DIY A Customized Writer's Gift Basket

Make Your Own Gift Basket for Writers

Make Your Own Gift Basket for WritersGift baskets are a great gift idea, no matter the recipient. They contain many smaller gifts that when combined together makes one AWESOME gift. And if you assemble your own gift basket, you can completely customize it for the receiver. That means you’ll be giving a gift that’s extra thoughtful and will be appreciated by the writer. At first, the thought of making your own gift basket may be a little overwhelming. What will you include? Will they enjoy it? Will it be expensive? No worries, we break it down for you in easy steps so you can focus on the details and great a perfect, personalized gift for your favorite author. By following these steps for making gift baskets for writers, you can create a basket of any size, to fit any budget.

Since you’re building this gift basket yourself, feel free to pick and choose from our suggestions what will work best for your basket. You want to create an unforgettable gift made specifically for the receiver.

DIY Gift Basket for Writers

The first thing to keep in mind when you decide to assemble this gift basket, you want to get into your writer’s head. Observe what their writing routine looks like. How do they write (longhand in a notebook, on a computer, on a typewriter, on their tablet)? Find out what kind of projects they’re working on (the type of gifts you buy will be different for a poet vs. a novelist or someone working on a short story collection instead of a debut novel). What genres do they write in (literary fiction, sci-fi and fantasy, romance, young adult, etc.)? Take notes as you observe your writer and do some secret sleuthing.

The Basket

This is a step you’ll either want to do first or last. You can pick the perfect basket or container and then get as many items need to fill it or you can pick out all of your gifts and then find the best-sized container.

Once you’re ready to pick the basket, remember that it doesn’t have to be a basket at all. It can be a wrapped box, a gift bag, or the container can be a useful gift itself like a tote bag or a pretty storage box.

If you’re extra crafty, you could take a brown paper bag with no printing on the outside and use a typewriter style stamp set to stamp on the name of the gift receiver, a quote from their favorite book, or even just a random pattern of letters and numbers.


This is a no-brainer for gift baskets for writers. Pens are a universal tool that almost all writers use at some point, whether they write by hand or just use it to jot down notes about their work in progress. There’s also a lot of flexibility here to customize this gift for your writer. You can buy a box of ball point pens, invest in the fountain pen they’ve always dreamed of, or include a fun and silly pen.

You may need to do a little snooping to figure out what kind of pens your writer prefers. See what they keep on their desk or what they’re using the next time they write in their journal. Or you could even bring it up in casual conversation. If they have a strong opinion about what pens they like best, they might share all the pros and cons with you.

Notebook or Journal

This is another no-brainer for any writer and a must have for a gift basket for writers. Even if they write mostly on a computer, every writer needs to have a few notebooks on hand for brainstorming, freewriting, journaling, or even just writing down ideas and inspirations. If you know what type of journal or notebook your writer prefers, include one in your basket. If you don’t know or the author you’re assembling this basket for doesn’t have a preference, we’ve still got a couple ideas for you.

Moleskin notebooks and journals are extremely popular among writers and other creative types. They make regular sized journals and pocket sized notebooks in a variety of styles and colors.

Another type of notebook that most writers will find useful is a pocket sized notebook. These can easily slip into a pocket, purse, or backpack so they can jot down notes wherever they are when inspiration strikes. Field Note notebooks are perfect for this use.

We also have an article about journals for writers if you need more gift basket inspiration.

Treats and Other Edibles

No writer’s gift basket is complete without something tasty added in. This another easy way to really personalize this gift for your author. And the best thing about this idea is you can add as many different treats as you want! We would recommend adding at least two different types of treats.

The first type of treat would be something that your giftee enjoys when they’re writing. Some writers like a hot cup of tea or coffee when they sit down at the keyboard. Pick up some of their favorite brew and include a fun writer mug. Other writers may have a snack they enjoy when they write or a particular gum they chew when they’re looking for inspiration. You may want to observe them during their writing time to see what treats they like to enjoy most often.

The second type of treat is what we like to call a “reward treat.” It’s usually a sweet or another type of decadent or expensive snack that the writer likes to enjoy after a successful writing session. If your loved one is a chocoholic include their favorite bar or a bag of truffles. If they can’t get enough Girl Scout Cookies, include a box of their fave. If you love to bake, this is the perfect opportunity to make them a yummy treat.

Writing Book

Including a writing related book is a great way to inspire and educate the writer you’re making this gift basket for. This could be a book on fiction writing craft, a reference book or just an inspirational book. If you know who their favorite author is, you can always search to see if they’ve written a book about writing that will help inspire them.

If your author is working on a particular type of project, like a novel or a screenplay, there are plenty of writing books available that can assist them with their work.

If you’re still drawing a blank on a good book gift for your writing gift basket, poke around on Amazon and may find just the perfect one.

Something Inspirational

Write Drunk Edit Sober Art Print

You may think you have this covered with the book you chose for your writer’s gift basket, but this gift could have a different intention. It could be a book, it could be a game, it could be a piece of jewelry, it could be a print that memorializes their favorite author or book. What you want is something that inspires them to continue the hard journey of being a writer, even when they’re stuck on the last chapter of their book or getting frustrated over rejection letters.

This could be a book or a toy to destroy writer’s block or an inspirational writing book. Etsy is a great site to look for prints or other gifts with quotes from authors or books. A small framed print that they can hang over their writing desk will help them get through the tough times and remind them why they write to begin with.

Something Fun

This can be something small, even something extremely personal that doesn’t have anything to do with writing. But it’s nice to include at least one thing that’s fun, kooky, or unexpected. This can be a writing game, a fun bookmark, a desk toy, or even a little trinket of something they love.

If you need a little inspiration, check out our articles on gifts for writers under $15 and our megalist of creative gifts for writers.

Something Personal

Get a little DIY and include something personal in your gift basket for writers. Include a card with a note about what you hope they’ll be able to achieve with their writing and the meaning behind any of the gifts in the basket.

If this gift is for a spouse or partner, you could make some IOU coupons to help support their writing. Include things like “Watch the kids for 2 hours while you write” or “Do the dishes so you can write.” Personalize them and it’s a cheap and meaningful gift that will show them that you support their writing.

There’s no limit to what you can do for this part of the gift. This is where you can really add a personal touch, something memorable they will never forget.

Gift Card

This may seem like a cop-out gift, but it’s not if you put some thought into it. Is there a coffee shop or cafe that they like to write at? Do they love to buy loose teas from an artisan tea shop in town? Are they so addicted to Starbucks that they can’t even open their laptop until they get their fix?

This is a compact addition to your writer’s gift basket that can help enable their writing habit.

