Great Gifts for Writers

12 Dec

What do you give someone who enjoys spending hours alone with nothing but a computer, pen and paper? Whether you’re shopping for a critique partner, or trying to encourage a nervous newbie, finding the perfect gift for a writer can be challenging.

Here are some suggestions for those times when “writing stuff” is on the wish list:

The Gift of Technology:  Nothing says, “I love you and want to support your writing” quite like a new computer.  Load it up with popular writing software, like WriteWayPro or Scrivener, and you’ve got a sure hit.

Too expensive? How about an e-reader? It’s a must-have in the publishing world these days. With local libraries now lending e-books, this may be one gift that saves money in the long run.

If your writer loves the feel of a paper book in her hands, consider a barcode reader, which will allow her to catalog her library with a swipe of the hand.

The Big Event: Sending a newbie to a writers’ conference is the emotional equivalent of giving concert tickets to a teenager.

Looking for something a little more romantic? Consider a trip to the setting of her current work-in-progress.

If those are out of your price range, how about dinner and a literary outing? Attending a presentation by a favorite author can be a life-changing event for a writer.

The Home Improvements:  Where does your writer usually write? Does that room need a makeover? A storyboard? A new desk? Shelves? Anything to improve her writing space will be greatly appreciated.

The Subscriptions:  There are literally dozens of magazines devoted to the craft of writing. A subscription to Writer’s Digest or Publisher’s Marketplace might be the perfect gift for the writer who wants to follow industry trends.

Another choice might be a subscription to a periodical related to the topic of their novel. For example, a writer of historical fiction might enjoy a magazine dedicated to her chosen time period. A mystery writer might prefer one devoted to forensics.


Writers love stories in all their forms. Don’t limit yourself to the written word. Consider a subscription to a premium movie channel or a DVD-by-mail or streaming video service.

If your writer is strapped for cash, she might appreciate a year’s membership to a writers’ organization such as Romance Writers of America (RWA), The Society for Children’s Writers & Illustrators (SCBWI), or Partners in Crime.


The Books:  It’s hard to imagine a writer who wouldn’t appreciate a gift card to her local bookstore. We posted a list of our favorite books on writing here for those who want to put something a little larger under the tree.

Again, don’t forget all the quirky reference books on odd topics only a novelist could love. (Maps of 19th century London, anyone?)


The Stress-Busters: Between deadlines and rejections, writing can be a stressful career. If you’re shopping for a professional, she probably already has all the tools of the trade, and might not appreciate being reminded of her work on the holidays.  Dinner out, a massage, or a trip to the spa might be the perfect gift to revive her creative spirit.



The Gift of Time: The best gift for writers may not cost anything at all. Most would be thrilled to have a few uninterrupted hours to get their stories down on paper. Volunteer to watch the kids or take on some other chore to give your writer more free time. It may not sound like much, but it’s a gift that will be truly appreciated.

There you have my list of gifts for the writer in your house. Have I left anything out? Writer friends, what gift have you most appreciated on your road to publication?


Posted by on December 12, 2011 in writers, writing


Tags: , ,

30 responses to “Great Gifts for Writers

  1. Liz Flaherty

    December 12, 2011 at 3:39 AM

    Great ideas here.

    • Clarissa Southwick

      December 12, 2011 at 9:28 AM

      Hi Liz, Thanks for stopping by and commenting :).

  2. Liz Fredericks

    December 12, 2011 at 6:13 AM

    These are excellent, Clarissa! Now, if I only had someone to send this link to . . .;-)

    • Clarissa Southwick

      December 12, 2011 at 9:31 AM

      LOL, Liz. As I was writing this, I kept thinking, “Why are these things so expensive?” Chocolate and wine would have been the affordable suggestions, but I wasn’t sure writers-who usually have a sedentary lifestyle–would appreciate the calories….

  3. Meredith Conner

    December 12, 2011 at 7:09 AM

    I love journals or little notebooks to keep in my purse for those sudden moments of inspiration. Great list Clarissa!.

    • Clarissa Southwick

      December 12, 2011 at 9:31 AM

      What a great gift idea. You can never have too many little notebooks, can you? Thanks, Meredith!

