Gifts for Writers

by | December 6, 2020 | General | 4 comments

by Ashley Lister

  It’s that time of year when, to celebrate the birth of someone who died a couple of millennia back, we honour the occasion with a mercantile demonstration of the constructs of capitalism and conspicuous consumption.

  Some people say this is the season to be jolly. Others say it’s the most wonderful time of the year. And there are people who insist the spirit of the season is all about hope, goodwill to others and love. However, we all know that this is the season of presents. And we all know, the worst people in the world to buy for are writers.

  So, as a handy help to all of those who know a writer, or want to treat a writer to a seasonal gift, this is a list of five things to give festive cheer to the most curmudgeonly wordsmith in your life.

  1. If you’re buying for a professional writer, then this means the scope is pretty broad. Given the amount of money earned by professional writers, second-hand clothing, food stamps, tinned food or a contribution toward their household bills will always be appreciated. It might save them from having to spend a weekend sitting in a shopping mall with a sign that says ‘Homeless and Hungry’ or ‘Will Trade Vital Organs for Food’.

  2. Alcohol is always a good choice. Some occupations are known by the predominant body parts of those individuals involved. Consequently, we know about the magnificent muscles of a bodybuilder, the huge, compassionate heart of a care worker, and the fine, distinguishing palate of a restaurant critic. Alongside these consider the industrial-sized liver of a writer and you’ll understand why alcohol is always an appropriate gift for the wordsmith in your life.

  3. DON’T BUY BOOKS. This is just rubbing the writer’s nose in it. A writer will look at the book you purchased for them, look at the mediocrity of their own sales figures for the month, and maybe weep a little. Trust me: don’t buy books.

  4. For writers you don’t know well, reviews are a genuinely beautiful gift. Amazon does funky things with its algorithms and, the more reviews and ratings on a writer’s books, the more often Amazon shoves those books in the face of potential readers. If you have a favourite writer and you’ve never managed to leave a review for them before, make this Christmas a five-star season for them.

  5. Support. This has not been an easy year for any of us. Between the uncertainty of physical health threats from that damned virus, and concerns about economic security because of the problems the virus has caused, we’ve all struggled in some way this year and many of us continue to struggle. This year has been described as unprecedented, tough, challenging and (my favourite) ‘the worst’. If there’s a writer in your life, and you want to give them a truly special gift, one of the kindest things you can do is give them your support and make sure they know you’ve got their back.

If you can think of anything else that might work as a gift for a writer, there’s the comments box below. And, I genuinely hope this holiday season brings you everything you desire for yourself and your loved ones.


Ashley Lister

Ashley Lister is a UK author responsible for more than two-dozen erotic novels written under a variety of pseudonyms. His most recent work, a non-fiction book recounting the exploits of UK swingers, is his second title published under his own name: Swingers: Female Confidential by Ashley Lister (Virgin Books; ISBN: 0753513439) Ashley’s non-fiction has appeared in a variety of magazines, including Forum, Chapter & Verse and The International Journal of Erotica. Nexus, Chimera and Silver Moon have published his full-length fiction, with shorter stories appearing in anthologies edited by Maxim Jakubowski, Rachel Kramer Bussel and Mitzi Szereto. He is very proud to be a regular contributor to ERWA.


  1. Lisabet Sarai

    How about aspirin?

    Happy Holidays, Ashley. You make my life brighter!

    • Ashley Lister


      Thank you. And why didn’t I think of cats? Everyone’s life is better with cats 🙂

      Happy holidays xx

  2. Colin Munro

    A bottle of good malt whisky usually does it for me,

    Thanks for all your support and encouragement over the past three years Dr Ash

    • Ashley Lister

      Colin – I shall toast our friendship with a glass of bourbon on Christmas eve. And thank you for making the daily grind so much more entertaining.

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