Last Minute Gifts for Writers

Christmas is almost here. In fact, it’s only four days away. Now, if you’re like me, you have all of your holiday shopping done, and are just looking forward to (or dreading) all the cooking, baking, and candy-making that will take place over the next couple of days. Editor’s note: this is the first time I can remember where I’m not scrambling around two days before Christmas to get last-minute gifts.

If at least one recipient on your last-minute-gifts list is a writer, I can help! Here’s my list of last-minute gift ideas for writers. You’ll note that none of these requires overnight shipping, and some can even be purchased at your local grocery or drug store.

  • Pens: Writers can never have too many pens. Spring for the good quality ones, or buy one of those packs of 50 or whatever it is. The budget option is to go to your local drugstore, but if you can, check out your local office supply or stationery store for better options.
  • Notebooks: Writers can sometimes be particular about their paper goods, but a nice notebook is almost always appreciated, and shows you have their interests in mind. Moleskines are a hit, though are mostly only available in bookstores or nicer stationery stores. Check the thickness and the smoothness of the paper (thicker and smoother generally equals higher quality). Pocket-size notebooks are also a good idea.
  • Printer Paper and Cartridges: If you know what kind of printer someone has, buying printer cartridges is always a good idea for writers. We print things out to proof, to mail to publishers or agents, or for our beta readers. And all that paper and ink gets expensive. Bonus tip: make sure you buy us recycled or FSC-certified paper, as it goes a long way toward making us feel a little bit better about all the environmental damage we’re doing in the pursuit of our dreams.
  • iTunes Gift Cards: A lot of writers like to listen to music either while they’re writing, or while they’re brainstorming. And this is safer than buying them specific albums. The other upside to iTunes gift cards is that they can be used to buy iPhone and iPad apps, iBookstore books, and anything else from iTunes. Most grocery and drug stores are now carrying big kiosks of gift cards. 
  • Bookstore Gift Cards: Supporting local bookstores is something a lot of writers are passionate about. If you live in the same town (or nearby) to your giftee, buy them a gift certificate to their local bookstore. If you don’t live nearby, call the bookstore in their town and ask if they’ll mail a gift certificate for you (to the recipient, of course). Since local mail usually only takes a day or two, it should arrive in time for Christmas. If a local bookstore isn’t an option, buying a gift card for one of the major chains is also a thoughtful gift.
  • Babysitting Time: If your writer friend/family member has kids, offer to take their kids for a day specifically so the writer can take some personal time to write. It’s a thoughtful gift, and something a lot of writers will really appreciate.

Have other last-minute gift ideas for writers? Share ‘em in the comments!

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