10 Unique Gifts to WOW Your Writer

Notebooks with quotes and bookmarks that glitters

Post-its and cute coffee mugs that inspires

These are a few of my favorite things….

At the risk of sounding like a cliché, ‘tis indeed the season of giving. And this year, perhaps more than any that came before, is exceptional when it comes to holiday gift giving. Not only are most of us stuck at home, but online shopping means that we have access to almost anything we want at our fingertips. Which presents a problem for loved ones who have a writer on their nice list.

What do they get the writer who has access to everything?

I have received many gifts from my parents, sisters, friends, and other relatives who sought to give me something both unique and useful to my craft. I cherish each one – the mound of notebooks with their motivational quotes, the sparkling quill pens, fluffy blankets, etc. But I admit that there are some holiday gifts that set my writer’s heart aglow.

What are they I hear you ask? Well, below I’ve compiled a list of my favorite holiday gift ideas for writers in 2020. Before we get started, I urge you to shop local and show your support for small businesses.

1- Personalized Anchor Bookmark: CA$39.97

This personalized bookmark by LilliMoGifts Etsy shop has been popping up on my Instagram feed and stories for the past few months, and each time I find myself taking a screengrab of it. I finally added it to my holiday wish list, and fingers crossed, I’ll get to use it for my hot cocoa, blanket, and reading sessions. What I love about the anchor is that you can add a personalized message to it, which makes it so much more special.

Get the Personalized Anchor Bookmark on Etsy.  Estimated date of arrival is between December 7-17th, so order it soon if you want it in time for Christmas.

2-Book Bags: CA$72-78

“It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a loved one in search of a perfect holiday gift, must think outside the box. “

At first glance these wonderful little creations from BAGatelle Studio look like books. But on closer observation you’ll find that no, you’re not looking at Jane Austen’s Pride & Prejudice or Harper Lee’s To Kill a Mockingbird. These are in fact clutches – and what a perfect gift idea for writers, bibliophiles or just about anyone who will appreciate their handcrafted elegance. They’re bit on the pricier side, but well worth the look of absolute awe that will light up your writer’s face come Christmas morning, wouldn’t you agree?

3-Magnetic Notebook: CA$12.82 – CA$42.98

If your writer is anything like me, then chances are their notetaking can sometimes get messy. One thing that I absolutely hate is tearing paper out of my notebooks (shudders at thought of the little shreds of paper left behind). But, I admit that sometimes it’s necessary to remove a page when reorganizing notes. That’s why I adore these Magnetic Notebooks by Uncommon Goods, and think they will make fantastic holiday gifts for any writer.

4- A MasterClass Membership – CA$240

Writers are always looking to improve their craft. Gifting them a MasterClass membership that allows them to consume courses taught by award-winning writers on their own time is a big win. Giving someone a writing course also sends a strong message that you care and believe in them and are willing to support their dream. Some of the MasterClass courses I have taken or plan to take include:

MasterClass is currently offering a 2-for-1 discount for the holiday season.

5-Help Your Writer Afford an Editor

Editing is a crucial phase in the writing process. A writer should not only edit their manuscript, but they should also get a professional editor to have a look at it. A fresh-eyed editor will see things that your writer might miss and help identify any plot holes that can compromise the chance of getting the story published. With that said, editors are not cheap, and their rates do varies.

My advice? Make sure to discuss it with the writer first. Maybe just put an “I owe you an editor” note in a card and then let them choose the editor they want.

6-Books on the Craft of Writing

In my opinion, most books about writing are not very helpful and difficult to get through. With that said, there are a few that have helped me improve and finetune my writing over the years.

Check out my favorite books about writing.

7-Writing Software Tools

The right piece of writing software is a practical resource that any writer will be glad to have in their toolkit. Writing software can make all the difference when it comes to organizing your notes, structuring scenes, character building, and just about anything you might need as you venture on your writing journey. Here are a few popular writing software that have helped me.

  • Evernote (word processor and organizational tool) — free
  • Grammarly (spelling and grammar checker) – free to CA$139.95 annually (Premium)
  • Scrivener (word processor, story planning, organizer) – CA$67

8-Aqua Notes: CA$22

Some of my very best ideas occur at the most inconvenient times – when my hands are wet. And by the time I get them dry, I’ve forgotten what I wanted to jot down, or it just doesn’t read the same as when it first occurred to me. That’s why this waterproof notepad definitely makes it on to my unique gift for writers list.

You can also find a similar product on Etsy called the Stone Paper Notebook for CA$26.24. Not only is it waterproof, but it’s also made from recycled stone – which means it saves trees.


People are constantly surprised to find that I will choose writing by pen over typing any day. Writing with a pen appeals to my senses, and is a different experience entirely. I am more closely tapped into my thoughts and emotions as they flow on to the page. And in order to have a smooth and uninterrupted creative process, I need a good pen.

While I really believe a pen is a personal choice (rollerball, ballpoint, gel, fountain, mechanical pencil, oh my!), I highly recommend the Lacquer Rollerball Pen from Scriveiner. I received this pen as a gift, and simply love it.

10-Personalized Notebook – CA$38.95

As a writer, the ultimate dream is to see my name in print. What better way to help the writer in your life visualize that dream than with a personalized notebook. And yes – notebooks can be viewed as an overdone gift but believe me when I say that writers cannot have enough notebooks. I have a notebook for just about everything.

