Monday, January 14, 2008

Gifts for Writers

If you have a friend or a love that is a writer, you can earn many kudo points by giving them writing-related gifts for Valentine's Day.

Unfortunately, if you're not a writer yourself, knowing what a writer will or will not like is tricky, and chances are you know what it feels like to get the gift wrong.

Here is a list of gifts for writers... what TO give and what NOT to give.

(Keeping in mind that [blah blah blah] everyone is different, results my vary, etc.)


1. A box of paper. The link shows computer paper. It's especially nice for someone who does a lot of printing at home.

2. Pens. It's fabulous fun to write with a pen with your name or favorite quote on it. But remember... one pen is not enough! If you give only one special pen, the writer in question will probably not use it, preferring to 'save' it, because it is so nice and special. Help them out by giving them at least ten! Then they can enjoy your gift guilt-free!

3. Weird things. Be careful with this one. Many writers like the odd and unusual. While the pickled body of a two-headed calf fetus from France might appeal to one writer, it may shock and disgust another, even if that same writer recently expressed interest in a collection of mummified human hands (true story) (I'm kidding).

4. Seasonal items.

Everyone loves to decorate for the holidays, but few are willing to spend the money to buy the equipment. Christmas stuff is on major discount right now, so buy cutsy Christmas gifts for next year!

Also: Customized Candy Hearts

Get hearts with their name on it, or any other fun or funky phrase that will be special to them.

5. Movies. Everyone loves movies. Stick with the classics or the indie films, and try to make them special editions, with lots of interviews in the special features. Or boxed sets.


1. Clothing. Unless you know the person's exact size (For God's sake -do not get it wrong! Too big or two small... both send the wrong message!) and colors, don't even go there. Instead, get a gift card, and if you have seen something you think they would like, include a note describing the piece and where they can get it. You could even put an array of sizes on hold for them.

2. Household items. Sure, this vintage tumbler may seem hip and lovely, but there's no accounting for personal taste or decorating. Refer again to the gift cards.

3. Journals and diaries. It follows the same lines as the pens mentioned above. Some are just too beautiful to write in! See gift card.

4. Books. This one might come as a surprise. But unless it's a rare or signed copy of an already beloved book, or something the two of you have discussed, or a fascinating encyclopedia on an interest that, again, you two have discussed, please please please go with the gift cards! You might think a novel is perfectly wonderful, only to find out the giftee hates that author. Please see entries concerning Christopher Paolini.

5. Pets. Yes, kittens and puppies are charming, but allergies, living agreements, and financial concerns make this a guaranteed disaster! Especially if the giftee has recently lost a pet. Trust me, if they want another one, they will take the initiative to replace Fluffy or Spike. You showing up with Fluffy2 is not going to make them happy.


Writers are fascinated by the unique, the rare, and the one-of-a-kind. Shopping for a writer friend out of state? Get them something from a fun mom-and-pop store that they can't get where they live.

If all else fails, make a scrapbook of good times together. Some of my best gifts to friends have been binder-notebooks filled with funny quotes, shared anecdotes, and crazy photographs of us together.

Get creative by reading the following blogs:
Keri Smith
Little Birds
Scrapbooking Site

or try Indie Gifts


Jaden said...

You forgot Gobs and Gobs of Money. Writers like that most of all!

Sorry I've been gone for the past weeks... probs and such. I'm half-scared to watch the Paolini video... you hear he's going to call the book "Brisingr"? What happened to naming all the books to start with the letter "E"?!?!

- Jaden

Kaleb said...

Yes yes! You have what writers want for gifts. Except you missed:

A. Royalty Checks
B. Recognition from Royalty
C. Invitation into Royalty