Unexpected Gifts for the Writer in Your Life

Posted by Danielle Mohlman

(Image: Gwendolyn Brooks, History.com)

What are you going to get for the writer in your life? It may be tempting to grab a pack of your favorite pens and notebooks, and call it a day, but what fun is that? At Quirk, we’ve come up with a list of unexpected gifts that are guaranteed to inspire creativity.

$50 and Up

  • An AirBnB gift card. Give them the gift of a personal writing retreat with an AirBnB gift card. If you really want to blow them away, include photos from rentals both in their city and a day trip away. Show them they don’t have to leave their whole life behind in order to take a vacation with their characters.
  • A month membership to a coworking space. Co-working spaces can be out of reach for many writers, so treat them to a one month membership to a nearby space. Whether they’re working from a dedicated desk or at a shared table, coworking can provide community in an otherwise lonely field. Wrap the membership with a set of comfortable headphones (we have our eyes on these beauties), so your writer can signal alone time at their new office.
  • Tuition to a writing class or workshop. No matter how long they’ve been writing, every writer appreciates an opportunity to further develop their craft. Look into writing classes in their city and wrap a catalogue of course offerings heavily annotated with sticky notes. Unsure of where to start? Check out Hugo House in Seattle, Grub Street in Boston, Writing Workshops in Los Angeles, and The Writer’s Center in Washington, DC.


$15 to $40

  • A gift card to their favorite coffee shop. It’s a cliché for a reason. There’s something strangely comforting about tea brewing and the sound of coffee grinding. Not to mention all the people watching – character development! – that can happen while nursing a cup of coffee and typing away on a laptop.
  • Process related writing books. Rather than inundating them with “how to” writing manuals, give your writer the gift of someone who’s been there. There are a ton of books out there where writers examine their own process. Some of our favorites are The Folded Clock by Heidi Julavits, Bird by Bird by Anne Lamont, and Slouching Towards Bethlehem by Joan Didion.


$10 and under

  • A month of Spotify Premium. Is music an important component to your writer’s world building? Treat them to a month of Spotify Premium so they can take their music wherever they write.
  • Curate list of your favorite writing podcasts. Is your writer interested in television? Hand pick your favorite episodes of the Nerdist Writers Panel for their listening pleasure. Are they working on a novel? First Draft with Sara Enni is the place to be. Do they love literature and comedy equally? Introduce them to The Dead Authors Podcast.
  • Be there. Promise them that you won’t ask about their novel for a year. (Or promise them you will ask about their novel every week for a year.) Bring them a home cooked meal when they’re in the middle of a rewrite. Take a walk with them when they’re blocked. Invite them to see their favorite authors read at a local bookstore. Don’t buy them notebooks. Let them pick out their own notebooks.