27 Best Gifts for Screenwriters
If you’re struggling to find the perfect gift for screenwriters, you’ve come to the right place.
I’ve worked as a screenwriter and screenplay analyst for over a decade, and I have a good deal of experience as both the giftee and gifter within the screenwriting space.
And I know it can be hard to shop for us.
So, with some crowdsourcing of ideas, here are the absolute best gifts for screenwriters.
This post contains affiliate links, which means I receive a small commission, at no extra cost to you, if you make a purchase using the links. Please see my disclosure for more details.
If someone is new to the screenwriting space, or struggling to make ends meet, they may not be able to afford paid software. That’s okay! There are options that don’t involve payment. But, if you want to get them something that feels industry-standard, I’d suggest Final Draft or FadeIn.
Some screenwriters like to write in total silence. Others prefer a musical accompaniment to their writing.
I am of the former category, but I know a lot of writers who have made Spotify their best friend. Consider snagging a Premium account for your buddy.
We’re into “life basics” territory, but a lot of new screenwriters are just coming out of college and can always use a nice care package.
If you’ve got cash to spare, think Williams Sonoma or Fortnum & Mason gift baskets.
If you’re on a tighter budget, consider the Holiday Nut and Dried Fruit Gift Basket. Check dietary restrictions, of course – but, seriously, snacks are always welcome.
A great water bottle made a huge difference for me in my H2O intake. It’s among my favorite of these best gifts for screenwriters. If you’re like me, and you get into a bit of a writing zone, having easy access to water without having to get up actually makes a big difference.
I also really like that this one allows you to track your water intake, so you can make sure you’re staying hydrated. Screenwriters need to drink!
And get one that they’ll like. Because people are weirdly picky about these things.
If you’re a lucky screenwriter, you have full control over your environment.
If you’re like most of us, you share a writing space with someone else, whether that’s your family, roommates, or work colleagues.
Anything that increases comfort levels can be a great gift for a screenwriter, so they can focus on their work – not the temperature.
6) Standing Desk
This is where we get into health & wellness. A lot of us can’t use standing desks for various reasons, but other people really benefit from them.
What I love about this desk is that it converts from sitting to standing, so if you need to move around throughout the day – you can. Consider the desk options that might make the most useful gift for your screenwriter friend.
7) Board Games
I don’t know why. I have no idea what it is. But the screenwriters I know and love all adore board games. I’m guessing it has something to do with strategic thinking, which screenwriting (and, certainly, dealing with Hollywood) benefits from.
Get your screenwriter friend a board game they love, and you’ll be a true winner.
8) A Great Book
A great book is always a good gift. Screenwriters spend a lot of time reading scripts for work, and that’s great!But it’s helpful to take a break and read something else. Pick out a great book for them – something you know they’ll enjoy.
9) Screenwriting Books
A lot of “gurus” will scoff at screenwriting books, but I think they can be really helpful, especially if someone’s starting out.
I also have my own book (blatant self-promotion) about pitching a screenplay that might be useful to them, mostly because I don’t see a lot of work done to provide templates for pitching the same way writers provide templates for drafting a script – neither of which are replacements for hard work and repetition – but all of which can be helpful to a screenwriter’s journey.
10) A Great Computer
Does your screenwriter friend need a gaming laptop?
Unless they’re going to game and write scripts on it… in which case… maybe?
What they do need is a reliable computer that allows them to use the latest software, stream films/TV for research, and keep up to date on any correspondence with producers and collaborators.
While the vast majority of screenwriters work from their computers, a lot of us like to take notes or plan drafts on paper. I’m one of those “a lot of us,” and having a good notebook makes a difference.
Some people prefer a classic school notebook like these.
While others might prefer something like these.
A notebook is always a good gift.
If you’re going to be writing with paper (or even if you aren’t), a good pen goes a long way. A lot of screenwriters print out their work to look at it on paper for a final edit before submitting it (I recommend this, personally).
Having a pen you love goes a long way.
13) A Book of Poems
One of the best pieces of advice I ever got from a screenwriting teacher on the rhythm of screenplays was to read more poetry.
if your writer friend is looking for ways to create sensible but still tight/condensed language, understanding the language of poetry will help. A book of poems is a great present for any screenwriter.
14) A Magazine or Kindle Subscription
Give them an ongoing subscription to a magazine or Kindle Unlimited.
