Are you searching for useful and unique gifts for writers in your life? Or perhaps you are the writer and need ideas of what to ask for during the holidays or for your birthday or graduation. Maybe your family has a tendency to buy you literary-themed mugs, T-shirts, and socks, and while those novelty ideas were cute at first, now you want a gift for writers that you could use.
Below you’ll find 25+ Unique Gifts for Writers That They Will Actually Use and Want. I polled the members of the Shortcuts for Writers: Editing Made Simple Facebook Group, did an inventory of my own favorite products, and combed the Internet for ideas.
I’ll update this gift recommendation list periodically and do some spin-off lists such as book gifts for writers and fun and frivolous gifts for authors, so feel free to post additional ideas in the comments. Ready? Let’s get started.
Please note that this post contains affiliate links. If you click them and make a purchase, then I will receive a small commission which I will use to help support this blog and my YouTube channel.
Desk Gifts For Writers
Hemingway Pencil Cup – This typewriter-themed pencil holder will bring a smile to the face of a writer or aspiring writer. With a faux stone composite and ample room for pencils, it will add some style to their desk. Okay, maybe this a borderline novelty item, but we all need somewhere to keep our pens and pencils, right? So, it will get some decent use.
TaoTronics LED Desk Lamp – How about a smart lamp to shed some extra light for a hardworking author? The LED reflects the light sideways and produces a strain-free light beam that doesn’t harm your eyes. The built-in iSmart USB charging port will power up your devices and keep them right within reach for extra convenience.
Coffee Mug Warmer – This earned high marks from members of the Shortcuts for Writers Facebook group. This coffee mug warmer quietly maintains the optimal drinking temperature for hot drinks to 130 ℉ in 5 minutes. Writers tired of sipping cold coffee or hot chocolate will consider this gift an indulgent treat.
The Synonym Finder by J.J. Rodale – This book features more than 1,000,000 synonyms in a simple alphabetical arrangement. It has been expanded to include thousands of new words and expressions that have entered the language in recent years. It’s a great resource for writers to keep within easy reach on their desk.
Planner Gifts For Writers
The Self-Publishing Author’s Planner – This was highly recommended by a member of the Shortcuts for Writers Facebook group. Here is a snippet from a customer review: “This is an excellent organizer to help keep track of the myriad of details of writing, editing, and marketing that are part of a writer’s life. The layout allows me to be non-linear when I need to brainstorm my plans, and still create the lists I have to check off as I work through them. “
Planner Pad: This is what I personally use. I’ve tried loads of planners, and this one has made me the most productive. I first heard about the Planner Pad from online marketing expert Amy Porterfield. I love how each week there is space to categorize everything you have going on in your life, such as writing, book promotion, social media, freelance work, family, chores, etc. Then you assign specific days for action and block out time to get things done. The company says that if you’re not more focused and organized in six months, you’ll get your money back.
Word Count Stickers – Regardless of which planner you use, consider ordering word count stickers to help you stay on track with your writing goals. If you do a search on Etsy, several choices come up.
Tech Gifts For Writers
Lap Desk for Laptop with Built-in Wrist Support, Mouse Pad, Cellphone, and Pen Holder – A lap desk is a must for authors who use a laptop. I asked my husband for this one as a Christmas gift this year as it is a huge step up from what I’m using now. This one caught my eye as it includes an ergonomic wrist support, a mouse pad for my new wireless mouse, a slot for a cellphone, and a pen holder as I’m always losing pens and highlighters. It’s a little pricier than other lap desks, but my tired wrists will thank me for the wrist support, and it will be nice to have a place for my cell phone and pens as well as a built-in mouse pad. If you don’t want the ergonomic wrist support, then this lap desk has all the other features. And if you just want a simple, no-frills sturdy lap desk, you could also check out this one which comes in assorted colors.
