Virtual Subscription Box for Writers and Readers

May 2019

Photo by NeONBRAND on Unsplash

Every month in 2019, I’ll put together a virtual subscription box for you.

Actually, two of them. One for readers and one for writers. You can pick and choose or order it all. It’s totally up to you. That’s what makes virtual so cool! I get to show you what I would put into a subscription box if I had the time and resources to send one out.

And you don’t wind up with anything you don’t really want.


Here’s what I came up with for you for May 2019.

Ninja Writer Box for Writers: May 2019

Each month, the Writers Virtual Box includes between $25 and $30 worth of things that I love and that I think other writers will love, too.

For the last couple of years, May has been the month for the 31 Day Ninja Writing Challenge. It’s so much fun. I love that I get to present it, but also that I follow all the challenges myself and it gives me a chance to do some course correction if anything is off about my writing habits.

I thought it would be fun to make my absolute favorite notebook for managing my writing schedule this month’s pick for the Ninja Writer Box for Writers.

The Erin Condren Deluxe Monthly Planner (Find the planner under the ‘Lifeplanner & Books’ tab) is so basic and so perfect for our purposes. It’s basically a monthly calendar — think a wall calendar in book form — with a few pages in between each month, and then a notebook in the back.

Here’s how I use mine:

May is a great time to try out this notebook — because Erin Condren has the planners that start with January marked down by 50 percent. So you can give it a try for a few months, without spending too much money. Plus, if you use this link, you can get a $10 coupon if you’re new to Erin Condren.

Which means you can try out this notebook — which is as perfect to use as a writing notebook as it gets — for $9.

Since there’s some money left, try adding some wet erase markers to your virtual subscription box. These are my favorite. They cost $14.99.

Wet erase markers are like dry erase markers, only they don’t smudge. You use water to erase them — which means your notes stick around until you’re ready to get rid of them. They’re perfect to use with the Deluxe Monthly Planner, because the insides of both covers are designed for wet/dry erase markers.

Ninja Writer Box for Readers: May 2019

Each month the readers virtual box includes a writing craft book and another book that I think you’ll like, too. The second book might be either fiction or non-fiction.

For our writing craft book this month, I went with Walter Dean Myers’ Just Write: Here’s How! because it’s one of my absolute favorites, and maybe one that’s overlooked, because it was written for young writers.

I had the chance to hear Walter Dean Myers speak about writing at the Vegas Valley Book Festival a few years ago. He spoke a lot about pre-writing and the plotting process. Specifically, he talked about how he creates thirty scenes, each with an action attached to it, that build the body of his story.

Just Write: Here’s How! describes his pre-writing process, including the 30 scenes exercise — and does it in such an engaging, easy-to-understand way. It was written for kids, but I promise that you’ll learn a lot from Myers.

What makes a writer? The desire to tell a story, a love of language, an eye for detail, practice, practice, practice. How well should you know your characters? Do you need to outline before you write? How important is length? Now Walter Dean Myers, the new National Ambassador for Young People’s Literature and New York Times bestselling and award-winning author, walks you through the writing process.
Examples from his writing and reading experiences
Walter’s six-box and four-box outlines for writing fiction and nonfiction
Excerpted pages from Walter’s own notebooks
An afterword by Ross Workman, Walter’s teen coauthor of kick
Writing tips from both Walter and Ross
Anyone can be a writer, with a little help from Walter Dean Myers!

I just started reading Creative Trespassing: How to Put the Spark and Joy Back into Your Work and Life by Tania Katan and I can’t put it down. It’s an ode to the idea of not asking for permission to be creative. Some of the exercises are — IDK, asking for a raise via haiku ?— but the spirit of the book is fantastic.

I think you’re going to love this one.

I have an extra copy of this book, because the publisher sent me one to review and I bought myself a copy as well. I’m giving one away. Just fill out this form. I’ll pick a winner May 31.

(DISCLAIMER: This post contains affiliate links. When you click one and buy something, you help support Ninja Writers with a small commission at no extra cost to you.)

Shaunta Grimes is a writer and teacher. She is an out-of-place Nevadan living in Northwestern PA with her husband, three superstar kids, two dementia patients, a good friend, Alfred the cat, and a yellow rescue dog named Maybelline Scout. She’s on Twitter @shauntagrimes and her latest book is The Astonishing Maybe. She is the original Ninja Writer.