Best Gifts for Writers | Gift Guide

There are so many great gifts for writers out there! If you have suggestions or items on your wish list please send them over and I’ll add them to the guide.

Best Gifts for Writers | Gift Guide

What do you get the writer who has everything?

Or, perhaps this is more accurate: Oh no! You drew THE WRITER for your secret Santa gift exchange and you have no clue what would make a good gift! Help!

What are the best gifts for writers anyway? Is there a GIFT GUIDE?

Yes, yes there is.

Best gifts for writers

With a bunch of sections to go through, I thought a table of contents would be handy.

Click on the links below to jump to the gift category you’re most interested in.


Esty finds

OK, there is SO much amazing handmade or vintage gifts for writers on Etsy. It’s overwhelming really. The last time I checked there were 18,254 results.

But don’t worry, I’ve dug up a few of my personal favourites to cut your shopping down from eons to mere minutes. You’re welcome.

Best Gifts for Writers | Etsy Finds
  • Typewriter Bangle—a personalized typewriter charm? Um…yes. Please
  • Writer’s Block…Block—I have no words, this is gift perfection
  • Handmade Wood Pen—I can just imagine holding this wooden, ballpoint twist pen in my hand and allowing the creative thoughts to flow freely!
  • Quotation Mark Earrings—aren’t these adorable? Punctuation as jewelry is always a good gift, in my humble opinion. The only thing better would be an interrobang‽
  • This is What a Badass Journalist Looks Like—you can get this phrase printed on a ceramic mug, on a T-shirt or on a coaster
  • The Writing Manifesto Print—this isn’t pictured but imagine a busy (yet calming!) inspirational poster with phrases like “You are a writer,” “caffeine and headphones,” “embrase the muse,” etc.
  • Luxury Notebook—WOW. The black faux leather is embossed with a bronze feather and “Creative Ideas.” It would make a most excellent gift for a writer

Writer-themed coffee mugs

Writing mugs need no introduction. They’re silly, they’re funny (to writers), and they hold coffee. AKA the perfect gift.

1. I Am A Writer That Means I Live In a Crazy Fantasy World With Unrealistic Expectations Thank You For Understanding Ceramic Mug

It’s accurate, it’s pretty, it’s practical. It’s perfect.

2. There Their They’re Coffee Cup

Don’t worry, your writer will get it.

3. Please Do Not Annoy The Writer Mug

I think the multiple fonts takes the edge off the murdery stuff.

4. Novel In Progress Keep Writing Mug

Short and to the point. It gives a real “leave me alone, I’m writing” vibe.

5. Stay Up Late Writers Mug

I love the typewriter. And the meta writing about writing.

6. Writer’s Block is a Figment of Your…Uh… Mug

I can’t think of anything to say about this mug.

Best gifts for writers. Writing mugs need no introduction. They're silly, they're funny (to writers), and they hold coffee. AKA the perfect gift.

Writer-themed pendants

Writers aren’t all about writing. They appreciate writing-themed jewelry too!

1. Outlander Sassenach Pendant Necklace

A couple years ago I attended a writing conference and it was all Outlander all the time. So I know this one’s a winner.

2. Keep Calm and Write On Pendant Necklace

A cliche, a mantra, a push to keep going.

3. Why is a raven like a writing desk? Alice in Wonderland Necklace, Lewis Carroll Quote Pendant, Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland Jewelry

I’m watching Through the Looking Glass as I write this…there may have been some influence.

4. Library Book Necklace, Book Pendant

So many books, so little time.

Gifts for writers. Writers don't just love craft-related items, they love writing-related jewelry too! What do you get the writer who has everything? Or, perhaps this is more accurate: Oh no! You drew THE WRITER for your secret Santa gift exchange and you have no clue what would make a good gift! Help! What are the best gifts for writers anyway? Is there a GIFT GUIDE? Why yes, yes there is.

Writing notebooks | Gifts for writers

Yes, this is super practical. But I’ve pulled some of the cooler writing notebooks from the Internet.

Although everyone uses computers, many writers prefer pen and paper for staying organized. I even know writers who write their novels by hand!

1. Field Notes Kraft Ruled 3-Pack

These 48-page mini logs are masterpieces.

2. Passion Planner

I have several friends who swear by this planner.

3. Refillable Travel Journal

It’s pretty, it’s refillable, and it’s perfect for writing in.

4. Productivity Planner

Get focused, beat procrastination, write things in a pretty notebook. Win win win.


E-readers

Writers love real life books but they’re also realists. Where do they put all those books they read? Which is why you should get the writer on your list an e-reader.

