50+ Amazing Gifts for Writers That Will Help You "Win" Christmas
'Twas the night before Christmas, when all through Reedsy, the writers were stirring, to make gift-giving easy.
That’s right, Christmas is right around the corner! We know from personal experience just how hard it is to shop for authors, so we put in the hard work for you and created this guide of both usual and unusual gifts for writers in your lives. It’s split into sections according to price points, and organized within those sections from low to high — because the arrival of gift-giving season shouldn't mean you have to break the bank.
We hope this list of writerly gifts helps you during the annual holiday crunch. Simply browse below to find the perfect gift for writer friends, or even for yourself. Merry Christmas shopping, everyone!
$10 and under
The perfect choice for those on a budget, this cute keychain will remind its soon-to-be owner that their words hold genuine power. For bonus gift-giving points, include a copy of Richelieu by Edward Bulwer-Lytton, in which this famous adage first appeared.
2. Lady Macbeth's guest soap ($5)
Out, damned spot! Another affordable (and brilliantly conceived) trinket, this decorative-yet-practical soap will take care of all your filth-eradicating needs — both morally and otherwise.
3. AquaNotes ($7)
If you loved Singin' In the Rain, get ready for its vastly superior sequel: Writin' In The Rain! This waterproof pad allows writers to capture those elusive shower thoughts right away. It even comes with 40 perforated sheets and an aqua pencil! But don’t blame us when you (or your friend) end up tripling the water bill.
4. Jane Austen socks ($8)
As Albus Dumbledore said, “One can never possess enough socks. Another Christmas came and went and I didn’t get a single pair. People will insist on giving me books.” If you believe the greatest wizard of all time, then trust us on this, too: writerly socks don’t get any better than these pretty Jane Austen-themed ones.
5. Pilot FriXion erasable pens ($9)
Writers think that they need more notebooks, but what they really need are more pens. Especially these erasable ones. Of course, if your friend is X-treme, consider this Fisher Space Pen Bullet, which can write at any angle (even in Zero Gravity) and in temperatures from -30F to 250F. Or, you know, you could always just buy a pencil.
6. Newton’s cradle ($9)
Everyone likes to fiddle with things on their desk while working, and writers may be the most fidgety of all. Why not indulge that impulse with this desktop-friendly Newton’s cradle? It’s shiny, fun, and — let’s be honest — basically just the grown-up version of that wooden bead contraption we all loved as preschoolers, because some things just never lose their appeal.
7. Cat stationery ($10)
We all know writers are cats at heart: reclusive, temperamental, and big fans of tuna. Or maybe I’m just thinking of Mark Zuckerburg. No matter — every writer in the book will appreciate this charming stationery, which can be customized to include the name of your recipient at the top. Don’t forget to tell them “Meowy Christmas!”
8. Tequila Mockingbird ($10)
You know what they say: write drunk, edit sober. The drinks in this book include “The Pitcher of Dorian Grey Goose,” “Romeo and Julep,” “A Rum of One’s Own,” and “The Last of the Mojitos.” A guaranteed party success that will get everyone gone with the gin in no time, shouting “So long, and thanks for all the whiskey.”
9. Hot Dudes Reading ($10)
Every gender can appreciate this one. Good books and good looks will make the shelf it adorns a good nook, we say. At a minimum, it’s guaranteed to make a year of reading that much more fun.
(Or if you're in a more wholesome mood, check out these 50 heartwarming Christmas stories for the holiday season!)
10. The Unofficial Harry Potter Cookbook ($10)
No wand required. Just feast your eyes upon the recipes in this cookbook — including Mrs. Weasley’s meat pies, trolley-cart pumpkin pasties, and treacle tart (which fans will recall is Harry’s favorite dessert). These recipes are sure to turn you into a Muggle writer who can cook like a wizard. And for more books that Harry Potter fans will love, check out this post!
11. Do It Later! 2020 planner ($13)
For all the procrastinating writers out there, which (let's be honest) is pretty much all of them: this 2020 planner contains procrastination wisdom, tips, and quotations, plus a whole section for planning your delaying tactics. And — what else? — an empty space for doodling.
If 1 a.m. is for writer’s block and 2 a.m. is for pure panic, 3 a.m. is when this book comes to the rescue. Containing 200 writing exercises, crafted and refined over time, this gift is designed for all the struggling writers in the world. If you want to make it a double whammy, pair it with its sequel, 4 A.M. Breakthrough.
13. Genius PageKeeper bookmark ($13)
Reading is fun. Forgetting where you previously stopped reading is not. “Let the bookmark do the thinking for you” is the idea behind this genius PageKeeper that automatically records your spot in a book, wherever you are and whenever you close it.
