Scribbler Tackling Tesnion August 2018

August Scribbler Unboxing / Tackling Tension / SPOILERS!

Posted August 30, 2018 by Amber in Bookish Things, Unboxings / 4 Comments


It’s been a really long time since I did an unboxing… partially because they take forever, and partially because they don’t get the blog a lot of traffic, so they’re not really worth the trouble.  But I’ve been thinking about doing one for a few months now, because I really like Scribbler.

The Scribbler subscription box is run by authors Lindsay Cummings and Victoria Scott, and is focused on not only getting you a great new release each month (usually YA), but also helping aspiring authors hone their writing skills and giving them an inside look at the publishing world.  There’s really nothing like Scribbler out there, and it deserves a little love.

So, without further ado, I’d like to give you an unboxing of this month’s Scribbler!  And I’ll explain the bits and pieces as we go.

The Box

At first glance, the Scribbler box looks a lot like your other printed subscription boxes.  On the top it says “WRITE.” and on the bottom with have love from Lindsay and Victoria.  I recently learned that there’s a complete short story written on the sides, which the girls announced on the box’s Twitter account, so that’s pretty cool.  I don’t keep my boxes, so I’m not sure if it’s different every month… but either way, love the creativity!  It definitely goes so well with the theme of this subscription box.

The Challenge

In many book boxes, you’ll get a loot list sitting at the top of the pile, but not in Scribbler.  Instead, the first thing Scribbler does is challenge you to write.  This month’s theme is “tackling tension”, so we’re encouraged to stop everything and write a short, tense scene.

As you can see, my card is blank.  Y’all, as I took these photos and am typing this post, it is 3:11am on a Friday.  All the properly sane people are asleep.  The only tense scene I’m able to write is a gripping fear that the coffee might not come.  And I don’t even drink coffee.  But I’ll do this later, when I’m more awake. 😉

The Passport

This is my favorite thing in these boxes.  The “writing passports” contain some specific thoughts and experiences from the month’s featured author about the topic, and I always find them immensely helpful and interesting.  Even when I’ve skipping the subscription for a month, I go back and add the passport to my next box because I’m collection them in a little pile and like to refer to them when I’m stuck.  Previous topics have included emotional touchpoints, setting, and POV.

The information in these little booklets range from detailed descriptions about the theme as seen in the novel, to research the author did that helped get them in the right mindset to accomplish this.  If you’re not interested in another subscription box, but like the idea of these, they can be purchased individually in the Scribbler Store.

The Stream

Not only does Scribbler give you written access to author, agent, editor (etc.) insight, but every month the girls host an exclusive stream on YouTube where they ask different people in the business for their experiences and give subscribers the opportunity to throw their personal questions out there.  It’s only open to subscribers, but it’s amazing.

I cannot emphasize this enough – this is a priceless resource is you’re an aspiring writer.  It’s like going to a mini-panel at writing convention, and it’s so informative.  This card gives you all the details you need to know about the private stream, and to make sure you can make it (or at least view the stream after).

The Inside Look

I may have lied about the passport – these “inside looks” may actually be my favorite part of the box.  These are in-depth letters or draft pages about the process.  This month’s box includes edits from an early draft, but I’ve also seen personal query letters and a couple months ago there was a whole story about how the author had been trying to write a fantasy book for YEARS and it just didn’t come together and nobody liked it and it was a mess.  She went through and detailed every draft and why it didn’t work and what she did to change it for the next draft until finally TA-DA!  Here is her beloved fantasy book.

Up until very recently, writers have been private about the process.  These stories and letters and drafts are AMAZING.  Not only are they informative to help your own technique, but they build hope and confidence that you are just on your own journey and you will get there.

The Notebook

Now that I’ve probably worried everyone that Scribbler only comes with letters and other writerly resources – HAVE NO FEAR.  There is definitely loot in these boxes, it’s just a bit more useful and less fangirlish.

One thing a writer can never have enough of, is notebooks.  This is the second (maybe third) notebook included in this box, but it’s adorable and I love notebooks.  So yay.

The Earbuds

I have honestly never seen earbuds included in a book box before, and I love it.  Like notebooks, one can never have enough pairs of earbuds.  Many writers like to listen to music while they write, and it’s handy to have a pair that just live in your purse or with your writing tote.

Of course, also useful for things like riding the bus, jamming out during your morning jog, and pretending to be listening to music so people don’t come over and bother you.

The Playlist

Obviously, if you’re going to include earbuds, you’re also going to curate a playlist for your subscribers.  It just goes hand-in-hand.  This one opens with “Mad World”, which is so perfect for all writing occasions.

Just as a side note – a lot of authors these days (especially YA) share their writing playlists!  Make sure you check out your favorite author’s social media to see if they’ve done so.  I know Amanda Foody, for one, loves to do this.

The Patch

There’s always some sort of mini-swag in this box… like a pin or a patch or adorable erasers.  This month, we have the Write or Die patch.  Honestly, all I can think of is “Goonies Never Say Die!” so it’s obviously 3:43am now and this part of the write-up isn’t going particularly well.

Seriously, though, it’s always good to have a reminder to write.  Even the skull and crossbones kind.  Plus, I’m digging the pirate vibes.

The Keychain

Am I the only one who has noticed that these hotel-style keychains are really trendy lately?  I see them all the time on Etsy and at conventions.  My best friends each have one.  Their’s are orange, though, so this gorgeous teal color is far superior in my opinion.

This one is perfect to hold the key to your secret writing lair so nobody can get in but you. 😉 Or your spare house key, whatever you need.

The Book

Yes, loves, there is a new release in this box.

Lindsay and Victoria do not generally pick the most hyped new releases – they pick one that strongly pairs with the monthly theme.  The point of this book is not only to enjoy it and get a new book, but also to learn from it.  Our curators encourage us to read the novel and look for (in this case) tension.

This month’s book is Contagion by Erin Bowman.

witchy divider

So, what do you think?  Is Scribbler a cool box and great writing resource, or what?  I love it for so many reasons – from introducing me to new and different books to the “inside scoop” to the fact I’m not always getting fan-items for books I haven’t read (yes, I know, I should just read Six of Crows already).

This box is starting to get very popular and has sold out the last couple months.  If it’s something you’re interested in, next month’s theme is “Breaking Writing Rules” and you can subscribe here.

I also feel I should mention… I’m not a rep or anything for Scribbler?  I just really like it.


Do you receive any subscription boxes?

What writing tools do you use?

Have you read Erin Bowman’s Vengenace Road duology?

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4 responses to “August Scribbler Unboxing / Tackling Tension / SPOILERS!

  1. Thank you so much for sharing, I really enjoyed this post! I’ve had my eye on the Scribbler box for a while now, so it was awesome to get a better view of what’s inside. I also didn’t know that they had a little extra shop. I’m throwing a bunch of goodies in my cart right now. I think I’m definitely going to start investing in the box, it’s such a creative and awesome idea. 🙂

    • Amber

      I’m so happy to have shown you a peek inside! I very much enjoy this book box – I think it’s very useful. Also, and I’ve just remembered this – there’s a Facebook support group for the writers who are subscribed to this box. Like the streaming videos, it’s limited to subscribers only. Communities like that are always a useful tool!

      The Scribbler store is actually BRAND NEW – just opened in the last month! I love that it’s there, though, because I can keep getting the little booklets if I ever decide to unsubscribe. 🙂

      Happy writing!!!

    • Amber

      Oh, that’s awesome to hear! Before doing the unboxing, I hadn’t heard a thing about it, some I’m really glad to hear people are enjoying Contagion! ?