5 Years of Blogging [newsletter launch + giveaways]

Every April I say to myself: “You should do a special post on the anniversary of your first blog post.”

Myself always replies: “Ah, yes, what a lovely idea.”

And every year, the 19th of April slips by like a… um… a, uh… Sneaky Thing under the cover of darkness. Or something. (The significance of April 19th is that it’s my blog anniversary, for those of you who weren’t catching on).

Me to myself in January 2018: I decree that it will. not. happen. this year! April 19th shall not slip by like a Sneaky Thing under the cover of darkness! No! Not This time!

Myself to me on April 20th: Oops.

Thus, here we are. On the 23rd of April. Talking about how I’ve been blogging for five years now as of April 19, 2018. Which was four days ago.

5 years of blogging.jpg

A few numbers:

  • 5 years of blogging (in case you hadn’t picked up on that already)
  • 3 different blog names (anybody remember the two blog names that came before Penprints? If you do, keep it secret, keep it safe.)
  • 224 posts (including this one). Only 97 of them remain public; the other 127 are hidden away to never be seen any other eyes but mine own. However, my Original Post remains as cute and 15-year-old-Rosalie as ever.
  • Nearly 300 followers 281 to be exact, but “nearly 300” sounds better

Now, here is quick survey to please fill out with your feedback on Penprints. I want to know what you guys want to see/not see on Penprints, so please take 3 minutes to fill out this survey.

To celebrate I’m launching my newsletter and throwing a few giveaways!

How is subscribing to this newsletter different than subscribing to just Penprints?

Ah, I’m glad you asked.

I’ve taken the liberty of compiling a very compelling list of differences that will make you want to subscribe ASAP.

  • Way more info so that you are in the know; need to know stuff, and you’ll need to know it
  • Frequent giveaways (once a quarter)
  • Sneak peaks at my current writing projects (excerpts, collages, playlists)
  • Special announcements (submissions, contracts, first looks at blog posts/series)
  • Input on the newsletter freebie (more on that in a minute)
  • All sorts of recommendations (music, books, etc.)
  • You get emails from High Command (that’s right–this newsletter is going to be called High Command, and thus will, at the very least, sound Super Swanky)
  • Input on what you, as the recipients of the High Command memos, will be called (you get to name yourselves instead of just being called “kids”, “friends”, “guys”, and all the other things I call you here on Penprints)

How often will memos (aka: newsletters) from High Command be sent out?

Ah, I’m glad you asked.

Fresh newsletters will be in your inboxes every month or so. (Translation: I’m shooting for once a month, but sometimes it might be every other month.)

If something exciting happens (i.e. – CONTRACT), a little newsletter might surprise you with nothing more than Exciting News.

Newsletter giveaways will happen once a quarter, theoretically corresponding with the beginning of a new season (if I can keep my scheduling head on straight; bullet journal, don’t fail me now). The giveaways will be for gift cards, books, and other such fun things.

What is a newsletter freebie?

Ah, I’m glad you asked.

A newsletter freebie is a shorty story or ebook (or something of that nature) that is given out those who loyally subscribe to a newsletter. I’ve been planning on putting together a newsletter freebie since 2016. “Planning” is the operative term here.

SO, as some of the first subscribers to High Command (my newsletter), you would be able to offer special input about what you want to receive for being a subscriber and thus set the trend for all the subscribers that come after you. I’ll give you a few options in the first newsletter.

And what is being given away?

Oh, I’m glad you asked.

Because I don’t have a newsletter freebie to offer you, I’m offering several prize packages. Four prize packages, to be exact.

The Reinke Package

the reinke package 1.jpgThis includes hard copies of three books by Tony Reinke (aka: one of my absolute favorite Christian non-fiction authors ever).

I’ve read all three, and they are a-mazing. Each one has transformed my thinking in exciting ways, and I cannot recommend them enough.

  1. Lit! A Christian Guide to Reading Books
  2. The Joy Project
  3. 12 Ways Your Phone Is Changing You

The Writer’s Package:

the writers package 1.jpgThese includes hard copies of three writing craft books that I believe are essential to every writer’s bookshelf. I have read and reread them, and they have taught me so much as a writer.

  1. On Writing by Stephen King
  2. Self-Editing for Fiction Writers by Browne and King
  3. Go Teen Writers by Stephanie Morrill and Jill Williamson

The Brandes Package:

the brandes package 1This one includes–you guessed it!–hard copies of books by Nadine Brandes AND a complete set of the Happy Hello magnetic bookmarks based off of characters from the Out of Time Series. I have read all four of these books and adore each one, and the bookmarks are so much fun!

  1. A Time to Die (Out of Time Series #1)
  2. A Time to Speak (Out of Time Series #2)
  3. A Time to Rise (Out of Time Series #3)
  4. Happy Hello Out of Time Series bookmarks
  5. Fawkes

The Musical Package:

the musical package 1.jpgSome stuff from my favorite musicals! (No, none of this is The Greatest Showman stuff, even though I so enjoy that musical.)

  1. The Phantom of the Opera DVD (the movie version with Emmy Rossum and Gerard Butler)
  2. Wicked Original Broadway Cast CD
  3. Les Miserables themed travel mug

When is all this happening?

Ah, I’m glad you asked.

Today is April 23rd (in case you hadn’t noticed). The first newsletter will go out June 1, and the winners of the giveaways will be announced in that newsletter.

SO, you have until May 31st to subscribe and be eligible to win one of the four prize packages. That’s over a month, kids.

What do I do with all this info (aka: how do I enter the giveaways)?

Ah, I’m glad you asked.

So, to subscribe to my newsletter and specify which package(s) you want to be entered to win, hop over to THIS FORM to enter your email address and check the appropriate giveaway boxes.

NOTE: these giveaways ARE international! 

And that’s it, kids!

Don’t forget to fill out the survey about Penprints (it’s just a couple minutes, I promise)! I so appreciate all of you who have joined in on this blog over the last five years! You’ve put up with long, unexplained silences, we’ve had great conversations, and you guys make this fun!

What else should I include in my newsletter? Which prize package appeals to you the most?

With love,


P.S. – And, no, I’m not ashamed of having a whole package devoted to Nadine Brandes’ books. Not one bit.

23 thoughts on “5 Years of Blogging [newsletter launch + giveaways]

  1. Let me know how the newsletter process goes! I tried launching my own and miserably failed :P I’d love to have a chat about how to do a successful newsletter :)

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I really want that Brandes package :P Let’s see how lucky I can get, having already won one of your giveaways XDD Oh … but you’d have to ship to Canada again. IS THIS GIVEAWAY INTERNATIONAL? Oh and I adore the name of your newsletter!!

    I love newsletters *happy dance*

    Liked by 1 person

    • Possibly! In some ways I really want to self-publish it as a little $0.99 ebook, but I’m planning on revisiting it this year (hopefully this summer!) to see if I can strengthen it any more before I pursue publication… We’ll see how it goes!

      Liked by 1 person

  3. WOW this is such an amazing giveaway! I subbed! And not only does the giveaway look so fantastic, I’m glad I found your blog through it and can now poke around (aka be a creepy stalker) and look at some of your other posts :)

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Good on you for getting a newsletter started! I’ve been trying to get one started for years. XD The Brandes package sounds the best to me! I need to get my hands on Fawkes and all of the bookmarks are so cute!


    Liked by 1 person

  5. Congrats on five years!! Five years is a long time! I’ve been wanting to do a newsletter for a while, but I . . . don’t think I’m interesting enough to have people subscribe to a newsletter?? Good luck with yours–and congrats on starting!

    Liked by 1 person


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