Need a gift for a writer or an author? Here’s a list of some of my favorite writer’s gifts, perfect for holidays, a birthday, or any other time. Maybe even a “congratulations, you’ve been published” gift!
There are unique gifts to inspire, funny gifts, and practical gifts that help writers concentrate and write better. Check out the author action figures, software designed for novelists and creative writers, and jewelry made from typewriter keys. Plus, fine notebooks to help capture those sometimes fleeting ideas.
Author Action Figures
Why should superheroes have all the fun? These famous author action figures are guaranteed to make any writer smile and feel inspired.
Charles Dickens Action Figure
An Amazon reviewer called “ioce the wizard” wrote a description so marvelous I will quote it directly, “I suspect this action figure can, when manipulated properly, also flail its arms and stomp its feet as deadlines approach; clear a desk of inkwells, cups, and papers when overcome by the frustrations of writer’s block; and possibly offer disdainful over-the-shoulder glances at unfortunate folks who might make excellent subject matter as the next Fezziwig or Turveydrop.”
Who could resist that? Comes with his own quill and removable hat.
But soft, what writer wouldn’t want one of the greatest writers of them all as a gift? You may want to buy one as a gift and keep one for yourself. He comes dressed in Elizabethean costume and is accessorized with a quill pen and a book.
Honor the father of the murder mystery genre with this black-clad action figure. He’s perfect for Halloween, with his pasty complexion and detachable raven. Great for mystery lovers or mystery writers.
When an article gets rejected, or edited one too many times, writers can turn to him and shout, “Nevermore!” Also goes well with a cask of Amantillado.
Sadly, Jane seems to be the only female in the set (boo!). But I suppose it makes a certain sense, since Jane knew all too well the trials and restrictions forced upon women, both in the 1700s and today. Who knows, she might inspire an updated version of Emma with a twenty-first century spin.
Best Gift Notebook for Writers
This just the thing to keep notes, story ideas, quotes, research, and reminders all in one place. Because, writing it down helps you remember (and not every place has an internet connection). The notebook comes with a back pocket (perfect for stamps, receipts or tickets), and a snug elastic band to keep everything clean and tidy. The classic color is black, but I think the red is much more fun (and it’s easier to find when you’re looking for it too).
Kicking Horse Coffee
After pens or software, actually maybe even before, every single writer needs….coffee!! In fact, when I signed up for a writing site long ago, one of the first things they did was send an unexpected gift of coffee (and a mug). This coffee is strong, and full-flavored, without being bitter or burnt. Pack it together in a gift box with a mug and a coaster or a desktop immersion heater and you’ve got a great present! Call it “The Writer’s Survival Kit.”
Essential Reference Tools
Roget’s International Thesaurus
One of the first things I bought when I started my writing career was an earlier version of this thesaurus. It has two sections: in the back is an alphabetized listing of words. Start here to find the right meaning/sense of the word you want. For example, is the word you want for “stoop” closer to crouch? or veranda? or bow down? Once you find the general sense, head to the main section of the book for more words that mean exactly what you want to say.
New Oxford American Dictionary
This dictionary does something most other dictionaries don’t. It gives the most common definition first! Seems so obvious, doesn’t it? Large (but not too large) print, plus a reference section that includes the US Constitution (handy around election time), Hebrew, Russian, and Arabic alphabets, world maps, and standard weights and measures (along with metric versions and conversion formulas).
On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft
This book, by Stephen King, is part memoir, part advice column. It has instructed, taught, encouraged and inspired writers for years. He talks about plotting (I don’t plot, he says, I just put characters in trouble and see what they do).
“If you want to be a writer,” King says, “you must do two things above all others: read a lot and write a lot.”
If there’s a writer in your life, have him or her start with this book.
Give the Gift of Pens
Uniball Jetstream Pens
Like many writers, I’m really, really picky about my pens. For one thing, they have to be retractable, because I keep losing the caps, or dropping them. And yes, even though I type on the computer quite a bit, I still need pens. Somehow I think better (and remember better) when I write something down, than when I type it. It took me a long time to find these, and I’m really glad I did.
They have special ink that gets sucked up into the paper quickly. That means no blotches or smearing (great for lefties). It also means the ink flows smoothly and evenly. The ink is blue (which I happen to prefer). They’re just the right weight in my hand, not too heavy, not too light.
Parker Classic Ballpoint Pen
If you want something a bit fancier, this pen makes the perfect present for a writer, whether he or she is writing the “Great American Novel” or an article for a trade magazine. This one has a stainless steel finish and 23K gold plated trim. Since it’s distinctive, it won’t get lost in a mass of ordinary pens either.
Software for Writers
The trouble with standard word processors is that they expect you to be linear. Point A leads seamlessly and easily to Points B, C, and D. Unfortunately, when you’re writing a novel, or a research paper, or a script, you get ideas in bits and pieces.
Writers are creative; we generally don’t do linear all that well. What happens instead, is you find information from lots of different sources, and then have to sort through it, categorize it, and try to wrestle it into shape into a coherent narrative. Blecch.
Scrivener works differently. It has a virtual “corkboard”, so you can pin up ideas, move them around, and not lose them. You can write a short chapter or description, and easily move it around. There’s even a special scriptwriting mode, plus an export to Kindle format option (for self-publishers).
Nobody could write insults like Shakespeare. This mug is perfect for early mornings (before coffee), or when rogue editors, and uncooperative computers raise your blood pressure. Who could resist saying, “thou art the veriest varlet that ever chewed with a tooth.”? Or, “I do desire we may be better strangers.” The mug is nice and big (16 oz), and will hold lots of coffee. It’s also both microwave and dishwasher safe.
On the other hand, if you want to tell your favorite writer how much you care, a different sort of mug, with love quotations, is perfect, Give it as a gift or use it as a quick cheat sheet if you are at a loss for words. The love of your life will delight in hearing, “my heart is ever at your service?” Or, you could quote Hamlet, “Doubt thou the stars are fire; Doubt that the sun doth move; Doubt truth to be a liar; But never doubt I love. O dear Ophelia.” Just don’t forget to use the right name.
It can be hard to concentrate when you work at home, especially if you have kids or live in an apartment building. These headphones will filter out 85% of external noise, so writers can concentrate on their work. And, the noise-canceling function can be easily switched off if you need to talk to someone on the phone. It comes with a carrying case and adapters for use on planes and audio equipment.
Typewriter Key Jewelry
Even though most people have switched to computers, there’s something about a typewriter that says “writer” in a way that a keyboard can’t. You can hold, and touch typewriter keys, but you can’t really put your hands on pixels.
Made from authentic, vintage typewriter keys.
Crafted from matched keys from the same typewriter. Delivered in a velvet presentation box, so they’re ready to give as a gift.
This bracelet is made by hand out of vintage (circa 1930s-1940s) black typewriter keys linked together to make a unique piece of jewelry. The bracelet is about 7.5 inches long and comes in a velvet drawstring bag.
Which gift would you give your favorite writer? Or, which gift do you want to give yourself (after all, you deserve presents too)? Personally, I really want that typewriter key bracelet.