Would You Read It Wednesday – The 35th Pitch

Greetings, fellow Phyllis followers!  (Try saying “fellow Phyllis followers” three times fast before coffee… or even after!)

And while we’re doing tongue twisters, try saying “red bulb blue bulb”, “toy boat toy boat”, or “purple paper people” three times fast 🙂  I love tongue twisters, even though I’m not very facile with them, so if you know any good ones, please share! 🙂

Where was I?  Oh, yes.  Phyllis.

Due to the idiosyncrasies of the postal service, Phyllis has been beneath the radar for a few days, but she had a lovely Easter visit with Kerie in Pennsylvania, and I think we’ll be hearing from Georgia, Colorado, England, Australia, and Vermont any time now!  Posts from Prince Edward Island, and somewhere in Italy are expected somewhere around April 24 and 25, and there are quite a few in between.  The fun never stops around here! 🙂

Later today, Woolliam (also known as Baahb) and I will be wending our way to a local library for a pajama reading of Can’t Sleep Without Sheep.  There will be farm animal noises and singing and reading and coloring and all manner of fun and games because that is how we operate.  Phyllis will be coming too because she can’t stand being left behind, but she has promised to try not to steal Woolliam’s show.  We will see….!  She’s liable to push the boundaries since she still has 20,813 likes to accumulate before she ties with Punxsutawney Phil on Face Book!  Feel free to make my day easier by liking her new page 🙂

But enough about our agenda!  Let’s get right on to Would You Read It, shall we?

Today’s pitch comes to us from the delightful Rebecca C (not the same as Rebecca H whose YA pitch we had last month!).  Before writing for children, Rebecca inspected pantyhose, taught English in Taiwan, worked for a Russian comedian and traveled the world as a tour director. Born in America, she now lives in England. Rebecca writes picture books and poetry, and her fractured fairy tale ‘Monsterella’ won the 2011 SCBWI Barbara Karlin grant.

Here’s her pitch:

Working Title:  Broomstick Rodeo
Age/Genre:  Picture Book (4-7)
The Pitch:  The Thistlegulch Sisters have thirteen trophies between them and they’re determined to win another. They practice for the rodeo until they’re chapped under their chaps and have calluses on their warts. But when a buckin’ broomstick charges towards their youngest sister, Myrna, they realize there are more important things in life than winning trophies.

So what do you think?  Would You Read It?  YES, MAYBE or NO?
If your answer is YES, please feel free to tell us what you particularly liked and why the pitch piqued your interest.  If your answer is MAYBE or NO, please feel free to tell us what you think could be better in the spirit of helping Rebecca improve her pitch.  Helpful examples of possible alternate wordings are welcome.  (However, I must ask that comments be constructive and respectful.  I reserve the right not to publish comments that are mean because that is not what this is about.)
Please send YOUR pitches for the coming weeks!  For rules and where to submit, click on this link Would You Read It or on the Would You Read It tab in the bar above.  There are openings in early June – not that far away! – so go ahead and send your pitch for a chance for it to be read by editor Erin Molta!
Rebecca is looking forward to your thoughts on her pitch!
See you Friday for PPBs, and hopefully with more updates from Phyllis, and maybe this month’s Straight From The Editor!

78 thoughts on “Would You Read It Wednesday – The 35th Pitch

  1. Rebecca Colby says:

    Thank you for having me on your blog, Susanna. And thank you to everyone who reads my pitch. Extra thanks if you let me know where I'm going wrong or right. 🙂

  2. Robyn Campbell says:

    The Thistlegulch Sisters sound SUPER DUPER!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! And the book also has bucking broomsticks? What's not to love? Your query is wonderful and funny too. I would love to read it. 🙂

  3. Kirsten Larson says:

    Witches meet cowgirls…I would definitely read it. I'm not sure i can offer any criticism for the pitch. It's enticing and well written. Good luck Rebecca!

  4. Rebecca Colby says:

    Thank you, Delores! I've been on a witch 'kick' this year and have written a few stories with witches in unusual settings.

