Ten Great Gift Ideas for Writers – 2023

As the holiday season approaches, figuring out gift ideas for your writer-friend or loved one might feel daunting. The pressure to pick something that won’t disappoint can be stressful. You don’t want to get them yet another notebook or nice pen. They’ve got a billion of those already, but what’s left? To help you in your quest for a gift that will make any writer squeal with delight and excitement, here are ten gift ideas that I know I would be excited to get this year.


1. Bookstore Gift Card (Gift Ideas for Writers) 

Gift Ideas for Writers: A display table adorned with a sorts of wonderful books for sale at Copper Dog Books in Beverly, Massachusetts.I know a lot of folks who hesitate at the idea of giving gift cards to others. They tell me it feels impersonal and cheap, like they’re not really trying. If it’s an amazon gift card, I get it, but a gift card doesn’t have to be impersonal. A bookstore gift card offers your writer-friend the joy of choosing their next read, which is invaluable for both inspiration and research. And if that gift card is from a local bookstore, even better! Trust me. This easy gift will go over great! If you’re on the North Shore of Massachusetts, check out Copper Dog Books or Paper Asylum Comics in Beverly. (Gift for Writers)


2. Special Edition Books by a Favorite Author (Gift Ideas for Writers)

Gift Ideas for Writers: The Shades of Magic Box Set Collectors EditionIt’s a good bet that your writer friend is also a book lover. The two tend to go hand-in-hand. Most writers have a nearly obsessive passion for collecting books. Why not tap into their second love by gifting them a special edition book by one of their favorite authors? For example, anyone who is a fan of Brandon Sanderson would probably be delighted to get a leatherbound copy of “The Way of Kings.” And what V. E. Schwab fan wouldn’t love to unwrap the “Shades of Magic” boxed set collector’s edition?

For writers, books are more than just reading material; They’re a source of inspiration. The exclusive content and beautiful artwork of a special edition book by an admired author is a guaranteed great gift! (Gift for Writers)


3. Themed Desk Accessories (Gift Ideas for Writers)

Gift Ideas for Writers: Four square Time Lord Coasters with rounded edges, each one depicting the TARDIS in a different way.Maybe not the most original gift idea, but themed desktop accessories like dragon bookends or celestial organizers make great gifts for writers. Themed desktop accessories transform a workspace into a haven of creativity and imagination. Plus, things like themed mouse pads, bookends, paperweights (which are delightfully archaic), or pen-holders tend to be less expensive than, say, $350 noise-canceling headphones or $400 online writing classes. Your writer-friend might be a big Dr. Who fan, or a huge Lord of the Rings nerd, or a Friday the 13th fanatic. If so, they’ll love anything related to their obsession, even if it’s a set of Time Lord coasters. (Gift for Writers)


4. Writing Software Tools (Gift Ideas for Writers)

Gift Ideas for Writers: Screen shot of a Scrivener document in cork board view with each index card color coded and labeled as "first draft," "to do," or "done."Tools like Scrivener and Final Draft cater specifically to the needs of novel writers and script writers by offering features for organizing complex plots and characters that simpler programs such as Microsoft Word or Google Docs don’t. But every aspiring writer knows the adage that money should flow toward the writer, not away from them. It can be hard for a writer to splurge on a “fancy” piece of writing software when there are free tools available, even if those free tools are missing all the amazing bells and whistles of the paid tools.

Why not show your support for your writer-friend’s dream and passion by purchasing them Scrivener, or Final Draft? I’ve never used Final Draft because it seems tailored more toward script writers than writers of novels and short stories, but I use and love Scrivener and will personally vouch for it. It’s an amazing writing tool that I’m sure your writer-friend will be excited to try out. (Gift for Writers)


5. Literary-Themed Apparel (Gift Ideas for Writers)

Gift Ideas for Writers: Black Teeshirt that reads "Periodic Table of Horror Movies"What writer doesn’t have a favorite quote or images from a beloved sci-fi, fantasy, or horror book/movie? I guarantee they’d be delighted to see it on scarf or a t-shirt or a pair of earrings. Literary-themed apparel like shirts, earrings, socks, or tote bags can help writers signal their passions and find kinship with others who recognize and appreciate the displayed quotes and symbols. There are a bunch of great online options to find the perfect literary-themed shirt or tote bag for your writer-friend. Check out The Bookish Box and Shop, Out of Print, Litographs, or Storyarts for unique gifts of all kinds that you just won’t find at Target or Walmart or Amazon.  (Gift for Writers)


6. Noise-Canceling Headphones (Gift Ideas for Writers)

Gift Ideas for Writers: Image of a set of black QuietComfort 35 wireless headphones II Many writers I know like to set up camp in coffee shops and cafes to write. The smell of coffee and baked goods really seems to help writers get words onto the page. But those same writers know the importance of being able to filter out distracting auditory stimuli, like nearby conversations. There’s some interesting neuroscience behind this. The visual stimulus of people moving about is good. The auditor stimulus of people talking around you while trying to write, not so much. That’s why your writer-friend might appreciate some high-quality headphones like the Bose QuietComfort 35 II or the second generation of Apple Airpods Pro. Both are “luxury” headphones with amazing sound and noise canceling capabilities that a writer might not purchase for themselves (they’re expensive) but would love to get.