14. Novel Teas ($14)
This stocking stuffer — 25 teabags packed with famous quotes from Victorian books — is guaranteed to keep any writer warm and cozy while they’re writing. And the tea isn’t bad, either. As the product description says: read ‘em and steep.
15. A “Writer’s Block” ($14)
Whether they use it as a paperweight or simply for some much-needed levity in times of creative stress, a wooden Writer’s Block is a fun, silly gift for any writer in your life. Check out similarly punny presents in the same store, including an official “Artistic License” for your dramatic friends, or more colorfully designed Block for more whimsical types.
16. Essays about writing ($10–$15)
The only thing better than moaning about writing is reading other authors moan about it instead. Here are a few of our favorite collections of essays on the craft of writing:
- Bird by Bird: Some Instructions on Writing and Life by Anne Lamott
- The Writing Life by Annie Dillard
- On Writing by Stephen King
17. Elegy for a Dead World ($15)
“Hold up, a video game that cures writer’s block?” Before you dismiss this game as a concept that’s too good to be true, give it a shot — or give it to someone who could use the inspiration. In this game about writing, you travel to three worlds and write stories about their dead societies, using the works of poets Keats, Byron, and Shelley to create your own masterpieces. Seriously, how cool is that?
If the official statistic is that one-third of the people you know are introverts, we bet that three-fourths of the writers you love are also introverts — Dr. Seuss and J.K. Rowling among them. This New York Times bestseller points out why introversion is something to be valued, and might just be something that one of your quieter writer friends will appreciate.
There are only so many times people can read, “Larry was sad,” without getting sick of Larry and whatever he's sad about. Luckily, this book contains pages and pages of detailed body signals, facial expressions, and mental responses to use in description. A good gift for any writer who suffers from the curse of telling rather than showing.
20. Author shot glasses ($16)
Once again we’ll invoke the classic saying of #8 on our list. These literary shot glasses, featuring the likes of Lord Byron, Oscar Wilde, Dorothy Parker and more, can certainly help you with that first part! (For the second, you might consider the coffee subscription below.)
21. Shakespearean insults coffee mug ($17)
The one time your friend will be pleased to see “Away, you starvelling, you eel-skin, you dried neat’s-tongue, you bull’s-pizzle!” thrown in their face. Perfect for Shakespeare nerds or anyone craving a steaming hot cup of joe with a side of slander. (Or libel, we suppose, since it's written down.)
22. Scapple ($17)
Nope, we didn’t forget to put an “r” and double “b” in there! (Although Scrabble makes a great gift for writers as well.) Scapple is brought to you by the team who created Scrivener. This great little program helps you make connections between idea. Simply create notes anywhere on a virtual sheet of paper — and then link them together using lines or arrows to see how your thoughts fit together. Perfect for any writer who’s perpetually stuck in the planning phase of a book.
23. Codenames ($17)
A card game so awesome it could put a stop to family feuds. Two rival spymasters know the identities of 25 agents — and their teammates can only guess through secret codenames. Get a friend this gift as an opportunity to show off their creative wordplay!
24. Bathtub book caddy ($18)
Everyone loves to read in the bath — but nobody wants their book to get soaked. Enter this bamboo book caddy by Homiu, which features not only a precisely positioned stand for your book (or tablet if you’re feeling risky), but also ample room for wine, snacks, magazines, and more. If you normally just get bath bombs for your friend, take it up a notch with this caddy!
25. Writer emergency pack ($19)
If this kit were any more thorough, it would feature an actual EMT. Open it up to find 25 creative cards with exercises and advice on jazzing up stock characters, getting unstuck, or navigating plot details. Something to make a writer feel as though they’ve (actually) always got a trick up their sleeve.
26. Adult coloring books ($10-20)
All writers need to take a break from words, words, words (as Hamlet said) every so often, and coloring books cater perfectly to that need. Might we suggest the Edgar Allan Poe Coloring Book for classic horror fans, or the Posh Adult Coloring Book for those who love vintage wallpaper patterns? (Don’t worry, it should have the opposite effect of Charlotte Perkins Gilman’s infamous encounter.)
27. Dramatic bookends ($20)
What happens when bookshelves get jealous of the books for stealing the spotlight? And why do books get all the glory, anyway? Add DRAMA to any shelf with these bookends that are sure to stop guests in their tracks.
28. Library card tote bag ($20)
Out of Print always has fantastic fare for book nerds, but this library card tote bag is especially adorable. It’ll bring back fond memories for writers who spend their childhoods in libraries (hint: all of them), and may even inspire a trip in the near future, now that they’ve got something to hold their books! Not to mention it’s a great accessory to almost any outfit.
29. Literary posters ($24)
And for friends who are in desperate need of home furnishings, you can’t go wrong with an elegant literary poster. Each design not only looks great from afar, but when you look closer, also incorporates the text of the work in question! Choose between Gatsby, Shakespeare, Alice in Wonderland, or whatever floats your boat.
