Last Minute Gift Guide for Writers

Do you have a writer in your life? Are they hard to shop for? Fear not, below are several recommendations for the literary soul, ranging from free handmade ideas to more expensive pieces of tech. Most of them can be picked up right through December 25 or whatever your deadline is, but do keep in mind that current supply chain and shipping woes mean ordering physical goods sooner rather than later is the best option.

If there was a fire, your beloved author will probably go straight for their laptop (provided family and pets are safe). There are several software options you can purchase for your writer that are practical and affordable, like Scrivener ($42-$50 for Windows/Mac) or Plotter ($25-$65, depending on the number of devices. Available for Mac and Windows).

Along those same lines, an external hard drive never goes wrong, and options start around $20 on Amazon. Conversely, a paid Dropbox membership starts at $10/month, and is available on Windows and Mac. The membership is billed yearly.

Wireless keyboards and mice are also great–just don’t forget any batteries! I’ve been eyeing typewriter keyboards for my laptop for a while. The mechanical click is super satisfying to many writers, though some prefer absolute silence for writing. Not going to lie, my favorite is this modern looking keyboard with rainbow lights, but I’m also a sucker for anything in blue.

Refilling the Well
Good writers are also avid readers, so why not get your author a book subscription box? Whether it’s just a single month of books and other goodies from Fairy Loot or Owl Crate, or a long term subscription to something like Book of the Month, there are literally dozens of options out there, not matter what country you live in, and at a variety of different price points. You could even create your own gift box by stopping by Barnes and Noble or Half Price Books, or purchasing a gift subscription to Audible.

Lastly, consider e-reading devices. Having had three Kindle Fires that all only lasted about six months, the two I have my eye on personally are the Kindle Paper White, for ease of reading. This is best for people who do a lot of ebooks, and are looking for a better experience and don’t mind a dedicated device for the purpose. If having something more flexible is important, then I’d go with an Ipad mini or an ipad pro, for one big reason: they can also be used as writing devices on the go, and are compatible with Scrivener, Word, and Google Docs, none of which work on Kindle Fire.

These are best for authors of historical fiction, sci fi, or nonfiction. Consider a subscription to an academic resource or journal so they can bypass the paywall and get straight to relevant papers. Museum subscriptions are also a great idea. Talk to your author to find out what type of resource would be most useful for them.

For the Day to Day
Dollars to donuts, your author is probably trying to juggle work, family, writing, hobbies, and housework all at once. Consider gifting them a maid service, meal kit service, or childcare, either through a professional service or volunteering to do the work yourself. Even if it’s just an evening off without distractions, they’re sure to appreciate it.

If none of those ideas feel quite right, you can always just do something simple for fun. Candles, notebooks, fancy pens–I’ve never met a writer who didn’t love these. Gift cards have a bad reputation, but I think they’re a great option, and I will never turn down an extra $20 for groceries, gas, or an excuse to go to the book or craft store. If your author falls into the “starving artist” camp, consider a gift card for an oil change or that’s good at their local garage, since cars have a habit of going belly up in the most expensive way at the worst possible time.

Like what you see? Check out Wish List, Part 1: Knitters and Crafters