As Christmas approaches, a lot of you have been asking me for gift suggestions. Here are my Top Ten ideas for the readers and writers in your life:

  1. A #Storytime Band CD! Each one is signed, and comes with an exclusive signed bookplate.
  2. A Grimm & Co Novel Tea gift box. Contains tea, a copy of either THE BLUE SALT ROAD  or A POCKETFUL OF CROWS and various magical accompaniments to ensure the perfect reading conditions. Plus, each sale goes to support the fabulous Grimm & Co: changing the world, one story at a time.
  3. For the writer in your life, a subscription to the Society of Authors (if you’re not published yet, you can still be an associate member), to keep them abreast of all the publishing news.
  4.  A box of personalized pencils. Inspirational mottos, in all the cute colours.
  5. Drink tea whilst improving your grammar with a set of grammar mugs!
  6. The Writer’s Map: an atlas of imaginary lands. Lavishly illustrated; edited by Huw Lewis-Jones, with contributions from many (non-imaginary) authors.
  7. Offer them the gift of a professional manuscript evaluation, a one-on-one Skype tutorial or, if you’re feeling flush (and they’re feeling ambitious), a whole manuscript editing service.
  8. Cashmere fingerless gloves from Brora. For those Dickensian winter days.
  9. Writers Tears whisky. Because we’ve all been there. (Although you may have to add in the apostrophe yourself…)
  10. Or, for the scent-addicts in your life, you could try Dzing! from L’Artisan Parfumeur, which recreates the smell of new books…

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Manuscript services

For the writers among you, my daughter Anouchka, has begun to offer editorial, manuscript evaluation, copy-editing and other writing and submission-related services online. She's an excellent writer, has a very good eye for what works and what doesn't, and is completely thorough and reliable. I've used her help many times myself, and can I recommend her most heartily. Go to: if you need a new pair of eyes on your manuscript, help drafting a synopsis or submission letter, one-to-one tutorials, or just an informed reader who knows the publishing industry and can help you make your manuscript as good as it can possibly be.