30. Pemberley apparel ($20-$30)
Word on the street is that Jane Austen miswrote a sentence in Pride and Prejudice. She actually meant Mr Darcy to say: “In vain have I struggled. It will not do. My feelings will not be repressed. You must allow me to tell you how ardently I admire and love your sweatshirt.” And surely this Pemberley apparel will inspire equal passion when you gift it to your writer friend.
“Publishing is a piece of cake,” said no one ever. This ultimate guide is a testament to that: at a substantial 896 pages, it contains over 7,500 entries for book publishers, magazines, contests, and agents. But it could be the missing link in your friend’s publishing resource repertoire, which means that you’d be giving your them the best thing of all: the gift of (maybe) getting published.
32. Photography books ($20-$30)
Supposedly, a picture is worth a thousand words. If this is true, then the best gift you can give to a writer is a photography book, which may hold hundreds of thousands of words. More than that, pictures are known to inspire creativity — which all writers desperately need at any time of the year, not just the holidays.
33. Handmade zen garden ($25)
You know as well as we do that writers are not exactly the most zen people in the world. They’re either 1. complaining about writing to their computer screens, or 2. complaining about writing to anyone within a six-meter radius of them (which probably includes you, the hapless friend). Luckily, this zen garden is the perfect Christmas gift to bring them a little bit of inner peace — for their sake as well as yours.
34. Mighty Bright book light ($30)
As any avid reader can tell you, there comes a time of night when their partner/roommate/pet wants to turn off the lights and go to bed — a dire scenario for those who’ve just reached a cliffhanger! Thank goodness book lights exist, and especially these handy ones from Mighty Bright. Get it for a friend whose sleep-deprived housemates are constantly complaining, or just for anyone who prefers a single light to a ceiling of fluorescents.
35. Storymatic ($30)
Six trillion stores in one little box. Yep, you heard us right. This game has trillions of story ideas on cards that you can mix and match to come up with ideas. Where else would you be able to find a prompt that told you to write about a hypochondriac at a class reunion talking about broken promises while looking at unflattering portraits of themselves in their yearbooks? Great for a long road trip or a game night for creatives.
36. Dixit ($32)
It's no surprise that many writers are big on playing games — especially those that challenge the player's craftiness and satisfy the storytelling side of our brains. Dixit is certainly no exception; once you buy this card game, you’ll never want to stop playing it. Players select cards that match a title suggested by the “storyteller,” and attempt to guess which card the “storyteller” suggested. Works for anywhere between 3 to 6 players.
37. "100 Essential Novels" scratch-off chart ($35)
“Look, we get it. You love books. You read all the time. Instead of bragging about it incessantly, why don’t you just… scratch your books off on this thing?” This chart features 100 of the most famous English-language novels. It’s incredibly addictive, just like real lottery scratchers — but this way you'll be gaining knowledge, rather than losing cash.
38. S’well water bottle ($35)
Between all the coffee and anxious sweating over revisions, writers often find themselves dehydrated. That’s where a nice water bottle comes in — and these ones from S’well have great insulation, ideal for keeping things cold. The geode patterns shown here are particularly trendy right now, but feel free to explore the wide-ranging options on their S'website.
39. Blue Bottle Coffee subscription ($30-$45 for three months)
Or maybe your friend’s problem isn’t dehydration from coffee, but not enough coffee. In that case, we’d recommend a coffee subscription so they never have to worry about restocking! Blue Bottle offers a great range of roast options, as do “coffee of the month” clubs like Atlas. But keep in mind that the pricing depends on the quality and quantity you want — so if your friend’s a real coffee snob, you might find yourself spending more than you anticipated.
40. Scrivener ($45)
Welcome to Scrivener. Designed specifically to research, plan, outline, and write novels, this is the go-to app that many authors swear by. By the end of a month, your writer friend won’t know how to live without it. Seriously, the price tag is worth it just to be able to utter the words, “Goodbye, Microsoft Word.”
41. Todoist ($45)
As its website says: “Think of Todoist as your second, completely reliable brain.” This is especially useful for writers using their first (and often only) brains to concentrate on their books! The app, which costs $45 per year, can help anybody organize their lives and productivity systems.
42. Smythson luxury notebooks ($40-$50)
Does writing flow easier when you’re using a gold-gilded notebook? We don’t know, and, frankly, we’ve never had the chance to write with such pomp and circumstance before. But if you think your friend would appreciate that level of opulence, these are some of the best-quality notebooks out there.
43. Spotify Premium ($10 per month)
As William Shakespeare once wrote: “If music be the food of love, play on.” That said, it’s hard to let the music play on (and the writing flow) when it keeps getting interrupted by ads. That's where Spotify Premium comes in! With over 30 million songs in its practically limitless library, give a writer the sweet sound of ad-less music this Christmas.
