22 Gifts for Writers That Are Way Better Than a Boring Old Notebook

Great gifts for writers
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Each year, we list of our top gift ideas for the writers in your lives (including yourself!). Check out our picks from 2014 and 2015, too!

The Write Life is taking a stand. We’re sick of getting notebooks as gifts in our stockings.

We hate to break it to you benevolent gift givers, but your good-intentioned notebook gifts tend to go straight to the junk drawer. The cute-but-not-practical notebook you painstaking selected from the hundreds of others in the Barnes & Noble gifts section is more of a novelty and less of a useful item we can actually use to write.

But if not a notebook, what do you give that special writer in your life? Don’t worry. As writers ourselves, we know just the thing. Here’s a list of plenty of non-notebook gifts that will keep you in the good graces of that special writer in your life all year long.

1. Aqua Notes

Sometimes the best ideas for stories, characters or blog post pop into our heads in the shower — but we forget about them when we move on with our day. Problem solved with Aqua Notes. This waterproof notepad can help document the greatest of ideas and grocery lists.

Aqua Notes

Image from Amazon

Since this phenomenon also happens in the brains of people who aren’t writers (research shows that creatives of all types have shower epiphanies), Aqua Notes could make a good gift for just about anyone.

2. The Writer’s Toolbox: Creative Games and Exercises for Inspiring the ‘Write’ Side of Your Brain

Sometimes a writer’s brain just feels stuck. For those moments, The Writer’s Toolbox: Creative Games and Exercises for Inspiring the ‘Write’ Side of Your Brain could come in handy. A creative writing teacher designed this kit that includes creative challenges, prompts and exercises to get in touch with the “write” side of your brain and have fun while doing it.

3. Space-age pen

Besides showering, another common burst-of-inspiration activity tends to be sleeping. The Fisher Space Pen Bullet, which will write in any angle (including upside down), will make a perfect accessory for their bed-side table. It’s a helpful tool to have handy if trying to write while lying down.

4. Out of print t-shirt, sweatshirt or tote bag

Some writer nerd clothing can be downright — well, nerdy. Out of Print tees, hoodies and totes, which feature the covers of iconic and often (you guessed it) out of print books, buck the norm and are actually fashionable. Plus these gifts do good; for every item they sell, Out of Print donates a book to Books for Africa to help a community that doesn’t have easy access to books.

Check out their accessories, too. Keep their toes warm with Library Card Socks, or brighten up their restricted reading section with the Match Book Set.

Out of Print Match Book Set

Image from Out of Print

You can also keep this gift idea in mind if your writer friend or family member has a small bookworm or two at home since Out of Print also sells kids’ and baby clothing.

5. Postcards from Penguin: One Hundred Book Covers in One Box

Sometimes, you should judge a book by its cover. Postcards from Penguin: One Hundred Book Covers in One Box pays tribute to the iconic Penguin paperback book covers and packs 100 of them into one (easy-to-wrap) box.

This gift also pays tribute to your recipient. Hopefully, they’ll be inspired to write 100 notes to loved ones or 100 very, very short stories.

6. Writer’s Block Cure

If only there were a magic potion that cures writer’s block. Oh wait, there is!

This Writer’s Emergency Kit has all the essentials you need to beat writer’s block for good!

7. Scrabble Magnets

Speaking of magnetic poetry, take it one step further and go for Scrabble Magnetic Refrigerator Tiles so your writer friend can not only create their own poetry, but also invent their own words.

If that special writer in your life is a huge Scrabble fan, go all out with the Scrabble Tile Mug or Scrabble Board Dish Towel.

8. Audible subscription

Writers’ brains are like ShamWows for words. So you can’t go wrong with a book, right?

But you can’t remember if your special writer prefers fiction or non-fiction, contemporary or 17th-century literature, sensational beach reads or Sci-Fi…

Remove the guesswork and opt for an Audible membership. They can use it to download audio books, magazines and newspapers to their smartphone, tablet, computer or almost any other device that plays audio. (Use this link and get 50% off your first three months!)

9. Stick-Up Weekly Calendar

One of the best techniques to meet a word count goal or improve one’s writing is to commit to doing a little bit every single day. And to do that, it helps to have a calendar to check off every single day’s accomplishment; then, you’re less likely to break the chain. Even Jerry Seinfeld swears by this technique.

