Scribbler is a monthly subscription box for writers—specifically novelists and aspiring novelists—created by authors Victoria Scott and Lindsay Cummings. It's filled with items to help facilitate improvement and reach publishing goals, as well as some fun writing-themed goodies.
This box was sent to us at no cost for review purposes. (Check out the review process post to learn more about how we review boxes).
The Subscription Box: Scribbler
The Cost: $29.99 a month + shipping. Save with 3 and 6-month subscriptions.
The Products: A monthly writing theme, a new release fiction novel, a collectible "writing passport" from the featured author, curated writerly gifts, and an invitation to communicate with a publishing professional (for example, a private Skype chat with that novel's author).
Ships to: U.S. for $7.99, Canada for $23.99, and worldwide for $33.99 (shipping not available to Mexico and Peru)
Scribbler May 2018 Box Review
This month's writing exercise is to join a writing community. I totally support this suggestion! I have taken multiple writing and poetry workshops at a local university and been so inspired by the other women in the group that some of us decided to start our own smaller-scale one. If that type of resource isn't available to you or if it doesn't feel like the right fit, Scribbler is introducing a private Facebook group for subscribers to their box! It looks like there are almost 200 writers who have already joined—awesome!
Also included is a card that highlights a few of the products in this month's box and a peek at the theme of next month's box. I knew to expect the "Fight Scenes" theme from last month's preview, and I look forward to June's "Research" theme. No matter how much research I have under my belt, it's still always a little overwhelming to me to dive in, so I will welcome any tips they have to offer.
Write Your Heart Out Pencils, set of 2 — Total Retail Value $4.00 ($2.00 each or buy 4 for $5)
I am a total writing utensil hoarder and every pencil cup or case or drawer in my life has at least one sharpened pencil in it! It's funny, I've noticed when I'm feeling super on my A game, I reach for a fine-tip marker pen, and when I'm feeling kind of groggy and tired, I reach for a pencil. I'm not sure what's up with that but I like the concept of a pencil coordinating with that slowed-down vibe. I'm also way into Scribbler's suggestion of sharpening one of these pencils and writing in a notebook until its point goes dull. That's a lot of writing! But, even if one gem of a line or concept comes out of it, it's a success.
Oh my gosh this pencil sharpener is great. I love that it's small and portable, but also self-contained! Like, those old school pared-down pencil sharpeners are portable, of course, but they're also kind of messy in that you need to have a garbage can closeby and often graphite from sharpening will rub off on your hands. This one is much tidier. And it comes with an extra eraser! A good one that doesn't smear, of course. These are on sale right now (they were a pretty low cost to begin with), so I might have to snag a few to keep one in each purse and backpack I own!
Yoobi Animal and Food Erasers — Retail Value $2.99
More erasers! Oh man, it's going to be hard to use these little guys—they're almost too cute. I love that the packaging says "one for you, one for me." Sharing is caring!
Yoobi Striped Spiral Notebook — Retail Value $4.99
Everyone loves a good notebook, and even better yet if it's got a hard cover. I have a way of stuffing books and notebooks into my purse with reckless abandon, so often the corners curl up and end up a little less tidy-looking. This one gives me hope. I'm a fan of the pocket that's located in the middle of its lined pages, too. This would make a great notebook for wedding planning or something along those lines!
Penguin Teen Button
Penguin Teen Poster
They also included a poster from Penguin with memorable lines from various authors. Here it is folded up. I can see a bookworm teen loving having this poster on their bedroom wall!
Bonus: Scribbler Writing Passport
This writing passport was maybe my favorite part of last month's Scribbler box so I was excited to explore it again this time around. Here are a few peeks inside...
The first section is a note from the authors who founded Scribbler. It's almost like their own forward to the featured book, The Smoke Thieves by Sally Green. It's such a treat having that special intro written from writer to writer. You can see here that they talk about balance in books, and how it's the writer's job to make sure that balance is present. They mercifully give tips as to how to go about achieving balance!
This page shows the timeline of one of author Sally Green's successful books. I do wish they had started the timeline a bit earlier so that aspiring novelists can hang onto some of the more relatable parts of Green's journey, but it's still cool to see how success can unfold slowly and doesn't necessarily happen all at once.
And, here's Green's own little master class on writing fight scenes. I've never actually written one, but now I'm eager to give it a try!
Also included is a bookplate signed by Sally Green. Can anyone make out what she wrote? "Your future __ here." I'm dyin' to know!
I must admit I went into this novel not expecting to love it—I'm really not a fantasy type of gal—but I gave it an honest try. Ultimately, it never really hooked me. There was a lot of back-and-forth dialogue that struck me as a bit shallow and bickery in a way that narration digs beyond, as well as a lot of swearing that didn't seem necessary. Chapter by chapter, this book alternates perspectives among multiple protagonists, which made the storyline jump around a bit. Also, I found myself getting tripped up on some hard-to-pronounce names. Darn! I was hoping to be pleasantly surprised!
Book Summary on Amazon:
Unforgiveable betrayals, devious motives, and forbidden love collide in the first installment of internationally bestselling author Sally Green’s epic new fantasy series, perfect for Game of Thrones fans.
In a land tinged with magic and a bustling trade in an illicit supernatural substance, destiny will intertwine the fates of five players:
A visionary princess determined to forge her own path.
An idealistic solider whose heart is at odds with his duty.
A streetwise hunter tracking the most dangerous prey.
A charming thief with a powerful hidden identity.
A loyal servant on a quest to avenge his kingdom.
All are driven by ambition, honor, and desperation on the cusp of war. But who will be left standing when the smoke clears?
Publishing Process Inside Look
Next up is a new iteration of a resource I was really excited about last month. Last month, the featured author's book pitch was included; this month, it's a peek at some of the notes Green received from her editor as she polished The Smoke Thieves for publishing. The intro also gives a quick overview of the publishing process for those who are unfamiliar. This is such a rare treat for a writer and I'm so thrilled that Scribbler was able to get their hands on it for us!
Invitation to Author Conversation
The final resource included—and it's another doozy—is an invitation to have a private conversation with publicist Maria Russell. How it works is: Scribbler will email subscribers with the link to the YouTube conversation via email prior to the talk. Questions can be submitted on the YouTube video page. This is something you'll definitely want to plan for! I was in a meeting during last month's chat so I was unable to catch it, and once the chat is over, there's no way to watch the video after the fact. So, it's really a golden opportunity for a very exclusive convo!
The Verdict: I was just as impressed with my second Scribbler box as I was the first time around! I continue to be tickled by the thoughtfulness and care that curatorsVictoria & Lindsay put into this subscription. While I didn't love the book this time around, I still found the supporting resources to be insanely helpful, especially the writing passport. This box costs $29.99 plus $7.99 shipping (so $37.99 total). Its purchase-able contents add up to $31.96, but that doesn't account for the writing passport, pitch letter, and conversation invitation, and bonus button & poster from Penguin Teen. Any writer would agree that those resources are priceless and that they alone make this box totally worth its value!
To Wrap Up:
Can you still get this box if you sign up today? No, you will receive the June or July box. The last day to order a box is the 10th of every month unless sold out prior to that date (there are limited quantities). If you order after the 10th, it will be for the following month.
Value Breakdown: This box cost me $29.99 + $7.99 shipping, which means that each of the 8 items in the box (not including the Penguin button or poster) has an average cost of $4.75. That is an incredible value!
Keep Track of Your Subscriptions: Add this box to your subscription list or wishlist!
What do you think of the May Scribbler box?