“40 Gifts for Writers (That They Actually Need)”
Finding the right gift for the writer in your life can be daunting. You’ve already bought them their fair share of mugs, bookmarks, and other literary knick-knacks. And they already own all of their favorite books. So what else do they want?
There are so many gifts for writers that could be helpful or inspiring to their writing or their day-to-day lives. If you’re looking for a practical and useful gift for writers they’ll genuinely be happy about receiving, we’ve got the list for you!
Check out these 40 gifts for writers (that they actually need)!
Writing takes time (and many many drafts), so staring at a screen while they type for hours on end can be taxing on their vision. Did you know that’s mostly due to the blue light emitted from their computers and mobile devices? Well, a pair of blue light blocking glasses is usually pretty cheap and don’t require a prescription. The writer in your life’s eyes will thank you later.
#2. Lap Desk
No one wants to admit that they write in bed, but if you have a writer living in your home you’ve probably walked in on them doing just that. If you want to make them feel more legit writing in bed, and put some space between them and a lot of electromagnetic frequency radiation, a lap desk is a good gift for writers.
There’s nothing quite like handling a paperback book and turning real pages, but as we covered earlier, writers have to read on their screen very often. With Kindles, they can actually send Microsoft Word or PDF documents from their computer over to their Kindle to give them a break from the blue light that hurts their eyes. That way, they could read their book and take notes the same as if they had already published the eBook.
There a few different options when it comes to Kindles but the Kindle Paperwhite is the one I like. It’s cheaper than the newer oasis kindle by over $100, and it does everything the more expensive one does. The only difference is that it doesn’t have the page turner buttons. But we haven’t had any issues with tapping the screen to turn the page so far. There’s also the Kindle Oasis, which has a few extra features.
A kindle unlimited membership will give the writer in your life access to over one million eBooks as well as thousands of audiobooks. If you’ve been following us at IBR for a while, you know how much we love it when authors support one another by downloading books, writing reviews, and talking about them on social media. With a Kindle Unlimited membership, the writer in your life can download a whole lot of indie eBooks for free and help emerging authors get the recognition they deserve—not to mention that the author in your life will now have access to plenty of free books.
The idea of a peaceful, silent writing room isn’t always realistic. Writers are not always lucky enough to write in a quiet space, because sometimes, their coffee shop gets too noisy to get their work done. You can help make it easier on them by gifting the writer in your life a pair of noise-cancelling headphones so that they can bump music and still get their writing done. And this way, it doesn’t matter how loud the holiday music is in the coffee shop.
While there might be enough to go around, we’re not talking about actual writer’s tears here. We’re talking about an actual brand of whiskey that has a clever title, and could be the perfect kick to get your writer back on track, or to take the edge off after a long writing session. Alcohol in general is just a good gift to give writers. We are stressed, a lot! But if it’s called Writer’s Tears, it has a little bit of that humor element that makes gift giving special while also being a personalized, practical gift.
If you still want to get your writer a physical book as a gift, you should consider giving them a book about writing. We know it’s difficult for everyone to know which books are the good ones, so we created this list of books about writing and publishing to help you get the exact right book for your writer. Bonus? They’re all small press and self-published books!
#8. Book Light
Stephen King once said, “If you don’t have the time to read, you don’t have the time (or the tools) to write.” And I couldn’t agree more! Writers should turn to reading when they want to encounter new ways to tell a story, new conversations, new ideas, and new inspiration.
But that inspiration doesn’t always happen during the day. If the writer in your life loves to read in the middle of the night, a good book light will be a great gift to give them.
#9. Actually Good Pens
A good pen can make the writing process so much more enjoyable, but like many small items, good pens get lost easily. For this reason, a packet of good pens is one of the most practical gifts for writers that you can give.
Writers are pretty much always in need of more pens (especially if you just got them that pocket notebook 👀). If you’re on a budget, they could be a smart buy.
#10. Plan a DIY Writing Retreat
Writers need alone time, but sometimes their office or the quiet section in their library just isn’t enough. A change of scenery can be the key ingredient to finishing that last chapter, or finding a storyline that hadn’t presented itself before. But this kind of writer’s solitude isn’t just for those who want to join in on a pre-organizaed writing retreat like Barrelhouse’s Writer Camp. Anyone devoting their life to the craft deserves it, and you can make it happen without living near a pre-organized retreat!
