Scribbler Subscription Box Volume 12 Review – February 2019
Scribbler is a monthly subscription box for writers—especially novelists and aspiring novelists—created by bestselling authors Victoria Scott and Lindsay Cummings. It’s filled with items to help novelists stay motivated while writing, improve their crafts, and connect with the right publishing professionals.
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 $8.49, Canada for $12.99, and worldwide for $18.99 (shipping not available to Mexico and Peru)
Scribbler February 2019 Volume 12 Review
This month’s writing exercise was to help with suspense writing, detailing obstacles our main character will face. The process of establishing an obstacle, challenging it, and overcoming it are different steps every writer will find valuable in experiencing.
Scribbler lists the products you’ll receive on the back cover of the Publishing Process booklet.
Let’s jump into our products!
Sweeter Cards sells beautiful greeting card chocolate—the delicious gift is inside the card! I’ve never seen anything like this before, and I immediately dropped it in a gift bag for my friend’s birthday! The chocolate has sprinkles of sea salt and is filled with a very thick and not too sweet filling of caramel (it is friend-approved).
Piccadilly Books 300 Writing Prompts – Retail Value $6.98
This book is almost like a diary—it’s something I can use for such a long time, and it’s so personal. I started from the first prompt and make it a goal to write a few every week. A few years later, I can look back and read my responses, and see how much I’ve grown as a writer and as a person.
Just Write Exclusive Decal Sticker – Retail Value $5.00
Due to popular demand, the Scribbler team included another exclusive decal sticker. I like that it’s the perfect size to spice up my laptop (which already has around 10 😊)
In the small hours of the morning, Abi Knight is startled awake by the phone call no mother ever wants to get: her teenage daughter Olivia has fallen off a bridge. Not only is Olivia brain dead, she’s pregnant and must remain on life support to keep her baby alive. And then Abi sees the angry bruises circling Olivia’s wrists.
When the police unexpectedly rule Olivia’s fall an accident, Abi decides to find out what really happened that night. Heartbroken and grieving, she unravels the threads of her daughter’s life. Was Olivia’s fall an accident? Or something far more sinister?
Christina McDonald weaves a suspenseful and heart-wrenching tale of hidden relationships, devastating lies, and the power of a mother’s love. With flashbacks of Olivia’s own resolve to uncover family secrets, this taut and emotional novel asks: how well do you know your children? And how well do they know you?
McDonald writes a beautiful and stunning thriller that brings the emotionally strong, complex relationship between a mother and her daughter. The twists of devastating lies, long-held truths, and heart-wrenching reveals are masterfully spun into the novel, a gradual reveal of the heart-wrenching ending.
I have read my fair share of mystery and suspense novels. But this book is so much more than your typical suspense story. There is so much raw emotion, the mother’s eternal love for her daughter and most importantly, the tension and how close it is to reality. The characters have flaws, relationship dynamics, and emotions that are relatable, and real. McDonald did such an excellent job keeping the nice mix of complexity and tension—I can’t wait for the next one.
Scribbler dropped in a special autograph from McDonald and a bookmark, which I used well!
Scribbler Writing Passport Volume 12 – Retail Value $5.00
This month’s passport theme was on writing suspense. The first page is always a note of advice from the box creators, Victoria Scott and Lindsay Cummings. Generating suspense is vital to any genre a writer includes. Without this anxious anticipation to give to the readers, it’s difficult for the audience to be absorbed into the story.
The passport also includes advice from the featured author. McDonald explains the importance of granting readers a feeling of urgency while flipping pages. Without it, a novel is “just a cluster of words that fails to engage a reader.”
One of the topics discussed is the F’s of suspense—flashbacks, flashforwards, and foreshadowing. McDonald explains the importance of connecting these events together for the vital flow of a novel and provides an example using her own novel.
Publishing Process Inside Look The Night Olivia Fell
I really appreciate Scribbler’s inclusion of these publishing processes. Aspiring writers (myself included) are unfamiliar with the process. This month’s process shows a query letter McDonald used to secure an agent for her first book. Query letters are a difficult step in publishing because the writer must convince the agent or editor to “buy in” and readers would spend money to read the story. It’s like pitching your story, looking for that one tidbit that’ll entice them.
McDonald includes margin notes on how your query letter can stand out, as well as important things to add, such as a short blurb about yourself, including your social media platform.
Invitation to Author Conversation
Scribbler always includes an invitation to chat with a publishing professional. This month’s invitation is to chat with Senior Literary Agent, Carly Watters. The back of the invitation card includes an introduction of the agent, her experience in her publishing career in London and her education background.
The Verdict: There are few subscriptions that can give subscribers such a valuable experience in pursuing their long-time goals and hobbies. I’ve always enjoyed writing but had neither the resources nor thought of the time to improve and draft my writing. My favorite item is the collection of writing prompts, as it can be made into such a personal memory keeper. And the chocolate was such a lovely card + delicious treat!
This Scribbler box cost $38.48 ($29.99 + $8.49 shipping). I estimated a retail value of $41.97, which doesn’t include the publishing process, invitation to author conversation, and bookmark autograph duo. A large part of the box’s value is the experience it creates, so February’s box exceeded the value for me!
To Wrap Up:
Can you still get this box if you sign up today? No, you will receive the April 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 $29.99 + $8.49 shipping, which means that each of the 4 items in the box (not including the book-themed extras) has an average cost of $9.62.
Keep track of your subscriptions: Add this box to your subscription list or wishlist!
What did you think of February’s Scribbler box? Did you enjoy the suspense of the book?