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Scribbler Subscription Box Review – July 2018

Christen Russo
ByChristen RussoJul 30, 2018 | 8 comments

Scribbler sub box

5 overall rating
1 Ratings | 0 Reviews

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.

Scribbler sub box

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).

Scribbler subscription

About Scribbler

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, an exclusive YouTube chat).

Ships to: U.S. for $7.99, Canada for $23.99, and worldwide for $33.99 (shipping not available to Mexico and Peru)

Scribbler July 2018 Box Review

Scribbler july subscription

Scribbler writing prompt

This month's writing exercise is our first intro to the theme: setting. The exercise asks us to write a 2-3 sentence to open a novel, using a setting to kick things off. I always find starting to be the hardest part and often come back to write the beginning of my pieces later, so this is a particularly useful challenge for me!

Scribbler inside your box

Typically, Scribbler also includes a card that highlights what was included in the current month's box and a peek at the theme of next month's box. This month, instead of a card, they printed this info on the back of the Publishing Process Inside Look booklet (side note: those of you who are familiar with this sub might be delighted as I am that they've upgraded the PPIL materials to a booklet instead of rolled up pages! So fancy!). Since the PPIL is one of the offerings listed here, I'm just giving you a snapshot of the back right now and we'll explore the rest later. Sound good?

Oh, and next month's theme is tackling tension. Oh baby am I excited to dig into that topic!

Scribbler the myth of perpetual summer

The Myth of Perpetual Summer by Susan Crandall — Retail Value $16.00 (Found here for $12.80)

Make sure you have the "scene" theme in mind when you jump into this novel. Crandall timestamps the prologue and each chapter with a date and location, and it's interesting to see how she builds upon that "telling" foundation by "showing" details in the character's life. Remember, scene-setting is about more than just location, and the other dimensions of the setting are expertly explored in The Myth of Perpetual Summer.

Scribbler novel

Book Summary on Amazon:

From the national bestselling author of Whistling Past the Graveyard comes a moving coming-of-age tale set in the tumultuous sixties that harkens to both Ordinary Grace and The Secret Life of Bees.

Tallulah James’s parents’ volatile relationship, erratic behavior, and hands-off approach to child rearing set tongues to wagging in their staid Mississippi town, complicating her already uncertain life. She takes the responsibility of shielding her family’s reputation and raising her younger twin siblings onto her youthful shoulders.

If not for the emotional constants of her older brother, Griff, and her old guard Southern grandmother, she would be lost. When betrayal and death arrive hand in hand, she takes to the road, headed to what turns out to be the not-so-promised land of Southern California. The dysfunction of her childhood still echoes throughout her scattered family, sending her brother on a disastrous path and drawing her home again. There she uncovers the secrets and lies that set her family on the road to destruction.

Scribbler paperback novel

I haven't finished the book yet, but I am quite grabbed by it. It bravely addresses issues of race in the South in decades past, which still feels so relevant and important today.

Scribbler setting writing passport

Scribbler Writing Passport

Those who have been reading my Scribbler reviews for the past few months know that I think the writing passport they include is the absolute tops. In the passport, curators Victoria Scott and Lindsay Cummings explain why they chose the novel of the month and how it relates to the theme.

Scribbler a word from scribbler

Victoria and Lindsay (how they refer to themselves in the passport) explore the importance of setting; setting shouldn't just be a random place where things go down in your novel, but carefully selected or crafted so that it's partially responsible for the identity of your characters.

Scribbler setting theme

Next, the passport touches upon some of the featured author Susan Crandall's career highlights and then launches into her own words and advice on setting.

Scribbler passport

And, some encouragement on the back. Always appreciated!

Scribbler book plate

Also included is a signed bookplate from the author. This is a regular bonus for Scribbler to include and I'm always so impressed that it appears to actually be hand-signed and not just printed!

Scribbler writer magic

Scribbler susan ginsburg

Scribbler about susan

Invitation to Author Conversation 

This next monthly perk is an invitation to a private conversation with someone in the publishing industry. For August, it's with Writers House literary agent Susan Ginsburg. I've had a tricky time with availability for these chats in the past, but I did catch the tail end of July's live chat with Candlewick Press Executive Editor Hilary van Dusen. It was hosted by Victoria & Lindsay, lasted about 25 minutes, and involved them asking van Dusen their own list of questions, followed by questions asked by listeners in the live comments section. The chat was accessible for 7 days after its original launch so I was able to go back and listen in on what I had missed originally. Not surprisingly, van Dusen had all sorts of great insights!

Scribbler writing goals pad Scribbler writer notepad

Scribbler-Exclusive Writing Goals Notepad

Who else loves filling in the blanks and checking literal boxes? This notepad scratches my every itch! The ladies behind Scribbler suggest you shoot for two full hours of writing time each day. Whew, that's a big goal! I can't say it's feasible for me at this season of life, but I think it's a great stretch goal to work toward. In the meantime, the sheets of this notepad will keep me organized for the reduced time I set aside to write. Love love love it.

Scribbler novel coffee

Scribbler coffee grounds

Scribbler-Exclusive Coffee Grounds from Novel Coffee

Umm, excuse me? Is this not the greatest idea Scribbler has ever had (aside from the amazing writing resources, of course)? Scribbler collaborated with Dallas-based Novel Coffee to bring an exclusive blend to Scribbler subscribers. The flavor notes include fudge brownie and dried fruits for a full-bodied flavor. It smells absolutely incredible and gave such a sleek look to the unboxing experience this month. Cannot wait to sip this stuff!

