Business Cards: Your Tool for Networking

As a writer, editor, encourager-of-artists, and blogger, I’ve got a lot going on. Writing, editing, and creating educational content for budding writers are my primary sources of income, and, as such, require a certain level of professionalism and marketing.

I hate marketing. I’m not good at it and I don’t have the attention span to keep tabs on what works and what doesn’t. Do not follow my example, if you can help it. I really am my own worst enemy when it comes to this sort of thing, so I’m going to give you some pointers on one of the most basic, and most useful, tools for marketing your business as a writer.

The Business Card

It sounds simple, and maybe even unimportant, but having something physical to put into the hands of an interested party is critical. Many people take information in the best when they have something to touch. A business card allows you to lay all of your information out in one place. Everything that’s relevant to your business as a writer can be slapped right on the front.

There are plenty of people that think a business card is a waste of time and money, but, let me tell you, I’ve gotten few bookings and sales off of the occasional business card, and that’s worth it to me. A 90,000 word editing gig more than pays for that box of cards.

What Do I Need it For?

1. Networking. Finding writers to mentor you in your genre, gathering others to do a book tour, a blog hop, or a joint giveaway will be much easier if you have a business card to exchange. Odds are, the other writers you meet will have cards to give you, so let yourself stand out!

2. Drumming up business. This isn’t always super effective, but it’s one more way to pull in sales or bookings. Tables at conventions, book fairs, and signings are never complete without a business card. (Another way to do this is to create bookmarks, but they get a bit pricey. A great investment, though, when you’re ready!)

What to Include

1. Your name. Use whatever name you’re doing business under. If you don’t typically go by your full name, if you’ve published or done business under a pen name or online handle, your best bet is to feature that. You can include your full name in one of two ways:

  • Use your nom de plume as your header name and your full name as a smaller, italicized title beneath
  • Use your full name, if you plan to do business under it in the future, and include your nom de plume as your smaller, italicized title underneath that.

2. Email address. Some people are squicky about phone conversations, especially when making contact with someone for the first time. Email is a great way to allow those people to contact you with a little less stress. Make sure you create an email specifically for doing business. I recommend using Outlook, as I’ve been told having the Windows email looks a bit more professional. I, personally, have an Outlook and a Gmail account for business, but I use the latter much more frequently. I made it before I realized and I don’t want to change it.

3. Phone number. This is optional. If you don’t have a dedicated business line, or if you don’t want to change your personal voicemail greeting to include your business information, just stick to the email. Also, if you offer your personal phone number and you don’t like taking calls from unidentified numbers (I don’t), then listing the phone number will just be frustrating to potential clients. You have to answer your phone for it to be a useful tool. Don’t list it if you aren’t prepared for that.

4a. Website. If you don’t have one, get one. I use WordPress, since my primary content is made up of blog posts. If you don’t blog, consider a static page to display your published material, progress on your current projects, and regular announcements. Wix and Weebly are popular, free options.

4b. Newsletter. My blog keeps everyone current on my nonsense. I can create and toss up a post on a whim, and the people subscribed to the blog will get an email. Newsletters, in my opinion, are generally overkill for a blog. If you have a static website, however, a newsletter is an amazing way to do a round up of your week or your month and keep all of your fans and followers current on your progress!

MailChimp offers a free newsletter service for up to 2,000 subscribers. It’s a great place to start!

5. Social media names and logos. Make them small. The Facebook “F” is pretty iconic. No one will miss it. Same for the Twitter bird. Try to keep all of your social media names consistent so that people only have to remember one name to hunt you down. Homogenize your brand!

6. Your logo or photo. Have something on your card that identifies you! It doesn’t necessarily have to have your photo on it, or a custom logo, but maybe create it to match the theme of your website. My cards are the same as my WordPress header, but don’t actually have anything else defining on them. I may add a photo or the portrait I commissioned in the next run. =]

Where Do I Get Them?

Good question!

