Category Archives: Gift Guide

Festive Gift Guide 2018 – The Best Gifts For Writers

It’s that time of year again: for the Christmas gift round up! Discover our selection of the best presents for writers…

‘Tis the season for mulled wine, Christmas films, carols, and trying to be more organised than last year and not leaving all of your shopping to Christmas Eve (gulp).

Maybe your friend or family member is a playwright and you’re looking to avoid buying them a notebook for the sixth year in the row (though a writer can never have to many notebooks), or maybe you’re a playwright looking to treat yourself or even add something special to your own wish list.

We’ve scoured around – stopping off for plenty of mince pies on the way – and have compiled a Christmas gift guide for writers.

Also, did you know, that by shopping through the links provided in this list, you can help support LPB at absolutely no extra cost to you?  We’ve provided links to everything we’ve recommended here using the Amazon Affiliates scheme. Even if you DON’T buy the original item (and purchase something different ), if you click through any of our links to access the Amazon website, we’ll get a small percentage of the sale to help us keep running the blog, and it won’t cost you anything extra.  So if you are planning on shopping at Amazon this festive season, we’d really appreciate it if you clicked through from here first! Thanks!

Here’s what made our 2018 Gift Guide:

  1. Papatango: Being a Playwright

Becoming a playwright doesn’t just mean picking up your pen and creating a story, there’s also lots of practical and business elements involved in building a career in theatre. This brilliant book from Papatango covers everything from pursuing funding opportunities to approaching agents. (Paperback £9.29/ Kindle £8.83)

2. The Misty Play Text

We’re frequently told that a good writer is also a good reader. Seeing theatre shows performed live is incredible, but reading the play text helps you discover a play in a whole new way, as well as learn more about the practical side of writing  a show, particularly in relation to formatting.

Misty by Arinzé Kene, originally on at Bush Theatre before transferring to Trafalgar Studios, was one of the stand-out hits of this year. A mix of music, poetry and theatre, this show was spectacular – and the play text should be at the top of everyone’s wish list! (Paperback £7.09/ Kindle £6.74)

3. Membership to London Playwrights’ Workshop!

Sign up for an annual membership for London Playwrights’ Workshop and you’ll get access to resources and writing exercises, including our Write A Play In A Month (WrAP) scheme, which will help you hit the New Year running (or writing even). You’ll also get discounts on course bookings, access to the playwrights’ book club and the chance to come along to member meetups.

You can sign up for monthly membership for just £3.63 per month here, but for a limited time, we’re also offering annual membership for £40; there is even an option to purchase this as a gift and the lucky recipient will receive a nice email on a date of your choice (even Christmas day!) containing details of their membership. If you want a gift that lasts all year round, this is it! Purchase your annual membership here. 

 

4. Writers and Artists Yearbook 2019

Often writers don’t just stick to theatre, and write for TV and novels, and this best-selling guide gives handy tips on how to get published across all these different types of media. There’s also nuggets of advice and inspiration, and it’s updated every year, continually supporting writers in their careers by providing the latest opportunities and knowledge. (Paperback £14.77/ Kindle £14.15)

5. A Pencil Case Fit For The Bard!

Shakespeare is perhaps the most famous playwright, so how could he not feature on this list? Well, we’ve not added Shakespeare himself to this list as we seem to have misplaced our Tardis… But you can get this lovely tin pencil case with a variety of Shakespeare quotes on. It’s perfect for when you need a bit of a poetry pick-me-up while you’re slogging through your tenth draft… (£9.49)

6. Something To Get The Creative Juices Following


Unfortunately, creativity sometimes just won’t strike. That’s when writing exercises are brilliant to kick-start your brain again and fill it with wonderful ideas for your next show.

The Writer’s Toolbox (£13.01) is filled with exercises and instructions to help you discover new stories and ignite those sparks. It also contains four spinner palettes to spice up your story with some plot twists…

Sometimes the problem is actually finding the time to write, but the Five Minute Writer (Paperback £9.99/ Kindle £3.49) shows how (you guessed it) we can all find five-minutes to get our creativity going again. Just spending five minutes a day on one of the exercises in the book will help you discover your story!

7. Subscription to The Stage

Full of theatre news, reviews, interviews and jobs in the industry, The Stage is a one-stop-shop for any playwright who wants to stay up-to-date about everything happening in theatre land.

They’re currently offering a special Christmas gift subscription that will begin on December 25, and grant the holder access to the print, digital and web only editions, as well as 10% discount on theatre tickets and other subscriber benefits! (From £12)

8. Theatre Brooch

Maybe you’ve stumbled across this article as you’ve got Sue from HR for your Secret Santa but all you know about Sue is that she quite likes plays, and likes to write on her lunch break (we may now be thinking about the backstory for Sue, please stop us).

This metal enamel pin is the perfect gift for any theatre-lover, and won’t break the budget! (£1.90)

9. A Pocket-Sized Notebook

We’re officially allowing you to give your writer friend a notebook for the sixth year, as a writer can really never have enough notebooks. Getting a pocket-sized one is great as it means a writer can fit it into their bag, so when an idea suddenly strikes them, they have somewhere to write it down in! This Field Notebook is also great as, with it living it someone’s bag, it’s handy that it’s waterproof and tear proof – no one wants a notebook to become so dog-eared they can’t read it! (£9.07)

10. Women Who Write Are Dangerous

The title of this book alone should be enough of a reason to buy it!