A few great options for independent writer retreats include a cabin in the woods, a hotel getaway, AirBnb, and more. Places like KOA have campgrounds all around America that start out at $40 a night. State and National parks can also be a great option. Their cabin and yurts are moderately priced between $30-60 and provide enough simplicity and quietude for a productive couple of days without distractions. And having it be around some beautiful scenery never hurt anybody either. Right?
#11. Bookshop gift card
If you haven’t heard about Bookshop yet, you are in for a TREAT.
This bookselling ecommerce store has “a mission to financially support, local independent bookstores.” Since more people wanted to buy books online over the last decade, indie bookstores were hurting to compete with the shipping fees and delivery time that Amazon can work from. So bookstores needed an ecommerce site just to handle fulfillment.
That’s where Bookshop comes in. This non-profit organization offers indie booksellers 10% commission on every sale they close by promoting this site (compared to Amazon’s 4.5%) and even matches your 10% to send to indie bookstores across the US (and now UK).
If the writer in your life is also a ravenous reader, you can send them a gift card which allows them to choose whichever book they want to read while also supporting the exact industry they’re trying to break into. Speaking of readers, you can also look into some gifts for book lovers that might interest them.
#12. Desk Timer
Some writers work better when given a certain amount of time to write, making digital desk timers a great gift for writers. They can set the timer for the amount of time they wish to write, and not look back up until that timer goes off. It’s a healthy and inspirational writing exercise that I always recommend people trying at some point in their writing career.
#13. USB Microphone for Dictation
Writing is hard. Even when writers sit down to meet their deadline or pump out another scene in their novel, they can still be tempted to get distracted.
So why not make things a little easier for them?
With this USB microphone, writers can speak out their sentences, paragraphs, and scenes, and their word processor will translate it into text on the page for them. It’s just different enough from their usual style that it could feel like newfound inspiration. Using this device to keep getting more words on the page could be especially helpful during a time when a writer is trying to meet deadline, like NaNoWriMo.
Writing is a strenuous and solitary task. When a writer sits at their computer and tries to revise, edit, revise, and edit some more, it’s possible they lose objectivity and can’t quite see what would improve their work the most.
That’s why your writer might be interested in getting feedback through editorial services. At IBR, we offer all the editing services your writer could possibly want, including big-picture feedback like group beta reading and editorial letters as well as a copy editing service to make sure their book is polished and clean.
#15. Desk Organizer
When your space feels cluttered, your brain feels cluttered. And no matter how much they may not admit it, a little assistance with the cleaning of their workspace will be much appreciated. Desk organizers are a great way to give everything it’s own space, without taking up too much room on a writer’s desk. There are a lot out there, but I suggest keeping it basic with something made out of wood or plain in color.
#16. Pocket Notebooks
If the writer in your life isn’t a fan of writing on their phone, then a pocket notebook is a sweet little gift to give them. They’re easy to take with you, in your pocket or purse, and can help you get down ideas wherever you are.
It’s a good option for those who like to take notes or write without drawing attention from people around them. All they have to do is pull it out of their pocket, get the thought down, and keep on moving.
#17. Writing Workshop
Writing workshops are a great way to get your writer’s work into the hands of other writers. In these workshops, writers will exchange work, get and give critiques, and have a community of people to work with who have the same passion as them. Some workshops last a day, some last weeks. Some are even offered online.
If you want to check out some organizations who offer writing workshops, head on over to 10 Literary Organizations Promoting Writing Centers, Classes, and Community.
#18. Coffee Shop Gift Card
Sometimes writers need a break from their desk. Heading to a local coffee shop can be terrific inspiration for a writer, so they can set aside specific time solely for getting their work done. Last year, I bought the writer in my life a gift card to five different local coffee shops. That way, he could bounce around to new places and discover which place he liked working in the best. It might be worth a shot to do something like that if there are plenty of coffee options in your writer’s area.
