Five Writerly Ideas for Any Gift-Giving Occasion

So you’re looking for a gift for a writer in your life. They might be a family member, a friend, or the coworker whose name you pulled out of a hat this year. It might be the holiday season, their birthday, or some other holiday. Whatever the case may be, you definitely know they enjoy writing, and you’re not sure what to get them, assuming you came here from an internet search for “gifts for writers.”

Just to get the disclaimers out of the way, obviously odds are that you know the writer in your life and what they do and don’t like better than I do. I also don’t know your budget or what your preferred retailers are, although I will suggest that you support small and local businesses if it’s possible for you to do so. So instead of creating a list of links to specific products, I decided to go with a few broad categories to help you think of a direction you want to go with your gifting. So without further ado, here are five different types of gifts for the writer you’re buying for.

The Gift of Books

Giving a writer books as a gift is sort of a cliché, but writers do tend to be readers. Consider your writer’s favorite genres or authors when you’re thinking of buying them something new. If you know that they have an all-time favorite or that they collect books, see if there’s a special collector’s edition, signed copy, and/or alternate cover available. And, of course, if you’re not sure what they’ll like or know that they use an e-reader or listen to audiobooks, gift cards are a no-shame option.

The Gift of Fandom

Related to the above, if your writer has a favorite book (or show or movie or anything else), fandom merch is probably a safe bet. Looking on places like Etsy can get you some unique gift ideas for a lot of fandoms, including ones that tend to get overlooked in the merchandise department because they’re not hugely popular. If you’re not familiar with their specific fandoms, there are generically bookish and reader gifts out there, ranging from bookmarks to clothing to book-themed scented candles.

Also, if your writer has published their own novel, why not give them the gift of their own fandom? If you really love your writer, you can commission artwork of their characters. Just keep in mind that custom artwork can get expensive (and deservedly so, because artists deserve to be paid for their work). If that’s out of your budget, though even something small that says, “Hey, I found this thing, and it made me think of your character,” can be a great gift.

The Gift of Stationery

This is another writerly cliché, but stationery supplies are a good idea if your writer is a fan of writing things by hand (even though so much of today’s writing is done digitally). I personally find that pocket or purse-sized notebooks are great for bringing with me and jotting down ideas wherever I am, if you were looking for a personal recommendation, but chances are pretty good that nice notebooks of all sizes are welcome. If you know they’re into Bullet Journaling, art journaling, scrapbooking, or anything along those lines, supplies like stencils, nice pens, stickers, stamps, washi tapes, and more available to pick from.

The Gift of Food and Drinks

Does your writer have a favorite snack they eat while they write (or that they reward themselves with for a job well done)? A favorite type of coffee, tea, hot chocolate, or other age-appropriate beverage? More of that is probably a safe bet. Think about how they consume these things, too—consider fun writer mugs or glasses for them to keep at their desk while they work. And, again, a gift card might be good if they have a café or coffee shop that they write in or a restaurant they order from when they’re too busy writing to think about cooking.

Your mileage may vary (and this is why I recommend against these kinds of gifts for me personally), but if you live with your writer, cooking for them while they focus on their work can be a nice idea. It might be extra-appreciated if your writer is a spoonie like I am and can’t guarantee that they’ll have the energy to do food preparation, but if you don’t know what their body can tolerate, you might cause more harm than good. Just make sure that you’re listening to and understanding what they want and need.

The Gift of Non-Writing Hobbies

This suggestion requires that you know your writer pretty well. Writers can’t do writing things all the time. We need to spend time away from our work once in a while in order to recharge so we can return with fresh ideas and avoid becoming frustrated with our projects. Besides, they’re probably getting notebooks from everyone else they know, so if you know of something outside of writing that they do, it could be fun to switch things up. If they do fiber art, try some nice yarn in a good color or a project bag. If they play tabletop RPGs, it’s hard to go wrong with a new set of dice or a miniature that looks like their character. If they’re running low on their good watercolors, get them some more. If they play an instrument, they could probably use more violin rosin, cork grease, or valve oil. A gift for another hobby can help your writer’s writing more than you might suspect.

Do you have a writer that you’re shopping for? Where are your favorite places to look for writer gifts? Writers, what were some gifts that you’ve appreciated?