7. Online Writing Course(Gift Ideas for Writers

Gift Ideas for Writers: Screen Shot from Neil Gaiman's Master Class course with headshot image of Neil looking into the camera, a bookcase lined with old-looking books in the background.Some online writing classes are application based, but some are open to all. While you might think the “open to all” courses lack in quality, you’d be wrong. Courses from masters like Neil Gaiman provide valuable insights and skills development for aspiring authors while also offering plenty of inspiration and motivation (it’s Neil Gaiman teaching the class, for goodness sake!).

There are also many excellent organizations that offer a wide variety of classes, from general craft to genre specific courses. Banner image from the Gotham Writers WebsiteFor example, Gotham Writers and Writer’s Digest University are two organizations that have been around for a long time. They’ve got classes for writers of all genres at all skill levels. Their instructors are excellent and their online platforms are extremely well-developed and user friendly. I’ve taken classes from both and am more than comfortable recommending them. 

Online writing courses are affordable and accessible, and they can help writers refine their craft and offer them fresh perspectives on storytelling while simultaneously connecting them to communities of other writers with similar interests and at similar places in their journeys.  (Gift for Writers)


8. Personalized Critique Session

Close-up of someone marking up a typed manuscript with a red pencil.Writing can be a lonely and isolating pastime. I know so many aspiring writers who lament that they’re not a good judge of their own work, but they have no one who can read what they’ve written and offer useful and constructive feedback. Friends and family members can’t be trusted because they’re biased. They’re afraid of discouraging or upsetting the writer, so they often have nothing but good things to say. Strangers on the internet can’t be trusted, either. Who knows what their background is? They might not be knowledgeable of genre tropes, stereotypes, or audience expectations. Just because someone reads sci-fi doesn’t mean they know how to give useful feedback to someone who is writing sci-fi (or fantasy or horror).

Direct feedback from a professional in the genre is an invaluable and precious gift for writers of any genre. It offers them a chance to learn, grow, and refine their work with expert guidance from someone who actually knows what they’re talking about. Many authors supplement their income by offering editing and critique services. Now, I wouldn’t recommend doing a blind internet search for a great editorial service. Thank Thor you don’t have to. Author Jason Sanford has done the work for you. Check out his listing of genre freelance editors, and rest assured that you’re getting quality recommendations from someone who really knows their stuff! (Gift for Writers)


9. Guided Stargazing Experience

Image of two people lying on a blanket in an open field, gazing up at the night sky.This gift idea might sound a little “out there” but hear me out because I think it’s a pretty great idea and one your writer-friend likely won’t expect but is sure to enjoy. Writing is an act of creativity, a process that at its core is fueled by curiosity and wonder. Star gazing connects us with the vastness of the universe and is often cited as a source of inspiration in science fiction and fantasy stories. Think about the many scenes in books and movies where the main character sits gazing up (or out, if they’re already in space) at the starry sky, pondering their circumstances and their future. Those scenes resonate because gazing at the stars truly does inspire awe. A guided stargazing experience might be just the thing to ignite your writer-friend’s imagination and return them to their story feeling refreshed and energized.

As you start looking for the perfect experience, check out Tripadvisor’s post, 9 stellar stargazing experiences in the US. They’ve done a lot of the research groundwork for you already. Or, if you’re looking for a more accessible and cost friendly guided stargazing experience for your friend, Visit Dark Skies is a fantastic alternative. They’ve created a downloadable audio experience that you can take with you anywhere and listen to over and over again. (Gift for Writers)


10. A mini-Writer’s Retreat (Gift for Writers)

Screen shot of search results for treehouses on AirbnbOkay, I saved this gift idea for last because it is absolute genius. Your writer-friend will love it, and they’ll never see it coming. It’s also probably the hardest gift to pull off. Give your friend a weekend-retreat by booking them a solo Airbnb, Verbo, or hotel getaway. It doesn’t have to be anywhere far away. In fact, closer is actually better. This gift isn’t really about the where. It’s about escaping from the house or the apartment. Writers can feel like they’re neglecting their duties if they sit down to write while there’s laundry to be washed or vacuuming to be done. Also, sometimes writers just want to get away from friends and family. Sorry, it’s true. Sometimes the folks we love drive us up the wall and we just want some space. Having a whole weekend all to yourself with no else around? Odin All-father, the very idea of that sends ecstatic shivers down my spine.

If you do this, you’ll want to find a place that’s clean and cute, has great ratings, and matches what your writing-friend wants. This means you’ll need to do some sneaky sleuthing to figure out what your writer-friend dreams about as an ideal retreat. A Thoreau-style one-room cabin in the woods with no heat, hot water, or electricity? A five-star luxury hotel room in the city with room service and a fabulous view of the skyline? A cozy little cape by the water? Whatever their vision of a dream retreat is, you can probably give them a weekend getaway that’s very close to it. Be sure to have the camera rolling when they open this gift. You’ll want to capture their child-like dance of joy for posterity’s sake. (Gift for Writers)


Show You Really Care This Holiday Season:

It can be hard figuring out the perfect gift for the writer in your life, but don’t worry. Each of the gift ideas above is sure to surprise and delight. Fancy notebooks and nice pens are fine, of course. If you really want to show your love and support, though, give a gift that will act as a gateway to new realms of creativity, focus, and productivity. (Gift for Writers)

If you have any great gift suggestions for writers, feel free to share them in the comments.

Thanks for stopping by and as always, happy writing to you!

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