#19. Standing Desk
Sitting down all day can be exhausting, especially with everyone working from home lately. It’s nice to give writers the opportunity to switch it up, and stand comfortably while they do their work. Standing desks don’t need to replace a normal desk, but can be set on top of one and adjusted to a comfortable height for your writer. They are even said to improve posture, and boost productivity!
#20. Keurig Machine
Did you know that writer’s blood is made up of almost 90% coffee? Even though that’s a total lie, there’s no denying that coffee is a near necessity for writers to stay energized and ready to write. If they don’t already have one, a Keurig Machine can be a great gift for writers. And if they do already have one, you can buy them a reusable K cup filter. This helps decrease the waste that the plastic, one-time use filters create, and also gives them the opportunity to try different coffees that aren’t available in a K-cup.
#21. Reusable K-Cup
If you’re going to get your writer a Keuirg, you should also get them a reusable K-cup. This handy thing lets your writer use any ground coffee in their Keurig, meaning they can get some of that good fancy stuff from the shop they love instead of contributing to all of that plastic waste by only drinking the same global coffee brands.
There are tons of notable writers’ conferences in America, so chances are there is one close enough for the writer in your life to attend. The cost is one of the biggest reasons why writers don’t go more often, so buying their ticket (or pitching in) for them could be a great gift! Attending a writers’ conference could give a writer access to potential agents, a place to workshop their writing, and great networking opportunities. Writing is lonely. Help them out by putting them in a room of other writers, and this could turn into one of your writer’s favorite days of the year.
#23. Desk Lamp
Let’s face it, not all writing is done during the day. If you have a writer in your life you’re probably used to them extending their writing time to all hours of the day and night. This is why having a desk lamp is a must. You don’t always need the entire room lit up to get work done. A smallish desk lamp will illuminate the only thing that a writer needs to see which is the page.
#24. New Laptop
Looking to make a big splash for the writer in your life? If their laptop needs some updating, I’d definitely recommend a Macbook. Not only is it a trustworthy machine, but your writer can even use Vellum with a Mac, which is a publishing tool to help them format their book for self-publishing. It’s not available for PC.
While there are many laptops on the market, few can compete with the convenience of a Macbook. They’re long lasting, and can easily sync up with an iPhone, making it easy to read notes and documents written on either device. It’s definitely an investment, but it’s one that will pay off for years to come.
#25. Laptop Privacy Screen
Writing in a public place can be uncomfortable. With people sitting really close to you and walking behind you, it’s inevitable that someone will take a glance at your laptop screen. If privacy is important for you or the writer in your life, this privacy screen for laptops could be a great gift. It allows only the person sitting directly in front of the screen to see whats being written.
#26. Help promote their book
If there is no special occasion, and you just want to make your writer happy, the gift of free publicity is priceless. Showing their book cover to your social media following, no matter how small, is really helpful to emerging authors. Helping get the word out about their writing can make a huge difference, and it is a thoughtful free gift that holds a lot of weight.
Invite your friends to their readings, place their merch (stickers, bookmarks, etc) in places that strangers will see them. Move their book to the front of a store, causally. Read up about more ways to help support indie authors here, and then get to it. This is one of the best gifts for writers that you can come up with—and it’s free!
To accommodate the ever-growing book collection that the writer in your life definitely owns, a couple of tasteful bookends could be a great gift. These sturdy book-stoppers come in all shapes and sizes, but sticking to something classic is my particular favorite.
A good journal never goes out of style, but they do run out of pages. Writers need a place to empty their thoughts, and having a journal is the perfect outlet to do that. Does the writer in your life probably already have a journal? Yes. Will they need a new one in the near-ish future? Probably. This is a nice, safe gift for writers, so keep it simple with your choice and you can’t go wrong.
When it comes to writing, especially something longer like a novel, organization is key. A lot of the writing process involves planning out your story and your timeline. We’ve found that having notecards and placing them in the order in which your story goes is a great way to keep track of the timeline, and can be spread out or stored away easily. Notecards could also unlock something really huge in their plot for them. As far as value goes, helping them improve their story might just mean the most.
