Young writers are awesome. Talking to them makes me excited all over again about my projects — and theirs! If you want to encourage a young writer in your life,
bribery gifts are always appreciated. These can be great for birthdays, Christmas, or even something like CampNaNoWriMo(*), which just so happens to be around the corner.
Here’s a wishlist to help you celebrate the young (and average-aged) writer(s) in your life:
1. Fancy Pens
There’s nothing quite like having fancy pens, especially fancy colorful pens. Pilot Varsity offers an assortment of disposable fountain pens that won’t break the bank. If you want to super spoil your writer, consider Parker, Lamy, or Cross fountain pens. (Note: Ignore the crazy expensive ones – there are less pompous options under the same brand.) For a non-fountain pen, Uni-Ball is a jewel. The pens last a long time and don’t dry out, which will happen with cheaper brands. Plus Uni-Ball comes in lots of colors!
(Bonus: Don’t forget to buy a pretty pencil case for easy transport! Paperchase is my personal love.)
Journals have a variety of purposes, so I’ve broken them down into a few categories.
A. Fancy Journals
The story journal! The one where all the cool ideas go. Moleskin are super nice and professional – and if you get one that’s not leather, you can create your own cover with your fancy pens – but even with cover decoration they can be a little on the bland side. I’ve long been obsessed with PaperBlanks myself. The pretty covers and magnetic clasps make them fun, practical, and pretty.
B. Prompt Journals
When inspiration gets dry, a good old-fashioned prompt journal can help get your writer back on track. 642 Things to Write About: Young Writer’s Edition, Ready, Set, Novel, and Writing Maps are some of my personal favorites.
C. On-the-Go Journal
This should be a compact journal, ideally small enough to slip into your back jeans pocket. When your writer is out and about – at school, a movie, whatever – he or she can take notes and jot down sudden inspiration in this small journal. I personally am a fan of the grid journal, because it’s easier to sketch in (somehow it looks messy to sketch in a lined journal). Whatever brand you buy, make sure if feels durable, because this is the one that will get scratched up, spilled on, and smashed!
3. A Special Accessory
When I was a kid, I loved the way Violet Baudelaire (from Series of Unfortunate Events) tied her hair back every time she was ready to fix stuff. I started tying my hair back whenever it was time to write, and it’s a habit that gets me in the groove even today. Instead of ribbon, I use one of my Flex Clips from LillaRose now.
4. A Fancy Candle
A candle can set a lovely writing atmosphere, and what teen doesn’t love fire? Paddywax offers a plethora of author-inspired scents. There’s also Frostbeard Studio on Etsy, which includes fragrances like “Oxford Library” and “Wizard Scents.” If you like the idea of nice smells but don’t like the idea of fire, you could always go with a little Silence in the Library perfume or a pleasant Paper & Cotton blend.
5. A Fancy Mug
Every writer must have an addiction to either coffee or tea (if not both), and even if they don’t they can always put water in their mug. You might like a straight up writer-y mug, but you could also go with an author-centric one (like this with Jane Austen), or one of those sophisticated chalkboard ones (for taking additional notes).
Make no mistake — these gifts are awesome, but the best gift you can give a young writer is talking about their project, begging them to let you read it (but acting chill if they don’t want you to!), and in general being as enthusiastic about their projects as they are.
(*) For the newbies, CampNaNoWriMo takes place in the month of April. It’s the spring equivalent of NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month) which, as the name implies, is all about writing a novel in a month.
(**) Disclaimer: The only product on this list that I might get paid for is anything purchased at the Lilla Rose Shop. But those hair clips are seriously awesome.