This book challenges the previous notion that writing is not a suitable career for women (with writers like Charlotte Brontë having had to adopt male pseudonyms), and instead brings the work of around 50 female authors together to showcase their brilliant writing.

Learn more about some of the best authors of our time with this book that’s perfect for curling up by the fire with on Christmas day. (Hardcover £13.88)

Happy Holidays from all of us at LPB!

Festive Gift Guide 2017 – the best gifts for writers

Are you struggling to think of a fabulous festive gift for the writer in your life? I mean, apart from their laptop, what does a playwright even need these days? Well, look no further than our annual gift guide for writers, handpicked by the LPB team. From luxury splurges to notebooks that are almost too nice to write in to practical stocking fillers, we’ve got all bases covered. And, if you’re a writer hoping not to receive a pair of socks and a dodgy bath set this year, feel free to use this list as a subtle hint for your nearest and dearest! You’re welcome.

Also, did you know, that by shopping through the links provided in this list, you can help support LPB at absolutely no extra cost to you?  We’ve provided links to everything we’ve recommended here using the Amazon Affiliates scheme. Even if you DON’T buy the original item (and purchase something different ), if you click through any of our links to access the Amazon website, we’ll get a small percentage of the sale to help us keep running the blog, and it won’t cost you anything extra.  So if you are planning on shopping at Amazon this festive season, we’d really appreciate it if you clicked through from here first! Thanks!

Here are our handpicked gifts for writers in 2017:

1. Quality Notebooks


Ok, so notebooks feature on our list every year, but not only are they a necessity, they can also make a really great gift.  Scribbling down ideas in a nice notebook (rather than a boring  jotter pad) can feel like a real treat.

These Leather Notebooks from Luxelu London (£21.95) won’t let you down.

For some fun options, check out the NPW Spiralbound Notebook (£7.50) at the top of this section or a gorgeous and colourful selection by Notebook Love (£9.79).

And if all else fails, you can’t go wrong with a Moleskine Notebook  (£13.74).

2. Creative Pens

Another obvious choice but, stay with us here: pens don’t have to be boring. We have a particular soft spot for Cross, who helped sponsor our 2015 Dark Horse Festival in London Writers’ Week; Cross Pens (£32.98) like the one pictured above give jewellery a run for its money in the meaningful gift stakes.

And, if you don’t want to break the bank, the Parker Jotter Pens (£11.99) are available in a range of colours and come in a snazzy gift box.

Or if you’re looking for a stocking filler, these Fun Maze Pens (£2.95) make for a distracting novelty gift!

3. The greatest gift of all:
Membership to London Playwrights’ Workshop!

Want a gift that keeps on giving? Sign up for an annual membership for London Playwrights’ Workshop and have access to exclusive member benefits for the whole year. Benefits include access to our New Year’s Writing Jumpstart (details to be announced soon!), online resources, member meetups, discounted course bookings, playwrights’ book club, support from our growing online community – and you’ll also be helping to support us to continue doing great work for playwrights. 🙂

You can sign up for monthly membership via the link below:

www.londonplaywrights.org/join

If you’re interested in gifting an annual membership, email us at members@londonplaywrights.org and we’ll be happy to help!

4. Into the Woods (*2015 & 2016 Top Seller*)

Structure is an ongoing challenge for most playwrights, and this book provides a fascinating grounding in how to construct a story so readers can’t turn away. Combining how-to tips with helpful examples, this title demystifies the story-making process. This is one of those staples you’ll find yourself turning to time and again – the writer’s version of the gift that keeps on giving. (£6.99/ Kindle Edition £5.49)

5. Time Management – a new year resolution head start!


Since most writers also have a ‘day-job’, finding the time to write is a common a challenge. It can get even more complicated with coordinating sending out and tracking your submissions.

Ok, so you can’t actually buy time management but there are a plethora of books out there filled with hacks to help you make the most of your time, like How to Be a Productivity Ninja (£6.99). Getting Things Done (£10.99) is another great book to help with boosting productivity. A good daily planner or journal can also be really useful for effectively planning your time, we like this one by Life Up (£8.99).

6. Shakespeare Mug

Stereotypically, writers drink a lot of caffeine whilst working late into the night , ferociously typing out their latest masterpieces. In reality, we tend to use making a cup of tea as a way to procrastinate; unless of course, we could look at Shakespeare stuff at the same time, and then we’d technically still by writing, right? Maybe not, but this Picturemaps Shakespeare Mug (£10.33) makes for a thoughtful gift anyway.

7. Writers and Artists Yearbook 2018


An absolute essential for every writer’s bookshelf, this book (£17.29) has everything you need to get a piece of writing finished, and get it noticed. It’s not only packed with inspiration and guidance from experts but contains a whopping 4,5000 industry names to help you to get your work noticed.

8. Desk Decorations


Every writer dreams of a Pinterest worthy workspace and this Karlsson Desk Clock (£16.64) will add a stylish statement to any desk.

If you’re into on-trend Copper hues, why not match it with this Caveen Pencil Holder (£10.99) or this Design Ideas Letter Holder (£17.99) and create a space that is both organised and looks nice!

9. The splurge: Amazon Echo 


If you want to play music, listen to audiobooks and ask questions whilst keeping your hands free for bashing away on that laptop, the Amazon Echo (£89.99) is the gadget for you. A hi-tech addition to any desk, the Echo makes a fun and practical gift for that gift you want splurge on.

Image by Aurimas via Flickr Creative Commons