Scribbler coaster

Scribbler coaster

Bestseller in Progress Coaster

Need somewhere to put that coffee? Here you go! This coaster feels to me like ceramic and has a cork bottom to it. So cute!

Scribbler sticker

Go Away, I'm Writing Sticker

Oooh, where to put this sticker...it strikes me as being a good Nalgene candidate!

Scribbler publishing process

Scribbler editing inside look

Publishing Process Inside Look (PPIL)

Okay, so here's the front of and a peek inside the PPIL booklet I mentioned above. This month it's NYT bestselling author April Henry whose work is being shown. You get to see the one-sentence pitch for The Lonely Dead (coming in January 2019!), her synopsis with notes on how it was edited, and a peek at chapter one with edits shown. The original drafts are what was sent to acquisitions, which the front of the booklet explains is a meeting with editors, marketing, and sales at a publishing company, during which the author pitches their story in hopes of having their book acquired. Ugh, this PPIL is so cool!

The Verdict: I was already obsessed with Scribbler, but they've upped their game this month! I love that the PPIL is now in a booklet, which makes it easier and more organized to save in the writing resource drawer of my filing cabinet. I'm also diggin' the exclusive coffee situation—such an original idea! This box costs $29.99 plus $7.99 shipping (so $37.99 total). This box is a little different than others in that most of its items don't have a price tag attached to them. The only product that can be purchased is the featured novel itself, for $16.00 (or at the discounted rate of $12.80), but the other resources and bookish goodies are of awesome quality and undoubtedly a great value.

To Wrap Up:

Can you still get this box if you sign up today? No, you will receive the August or September 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 costs $29.99 + $7.99 shipping, which means that each of the 8 items in the box has an average cost of $4.75. That is an incredible value!

Check out all of our Scribbler reviews and more book subscription boxes in our Book Subscription Box Directory, as well as our Paper & Stationery Subscription Boxes!

Keep Track of Your Subscriptions: Add this box to your subscription list or wishlist!

What do you think of the July Scribbler box?

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Scribbler is the only box for writers on the market. It was created by Lindsay Cummings, #1 NY Times bestseller, and Victoria Scott, acclaimed author of nine novels. Each monthly box includes a writing theme, a new release book, a passport from the author teaching you writing techniques, curated wri... read more.
Christen Russo
Christen Russo

Hi there, I'm Christen. I am all sorts of things: a writer who loves to convey feeling, a mother who wants to have just as much fun as my kids do, an outdoors-lover who's achieved #1000hoursoutside with my family, a low-maintenance self-carer, and general hungry person with a sweet tooth.

You'll find me collecting stationery and squirreling away stickers, riding bikes and swimming with my family, creating outfits in colors and silhouettes that make me feel amazing, wearing big earrings, drinking beer and asking my husband to feed me harmonies to sing, taking my vitamins, living for dancing to live music, roping everyone into a craft, being human and vulnerable, and celebrating the phenomenon of being alive.

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Looks interesting but a bit on the pricey side. It would cost me 63 dollars plus customs taxes to have it shipped to Bulgaria, ouch!
How many pages does the Scribbler Writing Passport have? I find it really nice, I wish these booklets could be bought separately.

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They just opened an online store with the passports and some of their exclusive writer goodies from past boxes for sale.

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Christen Russo

Hey Yurena! The Writing Passports vary a little each month, but this month’s was 23 pages. I love the idea of being able to buy it separately—maybe they’ll offer that down the line for folks who live in places with prohibitive shipping costs like you!

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I wanted to love this box. I subscribed after the April box, thinking there would be books about actual writing included. Instead, it’s more like Owlcrate for teens. That would be cool, though not at this price point, if that’s what the pitch was. There are so many free resources out there now that these “can’t put a price on it” items don’t add much for me. And the FB forum was not something I could access since I ditched FB months ago. I expected much more. June was a disaster. July looks slightly better, but still not close to $38 a month. I cancelled. They just weren’t offering things I couldn’t easily (and more cheaply) get elsewhere.

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Christen Russo

I’m sorry you didn’t have a great experience with this box! Some months do have actual books about writing included, or digital download codes. I do wish the curators would suggest values for context, as I believe some of these resources are way more valuable than they seem. But of course, to each her own!

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Value is what we assign it. For some, this box is the best thing since sliced bread. Gluten free, of course. That’s the great thing about a free market. If someone loves a product, they will pay for it as long as they can afford it. (and sometimes, even if they can’t) For me, it simply wasn’t what I was looking for. And for the price of this box, I found I could curate something for myself that more met with what I was looking for. Back in the long distance and dial tone days, the idea of reaching out to an editor or publisher was something of a dream. Now, thanks to the internet and social media, it’s much easier. And encouraged. Courses are easily accessible (and often free). Guess I’m just still on the hunt for my HG writer box, but I’m glad others enjoy this one.

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Toni Marie

I dont know… for $37.00 they would have to send me 4 bestsellers and personalized note pad and pen with a months supply for coffee…. i love books but this subscription should be at $25.00 with no shipping.

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Christen Russo

Fair enough. This subscription is really geared specifically toward writers who are hoping to create a novel rather than readers (though I know they go hand in hand), so if that isn’t what you’re looking for, I can see how it wouldn’t feel worth the cost. 🙂

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