A lot of screenwriters get so caught up in Hollywood that they don’t have the time or energy to focus on other things. But we all benefit from engaging with other topics we care about, whether those are sports, politics, travel – whatever they like, give them a chance to indulge. It makes a difference, and will inspire their future storytelling.
15) Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Prime
A good streaming subscription that they don’t already have. This way, they can watch what’s new and catch up with whatever they missed. It’s hard to juggle all the various subscriptions, so it’s probable your friend doesn’t have every one. Get them one they don’t have yet. I personally like BritBox.
16) A Nice Printer
If you’re doing a lot of writing, at some point you’re probably going to want to print out your work and read it through. A great printer is a fantastic gift – especially one that doesn’t cost a lot to keep filled with ink.
Don’t forget to buy ink and paper!
I don’t drink coffee, but I still enjoy a Starbucks gift card. There’s never enough gift cards out there.
When I was working for some producers a while back, they loved to get surprising gift cards – so while they would do Target or Starbucks for smaller holidays, they also did spas, escape rooms, and even a certificate for a few rounds at a local golf club. So – get creative.
A lot of people think screenwriter = rich, but that’s not always the case.
Especially starting out!
If your screenwriter friend is struggling, cash can be helpful. Make sure they aren’t someone who might feel insulted, though – some people have pride over the cash thing, which is where a good gift card can come in.
But, if they’re in need, a little cash can really help.
I had a client buy groceries for me once, by Venmo-ing me some cash, and it really changed my entire month.
19) An Annotated Screenplay
Most writers will want to read other screenplays. And there are plenty of free places to find them! There are also great copies of scripts with notes from the screenwriter, often available on Amazon and other outlets.
I recommend buying them a copy of their favorite, if it’s available.
20) A Cool Copy of A Fantastic Film
Most of us are downloading these days, but that doesn’t mean a great BluRay isn’t appreciated.
We also are seeing more “alternate versions” of films released on BluRay and DVD, and I recommend tracking some cool ones down, like this Fury Road double feature.
21) A Treadmill
A lot of us are working out from home these days. A treadmill that can fold down for easy storage is a great gift this holiday season.
Screenwriters spend a lot of their work time sitting and typing, so anything that encourages movement can be helpful and is greatly appreciated! Obviously, check first to make sure they are into working out and have the space.
If they’re a drinker, a nice bottle of something they enjoy is the perfect gift. This holiday season, we all need to relax more than ever, so having something good on hand may be helpful.
Make sure to check with them (or their family) to confirm they actually drink.
23) A Subscription Box
Keep the gifts coming year ’round.
I wasn’t a fan of subscription boxes, but I got a fun one this year that changed my mind.
I reviewed my subscription to Bespoke Post here.
One of the coolest things I ever got in those boxes was a set of new lights by Philips Hue that I can control from an app on my phone. Completely changed my writing environment!
So, I’m a definite subscription box convert. Having someone else curate products for you is a huge time-saver.
24) A Great Chair to Write In
If your friend is still writing from the chair they bought for their college dorm room, they might need an upgrade.
Consider a really great office chair for back support, or something more cushy if they’re all about reclining while writing.
Here are some more ideas for the best chairs to write in.
25) Awesome Headphones
Screenwriters are going to need something to help listen to music, movies, and TV, without bothering people around them.
A great set of headphones or Airpods can do this. Personally, I prefer over-ear headphones for blocking out noise, but if you’re into earbuds, there are a lot of options out there. A new set of earbuds can last a long time, and makes a great gift.
26) Training for Public Speaking
Have you ever seen a really embarrassing or boring public speaker, who’s a great writer? The two skills don’t always go hand in hand!
Get them a membership to their local Toastmasters.
Help them learn how to talk in public. It’s a skill that will help them, no matter where they end up.
27) Read Their Script
This is a really personal gift, because it requires your time and energy.
Consider giving your writer friend a second set of eyes to look over their work. Be positive about it. Find the good things, and explore what might be improved, without being mean.
When I give notes, I try to look for areas that lack clarity or cohesion, and I keep my personal opinions on whether or not I would watch the film out of the equation (whether there’s an audience for the project is a different question).
Try to focus on what’s working and what’s not working. Even if you’re just offering a proofread, that kind of a personal gift is greatly appreciated.
What are the best gifts for screenwriters that I’ve missed? Post them below!