#30. Literary Magazines
When writing gets tiresome, it’s nice to cozy up with a good book. But sometimes, there just isn’t enough time to read a large piece of work. Reading is essential to the writing process, and short stories are the perfect snippet to fill in a small period of free time. And if your writer works on short stories or poems, this is a great way for the writer to get to know potential places to submit. Literary magazines such as Ploughshares, American Short Fiction, and back copies of the beloved Tin House Magazine are great collections that can spark imagination for the writer in your life.
#31. Literary Movies
A literary movie can be a great and cheap gift to get your writer inspired by other writers’ life stories. As long as it has at least a literary theme, I’d say it’s a good gift for a writer. Some of our favorites are Paterson, I Am Not Your Negro, and The End of The Tour! But it might be a good idea to sneakily ask if they’ve seen it before buying it for them.
#32. Messenger Bag
Writers aren’t only writing at home. On the contrary, they’re writing at coffee shops, at libraries, at work, at the park, and almost anywhere else you can think of. And when they go to those places, they have to bring all of their things. A sturdy messenger bag can be a great gift to help keep their writing supplies well organized and in place as they travel from place to place. They even have some that turn into backpacks!
#33. Buy their book as a gift for others
Support is one of the best gifts for writers you can offer, and buying their book as a gift for others will take you to the next level of friendship (or another relationship). This not only monetarily supports the author, but it gets their words into the hands of others. If you want to present what you did in a cool way, have the people who you gave the book to take a picture with it. Wrap all of those pictures up together and present it to the author. They’ll be touched, and you’ll win the prize for most thoughtful gift of the year. You’re welcome.
#34. Waterproof Notepad
While some people prefer to sing in the shower, others use the time to do some of their best thinking. To help the writer in your life not miss out on their next big idea, try getting them a notepad for the shower. This way they can write down their thoughts without having to run back to their desk naked.
There are ways to combat writer’s block that don’t involve running away from your desk. One of those ways is for the writer to get out of that frame of mind and focus on something totally different. A writing prompt journal will exercise their creativity while also challenging them to continue to create.
#36. Poets & Writers Magazine Subscription
If you’re looking for one single magazine that will cater specifically to writers, then look no further. Poets & Writers magazine has been around since 1970 and is the nations largest non profit organization serving creative writers currently. In their monthly issues they address topics like how to find an agent, and how to promote your own book. They also have valuable interviews with notable writers, and information on literary grants and writing competitions.
#37. New Desk Chair
It’s important to be comfortable when sitting down at a desk for hours on end. That’s why having the perfect desk chair is so important. A good, supportive desk chair is one of the best gifts for writers you can give. It can help to save them from back problems down the road, and provide some extra cushiony comfort. You’d be surprised at just how thrilled a practical gift can make them.
#38. Desk Calendar
Deadlines are important for writers, and missing them could come with some pretty big consequences. Even if they just write creatively, this an opportunity for them to give themselves goals and reminders. To help keep their schedule at the forefront of their mind, try gifting them with a desk calendar. They can keep it on their desk or hang it up on the wall beside them, and never miss a deadline again.
#39. Scrivener Software
If the creative writer in your life doesn’t know about Scrivener yet, they are going to love you when you introduce it. It’s a terrifically helpful word-processing program that provides ways for writers to organize notes, craft characters, research, and outline. If they’re developing a novel, they’re going to love this.
#40. Tell them about IBR
However you found this blog post, we’re pumped that you came. Did you know that in addition to promoting amazing small press and self-published books we publish content exclusively for writers? How about that we offer nearly all the author services a writer would need to publish a book? Well, you do now.
We are always searching for new readers and writers to join our community and get to celebrating indie books together. So it may not seem like a gift with a ribbon on top, but if you drop IndependentBookReview.com into the writer in your life’s phone or email, I’m confident they’ll love you for sending them over.
Now, you have all the tools to up your gift giving game! Buying any of these gifts for writers will be a wonderful and welcome surprise, so go on out there and get gifting. We’re sure your writer will thank you for it. And if you didn’t find the gift you’re looking for, check out Gifts for Book Lovers!
About the Author
Jaylynn Korrell is a nomadic writer currently based in Pennsylvania. She writes for Independent Book Review, and runs her own shop of handmade goods, It’s A Natural Mystic.
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