Stick Up Weekly Calendar

Image from Poketo

Give the Stick-Up Weekly Calendar so your recipient can remember and visualize their daily goal.

10. Typewriter jewelry or cufflinks

You can’t go wrong with a piece of personalized jewelry. Give them their initials as a typewriter necklace or ring. Guys will appreciate these at sign typewriter cufflinks.

11. Literary passport holder or luggage tags

If the writer in your life also loves to travel, the Penguin Shop sells a variety of items that could be just the perfect gift. Inspired by the classic Penguin covers of On the Road by Jack Kerouac and The Lost Girl by D. H. Lawrence, choose from luggage tags, passport holders and stainless steel water bottles.

12. Litograph tee, tote or poster

From a distance, each design represents a theme, character or setting from popular classics such as Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, The Great Gatsby and Little Women. But if you look closely, you’ll see the designs on each Litograph product are created from teeny tiny words — every word in the novel the design represents, in fact.

Litograph Alice in Wonderland Tote Bag

Image from Litograph

13. Bananagrams

Bananagrams is an anagram game similar to Scrabble, but requires no pens, notepads or playing board. This makes it extremely easy to transport and play on-the-go. Players race against each other to build a crossword grid off each others’ words. And since writers tend to be word nerds, you’ll be setting them up for success with this gift.

Bananagrams

Image from Amazon

14. Travel Scrabble

If Bananagrams isn’t quite enough to give your writer friend their on-the-go word building fix, there’s also Travel Scrabble. The tiles click into place and the board folds easily in the soft zipper case, so it’s easy to pause a game while traveling and pick back up where you left off.

15. Write like a motherf%#$*er mug

Inspired by a Dear Sugar column written by Cheryl Strayed to a young, aspiring writer, The Rumpus Mug is an anthem for all writers, no matter what their specialty, genre or level of experience. To become a writer, one must begin by writing. It’s a good reminder to go along with your morning coffee.

16. Writing guidebooks

We writers love to nerd out over… you guessed it, writing. Help your writer build their bookshelf, fine-tune their craft and actually make money from their writing with these writing memoirs and guidebooks.

17. Reading is Sexy swag

For a great stocking stuffer or just because, grab a Reading is Sexy bottle opener, magnet, bumper sticker or button.

Reading is Sexy Bottle Opener

Image from Buy Olympia

18. Pop Chart Labs literary poster

Pop Chart Labs is known for their beautifully designed infographic posters, and their literary themed posters are just the gift for a writer with blank wall space to fill. Check out The Great Gatsby Poster and The Cocktail Chart of Film and Literature Poster, which are available as framed or unframed prints.

19. Comfy pants

The great thing about being a full-time writer, blogger or novelist is that you can work from your couch. And this perk can also be a bad thing, because working from your couch doesn’t require pants.

Make sure that special writer in your life is wearing pants in the event a guest or the cable guy stops by. With Betabrand’s Black Dress Pants Sweatpants, made from super soft French terry fleece, they won’t even have to sacrifice comfort.

20. A healthy excuse to get out of the house

When focus is waning, it’s easy to get sucked into the rabbit hole of YouTube videos and blogs. Help your writer friend or family member get back on track with a healthy break in their day. Why not give them a gym membership or pass to a yoga studio? Doing the body good will improve their health and productivity so they can better meet their goals!

21. Healthy snacks to power through

When those deadlines are fast approaching, we’re often tempted to grab the saltiest, sugariest, least-healthy brain food to help us power through. Make sure they always have healthy snacks on hand with a subscription to Nature Box, which delivers a monthly box of dried fruits, nuts and other healthy treats.

22. A trophy for being awesome

That special writer in your life may be a few years or so away from winning the Nobel Prize in Literature or the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction, but that doesn’t mean they don’t deserve a special award for being an awesome writer! Trophy Buffet’s Greatest of All Time Trophy will look great on their bookshelf. (Update: This shop appears to be closed, but we can’t bear to remove it from the list — it’s such a good idea! You could probably DIY a trophy for your favorite writer with a thrift store trip, some craft supplies, and a lot of creativity.)

