Finding affordable gifts for writers doesn’t have to be difficult.
Looking for creative gift ideas for the Jane Austen or Stephen King in your life?
Overwhelmed by the myriad of options available on Amazon and Google?
Relax. Take a deep breath. I’ve got your back.
In this post, I’m going to help you find the perfect gift for your writer friend, spouse, or loved one.
I’ll even give you different price options for each unique gift idea so you can choose the one that best fits your budget.
And best of all? I’m not going to beat you over the head with dozens and dozens of different gift ideas. We’re going to keep things super simple: just a handful of ideas, plus several options for each.
Let’s dive in.
Here are 3 of the best gifts for writers in 2021 (and beyond):
1. A Really Good Pen
Yes, it’s cliche. And, yes, most writers already have a dozen cheap pens scattered around their house.
But a good pen? A really, really good pen?
That’s a different story.
It doesn’t matter if it’s for an aspiring writer, an aspiring novelist, a freelance writer, or a bestselling author. Heck, it doesn’t matter if they already own one (or several).
If you give a writer a good pen, it’s a gift that will be treasured.
Here are Some Nice Pens That Won’t Break the Bank
On a tight budget? That doesn’t mean you can’t buy the writer in your life a solid pen they’ll love.
Prismacolor Premier Illustration Markers are lightweight, virtually smudge-proof, and cost about the same as a candy bar. They’re not much to look at, but for anyone who values function over form (and a low price), they’re hard to beat.
Don’t want a fine-point pen? Or maybe you’d like an upgrade in the “looks” department?
For around $15, the Parker Jotter is a stainless steel ballpoint pen that’ll turn heads and make people ask, “Is that a Parker Jotter stainless steel pen?”
And if you get it for them, your writer friend or loved one will be able to respond and say, “Yes — yes it is.”
Want to Spend a Little Extra?
The Pelikan Stola III is a handsome ballpoint pen that offers great comfort and balance. If you prefer, it also comes in a fountain pen variety.
If you’d like something a bit beefier, the Deluxe Stealth Tornado from Retro 51 is worth a look. It feels substantial in the hand and its all-black, stainless-steel design is timeless.
Money No Object? Buy One of These Pens
Is the writer in your life tech-savvy?
You should look into getting him or her the Livescribe Symphony Smartpen Digital Pen. It works on iOS, Android, Windows, and macOS.
Does he or she prefer to write notes on paper?
The Aurora Ipsilon is a classic fountain pen that fits great in the hand and offers smooth, consistent ink flow. You know, if such things matter to your writer friend (and they should).
Finally, consider the Cross Townsend pen — it’s plated in 10 karat gold.
I’ve included it on my list because it’s plated in 10 karat gold.
2. Noise-Canceling Headphones
Sometimes, the most thoughtful gift you can give a writer is the gift of silence.
No, that doesn’t mean giving them the cold shoulder — it means giving them what I consider to be one of the very best gifts for writers:
Noise-canceling headphones that block out the world’s distractions so you can get down to business and write.
Of course, noise-canceling headphones aren’t cheap. But that doesn’t mean there aren’t good deals to be found.
Let’s look at a few…
Active Noise Cancellation for Under $50
The Anker SoundCore Life Q20 is an over-ear headphone that offers decent sound, great comfort, and active noise cancellation (ANC) for $60 — and Amazon regularly offers a $10 discount to bring the price down to a cool $50.
With over 27,000 reviews and a 4.5 out of 5 rating on Amazon, it’s little wonder why the New York Times’ Wirecutter lists the Anker Q20 as its budget pick for noise-canceling headphones.
But what if the writer in your life prefers earbuds?
Look into the EarFun Air.
It’s IPX7 rated (meaning it’s sweatproof and waterproof), offers USB-C charging, and has a battery that lasts 35 hours when fully charged.
Plus, the brand is called “EarFun” — how could it NOT be a good time for your ears?
Bigger Budget? Consider One the These
At around $130 on Amazon, the Anker Soundcore Life Q35 takes everything great about the Life Q20 and turns them up to… well, 35.
Plus, its active noise cancellation can switch between different modes based on your location. That’s not a big deal if you only wear them in your writing space inside your home, but if you mix things up and sometimes go to coffee shops, outdoor parks, Justin Bieber concerts, etc., it’s a feature you’ll appreciate when those distracting, horrible noises are blocked.
If your writer friend is more of an earbud guy or girl, Anker’s Soundcore Liberty Air 2 Pro is a great option.
