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2021 Holiday Giving Guide for Writers: Best Gifts for Writers

Looking for the Best Holiday Gifts for Writers?

You may have seen my guest post for the San Francisco Writers Conference on great gifts for writers where several writer friends from the SFWC community and beyond shared the best writerly gifts they’ve ever received.

Lisa Tener book coach

I got a little carried away with that post. My 500-1000 word maximum turned into over 2,000 words, more of a holiday giving guide for writers than what I’d originally planned.

Sure, “Kill your darlings!” Easy for some people. But I think you’ll want to read the previously expurgated bits the personalized guide based on finding gifts for your writer friends based on their specific challenges, needs and situation, which I had to cut from the post. I’ve also included fun, inspiring and clever delights I found on Etsy, Pinterest and beyond. So, here we go…

How to Find the Perfect Gifts for Writers—Personalized

In the blog post for the San Francisco Writers Conference, Grant Faulkner, Executive Director of National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) shared how difficult it is for gift givers to find a journal or pen he likes, while Sabrina Ricci and Elisabeth Kauffman loved their gifted notebooks and journals. One man’s ho hum is another writer’s howdy-do.

dream journal
A favorite notebook

Some of us writers LOVE a beautiful blank journal or smooth writing pen (Yes, please, I say) and others may re-gift your gift. So, when giving a gift to a writer friend, think of his or her specific situation. What does he really, truly need? What might delight her? What could change the course of their writing life?

Here are some specific writer challenges and appropriate gifts to solve each writer’s problem or meet their goals:

Does your writer friend need the gift of time to write?

  • Offer to take their kids for a meal or outing while mom or dad writes.
  • Cut down their cooking time to buy them an hour plus of writing time: stop by with a home cooked meal, order a meal prep service, or send a hot meal from their favorite local restaurant.
  • Give a time saving kitchen device like an instant pot to cut down on cooking time.
  • Or simply hang a beautiful “Do Not Disturb: Writer at Work” doorknob hanger on their door.

Does your writer friend need more confidence?

  • A good book on writing or editing can help them gain the skills that foster confidence, books such as Stuart Horwitz’s Book Architecture or Jennie Nash’s Blueprint for a Book.
  • Writing coach services or conferences can also help build skills and confidence, plus both offer the support of a coach or community.
  • In my guest post for the San Francisco Writers’ Conference, I shared Frances Caballo’s story of a family friend who believed in her as a writer when her own mother did not. How can you show your writer friend you believe in her? Kind words? A mug or t-shirt with an inspiring affirmation?

Does your writer friend have a new book out?

  • Buy their book! Buy extras for gifts for other writers or readers!
  • Assuming you’ve bought yourself a copy and found a lot to like about the book, considering taking the time to write a thoughtful Amazon review. You can even upload a picture or video of you sharing what you love about it (yes, Amazon lets you enhance your book reviews by uploading a photo or video). While technically, it’s not a gift, it is a wonderfully supportive activity that will mean a great deal to any author.
  • Gift writers with a book on book marketing, such as Rusty Shelton’s and Adam Witty’s Authority Marketing, Frances Caballo’s Social Media Just for Writers or Penny Sansevieri’s From Book to Bestseller. Have a favorite book marketing resource to suggest? Share it as a comment below!

Is your writer friend financially strapped (and are you swimming in stupid money)?

Think about a writer’s gift that is out of the writer’s price range and could mean a great deal to them:

Is this a writer who attends the San Francisco Writers Conference?

How about adding on an extra for them:

  • Speed Dating with Agents featuring more than 20 literary agents. Attendees can pitch their books face-to-face to agents for $75.
  • Agent Conversations: Registrants for the conference can sign up 15 minutes one-on-one with particular agents ($100 per conversation/agent).

More Great Gifts for Writers—Get Playful! Go Etsy!

Still looking for gifts for writers? Let’s visit Etsy: I love to support creative and artistic entrepreneurs and their gifts are often special:

I thought I’d test this out for us before recommending. Isn’t it fun?! The pendant includes your front and back cover artwork, as well as the spine!
  • A beautiful “Storyteller” mug on Etsy.
  • Bookish chocolates. These are cute. I first had in mind some gourmet chocolates in the shape of a book but I’m afraid you may need to order them from across the pond—Cambridge, England.
  • I bought myself a book necklace on Etsy customized with my book cover—front, back and even the spine. It’s super cute and well made! This is another special gift for the recently published author, although you will need to get the author’s book cover design to see the project through.
  • I bought these cute and sturdy book-themed tote bags one year as a gift for writer clients who participated in a focus group. They were a hit.
  • Or how about some “write” and “edit” earrings?
  • A book-inspired lamp is the perfect gift for writers to create ambiance.

I received a fun book, recycled into folding paper art that spelled my name (thank you Jackie Mitchard, author of The Good Son, which we’ll be talking about in January!), a pen that flowed smoother than any other (alas, I do not remember the make) and beautiful journals, some of my favorite made by PaperBlanks.

What’s the best writer’s present you’ve received? What great gifts have you given to the writers in your life?

Lisa Tener

Lisa Tener is an award-winning book writing coach who assists writers in all aspects of the writing process—from writing a book proposal and getting published to finding one’s creative voice. Her clients have appeared on The Oprah Winfrey Show, CBS Early Show, The Montel Williams Show, CNN, Fox News, New Morning and much more. They blog on sites like The Huffington Post, Psychology Today and WebMD.

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