I created mine in Adobe InDesign and printed and cut them at OfficeMax. It’s not cost-effective and the quality is not awesome. Their paper is thinner than most business cards, and they’re done on a standard, business-grade laser printer. I worked there at the time, so I got a good deal, that’s all.

Vistaprint has great options, and you can still create your card yourself, and upload a PNG or JPG into their creator. I advise saving it as a PNG at a high resolution so you’ll get the best possible quality. If your cards are full bleed, make sure to include a little extra space around the card so you don’t wind up with weird white edges. is even better than Vistaprint, but you’ll have to keep an eye out for coupons. Their prices can be a little high. I adored my last batch of cards from them, and I’d recommend them to anyone.

If you have a conference or writers retreat coming up in the next week or so, you can still go to OfficeMax or Office Depot (they’re the same company and both suck equally, so don’t worry about which. Neither is better than the other) and get the minimum 50 cards printed. It runs about $17, unless you snag a coupon. At least that way you’ll have something. Definitely don’t go to something like a conference or retreat without cards! This is how we network, even if it isn’t specifically drumming up business!

How Do I Make My Card Stand Out?

Another great question.

I’ve gotten cards with Hershey’s chocolates taped to them. I love me some chocolate. It made an impression.

Use your cover art! You paid a lot for it if you self-published, and your publisher paid a lot for it if you’re traditionally published. Use that investment to market for you!

Include your author bio on the back. Who are you? What do you write? What titles have you published? Give the recipient a reason to follow up with your website or social media.

Get your cards, writers, and battle on!

What have you used on your cards that was most effective? What have you used that you’ve found has been extraneous?


How I Started a Writing Group

Hey, everyone!

I’ve been asked a common question several times over the course of my group-hopping through NaNoWriMo, Script Frenzy, and a medley of writing local writer gatherings over the years, and I thought I should address it now.

How Do You Start a Writing Group?

Six years ago, my best friend and fellow writer Jessi and I began Inkwell Imaginings, a structured, workshop-based writing group in Southbridge, Massachusetts. I’m sure there are a dozen or so ways to get a writing group started, and there are as many ways to structure or focus your group to create exactly what you’re looking for from it.


Jessi and I settled down on my bed with notebooks and a vast array of multi-colored highlighters and pens, and started to map out what we wanted from the group.

  • We wanted to invite writers of all skill levels. We’re both huge on encouraging other people to pursue their creative dreams, and we needed this to come through for Inkwell. It had to be clear that everyone was welcome, and diversity of level and genre would be embraced.
  • We wanted to offer a variety of writing workshops to give our members the opportunity to grow. There are plenty of writing groups that don’t offer workshops, and they are typically something to build up to. Jessi has her bachelors in English and I’m pursuing mine in creative writing, so we thought we might give people the opportunity to benefit from what we were learning!
  • We wanted to include critique days. This is what a lot of people are looking for when it comes to a writing group. Unfortunately, when it comes to budding novelists, they need help, as we all do, creating a polished piece of fiction. To allow everyone to have a turn, we had to limit our members to three pages per session. It helps to let them know that they’re free to talk outside of the group and exchange fiction via email or even in person. Networking is important!
  • It’s okay to be social. Inkwell is no longer the workshop machine it used to be. Now, writers just get together in person, or online, and chat about their work, ask advice, and kvetch about their lives. It’s just as beneficial to have a tribe of writers to be social with as it is to treat your group as a class.
  • Name your group! It can be hard, I know. It doesn’t have to be, though. You could just name it after your region or city. Give yourself a cool team name, like in sports or events. No holds barred! Just be sure it’s safe for public listing if you plan to advertise!
  • What’s your focus? Is it genre specific? Social? Structured, like Inkwell? Lay down exactly what you want for your group. If you know what you want, you’ll be less likely to be wishy-washy when you start gathering members!

Bring it to life

  • You need a venue. It can be as simple as a cafe or Panera Bread meeting room. We chose to approach the director of the local library, which happened to be two buildings away from my apartment. It’s not as hard as it sounds, though! Most library personnel are happy to talk with you about reading or writing, as long as you’re respectful.

