Gift shopping can be tricky no matter who you’re buying for, but coming up with clever, creative, and/or useful gift ideas for writers can really throw you for a loop. There’s an extra level of pressure that comes with this kind of purchase: You don’t want to come off as uninspired, especially with someone whose job/passion is all about inspiration. There’s also the fact that writers can be very particular about their writing tools and their processes. All pens are not created equal. Not every writer works at a home office every day. Some need help with organization, others want editing and grammar aids before they turn in drafts.
Plus, the type of writing they’re doing also factors in: Screenwriters, playwrights, authors, and online writers often work very differently. In short: Gift accordingly!
It helps to know as much about your recipient as possible, but if you’re unsure as to their specific preferences or you just want to pick up a small token that will actually be appreciated, we’ve come up with a handy list. Ahead, we’ve collected the best gifts for writers, and aspiring writers, so you can find the perfect pick for the storyteller in your life.
Gift Ideas for Writers
Writers’ desks can tend to get a little…crowded. This nifty gifty allows your favorite author can keep their desktop clutter-free and their phone charged. Yep, in addition to holding pens, pencils, scissors, and the like, the Lecone organizer is also a wireless charging stand. Bonus: With a spot to prop the phone upright, typing/taking notes while chatting is a breeze. What’s not to love about this unassuming little desk accessory?
In the digital writing age, passwords are lyfe. The Clever Fox Password Book keeps all online passwords in one place, which is especially helpful for freelancer types who are more than likely logging into multiple content management systems, job sites, portfolio websites, and more on any given day. This practical pick has an inner pocket for notes, pen holder, bookmark, and includes space to write important data, wireless & email settings, and software license information. It’s a pretty decent gift for anyone who needs to stay digitally organized.
If you’re after a quick gift that’s inexpensive but looks extra chic, add this marble pencil cup to your list. Made of ceramic with matte print finish and chic gold trim, it’s the perfect pick-me-up for someone whose desk could use a little extra oomph. Simple, sleek, and stylish, this holder isn’t exclusively for writing utensils, either: It can also be used to stow makeup brushes, kitchen utensils—author’s choice!
Staying organized and on schedule is crucial for anyone who writes for a living—or aspires to. Enter the dry-erase monthly calendar where said writer can mark when stories or drafts are due, jot down meetings, and attach notes, photos, and more, thanks to a magnetic whiteboard surface. This life-saver comes with an anti-scratch frame, detachable marker tray, and is easily mounted on walls, making it perfect for any home (or not-home) office!
Raise your hand if you’ve had some of your best ideas in the shower! Well, apparently this is a thing—and the folks at Aqua Notes have made it so those brilliant nuggets won’t be forgotten once the water’s turned off. The waterproof notepad can be mounted via suction cup to the shower wall and comes with 40 perforated sheets for taking those notes to go. It’s also made in the USA and recyclable, so this is a writer gift you can feel good about.
It’s not exactly the sexiest gift you’ll ever give, but this office chair seat cushion is undeniably a hit with tushies all over the world. With nearly 34,000 (!) positive ratings on Amazon, that’s hard to argue. Made of pure, heat-responsive memory foam shaped in a U-design to mold to the body, it makes sitting for hours at a time more bearable (and if there’s anything writers do, it’s sit for hours at a time).
Not every writer has a ton of work space—or desk space. A lamp with built-in storage compartments offers both the gift of light and desktop organization. With slots for a phone and/or iPad, pens, pencils, scissors, and a power outlet on the lamp’s base, this multifunctional wonder will make life a little easier—and neater. So said one happy customer, “Love the way I can have my phone, my pens, my glasses, everything I need when I need it.”
For the writer who loves bad words and could use a way to relieve deadline stress and/or writer’s block, this adult coloring book is a twofer! Inside, they’ll find flower and mandala patterns combined with curse words and phrases for a hilarious relaxing activity. According to one reviewer, “I brought this for my daughter to help her learn to clam the f*ck down and I have to say when my mother saw this book she took it over just to color a page and now she wants one just like it for herself. So it is really a great gift for a 17 year old and a 68 year old.” Because everyone loves a good cuss every now and then.
For writers who do interviews or want to save their own inspired thoughts on the fly, a recorder is a must-have. This one is affordable and well-scored on Amazon, with 83% of over 4,600 reviews rating it a 4 or 5. It features a noise-cancellation microphone, voice-activating option, and easy-to-operate functions. Transferring files to a computer is also simple and the lightweight, portable design means your favorite writer can take it anywhere!