Optional: Something for Celebrating

Champagne for Celebrating WritingIf your writer has a goal they’re working on, like finishing their novel or selling their first story, you can include something to help them celebrate the big moment.

A small bottle of champagne or their favorite sparkling beverage with a personalized note about what it’s for will show them that you believe in them and know they will achieve their dreams soon.

If champagne isn’t their thing, consider expensive chocolates or a gift card to their favorite restaurant. Whatever way they would want to celebrate their achievement, find a way to include that in the basket.

Putting it All Together

Once you’ve purchased all your gifts and the basket they will go in, you can assemble your gift. You can get as fancy with this as you want, including tissue paper or other fillings to cushion the gifts in your basket. You can also wrap up the basket or box in cellophane or wrapping paper. Add a store-bought or handmade name tag to address it to the writer.. Go wild and be creative if you want to.

Once it’s ready, present it to the write and enjoy how they react to your thoughtful and useful gift basket.

Making a gift basket for writers isn’t for everyone. If this article has you inspired, but you’re still not sure what gifts to buy for the writer in your life, don’t worry! We have a ton of other articles with gift ideas and suggestions. Check out fun and unique gifts for writers and practical writing gifts for more ideas.

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Make Your Own Gift Basket for Writers - DIY gift basket for writers

15 Stocking Stuffers for Writers under $15

15 Stocking Stuffers for Writers Under $15

15 Stocking Stuffers for Writers Under $15

When shopping for gifts, sometimes it’s hard to come up with creative ideas or to find a memorable gift that stays under budget. We’re here to help you with this article. We’ve got 15 fun and creative gifts for writers that will help anyone stumped to come up with a fabulous gift idea. These stocking stuffers for writers feature practical gifts like pens and journals, plus fun gift ideas and knick-knacks that any author will appreciate and love. These gifts are super affordable, all priced under $15 so they’re great for stocking stuffers, white elephant gifts, birthday gifts, or just an everyday gift for the writer or aspiring author in your life.

15 Stocking Stuffers for Writers

1. Library Card Zipper Pouch

This nostalgic throwback to retro library days is the perfect stocking stuffer for writers. Designed to look like an old library card, this zipper pouch is perfectly sized to hold pens, pencils, and any other accessories your writer wants to carry around.

Available in white or yellow.

2. 1,000 Awesome Writing Prompts Book

Help battle writer’s block with this amazing gift! Inspire creativity and foster new ideas with this book that has 1000 writing prompts. These prompts are great for any writer and any type of writing. Slip it in a stocking or wrap it up and put it under the tree, this is a practical and thoughtful gift for writers.

Check out more gifts to destroy writer’s block.

3. Portable Typewriter Patent Poster

Portable Typewriter Patent Poster

This is a cool decoration that is affordable and completely original. Featuring the skematics from a vintage typewriter patent in 1896, the artist cleaned up the image and offers it printed in 4 different sizes and available in 9 different colors, so you’re sure to find your writer’s favorite color. This print is delivered in a rolled tube–perfect to stick in a Christmas stocking. Or you can buy an affordable frame and wrap it up as a present.

Check out more typewriter gifts.

4. HIPPOMARK Hippo Bookmark

Writers are naturally readers and they always need bookmarks. This bookmark is so cute, featuring a hippo that looks like it’s just swimming at the surface of the pages of your book. If you’re looking for super cheap stocking stuffers for writers, bookmarks are perfect. This one is adorable and practical.

Check out more bookmark gifts for writers.

5. Lost Art of Penmanship Mug

If the writer you’re shopping for also loves drinking coffee, tea, or hot chocolate, then this gift is a slam dunk. This mug features the Zaner-Bloser cursive alphabet and numerals along with the teaching arrows that we all used in elementary school when we learned to write. This gift set also comes with a tiny pad of paper and pencil, so the author can practice their cursive handwriting.

This is a super cute stocking stuffer any writer will enjoy. Make this gift even better by including some of their favorite coffee or tea.

6. Rustic Tree Pencils

This is a fun and unique gift for writers who are in touch with nature. These rustic pencils are made from real tree branches to create a natural look. Comes as a pack of 12 5″ long pencils ready to tuck in your stocking.

7. Storyteller Keychain

Storyteller Keychain - Stocking Stuffers for Writers

Writers are storytellers and this classy keychain is a great way to celebrate their craft. This minimalist keychain is a 3″ bar of aluminum with the word “storyteller” stamped into it.

8. Red Co. Journal with Embossed Quill

All writers need a journal, whether they like to write their stories by hand, to take notes, or just to record their daily life. This textured PU leather cover features an embossed quill feather on the cover. It’s the perfect size to tuck in a purse or backpack and take anywhere so it’s available when inspiration strikes.

9. Classic Fountain Pen

The perfect gift to go with a new journal is a new pen! Anyone can buy a plain ol’ ballpoint pen, but a fountain pen makes a great gift for a writer. This gorgeous fountain pen is in a mid-range price (meaning it’s under $15!) that is still great quality. It comes with a medium nib and is refillable, so your favorite writer can use it to write a short story or a novel.

Looking for a gift that is a little more kooky and fun? Check out these quirky and weird pen gifts for writers.

10. Notebook Paper Socks

These socks are cute, plus the blank page will be inspirational. This is a great gift for girls and guys. The socks hit mid-calf and go great with pants or skirts.

11. Go Away…I’m Writing Sign

Go Away...I'm (not) Writing Sign

Signs are great stocking stuffers for writers. This is the perfect gift for the procrastinating writer. The sign says “Go away…I’m writing very busy doing things I don’t need to do so that I can avoid doing the thing I’m actually supposed to be doing.”

This is great to display on an office wall or hang from a doorknob.

12. Punctuation Earrings

Punctuation Earrings - Stocking Stuffers for Writers

These earrings are super cute and not found in store. These dangling earnings feature punctuation marks. These handmade earrings feature a question mark and an explanation point. There’s no question that any writer would love these earrings.

13. Typewriter Pop-up Note Paper

This is a cute and handy gift for any writer, and the perfect size for a stocking stuffer. This tiny red typewriter holds notepaper that pulls out of the top of it like a freshly written manuscript page. These are great for the office or to display proudly on a writer’s desk.

14. A Writer’s Workbook: Daily Exercises for the Writing Life

Looking for a gift that will inspire the aspiring author in your life? This Writer’s Workbook from Caroline Sharp is a great gift idea. It features daily exercises to help build a writing habit and develop creative skills. This book is great to combat writer’s block.

Check out more gift ideas from the best books on writing fiction.

15. Scrabble Crosswords

Most writers love Scrabble and they’re good at it, too. That can make it tricky to find a Scrabble partner to play with. This book of crosswords is a great alternative. All of the words in these puzzles follow the same Scrabble rules, so this is a great way to improve their vocabulary and challenge their mind. It’s also perfectly priced to be a stocking stuffer for writers.

Check out more gifts for Scrabble lovers.

We hope these stocking stuffers for writers have inspired you to find the perfect gift for the aspiring author in your life. These gifts are geared for Christmas stockings, but also work great for birthday gifts as well or putting together a gift basket. If you’re still stumped, check out these stocking stuffers for book lovers and cozy stocking stuffers.

Want to see fun and creative gifts for writers and book lovers? Try our megalists of gifts for writers and gifts for readers.

Monarch Specialties Corner Desk with Shelves

Corner Desks with Hutch for Writers and Home Offices

Corner Desks with Hutch for Writers and Home Offices

Writers typically own a lot of books, including books they want to keep close at hand while they’re writing like reference books and books on writing craft. Some writers just like to keep their favorite books nearby for inspiration or motivation. No matter the need, corner desks with a hutch fit cozily into any office or bedroom and provide lots of storage space.

We’ve rounded up some of the best corner desks with hutch available, with a variety of sizes and prices. They also feature different styles so you’re sure to find one that matches the decor of your space. When you’re shopping for a writing desk, you should keep in mind not only price and the look of the desk but also the amount of storage offered. If you spend a lot of time typing on a keyboard, you may want to look for a desk with a keyboard tray to allow for ergonomic posture. Keep all these things in mind as you check out our recommendations.

Corner Desks with Hutch

Cabot Collection Corner L-Desk with Hutch

If you have the space and need lots of storage, this L-desk from Cabot Collection is a fantastic option for any writer. The desk provides plenty of workspace, with room to spread out all your index cards as you outline your writer. There’s also plenty of space for a PC, laptop, typewriter, notebook, or all of the above.

As far as storage goes, the desk features two drawers, including a file drawer that fits letter and legal-sized files. There’s also a storage cabinet to keep all your office essentials organized. The hutch has plenty of shelves to store books, manuscript pages, and all your writing toys. (Need even more storage? Check out the matching bookcase.)

To add further convenience, the desk comes with a USB hub that allows you to easily connect 4 devices to your computer through a single connection. There’s also a charging station for your smartphone, camera, and other electronic devices.

Colors Available: espresso oak, harvest cherry, heather gray

Dimensions: Desk measures 59 1/2″ W x 59 1/2″ D x 30 1/4″ Hutch measures 59 1/2″ W x 11 3/8″ D x 36 1/4″

Monarch Specialties Corner Desk with Shelves

If you’re looking for more of a bookcase with some space to work on your laptop, this desk is perfect. This corner desk has a contemporary design, but is on the smaller side, so keep that in mind if you’re a taller or larger person. The desktop can easily fit a monitor or a laptop computer (a PC tower would need to be stored on one of the shelves). The pull out keyboard tray makes an ergonomic workstation for any writer.

The desk is flexible: it can be positioned as a left corner or right corner to fit any room layout in your home or office. The bookcase hutch includes plenty of shelves for storing books, displaying pictures, and staying organized. This is a smaller hutch-style desk, so it will fit perfectly in the corner of a bedroom or living room.

Colors Available: brown reclaimed wood, cappuccino, white

Dimensions: Desk: 36″L x 20″W x 30″H Storage Shelf:38″L x 14″W x 60″H

Corner L Shaped Office Desk with Hutch

If you only need a small amount of storage and are more concerned about having a corner desk with lots of work space, you should see this desk from Mainstays. The desk design is perfect for any office or home. It features a storage hutch with a cabinet. The l-shaped desk has plenty of workspace for your computer or laptop and also room to spread out with a pen and paper.

If you want to make sure your desk is ergonomic, this one has you covered with a pull-out keyboard tray. The storage cubbies and flattop hutch have space for books, knick-knacks, or displaying photos. This is a great corner desk with a hutch for an office or another space in your home.

Colors Available: black and cherry

Dimensions: 49.12 Length x 47.06 Width x 60.125 Height

TMS Morgan Corner Desk with Hutch

This small writing desk with hutch fits perfectly in the corner of any bedroom, living room, or small office. While you’ll have to sacrifice a little desktop space for this compact desk, you don’t have to give up any storage! In addition to plenty of shelves on the hutch, under the desk is a CPU shelf for your computer tower and a small storage shelf perfect for CDs, DVDs, or books.

With the pull-out keyboard tray and CPU shelf, there’s plenty of room for a computer and monitor or just a laptop. The desk is made of composition board with a melamine finish, meaning it’s affordable and sturdy. Some assembly is required.

Colors Available: black oak finish

Dimensions: 35.5 x 35.5 x 61 inches

HomCom Arch Tower Corner Computer Desk with Hutch

If you want a very compact corner desk with a modern design, check out this desk from HomCom. Combining wood and metal, the modern look is sleek and efficient. It features shelves for a PC tower or printer, in addition to storage shelves on the hutch above the desk.

The keyboard tray also makes this desk ergonomic This desk is very affordable and great for anyone on a budget. Because of its small size, it works well for teens and college students. It’s also easy to clean with a damp cloth–easily remove coffee mug rings or spills.

Colors Available: beech, walnut

Dimensions: 44.5″L x 25.6″D x 62.2″H

Still haven’t found the perfect desk for the writer in your life or for your own office? If you need storage, check out these white desks with drawers. If you’re dealing with a small space or need a desk for a bedroom, check out these writing desks for small spaces.

Best Books on Writing Fiction

5 Best Books on Writing Fiction

Best Books on Writing Fiction

Some of the best gifts for writers are practical gifts that help authors improve their craft. A book on writing craft can help a writer improve their fiction and inspire them to create new and better stories, characters, dialogue, and more. We went out in search of the best books on writing fiction, focusing on the problems and issues many new novelists and fiction writers face.

The books we’ve gathered here will help with issues like how to write realistic and engaging dialogue. How to create believable characters. How to write a satisfying ending. How to write a story beginning that will hook a reader. How to use dialogue and action to reveal information about your characters. And more.

Whether you’re looking for a gift for a writer or you’re an aspiring author yourself, the books in this article are must have craft books for anyone who is writing fiction.

The Best Books on Writing Fiction and Writing Craft

Beginnings, Middles & Ends by Nancy Kress

This writing book by Hugo and Nebula award-winning author Nancy Kress covers the three most important parts of a story: the beginning, the middle, and the end. It’s easy for new writers to start with a fantastic idea that peters off throughout the story for a disappointing ending. Or maybe the beginning is so slow an editor doesn’t bother to finish it, even though the ending would blow their socks off. This book solves all those problems and more.

In this book, Kress gives solutions to common storytelling problems, so your story is fresh and engaging from beginning to end. Learn how to translate your story from the idea in your head to the page. You’ll learn how to write a beginning that will hook editors and readers. Then you’ll make your middle work towards the ending and develop your characters. And finally, you’ll learn how to deliver on your promises and give the reader an unforgettable ending. This is a must-read for any aspiring writer and one of the best books on writing fiction.

Plot Perfect: How to Build Unforgettable Stories Scene by Scene

This book by Paula Munier will help you build an exceptional plot for your story or novel. The goal of this guide is to help you make a page-turning plot that a reader can’t put down. It reveals the way to build a story structure that works, no matter the genre, to engage your reader and keep them wondering what will happen next.

This book also touches on developing characters, using dialogue, and defining your story’s theme to help add depth to your story. In addition to her amazing writing advice, this book also includes writing exercises and plotting templates so you can easily apply her wisdom to your work in progress. New writers and experienced novelists alike will find plenty of useful tips in this book.

Creating Characters: The Complete Guide to Populating Your Fiction

No matter how good a story idea is, you’ll lose the interest of readers and editors if the characters are flat or stereotypical. If you need help developing your characters so they feel like real people, this book can help you do it. Featuring the advice of over a dozen bestselling authors, this book collects essays covering things from character basics to using other story elements like point of view and dialogue to help explore your characters.

The instructions in this book will help you write realistic and relatable protagonists, as well as complex and interesting antagonists and villains. There’s even an entire section on supporting characters, so the entire cast of your novel or story will be well rounded. This book will lead you through all parts of your writing process, from brainstorming to the first draft and even through revision. This is the crash course in characters that every writer needs.

How to Write Dazzling Dialogue: The Fastest Way to Improve Any Manuscript

Dialogue is a tricky part of writing. The author must find the right balance between realism and keeping the story interesting and readable. And if dialogue is dull or boring, the story will drag and you will lose the reader’s interest. This book by writing coach James Scott Bell aims to demystify the process of writing dialogue so that it is snappy and engaging for the reader.

Using the techniques and exercises from his writing seminars, Bell wrote this book to help guide writers to improve the speech and dialogue in their short stories, novels, and screenplays. Using examples from popular books and movies, he’ll show you what dazzling dialogue is and the secrets to crafting memorable dialogue. This book is a must read for any writer who struggles with dialogue.

Creating Short Fiction: The Classic Guide to Writing Short Fiction

Most writers start with short stories as they develop their writing skills. This book by writer Damon Knight covers the entire process of writing shorting fiction from beginning to end. Knight spent decades teaching writing and this book offers all of his best writing advice on the craft of writing. The book covers the entirety of the writing process, starting with the first task of developing your talent as a writer. Then there are sections on getting ideas and translating them to stories, and the actual nuts and bolts of writing the story itself.

If you can only buy one book on writing fiction, I would recommend this one. It is one of the best books on writing fiction. In addition to Knight’s sound writing advice, the book contains many writing exercises he used in his own classrooms. Reading this book is like taking a creative writing class or workshop and is a great resource for any self-taught or newer writer.

Looking for other practical gifts for writers? Check out the essential reference books every writer should have on their desk. You should also consider the best software for writing a book or novel and tools to destroy writer’s block to help keep the creativity flowing.

Want to see fun and creative gifts? Try our megalists of gifts for writers and gifts for readers.

Essential Reference Books Writers Must Have on Their Desk

5 Essential Reference Books Writers Must Have on Their Desk

Essential Reference Books Writers Must Have on Their Desk

The art of writing is not a simple one. It required plenty of practice, research, planning, and actually writing. To make this task a little easier, it helps to keep reference books on hand to help dispel writer’s block and answer questions about spelling or grammar. We’ve come up with our top list of must have reference books for writers.

If you’re looking to buy a practical gift for a writer or aspiring author, any of these reference books will easily earn a spot on their desk and will be well used as they write new stories. Include a fun bookmark to add a little extra fun to the gift.

The books in the list are mostly selected for fiction and creative writing, though some of them are perfect for any kind of writer, including non-fiction writers, bloggers, and journalists. These books should definitely be owned by novelists and short story writers to help improve their fiction.

The Best Reference Books for Writers

Master Lists for Writers: Thesauruses, Plots, Character Traits, Names, and More

This book from Bryn Donovan aims to help you write your story more quickly with an all-in-one reference book. As you may guess from the title, this book is a collection of lists to help inspire you and be more creative with your stories and your writing.

Some of the interesting lists included in this book are:

  • Emotional Descriptions
  • Scents for Settings
  • Plot Points That Can Melt Reader’s Hearts
  • Motives for Murder
  • Ways People Say No
  • 100 Negative Character Traits

This book is chock full of great ideas and lists, broken into seven sections that cover all the parts of writing: characters, dialogue, action, plotting, setting, and description. This is a great book to have on hand when you’re stuck and need a little inspiration or nudge in the right direction.

Merriam-Webster’s Dictionary and Thesaurus

With the prevalence of the internet and smartphones, most reference information (including spelling and word definitions) is available with a tap or a question to Siri. A writer should have a Dictionary and a Thesaurus on their desk. This Dictionary and Thesaurus combo from Merriam-Webster gives you the benefits of both in one convenient book.

Why does a writer need a physical dictionary? It’s not just because it looks good on their desk. Referencing a dictionary not only helps a writer find the correct spelling or alternate words to use, but it helps expand their vocabulary. Writers should keep a dictionary close at hand when they read and look up any words they’re unfamiliar with. Using a print dictionary means you’ll have to flip through many pages to find the word you’re looking for. While you’re searching you’ll discover new words and definitions, something that doesn’t happen with a computer dictionary. This helps increase your vocabulary and improve your writing. A good dictionary and thesaurus is a worthwhile investment for any high school or college student and a must-have for an aspiring writer.

The Grammar Bible

The mechanics of writing are boring and the least glamorous part of the writing process. But, they’re a necessary part of the written word, so every writer needs to understand grammar. This reference book by Michael Strumpf, the creator of the National Grammar Hotline, is the only book you need to answer all of your grammar questions. In fact, instead of being written like a boring college textbook, Michael has structured the book to answer actual grammar questions he’s encountered over the years.

The entire book is written in a fun and approachable way, giving you the grammar knowledge you need to write your story without boring you to sleep. Every writer should keep this grammar guide on hand to quickly and easily clear up questions and help produce a clean, easy to read manuscript.