Here are a few options!

1. Kindle Paperwhite

2. Fire 7 Tablet with Alexa

3. Nook HD

4. Kobo Forma

Gifts for writers. Writers love real life books but they're also realists. Where do they put all those books they read? Which is why you should get the writer on your list an e-reader. Here are a few options!

Craft books

Books on the craft of writing are great gifts for writers! These are a few of my favourites.

1. Writer’s Market 2020: The Most Trusted Guide to Getting Published. This is the standard gift for writers!

2. On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft

This book is incredible. The advice and writing tips took my writing to the next level. It also banished adverbs. Yay.

3. Jeff Herman’s Guide to Book Publishers, Editors & Literary Agents, 28th edition: Who They Are, What They Want, How to Win Them Over

This is similar to the Writer’s Market but can there be too much of a good thing? When it comes to writing books, I say no!

4. The Weekend Book Proposal: How to Write a Winning Proposal in 48 Hours and Sell Your Book

I spent the past year writing my book proposal and pitching it so you can see where my head’s at. Book! Book! Write your book! (Actually, PLAN your non-fiction book!)


Writing T-shirts | Gifts for writers

Every writer needs a writing T-shirt. And these ones are funny. Trust me on this.

1. To Quote Hamlet

This is quite silly, but I like it! (And I think your writer will too.)

2. I Put The Lit In Literature T-Shirt

I’m not 100 per cent sure what “lit” means in today’s slang but my gut says it’s pretty cool. So this saying is probably cool too.

3. This is My Writing Shirt

A bit on the nose but accurate nonetheless.

4. Grammar Police T-Shirt

This is for those special writers or editors in your life who are proud of their grammar grasp and want the world to know they’re paying attention to misplaced modifiers and pronoun usage.


Writing prompts

Looking for writing prompts and writing journals? This is your official one-stop shop!

1. 1200 Creative Writing Prompts (Adventures in Writing)

If you’re looking for writing ideas, you’ve come to the right place.

2. 1,000 Awesome Writing Prompts

Prompt sections include beginners writing prompts, constrained writing, flash fiction, ripper prompts, and general writing prompts.

3. A Year of Creative Writing Prompts (Write On!)

Kick your imagination into gear with this collection of hand-picked, hand-crafted, explosively creative writing prompts!

4. 365 Journal Writing Ideas: A year of daily journal writing prompts, questions & actions to fill your journal with memories, self-reflection, creativity & direction

Follow the undated daily journal writing prompts and weekly actions to fill your journal to the point of bursting.

Looking for writing prompts and writing journals? This is your official one-stop shop! What do you get the writer who has everything? Or, perhaps this is more accurate: Oh no! You drew THE WRITER for your secret Santa gift exchange and you have no clue what would make a good gift! Help! What are the best gifts for writers anyway? Is there a GIFT GUIDE? Yes, yes there is.

Gifts for writers, Pin it for later!

Oh no! You drew THE WRITER for your gift exchange and you have no clue what to get. Help! What are the best gifts for writers anyway? Is there a GIFT GUIDE?

Stay tuned, more to come. I’ve got ideas for writing prompts, writing-themed jewelry, writing BOOKS, writing inspiration, and writing clothing (obviously) in the queue. And whatever else I can dig up!

Other Fun THings For Writers

Gifts for writers are fairly straightforward. Literary-themed beverage containers and office wear as well as the obvious notebooks should keep them happy.

One more thing. You may be interested in my free resource library. This is where I keep my files, downloads, ebooks, worksheets and whatever else I manage to create. I love sharing what I learn and want to keep adding to this library so it becomes a wealth of helpful goodness.

This is a free resource but I do require a password to access the library itself. You can get access by popping your email address into the form below.

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Feedback vs Criticism: 8 Ways to Deal with Negativity

We all need input from others to help us improve but when dealing with negative comments it’s important to know the difference between feedback vs criticism.

Feedback vs Criticism Dealing With Negative Comments

And no, you don’t have to take every piece of advice you receive. But maybe you should take some of it.

Feedback vs criticism: dealing with negative comments

When deciding if something is feedback vs criticism it all comes down to motivation. This isn’t always easy to discern but once you know the difference it will be easier to identify.

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Feedback vs criticism (defined)

Feedback is a response or reaction to an activity. It can be negative but its intention is to correct and/or inspire positive change. Feedback is specific and precise.

Criticism speaks in general terms relying on statements like “always” and “never.” It assumes motives for behaviour and applies sweeping blame and judgment.

