A Gift Guide for the Writer in Your Life

Emily Fahey Content Marketing, Team, Writing Tips

Between wrapping up my own NaNoWriMo novel and looking forward to the holiday season, I’ve been thinking about the resources I turn to as a writer and books that are on my wish list. So when tasked with compiling a holiday gift guide for writers, I was delighted with the idea and reached out to our Scribe Source team right away.

The list of gift ideas we’ve compiled is meant for a variety of writers but is by no means comprehensive. (Have you ever tried to ask a writer what their favorite book is? They probably gave you a laundry list and adamantly protested that they can’t pick just one.) But it covers a good selection of team favorites with a variety of styles that (we think) deserve to be on the shelf of every writer.

For Fiction Writers

2k to 10k: Writing Faster, Writing Better, and Writing More of What You Love by Rachel Aaron

All fiction writers struggle with word count. This book is an excellent resource for writing efficiently, increasing word count without sacrificing quality, and learning to love the process. It also includes helpful tips for following a five-step plotting method, editing, creating characters, and structuring a story.

 

 

 

90 Days to Your Novel by Sarah Domet

Sarah Domet’s personal philosophy is that novel writing isn’t about inspiration, but is about time, energy, and, most importantly, discipline. The schedule outlined in this book combined with a dedicated two to three hours of work a day will help your writer complete a first draft in 12 weeks. This guide provides coaching, planning, daily exercises, and gentle encouragement to get a draft from that nebulous conceptual stage to a solid draft that is ready for an editor’s eye.

 

 

 

Sarah Domet, author of 90 Days to Your Novel, shares her philosophy that novel writing isn’t about inspiration, but is about time, energy, and, most importantly, discipline. Click To Tweet

For Nonfiction Writers

Storycraft: The Complete Guide to Writing Narrative Nonfiction by Jack Hart

This book is about proven methods and mechanics for crafting nonfiction, covering story theory and structure, mastering point of view, and drafting, revising, and editing work for publication. The author is a former managing editor of the Oregonian, not to mention an editor who guided several Pulitzer Prize-winning narratives to publication, so you can feel confident that this will be a helpful resource for years to come.

 

 

 

The Rose Metal Press Field Guide to Writing Flash Nonfiction, edited by Dinty W. Moore

This compilation book offers exercises, examples, and analysis in thoughtful essays from 26 modern authors. It’s an essential resource for writers of nonfiction, highly praised by teachers as an excellent addition to course material for writing classes. It should be noted that the Rose Metal Press also offers a field guide for flash fiction and prose poetry; the trilogy would make a lovely gift for a multigenre writer.

 

 

 

Anne Lamott writes like the best friend you always wanted as a writer, cheering you on with anecdotes, practical advice, and chummy commiseration about days when you don’t feel like a writer. Click To Tweet

For Content Developers

Everybody Writes by Ann Handley

Writing for content marketing has its own rules and quirks, and thankfully there are resources for our unique corner of the writing world. The author is a top marketing veteran who brings expertise and insight into the strategy of content creation and getting results.

 

 

 

Break the Wheel by Jay Acunzo

The premise of this book is that we should avoid making decisions based on best practice, instead doing what works best for our unique situations. Jay Acunzo posits that by removing the flood of outside advice, we can approach our work with a clarity that leads to exceptional results. Break the Wheel is about escaping the cycle of stale approaches and avoiding pitfalls of trends that hold us back from excellence.

 

For Every Writer

Bird by Bird by Anne Lamott

An “oldy but goody” first published in 1995, Anne Lamott’s advice is straightforward, humorous, and no-nonsense. She writes like the best friend you always wanted as a writer, cheering you on with anecdotes, practical advice, and chummy commiseration about days when you don’t feel like a writer. She muses on terrible first drafts, jealousy, writers block, and self-motivation.

 

 

 

Ernest Hemingway on Writing by Larry W. Phillips (editor)

This is a wonderful collection of Hemingway’s writing advice, thoughtfully compiled by Larry W. Phillips from novels, stories, letters, and interviews. Ironically, while Hemingway maintained that it was bad luck to talk about writing, he frequently wrote about writing, and writers are lucky to have his wisdom in this single collection. This book is a quick read, full of hilarious and insightful quotes about writing, reading, discipline, craft, word choice, characterization, and life as a writer.

 

 

 

If the writer you have in mind has interests on the more technical side, check out our recent blog post by Zach Wolfe Martin on the differences between and benefits of various style guides. A current edition of any style guide is always a welcome gift for a writer.



About the Author

Emily is a fundraising professional with ten years of experience in higher education and public media. She specializes in writing direct mail and email fundraising appeals, website copy, capital campaign marketing materials, copy for on-air live read and live pitching campaigns, and fundraising training manuals. She first joined the Scribe team in 2014.