100,000+ BABY NAMES: The Most Complete Baby Name Book

There’s nothing that can break your writing flow worse than having a new character walk into a scene and being absolutely stumped on what to call them. A good baby name book helps take the challenge out of naming characters. The benefit you’ll get from a name book comes in it’s reference value.

The book we’ve recommended by Bruce Lansky covers the more important thing you need in a name book: name meanings and name origins. This helps you find authentic names for characters of any background and also helps you if you want to give your character a name with a significant meaning. Another bonus with this book is that in addition to the thousands and thousands of names, it also includes articles about gender-neutral names, naming trends, and more.

Keeping a baby name book on your desk is a great reference tool to add diversity and creativity to your character names.

Self-Editing for Fiction Writers: How to Edit Yourself Into Print

This is the number one book I recommend to my writer friends and one of the most essential reference books for writers. Self-Editing for Fiction Writers is written by two professional editors to help guide newer and aspiring writers take a manuscript with good potential and turn it into a publishable story or novel.

The book is divided into several sections like characterization, dialogue mechanics, voice, etc. Each section talks about weak writing to look for and correct, using examples from real manuscripts. At the end of the section is a checklist of points to use when editing your own writing, and then a few writing exercises to help you practice the new techniques.

This is an essential book to keep on your writing desk. Read it all the way through and then reference it again and again as you edit your work.

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5 Essential Reference Books All Writers Should Have on Their Desk

Looking for more practical gifts for writers? Check out software for writing a book, cheaper Freewrite alternatives, magazine subscriptions for writers and awesome journal gifts for writers.

Want to see fun and creative gifts? Try our megalists of gifts for writers and gifts for readers.

2 Tier Writing Desks for Small Spaces

Best Writing Desks for Small Spaces and Bedrooms

Best Writing Desks for Small Spaces and Bedrooms

Many writers don’t have the budget or room to have a dedicated writing office. While there are many hacks (like going to a library or coffee shop to work or writing at the kitchen table), it’s just better to have a dedicated writing space. A writing desk helps you establish good writing habits and get into the writing frame of mind as soon as you sit down. Luckily there are plenty of writing desks for small spaces.

Whether you’re looking for a small desk for yourself or want to buy one as a gift for the writer or aspiring author in your life, there are a lot of options available. We’ve rounded up some of the best choices for small spaces. Check them out below.

Writing Desks for Small Spaces

Winsome Wood Small Writing Desk with Drawers

This classic desk from Winsome Wood is a modular-style desk with drawers and a cubby hole for convenient storage. Made from solid beechwood, it has a gorgeous honey finish that lends to its casual style. The workspace is large enough to write by hand in a notebook or use a typewriter or laptop computer with ease. Assembly is required.

If you have a little extra space, get the matching 4-tier bookshelf to keep all your writing and reference books close at hand.

Dimensions: 30″ wide, 20″ deep, 34.8″ high

Convenience Concepts Small Mission Desk

This desk from Convenience Concepts is absolutely perfect for small spaces or bedrooms. Its classic mission design and oak finish fit well with many decorating schemes. The desk features a pull-out keyboard tray for ergonomic typing. When you’re done working for the day, close it up and this desk looks like a side table.

The compact size and design of this desk make it fit well in a living room or a bedroom. Even though it is a smaller desk, it has plenty of room to work on a laptop or tablet. Easy assembly required (comes with the tools).

Dimensions: 18″ x 26″ x 30″

2 Tier Writing Desk

Tangkula makes a great compact writing desk, this one made from reclaimed wood or with a mocha finish, and with a sturdy metal frame. It has a modern, industrial look that goes great in a dorm room or bedroom. This desk makes good use of limited space, offering a large work surface for a laptop or notebook and then a second-tier shelf for storage or displaying knick-knacks or pictures.

Available Colors: brown, natural/white

Dimensions: 31.5″ wide x 19.7″ deep x 35.4″ high

Floating Desk with Storage

If you don’t have enough space for a desk, what about hanging one on the wall? That’s the idea behind this floating desk. You can mount the desk at any height (meaning you can also use it as a standing desk) using the Prepac metal hanging rail system. This desk not only saves space but supplies additional storage with built-in shelves to hold books or mementos.

Since it takes up virtually no floor space, you can mount this desk in any room of your house: kitchen, living room, bedroom, or den. It comes in three colors, so you can easily find one to match your room. Manufactured in Canada with a 5 year manufacturer’s warranty.

Available colors: black, espresso, white

Dimensions: 19.8 x 42.2 x 39.5 inches

Corner Computer Desk with Drawer

This corner desk helps you maximize your space while giving you enough room to work comfortably. Whether you’re using a laptop or a desktop computer, you’ll have plenty of room. For storage, this desk features a drawer and also a lower shelf to keep all of your office supplies nearby. Tuck away in any corner of your home to write your next novel or story.

Available in 4 different wood finishes to match any decor. Some assembly is required.

Available colors: white, black, cherry, natural

Dimensions: height 30″, front of desk 27.5″, desk sides 10″

After looking at these writing desks for small spaces, are you still looking for the perfect desk? Consider some of these compact corner desks with hutch. If space isn’t an issue, take a look at these white writing desks with drawers.

Need to save even more space in your bedroom? Check out these bookcase murphy beds.

White Writing Desk with Drawers

Best White Writing Desks with Drawers & Storage

White Writing Desk with Drawers & Storage

To create a consistent and lasting writing routine, a writer needs a dedicated space where they can go to write. If you’re looking for a desk to use for your personal writing space, there are a lot of options available. Many people are looking for a white writing desk with drawers. These desks are great because their bright, neutral color means they go with almost any decor. Built in drawers are a great feature because the extra storage gives you a place to stash extra pens, office supplies, or manuscripts you need a break from.

Since desks are furniture, they’re usually a little expensive. They make a thoughtful gift for a writer who needs a dedicated space or an upgrade to an existing desk but doesn’t have the budget to splurge for something new.

We looked at a lot of white writing desks with drawers and picked out the best ones for writing your next great novel.

White Writing Desk with Drawers

Contemporary Style Writing Desk with Chrome Legs

This contemporary style desk is perfect for small spaces and homes with modern decor. It features two drawers for stashing supplies and manuscripts and a pull-out keyboard tray for ergonomic writing. The glossy white finish is modern and classy. Pair the desk with this matching white and chrome chair for a simple but stylish writing office.

Simple assembly required.

Available Colors: white, black

Dimensions: 45.25 x 21.75 x 30.5

Sauder Harbor View Computer Writing Desk

If you’re looking for more of a classic look, try this Sauder computer desk. This classic antique-style desk has a white finish. It features two drawers, including one that holds letter-size hanging folders. An ergonomic keyboard shelf is stylishly hidden behind a flip-down panel for an uncluttered look.

