4 Best Gifts for Writers: Ideas to Fit Any Budget (Even Yours)

Finding great gifts for writers doesn’t have to be difficult.

Looking for creative writing gifts for the Jane Austen or Stephen King in your life?

Overwhelmed by the myriad of options available on Amazon and Google?

Relax. I’ve got your back.

In this post, I’m going to help you find the perfect gift for your writer friend, spouse, or loved one.

I’ll even give you different price options for each unique gift idea so you can choose the one that best fits your budget.

And best of all? I’m not going to beat you over the head with dozens and dozens of different gift ideas. We’re going to keep things super simple: just a handful of ideas, plus several options for each.

Let’s dive in.

Here are 4 of the best gifts for writers in 2021 (and beyond):

1. A Really Good Pen

Gifts for Writers: A Really Good Pen

Yes, it’s cliche. And, yes, most writers already have a dozen cheap pens scattered around their house.

But a good pen? A really, really good pen?

That’s a different story.

It doesn’t matter if it’s for an aspiring writer, an aspiring novelist, a freelance writer, or a bestselling author. Heck, it doesn’t matter if they already own one (or several).

If you give a writer a good pen, it’s a gift that will be treasured.

Here are Some Nice Pens That Won’t Break the Bank

On a tight budget? That doesn’t mean you can’t buy the writer in your life a solid pen they’ll love.

Prismacolor Premier Illustration Markers are lightweight, virtually smudge-proof, and cost about the same as a candy bar. They’re not much to look at, but for anyone who values function over form (and a low price), they’re hard to beat.

Don’t want a fine-point pen? Or maybe you’d like an upgrade in the “looks” department?

Gifts for Writers: Parker Jotter Pen
Source: Amazon

For around $15, the Parker Jotter is a stainless steel ballpoint pen that’ll turn heads and make people ask, “Is that a Parker Jotter stainless steel pen?”

And if you get it for them, your writer friend or loved one will be able to respond and say, “Yes — yes it is.”

Want to Spend a Little Extra?

The Pelikan Stola III is a handsome ballpoint pen that offers great comfort and balance. If you prefer, it also comes in a fountain pen variety.

Gifts for Writers: Deluxe Stealth Tornado
Source: Amazon

If you’d like something a bit beefier, the Deluxe Stealth Tornado from Retro 51 is worth a look. It feels substantial in the hand and its all-black, stainless-steel design is timeless.

Money No Object? Buy One of These Pens

Is the writer in your life tech-savvy?

You should look into getting him or her the Livescribe Symphony Smartpen Digital Pen. It works on iOS, Android, Windows, and macOS.

Gifts for Writers: Livescribe Symphony Digital Pen
Source: Amazon

Does he or she prefer to write notes on paper?

The Aurora Ipsilon is a classic fountain pen that fits great in the hand and offers smooth, consistent ink flow. You know, if such things matter to your writer friend (and they should).

Finally, consider the Cross Townsend pen — it’s plated in 10 karat gold.

I’ve included it on the list because it’s plated in 10 karat gold.

2. Noise-Canceling Headphones

Gifts for Writers: Noise-Canceling Headphones

Sometimes, the most thoughtful gift you can give a writer is the gift of silence.

No, that doesn’t mean giving them the cold shoulder — it means giving them what I consider to be one of the very best gifts for writers:

Noise-canceling headphones that block out the world’s distractions so you can get down to business and write.

Of course, noise-canceling headphones aren’t cheap. But that doesn’t mean there aren’t good deals to be found.

Let’s look at a few…

Active Noise Cancellation for Under $50

Gifts for Writers: Anker Soundcore Life Q20
Source: Amazon

The Anker SoundCore Life Q20 is an over-ear headphone that offers decent sound, great comfort, and active noise cancellation (ANC) for $60 — and Amazon regularly offers a $10 discount to bring the price down to a cool $50.

With over 27,000 reviews and a 4.5 out of 5 rating on Amazon, it’s little wonder why the New York Times’ Wirecutter lists the Anker Q20 as its budget pick for noise-canceling headphones.

But what if the writer in your life prefers earbuds?

