Halloween Costumes – The Writer Look

I’m not sure how many people actually want to dress up as a writer, since our characters are usually far more interesting than we are (evil overlords, ninja squirrels, handsome genius rocket scientists with dimples, etc.), but just in case there’s a need for costume ideas, I’ve put together a few.
Jonathan Franzen look – Replica of his signature glasses, add a button-down shirt in blue, brown or gray, no tie, cultivate some stubble and you will be all set. Now that Oprah loves him, if you have a group of friends willing to follow you around with copies of his book asking you to sign it, it will add to the authenticity.

Neil Gaiman look – black leather jacket, black shirt, black pants, nicely rumpled hair

The would like to be Neil Gaiman but is poor look – Black frayed hoodie, assorted black clothes, uncombed hair

The angstful artiste writer look – See Neil Gaiman look above, except hair needs to be slicked back.

The cat lady writer look – Comfortable, mismatched clothes, stuffed cats attached to both shoulders, cat, real or stuffed, to carry around for conversations about the cuteness of said cat.

The literary look – Draw a bookcase on a piece of posterboard, attach the posterboard to a tweedy jacket with elbow patches, wear glasses

The frustrated writer stuck in revisionland limbo – Ratty bathrobe stuck all over with post-it notes full of cryptic word combinations: ‘Where is Mr. Snuggums?’, ‘Ernest-skunk’, ‘bird blood-smells like?’, and ‘troll hair?’

The Vicious Circle – Unpublished writers are often told they need to publish something to get published. This is completely untrue, but I’m including this costume because it’s funny. I can’t take credit for it. A college friend came up with it long ago. Take a hula hoop and paint it black. Tape on posterboard cutouts of sharp teeth all the way around. Wear black. Instant vicious circle.

I should admit in the interest of full disclosure, I’ve worn some of these looks when it wasn’t Halloween. I’d love to see what others can come up with. Feel free to leave your own costume ideas.

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7 Responses to Halloween Costumes – The Writer Look

  1. Not funny, but the creepiest series of writerly Halloween costumes I’ve witnessed is a good friend of mine who every year for the last 20 years has dressed up as a famous writer who committed suicide. What makes it so creepy is that the costumes are all post-suicide. Hemingway was very disturbing, Plath produced nervous giggles (as the linchpin of that costume was an adorable little cardboard stove that my friend built and wore on her head), but the one that really got me was Woolf. All ghastly gray and dripping wet with her pockets full of stones.

  2. Tracey says:


    How about the classic look? For women, become painfully thin, dress in tailored suits, carry a cigarette, and perfume self with a splash gin. For men, a slight gut is acceptable, tweed is optional but a suit jacket is required, a pipe, and perhaps some scotch.

  3. LOL, Bryn, that’s hilarious but disturbing.

    My brain is fried tonight, so sorry, no contribution, but it’s an awesome idea.

  4. Jeanne says:

    Or business casual with an expression of permanent yearning, for those of us who are not only writers, but also full-time office workers.

    BTW — I’m on vacation next week if you can get away for lunch.

  5. Pingback: Do-It-Yourself Author Costumes for Halloween » Wordhelper » Editing, Writing, Resumes, and More!

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