22 Perfect Gifts for Writers: The Write Life’s 2016 Holiday Gift Guide

22 Perfect Gifts for Writers: The Write Life’s 2016 Holiday Gift Guide

Each year, we list our top gifts for writers in our annual holiday gift guide. Be sure to check out our holiday gift guides from 20182017, 2015, 2014 and 2013, as well as this list of creative and clever presents for your favorite writer.

It’s that time of year again!

Welcome to The Write Life’s annual Holiday Gift Guide!

The holidays are just around the corner, and the countdown to get your shopping done in the next 30 days has officially kicked off.

Even if you’re not a writer yourself, you probably have at least one or two in your life and on your holiday shopping list. In my experience, writers are both a particular bunch who know what they like, but also humans who might not necessarily think to treat themselves to something really great.

Whether you want a big gift for your writer (like paying for a night in a hotel so they can get some writing done) or something small (Pens! Lots of pens!), there’s something for everyone in The Write Life’s 2016 guide.

1.Quality slippers


There’s nothing better than being comfy and cozy when you’re writing.

Slippers are also a great form of self-care, and definitely less costly than a spa treatment.

2. A brand new bag

Speaking of tote bags, your writer probably carries one – odds are, it’s gotten a bit worn and they may be too busy to notice.

Consider a replacement or at least a temporary stand-in, like this one, emblazoned with a Virginia Woolf quote about loving libraries.

3. Writing software they think they can’t afford

Some writing software could really come in handy for your most tech-interested writers.

Gift them a copy of  Scrivener (for Mac or for Windows), the software in which any document is connected to a virtual index card. Write down your ideas on a card and move it around Scrivener’s corkboard to rearrange the elements of your draft. If you’re worried about a learning curve, this Scrivener course teaches you how to get the most out of the tool.

4. Website hosting

Your favorite writer definitely needs a website of their own.

Gift them their very own domain name! Try Bluehost — it’s affordable, and one of our favorites.

If you want to see whether a specific domain is available, try this domain checker:

You might also share this blog post with them: a step-by-step guide on how to start a blog with them, too!

5. An inspirational office print


Does your writer need a little inspiration for their office?

I’m envious of this lovely print with the Sylvia Plath quote, “Let me live, love and say it well in good sentences.”

6. A spa gift card

Your writer needs to take care of herself or himself, but might not feel great about making the financial investment in a spa day.

This would be an amazing gift and a built-in excuse to take a break.

7. A book of short meditations

Similarly, this book of meditations could help your writer get a little more zen in between deadlines.

8. A new, or backup, notebook


Most writers are pretty particular about their preferred notebook style, so maybe skip this unless you’ve observed what the writer in your life already loves.

For example, I’m a big fan of spiral notebooks like this one, which are small enough to fit in my tote bag, but you can also never go wrong with a classic Moleskine.

9. Cards Against Humanity

Because everyone needs a break now and then, and a good laugh. Cards Against Humanity is best played in a group (and not with anyone’s parents or kids) but even flipping through the deck can be a fun distraction.


10. A few packs of pens

This is another area in which you might need to do a little recon first in order to see what brands and styles your writer loves most. But once you know, you’ve got a gift idea for them for life – all writers can use a few (thousand) extra pens since we’re always losing them.

Looking for something a bit more unique? How about a glow-in-the-dark pen for nighttime writing?

11. Some after-work glassware


Write drunk, edit sober? Er… something like that.

Your writer can drink with the great drinkers – er, writers, with this literary-themed shot glass set. It features the likes of Dorothy Parker, Oscar Wilde, and more.

12. A “Write epic shit” coffee mug

This mug offers up perfect Monday morning motivation when your writer may be feeling uninspired.

13. A flask

Might I recommend a small novelty version, such as this keychain flask with the words, “Trust me, I’m a writer.”

Trust us, you’ll be the life of the party.

14. A literary good luck charm


I’m into pretty simple jewelry, and I’m obsessed with this necklace with the famous Hemingway quote, “Write drunk; edit sober.” (See! It’s a thing.)

This rectangular pendant necklace is complete with a tiny typewriter charm.

15. A writing class fee, or conference ticket

Lord knows I can’t afford any of the several Creative Nonfiction classes I want to take, or a ticket to BinderCon.

