Keep in mind, not all these gifts are going to be right for every writer. So make sure you think about whether or not your writer will enjoy that specific gift before you spend the $$.
1. Writer's Conferences. For most unpublished or up-and-coming writers, this is the biggest expense related to writing. Not only are the conferences themselves expensive, there's hotel and transportation to consider. So this gift can come in the form of hotel gift certificates, airline miles, or conference tuition. Or you know, cold hard cash. FYI, here are some conferences your writer might be interested in:
- RWA National Conference. This is targeted toward romance writers, but is good for pretty much any writer. Also, check out their local conferences
- SCBWI National Conference (in winter and in summer). This is targeted toward people who write for an audience of teens and younger. Some chapters also have regional events.
- Backspace Writers Conference. I've never been, but I've heard it's awesome. It's a shorter one, but it has more intensive contact with agents.
- DFW Writers Conference
- These are all the ones I have personal knowledge of, but there are plenty more out there. Just make sure to do your research on their legitimacy.
2. A writing retreat. By this, I don't mean the ones that are planned by a group. If the writer in your life is working on a first draft or is doing some heavy revising, they may enjoy a few days at a hotel or cabin, away from kids, pets, housecleaning, or any other kind of responsibility. Or, you know, just the moolah. A few things to consider:
- Does your writer like to have internet access when they're working (I do, many don't)? If so, make sure the location has wi-fi.
- If they want to focus on their writing, they probably don't want to have to hunt down food for every meal. Either make sure there is food available there or make some kind of other arrangements.
- Even the most dedicated writer can't write for sixteen hours a day. Make sure there is something around for them to enjoy during breaks.
- Good examples: a bed and breakfast in a small-town historical type setting with restaurants and shops within walking distance, a larger resort with restaurants and on-site activities, a cabin stocked with food and everything they need to make dinner.
3. Writing Yummies. Many of us have our succulent writerly *ahem* crutches. Mine is wine. Many like chocolate. There are others like: gummy sharks, coffee, cashews, bacon. Why not give them a yummy-of-the month club? Or, you know, just the $dough$.
4. Computer. If the writer in your life has to tape the battery of their laptop in, use a tin foil dish to make the wireless work, and hold up the screen while typing with one hand... I'm sure they'd appreciate a new computer to help them in their authorly journey. Or, you know, a stack of benjamins.
5. Books. Any writer worth their weight loves books. If you're lucky enough to know a writer who keeps a public list of the books they want, this is going to be easier for you. (Unless, of course, they just buy the book before Christmas) However, this one you can kinda cheat: give them gift cards to their favorite book store. As fun as buying books is, it's even MORE FUN if it's not our money we're spending. Or, you know, some dead presidents.
- Also, if your writer is the type, they might like an e-reader. The big guys: Kindle, nook, Sony, Kobo.
6. A Research Trip. If the writer in your life is writing a book where the location is of special importance, they might appreciate a trip to scope the place out. Sure, Google Maps and websites are awesome, but there's nothing like actually going there. Or, you know, just the loot.
7. Pens, notebooks. If your writer likes to write the old-fashioned way (I'd be happy if I never had to write anything by hand ever again), they may enjoy a really nice pen or some nice notebooks. I (obviously) don't know anything about this area, so I don't have any recommendations. Or, you know, just the dinero.
8. Literary Jewelry. Just make sure she's not one of those writers who hates Shakespeare or something :-) Or, you know, some type of currency.
9. Website Design. Many up-and-coming writers are in desperate need of a professional-looking website. If your writer isn't too tech/graphic savvy (or is and just doesn't have the time), they may appreciate a professionally designed website. As with everything, make sure you do your research on the vendor. If they won't show you examples of sites they've done before, run the other way! Or, you know, some greenbacks.
10. Randoms. Here's a list of random cutesy things your writer may or may not like:
- Bedtime Stories Blanket AWESOME
- Purse made out of a book
- A massage/spa trip. Especially for those writers going through that hell we call querying
- Wine Rack Book Ends. Seriously. If I didn't have a full wine rack, I'd want these.
- Pen/Pencil Cup for Their Desk. Handmade, unique, with style
- Book-themed Flask. You may not think this is necessary, but you'd be wrong.
- Banned Books Bracelet
- Out of Print Clothing
- Think Geek. Yeah, the entire catalog.
- Or, you know, just give them your credit card ;-)
Hope that helps! If you have anything to add, leave it in the comments :-)