The Best Non-Book Gifts for Writers

Hipster authors notebook

“The only thing we have to fear,” President Roosevelt once said, “is fear itself.” But when you’re dating, friends with, or related to a writer, you know firsthand there’s much more to be afraid of. Charm your way out of becoming a thinly veiled character on the page with these whimsical and supportive gifts, as attractive as they are useful, and watch those villains turn into heroes as your friends fawn over how considerate and thoughtful it is of you to give them something that isn’t a book. With inspired art and stationary, coffee mugs aimed at productivity, and the stylish comfort of a sleek lap desk, we’ve got you covered, at least until Valentine’s Day.

Hunter S. Thompson Comic Print
Nothing says, “Writer Humor” like an illustrated print of Hunter S. Thompson’s famous quote, “Life has become immeasurably better since I have been forced to stop taking it seriously.” This 8×8 print is nonsensical, sure, but fun. Printed on museum quality 11”x14” paper with fade-resistant ink, it’s fun enough to be hung in a hallway but inspiring enough for an office. Also available in Oscar Wilde, Hellen Keller, and Edgar Allen Poe varieties. ($20.00, Etsy)

Smart Media Wooden Lap Desk
While your writer friend may claim he or she is perfectly content to sit at their desk for hours upon hours, as back pain is just an indicator of engagement, deep in their heart of hearts, most writers would kill for a gift as indulgent as the Smart Media Wooden Lap Desk, which offers a 22”x 15” flat surface for writing, a no-slip smart phone pad (whether for inspirational music or the phone’s timer function), and a media slot that holds all forms of tablets upright, making it an ideal, ergonomic, and comfortable zone for work. Additional features include sleek black wrist pads to reduce the risk of discomfort or carpal tunnel, and a built-in “pen nook” that ensures your friend never misses her train of thought. Finished with a dark veneer, black lap pads, and a sleek carrying handle, this desk is also extremely good-looking. ($49.95,

Vintage Dictionary-Lined Envelopes
When not drafting their new novel or writing an experimental essay using Ke$ha lyrics, your writer friend is probably sending detailed, hand-written letters to a friend or lover across the country, and what conveys the power of words better than these premium, handmade envelopes lined with pages from a vintage dictionary? Each page is hand-cut and each envelope hand-lined, and their petite size—4 3/8” by 5.75”—makes them the perfect stylish vessel for any carefully crafted note. ($7/set of 12, Etsy)

Hipster-Friendly Journals
The hipster writer in your life—and let’s be honest, we all have one—will love a clever, chic journal. The Hip Famous Authors journal, designed by New York City’s Pratt Institute, is covered with the faces of some of literature’s most celebrated players: Mark Twain, Emily Dickinson, Edgar Allan Poe (affectionately known as ‘Ed’), and William Shakespeare (‘Bill’). The Fearless Spiral Notebook depicts a surreal image of 20s it girl Louise Brooks, and this 100% recycled spiral is decorated with an inspirational quote by Ralph Waldo Emerson. (various prices,

642 Things To Write Journal
Send writer’s block heading for the hills with this inspiring journal, which is as sleek and attractive as it is versatile. Each of this journal’s 642 pages offers an inspiring or witty writing prompt, ensuring that no creative stone in your writer’s life is ever left unturned. Sample prompts include penning your own obituary and writing a love letter to an inanimate object. Now to sit back and prepare yourself for the hilariously inspired, creative prose to come. ($16.95,

Face Mug With Cookie Slot
You can lead a writer to her desk, but you can’t make her write. You can, however, ensure she’s well fed and entertained with this whimsical face mug, featuring built-in storage for cookies, nuts, and even donuts. Made of sleek China, this mug has style and personality, and is the perfect companion for someone who spends long hours at their desk or office. While ideal for milk and cookies, you can also use it to pair coffee and pastries, tea and biscotti, or even soup and crackers. Best of all, the mug is oven, dishwasher, and microwave-safe. ($18, Uncommon Goods)

Write Like A M*^%erF*%$er Mug
If you’re looking for a mug with a little more personality and, well, chutzpah, consider this “Write Like A M*^%erF*%$er” mug, inspired by Cheryl Strayed’s most infamous quote from her “Dear Sugar” column in The Rumpus. Designed by Walter Green, graphic designer and art director of The Believer and Lucky Peach fame, the mug is white with stand-out red lettering and a smooth veneer gloss finish. The mug is dishwasher and microwave-safe. It holds 13oz. and a lot of motivation. Considering what Strayed went on to do with her beautiful memoir, Wild (now being made into a feature film with none other than Reese Witherspoon), you might say the saying works. ($13, The Rumpus)

Are you shopping for a writer this holiday season? What’s your gift suggestion?

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