Searching for the perfect gift for the hard-to-buy-for, cantankerous writer in your life? Low on funds? (Hey, who isn’t nowadays?) Check out our 10 (Cheap!) Awesome Gifts for Writers 2020. Some of these are stupid. Some are fun. And some are edumacational! And some will get you hammered (Remember to drink responsibly, whatever the hell that means.) But they are all frickin’ cheap — in fact, the most expensive thing on here is 59 bucks. And THAT, friends, is something to celebrate.
Wishing all of you a wonderful holiday season, no matter what holidays you do (or do not) partake in.
*Coverage, Ink receives no kickbacks or compensation of any kind for these recommendations.
1) Storyteller T-Shirt $14.95
There are lots of shirts out there for writers and screenwriters, many of which say crap like “Be careful or you’ll wind up in my next screenplay.” But this one has a really lovely design. Wear it to your local coffee shop at some vague point in the future where coffee shops and going out exist, and watch the conversations spark!
2) Write Epic Shit Mug $16.95
Sure, there are tons of mugs out there for writers, but this one says it all. Empowering, motivating, guilt-inducing. And it holds coffee (or more than a wee dram of Writer’s Tears – see below.) Perfect.
3) Pitchstorm $17.49
If you love card games like Exploding Kittens and Cards Against Humanity, you’ll love Pitchstorm, the party game of amazing, horrible movie ideas. Super fun. And check out all the genre-specific expansion packs!
4) Story Maps: TV Drama $19.95
Another book??? Ah, but this one is different. Daniel Calvisi really delivers, telling you exactly what you need to write a killer TV pilot, using examples from shows like Breaking Bad and The Walking Dead. One of the best books on TV writing we’ve seen.
5) Save the Cat! Crash Course $14.95
Get on board with the STC! method quickly and painlessly in this short video course and accompanying PDF booklet. Master Cat Cory Milles explains the key elements of each story beat of the Blake Snyder Beat Sheet as he breaks down the 15 beats of 3 movies—Black Panther, Coco, and Lady Bird—in 15 informative videos, one per beat.
6) Moviemaker Subscription $19.95
An honest-to-goodness glossy paper magazine delivered to your door 4x/year, “Moviemaker” is essential. Excellent in-depth stories covering all aspects of moviemaking, from microbudget indie to studio films, with a strong focus on writers and creators. Or get the digital-only subscription for $5! Really, this one is a no-brainer.
7) CI Consultation Gift Certificate $59
There is nothing more empowering than a one-on-one phone, Zoom or Skype call with an experienced CI story analyst. From choosing a story idea to smoothing story bumps to plotting your marketing strategy, a consultation is just what the (script) doctor ordered. Score your writer friend a 1-hour consult and know that you’ve helped them substantially moved the ball downfield on both their project as well as their craft.
8) Writer’s Tears Gift Pack $49.98
Returning to our list for the second straight year: the excellent Writer’s Tears brand Irish whisky, now in a lovely gift box with two lovely etched glasses. Do we really need to sell you on this one?
9) Tales from the Script $15.99
Legendary screenwriters share stories about working in the biz. Must-read!
10) Insane, Counterculture Books (asst’d prices)
Sadly, the internet spelled doom for small, counterculture publishers putting out books on topics the government really doesn’t want you to read, like “The Anarchist Cookbook” and “Techniques of Burglar Alarm Bypassing.” Loompanics and Paladin Press published hundreds of books containing all sorts of insane, deep-dive research highly useful to writers. If you want to learn the real way to build a bomb, survive in prison, or run a long con, check into these aging but still fun publications. Some of these are available for free or as part of a massive compilation – a must-have research tool for any writer.
Ragnar Benson’s books:
Paladin Press books: