If you want to give a gift to the writer in your life you might want to consider getting a subscription to a monthly subscription box service.
A subscription box is the term given to the recurring delivery of niche products. Around 2,000 companies offer a subscription box of one kind or another, each focused on a niche customer. This includes Amazon, which offers hundreds of different subscription boxes. And there is also CrateJoy, which has a wildly diverse selection. Not all of the services ship the subscription in an actual box, but most ship every month and bill you automatically.
I have been interested in the subscription boxes for some time now, but I only recently learned that there are subscription boxes specifically for writers. I haven’t seen any reviews of these boxes, and I thought it would be great fun to order them for myself and let you know if I think they are worth the money.
I plan to add to this post as I hear about more subscription boxes for writers, but so far I have found only two subscription boxes for writers. One is worth buying, while the other is not.
Update (3 March 2022): I just got the first of three new subscription boxes I ordered back in January. So now I have 3 for you to to consider.
Disclosure: I bought all the boxes using my own money, and have not been given anything by any of the companies.
ScribeDelivery is a themed box for stationery aficionados. It costs $29 a month and gets you a curated selection of pens, pencils, and notebooks.
The one I bought in April 2020 is most definitely not worth the money. The shipment arrives in a plain white envelope, and the one I got included only a single notebook, three inexpensive pens, and five postcards.
This subscription comes in a custom cardboard box and includes a selection of books, stationery, and fun gifts. The box I received in early May 2020 had a “drafting”-scented candle, green apple rock candy, two novels, a couple pamphlets on writing, an invite to an online chat with an agent, and more! (There was even fuzzy orange packing material that didn’t really serve a purpose but still added to the experience.)
I actually had trouble photographing it, there was so much!
Just getting the box was fun, and opening it was even more fun. This service wasn’t just designed to send you stuff but to also give you a great experience when you get it. Next time I need to get a gift for a writer friend, this is the one I will buy.
The Scribbler box cost me $39 for the one box, but a subscription starts at $29 per month, and you can get a discount if you pre-pay.
The Write Notebook
I found this box on Cratejoy, and I have to say that I like it almost as much as the Scribbler box. At $48 per bi-monthly box, it is a little more expensive, but you also get more writer stuff.
The box I got in early march 2022 did not come in a box as pretty as the Scribbler box, but it did have a lot of stuff. (I also got a couple stickers a few weeks before the box arrived.)
All the items in the box shared a similar color theme, including the post it notes I forgot to include in the photo (and socks). Two of the things I licked about this box were the gift-wrapped pens, and the handmade notebook. This felt like a very personal touch which I did not get from the Scribbler box, which was nice but business like.
BTW, my photo did not do this box justice; you should click through to Cratejoy, and see their photos. Those will give you a better idea of what you will get.
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I like both the Scribbler and The Write Notebook boxes. Scribbler wins on cost and value, but TWN feels more personal, and I like that.
P.S. I am relatively new to subscription boxes, so I bet you know more than me. I’d love to hear what you think of the idea, and your experiences with the various services. Also, I want to order and review any and all subscription boxes for writers, so if you know of a subscription box I missed, please let me know in the comments.
My mother does this for a couple of random puzzles a month. Sometimes they are nice puzzles, sometimes they appear to be the ones no one else wanted to buy …
For me, I don’t see random monthly stuff/junk as a good drain on my limited budget. 😉
Two that I’ve seen, though not sure if they’d be considered specifically for writers:
– a monthly mini box with a sampling of unique and fun fountain pen related goodies.
– a monthly selection of lettering tools, supplies, practice sheets and exclusive greeting cards
One more a friend of mine told me about when I told him about this article:
– New, innovative, fun and sometimes unusual items from the pen, paper and ink world delivered 4 times a year
Nate, I think this is a waste of your time and talents. The last thing anybody needs right now is spending money on useless crap that is taking up space in stressed shipping systems and usually requires container ships to source from overseas. Especially writers.
We are in two large, species-wide crises right now. This is a time worth documenting for the future. One of the mysteries of the Spanish Flu pandemic is how few great writers even mentioned it in their work. We could have used their perspectives now. The publishing industry as it now functions from press to publisher to storefront is collapsing, what will replace it?
I think it’s a questionable way to spend money, but it really only took me about a half hour to write this post. (I did spend time evaluating the boxes, but that was entertainment.) Plus, writing this post was a fun diversion, so I think it was worth my time.
Please inscribe me