Laptop Computer Case with Shoulder Strap and Side Pockets – I use this roomy case to carry my Chromebook and other supplies when I go on vacation or to write at the library or in a coffee shop. It has plenty of room for power cords, notebooks, pens, snacks, and other items as well as enough padding to keep my device safe.
AmazonBasics Rolling Bag Laptop Computer Case with Wheels – A writer who travels a lot will appreciate this rolling laptop computer case. It fits under airplane seats and has an easy-access front pocket with compartments for smaller items like pens and notepads.
Chromebook – Writers who don’t have a laptop need to consider purchasing one as a laptop has made me much more productive. I love that I’m no longer tied to my desk and can write and work on the go. My favorite spot is my plush recliner in the living room. Personally, I prefer the simplicity of a Chromebook. I quickly adjusted to working on Google Drive, and appreciate that I don’t have to worry about installing anti-virus software like I do on my desktop. I set up my lap desk, flip open the Chromebook, and I’m ready to work. When I take a break, I can even watch Netflix on the screen. If you buy a Chromebook or another laptop, I recommend purchasing a sleeve case for it and a lap desk. Some writers may also prefer a wireless mouse to the Chromebook’s touchpad.
Laptop Sleeve Protective Case – I have this case in coral for my Chromebook and love it. I use it for carrying my Chromebook around the house, or if am bringing it somewhere but don’t need a lot of extra supplies. It’s come in handy while my kids are at a birthday party or a karate lesson and I’m getting a little work done while waiting for them. Just pay attention to the measurements of both the laptop and the case so the fit isn’t too tight. For my Chromebook, I went with the 13-inch case.
Wireless Mouse – Some people prefer using a mouse to a touchpad. That’s where a wireless mouse comes in. You plug it into the device’s USB port, and then it’s just like working on a desktop except without a long mouse cord. You can either buy a mouse pad to go with it, or a lap desk that has a built-in mouse pad like the one above.
Ergonomic Mouse Pad – In the past, I’ve had flare-ups of wrist pain, so I now use an ergonomic mouse pad with a gel-filled wrist support at my desktop. I tried a couple of ergonomic keyboards, but they both stopped working relatively quickly. I found that the ergonomic mouse pad was just as beneficial, and family members sharing the desktop liked that much better than having to deal with the unusual layout and feel of an an ergonomic keyboard.
Gel Memory Foam Keyboard Wrist Pad – I also have this long ergonomic rest pad for my desktop computer. It comes with a small mouse wrist rest also, though I don’t use it as I find a large ergonomic mouse pad more comfortable. This product has an impressive Amazon rating, so most people are happy with the set.
Kindle Fire HD – All writers should understand what it’s like to read an e-book. Since many readers prefer e-books, it’s important for authors to be familiar with the technology so they can get a better understanding of their customers. At least, that’s a good excuse for buying one. Kindle Fires are also fun. You can read on it, choosing from millions of Kindle books and magazine titles. You can even borrow Kindle books from your local library. However, Kindle Fires can do a lot more than store hundreds of books. You can download apps, play games, listen to music from the Amazon Digital Music Store, watch movies and TV shows, check your email, and go on social media.
Tools For Writers
Aqua Notes Waterproof Notepad – Highly recommended by members of the Shortcuts for Writers Facebook group. Why should being in the shower slow down your creative muse? Capture and preserve your ideas on this waterproof pad.
Light Up Pen for Night Writing – Another recommendation from the Shortcuts for Writers Facebook group. These pens feature a bright steady light for writing in the dark. Since many writers get their best ideas overnight, this is a great tool. Pair it with a nice notebook like this leather journal.
Storymatic Classic – A fun way to help overcome writer’s block. This kit has 540 cards with prompts, games, and suggestions. Here is a snippet from an Amazon review: “As an aspiring writer, I sometimes get stuck or hit a road bloack. Whenever this happens, I pull out a few cards and let my imagination go. Never in my wildest imagination would I ever write about a competitive eater, driver of an ice cream truck, or a person with wings at a class reunion talking about broken promises while looking at unflattering portraits of themselves in their yearbook…Yep, this all came from the cards.”