GOAT

Image from Trophy Buffet

Are there any writing-related gifts you’re hoping to receive this holiday season?

Want more ideas? Read our list of gifts for writers from 2014 and 2015.

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!

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Betsy Mikel is a freelance copywriter and content strategist who helps brands, businesses and entrepreneurs tell their stories. A journalist at heart, her curiosity drives her to find something new to learn every single day.... .

Betsy Mikel | @betsym

Betsy Mikel
Traveler and blogger Chris Guillebeau

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Comments

  1. Nice collection of gift ideas! I would definitely love to get some of the things on this list 🙂

  2. This is so great, Betsy! Some of the most creative and thoughtful gifts for writers of all the lists that pop up this time of year. THANK YOU for a varied list of guidebooks that goes beyond the basics.

    To tag onto the Audible subscription idea, I’d also recommend Scribd, a subscription service for ebooks: http://www.scribd.com/giftcards

  3. These are great! Very comprehensive list. I just forwarded it to my husband. 😉

  4. Excellent collection of gifts! I think I missed the boat with Christmas but lucky for me my birthday is in January (… forwards to family and friends… ). Thanks!

  5. If you really want to get someone’s creativity going, play them with: The Dream Game by Anne Faraday (out-of-print). They will find all sorts of things going on at night that they never knew about!

  6. Hi Betsy,

    That was a fun read. I think that the pants should definitely be a mandatory present to any good writer. The only thing I might add to that list is some wrist warmers 🙂

  7. Haha, this list is awesome!
    I will probably put travel guides, photo books and fact books (about random things I know nothing about) on my list. Information is inspiration 😉

  8. Hey great collection! Thanx Betsy for this great site!
    Greetings from Germany

  9. What a GREAT post. I know how long it can take to pull these sorts of posts together, so just wanted to say thanks and good job.

  10. Hmmm. Make it 23 gifts, shift every item down one number, and make number 1 “Cash.”

  11. Hi There, it seems that Joanne Penn’s “How to blog for authors and writers” is no longer for sale. Please see this page for details (http://www.thecreativepenn.com/blogging/). Will recommend Stephen King’s “On Writing” instead. Cheers, Christine Sun.

  12. Oh my gosh and yum to this list. Thank you.

  13. Loving your List of Gifts for writers it’s really extensive and covers just about any gift that will suit a variety of personalities. Being a writer myself I can appreciate such a list. I really like the Matchbox Set.

  14. Awesome list! I love the aquanotes idea. Ideas often come to me in the shower!

  15. this is a great post. Try this website for unique gift items http://www.shoppingzoneplus.com

  16. In my experience, writers are deeply resentful of people who “nag” them to write. I think — just sayin’ — that the writer I know would would NOT be happy to receive a “cure” for writers block. If you are truly blocked, the LAST thing you need is a non-writer who thinks that making a joke about it will help.

  17. Good ones. Wont mind having some of them myself!

  18. While I can’t see myself ever getting tired of having a new notebook, I love all of these, too – especially the weekly calender and The Writer’s Toolbox!

  19. Varun Kumar Singh says:

    Good articles. I have list of top 10 best gifts which can be corporate gifting

  20. I am looking for ideas for my soon to be 13 year old budding author. One thing I am thinking about including is a voice recorder. She’s constantly coming up with ideas in the car, or at the store, etc, so I thought this would be a good way to record them when she can’t get to her notebook right away.

  21. Good ideas for book readers to get away from boring books. Very funny article.

  22. Wow, this is such a creative way of doing a holiday gift post. I love this. I have to figure out how I can search and reapply for my website. Actually, I don’t think it will work on my main site (it’s about flooring), but it might apply to a new one I’m creating for women/moms.

  23. I want to write poem for my girlfriend to gift on her birthday. This site help me very well. Thanks for your gift ideas

  24. Hi,
    Nice article! Thanks for sharing this.I have learned a lot from this and it really helps in maintaining my blog.
    Thanks

  25. nice information

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  1. […] of how to respond the next time someone asks me what do I want for a gift. The Write Life’s “22 Gifts for Writers That Are Way Better Than a Boring Old Notebook” have wonderful novel ideas (pun not intended), to give the writer in your life. Here are some of my […]

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