7 last-minute gifts for writers

Google ‘gifts for writers’ and you’ll discover an endless array of coffee mugs and pretty notebooks. But the truth is that what most writers want for Christmas is time – time to write, time to think, time to dream. So perhaps your first port-of-call for your last-minute gift for the writer in your life is a sweet little homemade voucher offering them some regular, free-and-clear writing time.

If you’re looking for icing on the cake, though, we’ve come up with a list of last-minute gifts for writers that will make their day.

1. The perfect pen

While advertisers would have you believe that writers need pens of silver and gold, preferably with large feathery quills, to create magic words, the reality is that the best pen for any writer is the one that is handy when inspiration strikes.

I asked a group of writers for their recommendations, which included the 0.7 Uniball Jetstream 250 Rollerball, the Bic Gelocity, and, one of my personal faves, the Sharpie S Gel.

They’re all $5 or under and available at budget prices and in bulk (which, let’s face it, is what we need because they get lost – a lot) from your closest stationery supplier.

Throw in a couple of Spirax No. 563 Reporters’ Note Pads, which I’ve had handy for about the last 30 years, and your writer is in business.

 2. Expert advice

Writing is a lonely business and facing down a mountain of words is not easy on your own. That’s why an online course from the Australian Writers’ Centre is such a brilliant gift! Not only will your writer receive expert guidance and advice, but they’ll realise they’re not alone!

Or perhaps they’re the type who prefers to work at their own pace and in their own time? No problem, we have that covered.

Find out more about all of our courses here.

Best of all, you don’t need to decide for them. Give them an AWC gift voucher and let us help them work out the best course for them.

3. A bottomless coffee cup

Did you know you can get freshly roasted coffee (beans or ground), delivered to your door every month? I discovered this a few years ago and have faithfully given my husband a Campos Coffee subscription for his birthday every year.

It’s the kind of win/win present I love because it means that my coffee cup is never empty. If your writer loves coffee, you might like to give them a subscription too! They cost from $15.50/month for six months.

Find out more.

 4. A break from the daily grind

When you’re trying to build a world in your head and on the page, daily life is full of endless distractions – and deciding what to have for dinner every night is chief among them.

If your writer is also the main chef at your place, give them a break from the daily grind of menu planning with a food box subscription for a month or six or twelve.

And then put your hand up (and the hands of anyone else who’s old enough in the house) to make the meals while your writer gets some words down.

5. Inspiration

While many online booksellers have closed Christmas deliveries, your local bookseller is ready and waiting with shelves brimming with writerly goodness. Ask them to recommend a writing craft book your writer will love – or find some inspiration here or some brand-new titles by Australian authors here.

And, of course, if you’re reading this at the eleventh hour, ebooks are a fantastic choice. Our very own So You Want To Be A Writer (How to get started while you still have a day job) by Valerie Khoo and Allison Tait is waiting for you here.

6. A writer’s retreat of their own

One of the most difficult aspects of writing is making the time to write. So why not present your beloved writer with the making of their very own writer’s retreat in the form of an AirBnB gift card. You get to choose the amount, so you can make it just a starting point for them, or pay for a whole weekend. The point is, you are showing your writer that you believe in their goals and will help them make the space to get there.

Find out more.

 7. A creative date

Creativity is an infinite thing, but that doesn’t mean that it can go without regular feeding and watering. A creative date is an opportunity for your writer to fill that creative well by immersing themselves in art, film, music, gardens…. Anything that allows them to see the fruits of other people’s creativity at work.

So look for tickets that will give them that opportunity, whether they be to the theatre or a gold-pass movie, an open garden or the ballet, an exhibition or a gig. The beautiful thing about a creative date is that your writer can go on their own, with another writer, or with you.


Author bio

Author Allison Tait smilingAllison Tait is the author of three epic middle-grade adventure series for kids: The Mapmaker Chronicles, The Ateban Cipher and the Maven & Reeve Mysteries. A presenter at AWC and former co-host of the So You Want To Be A Writer podcast, Al’s next middle-grade novel will be out in July 2023. Find out more about her at allisontait.com.

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