  4. Janis McCurry

    December 12, 2011 at 7:09 AM

    I can’t think of anything else unless it’s the gift of time. Maybe a coupon book from SI and Kids having tear-off hour(s) where they promised to leave you alone, make dinner while you’re working on the ms., etc. You could tear off one when you need just that much more time to finish up something.

    • Clarissa Southwick

      December 12, 2011 at 9:33 AM

      Yes, and maybe a fancy emergency “Leave me alone” writing sign to be used whenever a deadline looms. Thanks, Janis.

  5. ramblingsfromtheleft

    December 12, 2011 at 7:16 AM

    Clarrisa, that is the sweetest … not to mention … most generous list any of us could want. Considering budget constraints, I ask everyone to only give me gift certs. to amazon so I can not only fill my Kindle, buy my fav. print books, but I can also buy print ink or blank discs or flash files. I mostly get free delivery and my daughter even fills my account up three times a year! I wish I knew someone with big bucks and I might ask for the first or third on your list. Any writer would love your suggestions 🙂

  6. Clarissa Southwick

    December 12, 2011 at 9:34 AM

    I never thought about buying print ink from Amazon. What a great idea. Thanks!

  7. Peggy Staggs

    December 12, 2011 at 10:09 AM

    Great ideas. I love the idea of visiting the place where you WIP is set. Now all I have to do is set my next book somewhere very exotic.

    • Clarissa Southwick

      December 12, 2011 at 12:21 PM

      Thanks, Peggy. The different settings should work well with your great spy novels. 🙂

  8. Tess

    December 12, 2011 at 10:13 AM

    Great post! I’m with Peggy…where to set my next manuscript????????

    • Clarissa Southwick

      December 12, 2011 at 12:22 PM

      Hi Tess! Thanks for stopping by and commenting today 🙂

  9. Kim G.

    December 12, 2011 at 10:26 AM

    We just had a gift exchange and my critique partner gave everyone a USB and a case that holds six of them. Now I don’t have them stuck in a drawer, and can carry them with me. Thought this was a wonderful gift! Not to expensive either. We also received an hour glass, a reminder that as writers, we keep time in a bottle or to remind you of a deadline!

    I got my gals, an mouse pad from Zappo’s that said, “writers block is when the friends in my head quit talking to me”. How about an inspirational calendar for the next year? Book bags, planners, sticky pads for plotting, or a book from your favorite author. Lots of idea’s!

    Happy Holidays,


  10. Clarissa Southwick

    December 12, 2011 at 12:23 PM

    Wonderful suggestions. I don’t think you can ever have too many USB’s.Since I’m always losing them, I love the kind that go on a key chain. Thanks, Kim!

  11. Debby Lee

    December 12, 2011 at 3:07 PM

    These are some really fantastic tips Clarissa, thanks so much for sharing them. I can tell a lot of thought went into this article. Great job.

    • Clarissa Southwick

      December 12, 2011 at 9:31 PM

      Thank you, Debby. Congratulations on your new release 🙂

  12. Terri Farley

    December 12, 2011 at 4:54 PM

    Clarissa, this is a great list & the suggestions that follow from your readers are cool, too.
    Off to post this on FB & Twitter!

    • Clarissa Southwick

      December 12, 2011 at 9:32 PM

      Thank you for the kind words, Terri. We always appreciate the shout-outs. 🙂

  13. Marilyn

    December 12, 2011 at 8:11 PM

    Wonderful ideas!


  14. Clarissa Southwick

    December 12, 2011 at 9:33 PM

    Thanks for commenting, Marilyn.

  15. Donna Cummings

    December 13, 2011 at 6:26 AM

    Wonderful suggestions! I don’t think I’ve heard of that barcode reader to catalog the books. That’s very intriguing. I just got a Nook, so I am thinking of all the accessories I need for it (not including all the e-books of course!)

  16. Patsy

    December 13, 2011 at 6:47 AM

    For me, a book is always a wonderful gift. I love to read.

  17. Mary Vine

    December 13, 2011 at 3:57 PM

    Nice blog idea! I’d have to say the best present was my first computer, given to me by my husband. Next, I say putting together Xmas money to buy the Chicago Manual of Style. Thanks for taking me back!

  18. Johanna Harness

    December 14, 2011 at 7:29 AM

    Great list! As a morning writer, I’d suggest good coffee and a coffee maker with a timer. I have one with a carafe, so I can take it to my desk. Anything that makes my morning easier is a win.


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