22 Gifts for Writers That Are Way Better Than a Boring Old Notebook

22 Gifts for Writers That Are Way Better Than a Boring Old Notebook

Each year, we list our top gifts for writers in our annual holiday gift guide. Be sure to check out our holiday gift guides from 201820172016, 2015 and 2014, as well as this list of creative and clever presents for your favorite writer.

The Write Life is taking a stand. We’re sick of getting notebooks as gifts in our stockings.

We hate to break it to you benevolent gift givers, but your good-intentioned notebook gifts tend to go straight to the junk drawer. The cute-but-not-practical notebook you painstaking selected from the hundreds of others in the Barnes & Noble gifts section is more of a novelty and less of a useful item we can actually use to write.

But if not a notebook, what do you give that special writer in your life? Don’t worry. As writers ourselves, we know just the thing. Here’s a list of plenty of non-notebook gifts that will keep you in the good graces of that special writer in your life all year long.

1. Aqua Notes

Sometimes the best ideas for stories, characters or blog post pop into our heads in the shower — but we forget about them when we move on with our day. Problem solved with Aqua Notes. This waterproof notepad can help document the greatest of ideas and grocery lists.

Aqua Notes

Image from Amazon

Since this phenomenon also happens in the brains of people who aren’t writers (research shows that creatives of all types have shower epiphanies), Aqua Notes could make a good gift for just about anyone.

2. The Writer’s Toolbox: Creative Games and Exercises for Inspiring the ‘Write’ Side of Your Brain

Sometimes a writer’s brain just feels stuck. For those moments, The Writer’s Toolbox: Creative Games and Exercises for Inspiring the ‘Write’ Side of Your Brain could come in handy. A creative writing teacher designed this kit that includes creative challenges, prompts and exercises to get in touch with the “write” side of your brain and have fun while doing it.

3. Space-age pen

Besides showering, another common burst-of-inspiration activity tends to be sleeping. The Fisher Space Pen Bullet, which will write in any angle (including upside down), will make a perfect accessory for their bed-side table. It’s a helpful tool to have handy if trying to write while lying down.

4. Out of print t-shirt, sweatshirt or tote bag

Some writer nerd clothing can be downright — well, nerdy. Out of Print tees, hoodies and totes, which feature the covers of iconic and often (you guessed it) out of print books, buck the norm and are actually fashionable. Plus these gifts do good; for every item they sell, Out of Print donates a book to Books for Africa to help a community that doesn’t have easy access to books.

Check out their accessories, too. Keep their toes warm with Library Card Socks, or brighten up their restricted reading section with the Match Book Set.

Out of Print Match Book Set

Image from Out of Print

You can also keep this gift idea in mind if your writer friend or family member has a small bookworm or two at home since Out of Print also sells kids’ and baby clothing.

5. Postcards from Penguin: One Hundred Book Covers in One Box

Sometimes, you should judge a book by its cover. Postcards from Penguin: One Hundred Book Covers in One Box pays tribute to the iconic Penguin paperback book covers and packs 100 of them into one (easy-to-wrap) box.

This gift also pays tribute to your recipient. Hopefully, they’ll be inspired to write 100 notes to loved ones or 100 very, very short stories.

6. Writer’s Block Cure

If only there were a magic potion that cures writer’s block. Oh wait, there is!

This Writer’s Emergency Kit has all the essentials you need to beat writer’s block for good!

7. Scrabble Magnets

Speaking of magnetic poetry, take it one step further and go for Scrabble Magnetic Refrigerator Tiles so your writer friend can not only create their own poetry, but also invent their own words.

If that special writer in your life is a huge Scrabble fan, go all out with the Scrabble Tile Mug or Scrabble Board Dish Towel.

8. Audible subscription

Writers’ brains are like ShamWows for words. So you can’t go wrong with a book, right?

But you can’t remember if your special writer prefers fiction or non-fiction, contemporary or 17th-century literature, sensational beach reads or Sci-Fi…

Remove the guesswork and opt for an Audible membership. They can use it to download audio books, magazines and newspapers to their smartphone, tablet, computer or almost any other device that plays audio. (Use this link and get 50% off your first three months!)

9. Stick-Up Weekly Calendar

One of the best techniques to meet a word count goal or improve one’s writing is to commit to doing a little bit every single day. And to do that, it helps to have a calendar to check off every single day’s accomplishment; then, you’re less likely to break the chain. Even Jerry Seinfeld swears by this technique.

Stick Up Weekly Calendar

Image from Poketo

Give the Stick-Up Weekly Calendar so your recipient can remember and visualize their daily goal.

10. Typewriter jewelry or cufflinks

You can’t go wrong with a piece of personalized jewelry. Give them their initials as a typewriter necklace or ring. Guys will appreciate these at sign typewriter cufflinks.

11. Literary passport holder or luggage tags

If the writer in your life also loves to travel, the Penguin Shop sells a variety of items that could be just the perfect gift. Inspired by the classic Penguin covers of On the Road by Jack Kerouac and The Lost Girl by D. H. Lawrence, choose from luggage tags, passport holders and stainless steel water bottles.

12. Litograph tee, tote or poster

From a distance, each design represents a theme, character or setting from popular classics such as Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, The Great Gatsby and Little Women. But if you look closely, you’ll see the designs on each Litograph product are created from teeny tiny words — every word in the novel the design represents, in fact.

Litograph Alice in Wonderland Tote Bag

Image from Litograph

13. Bananagrams

Bananagrams is an anagram game similar to Scrabble, but requires no pens, notepads or playing board. This makes it extremely easy to transport and play on-the-go. Players race against each other to build a crossword grid off each others’ words. And since writers tend to be word nerds, you’ll be setting them up for success with this gift.


