Don’t know what to buy for the writer in your life? Or maybe you’re a writer yourself and you’re trying to come up with a few good Amazon wish list items to share with friends and family?
For inspiration, here’s a list of 23 gift ideas for writers. I’d love to see any of these wrapped up with my name on it this holiday season! Most of these gifts are affordable and make excellent stocking stuffers, although we’ve included a few pricier gift ideas as well — hey, writers can dream, can’t they?
If you still want more ideas after browsing this list, hop over to last year’s list of the best gifts for writers.
1. Fancy notebook
Chances are, your writer has a notebook that he or she carries at all times. I never let my notebook out of sight; I even put it next to me when I sleep!
Most writers love the classic Moleskine notebook, and since it’s nicer than the run-of-the-mill legal pad, it makes a great gift. They come in all sizes, and you can even find a gift box that includes both a notebook and a pen.
You almost can’t go wrong with this gift — even if your favorite writer already has a notebook, she’ll probably be happy to have another!
2. Fancy pen
What better to go with a fancy notebook than a fancy pen? A quick trip to your local pen shop or stationery store will give you a plethora of pen options.
Or, go the extra mile and find out which pen your writer prefers. We all have a favorite, after all. I only purchase Pilot G2 Rollerball Pens for myself, so I would very much appreciate a box of those under the tree this holiday season.
3. Evernote Premium
Let’s start this list with a great organizational tool: Evernote Premium. This program is designed to help you “keep everything at your fingertips,” from receipts (important for taxes!) to interview notes to brainstorming for your next novel. Work online or offline with ease and have all of your information right where you need it.
How do we know that writers want Evernote Premium in their holiday gift boxes this year? When our founder Alexis Grant asked writers on Facebook what they’d like to win for a holiday giveaway, Evernote Premium was one of their top choices.
A writer’s laptop is often the equivalent of his or her corner office. Open that laptop up at home, at a coffee shop or on a plane, and it’s like you’ve created a pop-up workspace.
So why not decorate that office with a fun great laptop sticker? You can get the classic Snow White Holds Apple sticker for a MacBook, or find out your writer’s favorite artist and get a themed sticker, like this Scott Lava Return of the Great Showdowns sticker (hint hint)!
5. Famous writer action figures
Your writer will enjoy posing the figure on his or her writing desk, or, you know, making Jane Austen fight a toy dinosaur. (I’d totally do that.)
We all know writers who can’t work without tunes. Plugging in to Pandora, Spotify or iTunes is a great way to get things done, but it also means writers sometimes go through a pair or two of earbuds a year.
So stuff your favorite writer’s stocking with a pair of high-quality earbuds. I swear by Skullcandy, so I’d love a pair of Skullcandy’s Ink’d 2.0 Earbud Headphones. That way I can jam out no matter where I’m working!
7. Coffee gift card
Yes, writers love their coffee — and their coffee shops, which are often one of the best places to get work done. (I don’t know why. Maybe it’s the comfortable chairs, or the comfort of being surrounded by other people tapping on laptops.)
So give your writer a Starbucks card or a gift card to their favorite local coffee shop. It’s both the gift of coffee and the gift of a few hours to sit in a cafe and draft that important project.
Every writer needs a blog of their very own; it’s how they promote their work, share their thoughts, and make connections with fans and readers. My personal blog has both helped me find my audience and has gotten me some great writing gigs!
Help your writer promote his or her blog with The Blogger’s Guide to Loyal Readers, an ebook by Ali Luke that will help your writer grow a blog readership and build connections with followers and fans.
(Update: Due to upcoming changes in EU rules regarding VAT, Ali is taking down The Blogger’s Guides on Friday, December 12. If you’d like to buy this book for you or a friend, grab it before it’s too late — it’s only $9.67 this week or $22 for all four Blogger’s Guides.)
Yes, you can read ebooks on your laptop or your phone, but they’re best read on ebook readers. If your writer doesn’t already have a Kindle or another ebook reader, it’s time to fix that.
Shop Amazon’s Kindle Store to find the best Kindle for your writer. These Kindles also come with a 30-day subscription to Kindle Unlimited, which is exactly what it sounds like: access to the over 700,000 books in the Kindle Unlimited Library.
10. Amazon gift card
If you give a writer a Kindle, chances are your writer is going to want to buy some books. Make the process easier by sending over a gift-wrapped Amazon Gift Card. This card will get your writer access to Kindle ebooks as well as anything else he or she might need from Amazon.
When you work from home, you need all the inspiration you can get. Help your writer out with some fun themed inspirational magnets.
There are about as many themed Magnetic Poetry kits as there are poems, including LOLcats, unicorns and even bacon! Pick a theme that matches your writer’s style, and be prepared to see an ode to the awesomeness of bacon written on your refrigerator.
