From books, headphones, bookends, novelties and games to services, subscriptions and videos, this guide offers a compendium of creative experiences, learning tools and gifts for writers of every genre and persuasion.
With help from the rest of the Writer's Digest team, I've rounded up some of my favorite literary goodies and writerly gifts I've bought this year—or just wish I had. If you're looking for gifts for writers in your life or just want to treat yourself, check out this helpful reference guide.
1. Mountainsmith Adventure Office Messenger Bag
I cannot recommend this bag by Golden, CO-based Mountainsmith enough. It's lightweight, has pouches for my laptop, pens, notebooks, my giant DSLR camera and everything else I carry on a regular basis. It's practical for hiking and travel too. Take it from someone with cranky shoulders: This messenger bag is a top-tier choice if you're looking for a durable, versatile daily briefcase alternative or an all-purpose travel accessory.
2. Litographs T-Shirts
The reason you love your favorite books isn’t just the cover—it’s the words. Wear the text of your most beloved stories on your sleeve (like Moby Dick, shown above) with a shirt from Litographs. They also make posters, blankets and other fun printed merch.
3. A Writerly Mug
Turn up your caffeinated sass with a mug just for you. Note: Writer's Digest is not responsible for punctuation-centric fights that may begin as a result of the mug on the left.
Put something in that mug above with Novel Teas, containing 25 teabags individually tagged with literary quotes from the world over, made with English Breakfast tea.
5. Typewriter Keyboard
Enjoy the tactile touch of a typewriter with this keyboard with wireless options and an integrated tablet stand. Use it with your computer, tablet or phone for an authentic, high-quality writing experience.
6. A Subscription to Writer's Digest
Obviously I'm a little biased because I'm one of the editors, but as a totally-independent writer, I would recommend the same thing. Writer's Digest magazine will be 100 years old in 2020, and in that century we've learned a lot about what writers need to succeed. Get our annual subscription to discover craft techniques, industry trends, markets for selling your work, resources for writers, tips for finding agents and editors—plus so much more. It's great for novelists both published and aspiring, freelance writers, poets, short story writers, agents and more.
You can also subscribe to our VIP program for a bit more to add access to WritersMarket.com, access to writing tutorial videos, discounts on our online writing courses and competition entry fees, and more. Learn more here.
7. Laptop Desk
Working from home has never been easier or more comfortable. Work on your next masterpiece on your sofa or in bed with this laptop and tablet tray.
8. Literary Insults Chart
What's more inspiring than a selection of creative insults from your favorite authors? This snark-filled chart compiles unforgettable insults in an interconnected map.
9. Classic Parker Fountain Pen Set
Dip into a classic writing experience with this gorgeous fountain pen set, which includes pens, nibs, ink, cartridges and a care and instruction booklet.
10. Literary Temporary Tattoos
Featuring classic book-themed quotes, mantras for book lovers, celebrations of punctuation, and more, these temporary tattoos are the perfect way for bibliophiles to get inked in a non-permanent way.
Books, books and more books. WD Books publishes the greatest books on writing in the industry, including tomes on technique, getting published, grammar, genre fiction, freelance writing and more. Here are a few of our favorite recent releases:
A Hands-On Guide from Story Creation to Publication
by Ann Whitford Paul
Fully updated and thoroughly revised, Writing Picture Books Revised and Expanded Edition is the go-to resource for writers crafting stories for children ages two to eight. You’ll learn the unique set of skills it takes to bring your story to life by using tightly focused text and leaving room for the illustrator to be creative.
Award-winning author Ann Whitford Paul helps you develop the skills you need by walking you through techniques and exercises specifically for picture book writers. Buy it here.
Expert Advice for Writing with Authenticity in Science Fiction, Fantasy, & Other Genres
Edited by Dan Koboldt
Science and technology have starring roles in a wide range of genres—science fiction, fantasy, thriller, mystery, and more. Unfortunately, many depictions of technical subjects in literature, film, and television are pure fiction. Collecting articles from editor Dan Koboldt’s popular blog series for writers and fans of speculative fiction—plus a collection of never-before-published articles—Putting the Science in Fiction connects you to experts in the field. Scientists, engineers, medical professionals, and others share their insights in order to debunk the myths, correct the misconceptions, offer advice on getting the details right, and help writers create more realistic yet engaging stories to satisfy discerning readers. Buy it here.
Get Published in Five Weeks
By Susan Shapiro
In frank and funny prose, the bestselling author of 12 books walks you through every stage of crafting and selling short nonfiction pieces. She shows you how to spot trendy subjects, where to start, finish and edit, and divulges specific steps to submit work, have it accepted, get paid, and see your byline in your favorite publication in lightning speed.
