Back to School for Writers | Elsie Road Magazine

Back To School for Writers

It’s back to school season and that means it’s time to stock up on school and office supplies. These days, the majority of my writing life takes place on some sort of device, but there’s something charming about bringing that writing life into the tangible world too. In that spirit, here are my top back to school tools for writers.

Back to School for Writers | Elsie Road Magazine


I feel like pens are a weirdly personal subject. Everyone has a favouriteballpoint, gel, coloured, chewed at the top. I’ve read good things about these Le Pens, but in general my favourites are smooth rolling, clickable ones.

Sticky Notes.

I go a little crazy with these when I’m reading a really good book. Evidence here. But they’re perfect for taking quick notes, marking your page, and sticking to random surfaces. These Kate Spade ones are ridiculously cute (as most Kate Spade things are).


I use headphones and loud music to get in the writing zone. Sometimes it’s to block out noise in the room, but sometimes it’s just to focus my attention. This Sennheiser pair is what I use—pretty good sound, decent price, and good noise-blocking abilities.

Reference Books.

So most people may not use actual physical dictionaries any more (that includes me), but having a few real reference books around is perfect for inspiration or you know, reference. This one by Lee Gutkind is great for creative nonfiction writing, but I also love this book on writing prose, the Canadian Press style guide, and this writing life guide.


I’ll be honest, these are mostly just for aesthetics. I mean, who writes with pencil? But they would be perfect for Instagramming.


Right now most of my notes get written into some app on my phone (notes, Evernote, Trello). But I really want to try carrying a notebook with me again as a place to gather general inspiration. I’d love to get a Moleskine so I can start a series of writer’s notebooks that all look the same.

Paper Clips.

Paper clips in the shape of turtles. For keeping loose papers together and sparking joy every time you look at them.

Inspirational Posters.

Because what’s a writing space without a few inspirational prints? You can download this one for free right here.


Those are the writing supplies I’m gathering this back to school season. What’s in your writer’s toolkit? (Please say paper clips shaped like turtles.)

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