November 25, 2014

The Ultimate Gift Guide for Writers

Snowman holding gift with text: The Ultimate Gift Guide for Writers

Here in the U.S., it’s almost Thanksgiving, and for many people, that means the big shopping days of Black Friday and/or Cyber Monday aren’t far behind. I’m not a shopaholic, so I usually need help knowing what gifts to buy for people. That means it’s also a great time to start thinking about what we might want for writerly gifts this year. *smile*

With that in mind, I updated my Ultimate Gift Guide for Writers, and I included lots of links because I’m a lazy bum and do most of my shopping online. *grin* You won’t catch me fighting the crowds on Black Friday.

If you’re a writer, this might help you give suggestions to family or friends. Or you can direct your family to this post for ideas. Something on this list is bound to please every writer out there.

Stocking Stuffers

For Writers Who Outline

  • Note (index) cards
  • Notebooks (many writers prefer plain spiral or steno pads over fancy, leather-bound books—those are too pretty to use *smile*)
  • Ugly writing journal (so we’re not tempted to “save” it) (suggested by Daniel Swensen)
  • Corkboard
  • Pushpins
  • Whiteboard
  • Dry erase markers and eraser

Technology Helpers

Big Ticket Items

  • New computer/laptop
  • Bigger/second computer monitor
  • Printer
  • eReader or eTablet (Kindle/Kindle Fire, iPad, Android tablet, etc.)
  • Ergonomic desk chair
  • Website/blog hosting, upgrades, or design (Note: I use and recommend TechSurgeons for great service, and no, they don’t have an affiliate program, just lots of happy customers. *smile*)
  • Registration fee for writing conference or workshop
  • Membership fee for a writing group (like RWA—which is open worldwide and for more than just romance writers)
  • Cover design or editing costs for self-published authors

Writing Craft and Publishing-Related Books & Tools

Writing and Publishing-Related Workshops

Miscellaneous Suggestions

  • Gift basket full of writing-related ideas (pens, notebooks, special beverage and glass, inspirational items or quotes, etc.) (suggested by Theresa Miller)
  • Gift cards for books (Amazon, Barnes & Noble, etc.)
  • Gift cards for office supply stores
  • Fun reader/writer-type gifts (“Careful, or you’ll end up in my novel” mug, “gifts for writers,” The Literary Gift Company, etc.)
  • Canisters of favorite coffee or hot chocolate (suggested by Angela Quarles)
  • Tea or other writing beverage (suggested by Daniel Swensen)
  • Totem for a muse (figurine, stuffed animal, etc.) (suggested by Lisa Hall-Wilson)
  • Magnetic poetry kit (now available in tons of specialized themes—from Shakespeare or passion to cat or bacon lover)
  • Literary action figures
  • High-quality printer paper for queries/submissions (suggested by Christy Farmer)
  • Printer ink (suggested by Shain Brown)
  • Subscription to music source (Pandora, Spotify, Grooveshark, etc.)
  • Premium level of online service (Dropbox for automatic backups, Amazon Prime for free shipping/lending library, etc.)
  • Entry fee for a writing contest
  • Massage gift certificates (suggested by Julie Glover)
  • Back or foot massager (suggested by Gene Lempp)
  • Comfort clothes (robe and fuzzy slippers) (suggested by Brooklyn Ann)
  • Writing time (anything from babysitting to a writers’ retreat)
  • Housecleaning services (especially during deadlines) (suggested by April Bradley)

What did I miss? What other writing craft or publishing-related books do you recommend? Do you have suggestions for other items to add to the list? Which things would you most like to receive? Is there anything on the list you wouldn’t want? Will you brave the store crowds this year?

(Note: Some links on my blog are referral or affiliate links.)

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Comments — What do you think?

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Well, there’s the NaNo StoryBundle that expires in about a week, which can be gotten as a gift. I think it sends immediately, but if someone doesn’t mind receiving an early present… 🙂

Something I want someday is a drawing tablet, for writing-related things.

Angela Ackerman

Great list! I am working on my own gift guide post as we speak, from a pinterest board I am creating. Thanks for the mention too! I hope you get lots of writerly awesomeness in your stocking this year. 🙂


I was caught off guard two nights ago when a friend of my husband’s asked him what I’d like for a Christmas gift.

I know the woman in question fairly well, and respect her opinion, so I asked if she’d beta read my second draft of my manuscript and provide some general comments back on it. (Now, obviously, there’s not many people that I’d ask this of!)
But if she actually follows through, it could be the best possible present. 🙂
Happy thanksgiving all! 🙂

Sara L.

Yes yes YES to Angela and Becca’s thesaurus collection! I’ve recommended all three books to other writers since I bought them earlier this year. 😀

Here are some of my other favorite writing prompt / writing craft / writing “moral support” books that I’d recommend as gift ideas:

“A Writer’s Book of Days: A Spirited Companion and Lively Muse for the Writing Life” by Judy Reeves

“Poemcrazy: Freeing Your Life with Words” by Susan G. Wooldridge

“Writing With Emotion, Tension, and Conflict: Techniques for Crafting an Expressive and Compelling Novel” by Cheryl St. John

“The Character Naming Sourcebook” by Sherrilyn Kenyon

“The 7 Secrets of the Prolific: The Definitive Guide to Overcoming Procrastination, Perfectionism, and Writer’s Block” by Hillary Rettig

Glynis Jolly

I like these lists. I think I’ll email my husband a link to this post with HINT HINT HINT in the email.

Caryn Caldwell

These are great suggestions! I have a bunch of the links opened in new tabs so I can pop over and take a look after this. Oh, and my daughter has story cubes. I’ve already decided I’ll need to borrow them a few times when I start drafting my new book. I think they could be super helpful! (Plus they’re a fun game.)

Deborah Makarios


Deb E

I would totally recommend the StoryForge cards, too… They’re Tarot for Storytelling!

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