With a foreword by Peter Catapano, long-time editor at The New York Times where many of Shapiro’s pupils have first seen print, this book offers everything you need to learn to write and sell your story in five weeks or less. Buy it here.
edited by Robert Lee Brewer
Want to get published and paid for your writing? Let our iconic, industry-lauded 2019 Market books guide you through the process with thousands of publishing opportunities for writers, including listings for book publishers, consumer and trade magazines, contests and awards, and literary agents—as well as new playwriting and screenwriting sections. These listings feature contact and submission information to help writers get their work published. Explore all of the 2019 editions here.
15. Bose Noise Cancelling Headphones
Bose's line of noise cancelling headphones are perfect for those times when you’ve had a little too much overheard-in-the-coffee shop unintentional dialogue research.
16. The End Bookend
Is this guy about to be crushed under the weight unread books, or is he using his superpowers to lift them back up? Either way, this bookend will help keep your personal library safe while you’re busy answering that question in your own book.
17. The Writer's Toolbox Games & Exercises
Designed by a longtime creative writing teacher, this kit includes a 64-page booklet filled with exercises and instructions that focus on a "right-brain" approach to writing. Sixty exercise sticks, First Sentences, Non Sequiturs, and Last Strawswill get stories off the ground, 60 cards fuel creative descriptions, and four spinner palettes will ignite unexpected plot twists.
18. Typewriter Coaster Set
Protect your desk or coffee table from unsightly rings with this five-piece Typewriter Coaster Set, containing four coasters and a replica vintage-style typewriter that acts as storage.
19. Out-of-Print Writing- and Book-Themed Scarves
Out of Print always has the most lovely accessories for writers, and these scarves celebrating banned books and libraries are no exception.
Scrivener is unparalleled novel-writing software for both Windows and Mac. Scrivener is a word processor and project management tool created specifically for writers of long texts such as novels and research papers. It won't try to tell you how to write—it just makes all the tools you have scattered around your desk available in one application. Scrivener provides access to the full power of the OS X text system: add tables, bullet points and images and format your text however you want. Define ranges of text as footnotes and they become footnotes when you export or print. And because the way you view your text onscreen may not always be how you want to see it in print, Scrivener makes it easy to format the printed or exported text completely differently from what is onscreen - leaving you free to focus on the actual writing.
21. Edgar Allan Poe Tote
Writer's Digest art director Jason Williams (a.k.a. OozyInk) designed this adorable Edgar Allan Poe image. On Threadless, you can get it on a t-shirt, mug, phone case or tote bag.
22. Hoopla (and a Library Card)
Please, please support the written word by paying for books from your favorite authors and writers. But please, please also treat yo’self to that fabulous institution that is our public libraries, with this easy-to-use app that lets you instantly borrow ebooks, digital movies, music and more—for free!—using just your library card.
23. Editing Pencils
I’m the worst when it comes to editing my own writing, especially on a computer screen. But if I print off a copy and can write on the page, I instantly see things to change. These pencils are great because I can use red for errors and blue for new ideas or additions.
24. Once Upon a Time Storytelling Card Game
Tell your own fantastic tales of brave heroes and daring adventure! Once Upon a Time is the award-winning storytelling card game that encourages creativity and collaborative play. One player is the Storyteller, and begins telling a story using the fairytale elements on her Story cards, guiding the plot toward her Ending Card. The other players use their own cards to interrupt her and become the new Storyteller. The winner is the first player to use all her Story Cards and play her Ending Card. The object of the game, though, isn't just to win, but to have fun telling a story together.
25. Enamel Pins
Decorate your bags, laptop cases and lapels with these adorable enamel pins!
26. The Gift of Education
Did you know that WD collects all of its tutorials and webinar recordings at tutorials.writersdigest.com? You can access all of them (and watch previews for free) with a subscription to the site. It's only $25 for a month of access (or $16.58 per month if you subscribe for the full year) to hours and hours of educational material, advice from literary agents and more. Check it out here.
28. Peter Pan Writing Gloves
Is your workspace chilly? Keep typing with these cozy and fashionable fingerless gloves! They also come in Jane Austen and Lewis Carroll editions.
29. Sunrise Simulator Alarm Clock
I've been trying to carve out some extra writing time in the morning, but when it comes time to wake up I never want to leave behind my soft pillows and the warmth of my bed. These alarm clocks that gradually light up to simulate the sunrise are high up on my "To Buy" list.
Like Scrabble, but on speed; with letter tiles, but no playing board. This anagram puzzler is suitable for all ages, and is more about quick thinking and creativity than having a Merriam-Webster brain (though that helps).
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