Image from Amazon

14. Travel Scrabble

If Bananagrams isn’t quite enough to give your writer friend their on-the-go word building fix, there’s also Travel Scrabble. The tiles click into place and the board folds easily in the soft zipper case, so it’s easy to pause a game while traveling and pick back up where you left off.

15. Write like a motherf%#$*er mug

Inspired by a Dear Sugar column written by Cheryl Strayed to a young, aspiring writer, The Rumpus Mug is an anthem for all writers, no matter what their specialty, genre or level of experience. To become a writer, one must begin by writing. It’s a good reminder to go along with your morning coffee.

16. Writing guidebooks

We writers love to nerd out over… you guessed it, writing. Help your writer build their bookshelf, fine-tune their craft and actually make money from their writing with these writing memoirs and guidebooks.

  • Bird by Bird: Some Instructions on Writing and Life by Anne Lamott

  • On Writing — A Memoir of the Craft by Stephen King

  • The Elements of Style, Fourth Edition by William Strunk Jr. and E. B. White

  • How To Blog For Authors And Writers by Joanna Penn (Update: This ebook is no longer available. Instead, try Joanna’s newest ebook: Business for Authors.)

  • You Are a Writer: So Start Acting Like One by Jeff Goins

  • The Writer’s Studio by Jeff Goins

17. Reading is Sexy swag

For a great stocking stuffer or just because, grab a Reading is Sexy bottle opener, magnet, bumper sticker or button.

Reading is Sexy Bottle Opener

Image from Buy Olympia

18. Pop Chart Labs literary poster

Pop Chart Labs is known for their beautifully designed infographic posters, and their literary themed posters are just the gift for a writer with blank wall space to fill. Check out The Great Gatsby Poster and The Cocktail Chart of Film and Literature Poster, which are available as framed or unframed prints.

19. Comfy pants

The great thing about being a full-time writer, blogger or novelist is that you can work from your couch. And this perk can also be a bad thing, because working from your couch doesn’t require pants.

Make sure that special writer in your life is wearing pants in the event a guest or the cable guy stops by. With Betabrand’s Black Dress Pants Sweatpants, made from super soft French terry fleece, they won’t even have to sacrifice comfort.

20. A healthy excuse to get out of the house

When focus is waning, it’s easy to get sucked into the rabbit hole of YouTube videos and blogs. Help your writer friend or family member get back on track with a healthy break in their day. Why not give them a gym membership or pass to a yoga studio? Doing the body good will improve their health and productivity so they can better meet their goals!

21. Healthy snacks to power through

When those deadlines are fast approaching, we’re often tempted to grab the saltiest, sugariest, least-healthy brain food to help us power through. Make sure they always have healthy snacks on hand with a subscription to Nature Box, which delivers a monthly box of dried fruits, nuts and other healthy treats.

22. A trophy for being awesome

That special writer in your life may be a few years or so away from winning the Nobel Prize in Literature or the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction, but that doesn’t mean they don’t deserve a special award for being an awesome writer! Trophy Buffet’s Greatest of All Time Trophy will look great on their bookshelf. (Update: This shop appears to be closed, but we can’t bear to remove it from the list — it’s such a good idea! You could probably DIY a trophy for your favorite writer with a thrift store trip, some craft supplies, and a lot of creativity.)


Image from Trophy Buffet

Are there any writing-related gifts you’re hoping to receive this holiday season?

Want more ideas? Read our list of gifts for writers from 2014 and 2015.

This post contains affiliate links. That means if you purchase through our links, you’re supporting The Write Life — and we thank you for that!

Filed Under: Craft
Free Newsletter

Enjoyed that post? Subscribe for more:

Traveler and blogger Chris Guillebeau

Featured resource

Unconventional Guide to Publishing

Chris Guillebeau introduces the plan you need to finally share your book with the world. Make this your year of becoming an author.


  • sharmishtha says:

    Good ones. Wont mind having some of them myself!

  • Sarina Langer says:

    While I can’t see myself ever getting tired of having a new notebook, I love all of these, too – especially the weekly calender and The Writer’s Toolbox!

  • Varun Kumar Singh says:

    Good articles. I have list of top 10 best gifts which can be corporate gifting

  • Ivy says:

    I am looking for ideas for my soon to be 13 year old budding author. One thing I am thinking about including is a voice recorder. She’s constantly coming up with ideas in the car, or at the store, etc, so I thought this would be a good way to record them when she can’t get to her notebook right away.

  • Tyler Ward says:

    Good ideas for book readers to get away from boring books. Very funny article.

  • Debbie Gartner says:

    Wow, this is such a creative way of doing a holiday gift post. I love this. I have to figure out how I can search and reapply for my website. Actually, I don’t think it will work on my main site (it’s about flooring), but it might apply to a new one I’m creating for women/moms.

  • john says:

    I want to write poem for my girlfriend to gift on her birthday. This site help me very well. Thanks for your gift ideas

  • harrypham says:

    Nice article! Thanks for sharing this.I have learned a lot from this and it really helps in maintaining my blog.

  • iqu khan says:

    nice information

  • Manju Thomas says:

    Those are really awesome gifts!
    Candeberg LED candles

  • Cross Pens says:

    This is a great checklist to go through before you go shopping 🙂

  • Mesmerising gift ideas for writers. I loved the idea of aqua notes, very truly said best ideas strike us when we are in shower. These gifts can be given as birthday gifts also. Thumbs Up for this article!

  • Ellie says:

    Hi, I’ve been looking for a present for my brother-in-law who is writing a book and I thought of a SAD natural daylight light for his desk – how does that sound to the writing community?

  • KnowMyChoice says:

    The Writer’s Toolbox seems to be perfect gift for writers, and it can be very useful when our mind just get stuck & can’t be creative enough to write awesome articles.

Speak Your Mind

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.