    We wrote a simple, but professional email and received a response the same day. She was very eager to have us come in for a chat about our writing group. We gathered all of our notes and submitted our proposal. It was approved by the next day, and we were on our way to Inkwell!

  • Create a schedule. Once you have a venue, make sure you create a schedule. Every Friday from 6pm to 8pm, or every Saturday morning from 10am to 1pm, etc. Whatever you feel works for you. People will come, but be firm. Don’t switch it around to fit everyone. If they want to come, if they can come, they will. If not, maybe offer an occasional once-a-month meeting at a different time, but don’t deviate too hard! Consistency is key!
  • Create flyers. Be simple about it. Make sure the name of the group is visible and legible, and you give the name of the venue, as well as an address. I recommend leaving your personal phone number and address off of the flyer! You never know who might be seeing this information! If you want to be contacted by potential members, which is always a good option, set up a free email address for the group with Google or Outlook, and add it to the flyer. These flyers can be left on bulletin boards at Starbucks and most local coffeehouses, Panera’s community board, and on many library boards as long as you obtain approval.
  • Show up for your first meeting! Don’t expect a huge turn out at first. Members will come. Word of mouth will spread. Just be there, be consistent, even if you’re by yourself once in awhile. Use it to get your writing done. Maybe print out a little sign and put it on your table! It helps people to identify you and even encourages people to ask questions.

Running Inkwell was one of the highlights of my writing life, and I would reinstate it again in a heartbeat. Maybe I will when we settle in to somewhere more permanent!

Feel free to contact me with questions about Inkwell or starting your own group. We’d love to have more members online, but I encourage you to find or start your own group in your area!

Battle on!

starbornHey, guys! I’m looking for feedback on Amity Dawn! If you’re interested in reading and leaving your thoughts, the first five chapters are currently posted on Wattpad.

Have a great day, and happy writing!

Planners: A Love Affair


Guys, I have a problem.

I am not an organized person, but I have an obsession with organization. What is wrong with me? I love looking at Pinterest boards of organization methods, ways to tidy my work station, and different means of putting my life in order.

The worst of it?


I prefer monthly planners, but I also have an affection for weekly planners. However, I rarely fill my week with enough to make use of the third-of-a-page that comes with every daily entry in a weekly planner.

I love calendars and to-do lists and appointments and time blocks.

I haven’t used a planner in the last year, and I’m SO SAD. I stopped working in June and, before that, I was locked into an 11am-10pm work schedule. I had no need for any more structure than that. I missed my planners.

Today, we’re going to talk about how awesome planners are, and how they can help you as a writer. It’s going to be a list. Bear with me.


1. Keep your days structured. Sometimes it’s hard to look at everything you have to do, and think “Hey, I can totally fit writing into this fifteen minutes between choking down my lunch and getting back to work” or “You know where I can write? In the waiting room of my kid’s doctor’s appointment.”

How Does it Help? I recommend a daily planner for this. If you have a ton going on, and you can’t see the spaces between every event in your day, a daily planner can help you lay it out by hour. This appointment happens at this time, and you have half an hour between that appointment and when you have to go grocery shopping. Your partner gets home at this hour, so you have this sum of time to write in. It’s not perfect, but it helps us wedge time in when we’re not standing in line for coffee number three, using our eight year old’s head as a desk while we scrawl on a napkin.

2. Reminds us of the necessary. We may not all have a thousand things to do in a day, but we do have things that need to get done. It’s easy to keep writing through all of it, and have to explain to people why we missed such-and-such an event. It gets awkward and we start looking like dicks.

How Does it Help? A monthly planner should be fine for this. Scribble your events out by day, make sure to include times if they’re relevant. I like including my word count goals versus my actual word count for that day, especially if I’m struggling to write. It helps remind me that I need to make progress, or that I have made progress. It’s a little bit of a boost.