This classic desk is a great choice for any writer’s office. It’s also compact enough for a bedroom or the corner of a family room.

Dimensions: 43.5 x 19.4 x 29

White Computer Desk with Shelf and Drawers

This minimalist white desk has less storage but takes up less space. Made from solid engineered wood, it’s finished with tough melamine to ensure this desk will last through many novels worth of writing. The desk has three drawers and a built-in shelf to help you keep your reference books within reach.

This desk would go well in an office or even a bedroom. It has enough desk space for a computer, laptop, or even writing by hand in a notebook.

Dimensions: 20.5″L x 47.25″W x 30″H

Monarch Specialties White Corner Desk with Drawers

If you need even more space and storage, this corner desk from Monarch Specialties is a great investment. This desk is very versatile as it can be either a left or right-facing corner desk, so it will fit perfectly no matter how your office is laid out. The contemporary design is clean and elegant.

The spacious work surface gives you enough space for a computer or laptop, plus a typewriter, papers, notebooks, and anything else you use as a part of your writing process. For storage, you have two smaller drawers and a filing cabinet drawer. The desk also features several shelves, perfect for storing books, a printer, and your future writing awards. This is a great white writing desk with drawers to consider if you have enough space in a dedicated office.

Available Colors: white, cappuccino, dark taupe, natural

Dimensions: 60″ L x 47.25″ W x 29.5″ H

Still on the hunt for the perfect writing desk? Check out these writing desks for small spaces or compact corner desks with hutch.

50 Creative Gifts for Writers for 2023

Stumped on what to get the writer or aspiring author in your life for Christmas, their birthday, or any other gift-giving occasion? This mega-list includes creative, cool, and fun gifts any writer would love to receive.

1. The Writer’s Toolbox

An entire toolkit of creative games and exercises to inspire the right side of your brain.

Click here for more tools to combat writers block.

2. Typewriter Charm Necklace

Typewriter Necklace Gift for Writers

Writerly jewelry: sterling silver typewriter charm on a silver chain necklace.

Check out more typewriter gifts.

3. Typewriter Coaster Set

This is a practical gift with a fun twist. This five piece coaster set looks like an antique typewriter! it comes in a metallic stand that looks like a typewriter and features four coasters that look like antique typewriter keys. This is perfect for a living room or office to protect surfaces from rings caused by coffee mugs (or even adult beverages). Any writer would appreciate this fun gift.

4. Aqua Notes – Waterproof Notepad

The best ideas always come in the shower and are often forgotten before the writer can towel off. Now none of those brilliant lines will be lost! This waterproof notepad is perfect for jotting down dialogue, character names, and the perfect ending for their bestseller!

Click here for more clever gift ideas for writers.

5. Lined Paper Necktie

Lined Paper Necktie Writer Gift

Let your writer guy show his passion with style. This necktie features a print that is lined like a sheet of loose leaf paper. This tie is perfect for English teachers or office workers who dream of quitting their job and writing full time.

6. Writer’s Block Journal

This clever journal is made to look like a block of wood to help inspire any writer to get past their writer’s block and finish their story.

Click here for more journal gift ideas.

7. Clip On Cup Holders

Let’s your favorite author safely clip their cup of coffee or tea to the side of their desk, preventing any disastrous spills on their manuscript.

8. Grass Blade Pens

These pens are made to look like blades of grass and create a unique display to brighten up any writer’s desk. Pair them with these flower pens to create a desktop bouquet.

Check out 15 more quirky and fun pens for writers.

9. Twiddle Fiddle Toy

The Twiddle is the perfect desk toy for a writer to fiddle with while they contemplate fixing their latest plot hole.

10. Field Notes Memo Books

The perfect pocket sized notebook for any writer to jot down their brilliant ideas.

11. Desk Foot Hammock

Let the writer in your life rest their feet as they type out the next hundred words of their novel. This desk foot hammock will let them stretch out and focus on their words.

12. Hourglasses for Writing Sprints

These sandtimers are perfect for timing writing sprints, so if the writer gets caught up in their words, they won’t notice the time is up and will keep going. This set comes with a 30 minute and a 5 minute hourglass.

13. Fisher Space Pen

Writers at any angle and in zero gravity, and underwater–perfect for the novelist that likes to write laying down. Comes in 12 different colors.

14. Mobile Laptop Standing Desk

Write the next great American novel like Hemingway–by standing! This portable laptop standing desk lets you write in any room in the house while standing.

15. Quotation Mark Earrings

Quotation Mark Earrings Writer Gift

These cute quotation mark earrings will give inspiration to new, snappy dialogue every time your writer wears them.

16. Wonderbook: The Illustrative Guide to Creating Imaginative Fiction

The definitive guide to writing imaginative fiction, exploring creative visuals sure to inspire the writer in your life.

17. Bookaroo Pen Pouch

This handy gift for writers is great to give as a stocking stuffer or pair with a cool journal. The Bookaroo is a pencil holder that can attach to any book or journal, so a pen is always at hand with inspiration strikes.

18. Leather Journal Gift Set

Every writer needs a good journal, and this gift set is a gorgeous option. This handmade leather journal from Moonster comes with a pen and a gift box ready for wrapping. Perfect gift to inspire any writer to start their next story.

19. Folding Bluetooth Keyboard

This full-size QWERTY keyboard folds up for easy portability in a purse, messenger bag, or backpack. Pairs with any Bluetooth enabled smartphone or tablet.

20. Writer Patent Prints Art Set

This is a stylish set of vintage prints perfect for any writer’s office or library. Each print is of the original patent for the typewriter, mechanical pencil, fountain inkwell, and the pencil sharpener. These 8×10 prints are ready to frame and make a lovely gift set.

21. Winsome Wood Small Writing Desk with Drawers

Every writer needs a dedicated space to craft their prose. This handsome wood writing desk is perfect for writers who use a computer, typewriter, or write by hand in a notebook. It also features a cubby hole and drawers for storage.

22. Pilot Fountain Pen

Enjoy writing by hand with this sleek and elegant fountain pen from Pilot. Don’t forget to include a journal for your writer.

23. Under Desk Eliptical Trainer

Help the writer in your life stay fit with this under desk eliptical trainer. They can finish their novel and stay in shape at the same time.

24. “Go Away I’m Writing” Sign

Go Away I'm Writing Sign for Writers

The perfect way for the aspiring author in your house to signal that they are busy writing the next great American novel and should not be disturbed.

25. Writer’s Block


A literal embodiment of the Writers Block that plagues most writers. Perfect for kicking or throwing out the window in moments of frustration.

