Wednesday, November 20, 2013

I’m Dreaming of a Write Christmas! A Gift-Giving Guide for the Writer in Your Life

By Tiffany Reisz, @tiffanyreisz

It’s almost Christmas, Writing Writers. And Christmas is my favorite time of the year. Since I’m about to start my Christmas shopping this week, I decided to put together a Christmas gift-buying guide specifically for writers. If you’re on this blog you're either a writer or you want to be a writer. Even if you don’t celebrate Christmas you’ll find an awesome idea to give the writer in your life (or give yourself – after surviving NaNoWriMo, you’ve earned a reward).

The following items are all things I own and use and can endorse wholeheartedly. And no, the companies mentioned did not pay me to pimp their products.

Gift #1 - SCRIVENER!

Buy SCRIVENER HERE. Also available on the App Store.

Price - $40.00 for PC and $45.00 for Mac

Sick of scrolling through hundreds of pages in WORD trying to find that scene you need? Tired of screwed-up formatting? Confused on how to format your novel before you submit it to an agent or editor? Then SCRIVENER is the program for you. Every. Single. Published. Writer I know uses SCRIVENER. Recently I had to completely overhaul a book. I had to delete scenes, take it apart, put it back together, and add new material. This would have been a nightmare in WORD. But with SCRIVENER it was a breeze because of the separate files you can create for each scene and chapter.


Do you know a writer with an iPad? Well, get them this fancy cover/keyboard and they can turn their iPad into a tiny laptop. What’s even better is that it comes in tons of cool colors! I got green, and I don’t know why. I don’t even like green.

Price - Now on sale at BROOKSTONE for $69.99 (I paid $100 for mine L ).

Gifts #3 and #4 – KEURIG K-Cup Coffee Maker and Custom Designed Mug

My boyfriend/writer Andrew Shaffer is the man who told me of the wonders of the K-Cup, the single cup coffee system. I thought he was exaggerating its awesomeness until I caved in and bought one for us. I’ve lost two pounds since we got it because I drink more coffee and eat less food. I finally feel like a real writer, thriving on coffee fumes.

Note the coffee cup on the Keurig machine – a fan had a coffee mug printed with my books covers and presented it to me at a book-signing. Do you have a writer in your life who has a new book out? Does it have a great cover? Consider getting that writer their own book cover coffee mug.

Find the Keurig K-Cup machine that’s right for your under-caffeinated writer at

Price - $115 and up depending on model.

Get a custom coffee mug at Shutterfly. Price - $15 and up.

Gift #5 – Fingerless gloves

Ever been writing in a coffee shop or library only to find yourself freezing your freaking butt off? You want to put on your gloves but you can’t because who can type with gloves on? The solution? Fingerless gloves. I have three pairs.

Fingerless gloves are everywhere this season. I found them for $1.00 a pair at Target. Or you can get fancy handmade ones on Etsy.

Price – anywhere from $1-$50 depending on material and make.

Gift #6 – Decomposition notebooks (not to be confused with composition notebooks which are boring). 


These notebooks are my new favorites. They’re made from 100% post-consumer waste. Plus they have cool covers and really odd end pages. And the word “decomposition” is funny.

Fans of zombies love decomp-notebooks. I found mine at my local independent bookstore. Order direct from Michael Roger.

Price - $6.00-$12.00 depending on style and where you order.

Gift #7 – Tarot Cards

This might seem an oddly occult gift to give at Christmas, but Tarot Cards have long been used by writers to help brainstorm during the writing process. Pick a card, any card. Did you get the Seven of Cups? It symbolizes a person who desires something that he or she will never attain because their desire outweighs their efforts. This card symbolizes a person who wants a perfect body but doesn’t exercise or who dreams of a perfect job but doesn’t work for it. Sounds like the sort of situation anyone can relate to—it’s so relatable, in fact, you could start a novel with a character in that situation and take him or her on a journey of self-discovery. Don’t like that idea? Pick another card. Read about its symbolic meaning. See if that inspires you.

Several books exist that are marketed as Tarot for writers. They focus more on the creativity/imagination side of Tarot and less on the fortune-telling side.

Price – Tarot decks range in price depending on your deck. There are hundreds of weird and wonderful decks to choose from. The Rider-Waite deck is the classic, however, and it runs approximately $15.00-$20.00.

My favorite book on Tarot cards is Tarot 101 by Kim Huggens. Price - $17.95

(Note from Janice: I'm a big fan of Tarot Made Easy by Nancy Green for another option. Price - $14.86)

No matter what holiday you celebrate—Christmas, Hanukah, Kwanza, Festivus for the Rest of Us, Saturnalia, or Nothing at All—I hope you have a safe and joyful December and a Happy New Year!

And as always, happy writing!

Tiffany Reisz is the internationally-bestselling and award-winning author of The Original Sinners series from Mira Books. When she’s not writing you can find her trying to shuffle her tarot cards while wearing fingerless gloves. Tweet her @tiffanyreisz. And Merry Christmas!


  1. I've never liked fingerless gloves. I mean, they're obviously defective because they don't keep your whole hand warm! But for typing...hmm....

    At least one person in my writer's group uses tarot cards; I'll tuck that info in my back pocket for now. Thanks, Tiffany!

  2. If you can knit, you can make your own fingerless gloves for about $3 in two hours. :-) Here's a pattern I use often:

  3. Ah, if you think Tarot cards are great you should check out Storyforge cards:

  4. I am oddly drawn to--and scared of-- Tarot cards. Also Scrivener. :-)

  5. In addition to Tarot cards, Story cubes are awesome for brainstorming. And Scrivener! LOVE IT! Downloaded the demo and bought the thing two days later. Use it for everything now. So handy.

  6. Give me the gloves. Stripes and all. Those are perdy!

  7. I'd love to get Scrivener, but I suspect I'm not supposed to buy myself Christmas presents.

    (And I have to admit, the single-cup coffee maker made me wince - so much packaging, so much waste.)

    1. It's a lot less waste than a cup of coffee from Starbucks and you can recycle like we do.

  8. thanks for the list. Am thinking of an Ipad--now I know what accessory I'd need to go with it!

  9. I purchased the Scrivener program for $40, but found it was only a short trial. If I wanted the program the cost was much much greater.

    1. No one I know has paid over $45 for the complete program including me. Something went wrong if you paid extra. The trial of Scrivener is free. The full program is $45 tops.

  10. Tarot cards are pretty neat. I have some tarot cards that are steampunk designed and love them. That Keurig sounds like a serious winner!

  11. I swear, I keep thinking about using Scrivener but haven't taken the plunge yet. I've got my little groove that works for me, so I'm afraid of trying something new.

    Love the fingerless gloves!

  12. This might be the year I ask for Scrivner. Thanks for the list!