What are you giving & getting this year?

We know gift guides are everywhere this time of year, but that’s because they’re the best! For all those listeners out there who were wondering what to send us for your year-end holiday of choice, all your questions are answered in today’s episode! For real, though, we’ve put together an extensive list of great gifts for writers, beyond just the usual pens and writing books (though we do love those). Giving a writing-related gift to a writer is an excellent way to show them you believe in their writing, that you recognize them as a “real” writer, even when they don’t (whatever “real” writer means). There are enough ideas here to help you out all year.

You can listen to the episode and see full show notes on the episode page, but we’ve put the list below too. We also shared some favorites in Episode 4 (like my typewriter t-shirt), so check that out as well.

We’d love to hear what other gifts you come up with! We’ll be sharing pics of our own favorites from this list all week on Instagram using  #marginallypodcast — we’d love for you to join in!

(By the way, all brands named here are here because we like them; we have no sponsorship or any other agenda.)

gift guide


  • Fountain pen (Meghan loves hers – it’s the Pelikan Souveran M400 here)
  • A bunch of their favorite pen (Olivia loves the Staedtler triplus fineliner)
  • Notebooks (too many to link to here, but you should check if the person you’re buying for likes to write with or without lines)
  • Notebook covers (this one from Foxy Fix is on Meghan’s wish list; the No. 9 will fit a full-size composition notebook)
  • Writing books – we will put some inspiration the blog & Instagram, from our collections, a bit later and add a link here
  • Pencils (Meghan likes the Target dollar spot ones with no erasers, and also these and these from Get Bullish. CW Pencil Enterprise seems to be the place for fancy-pants pencil-related fun, though we have no experience with them, so this isn’t an endorsement)
  • Pencil sharpeners (Olivia loves vintage ones like this one, probably because she doesn’t use pencils a lot; Meghan’s mentioned her basic X-Acto XLR electric one more than once)
  • Fingerless gloves
  • Index cards
  • Post-it notes


Tech gifts

  • Web-blocking tools to help them focus, like Freedom
  • Scrivener (a license is $45)
  • Bluetooth headphones
  • Bluetooth speakers to let you play music out loud
  • Their own domain name
  • Volunteer to help as tech support, offer to clean up their computer or help with other skills they may need (bookkeeping, organization, etc.)
  • Print their blog and print it out


Inspiration & self-care

  • Get them a yoga class or a pass to their studio
  • Send them into the world for inspiration – maybe a membership at a state or national park, a local museum, etc.
  • Get them a writing class at your local university (most, including community colleges, will have continuing education), a class at a writing institute if you have one nearby, an online class or even something like The Great Courses
  • You could even plot out your favorite walk(s) nearby, draw them a map or describe the route so they notice the things you really enjoy
  • Make them a playlist – old-school like a mix-tape, or new-school like a 42-hour classical Spotify playlist.



  • Tea accessories – Teapot, tea cozy
  • Candles (possibly a cliche, but we love them, so whatever)
  • Incense and other things that smell nice
  • Tea and coffee subscription boxes
  • Make them a homemade collage, or an illustrated quote (from their writing, or someone else they like)
  • A gift from Quotabelle – a site that focus on researching and publicizing inspiring quotes by women
  • Make them a bulletin board or give them other decorative things for their writing space


Time gifts

  • Watch their kids or pay for babysitter – and pick a specific time if you can, so they don’t have to even do any work to take you up on it
  • You could splurge for a night in a nearby resort or hotel, if you want to go all out
  • Or offer them a weekend at your house when you’re out of town
  • Or even your spare room when you are there – and promise to let them write uninterrupted
  • If cooking for themselves or their family takes a lot of time or energy, you could try food subscriptions or a nice meal
  • Or even just do a chore they complain about doing, to make their life easier (like putting away the laundry)



  • PEN International – advocacy for writers
  • Scholar Rescue Fund
  • Wish lists for adjuncts and other educational professionals
  • Donors Choose – support underfunded classrooms (in the US)
  • Youth outreach or creative writing programs in your local area (or someone else’s)
  • International educational foundations like the Malala Fund
  • Local libraries and Friends of your local Library – you could donate books or money
  • Literacy foundations
  • Little Free Library – donate or buy it for someone else

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