3. It gives us a little direction. Keeping track of events and word counts are awesome ways to use a calendar, but sometimes we need a little more than just a few blocks. I like to have the ability to map out my projects and what scenes I need to do for them.

How Does This Help? A weekly planner gives you a little block and about five to ten lines for each day in your year. Those little lines allow me to write the projects I want to work on, the scenes I want to write out, as well as any events or appointments I have laid out for me that day. The vertical layouts are perfect for checklists.


1. You have to carry it around or you’ll never remember to write things down. Some of the At-A-Glance and Blue Sky planners can be pretty thin and light. The A9-ish size is my favorite, and usually fits in my purse, but it takes up a bit of space.

I recently got an A5 weekly planner by Simple Stories, and it’s friggin’ glorious.

2. You have to write in it to use it. Sometimes it’s hard to remember to write down every little thing, but it really does make all the difference in keeping your head on straight.

3. They’re a little expensive. Some of them are pretty inexpensive, and you can even print your own from a free calendar site, but the visually appealing ones are always a little more on the dollar.

All in all, I’ll always advocate the use of them, even if I’m terrible at remembering to use them, myself. ❤

Have fun in the year ahead, and battle on!


How do you use planners in your writing? Do you prefer paper planners or do you prefer to use something like Google Calendars?

starbornHey, guys! I’m looking for feedback on Amity Dawn! If you’re interested in reading and leaving your thoughts, the first five chapters are currently posted on Wattpad.

Have a great day, and happy writing!

Stepping Out of Your Comfort Zone


Hey, everyone!

I spent NaNoWriMo trying to write a story that was entirely within my comfort zone, and I wasn’t feeling it. It felt boring and trite, and I couldn’t seem to shake the feeling that I wasn’t challenging myself. I wasn’t even feeling my own voice coming through the writing.

I didn’t care about it.

My characters were lifeless. My setting was undeveloped. My conflict was muddled and unclear. But it was fantasy. It was the first genre I had ever loved writing; the first feeling that I actually loved a craft as more than just a hobby. Fantasy was once what defined my writing.

This last novel wasn’t something I felt in my soul anymore, and it broke my heart. Today, I want you do what I didn’t have the foresight to do!

I want you to step out of your comfort zone!

Write Outside of Your Genre

It doesn’t have to be something long. It doesn’t even have to be something you plan to publish or submit. All you need to do is pick a genre you’ve never written before, and give yourself room to breathe.

You can outline it! I’m not a pantser by any stretch of the imagination, and, if you aren’t either, I encourage you to outline to your heart’s content! This isn’t an exercise in off-the-cuff writing, so don’t panic.

Once you decide on the genre you want to test out, find your conflict. Or, if you start with characters, discover who they are and what drives them. However you begin, get yourself started! Don’t be afraid, because this is just an exercise. Who knows? Maybe you’ll even like the process in this new genre!

When I need a refresh period in another genre, I generally choose characters I’m already familiar with. I’ve written romance and feel-good material for my Amity Dawn characters. I jumped into mystery (poorly; I did not enjoy it) with characters from Glass Dragons.

Every new genre brings its own experience, and you can learn from all of them.

Write Something Controversial

Do you have something to say about a current event? DAPL? The election? Ghirardelli vs Lindt?

Fear can often drive us to keep our mouths shut on things we’re afraid will attract conflict. The internet is the perfect place to get chewed up and spit out for having an opinion, but I encourage you to hold your ground! Nothing was ever accomplished by keeping silent.

Once you have your story/blog post/what-have-you written, share it. Share it! Seriously. It can be so empowering to make yourself heard. It gives you a voice and it lets others know that it’s okay to stand with you or against you! It’s okay to feel something!

Overcoming your fear of having a voice by expressing yourself can lead to all sorts of unlocked inspiration. The fear of writing what you mean and writing what you feel is pushed aside, and you can experience a new confidence in your subject matter. Don’t be afraid to be opinionated.