Another difference between feedback vs criticism is feedback focuses on behaviour/problems and is most often given in private whereas criticism focuses on the personal and is often given in a public setting.

The best way to tell if you’re receiving feedback vs criticism is to determine what the intention of the negative comment is.

  • If it’s intended to shame you or is a personal attack this is criticism
  • If it’s intended to solve a problem and help you improve then it’s feedback

You still don’t have to take the feedback but at least you know it’s coming from a good place.

Your Writer's Statement Free Fillable Worksheet

By the way, no matter the reason, you should know why you write.

If you can get clear about your why it will act as a beacon when your path isn’t clear. You know, when things like criticism, self-doubt and insecurity knock at your door. Or when success doesn’t come in the timeline you daydreamed about.

Your why will help you see past the discouragement of the day and keep moving ahead. Because you have a larger purpose! Your why is bigger than a momentary setback.

Ready to create your writer’s statement? Download the worksheet from my free resource library. This is a free resource but I do require a password to access the library itself. Pop your email address into the form below and I’ll send you the password.

Once you’re there, navigate to the writing section and look for “Create a Writer’s Statement Worksheet.”

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Many of us hold back from publishing or putting ourselves out there online and on social media because we’re petrified of negative feedback and critical comments.

We’re already insecure enough—and our self-talk works hard to keep us humble.

The last thing we need is rejection from Internet strangers.

Except we need to put ourselves out there. Because professionals publish their work; they put themselves out there.

Professionals make things every day and then they share them. That’s how they get better—by making things. Amateurs, on the other hand, wait for their big break and hide in the shadows until someone discovers them. Incidentally, they are the ones who are quick to criticize those making things. Which one would you rather be: the brave creator, or the cowering critic?

Jeff Goins, You Can Be a Critic or a Creator (But You Have to Choose One)
Feedback vs Criticism

But what if you are the brave creator and still receive negative comments? If it’s criticism you can ignore it but if it’s feedback here are a few strategies for dealing with it effectively.

How to respond to negative feedback

  • Recognize it’s not personal and be polite in your response
  • Respond in a way that lets the person know s/he’s heard
  • Don’t rush to reach or take the feedback at face value
  • In a day or two, embrace constructive feedback
  • Keep your response short, simple and sweet
  • If needed, apologize and sympathize in your response
  • Insert a little marketing into your response if possible
  • As soon as possible move the conversation offline

Publishing in the digital age means we can receive instant feedback and so we need to develop thick skin.

Learning to recognize the difference between feedback vs criticism and responding (when appropriate) in an effective way will not only help you improve but also help you grow your fan and follower base.

Other writing posts you may like


We all need input from others but when dealing with negative comments it's important to know the difference between feedback vs criticism.

One more thing. You may be interested in my free resource library. This is where I keep my files, downloads, ebooks, worksheets and whatever else I manage to create. I love sharing what I learn and want to keep adding to this library so it becomes a wealth of helpful goodness.

This is a free resource but I do require a password to access the library itself. You can get access by popping your email address into the form below.

Get Access to My Free Resource Library

* indicates required
We all need input from others but when dealing with negative comments it's important to know the difference between feedback vs criticism.
We all need input from others but when dealing with negative comments it's important to know the difference between feedback vs criticism.

A Five-Step Plan for Breaking Free from Content Mills

If you’re new to freelance writing you may have heard other writers warn you about content mills.

A Five-Step Plan for Breaking Free from Content Mills

But do you know how to spot them in order to steer clear? And what if you took a gig and found out later it was one of those content mills? How do you break free?

So, you want to be a freelance writer

For many new writers, the idea of making a living writing is an elusive dream.

They aren’t veterans with established credibility, they don’t have strong clippings from reputable sources, and they don’t have a network of colleagues to get advice from. They’re desperate for information but they hear conflicting advice and don’t know who to believe.

So they bid on jobs and take five dollars per article, all the while cold pitching blog after blog and freelance marketplace posting after freelance marketplace posting. Nothing is working.

They feel like frauds and wonder if it isn’t better to give up altogether.

Content mills AKA writers mills AKA content farms are all slang terms freelancers give to companies or websites that pump out cheap content intended to drive page views or profits and pay their writers next-to-nothing rates.

When you’re just starting out it’s easy to wind up in these content mills because they’re easy gigs to get and many new freelancers don’t know what a good rate is.

They’re so flattered and excited to get a job they take it without much consideration.

But wait. Doesn’t everyone start somewhere? And what if you’re already writing for content mills don’t even know it? Or what if you’re writing for content mills and you’re ready to make the break…what’s next?

