If you're looking for a cool gift idea or you want to give your family some ideas for stocking stuffers, why not try a subscription to a literary journal? For as little at $20 or $30, the recipient receives a year's worth of today's best writing. What's more, it gives a writer a chance to get familiar with another journal - what they're publishing, the quality of their product and even what contests they're running.
I've subscribed to many literary magazines over the years, but unfortunately I'm not able to subscribe to as many as I'd like. Some of the leading Canadian journals that I'd love to receive in 2012 include The Fiddlehead, The Malahat Review, Prairie Fire and the Dalhousie Review. Santa, hear my plea!
There are hundreds of American journals, and my wish list grows exponentially when I look south of the border. My top five are The Paris Review, Tin House, the Atlantic Monthly, The Iowa Review and Kestrel (as the first American journal to publish my work, they are dear to my heart).
In an ideal world, I could afford all the journals on my list and would spend my year reading and supporting literary magazines, big and small.
Books are a traditional favourite at Christmas, but keep in mind that a magazine subscription is a gift that keeps giving throughout the year. So the next time you're looking for a gift for that writer on your list, consider one of Canada's literary magazines. Their very existence depends on subscriptions, so really you're giving a gift to both the writer and the publication.
Happy Holidays to all and happy reading!