I love giving magazine subscriptions as presents: it’s like a new gift every month. If there’s a reader–or a write–on your holiday gift list, how about a subscription to your favorite literary magazine? Most subscriptions run under $40, a bargain for a present that provides a fresh infusion of stories, poems, and essays over the course of a year. And you’ll provide much-needed support to literary journals and the writers they publish.
Old standbys like The Kenyon Review, Glimmer Train, Tin House, and Virginia Quarterly Review put out beautiful, hefty issues 4 times a year. Want your stories more frequently? One Story sends a single story in an adorable pocket-sized issue every 3 to 4 weeks. You might choose a journal that specializes in the recipient’s particular interests: for example, those who appreciate the offbeat and experimental might enjoy Barrelhouse or McSweeney’s, or try Quick Fiction for those who like flash fiction.
Or consider supporting your local university’s literary magazine–or your giftee’s. Many universities run lit mags that showcase student and regional work. Search engines like Duotrope can help you sort through what’s out there.