  5. Rebecca Colby says:

    You're too kind, Robyn! Thanks for making me feel so super duper happy today. (and for giving me an idea for another PB…)

  6. Rebecca Colby says:

    Thanks, Kirsten. I appreciate your comments! It was one of those few–dare I say magical–books that wrote itself.

  7. Rebecca Colby says:

    Thanks so much, Jennifer! I don't know about you, but I very often come up with a title first and then develop a story around it–that was certainly the case on this occasion.

    Susanna – I showed the elephant picture to my six year old this morning and we both 'oohed' and 'aahed' together. It really is a sweet photo.

  8. Randy Lindsay says:

    Definate yes. I love the cross between witches and rodeo. Also the pitch was nicely written and gave me what I think is a fair expectation of what to expect from the book.

  9. Catherine Johnson says:

    Love your tongue twister, Susanna, excited about all your animals getting out and about.

    I love that story and pitch. The only that might condense it a bit is perhaps putting rodeo before trophies in the first line. Then you can use that like a pitch too.

  10. Rebecca Colby says:

    Inspecting pantyhose didn't seem very amazing at the time–just muscle-aching work. But it paid for a fantastic trip to Europe when I was in college, and it's certainly one of the more unusual jobs on my resume. Thanks for your kind comments, Carter!

  11. Rebecca Colby says:

    Your comment means a lot, Rachel. I tried to give the sisters strong, unique voices in the story, but I felt I'd lost a sense of voice in the pitch. I'm glad to hear that isn't the case.

  12. Rebecca Colby says:

    Many thanks, Rita! I spent some time brainstorming ideas and titles that placed popular characters in unusual settings. 'Broomstick Rodeo' was a title that came out of this brainstorming session, and then thankfully, the story wrote itself.

  13. Rebecca Colby says:

    Thank you, Hannah! It's a combination that supplied ample opportunity to inject humor.

    Just to add that it's 10pm here in the UK, so I'm going to sign off for tonight but I wanted to thank everyone again for their comments and thank Susanna for giving me this opportunity to present my pitch. Thank you all!

  14. Reena Jacobs says:

    I'm not so sure about this one. The pitch leaves me hanging a little. The idea of broomsticks (I'm thinking witches) in a rodeo is intriguing. However, I'm not sure why a charging broomstick might change their minds about winning the rodeo. What exactly trumps the trophies?

    I get the impression Myrna might be in danger, and keeping her safe becomes a priority. Yet the pitch doesn't quite make the connection for me.

    I'd need a little bit more to draw me in. But like I said, rodeos and the possibility of witches is a nice catch. A great cover could really seal the deal.

  15. Stina Lindenblatt says:

    I think it might read it if I were into reading picture books. This premise is cool. I agree with what Reena suggested for clarifying the ending.

  16. Leigh Covington says:

    The picture of the elephants is too cute!!!

    As for the pitch… YES! This would be a big hit in my home. What a fun idea and I love the “moral” (if you will) of the story too. Very fun idea and I like the title too! 🙂

  17. Susanna Leonard Hill says:

    Woolliam is for the older kids who get it – Baahb is for the younger kids – the ones who get to hear the Counting To Sleep Song (which I made up and let's face it, nothing rhymes with Woolliam! 🙂 Baahb, however, can be successfully rhymed with Jaahb!) Phyllis thanks you for saying hurray and three cheers for her 🙂 Glad you liked the pitch.

  18. Christie Wild says:

    Oh, yes! Sounds great! Intriguing, great title, cool character names, and you can't forget the buckin' broomstick! I like that the pitch does not give away the ending.

  19. Natalie says:

    Of course I would read it! I'm a Texas girl–and this sounds like my kind of book! 😉 I also thought the pitch was very well written and really reeled me in.

    Thanks for the tongue-twisters Susanna! I'm positive I won't have them out of my head for at least three days! 🙂 You just never know what kind of goodies that your gonna walk away with when you stop by the “Oh Susanna Blog!” 🙂

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