26. Fist Pen Holder

Help your writer contain their desk odds and ends with this unique pen holder. This fist holds pens, pencils and more. The wrist is magnetic to keep paperclips at bay. Adds a bit of playfulness to a writer’s desk.

27. Fountain Pen Earrings

Fountain Pen Earrings Writer Gift

Lightweight, gold fountain pen earrings that will look perfect dangling from the ears of any author. Makes a great gift for historical romance and fiction writers.

28. Typewriter Keyboard T-shirt


A great t-shirt for any writer, this one features the traditional round keys of an antique typewriter keyboard.

29. The Writing Manifesto Print

This inspiring piece of art is a must-have for any writer’s office or bedroom. The Writing Manifesto is filled with writing inspiration to help bust through the worst writer’s block. Available in two sizes already framed.

30. A Vintage or Antique Typewriter


Help your favorite writer or aspiring author get back to basics with a typewriter. Vintage and retro typewriters come in a variety of styles and colors and make a unique gift.

31. It’s a Good Day to Write Throw Pillow

It's a Good Day to Write Throw Pillow

Give some not so subtle motivation for your writer to get writing! This pillowcase gives the gentle reminder: It’s a Good Day to Write. Available with or without stuffing in a variety of colors, so you can order the perfect one to match their decor.

32. Initial Typewriter Keys Cufflinks


These are handsome cufflinks made from the keys of vintage typewriters, customized to whatever initials you need.

33. Ruled Paper Scarf

Rule Paper Scarf

This scarf is a blank page they can wear to inspire them to write their next story.

34. Dragon NaturallySpeaking Software

Help boost your writer’s productivity with the most popular speech to text program. They can tell their story out loud while Dragon transcribes it into their favorite word processing program.

35. Literary Writing Gloves


Help an aspiring writer keep their hands worm and get a little inspiration with these literary writing gloves. They feature text from famous books, including Jane Eyre, Dracula, Little Women, and more.

36. Hollow Book with a Flask


For a little “liquid inspiration,” your favorite writer can turn to their favorite book for a hidden flask. A variety of real hollowed books are available in many genres, including classic literature, scifi, fantasy, and horror.

37. Typewriter Tote Bag

Typewriter Tote Bag

Let your favorite writer carry their books, notes, and ever growing collection of pens in this stylish vintage typewriter tote bag.

38. Modern Bookshelf

Writers have tons of books. Give them a cool and original, modern bookcase to display them on.

39. Balance Ball Chair

Gift the gift of a healthier back with one of these balance ball chairs.

40. The Writer Magazine Subscription

A subscription to The Writer magazine is a gift that keeps giving with each issue they receive.

Check out other magazine subscriptions for writers.

41. Instant Writer Mug

Instant Writer Just Add Coffee Mug

This mug is for the caffeine fueled writer in your life. The funny message says: Instant Writer, Just Add Coffee. This is the perfect writing gift for authors who get up early to write before work or stay up late finishing their pages.

Include some of their favorite coffee to make it a memorable gift set.

42. Noise Isolating Headphones

A nice pair of noise-isolating headphones will help them focus on their writing without getting distracted. These are perfect for writers who like to work at coffee shops and mute out the noises around them.

43. Laser Projection Virtual Keyboard

This Bluetooth keyboard takes mobile working to the next level, with a virtual laser keyboard. Compatibly with a Bluetooth enabled smartphone or tablet. Great gift for sci-fi writers.

44. The Writer’s Coloring Book

Let them tap into a creative side from their childhood with this coloring book made especially for writers.

Check out adult coloring supplies to round out your gift.

45. Famous Authors Shotglasses

Now they can knock back a drink with some of the great literary drinkers like Oscar Wilde and Dorothy Parker. Includes memorable quotes.

46. Bamboo Keyboard and Mouse

An environmentally friendly typing alternative any writer would love. This keyboard and mouse set are made of beautiful bamboo for a luxurious writing experience.

47. Natural Light LED Desk Lamp

So they have plenty of nice, natural light to write by any time of day. Perfect for office desks or bedside tables.

48. Adjustable Laptop Bed Tray

So they can stay productive and work on their novel, even if they don’t feel like getting out of bed.

49. The Big Ideas Notepad

Help them generate new ideas with the Big Ideas Notepad.

50. Portable External Hard Drive

So they can always back up their writing, no matter where they are. Even if they’re on the go.

Need more gift ideas? Check out stocking stuffers for writers, killer journals for writers, and the best books for writing fiction.

15 Quirky and Weird Pens for Writers

All writers use pens, some obsessively collect them, obsessed with different types and colors. If you’re looking for a unique gift for a writer or aspiring author you know, these fun–sometimes a little wild–pens are a great gift to pair with a notebook or journal gift, or make a great stocking stuffer. Pens are affordable gifts and the ones on this list will certainly make for a memorable present.

1. Syringe Pens

Give a writer a shot of creativity with these multi-colored syringe pens. These ballpoint pens are made to look like a syringe with multi-colored liquid in each one.

This makes a great gift for authors of medical thrillers, medical romances, or even horror writers.

Note: while the pens are multi-colored, they all write in blue ink.

2. Bone Pens

The perfect pen for writers and authors who write on the creepy side of genre or enjoy the macabre. These novelty pens are shaped like bones including spines, arm, and leg bones.

These make a great gift for horror writers or writers of non-fiction related to medicine or anatomy.

Writes in black ink. 0.7mm ballpoint pens.

3. Tool Pens

There are multiple sets of these realistic and clever tool shaped pens:

Hand Tool Pens – wrench, screwdriver, nail, hammer

Not Very Dangerous Tool Pens – nail puller, saw, box cutter, needle nose pliers

Garden Tool Pens – hoe, pitchfork, shovel, and rake

Combine the above pen sets with this desktop miniature toolbox to create a completely unforgettable gift.

These are perfect for non-fiction writers of how-tos, or authors who are handy in their free time.

4. Electric Guitar Pens

These bold pens make a rockin’ gift! These ballpoint pens are in the shape of electric guitars. Writes in black ink.

Try these pens as a gift for music critics, or writers of musician biographies.

Check out more gift ideas for songwriters. If your writer is more of a dummer type, try these drumstick pens.

5. Octopus Tentacle Pen

This tentacle pen may conjure memories of HP Lovecraft and Cthulhu, or pirate and sea stories that involve battling giant squids. This pen is realistically crafted to look like an octopus tentacle. Ball point pen.

Makes a great gift for writers of sea-based stories and non-fiction writers of ocean-related books and articles.

6. Food Pens

These food-shaped pens make great gifts that may inspire a little hunger in the receiver.

Pickle pen

Carrot pen

Banana pen

Eggplant pen

These are great gifts for food bloggers, writers of recipe books, and authors of cozy food mysteries.