Here’s a great Personalized Notebook on Etsy that comes with free shipping (in Canada) and is ready to dispatch in 3–5 business days – so just in time for Christmas.

My Top 5 Go-To Books on Writing

Deciding that you’re going to write a story is one of the most exhilarating and terrifying feelings ever. I remember that moment when I decided to start my first novel. Not soon after I made the mental declaration, I found myself staring at the cursor pulsing away (very much like a countdown) on a blank Word document wondering, “what now?”

Getting 60,000 words (or however many) down is a feat that few people do without the professionals’ help and guidance. Even with a degree in English Literature, I had no idea where to begin. So, I went to the bookstore and scoured the shelves.

I’ve bought many books on writing over the years, but the five listed below have helped me the most along my writing journey. Whether by offering tips on literary devices and techniques, story structure, plotting, grammar, etc., I still go back to these books whenever I feel stuck or need help improving my writing.

1-On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft – Stephen King

On Writing is an introspective look at King’s writing journey. It includes a series of vignettes about his life and how his experiences helped form the writer he is now. The book also deals with the mechanisms of writing, the craft of storytelling, and the writer’s mindset – all wrapped up in a lighthearted delivery that is as practical as it is practicable.

2-The Sense of Style: The Thinking Person’s Guide to Writing in the 21st Century – Steven Pinker

Pinker is a “cognitive scientist, dictionary consultant, and New York Times–bestselling author.” In The Sense of Style, he considers what makes writing good (and bad) how language works, all in a cheerful and very concise book that will matter to any writer who simply wants to write well.

3-The Element of Style – William Strunk JR. and E.B. White 

This is by far the one book that I return to the most. Since high school, I have always carried a copy of The Element of Style with me. It’s kept me company on long trips, comforted me when the words were clogged, and has been my constant and consistent writing companion. I guess writers throughout the last one hundred years can say the same.

4- Save the Cat! Writes a Novel: The Last Book on Novel Writing You’ll Ever Need – Jessica Brody

Sure, you might jeer at the silly title of this book, but do you know the five essential plot points needed to make any novel a success? Neither did I. That is until I read Save the Cat Writes a Novel. The techniques offered in this book are based on the Save the Cat! Screenwriting methodology. If you or a writer you know is serious about publishing your novel, this is an excellent investment.

5- Dialogue: Techniques and Exercises for Crafting Effective Dialogue – Gloria Kempton

Dialogue, dialogue, dialogue! I have an ongoing battle with writing dialogue. Not only are characters talking in my head, but those conversations are demanding their place on the page. I must then capture that dialogue, the characters tones, actions, and so forth. Thank goodness for books like Kempton’s!

25 Days of Writing Prompts for the Holiday Season

Photo by Carli Jeen on Unsplash

One of the things I enjoy most about the holiday season is writing Christmas cards for my family, friends, and colleagues. There’s something so special about being able to show someone you appreciate them – in writing. This year it’s even more important that I add that personal touch, so my cards will take longer to write. And, if I’m honest, this is about all the writing I will get done during the holiday season. Between gift shopping, decorating, baking, holiday celebrations, and not to mention blogging, there’s very little time to dedicate to writing.

What’s a writer to do?

Well, I know I need to write, or I’ll end up feeling guilty. However, I want to keep the pressure off to not lose out on celebrating the holiday season. That’s why I am taking the next 25 days to recharge my creativity and find new inspiration.

How do I plan to do that, I hear you ask?

Well, I will challenge myself to write one very short piece (50-200 words) each day of December leading up to Christmas. I won’t spend more than twenty minutes on each writing prompt, and whatever I end up with goes into a folder titled “Blank Page Cure.”  The catch – the prompts will all be based on some scene or idea I have for a longer piece. So, whenever I lack ideas or inspiration throughout the year, I’ll have 25 stories just waiting to be developed.

Want to do the 25 days writing prompt with me?

Here are 25 short writing prompts for the 25 days leading up to Christmas that you can use. I hope they help spark your creativity and give you something to write.

DAY 1: Write a story that includes a volcano.

DAY 2: Someone goes to extreme lengths to buy the perfect gift.

DAY 3: There’s a clock in the hall that does nothing at all.

DAY 4: The boys were told to stay out of the attic, but they did not listen.

DAY 5: “This is the last time,” she shouts. “Then, I’m done.”

DAY 6: Describe a clementine using the five senses.

DAY 7: Santa is on trial.

DAY 8: Write a story about fridge magnets.

DAY 9: Write a short script about meeting your muse.

DAY 10: Sally has lost something very important. Describe it without saying what it is.

DAY 11: The camera allows you to take photos of something unexpected.

DAY 12: Write a story about being happily trapped.

DAY 13: A relative you didn’t know about shows up at your door.

DAY 14: Write a story about running towards something that keeps moving farther away.

DAY 15: Describe walking along a shoreline.

DAY 16: Write about a ridiculous rivalry.

DAY 17: A hidden letter is found, and it changes everything.

DAY 18: What do you see in your reflection?

DAY 19: Write about the morning fog.

DAY 20: You have limited cash and are low on gas.

DAY 21: Sheep everywhere!

DAY 22: The angry man with the staff emerged from the nearby field.

DAY 23: Your best friend betrayed you to protect you.

DAY 24: Everything you knew about him was a lie.

DAY 25: A dialogue between multiple opposing characters in one scene.