Holiday Gifts: Posters & Postcards

Starting today and continuing for the next 5 Mondays, you can look forward to some holiday gift suggestions for writers.

If you are a writer, consider these for your writing friends. If you want to be on the receiving end, print this out and leave it some place conspicuous so your family will find it. If you belong to writing organizations, you might consider listing these suggestions in your newsletter.

As I was writing the blog post about the Holiday Ornament for Writers last week, I received an email from Ryan Lewis, Operations Manager for 826 National. Ryan asked if I'd mention 826 National Store, a family of 8 non-profits dedicated to helping students ages 6 – 18 with creative and expository writing, as a place for writers to shop.

(I'd love to say Ryan sent along a lovely sample of gifts that writers would like — after all, who doesn't like free stuff—but that's not the case. He merely wrote a nice letter and asked.)

826 National

After I checked out 826 National, I was excited to give this worthwhile group a nod of approval. They were founded in 2002 by author Dave Eggers and educator Nínive Calegari, and they help more than 24,000 students in eight U.S. cities through programs including after-school tutoring, field trips, in-school visits, and workshops.

Ryan Lewis said: "Their mission is based on the understanding that great leaps in learning can happen with one-on-one attention, and that strong writing skills are fundamental to future success."

Each chapter offers drop-in tutoring, field trips, workshops, and in-schools programs — all free of charge — for children, classes, and schools with particular interests or particular needs. They're committed to supporting teachers, offering services and resources for English language learners, and publishing student work.

Hey, I'm all for any group that supports reading and helps young people write better. The 826 National Store offers a lot of products that writers would love, from print items to tee shirts and more. What caught my eye were two items that tickled my funny bone.

The That Thing You Are Writing is Awesome! postcards. I love those! I want those for me and to give to a friend. They're going on my gift list if only so I can hang one above my computer. I don't know of any writer whose ego isn't always in need of a boost.

The Are You Absolutely, Positively, and Wholeheartedly Ready to Publish Your Novel? poster with a flow chart-type checklist is not only amusing but also actually offers good advice.

You might be interested in some of their books, such as, The Secret Miracle: The Novelist's Handbook. Edited by Daniel Alarcón, it contains dozens of interviews with authors about the writing process. All writers like to know how other writers do it.

Visit their website and check out all the products designed to appeal to writers. I'm sure you'll find something you'll like.

Takeaway Truth

Writers, buy a cool gift and support young writers with a purchase from 826 National Store, knowing that your purchase will be used to buy supplies, train volunteers, and print publications, all in support of the thousands of students who pass through their doors each year.

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