10 Holiday Gifts that are not JUST Books for the Readers and Fellow Writers in your Life!


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Welcome to WATT, your biweekly home for all things writing instruction, analysis, inspiration, and writing news and trends. Our show is an irreverent guide to writing literary fiction.

I’m Drema Drudge, author of the novel Victorine and the upcoming (some time) novel Briscoe Chambers’ Southern Fried Woolf. (I’m speaking it into existence, lol.)

I’m Barry Drudge, co-host and recent MFA graduate of Spalding University, former ghostwriter and a songwriter and musician who has worked with Grammy winners in Nashville. Story forthcoming in Round Table Literary Journal.

Literary News:

The Best Books of 2020

The editors of The Times Book Review choose the best fiction titles this year:

A Children’s Bible

By Lydia Millet

Deacon King Kong

By James McBride


By Maggie O’Farrell

Homeland Elegies

By Ayad Akhtar

The Vanishing Half

By Brit Bennett

Invitation: The 12 Days of Victorine starts Monday, December 7, so head on over to my website, http://www.dremadrudge.com, for bonuses and giveaways. Hint: if you want to participate in the giveaway, you have to be a subscriber to my newsletter. That’s okay because when you subscribe, you get a free art fiction short story anyway! (The bonuses will be accessible to anyone.)

Today’s Topic: It’s the holiday season! I LOVE the holiday season! Barry and I actually got married very close to Christmas.

But what in the world do you get for the readers (and fellow writers) in your life other than JUST books? (Psst…feel free to have the gift-buyer for you listen to this!)

A. What is the topic your writing loved one writes about? For instance, I write lots about the arts, so a certain gentleman buys me anything in that category – socks, jewelry, painting supplies (I dabble), you name it.

B. Can you buy a special edition of a book for your reader? Okay, it’s still a book, but if you buy a first edition, an autographed, or a particularly beautiful edition of their favorite novel, they will love you forever. (Okay, we hope that happens even without a book, but it couldn’t hurt!)

C. How about a cozy writer/reader basket including a literature-themed mug, a nice selection of tea or coffee and hot chocolate, snacks, a pair of warm (literature themed) socks, a journal and a pen for taking notes.

D. A warm throw to cover the legs when reading is always welcome. There are a variety of book-themed ones.

E. I have always wanted a special, literary or art themed umbrella, the kind sold in museum art stores, but I’ve never bought one. I bet any book or art lover would enjoy one.

F. A great reading light (for in bed) or a lamp for those intense reading sessions are always be welcome! One of my favorite gifts my mom bought me was a bedside lamp that I treasured until it died. (My current Eiffel Tower lamp is about kaput now, too. I’m looking at buying maybe the exact same lamp…)

G. A tree ornament featuring a book or a favorite character. Etsy is particularly good for finding these types of items, but if you want something to be personalized, you’re going to need to get on it!

H. If you DO buy books, consider what gap the reader in your life has in their collection: do they tend to prefer classics? See if you can find a newly released book they might enjoy keeping them current. And vice versa.

I. ANOTHER book buying option: buy books in your loved one’s names for their favorite library. You will want to contact the library directly to see how they prefer to handle that, but if your loved one’s bookshelves are overflowing, give this a go.

J. Are there films or TV series based on the characters your reader enjoys that they haven’t seen? (Think PBS.) You can buy them either physical or digital copies.

Whatcha Reading?
Drema: Research books (can’t say what) AND Orlando!

Barry: The Starless Sea by Erin Morganstern

Writing Instruction:

If you have Hulu, watch the Man who Invented Christmas about Charles Dickens and his process writing A Christmas Carol.

Then listen to LIBRARY TALKS PODCAST, Episode #41: Neil Gaiman Reads “A Christmas Carol”, released Dec. 22, 2015. (I listen to it while I wrap gifts nearly every year.) Gaiman reads from the ONLY existing prompt copy, that is, Dickens’ annotated copy he used for reading, so you’re hearing it the way Dickens would have read it. You can find that any place you listen to podcasts. (I will try to remember to post our show notes to our website, writingallthethings.com, where you can access this information and the link.)

Just take both of these in and allow them to work their work in you.

Outro: Let us know what gifts you enjoy getting. Please subscribe, rate, review, and share our podcast. Subscribe to our mailing list at writingallthethings.com. Contact us at: writingallthethings1@gmail.com.

Happy Holidays!! Thank you so much for listening and keep writing all the things!

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