7. The Procrastination Pen

Perfect for the writer who puts things off until the last minute. The Procrastination Pen has “Do It Later” written on the side. Writes in black ink. 0.6mm refillable gel pen.

For a productive writer (or to give your procrastinating writer a little kick in the pants), get them the Get Crap Done Pen.

8. Paintbrush Pen

This pen is perfect for a writer who is also an artist (or thinks of themselves an artist). This ballpoint pen looks like a paintbrush dripping with ink, ready to create the author’s next masterpiece. Medium point pen. Writes in black ink.

This is a great gift for children’s book authors who also do illustrations.

9. Flower and Plant Pens

Combining a couple of these different types of pens, you can create a bouquet or desk plant for them to display on their desk that doubles as attractive writing utensils:

Grass Blade Pens

Daffodil Flower Pens

Cherry Blossom Pens

Tulip Pens

Leaf Pens

This is a great gift for non-fiction writers of gardening books or authors who happen to love gardening.

Add this pen holder to create a beautiful gift.

10. Novelty Prediction Pen

This pen combines the utility of a normal ballpoint pen with the fun of a Magic 8 ball. Click the top and the Predict a Pen will give you an answer to guide your choices.

Perfect to help a writer during moments of writer’s block or indecision over whether or not to kill a character. Includes 6 predictive sayings.

11. Feather Quill Pen

This is for the writer who loves the old school feel of a feather quill pen, but wants the convenience of modern pen technology. This ballpoint pen features a beautiful feather. Writes with back ink. Available in seven colors: black, natural, white, green. blue, lime green, and orange.

Perfect for writers of historical fiction and fans of Jane Austen.

Pair it with this antique paper or this antique, handmade leather journal for an unforgettable gift.

12. Maraca Pens

Put the party back in writing! These pens are in the shape of maracas, so every moment of writing is fun! “Fiesta!” is printed on the handle. Comes in a variety of colors.

13. Cactus Pen

Another fun gift for writers who like to garden or could use a little green on their writing desk. This cactus pen comes with a little pot that doubles as a pen cap and a stand. The spikes are soft, so it makes for a comfortable writing experience.

Perfect for non-fiction writers of gardening books or writers who love houseplants and gardening.

14. Dachshund Dog Pen

Add a little sparkle to the life of a dog loving writer. This dachshund hound pen is metallic purple and stands proudly on any author’s desk. The dog is wearing a collar with a bell. Black ball point pen. Refillable.

This is a cute gift for any writer of dog related stories or just dog lovers in general.

15. Ninja Knife Pen

This pen is a little edgier than the others on this list. This knife shaped pen makes a “Shining” noise when you click the pen tip. Writes in black. Ballpoint pen.

This is the perfect pen for horror writers and authors of detective mysteries and other mystery novels.

Add these nunchuck pens to create a fun gift for any ninja fan.

Need more gift ideas? Check out our megalist of amazing gifts for writers.

Cheaper Freewrite Alternatives for Writers

When the Freewrite (originally Kickstarted as the Hemingwrite) and Freewrite Traveler came on the scene a few years ago, many writers took notice. The functionality is based on the writing process of author Ernest Hemingway, with a focus on writing new words and not going back to edit, like a high-tech version of a typewriter. For many writers, this is a great idea in an era of constant connectivity to emails, social networks, and other distractions. A device where writers can unplug and focus on getting words on the page seems like a godsend. Taking the simplicity of a typewriter and adding modern technology like an e-ink screen and wifi connectivity is brilliant. But, the $500 price tag is way outside most writers’ budgets.

If the aspiring author in your life added a Freewrite to their wishlist, here are some alternative and more affordable gifts to consider, that will also help create a distraction-free writing environment.

Alphasmart Word Processor

Alphasmart Neo Word Processor

The most similar in function, but the cheapest option by price, is an Alphasmart Word Processor. These handy machines were popular in schools before computers were more affordable. Writers love them because the simplicity of the machine (it is literally only a word processor) creates a distraction-free writing tool that is great for first drafts. Autosave makes sure you never lose a word. They also come with a USB cable to connect to your computer to easily transfer your writing to Microsoft Word, Scrivener, or any other text program you use for editing. The Neo2 also boasts word count and a thesaurus.

Though they are no longer available new, used versions are extremely affordable and easily found searching Amazon and other online retailers.

iPad + a Bluetooth Keyboard

By combining an existing iPad with a bluetooth keyboard, you can create an experience that mimics the Hemingwrite. With so many different iPad keyboard options, you can really personalize it for the writer by color, style, and price. If you’re a writer on the go, frequently writing in cafes or libraries, an iPad case with a built-in keyboard may be your best bet.

If you pair the iPad with a free app like Hanx Writer that simulates the experience of a manual typewriter or Scrivener for iOS, then it’s easy to create a simple, focused writing environment.

Typewriter or Typewriter Keyboard

USB Typerwriter Keyboard

If you or the writer in your life like to kick it old school, you may consider investing in a typewriter. These are easy to find used locally or online used, and new electric typewriters are also available. The only downside is that once you type your writing on the typewriter, you will have to type it again to get it in a digital format on your computer.

A (pricey) alternative is the USB Typewriter Computer Keyboard. These can be purchased pre-modified or as a kit to convert an existing typewriter into a USB keyboard that can be used with any computer or iPad. Then the writer is free to use any writing software they prefer, but they have to resist the temptation to check Facebook while they work.

Wacom Bamboo Slate

This is the perfect gift for a writer who likes to work long hand, but hates the process of typing up their words later so they can edit them on their computer. The Wacom Bamboo Slate is a pen, pad, and paper that allows you to put pen to the page and then digitally records your drawings or words to the Wacom Cloud. No scanning necessary, and no typing later. It even converts handwritten notes into plain text for easy editing later.

The Bamboo Slate is compatible with Bluetooth enables devices, like iPads, iPhones, and Android devices.

“Hack” Your Computer to Be a Productive Writer

Scrivener Composition Mode

This is more of a hack than a gift, but still a great Hemingwrite alternative. Using your computer and a minimalist word processor, you can focus on writing without the distraction of the internet.

Scrivener features a composition mode (pictured) that uses your entire screen, turning it into a writing machine without sacrificing any of the awesome Scrivener functionality.

Buy Mac & Windows version from Literature and Latte
Buy Mac Version from Mac App Store
Buy iOS version from Apple

Other programs that are truly minimalist include Ommwriter or Dark Room (free).

If you have a hard time truly unplugging, try disabling your wifi or using the Pomodoro Technique to help you focus. Try using headphones with ambient noise to really focus.

Check out the best software for writing a book and tools to destroy writer’s block.