Would you like free writing tips? Sign up for my weekly tips & tricks, from one writer to another at robynroste.com/writing-tips.
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Five tips for breaking free from content mills

Get a website

If you’re hungry for work you need a website promoting your writing. It doesn’t have to be fancy but you do need to let prospective clients know what kind of writing you do, what kind of writing you have done, and how to get in touch.

Here are seven essential writer website elements if you’re wondering what you should put on your website.

Write a blog

Yes this is a lot of work but it’s also a great example of your writing style and voice. This fills in the gaps if you don’t have many good-quality clippings and demonstrates your dedication to the craft.

On the fence about blogging? Here are four reasons why I think freelancers should have a blog.

Create a marketing plan

Keep it simple at the beginning, but have a plan. Answer these questions: what type of writing do you want to do, what is your rate, what problems can you solve for your clients, and where are your ideal clients? Then make a plan to get your ideal client’s attention.

Here are some tips for marketing yourself as a writer without feeling sleazy or braggy.

Ask for help

This is hard. But in your circle there has got to be at least one person who is willing and able to help you by offering mentorship, advice, or introductions. But you do need to be vulnerable and reach out. If you don’t know where to start you can ask me.

Joining a writing group is an awesome way to find people who can help you escape content mills. Here are my best tips for finding good writing groups.

Practice pitching

There’s a whole psychology to pitching and it starts with mindset. If you believe you’re a fraud or you don’t deserve more than five dollars an article then your pitching will reflect that. Practice pitching and work on your confidence. Ask other writers what pitches have worked for them and make adjustments to your approach as necessary.

Wondering where to start with pitching? Learn how to write a query letter.

By following these five steps you will be on your way to creating a platform and landing clients. And with the support of fellow writers, you’ll pick up even more ways to reach your freelance writing goals.

If you're new to freelance writing you may have heard other writers warn you about content mills. But do you know how to spot them in order to steer clear?

One more thing. You may be interested in my free resource library. This is where I keep my files, downloads, ebooks, worksheets and whatever else I manage to create. There’s a writing section and a freelancing section I think you’ll get a lot out of.

I love sharing what I learn and want to keep adding to this library so it becomes a wealth of helpful goodness.

This is a free resource but I do require a password to access the library itself. You can get access by popping your email address into the form below.

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If you're new to freelance writing you may have heard other writers warn you about content mills. But do you know how to spot them in order to steer clear?
Content mills aka writers mills aka content farms are all slang terms freelancers give to companies or websites that pump out cheap content intended to drive page views or profits and pay their writers next-to-nothing rates. When you're just starting out freelance writing it's easy to wind up in these content mills because they're easy gigs to get and many new freelancers don't know what a good rate is. Want to break free? Here's your five-step plan for breaking free from content mills.

Why Prescriptive Non-Fiction is Worth Considering If You Don’t Know What to Write

The question, what is prescriptive non-fiction, isn’t the only question I received at a recent workshop I taught called Is It Time to Write Your Book. However, it’s one I have also asked so I thought it was an excellent topic to cover.

What is Prescriptive Non-Fiction

When I first started planning my book I thought there were two choices: fiction or non-fiction. But deciding on non-fiction is just the first step.

I outlined this a bit when I explained how word count changes based on book genre. Here is the TL;DR version.

Non-Fiction Genres

  • Devotional
  • Self-Help
  • Memoir
  • Narrative Non-Fiction
  • Biography
  • Prescriptive/How-To

And yes, there are more genres within non-fiction (personal development, practical non-fiction, general non-fiction). But that’s another topic for another day.

Would you like free writing tips? Sign up for my weekly tips & tricks, from one writer to another at robynroste.com/writing-tips.
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What is prescriptive non-fiction?

Prescriptive non-fiction books are known as being strong topical guides or instructional how-to books. They help readers accomplish something or acquire a new skill.

Here are a few examples.

From these titles you know what you’re getting. First you’ll learn how to walk in high heels, then how to get great book reviews and finally how to write a first draft in 30 days.

What does it take to write prescriptive non-fiction?

In order to write a prescriptive non-fiction book the author has to know and understand the topic at a deep level. Deeper than the people who are learning the topic. An expert, if you will.

Another option, if the author is not an expert, is to curate interviews with experts and compile the information into a book.

Writing prescriptive non-fiction is a good option if you’re looking to write something but you don’t have an idea yet. Because chances are you’re an expert about something.

Think about what you know a lot about, what you have interest in and what you think you could spend a lot of time talking about without getting bored. The more specific you can get, the better.