Invite Someone to Read Your Work

It’s scary to open yourself up to criticism, but, remember, criticism teaches us how to improve. We can’t grow if we stay in our own little bubble. Reading, writing, and experiencing new things are all amazing ways to grow as a writer, but it’s allowing others to tell us what’s missing that gives us perspective on our own work.

Allow a beta reader into your Writer Bubble. Let them read your work, praise what’s good, and question what needs attention. We can only see so far into our work. We know what we meant to say in that line that’s awkwardly worded. It doesn’t read awkwardly to us!

Did you use too many commas in that sentence? Did your protagonist just do something totally uncharacteristic? It won’t make us cringe if we read it with writer-eyes. A beta can catch that for you.

It doesn’t mean your novel isn’t your masterpiece. It just means every masterpiece goes through a draft period; a period where it needs tweaking and molding until it resembles the vision in your head. The value of a second set of eyes can be absolutely priceless.

Be Authentically You

I’m not saying you need to incite dissension in your readers. If you’re a professional and quiet person, there’s nothing wrong with keeping things light and encouraging! If you’re a little more abrasive, that’s okay, too. I have a tendency to be that way. I have strong opinions and I like to voice them—not for the sake of argument, but to connect to other people who might feel alone in their views.

Regardless of who you are, what you believe or do for a living, where you find your peace, always be authentically you.

Battle on!

Goals! A New Year Approaches


This is not a New Years resolutions post. I don’t generally do the resolutions thing, but I think it’s important to have goals all year round. I’ve been fiddling with blog post prompts lately, and one of the prompts that crops up the most often is a “goals” post. All in all, the post is meant to outline your goals and any steps you’ve put into place to complete them.

I feel like you all know me well enough to know that I’m an organizational nightmare. My goal-setting skills are trash.

I do have goals, though!

Naturally, I want to publish my sci fi work. I’m getting there. School and work in the last few years have kept my creativity and writing time to a minimum, but I’m slowly breaking away from that. My degree program will resume next summer and I’m currently freelancing exclusively! More time!

I don’t want to focus on that, though.

My ultimate goal is to open a writing retreat for writers of all skill levels, and make available a set of writing workshops that will help attendees develop the skills they need to make their writing what they want it to be! Ideally, this will be a fantastic source of networking and support for budding and experienced writers—something that I experienced during my formative years as a writer. We’re always growing, and I want to build a place to reflect and encourage that.

A fellow writer, Brooke D. Wheeler, and I have this super-plan to buy a barn in the middle of nowhere and make it our art-life. We’ll write and craft and live happily. It’ll be remarkable.

From a business perspective, though, I’d love to put together a bed-and-breakfast-style retreat for writers—artists, too, if they’d like! I don’t have steps in place to bring this into reality at the moment, but, when Jared and I settle down in a place that we intend to be a bit more permanent, I’ll be getting to work on that business plan. Should be about a year from now, if everything goes according to plan.

The Draws of the Writer’s Retreat

Since 2010, I’ve made it my passion and my mission to help other writers with their creative goals. The rewards of seeing someone’s name in print when you were able to be there for them during the dark times of that work is so rewarding. It’s knowing that you could help in someone else’s happiness and success.

Art is hard. It doesn’t matter what type of art it is. Writing, drawing, composing—they all come with unique challenges, and sometimes it’s near impossible to overcome them alone. The art may be solitary, but the act of developing your art doesn’t have to be. Now and then, a little social nudge of love and encouragement can make all the difference.

It’s sitting in a room with a few other people also struggling with their passion, and knowing that you’re not alone. It’s knowing that the person next to you, who you respect or whose art you admire, also has moments when they hate their work. It’s knowing it happens to all of us. It’s easier to love the work and push through the negative feelings when you have a support system.

The Business of a Writer’s Retreat

This is probably where I’m going to get hung up.

