Do you have a writer in your life? Then read on for fantastic gift ideas that will get put you in their good books...
The gift that motivates and inspires: A writing course
The New Year is a great time to focus on your resolution to write a novel or screenplay, or to network with other writers, agents and publishers. We have the answer, with two special early bird rates on brand new 1-day courses being held in Brighton in January and March 2016: they're designed to be kickstarts for new and experienced writers.
Our 1-day TV & Radio Course will help you write that script in 2016. It's at the fabulously glam Hotel Pelirocco on Saturday January 23: our two tutors Sue Teddern and Hannah Vincent are experts in broadcast drama and comedy, and their great course is available for £85 till December 21. While our first Write by the Beach conference features best-selling authors and top agents offering 10+ sessions, plus a networking lunch, for £85 till January 24. That's in the beautiful Angel House, right by the sea. Both fabulous venues are within easy reach of Brighton Railway Station (less than 1 hour from London by train) so you could make a whole weekend of it!
The gift that makes writing possible & pleasurable: stationery
Most writers adore stationery: but it doesn't have to mean Cross fountain pens (though I'd never say no...). Personally I love Muji Gel pens in a range of gorgeous colours. And I can never have enough notebooks. Moleskine are the classics, as loved by Hemingway, but I also love the more reasonably priced Paperchase range, perfect for every pocket or handbag...Don’t forget your local specialist stationer too, nothing can replace browsing in a shop like Pen to Paper round the corner from me in Brighton (it sells online as well). Lovely shop, lovely things!
The gift of knowledge: how-to books
I love a good textbook on writing: How NOT to Write a Novel is a fab introduction to the basics, but introduced in a humorous yet insightful way. Save the Cat is a lively and smart book on story structure, genre and how to create heroes your readers or viewers will root for.
And I can also recommend two great guides by our very talented Academy Tutors: Bridget Whelan's Back to Creative Writing School, is perfect for dipping into, with a range of brilliant exercises, while the newly-published Writing for TV and Radio co-written by Sue Teddern, is full of insight about comedy, drama, characterisation and developing ideas, and though it's focused on broadcast, I think it's excellent whether you're writing for broadcast or print.
The gift of Not Having to Use Word: technology
It's not all about Word... many writers swear by Scrivener, which is available for Mac and Windows, and was designed specifically for writers, with lots of flexible tools including easy ways to prepare books for self-publishing.
The gift of the literary greats: book booty
Mugs, posters, boardgames: we love to celebrate our literary passions, and surrounding ourselves with reminders of the greats, can motivate us to writing heights too. The Literary Gift Company offers candles that smell of libraries, jewellery featuring books and… did I mention I love stationery?
The gift that's inspired writers through the ages: hard liquor
Need I say more? Thought not... As Brighton writers, we love the sophisticated flavour and adorable packaging of Brighton Gin. Or for a selection of different spirits in actual Christmas Crackers, try Drinks by the Dram: six different spirits, perfect for inspiration whenever it strikes... even on Christmas Day!
What about you? Do share your favourite literary gift ideas! Tweet us at @bh_writing
PS: I've included links to some of the products, but do remember to look at local sellers too: buying gift tokens for a local store makes life easier and helps protect YOUR high street!