The Essential Gift Guide for Editors: 2017

by Lesley-Anne Longo

Published at 2017-11-30

It can be difficult to choose gifts for editors (or writers!) – choosing a book is often too risky or nerve-wracking, but if not a book, then…what? We’ve compiled some out-of-the-box ideas to add to our list of great gifts for the editor in your life, or even a friend who loves the written word!



These calendars are great because there are just so many of them available, and many of them are interest-based varieties: some tell you the origins of each word, some just offer definitions, some are tailored for writers, others are tailored to jokesters. Our pick is this official Merriam-Webster word-a-day calendar!



These would be a fun gift for the editor who lives with others – a partner, family, friends, etc. The best part about these fridge magnet sets is that you can see what hilarious works of art other people have come up with. Like the word calendars, they also come in a large variety of genres – here’s one that is composed of Canadian-themed words. And of course, the original purveyor of these sets, Magnetic Poetry, has any set you can think of: one entirely made up of words people hate, beard-themed, bacon-themed, beat poet–themed, cat lover–themed, Edgar Allen Poe–themed, taco-themed, sets made up of movie lines, pickup lines…the list goes on and on. Our pick, however, is for the simple “Book Lover” themed kit. For the classicist you know, there’s also the Shakespeare-themed set.



Some editors prefer to work to upbeat music, others prefer soft ambient sounds, others still will opt for complete silence. The nice thing about noise-cancelling headphones is that they will appeal just as much to all three of these editor types! Whether they’re providing the music of your choice, or blocking out the distracting noises around you, a nice set of headphones will always be appreciated.



Hard copy editing (that is, editing on paper as opposed to a screen) is becoming less and less common, but it definitely still exists, and if the editor in your life gets a hard copy editing job, we promise that these pens are lifesavers – we have a set of our favourite Paper-Mate erasable gel pens in the office that we keep safely squirrelled away just for these occasions. They really do erase perfectly, and of course, they’re useful for pretty much any task you need a pen for!



Even hardworking editors like to get out of the house and have some fun! You can find great little passes and gift cards for a night out at the movies at Costco and some drugstores as well – two tickets, two popcorns, and two drinks! Your editor can grab a friend (maybe it’ll be you!) and enjoy a relaxing escape to the movies, on your dime. Especially nice since movie ticket prices are only going up these days…



It's not news that many freelancers spend a fair chunk of their time alone, often in surroundings that are lacking in natural light. Why not help your freelance friend stave off the winter blues with a Happy Light? These lamps are reputed to improve energy, heighten focus, and boost productivity. Your vitamin D-deficient editor friend will be grateful for the concentrated dose of “sunlight,” especially when February rolls around.



Despite the publishing industry’s move toward digital technology, there are still many of us who prefer hard copy. TOWN is a lovely shop in Toronto’s West End that has a fun assortment of paper goods from brands like Rifle Paper Co. and Cavallini & Co. Another excellent option is Wonder Pens, especially if you’re in the market for some beautiful—and affordable—fountain pens.



Not only does this gift help support local independent businesses, but it also encourages your freelance friend to venture out of their office for a while to get some much-needed fresh air. Fortunately, there are still many local bookstores in and around Toronto. Book City, TYPE, Another Story, and Glad Day are just a few you might consider.



Trust me, editors always appreciate caffeinated gifts. Here at TEC, tea is our lifeblood, and sometimes the perfect cup is all you need to carry you through the rest of the day. Sloane Tea is a personal favourite, and their Perfectly Pear white tea is incredible. Just add hot water—no dairy or sweeteners required. Plus, their packaging is so pretty that you won’t even need to wrap it.



Know a freelance newbie who’s in desperate need of dressing up a drab home office? Etsy is a great place to find work by local artists online. Flea markets are another great place to find a wonderful assortment of local handmade goods. Time, however, is not on your side at this point, so a membership to an art gallery like the AGO may be a better option.



Help your editor pal stay on top of the publishing game by giving them a one-year subscription to Quill & Quire, the industry’s leading source for all things publishing. If you want to do your part to help save the planet at the same time, consider an electronic subscription in lieu of a paper one.


Still stumped? Check out our Editors’ Wish List in our newsletter for more ideas.


Good luck, and happy holidays!