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, 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 June 2018 Box Review
This month's writing exercise is the elevator pitch. This is one of those things that is almost always on my radar, but I have never actually taken the time to sit and write out. Now that Scribbler is confronting me with it, there's no way around it! The concept is that if all the time you have to explain your book to someone is the time it takes to ride an elevator with them, you've got to fit the key points in—and quick! Since I'm not currently working on a novel, I'm going to create my elevator pitch around what I do for a living, which is that I'm a writer and editor full-time, a freelance writer on the side, and a doula as a side passion project. But my pitch will include a few more details about the companies I work for and why I'm passionate about what I do. You can create an elevator pitch about pretty much anything!
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'm picking up on a pattern: they always seem to include a writing utensil. Is that the dream or what?
Scribbler Exclusive Burlap Tote — Estimated Value $20
I've received tote bags in subscription boxes before, but this is next level. First of all, this tote is larger than your average. There's room to carry a serious library haul in here! But on top of it, rather than the usual canvas, it's made of burlap, features an open interior pocket, and is supported by sturdy woven straps. Not to mention the "Dream, write, edit, repeat" screen print on the front is wonderfully bright and has great design. I am so smitten over this bag! I took a total stab at the value of this tote and did my best to reflect its quality in the number I chose.
Impaper Stop Wishing Magnetic Bookmark — Retail Value $5.00
The info card says, "You guys voted on this page marker from Impaper, a charitable small biz!" I'm not totally sure where/when this voting was, but I assume on social media. Either way, I'm super into it. It's made of grease resistant, water resistant, and non-tearable paper so it's fated to last. The magnetic aspect is so brilliant—I usually just dog-ear pages in books I read because bookmarkers slip right out of 'em, but this is a great way to keep your place while keeping your pages intact.
Bic Grip Stick Rollerball Pen, Red — Buy 12 for $14.12
I'm still somewhat new to Scribbler, but so far I haven't been let down by the pens they've provided in each month's box. Each one I've received has become a new favorite—and it's not like I was keeping junky pens around before! This pen's ink has a rich red color and a super-smooth glide. Typically, the only pens I buy in bulk are Sharpie fine point marker pens (my all-time faves), but if I could find this pen in a colorful variety pack, I'd be all over it.
Door Hanger & Free Copy of Paper Hearts by Beth Revis — Retail Value $5.99
This is a great last writerly item. At first glance, it's just a cute door hanger encouraging potential interrupters to leave you alone—you're writing! On the flip side, though, is a website with a coupon code to download a free e-copy of Paper Hearts, a writing book by Beth Revis. This book is especially useful for folks who have already written a book and are looking for guidance on getting it published. So helpful!
Half Price Books Bookmarker
Often, Scribbler throws in some swag from a publishing company. This time around, it's a simple paper bookmarker, but on the reverse is a discount code to Half Price Books. There's a Half Price Books not far from my house, and this is the perfect incentive to pay 'em a visit!
Bonus: Scribbler Writing Passport
The writing passport is consistently a treasure trove of amazing advice and a fun previous to the included book. You know how when you find an author you love, you just want to press pause on life while you read every other book they've ever written? Well, these passports offer a little reader interaction with the author ahead of time so that if they're a new one to you (which they have been in every Scribbler for me so far), you get a taste of who they are and what they're all about before reading the featured novel. Here are a few peeks inside...
The first section is a note from the authors who founded Scribbler. It's such a treat having that special intro written from writer to writer. In this section, they give us some ideas for different ways research can look. It's not just about burying yourself in written accounts and videos—it's about going out and having the experiences that your character would, observing the way you feel and react to things, and capturing that on the page. I got so excited thinking about immersing myself in a character study while reading through this part of the Passport!
This segment shares the inspiration behind this month's featured book, The Button War. In this part of the Passport, Avi gives us insights into his approach to research. His is more of a traditional one, relying heavily on reading and watching videos to dig up useful facts for his book. He also gives a few wonderful tips on the writing and editing process.
Another useful Passport completely filled with writerly gems!
Also included is a bookplate signed by Avi. There's such mystery surrounding that single name moniker!
The Button War is a historical fiction novel meant for middle-grade readers. By no means does that mean it was dumbed down and I found that it still has the potential of appealing to an adult reader. I found the narrator, Patryk, to be very likable and intelligent in his rendering of experiences, and my interest was held even more attentively than it would have been otherwise, knowing the premise was loosely based on a family anecdote from Avi's father-in-law.
Book Summary on Amazon:
Renowned, award-winning author Avi pens a stark, unflinching tale of ordinary boys living in wartime as tensions — and desperations — mount among them.
Twelve-year-old Patryk knows little of the world beyond his tiny Polish village; the Russians have occupied the land for as long as anyone can remember, but otherwise life is unremarkable. Patryk and his friends entertain themselves by coming up with dares — some more harmful than others — until the Germans drop a bomb on the schoolhouse and the Great War comes crashing in. As control of the village falls from one nation to another, Jurek, the ringleader of these friends, devises the best dare yet: whichever boy steals the finest military button will be king. But as sneaking buttons from uniforms hanging to dry progresses to looting the bodies of dead soldiers — and as Jurek’s obsession with being king escalates — Patryk begins to wonder whether their “button war” is still just a game. When devastation reaches their doorstep, the lines between the button war and the real war blur, especially for the increasingly callous Jurek. Master of historical fiction Avi delivers a fierce account of the boys of one war-torn village who are determined to prove themselves with a simple dare that spins disastrously out of control.
Scribbler Recommends Card
As indicated by the "Season 1, Episode 1" graphic in the corner of this card, this is the first month Scribbler has included this little recommendation. It's a postcard with some tidbits about the Senior Editor of Entangled Publishing, Heather Howland, as well as her writing tips. I'll never say no to writing tips, so I love this extra feature!
Publishing Process Inside Look (PPIL)
Am I allowed to pick multiple favorite features of my Scribbler box? This is a monthly offering that I find to be extraordinarily useful: an inside look at one part of the publishing process. Past months included a book pitch and some editor's notes. This month it's a peek at the drafting process for Beth Revis' novel Give the Dark My Love.
Invitation to Author Conversation
The final resource included—and it's another doozy, always—is an invitation to have a private conversation with Candlewick Press Executive Editor Hilary van Dusen. How it works is: Scribbler will email subscribers with the link to the YouTube conversation via email one week prior to the talk. Questions can be submitted on the YouTube video page. This is something you'll definitely want to plan for! I have been at work the past two months and was unable to catch the chats offered, 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: When it comes to providing writers with extremely helpful and rare materials to inform and aid in improving various aspects of the novel-writing process, Scribbler just won't quit! Curators Victoria & Lindsay consistently bring originality and expertise to your doorstep, and clearly with such joy. This box costs $29.99 plus $7.99 shipping (so $37.99 total). Its purchase-able contents added up to $29.18 this month, but that doesn't account for the burlap tote, Writing Passport, draft notes, and conversation invitation. I say this every month, but I believe that 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 July or August 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!
Keep Track of Your Subscriptions: Add this box to your subscription list or wishlist!
What do you think of the June Scribbler box?