Buy “Runway”



Holiday Gift Ideas For Writers

I am stealing this post idea directly from Sierra Godfrey, who says other bloggers have written similar posts, so I guess I’m not the only one stealing post ideas.


Chicago Manual of Style, Sixteenth Edition

Although Sierra already mentioned this one, I’d be a bad editor if I didn’t suggest the brand new sparkly *blue* Sixteenth Edition of the Chicago Manual of Style. It’s only $40.95 on Amazon (as opposed to $65 in bookstores) and if you do any kind of copyediting, you need this book. Why? Because the fifteenth edition was published in 2003 and the fourteenth edition was published in 1993, and a LOT has changed in publishing over the past two decades. Things like, the Internet, and all the lingo associated with it. I took a class on what’s new in the sixteenth edition this week, and I’ll write about that in a separate post.

Developmental Editing: a Handbook for Freelancers, Authors, and Publishers

Another great resource for the editor in your life. This is a great complement to the CMS. One focuses on developmental editing; the other on copyediting.

The Secret Miracle: A Novelist’s Handbook

This wonderful little book edited by Daniel Alarcón will make any writer happy.

Yiyun Li’s latest collection of short stories

For the writer who likes to read more than reference books, don’t miss the latest collection of stories by award-winning author Yiyun Li.

All Over The Map

This memoir by New York Times best selling author Laura Fraser is a wonderful read. The female writer in your life will especially enjoy this book!

The Adderall Diaries

If your writer likes to read memoirs by professional writers, here’s another great one. In fact, this one even has its own iPad app!


Angry Writer T-Shirts

I found these awesome shirts via 80,000 Words. My favorites are “Write here. Write now” and “I’m killing you off in my next novel.”

Rumpus T-Shirts

The online literary journal The Rumpus has its own T-shirts and mugs for sale. Anything purchased by noon Sunday Dec. 20 will be mailed priority to arrive in time for Christmas.


Scrivener 2.0

Give the gift of Scrivener! Whether the writer in your life is using 1.0 and could use an upgrade or has never tried Scrivener before, she won’t be disappointed!

Noise Canceling Headphones

With noise-canceling headphones, your writer will be able to read and write in coffee shops, on airplanes, and on the train without all the distractions.


Now that we’ve cracked out the credit cards, what writer wouldn’t want an iPad? Already have one? Then how about an:

iTunes Gift Card

With an iTunes gift card your writer can buy more iPad an iPhone apps. Pages, perhaps? Scrabble? Crosswords? A better dictionary? Or maybe what your iPad-toting writer needs is a:

Wireless Keyboard for iPad

If your writer is like me and hates typing anything longer than a Tweet on a virtual keypad, he will love this wireless keyboard, which will transform his iPad into a manuscript-writing machine. An as long as we’re on the topic of iPads, does your writer have an iPad case? How about this “Rolls Royce of iPad cases”:

Dodo Case

I use the InCase myself, but this case is beautiful and it’s manufactured right here in San Francisco.


If your writer doesn’t own an iPad but loves to read books, how about an Amazon Kindle? The smaller version is on back order, but the 3G Kindle is still shipping in time for Christmas.



I’ve never played this, but it looks fun! “Players get five words on cards. Each player must write a story using all the words in 90 seconds. The challenge? You may not know the meaning of the words, but to score points you need to make the other players believe you do.”

Hugger Mugger

This is a really fun game that is out of print, so you have to buy it on eBay. Beware that the shipping charge is a little over $10, so the total will be close to $20. Still a steal for a really fun word game!


Another classic. If you love Dictionary, you’ll love Balderdash! (I *think* this is the original version, but there’s a new version that includes other categories besides words, too, so double check.)


What would a gift-buying guide for writers be without Scrabble? The original version is just $8!


I’ve never played this funky new version of Boggle, but the game itself is a classic, and every word nerd will love it!

Rory’s Story Cubes

Sierra already mentioned these, but they look awesome, so I have to mention them, too. It comes in a board game version or as an iPhone app.

Pearl Cards

Another story telling game, this one with photographs. You can also play it online.

If you have any suggestions to add, I’d love to hear them. Happy last-minute shopping!

13 comments to Holiday Gift Ideas For Writers

  • Other ideas sent to me by e-mail from a writer friend:

    Best American Short Stories

    Subscriptions to The Sun, or Poets and Writers, the New Yorker, Atlantic Monthly or literary journals like zyzzyva, The Paris Review or Zoetrope All-Story.

    A coffee mug/coffee maker

    Biographies of writers like Gertrude Stein, Hemingway, etc.

    Best American Non-Required Reading

    A nice notebook/pen

    Gift certificate to a writing class, like the one-day short story bootcamp at the Grotto that begins on January 23. 

    *These are fabulous ideas! I especially like the literary journal subscriptions (and the New Yorker, of course) and the gift certificate for a writing class.

  • Thanks for the list — and comment on The Big Litowski. I'll be posting something about that soon.

  • I love it! Thanks for the love and additional suggestions, Meghan!

  • Molly Colin

    Merci Meghan for the bon mots and bon bons of gift ideas. I'd add the following for a personalized literary Christmas list for Santa to bring:

    1. A guy who writes like Jonathan Franzen and looks like Daniel Craig–a vegan Daniel Craig would be yummy!

    2. Bourbon, yellow Post-It Notes, and a literary calendar from MOMA (in no special order of consumption)

    3. A gift certificate to my favorite indie bookstore.

    4. Bookshelves that are easy to put up and take down (I move a lot).

    5. A round-trip ticket to Fiji for needed research (those noise-blocking earphones will come in handy while scribbling scenes in noisy bars).

    6. DVD's of my fave top films adapted from books…or a Netflix subscription.

    7. Gift certificates for take-out food that transports me to the place I'm reading about–a kind of "Against the Grain" experience.

    8. Massage gift certificates to work out those nasty kinks I get in my shoulders from long writing days…and a manicure would be nice, too, so that my fingernails look pretty as they cha-cha-cha across the keyboard.

    9. A gift certificate to iTunes to download music for warming up to write and cooling down.

    10. Daniel Craig.

  • Sierra – thanks for a great post idea!

    Travener – looking forward to your response!

    Hope you guys both have a great holiday!

  • Molly – Um, I believe you listed daniel craig twice. I hope you've been a good girl so Santa will grant your wish! And thank you for the other fabulous suggestions! I'd gladly take the round-trip ticket to Fiji – and just about everything else on that list. I'd like some mulled wine thrown in, too! Happy Holidays!

  • hah, these are hilarious! My roommate sometimes writes poetry (it highly relaxes her) and she's kinda proud of it, so I'll definitely steal one or two ideas!

  • Jamessmith

    green man plaque – Wonderful wooden animals statues Ornaments for sale by Siiren

  • We have delivering ideal work program opinions to our brand-new disertation wrting web site writers. I am happy to deliver these kinds of companies intended for my brand-new end users. So, we were holding so very happy to make use of the web site composing companies and also article writing companies for great disertation wrting.

  • Things love, the Internet, also many the argot associated beside it. I took a tier on what’s recent in the sixteenth version this week, further I’ll correspond about that in a split notify. Bless s for this fabulous foretell.