Archive for gifts

Holiday cheer for wordy types…and a contest!

Say “You’re awesome!” to your favourite writers and editors with fun, tasty and memorable gifts, and enter to win fabulous prizes (details below).

Futura T-shirt

Words they can wear. You’ll find a huge selection of gifts for word lovers on Etsy, including typography tees like this cheerful “Futura” top from mediumcontrol (about $30 + shipping). It also comes in blue, grey and brown. 


Kona coffee beans





Exotic caffeine. At $39 per pound, the Hawaiian Kona beans imported by Quebec-based Cafés Volcanik are a splurge for that very, very special someone (or, um, yourself), but they also make super-smooth, bitterness-free lattes. Free Canada-wide shipping.

Writers Tears Irish Whiskey


Something to toast the new year. I’m not a whiskey drinker, but I have it on good authority (hi, Danielle!) that Writers Tears Pot Still Blend Irish whiskey ($47.75 at the LCBO) is much desired. Woody at the whiskey company kindly elaborates: “We triple distil our whiskey and do not use any peat in the process so you don’t get that smoky taste. In Writers Tears, there is an element of pot-still whiskey. This is distinctively Irish as it is a style of whiskey that is made in no other country.” Plus, the name alone…

Literary coasters


A sweet spot to park that drink. I featured Out of Print’s bookish T-shirts in my 2012 gift guide. Those are still available, and this year I’m also smitten with the online shop’s coasters. Themes include punked-up authors, library sign-out cards and sci-fi novels ($20 US per set of four + shipping).




A really great pen…
Wonder Pens specializes in writing instruments, including hard-to-find fountain pens, rollerballs, fineliners and more. This shop at 906 Dundas West in Toronto also offers fancy inks and beautiful paper. Shipping across Canada costs a flat rate of $7, or it’s free if you spend $100. 



…and a superb notebook. Paper notebooks still rank high on editors’ and writers’ wish lists. Peruse the colourful selection from Ecojot, which is local (products are made in Canada), eco-friendly (100% post-consumer recycled paper with veg-based inks) and charity-minded (the company donates school supplies to underprivileged kids). Ecojot’s App Ready notebooks work with Android devices and iPhones to digitize handwritten notes and share them via Dropbox, Evernote, Facebook and email. Version two of the ecojotConnect app is in the works – check out the Kickstarter campaign.








Pretty, functional desk stuff. You’ve never seen pens, bookmarks and binder clips so easy on the eyes. Quills, a boutique in Hamilton, Ont., wraps its goods in beautiful chiyogami (handmade, screen-printed Japanese paper). Prices range from $3.50 for a trio of binder clips to $10 for a four-pack of pretty pens or eight magnets.

Health and well-being. This idea came from writer and editor Susan Peters, who suggests yoga classes, massages or a stand-up desk for the achy desk dwellers on your list. 


Magazines, of course! Make someone happy and support Canadian magazines at the same time? Heck, yeah. Buy a gift subscription from the titles listed at Magazines Canada, or pick up a bunch of single issues at the newsstand and tie them up with a ribbon – all done! 



WIN IT: Editfish is giving away a holiday prize pack to one lucky reader! You could win a magnetic bookmark, pen set, binder clip set and magnet set from Quills (retail value $30) plus a spiral-bound App Ready notebook from Ecojot (retail value $14) featuring charming illustrations of Toronto landmarks on the cover (photo above). TO ENTER: Recommend a useful tool, tip or resource for writers and editors in the comments below by Dec. 31, 2014, and your name will go in a random draw.

Holiday gifts for writers and editors

Setting aside, for the moment, the debate over whether “gifting” is a legit verb, here are a few sweet gifts for the writers, editors and other word lovers in your life.

Out of Print Clothing The classics never go out of style. Give your favourite book lovers (including kids!) one of the soft, distressed tees and sweatshirts by Out of Print Clothing. Titles include Moby Dick, The Great Gatsby, Jane Eyre, Siddhartha, 1984, Charlotte’s Web and many more, from $28 US. Also available: journals, tote bags, note cards, coasters, e-book jackets and phone cases.

LiveScribe Sky Smartpen

Livescribe Sky Smartpen This new gadget has the same features as the much-loved Livescribe Echo—plus Wi-Fi! Your notes and audio recordings transfer wirelessly to Evernote (extra Evernote capacity included with purchase). Available in 2G, 4G and 8G models. Pen only from $165, bundles from $225 at SmartpenCentral.comSpecial offer for EditFish readers: enter EDITFISH at checkout for a 5% discount on all products except Bundles. Offer ends Dec. 31, 2012.

Bananagrams game

Bananagrams is like Scrabble—but without the board, the scoring, the four-player maximum or the long waits between turns. It’s even more fun when you add your own rules. $19.95 at Indigo. (For a fun brain-buster with symbols instead of letters, get the clever game Qwirkle, $29.95 at Indigo.)

Coffee cup

Stuff their stockings with loose-leaf teas from Majesteas and a gorgeous mug (I love the ones by Vancouver’s Heather Dahl). For coffee lovers: a two-cup French press. Buy beans from an indie café or, for an indulgence that lasts well beyond the holidays, subscribe to Alberta’s Transcend Coffee. For chocoholics: fair-trade bars and drink mixes from Canadian co-op Camino.

That old-book smell For those who love the heady aroma of bookstores, Demeter Fragrance Library (how fitting!) makes perfume, foam bath, shower gel and other products in “Paperback” scent. From $6 US.

Crafty e-reader cover If you’re good at DIY, make an e-reader cover with the help of this Canadian Living article. If not, consider the cozy felted covers by Etsy vendor PinsnNeedlesCases. I have one, and I’m impressed by the handiwork. From about $25.

Super-sized computer monitor For someone who’s been really good this year, order a monitor (big enough to view two documents side by side—at least 24”) so the lucky recipient can create a dual-monitor setup with an existing monitor or laptop. I use a Dell UltraSharp model—its colour accuracy and uniformity rival those of pricier Apple monitors. Check often for sales. From $369.

Art imitating books  Check out artist Jane Mount’s lovely (and lovingly rendered) paintings of book collections. Buy themed prints (such as “Writing,” “Fashion” or “Jane Austen”), the My Ideal Bookshelf hardcover or, if money is no object, a custom painting (from $250 US).

Stack of magazinesStack of magazines One of my favourite indulgences is to walk into a magazine store and drop $30 on publications I consider a treat (or guilty pleasure). On my wish list this year: DwellLucky Peach, WORN Fashion Journal, Granta and National Geographic Traveler. And, in case you missed it, Magazines Canada is offering a buy-two-get-one-free subscription deal.

Gifts that give back Make a heartwarming donation in a friend’s name to any of these fine organizations: Toronto Public Library Foundation, Frontier College Literacy Programs, Canadian Journalists for Free Expression (disclosure: I’ve volunteered with CJFE for about five years), PEN Canada or World Literacy Canada


Do you have brilliant gift ideas for writers and editors?