Many young writers aren’t quite sure where to start. Or they know where to start, but haven’t had any opportunity yet for formal instruction in creative writing (beyond what a school teacher can give them). Luckily, there are scads of resources written by professional writers to nurture the young writer and help grow their talent. We’ve gathered together some of the best inspirational books for aspiring authors along with fun and creative gifts to help them write and get their stories on the page. These gifts can also help them grow their thinking and problem solving skills and learn how to express themselves more easily.
Gifts for Young Writers and Aspiring Authors
Letters to a Young Artist
Anna Deavere Smith, actress and playwright extraordinare, offers advice to young artists from high school age to adult in this sometimes-funny sometimes-heartfelt tome. Smith shares anecdotes from her own life as a writer and artist, and also shares struggles she overcame during her decades-long career. This book is meant not only for young aspiring writers, but also “performers, actors and artists of every kind.”
This book will make an inspiring gift and give great insight on how Anna persevered and built a successful career and reached her goals and dreams.
The Storymatic Kids
This creativity game for adults now has a version for kids that’s perfect for young writers. Storymatic is a box of cards that works like an inspiration machine. You use the 360 cards by drawing them at random and trying to form stories from the cards. You never know where the story will go or how these cards will stretch your imagination.
These cards can be used solo by a writer working on a new story or as a game for the group. And youngsters aren’t limited to writing story with the ideas. It can be used to inspiring drawings, songs, plays, or even more. When used as a game it’s great for families, friends, and even passing the time on road trips. Adults will have as much fun as kids when they play Storymatic. Recommended for ages 5 and up.
The I Love To Write Book: Ideas & Tips for Young Writers
Reccomended for ages 9-14, The I Love To Write Book offers writing exercises, tips, and techniques for young writers to hone their craft. This book offers information about how to start writing a story (as well as poetry, book reviews, news articles), write compelling characters, and even how to revise writing and get your work published.
It also includes inspirational quotes about writing from authors of young adult fiction. Inspiring the budding writer in your life with this awesome gift.
Rory’s Story Cubes Set
These fun cubes were originally created to foster creativity in younger writers. These story cubes are for when you’re stumped trying to come up with a new story idea or they make a fun game. The dice feature illustrations drawn on each side. To play, simply roll the dice and try to create a story idea incorporating all of images. Sometimes it requires really stretching your imagination to make all of the elements come together.
The Story Cubes can be played as a game or used by an aspiring author to break their writer’s block and get a new story idea. There are many themed sets available to match the interests of your young writer. Recommended for ages 8 and up.
This set includes the following Story Cubes:
- 6 Original Dice
- 9 Actions Dice
- 9 Voyages Dice
- 3 Fairy Tail Dice
- 3 Dinosaur Dice
- 3 Crime Dice
The Amazing Story Generator Writing Prompts
Sometimes the biggest struggle for a young writer is coming up with an original story idea. The Amazing Story Generator is the perfect anecdote to writer’s block. Colorful and wacky, this prompt book is perfect for kids and young writers.
This is how it works: the book is spiral bound with three sections on each “page” that turn independently. The three parts are situations, characters, and events. Those three elements can be flipped to numerous story prompt possibilities.
Some example prompts:
- On New Year’s Eve, an unsuccessful comedian is transported to another galaxy.
- In a post-apocalyptic world, a gold prospector assumes a new identity.
- Upon winning the lottery, a reformed hit man meets the ghost of Ernest Hemingway.
This story prompt book is great for young authors and adult writers as well. This book will help inspire your young writer with thousands of exciting and unexpected story ideas.
Novelist at Work sign
Now here’s a very cute idea for a younger writer: A “Novelist at Work” sign. Or heck, even an older writer with a sense of humor. It’s no secret that writers often take inspiration from the real world, and this sign makes that plain.
Designed in the same familiar style as other “WARNING” signs, it reads “Warning: Novelist at Work – Bystanders may be written into the story.” It measures a foot long by 8 inches wide. This sign is great for decorating a bedroom or office and signifying a dedicated writing space.
642 Things to Write About: Young Writer’s Edition
This great guide for 8 to 12 year olds provides a wealth of writing exercises for any young writer. With prompts ranging from “create a haiku about your shoes” to “write a to-do list for a villain,” the aspiring young writer in your life won’t run out of ideas, or at least won’t run out of ideas anytime soon. This book describes itself as “the ultimate playground for imaginative children.”
Adult writers, don’t be jealous, there’s a version for you too: 642 Things to Write About.
Illustory Make Your Own Book Kit
There’s no better way to really inspire and support a young writer than giving them the gift of publishing their own book. This kit has everything you need for your child to make their own storybook. They write and illustrate the story and then you mail it in and receive a professionally bound hardcover book. Your child will be featured as the author on the back cover.
This gift not only gives your child the change to be published, but also creates a beautiful memento that will be even more meaningful when they’re a successful author when they’re older. Recommended age 6+.
Spilling Ink: A Young Writer’s Handbook
It contains 288 pages of ideas and tips for young writers, in an easily readable format. With chapters like “Now we get to the weird stuff: plot” and “Is it really this simple?” Spilling Ink also offers advice on how to journal and name your characters.
Unlike other books, it doesn’t offer “exercises” but instead calls its writing prompts “dares.” Note that this book also contains illustrations.
Is your young writer also interested in drawing or art? Check out gift ideas for kids and aspiring artists.