Enrich your writer’s professional development by giving them a gift card to an online class of their choice or pay for them to attend a more pricey conference or event.

16. An iPad keyboard

Let your writer work on the go without having to lug their laptop around. This one even comes with a fancy leather case.

17. A laptop bag


If your writer never leaves without a laptop anyway, you can at least help keep it safe and a little easier to transport. I’m very into this green one for a Macbook.

18. Laptop keyboard protector

This inexpensive little sheet of silicon can be the difference between a no-big-deal coffee spill and having to replace an expensive device.

It’s also the kind of gear most writers would never think to invest in themselves.

They come in tons of colors!

19. A leather portfolio

These are probably less common, but if your writer is a little more old school, this kind of high-end-appearance item might be appreciated.

Plus, if they don’t want to store papers in it, some double as iPad or tablet cases!

20. A magazine subscription

Get your writer the trade publication of their dreams, whether it’s Poets & Writers, The Writer Magazine or The Paris Review.

These definitely count as professional development, since good writers must first be good readers.

Gifts for writers

21. Something for their comfort


Writers are often guilty of sitting for hours without taking a walk or stretch break.

Get the writer in your life a massage roller or an orthopedic pillow for their desk chair.

22. A Starbucks gift card

Sometimes writers  need to sit in a coffeeshop for a change of scenery.

Support their coffee habit with a gift card to a nationally-available shop like Starbucks or their favorite locally-owned haunt.

I’d love any of these gifts this holiday season, but it’s up to you to know what your writer would enjoy the most. Happy holidays, and happy shopping!

This post contains affiliate links. That means if you purchase through our links, you’re supporting The Write Life — and we thank you for that!

Filed Under: Craft
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  • Diana Osberg says:

    Another gift idea for a writer you really, really love is to give them a writers retreat. I have some for screenwriters and TV writers that would be the gift of a lifetime. Please take a look. http://www.miaterraretreats.com/

  • There’s a shop on Etsy (I don’t recall which one) that sells a literal wooden “writer’s block.” A great paperweight for the writer in your life!

    (Far be it from me to mention my own Etsy shop. I do not make writer’s blocks. I try to break them!)

    Happy gift-giving, all!

    Trish O’Connor
    Epiclesis Consulting LLC
    Writer’s Resources and Freelance Editorial Services

  • I’ll tell you the best gift my family can give me as a writer is an afternoon off to write 🙂

  • Mily says:

    Amazing! I would love to have this laptop bag and floral notebook.

  • Jason says:

    A weekend getaway for one. I want to take a writing retreat but feel guilty spending the money

  • outsiderart says:

    Hemingway drank a lot but he did NOT say (or write) “Write drunk, edit sober” — that would be totally contrary to his highly disciplined approach to writing *and* it is highly bad advice as well as a slander of someone who took writing very seriously.. But because Hemingway also took drinking seriously, wags like to think he said it. It is actually a paraphrase of this from Peter De Vries’s 1964 novel “Reuben, Reuben” (whose main character is based on Dylan Thomas, who was also a serious drinker who did not write drunk): “Sometimes I write drunk and revise sober, and sometimes I write sober and revise drunk. But you have to have both elements in creation — the Apollonian and the Dionysian, or spontaneity and restraint, emotion and discipline.” (page 242)

    • David Barton says:

      People get hung up on this misattributed quote. But as writers, can understand what it is saying as imagery. Write with the lack of inhibition of someone who is drunk and edit with the focus of one who is sober.

  • Some of these are fabulous ideas. Thanks for sharing!

    How about a seat in a Writers’ Devotion Circle? http://storybistro.com/writers-circles/

  • Cheryll says:

    I would add cozy, comfy pants. I love to write in cozy pants with my laptop on my lap!

  • Cathy Plum says:

    Excellent article!

  • Judith bagley says:

    A book of prompts!

    • I agree with this one! (But I may be a bit biased, because I both use and sell them.)

      Trish O’Connor
      Epiclesis Consulting LLC
      Freelance Editorial Services and Writer’s Resources

  • Michael says:

    I’m all in on Scrivener. That’s wicked good software to keep you organized. The shot glasses are cute!