For copious note takers, annotaters, outliners, and brainstormers, a set of vibrant retractable gel pens is a color-coding dream. This pack comes with eight hues of smooth, easy-to-grip, comfy pens–and nearly 4,000 5 star reviews! As one happy customer wrote, “Love these pens-they write smooth like butter!” A delicious gift for writers, indeed.
He or she likely has the traditional writer essentials: thesaurus, style guide, etc., but does the author in your life have an emotional thesaurus? This book offers helpful tips on creating characters’ emotional responses, how to show emotional subtext, and breaks down how to work through the biggest problems authors have with emotion-related writing. He or she may have a way with words and punctuation, but this will add feeling.
When in a writing groove, the last thing any author wants is to have to get up from their desk. Keeping this mug warmer at hand means coffee, tea, or any hot beverage will stay hot—or reheated, without requiring a trip to the microwave. It’s got an on light indicator that lets the user know when it’s hot, an extended cord in case nearby outlets are occupied, and 87% of reviewers would recommend this handy gadget.
Gifts for Aspiring Writers
Inspire the aspiring writer in your life with a journal that includes prompts, questions, and quotes based on the former First Lady’s memoir on finding her own voice. As Michelle Obama says, “Your story is the most powerful part of who you are,” and this journal will enable one to reflect on that story, where it’s been—and where it’s going.
Working from home can become monotonous—and aspiring writers often have their own offices. Give the gift of portable office space with a mobile workstation that accommodates laptops, tablets, and smart phones. This memory foam lap desk features a slide-out mouse pad with a phone slot that allows for charging, as well as a wrist rest and handle for easy portability so the office can move, well, anywhere.
A writer needs fuel. Whether that’s in the form of caffeine, water, or another chosen libation, the stainless steel, insulated Yeti Rambler keeps beverages cold or hot until the last drop. That means no need for refills until the tank is empty, allowing for uninterrupted writing time. Plus, a Chug Cap allows for easy, quick sipping (of not-hot drinks), and the bottle is available in a dozen cute colors.
A writer can never really have too many notebooks and to be fair, there are tons of stylish options out there now. They don’t all have nearly-perfect ratings on Amazon, though. This spiral notebook from Studio Oh features a heavy duty, durable wire binding that allows its 160 lined pages to lay completely flat when it’s open. There’s also the inspiring cover—and let’s face it: who couldn’t use a little extra encouragement these days?
These sterling silver quotation mark earrings are handcrafted, hypoallergenic, and just dang clever. Whether the recipient is an established or aspiring writer, this punctuational pair of studs nods to her passion and says it in the subtlest of ways—something any wordsmith is bound to appreciate. Plus, they’re understated enough for daily wear with any outfit, which is always a bonus.
You’ve seen this T-shirt in tons of iterations by now, but female writers and bibliophiles won’t be able to resist this version. Featuring the last names of classic women authors, it honors the legendary ladies that came before us, shows off the feminist side of your fave writer, and helps her attract like-minded literature lovers all at the same time. The future is female/nonbinary, after all.
Editing softwear is a writer gift that will keep on giving, and a great way to show you’re invested in their work. This web editor and plugin for Google Docs, MS Word and other writing tools will help you spot grammar errors, as well as mistakes in spelling, style and word choice, among other things. A premium subscription ($20/month, $79/year, $399/lifetime) has no word count limits, and will integrate fully into the writing tool of their choice.
But like, are you even a writer if you don’t enjoy a good wordplay? The force is strong with this T-shirt: You’ll obviously score major points with any writer who is also a Star Wars fan, but this gift is bound to be appreciated, regardless. It’s available in men’s, women’s, and youth fits, so you can snag one for any Jedi in your life.
A great gift for aspiring writers, this kit, designed by a writing teacher, helps get the creative juices flowing. Less formal than a book—and arguably more fun—it’s filled with prompts and exercises to inspire everything from first sentences to plot twists. For burgeoning authors—or anyone experiencing writer’s block, this set will come in handy. As one reviewer raved, “has me feeling so inspired after a very long writing drought.”
Calendars can seem kind of basic as far as gifts go, but a hand painted version featuring portraits of famous female authors with quotes from each author? Well that’s pretty special. This one has 12 digitalized watercolor illustrations that are printed in an environmentally conscious pressroom, which only adds to the exceptional, non-basicness of this feel-good gift.
Found the best gifts for the writer in your life? Brilliant! To check off the rest of your list, shop our Gift Guides!