December 6, 2016

The Ultimate Gift Guide for Writers — 2016 Edition

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

How’s everyone doing on their shopping so far this year? Are you ahead because Black Friday and Cyber Monday came early? Or have you not started yet because this year’s calendar—with Christmas falling on a Sunday—is tricking you into thinking there’s more time than there really is?

Uh… *raises hand to that second one* I haven’t quite gotten serious yet. Get on that, self. *grin*

Obviously, I’m not a shopaholic, so I usually need help knowing what gifts to buy for people. That means it’s time to start thinking about what we might want for writerly gifts this year. With that in mind, I updated my Ultimate Gift Guide for Writers, and I included lots of links because I’m a lazy bum who prefers online shopping. *smile*

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

  • Programs like Scrivener (Windows and Mac) for organizing and word processing
  • Dragon NaturallySpeaking (options at Amazon) for voice recognition-driven writing (suggested by Kyla Rucci)
  • Latest version of favorite word processing program
  • Software for self-publishing (image editing, ebook formatting, etc.)
  • Flash drive or external hard drive for backups
  • Typing program (learn to type faster!)
  • More memory for computer
  • Bigger hard drive for computer
  • Wireless/ergonomic keyboard or mouse
  • Virtual keyboard for mobile use
  • Software for self-publishing (Adobe Photoshop for graphics, Jutoh for formatting, etc.)

Big Ticket Items

  • New computer/laptop
  • Bigger/second computer monitor
  • Printer (or printer ink)
  • 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)
  • Cover design, editing, or formatting costs for self-published authors

Writing Craft and Publishing-Related Books & Tools

Writing and Publishing-Related Workshops

Miscellaneous Suggestions

  • New! Decorative bookends (How awesome would it be to display our own books between cool bookends that go with our stories? I’m eyeing these dragons *grin*)
  • New! Shoulder/neck heating pad for desk-bound aches and pains
  • 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 CompanyWriters Helping Writers gift guide on Pinterest, new! “Out of Print” literary clothing, new! literary gifts on Etsy, 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 (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, 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)
  • And I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention my own books for those who want entertainment. *grin* (I don’t have a shop set up for it yet, but if anyone wants autographed print copies, let me know.)

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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Lara Gallin
Lara Gallin

I’m relieved to say I finished my Christmas shopping yesterday 😀

I’d love the One Stop for Writers gift voucher. I was wishing really hard that they’d team up with NaNoWriMo for a winners discount but alas not!

One thing I have added to my Amazon wish list is a pair of noise cancelling head phones. I don’t always want to listen to music and my dear, beloved other half, shouts and swears at the characters in video games. It’s very off-putting and I don’t know why he bothers, it never seems to work 😛

Donovan Quesenberry
Donovan Quesenberry

Only thing I would add is getting a Jami Gold course for someone! Ta Da!
Stay Well,


Already shared with the hubby. GREAT idea re: the erasable pens unless your children have sticky fingers. LOL

Mona AlvaradoFrazier

Wow, what a comprehensive list! I used it to make a few selections and sent an email with the links to my kids. Thanks for the great ideas.

Glynis Jolly

I can thing of one more: shelves for books.

Laurie Evans

Very comprehensive list. Thanks!


[…] The Ultimate Gift Guide for Writers — 2016 Edition by Jami Gold (Some cool stuff in here! :P) […]

Anne Kaelber
Anne Kaelber

Hi Jami! Great list. I’ve popped open several tabs to take a look at. For planners, have you seen the Arc system by Staples or the TUL system by Office Max/Depot? These are planners based on the disc binding. I can (re)move pages, so I have fewer excuses to NOT write something down. As for planner inserts, my wife seems to be the queen of locating organizing things — she pointed me to Scattered Squirrel ( who has a LOT of free downloads of planner pages (to-do lists, goals, weekly to-do, etc.). Also, for the plotters among us, I’m currently reading “The Story Grid” by Shawn Coyne and binge-listening to the podcast he is doing with Tim Grahl, called “The Story Grid Podcast”. There’s 60 or so episodes at this point. The beauty of the podcast is that I can do housework or Christmas prep, while listening to the podcast. Shawn has the transcripts on his site, but I’ve found it a little difficult to locate them. Well worth your time, I think. Last of all, pens and ink. I love fountain pens. I love colored inks. I currently write with the Pilot Prera, which isn’t terribly expensive and comes in ‘demonstrator’ (clear body) style — better to see the ink! As for ink, Goulet Pens ( has really cool sample packs of inks. That’s how I picked my new favorite purple ink (DeAtramentis Purple Violet Ink, also called Magenta Violet). Thanks for sharing this list. I’m sure it will…  — Read More »


[…] Jami Gold has the 2016 Edition of her Ultimate Gift Guide for Writers […]

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