Look into the EarFun Air.

It’s IPX7 rated (meaning it’s sweatproof and waterproof), offers USB-C charging, and has a battery that lasts 35 hours when fully charged.

Plus, the brand is called “EarFun” — how could it NOT be a good time for your ears?

Bigger Budget? Consider One the These

At around $130 on Amazon, the Anker Soundcore Life Q35 takes everything great about the Life Q20 and turns them up to… well, 35.

Gifts for Writers: Anker Soundcore Liberty Air 2 Pro
Source: Amazon

Plus, its active noise cancellation can switch between different modes based on your location. That’s not a big deal if you only wear them in your writing space inside your home, but if you mix things up and sometimes go to coffee shops, outdoor parks, Justin Bieber concerts, etc., it’s a feature you’ll appreciate when those distracting, horrible noises are blocked.

If your writer friend is more of an earbud guy or girl, Anker’s Soundcore Liberty Air 2 Pro is a great option.

It offers many of the features you see with Apple’s AirPods Pro (more on it below), but at a much lower price.

Just think of all the pens you could buy with the money saved!

Rolling in Dough? Get Your Writer Friend One of These Headphones

The Sony WH-1000XM4 is my noise-canceling headphone of choice; in fact, I’m wearing them right now as I write these words.

Gifts for Writers: Sony WH-1000XM4
Source: Amazon

They’re probably my most extravagant purchase to date. So much so that, seconds after purchasing them, I had buyer’s remorse.

“Do you have any idea how many pens you could’ve bought with that money?” I asked myself.

But as soon as they arrived and I tried them on, I fell in love. Put simply: They minimize distractions and make my job infinitely easier.

Of course, with a higher budget, you have other options too. For those who prefer Bose to Sony, the Bose 700 is a great alternative to the WH-1000XM4 (though a little bit pricier).

And if you’re in the Apple ecosystem, two standouts are the AirPods Pro and AirPods Max.

The former is $200 earbuds with legions of die-hard fans and a host of great features.

The latter is over-ear headphones that cost almost $500. And, no, they aren’t plated in 10 karat gold. However, they are adored by almost everyone who’s purchased them.

(I hear the guy from the Monopoly board game can’t stop raving about his.)

3. An Excuse to Read More Books

Gifts for Writers: An Excuse to Read More Books

Most writers are avid readers.

Book lover? Bookworm? Bibliophile? We writers wear these terms as badges of honor.

That’s why a gift — any gift — related to reading is usually a big hit with writers.

Of course, “any gift related to reading” is broad and incredibly unhelpful.

So let’s look at several specific gift ideas you can try…

Books on Writing (Under $20)

Every book lover has their favorite genre, but when you’re buying a book for a writer, getting something related to the craft of writing is usually a safe bet.

Gifts for Writers: On Writing by Stephen King
Source: Amazon

Here are four writing books we routinely recommend to our students:

  1. On Writing Well: The Classic Guide to Writing Nonfiction by William Zinsser — The best book on the mechanics of writing.
  2. Save the Cat by Blake Snyder — The best book on the structure of writing.
  3. On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft by Stephen King (aka Jon Morrow’s favorite writer) — Filled with great quotes and a peek inside the bestselling author’s intense writing routine, this well-known Stephen King book is packed with tips for becoming a frighteningly good writer.
  4. Writing Down the Bones: Freeing the Writer Within by Natalie Goldberg — If you need inspiration or a gentle kick to snap you out of writer’s block, this is the book for you.

And if your writer friend or loved one likes to read at night and needs a handy book light, Amazon has options starting at only $10.

A Kindle Reader (Starts at $60)

If the writer in your life has ever said anything like…

  • “There’s just something about the smell of a good book.” Or,
  • “I love holding a book in my hand and flipping through the pages.” Or,
  • “Tablets are stupid and anyone who reads books on them is stupid. What’s next? Using a laptop instead of a vintage typewriter to craft my next short story?”

…they probably wouldn’t appreciate a Kindle E-reader.

However, if they’ve ever uttered anything like, “Wow… I can’t believe you can fit a thousand books on that one tiny device,” they’d probably love a Kindle.

