Gifts for Writers

What do you get for that writer in your life?


Here are some great gift ideas for you:

  • Software: Scrivener is one of the best writing platforms out there in my humble opinion – it’s $45 (unless you won NaNoWriMo and got the discounted price) and it’s fantastic. It’s like a virtual cork board where you can post not only your scenes (and move them around however you want), but research ideas, websites, photos, character sketches and settings.
  • A spa day: check out your local spa and get your writer away from the keyboard for a couple of hours of relaxation. They’ll thank you afterwards.
  • A new notebook – Here’s a great Top 10 List of the sorts of notebooks out there today. I like Moleskine myself, but there are lots of different types available. Pick something your writer would love.
  • A keyboard for their iPad – I’ve got one of these and it’s great. You can type just like a laptop, but you’ve got the portability of the iPad. Plus, it comes in a nice leather case.
  • A laptop bag or general tote bag – there are so many choices out there that I’m not going to pick just one. Browse your local leather store for a high-end bag, or just check out Amazon or Cafepress.
  • A magazine subscription – get your writer a subscription to their favorite magazine, whether it’s Writer’s Digest or Poets & Writers.
  • A writing conference – for this, you’ll have to either consult with your writer or be super-sneaky because you have to know which conference your writer wants to attend. Either pay the entire fee or contribute toward the total. This might make a good group gift.
  • New pens – you can spend anything from a few bucks to several thousand, depending on what sort of pen you’d like to gift.
  • Free time – arrange for your writer to have the time they need to write. Do the chores for a day. Take the kids to the zoo. Give your writer a day at a local hotel. Whatever it takes.

25 Fantastic Gifts for Writers

GiftGivingDon’t know what to get that writer for Christmas? Here are some great ideas:

A genuine Leather Notebook Gift_Notebook






Aqua Notes for those ideas that pop up in the shower Gift_Aqua

Gift_Dock An iPad and tablet workstation

Writer’s Block … literallyGift_Block

Gift_ToolboxThe Writer’s Toolbox kit

An Out of Print shirt or tote bag – out of print book titles

Writer’s Remedy – a bottle of magnetic wordsGift_Remedy








Space Age Pen – writes at any angle, any temperature

Gift_KeysTypewriter key jewelry

Something from Litographs – literary shirts, totes, even tattoos


The Rumpus Mug – just read it … your writer will agree

Gift_BagA good, solid bag

Bookends, of course Gift_Bookend

The Storymatic – 6 trillion stories in one box


Gift_SoapWriter’s Block soap

A writer’s clock Gift_Clock

An antique (or reproduction) portable writing desk


Gift_Journals Journals, of course

A smartass mug Gift_Mug

A really nice pen and/or pencil set


Gift_Typewriter An actual typewriter

And, of course … books!


Books about writing or books just for reading

And for those with a little more money to spend:

  • A session with a literary editor
  • A stay at a writing retreat (or just a nice, quiet hotel)
  • The mod notebook – a notebook that syncs to the cloud

Western Fictioneers Convention 2015

Here are some shots from the convention. We all had a great time, and it was a real pleasure to meet all of my online writing buddies!

Our bookstore

Our bookstore

WFCon2015 (61 of 130)

Badge and Laptop

Badge and Laptop

Backdrop #1

Backdrop #1

WFCon2015 (12 of 130)

Table decor for Friday night

WFCon2015 (13 of 130)

Table decor for Friday night, part 2

WFCon2015 (30 of 130)

Dinner and a show!

WFCon2015 (63 of 130)

Our intrepid leader

Backdrop #2

Backdrop #2

Table decorations for Saturday

Table decorations for Saturday


Off to the largest science fiction convention in the US … perhaps the world.




For the next four days, we’ll be shoving our way through 65,000 people – most of whom will be in costumes – and trying to find our way to the next panel we want to see.

DragonCon Crowds

DragonCon Crowds

It’s going to be awesome!

At the Movies: Westerns

Considering my genre, it’s natural for me to watch Westerns! Here are just a few of my favorites for you to check out.



Rio Bravo: John Wayne and Dean Martin defend the town from a corrupt rancher. Features a very young Ricky Nelson.


The Sacketts: based on Louis L’Amour’s books and starring Tom Selleck, Sam Elliott, and Jeff Osterhage. There’s another Elliott/Selleck/L’Amour story called The Shadow Riders, which is also very good.


El Dorado: another version of Rio Bravo actually, with John Wayne, Robert Mitchum and James Caan fighting evil Ed Asner.

Heck, I’ll watch almost anything with John Wayne in it!


Tombstone: Kurt Russell, Val Kilmer, Sam Elliott and Bill Paxton as the Earps and Doc Holliday.


The Magnificent Seven: Seven gunslingers come to the aid of a Mexican village.


Dances with Wolves: Kevin Costner and Graham Greene in the story of a Civil War soldier learning about the Lakota tribe.

And for sheer silliness…

FB_Blazing_SaddlesBlazing Saddles: Cleavon Little and Gene Wilder try to save the town of Rock Ridge from corrupt Harvey Korman.


Book Give-Away



10,000 Likes already! Wow, what a great bunch of fans you guys are.

The lads are giving away some swag again – Chance is donating a deck of cards (a Down the Owlhoot Trail style deck, of course) and Kye has tinkered something together for you from his workshop.

Along with this, I’m donating a copy of the anthology and some author swag to go with it.

Five lucky winners will be chosen at random.

TO ENTER: comment below and answer this question: What mischief should a couple of outlaws get up to while they’re trying to go straight? Remember to include a name and email address so that I can contact you if you win.

Who knows, I may even use your ideas in a future novel – credited, of course!

Contest ends February 14, 2015

Are Writers’ Conferences For You?

I attended my first writing conference last year. Oh, I’ve been going to DragonCon’s writing track for years, so I figured I’d pretty much heard everything I needed about writing. I was going for the chance to pitch my book to an agent or editor. Maybe I’d pick up a couple of new ideas, but I was paying for that face-time.

Boy, was I wrong.

I did meet a lot of agents and editors – and other authors, who are not only great people to talk with, but can help you connect with even more agents, authors, and editors. I did pitch my ideas, and even got positive results from all of them.

But I also learned more than just a couple of new ideas. We had lectures like “Treating Your Story’s Setting as a Main Character” and “Crafting a Gripping Opening” and “World Building 101.” We wrote, and we critiqued each other’s work. We shared ideas and websites and contact information.

We had classes on social media, and on publicizing yourself and your books. I think I learned more in one day than I’d learned in two years of playing around on Facebook. My Facebook author page – and I learned to set up a separate page for that instead of using my personal page – went from a few friends to over 3,000 in around six months, and it’s still growing.

If you’ve never attended a writing conference, save up the funds and go! You’ll learn a lot more than you think you will, plus you’ll meet all those people who will play an important role in your career later on. The contacts you make now can only help you in the future.

Plus, it’s just a whole lot of fun.

What’s the best conference you’ve ever attended — or the one you’ve always dreamed of attending?