I need to buckle down on the technical and business-centered aspects of the writer’s retreat, and I’m not sure how. For this reason, it’s probably good that Jared isn’t looking for us to settle into a new place until next August. I need time to research, plan, and put together a concrete set of ideas, funding, and location possibilities. It will probably wind up being somewhere around New Smyrna Beach area. It’s nice and we’ll be close by!
At least for starters. ❤

Oh, guys, just talking about it is exciting me! Maybe I’ll get going on that business plan sooner than I expected!

Battle on!

What are your goals as a writer or artist? How do you view the business aspects of who you are?

How Do You Show Yourself Love?


Being a creative person can be hard. You look at the world, and you see trends you’ve seen in fiction—that downward spiral before everything falls to hell. You look at your life and it doesn’t look like it does in your head, or like it should look on the page.

You’re not alone.

Studies have shown that creative people are very prone to depression and mood swings, leaving us susceptible to the terrible proclivity for self-neglect. It’s not that we want to be depressed, and we certainly don’t want to push our friends away, but sometimes we just need to recharge our batteries. This tends to be ten times worse if you’re in a creative rut, doesn’t it? Our inner Eeyore pops out with a compelling, “What’s the point?”

The point is: It will pass.

I’m not trying to diminish your feelings of inadequacy or loneliness or failure. We all have those feelings, especially when it looks like things are going down the toilet faster than we can swim. I just want you to know that it doesn’t last forever.

One day, you’ll emerge from the funk and get back to work, because your art is what you were born to do.

I’ll let you in on a little secret: We all feel like frauds sometimes. We all feel like failures sometimes. It does not make us less than we are, and we are awesome.

So, let me pose my question to you: How do you show yourself love?

I know it can be a nightmare just getting out of bed in the morning, but you still deserve love and you need it most from yourself.

Let me give you some pointers from when I have my bad days, or even days that I just work a little too hard and it doesn’t feel like enough.

1. Tell yourself it’s okay. You’ll get on it when you’re ready. Progress is important, and, unless you have a deadline that you really can’t miss, giving yourself some breathing room is the best possible way to love yourself. You can’t be expected to drive your brain into the ground! If you need to take a day off, take a day off. You don’t need to justify it to anyone.

2. Write through the block. Sometimes, taking a day off makes me feel worse than if I could just write something. So, write something! Don’t pick up your favorite work in progress, though. You may not be able to write to your satisfaction today, and that could make you feel a whole lot worse than you already do.

Try something different. Write a character letter or journal entry and get into your favorite protagonist’s head! Write a letter to yourself. Rant about something! Make list of all the things you love about writing or your current work in progress. Hell, make a list of the reasons you like the spot on the back of your cat’s left ear. It doesn’t matter, just write something. You’d be amazed at how easily it can get the ball rolling.

3. Take a bath or a walk. Go to a part of your city or town you’ve never been to before and explore a bit. (I mean, don’t trespass or anything. Be careful and respectful.) Just settle in and listen to music awhile. Recharge and clear your mind, however you like to do that. Yoga With Adriene is one of my favorites. Regardless of what you choose to do with this ‘down time,’ make sure you take care of yourself doing it.

4. Make a list of all the reasons you became a writer or artist in the first place. It might help rekindle that passion. Remember, though, this is for fun and to show yourself love, so keep the reasons positive!

If you chose to write because you had something bad happen to you that you need to get out, don’t let that dominate your reason. Your reason may be better viewed as using writing to heal or help others. Getting that negativity out can still be positive.

5. Spend time with friends or family. Jared is the one person I know I can rely on to pick me up when I need it. He’s funny, even if he doesn’t have any idea what to say when I’m sad. He knows what I like and what I need—even if it’s Star Trek: Voyager and a cup of coffee.

I know this is a hard one for some of you. I spent several years in Florida, away from the people I love and with no friends in the vicinity. It was hard for me, and I can’t express what it felt like to have no access to my Tribe. If you feel this way, it may not be much, but you can contact me. I’ll be your Tribe. ❤

6. Know that you are enough. That’s it. That’s the bottom line and the pinnacle of self-love. You are enough, and it can be hard to remember that, but it’s ALWAYS true. Always.
You are enough, and the world needs your art.

