My friend, Tom, is a playwright who lives in Los Angeles. I met Tom back in 1985 when I was an intern at the Los Angeles Children’s Museum and he was the theater teacher there. We’ve remained friends all these years and I’ve been lucky enough to have attended a number of his shows.

Last week, I hosted a small gathering at my home in San Francisco for Tom to read a draft of his solo-show about Mary Lincoln. It was kinda like a salon in that everyone gave feedback afterward so Tom could re-work his play to make it even better.

It was so much FUN!

Everyone who was there really loved sitting around the bonfire and listening to great writing. Although Tom was simply reading the script, he did it in the voice of the character, Mary Lincoln, and used his acting skills to bring the words to life.


Tom got some great suggestions from the group and everyone connected in a different and deeper way than we would have by simply chatting about everyday life or having cocktail party chatter.

There was something really special about gathering like that — to experience and talk about art!

So here’s your gift idea…

If you know someone who is a writer and you want to help them celebrate their work, you could host a gathering like this.

It doesn’t have to be for feedback, like ours was. It can just be a way for your writer friend to share his/her talents and for others to enjoy it.

You might do this for someone who has a newly published book as a way to celebrate that huge accomplishment. You could also do it for someone who is partway through writing their book and maybe they need a boost of energy to keep going. Maybe a friend published a short story or finished writing a book proposal. There are lots of reasons to celebrate!

All you need is space for people to gather, some chairs, some food to nosh on (optional), and … well … a reading light! (Tikki Lamps are also optional, but highly recommended!)


Have you ever attended anything like this that someone else has hosted to showcase a friend’s writing, music, or art? Maybe you’ve hosted something yourself?

I’d love to hear! Comment below ( in Facebook) and tell me about it.

And listen, if you are a writer and you’d like to have a gathering like this to do a reading, give this article to someone you love and shyly ask, “Would you do this for me for my birthday or just-because?”

People love to be asked to do something special like this.

Believe me, it’s a gift for everyone who gets to attend!

xo Sherry

P.S. This is also a great idea for your friends who play music, create art, invent games, etc! Anything that can be shared in a group is cause for a salon-like celebration!