Gifts for Writers: Kindle
Source: Amazon

The basic Kindle E-reader starts at $60 on Amazon, with the Kindle Paperwhite starting at $85 and the not-gold-plated Kindle Oasis starting at $250.

Also:

If the writer in your life has ever said anything about “taking a hot bath” while “reading a good book,” this $30 bathtub caddy is another creative gift idea to consider.

Blue Light Blocking Glasses (Starts at $69)

Anyone who reads books on tablets (or who works on digital devices all day, which let’s face it, is most of us) needs a good pair of blue light blocking glasses.

Gifts for Writers: Swanwick Blue Light Glasses
Source: Amazon

I don’t pretend to understand the science behind them, but I know from personal experience they reduce eye strain and, in my case anyway, help me to have fewer headaches.

The Swanwick Classic “Day” Swannies ($79 on Amazon) are my daily drivers, and the Swanwick Classic “Night” Swannies ($69) are great for those who work (or read) at night.

True, there are cheaper blue light glasses out there (some as low as $8). But if your writer friend’s experience is anything like mine, the cheaper options will pinch their nose, hurt their ears, and have them wondering, “Are these actually blocking any blue light?”

In other words, they’ll eventually end up buying a brand like Swanwick anyway, so you might as well cut out the middleman.

4. Mug for Coffee (or Tea)

Gifts for Writers: Mugs for Coffee (or Tea)

If your writer friend or loved one is like most people, they rely on coffee (or tea) to get them through their day.

However, since society doesn’t let us inject it straight into our veins, a middleman — a coffee mug, cup, glass, tankard, stein, or chalice — is required to deliver caffeine goodness to our bodies.

Until the day such middlemen are no longer required, mugs will remain a fixture on every writer’s desk.

And that makes them great gifts for writers.

Clever Writing Mugs (Under $15)

Amazon is packed with humorous mugs for writers.

Gifts for Writers: Mugs for Writers
Source: Amazon

Two popular ones are “Please do not annoy the writer, she may put you in a book and kill you” and “I write – what’s your superpower?”, but there are many (many) more.

Want to give off a “do not annoy me” vibe but without the threat of literary death? The “Be careful or you’ll end up in my novel” mug is a good choice.

Does the writer in your life occasionally succumb to writer’s block? The “Writer’s block: When your imaginary friends stop talking to you” coffee mug will keep them company as they stare helplessly at their blank screen or page.

Is your writer friend the type who likes — scratch that, loves — to spot everyone’s spelling and punctuation mistakes? The “I’m silently correcting your grammar” mug will fit them like a warm, slightly condescending glove.

One of My Favorite Writing Gifts: The Magic Creativity Mug for Writers

Want to give the writer in your life a mug that’s more special and unique than what’s available on Amazon?

Henneke Duistermaat, who’s both a talented writer and a talented cartoonist, has a collection of mugs designed to inspire and encourage writers and authors, young and old.

This is the one I purchased for myself:

Gifts for Writers: Enchanting Mugs for Writers

It features Henneke’s alter-ego, Henrietta, moving across typewriter keys on one side, and a hand-written ritual on the other that’s designed to boost your creativity.

If they’re anything like me, the writer in your life will love it.

An Unspillable Mug

If you have a few more dollars to spend, consider getting a mug that’s virtually impossible to accidentally tip over.

Don’t believe such a thing exists?

Check out this video:

The Mighty Mug has “Smartgrip Technology” that prevents accidental spills. It comes in several varieties, but the one I just linked to is stainless steel, double insulated, sweatproof, and BPA-free.

Plus, it fits into any car’s cupholder.

This portability will come in handy when your writer friend needs to leave the house (to buy more coffee).

What do YOU Think are the Best Gifts for Writers?

There are lots of great gifts for writers out there, and this post has only scratched the surface.

That’s why I’d love to hear from you.

What writing tool do you think should be in every writer’s toolbox?

A literary t-shirt or comfy pair of pajamas? A tote bag from Etsy filled with a variety of novel tea flavors? How about a literary journal or membership to a top-notch writing course?

