln fired three times to over 1900 degrees and safe to place in the dishwasher or microwave.
This mug measures 4.5 x 4 and holds 16 oz- safe to place in the dishwasher and microwave.

”There is a secret side which only comes out in a writer after he has closed the door of his workroom and is completely alone. It is then that he slips into another world altogether, a world where his imagination takes over and he finds himself actually living in the places he is writing about at that moment.”Extract from ‘Fee Fi Fo Fum’ – Roald Dahl on ‘The South Bank Show’ (1986).

Roald Dahl would sharpen 6 Ticonderoga pencils each day before he started writing. Pen your very own masterpiece with the very same pencils Dahl used. 55p per pencil from Roald Dahl store (UK)



Fingerless gloves from www.avoca.ie €24.95, a must for cold hands!


Many authors use yellow legal pads to scribble down their first ideas –  Roald Dahl ordered his from New York, and Irish best seller Sarah Webb keeps a stack of 10 under her bed – one for every new book idea.

€24.59 for a pack of ten




No Christmas is complete without a gadget, and this is a handy one for writers:

Echo smartpen from Livescribe. Record everything you hear, say and write, while linking your audio recordings to your notes. Quickly replay audio from your Livescribe paper, a computer, or a mobile device – all with a simple tap on your handwritten notes. Not cheap at £115 but could be invaluable for saving those ideas!

Livescribe Echo smartpen.