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 November 2018 Box Review
This month's writing prompt challenges us to write three details that readers will recall as memorable parts of the fictional world you're being asked to create. Similar in concept to outlining, this exercise has you hitting the main points and then filling in the details later. That's often how I like to write anyway—it keeps me focused and feeling a sense of purpose as I draft—so this prompt speaks my language!
Scribbler prints info about what's included in the box on the back of the Publishing Process Inside Look booklet. I'll feature the PPIL properly later, I'm just giving you a snapshot of the back now so you know what to expect from the box.
But before I dive into what's listed, I want to show you a few goodies that were included, starting with this colorable bookmark with a Crown of Shards series theme. This month's Scribbler book, Kill the Queen, is the first in the trilogy.
Also included are this pocket notebook and pen. Love the pen holder on the front cover!
Finally, here's a little intro to IngramSpark, a self-publishing program.
Kill the Queen (A Crown of Shards Novel) by Jennifer Estep — Retail Value $16.99 (Found here for $11.59)
When I think of worldbuilding, there are plenty of examples that come to mind, and quite honestly I haven't been exposed to many other full-blown other worlds than the most popular ones such as Harry Potter, Lord of the Rings, and Hunger Games. Kill the Queen tiptoes into the fantasy genre with Estep having built a world that's easily digested and understood without having to fully steep yourself in the novel to understand it at all. I like that! And while to be honest I wasn't totally in love with this book, I appreciated it for its intended use in this box: as a teacher of worldbuilding. It felt like a great intro.
Book Summary on Amazon:
Gladiator meets Game of Thrones: a royal woman becomes a skilled warrior to destroy her murderous cousin, avenge her family, and save her kingdom in this first entry in a dazzling fantasy epic from the New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of the Elemental Assassin series—an enthralling tale that combines magic, murder, intrigue, adventure, and a hint of romance.
In a realm where one’s magical power determines one’s worth, Lady Everleigh’s lack of obvious ability relegates her to the shadows of the royal court of Bellona, a kingdom steeped in gladiator tradition. Seventeenth in line for the throne, Evie is nothing more than a ceremonial fixture, overlooked and mostly forgotten.
But dark forces are at work inside the palace. When her cousin Vasilia, the crown princess, assassinates her mother the queen and takes the throne by force, Evie is also attacked, along with the rest of the royal family. Luckily for Evie, her secret immunity to magic helps her escape the massacre.
Forced into hiding to survive, she falls in with a gladiator troupe. Though they use their talents to entertain and amuse the masses, the gladiators are actually highly trained warriors skilled in the art of war, especially Lucas Sullivan, a powerful magier with secrets of his own. Uncertain of her future—or if she even has one—Evie begins training with the troupe until she can decide her next move.
But as the bloodthirsty Vasilia exerts her power, pushing Bellona to the brink of war, Evie’s fate becomes clear: she must become a fearsome gladiator herself . . . and kill the queen.
For those who do love this book, though, isn't it awesome to know there are 2 more in the series waiting for you to dive in?
Scribbler Writing Passport
This Writing Passport is an awesome monthly Scribbler offering. 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.
The girls use a familiar example to get your mind moving in the right direction with worldbuilding. But of course, because they're awesome and experts, they go deeper and offer some really helpful tips to writers.
Then comes Estep's take on it, and I love the way she breaks it down!
Included is some background on Estep.
They always wrap it up with a simple but inspirational quote on the back.
Here's this month's signed bookplate. As always, I stuck it inside my book right away!
Invitation to Author Conversation
This next monthly perk is an invitation to a private conversation with someone in the publishing industry. These chats are always hosted by Victoria & Lindsay, last about 25 minutes, and involve them asking the featured interviewee their own list of questions, followed by questions asked by listeners in the live comments section. The upcoming chat is with marketing director Angela Craft, who has a wealth of experience on multiple platforms and will surely give a great chat!
Moonstruck Chocolate Co. Classic Single-Serve Hot Cocoa Packets — Retail Value $2.00
Moonstruck Chocolate Co. Mayan Single-Serve Hot Cocoa Packets — Retail Value $2.00
Moonstruck Chocolate Co. Dark Single-Serve Hot Cocoa Packets — Retail Value $2.00
Don't mind if I do! I couldn't decide which of these cocoas to drink first, so I kept it simple with Classic. Yum! Great accompaniment to a new book. I made it with almond milk and it was delish.
OOLY Splendid Fountain Pen, Black — Retail Value $4.99
Umm, cool! I definitely had to read the directions for this pen because it isn't a simple remove-the-cap-and-write type utensil. But once you're all set up it has an amazing hand-feel. Such a treat!
Scribbler-Exclusive Bookmark Trio
These bookmarks are thick and glossy and feature bold quotes from notable authors. They come in a plastic case—classy!
Writer Sticky Notes
Ha, these are amazing! It's rare to find a lined sticky note, but they're great for list-making.
Publishing Process Inside Look (PPIL)
Here's the front of and a peek inside the PPIL booklet I mentioned above. This one features a transcribed phone convo between featured author Jennifer Estep and her agent. A peek into such an intimate part of the process is super rare, so this was particularly eye-opening for me.
The Verdict: This month's Scribbler theme is perhaps the one I've connected with the most. I started out as a nonfiction writer and only recently broadened my horizons to include fiction, so the information and encouragement in this month's box had me truly exploring new territory and challenging myself in ways I hadn't before. This box costs $29.99 plus $7.99 shipping (so $37.99 total). This box is a little different than others in that many of its items don't have a price tag attached to them. The products that can be purchased are the featured novel itself, for $16.99 (or at the discounted rate of $11.59), and two of the extras (the hot cocoa and pen), which add up to $10.99 using sale prices) but the other resources and writing-themed goodies add a good deal of value to the box.
To Wrap Up:
Can you still get this box if you sign up today? No, you will receive the December or January 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 10 items in the box (counting the cocoa packets separately and not including the book-themed extras) has an average cost of $3.80. I'm more than happy with that value!
Keep Track of Your Subscriptions: Add this box to your subscription list or wishlist!
What do you think of the November Scribbler box?