“Those who are happiest are those who do the most for others.”
—Booker T. Washington, 1901
The season of giving is nearly upon us, and in our experience, writers can be a challenging crowd to shop for. That’s why we’ve collected a helpful series of resources and items that we’d be delighted to receive during the holidays. From books and knicknacks to services and videos, this guide offers a compendium of creative experiences, learning tools and gifts for writers of every genre and persuasion.
By Workman Publishing
If you’re looking for gifts for a writer that will keep them reading all year, look no further – this calendar is the perfect present for anyone who loves to write or loves to read. The new 2018 Book Lover’s Page-A-Day Calendar is perfect for writers who are looking for inspiration or simply a great recommended read. This new edition details hundreds of books for readers of all interests, from bestselling authors to literary legends. Get it here.
The Bookishly Crate is a limited edition monthly crate, filled with literary goodies and themed around a particular book that changes each month. You can buy each box as it’s released, or you can check out their various subscriptions. Check out the current boxes and get more details here.
Price: $6.50 – $39.98
PatentPrints has exploded since I first learned about them while writing for graphic design publication HOW Design. Not everything they make is writer-centic, but some of their schematic-style posters are just perfect as gifts for writers and literary enthusiasts. Check out a range of products with these neat designs in their Etsy shop.
Board & Card Games for Writers & Storytellers
created by Jean-Louis Roubira, published by Libellud
Description: Dixit is the classic, simple, lighthearted game of storytelling and guesswork where your imagination unlocks the tale. Winner of the prestigious Spiel des Jahres award, Dixit invites you to use the gorgous, imaginative artwork on the cards to tell brief stories. Each round, one player selects a card from his or her hand, thinks up a sentence, and plays the card facedown, telling the others the sentence conjured by the card. The other players all choose cards that they think match that sentence and play them facedown. The cards are shuffled and then revealed. Players secretly vote for the card that best matches the narrator’s story, and player whose cards are chosen score a number of points. Of course, the real victory in Dixit is not in amassing points, but in sharing a creative experience with your family and friends. Find out where it’s sold here.
by Keith Baker & Atlas Games
Description: In the Gloom card game, you assume control of the fate of an eccentric family of misfits and misanthropes. The goal of the game is sad, but simple: you want your characters to suffer the greatest tragedies possible before passing on to the well-deserved respite of death. Play horrible mishaps like Pursued by Poodles or Mocked by Midgets on your own characters, while trying to cheer your opponents’ characters with marriages and other happy occasions. Printed on transparent plastic cards, Gloom features an innovative design by Keith Baker. Multiple modifier cards can be played on top of the same character card; since the cards are transparent, elements from previously played modifier cards either show through or are obscured by those played above them. You’ll immediately and easily know the worth of every character, no matter how many modifiers they have. You’ve got to see (through) this game to believe it! Learn more here. And check out news about the upcoming digital edition here.
Books About Writing
400 Exercises to Liberate Your Writing
by Bonnie Neubauer
This list would be utterly incomplete without a selection of some of our favorite books. One of our particular favorites at the moment is The Write-Brain Workbook by Bonnie Neubauer, a hefty tome containing 400 beautifully-designed exercises to keep your writing muscles fresh and flexible. Get it here.
Edited by Robert Lee Brewer
If you or someone you know is looking to get published, this is the resource for you. Writer’s Market has long been called the most trusted and comprehensive guide for writing around. This hefty tome is your source for thousands of publishing opportunities—including listings for book publishers, consumer and trade magazines, contests and awards, and literary agents. Beyond the listings, you’ll find all-new material devoted to the business and promotion of writing. Discover the secrets to writing better queries and selling more articles, tips to earn money from blogging, and how to develop a standout author brand. Get it here.
Oh, and the Deluxe Edition includes everything you expect in a regular edition of Writer’s Market, PLUS a one-year subscription to WritersMarket.com. With this subscription, you’ll gain instant access to more than 7,500 listings for book publishers, magazines, contests, literary agents, and more—with daily updates.
And don’t miss these specialized Writer’s Market editions:
Check out more of our favorite books on writing while you’re at it (all available and up to 50% off at WritersDigestShop.com):
by The Philosopher’s Guild
The Philosopher’s Guild is a great resource for silly literary- and philosophy-themed gifts, from these “Much Ado About Nothings” to candles and Little Thinker dolls. Explore at philosophersguild.com.
from Out of Print
Out of Print’s book cover totes are all enthralling gifts for writers—and they have a huge variety. Check out the ones above or explore the full collection here.