A nice set of retractable black ink pens will also be appreciated by any writer.
Set of 1200 neon page markers – These flags help you find what you want on your manuscript’s hard copy exactly when you need it. Use the different colors to mark different types of edits you have to make such as description, point of view, internal thought, dialogue, etc. The secure, self-stick tabs offer quick and easy tabbing and indexing. They’re easy to write on and simple to remove, replace, or reposition.
Electric Pencil Sharpener – This idea was suggested on Facebook as an addition to this post. I don’t use pencils, but some writers do, and I’ll bet they would appreciate a nice electric pencil sharpener. We have this one in our house as my husband wanted one. He and the kids use it all the time. I do sharpen one from time-to-time, and this is so much better than our previous pencil sharpener.
Amazon Gift Card – How about a gift card to Amazon, or to an office supply store, so the writer can go on a shopping spree?
Comfort Gifts For Writers
Real Ease Neck and Shoulder Relaxer – I have one of these and take it out when I need to relieve a tight neck and shoulders after a long day at the computer. You can use it while reading or watching TV. Looks a little strange, but it works!
Neckbone Chiropractic Pillow – This chiropractic support pillow is great for traveling, sleeping, or just reclining after a long day at the computer. I’ve also given these as gifts to relatives who had neck pain, and they raved about it. They’ve even shown it to friends who were so impressed, they went and bought one for themselves.
Back Buddy Trigger Point Back Massager – Okay, this one looks REALLY weird! My husband makes fun of me when I use it, but boy, does it work for relieving super-tight knotted muscles when he isn’t around to sweet talk into rubbing my neck and back. I use it along with The Trigger Point Workbook: Your Self-Treatment Guide for Pain Relief.
Lumbar Support Back Cushion for Office Chair – I keep this on my office chair when working at my desktop, and have given it as gifts to family members with low back soreness. It relieves tightness in the mid-to-lower back from a long time sitting. My family members appreciated it and said it helped them, and I’m never in my desk chair without it.
Editing Software & Online Courses
ProWritingAid – Use my affiliate link to get a 20 percent discount! ProWritingAid is my favorite editing software, and is a grammar checker, style editor, and writing mentor in one package. You can view my demo above or on YouTube. You’ll learn why ProWritingAid is a helpful spell and grammar checker and editing tool for writers, see examples of the strengths and limitations, and watch me do some informal, off the cuff line editing. ProwritingAid is an excellent supplement to my signature online course Book Editing Blueprint, and it’s a resource that I recommend to my editing clients. You can also read more about it in this blog post.
Book Editing Blueprint: A Step-By-Step Plan to Making Your Novels Publishable – This is my self-paced signature course for beginner and intermediate fiction and creative nonfiction writers. In Book Editing Blueprint, your mission is to learn how to do a thorough developmental, line edit, and copyedit and to create a solid action plan. By the end of this 10-module course, you’ll have prepared a detailed editorial report of your draft and will be armed with a simple self-editing checklist to guide you through your revisions. My goal is to simplify the editing process and to save writers money on repeated rounds of editing. It’s a proven system that outlines what to do before hiring an editor.
Stacy Juba has written sweet and sassy chick lit novels, mysteries about determined women sleuths, and entertaining books for young adults and children. She has had novels ranked as #5 and #11 in the Nook Store and #30 on the Amazon Kindle Paid List. Her books include the Storybook Valley chick lit series and the Hockey Rivals young adult sports novels.
Stacy is also a freelance developmental editor, online writing instructor, and an award-winning journalist. Her signature course, Book Editing Blueprint: A Step-By-Step Plan to Making Your Novels Publishable, empowers fiction writers to think like an editor so they can save time and money. She also runs the Shortcuts for Writers: Editing Made Simple group on Facebook, an international community of more than a thousand members. Join her Facebook group and download the free toolkit 7 Simple Steps To Nailing Your Book Blurb.