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Check out these last-minute gift ideas for writers

Some call it procrastination and others call it Christmas shopping strategy. Whatever the case, if you’re still finishing your shopping and you’re stumped for ideas, check out this list of last-minute gifts for your writer friends (or yourself):

Writing T-shirts

CaféPress has a huge selection of t-shirts with sayings fit for writers. Some examples:

“Writer’s Block: When your imaginary friends won’t talk to you.”

Or if you want something edgier:

“I’m writing you into my next novel.

Your character will meet a painful, violent death.

Have a nice day.”

CafePress also features a selection of bags, mugs and other merchandise designed for writers. Prices vary. Items are currently marked at prices up to 30% off.

Writing Jewelry

The typewriter lives on in jewelry. For a necklace or bracelet made from vintage typewriter keys, visit The Writer’s Workshoppe. The store is located in Port Townsend, Washington, (A crack store for writers!) and online.Prices range from $40 to $80. You’ll also find a nice selection of other writing must haves (chocolate anyone?), including pens, mugs, and Writer’s Block Coffee ($9.95 – 12-ounce bag). How much caffeine does it have? Well if you have to ask, you probably can’t handle it. As the website states, “When you take a sip you’d better have your writing instrument ready.”

Reading Material

Once you’ve come down from that caffeine high, you might like to inspire yourself and your friends with some fine reading material. Consider treating your writing friends and family to a subscription to “The Sun” magazine. The Sun is an independent, ad-free monthly magazine that has published personal essays, short stories, interviews and poetry for more than thirty years. It publishes the work of emerging and established artists and invites readers to consider a selection of political, social and philosophical ideas and contribute their writing. Writing from “The Sun” has won the Pushcart Prize, been published in “Best American Short Stories” and “Best American Essays,” and been broadcast on National Public Radio. A one-year subscription is $39 and each one after that is $25.

Fiction and short story and aficionados will love Glimmer Train Stories. Glimmer Train’s website says it all: A feast of new literary fiction in a handsome physical publication that will persist in the real world. You’ll read gorgeous and meaningful stories by established writers and emerging new voices. Each quarterly issue presents about 220 pages of literary fiction—eight to twelve brand new stories. One of the most respected short-story journals in print, Glimmer Train Stories is represented in recent editions of the Pushcart Prize, “New Stories from the Midwest,” “O.Henry,” “New Stories from the South,” “Best of the West,” and “Best American Short Stories” anthologies. One year (four issues) $38

Ergonomic Writing Accessories

If you’re like most writers, you’ve had an occasional twinge from overusing your mouse. I was having trouble with my “mouse hand” — and found Le Petit Cushion (7.99) – a wrist rest that helped alleviate the pain. It’s like a beanbag with a non-skid surface. It also comes in a larger size for $15.99.

If you like to rest your wrist while you type, the company also makes a wrist rest for the keyboard for $19.99. IMAK products are also available via Amazon, Staples, Office Max and Office Depot.

Software

Journaling can be a powerful part of a writer’s practice, whether you simply want to record your thoughts or delve into a story idea or question. Ruth Folit, a dedicated journal writer for 35 years, designed Life Journal for Writers. ($44.95 for LifeJournal 3) Visit the website  to see holiday packages and available add-ons, including one for writers. LifeJournal 3 is compatible with Windows® XP/Vista/Win7

MacJournal ($39.95 version 6) was created for use on Macintosh computers (and iPhone/iPad). Writers can organize and record their daily thoughts and ideas about life and writing projects and even publish a blog. Add photos, links, audio, graphics, or just words. MacJournal offers a timer feature and allows you to track your word count. With two-level security (password protection and encryption), MacJournal keeps your data safe.

Scrivener is an award-winning word processor and project management tool created by Literature and Latte. Scrivener offers a central place to write, collect research, organize ideas, and shuffle index cards – think of it as your writing headquarters. Originally created for the Mac, Literature and Latte recently released version 2 ($45). Scrivener is now available for PCs ($40).

For more Christmas shopping ideas, check out Carol Despeaux’s recommended writing gifts.

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