Video Games for Writers & Storytellers
Price: $12.99 on Steam
With a great story and awesome gameplay, Typoman is easily my favorite video game out there. This breakout indie game is a lightweight adventure and word game that leads your typographic character on a compelling quest against evil. Embark on a HERO’s journey and encounter endless surprises along the way. Then, once you’ve finished the main quest, you can play two awesome scramble-based mini games. Learn how to get it for a variety of systems here.
Any Telltale game is worth a writer’s time—the storylines are simply excellent. But this one, based on the Fables comic series by Bill Willingham, is uniquely suited to writers, storytellers and fans of classic fairy tales. Play as Sheriff Bigby Wolf—the Big Bad Wold—as he solves a seedy mystery in New York’s Fabletown. All of your choices have consequences and impact what happens later in the game. Fans have been waiting for the release of the next season for quite some time, but we’re told it will drop in 2018. Note: This game contains adult themes and is not recommended for kids. Find out how to get it here.
Know a writer with a completed (or nearly-completed) manuscript? Editing services are a great way to get your novel publication-ready. Our own service, 2nd Draft, provides a high-level review of your writing, pointing out reasons your work may be getting rejected, or may not meet the standards of traditional publication. After an evaluation of your submission, one of the professional 2nd Draft critiquers will provide feedback and advice. You’ll not only learn what’s working in your writing, but what’s not, and—most important—how to fix it. Learn more here.
OverDrive is the world’s leading provider of digital content to libraries and schools. They work with 36,000+ library and school partners to allow students and library-goers access to eBooks, audiobooks and videos from thousands of public libraries worldwide. All you need is an internet connection, a library card or student ID, and the app. Learn more here.
Description: Add a pinch of fairy dust and watch as your imagination takes flight. Peter Pan Limited Edition Notebooks sparkle with the magic of this timeless children’s classic, inviting you to capture and note down your own inspiring journeys, stories and dreams. Each edition celebrates ending up in places we never imagined, writing our own tale of adventure and never growing up. With only 9999 copies available exclusively on moleskine.com and in Moleskine stores, this is an object to treasure. Get it here.
Princeton Architectural Press has these gorgeous notecards featuring quotations by Emily Dickinson. These make great gifts for writers, but you can also use them to pair with your other gifts. Check out the ones above here, or look at their set dedicated to Henry David Thoreau.
Price: $9.96 – $21.96
Okay, okay, so we’re definitely tooting our own horn here, but seriously: Writer’s Digest magazine is a fantastic resource for writers looking to improve their craft, get published, and find insights from the greatest names in the industry. Isaac Asimov, Joyce Carol Oates, Joan Didion, Ray Bradbury, Jack Kerouac, Truman Capote, H.G. Wells, Margaret Atwood and Maya Angelou—yeah, they’ve all been in Writer’s Digest. Experience the knowledge of nearly 100 years of writers. Subscribe here.
by Out of Print
Price: $10 – $18
Out of Print has all sorts of charming goodies for book lovers, but these enamel pins are particularly adorable. Check out their full selection here.
Whether you like to listen to music while you write, or you just consume audiobooks like it’s your job, a nice set of headphones can make a world of difference. Bose is the leading name in audio equipment. Check out their QuietComfort 35 wireless headphones, which are among the highest-rated headphones on the market right now.
Price: TBD—check back on Dec. 2!
It’s our favorite time of year. The Writer’s Digest Annual Conference offers everything you need to advance creatively and professionally as a writer—no matter what stage of your career. Join us, and send your favorite writer friends to experience the magic. Registration for the 2018 conference opens on December 2nd, so stay tuned to writersdigestconference.com.
Alternatively, if you can’t make the Annual Conference or you missed the WD Novel Writing Conference, be sure to tune into our Virtual Conference for Novelists.
Obvious State is a New York City-based creative studio whose work is inspired by language, classic literature and poetry. We’re particularly fond of their book-themed prints, but you can check out all of their products here.
I keep singing Out of Print’s praises, but it’s hard not to when they have such fun and clever products. I particualrly love the visual humor of the Count of Monte Cristo socks above. Check out all of their socks here.
The Gift of Knowlegde: Online Writing Courses, Workshops & Tutorials
There are many sources for online education, but Writer’s Digest is fortunate to have some of the greatest minds in the craft of writing available to instruct our online courses, conduct tutorials and create workshops. Check out our options below:
- Subscription to Writer’s Digest Tutorials
- Live Webinars
- Online Courses & Workshops for Writers
- OnDemand Tutorials
Happy Holidays from the Writer’s Digest family to you and yours!