In short:

What are your favorite gifts for writers?

Share them in a comment below!

——
Note: Most of the links above are referral links, which means we may get a small commission if you click on one of the writing gifts and decide to make a purchase. However, there’s no extra cost to you. Thank you for your support!

18 thoughts on “4 Best Gifts for Writers: Ideas to Fit Any Budget (Even Yours)”

  1. So. Many. Pens.
    “Is that a Parker Jotter stainless steel pen?” LOL
    Love your writing, man. Keep it coming!

  2. The big question here Kevin, is what do YOU want for a gift?
    Me?
    As soon as I saw the words “Deluxe Stealth Tornado” I knew I had to have it.
    A pen that’s like a fighter jet? Sold.

    1. Hey Pat,

      That’s a great question. I’m tough to buy for (which is probably why my family long ago pivoted to the “just give Kevin an Amazon gift card” strategy).

      Right now, what I need is a new computer chair. Any recommendations?

      1. Chairs: you need a Häg capisco – sustainable, actively encourages movement, occupies less space than a standard office chair, flexible to use, can use with standing desk, can use on hard floor or carpet – and comes in zillions of great colours – defo what a writer needs – it will change your life.

      2. Hey Kevin! I have a Herman Miller Chair which I bought about 17 years ago (cost a fortune here in NZ!) but I adore it! Had to get the compressed air refilled a couple of years ago, otherwise no problems with it. I love that I can learn right back and it really rests my back without the seat also tipping back. Highly recommended, and all recyclable.
        PS. I loved the article as well! Thank you. I love great pens but hadn’t thought of the noise-cancelling headphones. 😊

      3. Hey Stephanie,

        I’d love a Herman Miller chair. If I ever get one, it (and not my Sony headphones) would be my “biggest splurge” purchase. Just not sure if I’ll ever have the nerve to pull the trigger. Kudos to you for getting yours (and getting so many years of use and enjoyment out of it)! I should probably follow your lead… 🙂

  3. Yay, this post is just in time for the holidays! 🙂

    I’ve found that noise-canceling headphones are a MUST for writers or anyone working from home. I started using a pair of headphones recently and they’ve helped so much in keeping me focused. My productivity has skyrocketed.

    Great suggestions, Kevin!

    1. Hey Mary,

      Glad you liked the post! Yeah, I worked at home for over a year before I finally wised up and bought my Sony’s. It made such a big difference. I can’t believe I waited so long.

  4. Hey Kevin,

    I don’t know if I’ve been living under a rock… I didn’t know about blue light glasses. I think my entire family could enjoy these.

    My suggestion is a different kind of book.

    As many freelancers know, being brave enough to move steadily forward when they’re not sure what they want, causes many to stumble or give up.

    So, I’m reading “Risk Forward Embrace the Unknown and Unlock Your Hidden Genius” by Victoria Labalme.

    It has great guidance on how to move forward and succeed, even if you don’t have your precise goal set.

    Thanks…

    Lyn

    1. Hey Lyn,

      I LOVE my Swanwick blue light blocking glasses. I’d heard about “blue light” and seen recommendations everywhere, so at first I bought a cheap pair. I noticed zero different, so I assumed it was all a scam of sorts. But for some reason (probably because they were having a big sale), I decided to buy a pair of Swannies. Today, I rarely take them off. 🙂

      Thanks for the book recommendation! (And good hearing from you, btw.)

  5. Thank you for prompting forward planning. I shall buy a Parker Steel Jotter for myself and Paperblank journals for my friends, they come in sizes ranging from tiny pocket ones to A4 many with magnetic closure and in wonderful designs and colours

    1. Hey Carenza,

      You’re welcome! I told my wife yesterday, “You know… I think I’m going to buy a Parker Jotter for myself.” You’d think I would already have a good pen of my own (since I wrote this post), but no. 🙂

  6. Patricia Casello-Maddox

    Kevin,

    I love the ideas. My only problem is having to file your great articles under more than one file category (e.g. gifts for writers, headphones.) Thanks for sharing on the Amazon gift card idea and all the other nuggets.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Share
Tweet
Pin
Share
Email