What to Give the Writer in Your Life

Since I’m about to finish my MFA from Seton Hill University in Writing Popular Fiction, I’ve been doing some shopping for gifts to express my appreciation to the terrific professional writer/mentors I’ve worked with. Surfing the net for “gifts for writers” has made me reflect on the gifts folks have given me over the years. As a writer, what has made my socks roll up and down?

Truthfully, it hasn’t been anything that arrived in a box. Instead, it’s been the gift that came from folks who shared with me that readers enjoyed my work. The other day, for example, a writer/middle school librarian friend emailed me that she’d put my novel, While I Danced, on her shelves. “It’s already checked out and has a waiting list of about 10 kids,” she wrote. “The girl who is reading it now is singing your praises and it is spreading like wild fire.”

I levitated through the rest of the day. Wow, I thought, there are actually kids out there reading my book—and enjoying it. How cool is that?

We all need to know that our work is appreciated, and that in some small way, it makes a difference. I think this is especially true for writers. We spend lots of time alone working on projects for which there’s no guarantee there will ever be an audience.

So, if you’re looking for a really great gift for a writer you care about, don’t worry if you have a limited budget. Pass on positive news about folks who loved their work. Your gift will truly be priceless.


  1. Marty Stiffler on December 2, 2015 at 9:30 pm

    What a helpful posting this is. I never thought about a gift for a writer from that perspective. Thanks for putting this out there and making your point well.

  2. Lynn Slaughter on December 3, 2015 at 9:54 am

    Thanks, Marty! I was thinking this really applies in any field. I also cherish those notes from students I’ve had that I made a difference in their lives. It’s made me want to keep “paying it forward” by letting the amazing folks in my life know how much I appreciate them– like you!

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