Most folks know that writers are suckers for books, pens, and notebooks (oh, the notebooks). And gift cards to local bookstores or coffee shops to fuel those writing sprees are also nice. But what else can you get a writer during the holidays (or anytime)? We asked our staff for their gift wishes – one small item (think stocking stuffer or surprise on a birthday) and one big ticket item (special birthday, anniversary, or really spoiling them just because).
A seat cushion (or any small ergonomic items) – Writers write, and that means a lot of time sitting, arched over a screen or notebook, hands flying. All that take a toll on our bodies, and some simple ergonomic items can really help make those writing marathons easier.
Scented Candles – We’ve previously talked about how setting the right mood for writing is crucial. Scented candles may seem like a gift for someone you don’t really know (SNL nailed this one), but if you take a minute to know what scents and styles your writer likes, then it can be a great gift. Bonus points if you find an independent retailer who does book/writing/pop-culture themed candles.
Anything from Out of Print – This isn’t just for writers. Any bibliophile/book nerd in your circle is sure to love their wide selection of products celebrating print. As staff Jennie says, “My absolute favorite place to find book themed things from wearables, to water bottles, to notebooks! They have brand new socks I’m especially eyeing.”
Pretty things – Specifically suggested were earrings and nail polish, but it’s a good reminder that writers are more than word-crushing beasts. We like all kinds of things as individual people, and sometimes want items that have nothing to do with writing.
I Love You 3000 Items:
With these larger items, we recommend doing some investigating to see what your writer would like best. Preferences for brands, styles, etc. are individual and should be tailored to the gift receiver (which is true of small gifts as well).
A Nespresso (or espresso) machine – A specific ask from multiple staffers, because let’s be real: writers love caffeine. If it’s been a while since any of their power juice apparatuses have been updated, a new one is a great gift. An ‘updating’ may mean a fancy machine, or a new grinder, or a quality French press/pour over.
An iPad (preferably a 12.9” Pro) – Obviously there are numerous tablet and computer options out there, but when paired with the right case, keyboard, and pen options, the flexibility of an iPad (and the screen size of the larger Pro model) make it a great portable workstation for writers (and artists).
The Lego Typewriter – Jennie says, “while it is not actually functional for writing, it does look, sound, and type like a typewriter! It’s a fun, beautiful project that might get you through a period of writers block.” And who says everything for a writer has to be functional? Sometimes we just want fun!
We understand not everyone can afford to do a lot financially these days. So we also wanted to provide a couple free alternatives.
A writing day/weekend – If you live with a writer, one of the best gifts you can give them is the gift of time. Whether there are kids in the house you can take off to a grandparent’s for a weekend, or a offering of handling all the chores and food for a few days, whatever you can do to give a writer time, a closed door, and no responsibilities beyond getting words on a page/screen for a few hours is a huge gift.
A Writers’ Program free seminar – Obviously tooting our own horns here, but these free seminars on a wide array of ever-changing topics can help the writer in your life be inspired, get professional advice, and connect with other writers. Space is limited, so it’s also an exclusive gift to sign someone up for these as well (just be sure you know their schedule as these events are NOT recorded).
A library card – Seriously, if your writer (or you) doesn’t have one yet, get this. Libraries are an invaluable resource where nearly everything is free. Whether you visit your local branch for the well known collection of free books, to get in some quiet writing time, or undisturbed online research, or you use the huge online platforms to rent ebooks, movies, and even some online classes, when you use your local library you’re not just supporting the writer(s) in your life, you’re helping benefits for an entire community. Also, many libraries offer free author talks, and writerly items like tote bags, pens, and free books for seasonal reading challenges.