It offers many of the features you see with Apple’s AirPods Pro (more on it below), but at a much lower price.
Just think of all the pens you could buy with the money saved!
Rolling in Dough? Get Your Writer Friend One of These Headphones
The Sony WH-1000XM4 is my noise-canceling headphone of choice; in fact, I’m wearing them right now as I write these words.
They’re probably my most extravagant purchase to date. So much so that, seconds after purchasing them, I had buyer’s remorse.
“Do you have any idea how many pens you could’ve bought with that money?” I asked myself.
But as soon as they arrived and I tried them on, I fell in love. Put simply: They minimize distractions and make my job infinitely easier.
Of course, with a higher budget, you have other options too. For those who prefer Bose to Sony, the Bose 700 is a great alternative to the WH-1000XM4 (though a little bit pricier).
And if you’re in the Apple ecosystem, two standouts are the AirPods Pro and AirPods Max.
The former is $200 earbuds with legions of die-hard fans and a host of great features.
The latter is over-ear headphones that cost almost $500. And, no, they aren’t plated in 10 karat gold. However, they are adored by almost everyone who’s purchased them.
(I hear the guy from the Monopoly board game can’t stop raving about his.)
3. An Excuse to Read More Books
Most writers are avid readers.
Book lover? Bookworm? Bibliophile? We writers wear these terms as badges of honor.
That’s why a gift — any gift — related to reading is usually a big hit with writers.
Of course, “any gift related to reading” is broad and incredibly unhelpful.
So let’s look at several specific gift ideas you can try…
Books on Writing (Under $20)
Every book lover has their favorite genre, but when you’re buying a book for a writer, getting something related to the craft of writing is usually a safe bet.
Here are four writing books we routinely recommend to our students:
- On Writing Well: The Classic Guide to Writing Nonfiction by William Zinsser — The best book on the mechanics of writing.
- Save the Cat by Blake Snyder — The best book on the structure of writing.
- On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft by Stephen King (aka Jon Morrow’s favorite writer) — The best book on being a writer.
- Writing Down the Bones: Freeing the Writer Within by Natalie Goldberg — If you need inspiration or a gentle kick to snap you out of writer’s block, this is the book for you.
And if your writer friend or loved one likes to read at night and needs a handy book light, Amazon has options starting at only $10.
A Kindle Reader (Starts at $60)
If your writer friend or loved one has ever said anything like…
- “There’s just something about the smell of a good book.” Or,
- “I love holding a book in my hand and flipping through the pages.” Or,
- “Tablets are stupid and anyone who reads books on them is stupid. What’s next? Using a laptop instead of a vintage typewriter to craft my next short story?”
…they probably wouldn’t appreciate a Kindle E-reader.
However, if they’ve ever uttered anything like, “Wow… I can’t believe you can fit a thousand books on that one tiny device,” they’d probably love a Kindle.
The basic Kindle E-reader starts at $60 on Amazon, with the Kindle Paperwhite starting at $85 and the not-gold-plated Kindle Oasis starting at $250.
If the writer in your life has ever said anything about “taking a hot bath” while “reading a good book,” this $30 bathtub caddy is another gift idea to consider.
Blue Light Blocking Glasses (Starts at $69)
Anyone who reads books on tablets (or who works on digital devices all day, which let’s face it, is most of us) needs a good pair of blue light blocking glasses.
I don’t pretend to understand the science behind them, but I know from personal experience they reduce eye strain and, in my case anyway, help me to have fewer headaches.
The Swanwick Classic “Day” Swannies ($79 on Amazon) are my daily drivers, and the Swanwick Classic “Night” Swannies ($69) are great for those who work (or read) at night.
True, there are cheaper blue light glasses out there (some as low as $8). But if your writer friend’s experience is anything like mine, the cheaper options will pinch their nose, hurt their ears, and have them wondering, “Are these actually blocking any blue light?”
In other words, they’ll eventually end up buying a brand like Swanwick anyway, so you might as well cut out the middleman.
What do YOU Think are the Best Gifts for Writers?
There are lots of great gifts for writers out there, and this post has only scratched the surface.
That’s why I’d love to hear from you.
What writing tool should be in every writer’s toolbox?
A coffee mug filled with the good stuff? A tote bag filled with a variety of novel tea flavors? How about a literary journal or membership to a top-notch writing course?
What are your favorite gift ideas for writers?
Share them in a comment below!
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