Battle on,

What do you do to show yourself love?

Have you ever felt like you had no love for yourself to offer? (<—Then reread number 6, okay?)

A Writerly Christmas List: 6 Gifts for The Writer in Your Life

The holiday season is upon us, my loves!

It seems that, every year, the ‘gifts for writers’ posts start cropping up, and they’re always pretty awesome. Etsy and various geek-centered shops, like ThinkGeek, tend to put out some creative and fun ways to delight the writers and readers in your life during the holidays and all year round.

I’m not going to be posting links to shops here, but I will share a list of ideas for that special person in your life—especially if that special person is a writer. I encourage you to go to Etsy or Amazon or wherever, just pick your poison, and search one of the ideas below. Add your own flair. =]

1. Notebooks. All notebooks are nice, but there’s something special about receiving a journal that caters to our tastes. You can find them at Michael’s, A.C. Moore, or OfficeMax, among others, and they come in a variety of prints, covers, and designs.

If you really want to get fancy, buy a leather cover that takes sized refills. I have one from Barnes & Noble that takes size 4 refills, which is a pretty standard size. I think Mead makes one for cheap. I got mine for about $20, and I’ve had it for 6 years. Last year, my boyfriend made me a new one out of deer and cow hide when he was trying out leather working. It fits the size 4 refills as well, so I can still make use of the ones I bought and stocked up on!

2. Pens. I have a particular type of pen that I like—the Uni Ball Jetstream in 1.0 blue ink—and I can guarantee the writer in your life probably has one, too. Check out what they write with and see if you can get them a package of them. If they don’t write with a particular variety of pen, then buy them a pen you find neat. Cross, Parker, Pilot, and Shaeffer all have awesome refillable pens, and they tend to put out gift sets around this time of year.

I personally like ballpoints, but I’ve got a neat Cross rollerball with gel ink that writes nicely and fits inside my leather notebook. Ballpoint, rollerball, gel, and fountain pens are available in most of the aforementioned brands, so you’ve got some variety to choose from. Cross and Parker pens start at about $20, but you’ve also got options like Monte Blanc that start at $200. It really depends how extravagant you want to go with your pen gift.

3. White board and dry erase markers. I have a 24” x 36” porcelain white board that I do all of my initial brainstorming on, and I love it. If I could upgrade to a wall-sized white board, I’d probably outline every page of my novels on it. You can get inexpensive 18” x 24” boards for about $17 at Walmart, or you can go to somewhere like OfficeMax and get a massive board for upwards of $70, and every size and price point in between. They are absolutely invaluable to my process, and I know many writers who use them as well.

4. Scrivener or Storyist. If your writer has a love for finding new ways to write, one of these writing tools could prove to be revolutionary for them. It allows you to write your story, organize your notes, compile outlines, all in one easy-to-manipulate file. I love Scrivener. I have no idea what I’d do without it.

Scrivener has a Windows and Mac version, but I believe that Storyist is only compatible with Mac. There are tutorials for both all over the internet. Storyist goes for about $40, Scrivener is also $40, but if you’ve won NaNoWriMo, or can get a code from someone who has (Literature & Latte encourages the codes to be shared, so don’t feel bad about it!), then you can get the license for either program for half price.

5. A writers conference or retreat. These are pricey, and I know it’s hard to plunk down, like, $500-$1000 for a weekend-long event, but, if your writer is getting serious about publishing and networking, conferences are invaluable. They allow your writer to network with publishers, agents, editors, and other, more experienced writers.

They’re not hard to find. Just google “writers conference” and your state or surrounding area. There are sites that compile them by location or genre, and niche sites that host their own.

There you have it! Happy Holidays!

What are some gifts you’d recommend for the writers in your life? What do you, as a writer, want for Christmas/Hanukkah/Yule?