44. The Modern Snap Backpack from Everlane ($70)
If a writer friend doesn’t feel good about what they’re writing, you can at least help them feel good about what they’re wearing. This backpack can easily tote a laptop or a couple of books, and make any downtrodden writer feel reasonably fashionable while sitting in their café of choice.
45. Large antique bookcase cushion ($80)
Wondering why that shelf looks so soft and squishy? That's because it's not really a shelf (surprise!). This cleverly designed cushion is perfect to sink into for hours of reading. It's a bit on the pricey side, but trust us that the aesthetic — and the comfiness — are worth it.
46. Grammar Stuff Dot Com 8-plate set ($85)
Everyone gets excited about grammar sessions during dinner, right? Right? Well, if grammar is the mountain you’re willing to die on (or the mountain on which you’re willing to die), this plate set is just perfect for you.
47. Kindle ($80-$120)
In case you’ve just emerged from a decade-long slumber: welcome back and say “Hello!” to the Kindle, Amazon’s popular e-reader that you can tote around wherever you like. All writers are readers, so what better gift to give than something that makes reading so darn easy? Keep an eye on Amazon.com, too — sometimes Kindles go on sale for under $100.
48. Yearly subscriptions to literary magazines ($80-$120)
Lit mags are some of the best ways for writers to gain street cred. But magazines can also be very expensive these days, which is why a gift subscription makes sense. Here are a few of our suggestions:
- New Yorker: One of the oldest, biggest, and best bastions of short story writing still standing. And it’s really good at the politics stuff, too.
- Granta: A magazine founded in 1889, Granta publishes a good mix of famous authors, Nobel winners, and new voices.
- Atlantic Monthly: You know the website, now meet the magazine. They put out one issue a year that’s dedicated to short fiction, but in the meantime, their coverage of politics, business, and culture is usually insightful.
- McSweeney’s Quarterly: For those with a funny bone (or two).
49. Typewriter ($100+)
If you really want to go old-school, consider investing in a typewriter. It's perfect for antique enthusiasts — or authors who are simply sick of writing with email and social media notifications bothering them every minute.
50. Subscription to Kindle Unlimited ($120)
Two words: unlimited reading. Kindle Unlimited gives its members the freedom to explore over 1 million titles, thousands of audiobooks, and tons of magazines. It might be the only thing better than a Kindle — though the subscription paired with a Kindle wouldn’t be too shabby, either.
51. First-edition books ($120+)
Then again, why go digital when you can buy the first-edition hard copy of a treasured book? Warning: these can be fairly pricey, depending on how beloved the book in question is. For instance, a first-edition and seventh printing of Harper Lee’s To Kill a Mockingbird costs around $150, while a first-edition Lord of the Rings trilogy sells for a whopping $31,000. The expression on your friend’s face when they unwrap it, though? Priceless.
Travelers don’t deserve to have all the fun. These professional-quality headphones aren’t just great for pretending that the screaming 4-year-old on the plane doesn’t exist — writers can also use them to block out the world when they’re working.
53. Food subscription boxes ($200+)
Writers forget to eat all the time! But you can fix that by bringing the food to them through a food subscription box. Our recommendation is Try The World, which delivers dishes from all over the globe — your friend doesn’t even need to get up from their seat to try food from Jordan! If they’ve got a sweet tooth, couple it with Cravory Cookie Box, which tastes exactly as it sounds. Of all our gifts for writers, this is by far the most scrumptious.
54. Editing services for a book ($300+)
It’s no secret that an editor is a writer’s best friend. So if a writer is done (or almost done) with their manuscript, why don’t you get them credit for an editing service? You can do some research and scouting yourself online, or you can find some of the best professionals right here on Reedsy. Either way, a gift-wrapped editor who can sprinkle magic dust on stories is something that every author will appreciate.
55. Stata clock ($250-$400)
Is there anything cooler in the world than Mrs. Weasley’s clock? Well, we have good news for you: it now exists! Built by Stata, it uses technology and GPS and relay your loved ones’ coordinates on a clock face that has such options as “Home,” “Friends,” “Out,” “Transit,” “Airport,” and “Lost.” There’s no “Mortal Peril” option yet, but it does help you keep track of friends and family, so writers can know when they're about to be interrupted — or when they should hurry up and finish, so they can join everyone else.
56. Writing workshops ($150-$500)
A writing workshop is literally the gift that will keep on giving, as the knowledge that participants gain from it will deeply benefit them in the long-run. It’s also a great way to encourage writers both amateur and experienced. Check out these online writing courses below to see if one of them could make the perfect Christmas gift:
These items have been chosen independently by the team at Reedsy, but if you buy something through our post, we may get a small share of the sale. If you have any suggestions for other great gifts for writers, please share them in the comments below!