If you’re looking for a challenge, read Nina Amir’s How to Blog a Prescriptive Nonfiction Book in 30 Days.

Of course you’ll need a tight writing schedule to accomplish that but I know you’re up for it.

Prescriptive non-fiction books are known as being strong topical guides or instructional how-to books. They help readers accomplish something or acquire a new skill.

One more thing. I think you’ll enjoy my free resource library. This is where I keep my files, downloads, ebooks, worksheets and whatever else I manage to create. I love sharing what I learn and want to keep adding to this library so it becomes a wealth of helpful goodness.

This is a free resource but I do require a password to access the library itself. You can get access by popping your email address into the form below.

Get Access to My Free Resource Library

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Prescriptive non-fiction books are known as being strong topical guides or instructional how-to books. They help readers accomplish something or acquire a new skill.
Everyone is an expert in something so writing prescriptive non-fiction is a good option if you're looking to write something but you don't have an idea yet.

6 Helpful Services a Book Publicist Does for an Author

What does a book publicist do?

what does a book publicist do

In general, this is a broad name for a person who has direct and indirect influence on book sales. So it’s an interesting and important role.

But just how does a book publicist affect this positive influence? And what does a book publicist do for an author? And what does it take to be a book publicist?

Would you like free writing tips? Sign up for my weekly tips & tricks, from one writer to another at robynroste.com/writing-tips.
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What does a publicist do, anyway?

Think of a publicist as both your biggest cheerleader and a teammate on your book marketing team.

He or she will champion your book to the media and sing about how wonderful it is. And my, how wonderful that feels.

They have one main goal: get positive press coverage for his or her client.

A book publicist gets involved in the process after your book goes to print but (in general) before it’s published.

You've decided to write a book tip sheet free download

By the way, are you thinking about writing a book? You are, aren’t you.

Read the post, How to Write a Book before you dive in. And when you’re ready, grab the complimentary worksheets that go along with the training. They’re in my resource library—just pop your email address in the form below for the password.

Once you’re in the library, navigate to the writing section and look for “You’ve Decided to Write a Book Worksheet.”

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Here are a few things a book publicist does for an author

  1. Gets book reviews
  2. Gets articles written about the book or author
  3. Nominates book for awards
  4. Gets interviews for the author
  5. Sets up and promotes virtual book tours
  6. Schedules book talks and tours

These are all essential ingredients in the book marketing recipe for success.

Now if only you could look at marketing as a creative outlet instead of a thorn in your side we would all be singing to the bank.

But I digress

Of course an author can do his or her own marketing and if this is something you’re considering, here are some of the required skills.

Here are a few skills a book publicist should have in order to be successful

  • Ability to work with all kinds of different clients (every author is different and requires a different approach)
  • Strong writing and oral skills
  • Strong public relations skills
  • Knowledge of the journalism industry
  • Understanding of what journalists and book bloggers are looking for
  • Outgoing personality
  • Good at networking
  • Organized

Considering becoming a publicist? For extra credit, read So, You Want to Work in Publishing: The Role of a Publicist from Writer’s Digest

Your writer's statement worksheet free download

If you can get clear on why you’re writing, it will become a beacon of light showing you the way forward.

Download the Your Writer’s Statement worksheet from my resource library.

Pop your email address in the form below, confirm your subscription to my email list and I’ll send you the password to my free resource library. Once you’re in, navigate to the “writing” section and look for the worksheet titled, “Create a Writer’s Statement Worksheet.”

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There’s no question publicity (aka marketing) helps book sales. If people hear about a book they’re more likely to purchase it rather than one they’ve never heard of.

“If you write it they will come,” isn’t really a thing.

Before you get too worked up, I understand this isn’t your favourite thing but I still think you can rock your marketing. And when you need a boost, hire a book publicist.

Related posts

One more thing. You may be interested in my free resource library. This is where I keep my files, downloads, ebooks, worksheets and whatever else I manage to create. I love sharing what I learn and want to keep adding to this library so it becomes a wealth of helpful goodness.

This is a free resource but I do require a password to access the library itself. You can get access by popping your email address into the form below.

Get Access to My Free Resource Library

* indicates required
What does a book publicist do? It's a common question. In general, it is a broad name for a person who has direct and indirect influence on book sales.
What does a book publicist do? It's a common question. In general, it is a broad name for a person who has direct and indirect influence on book sales.
What does a book publicist do? It's a common question. In general, "book publicist" is a broad name for a person who has direct and indirect influence on book sales. So a book publicist is an interesting and important role. But just how does a book publicist affect this positive influence? And what does a book publicist do for a writer? And how long does it take?