12. The New Yorker
Every writer reads The New Yorker — or at least pretends to! After all, the only task that will improve your writing more than writing itself is reading.
Make things easier by buying your writer a New Yorker subscription. Right now, it’s just a dollar an issue.
The New Yorker is a great publication to read if you want to learn more about good writing, but Scratch is the publication you need to read if you want to learn more about the business of good writing.
Scratch, founded by Jane Friedman and Manjula Martin, releases four issues a year that deal with topics like negotiating client contracts and dealing with late payments. The magazine also includes first-person stories and interviews with writers who talk freely about the business of the writing life, including a brilliant interview with Austin Kleon that you can read right now for free (by signing up for a free account).
So give the gift of a Scratch subscription this year. It’s just $20.
14. The Unconventional Guide to Freelance Writing
I am a huge fan of Chris Guillebeau’s work, and I bought The Unconventional Guide to Freelance Writing for myself last year. This guide is an amazing resource, and it will help your writer learn more about pitching clients, promoting work, and building a career.
As The Write Life Assistant Editor Heather van der Hoop wrote in her review, this ebook and supplementary materials will help you “stop making excuses and start building your writing business. Seriously — it’s all outlined here. Grab a pen, get to work, and check those tasks off your list.”
Want to really treat your writer this holiday season? Give the gift of a standing desk. These desks help writers alternate between sitting and standing throughout the workday, and they promote health, burn calories, increase energy levels and prevent the development of Writer’s Butt.
There are many different types of standing desks on the market, but it’s probably best to buy one of the simple types designed to stand on top of your writer’s existing desk. The Varidesk Pro Plus is a bestseller, and is built to accommodate both laptops and traditional computers.
16. Damn Fine Words
What’s the phrase — if you give a writer a book, she reads for a day; if you give her a course, she learns for a lifetime?
Why not give your writer the opportunity to participate in James Chartrand’s Damn Fine Words? This course, which will open registration in February 2015 for new members, teaches students how to write compelling website copy, clickable headlines and other expert skills that will give writers a boost in the digital content world.
Yes, it’s not something you can put in a box and wrap with a bow. But it is likely to be very much appreciated.
17. Literary T-shirts
What’s your writer’s favorite book? Chances are, there’s a shirt with that design. Pick a Great Gatsby shirt, a Catcher in the Rye tee, even a The Fault in Our Stars/Orange is the New Black crossover T-shirt. Okay? Okay.
Stephen King’s On Writing is hailed as one of the best writing guides ever written. Your writer may already own this book — in which case, please refer to the other items on this list for gift ideas — but if it isn’t already on your writer’s bookshelf, it’s time to make sure he or she gets a copy.
And yes, the author is that Stephen King.
19. The Chicago Manual of Style
Here’s another must-have book for writers. If they don’t already have The Chicago Manual of Style on their bookshelves — and you’ll notice it, it’s pretty big — it’s time to give them the gift of the industry’s most respected style guide.
Want to give them the information without wrapping up a 984-page book? There’s also The Chicago Manual of Style Online, available in subscription form for $35 per year.
20. MediaBistro AvantGuild Membership
MediaBistro is a great resource for writers, and their AvantGuild membership program offers additional resources and tools, including the weekly How To Pitch Articles series, which provides writers with real-world tips on what to pitch and what not to pitch, as well as pitch guidelines for major publications.
Other AvantGuild membership bonuses include access to magazines’ editorial calendars, a masthead database with a list of magazines and editors, and even a discount on a Zipcar membership! This is the type of gift that keeps on giving long after the holiday season is over.
Take a look around your writer’s home or office and you’ll probably see a lot of books. I have books stacked on my bookshelf, next to my bed, even on the floor!
Help your writer keep those books under control with a set of adorable, sturdy bookends. I’m fond of these wide-eyed owls, but you can find bookends in nearly any design.
Writers rave about Scrivener as one of the best writing software tools. Use Scrivener to create and organize outlines, make notes that you can organize on-screen like index cards, and keep all of your writing research in one place.
When you’re ready to write, Scrivener minimizes distractions so you can focus on your work. Scrivener also includes tools for screenwriting, scriptwriting and even self-publishing. It comes in separate versions for Windows and Mac operating systems.
23. Writer’s retreat
Want to give your writer something truly special? Give the gift of a writer’s retreat or residency. Tell your writer that you’ll help with the application and retreat costs, and then use resources like this list of writer’s retreats and this list of residencies to decide where to apply.
There are writer’s retreats and residencies for every type of writer, from beginner to expert, so find a good match and give your writer the gift of time and space to pursue his or her craft.
What’s on your wish list this year, writers?
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