Would You Read It Wednesday # 79 – Twitch (MG) PLUS The February Pitch Pick PLUS Straight From The Editor!

Roses are red
Violets are blue
Chocolate donuts
Are good for you 🙂

Have some, won’t you? 🙂

Take two if you want because we have a full schedule today and you will need your strength! 🙂

First, here is Straight From The Editor for Wendy’s winning pitch from January.  You will recall her pitch:

Working Title: Civil
Age: MG
Five seventh graders are thrust into a secret time-traveling society and are soon fighting for their lives in the bloody battlefields of Gettysburg. The sensitive jock, popular cheerleader, African transfer student, feared social outcast, and 9-year-old technical genius had better work fast: Their own world is becoming increasingly dystopian and their own school hallways increasingly dangerous.

And here are Erin Molta’s comments:

Sounds intriguing but a little too harsh for middle grade. Are they actually on the battlefield and fighting with bayonet’s and guns or have they just arrived and are trying to escape before they get caught up in the battle? That is an important distinction to make when dealing with a middle grade topic.

Also, you might want to allude to the actual problem they have to solve. It’s a bit confusing trying to figure out what exactly is going on –were they sent to Gettysburg by accident and they have to get back to their own world which is deteriorating fast and their school is becoming dangerous? What links it all together? Their dystopian world and their dangerous school hallways are related to Gettysburg (or the time travelling) how?

Once you can pinpoint that, I think you’ll have a pitch that will draw an editor in.

As always, I find Erin’s insight very educational.  I hope it’s helpful to you too!

Next up, we have the February Pitch Pick.  Below are the 4 pitches from February.  Please read them over and then vote for the one you think is best and deserves a read by Erin!

#1 Julie
Just Call Me The Kid (PB ages 4-7)
Pip the mouse longs to be a cowboy, and does his best to rustle up some skills. His mother gets kinda ornery though, as Pip’s attempts turn the household on its head. But that doesn’t sour his milk, and neither does the neighbor’s cat! 

#2 Sue
How Many Shoes Does A Princess Need? (PB ages 4-8)

Cindy’s dad always called her “princess” but now, living with great-aunt Prue, Cindy feels more like a kitchen slave. When she asks for a new pair of Mary Janes for the County Spelling Bee, great-aunt 
Prue snaps, “How many shoes does a princess need?” Cindy decides to investigate “must have” footwear, from frog boots to glass slippers, and learns just how much is enough.

#3 Wendy
Why Fireflies Should NEVER Drink Soda (PB ages 3-7)

Life is good for the insects at the campground—until something attracts a hungry bullfrog. When Herman, a feisty firefly, takes a sip the hiccuping winged beacon learns why he’s been taught that fireflies should NEVER drink soda.

#4 Yvonne
Oakley’s Keys (PB ages 3-6)

Intruder Alert! Wherever Oakley hides, drooling baby brother Dan finds him. Now, not even Oakley’s fantasies are save – from loop-the-looping around a star to playing tag with tigers – Dan is there. But when creepy creatures crawl out of a pirate treasure chest, it’s up to Oakley to rescue Dan, drool not included.

It’s a tough decision, I know!, but the poll will be open until Friday, March 8 at 11:59 PM for you to cast your vote.

Now, onto our final item of business, today’s Would You Read It pitch! 🙂

Today’s pitch comes to us from Linda, whom you may remember from her pitch for Alpha Bitty in October and The Good For Plenty Bibs in January.  Linda is a former gifted and talented teacher and the author of a number of books including the multi-award winning picture book, The Blue Roses.  Please take a moment to visit her website at www.lindaboyden.com.  Here is her pitch:

Working Title: Twitch
Age/Genre: MG
The Pitch: After Twitch Taylor turns twelve, his world flips over. Uncle Dell’s wife, Jewel, is killed in a freak accident. His father, Eldon, disappears but leaves a note that forces Twitch to live with Uncle, an old-time Cherokee custom where uncles teach nephews the ways of men. Twitch quickly learns there’s more to life than cell phones: an ancient curse is attacking his family, something only he can stop. Can he learn enough, fast enough to become a Cherokee warrior? Can a kid save the world?

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 Linda 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 May so you have a little time to polish your pitches for your chance to be read by editor Erin Molta!

Linda is looking forward to your thoughts on her pitch!  I am looking forward to Spring.  But that’s not news 🙂

Have a great day, everyone!

59 thoughts on “Would You Read It Wednesday # 79 – Twitch (MG) PLUS The February Pitch Pick PLUS Straight From The Editor!

  1. Yvonne Cynthia Mes says:

    A YES for the pitch. It piqued my interest and I liked the cultural aspect of the story.

    I also tripped over flips, for some reason I saw a car flipping over in my mind as the next sentence refers to the freak accident.

    Does he really need to save the world? That came as a surprise as nothing else in your pitch alludes to a threat to the world, only a threat to the family.

    Apart from Twitch, I don't think you need any other names in the pitch, just Uncle or Father etc. should do.

    I think it will be a great pitch with some tightening and clarification.

  2. Linda Boyden says:

    First, a zillion thanks to Susanna for this forum, this friendly place for writers to help each other improve their works; virtual sweets are the icing on the cake, forgive the pun!

    Secondly, I have collected the comments into an “Improve Twitch-Pitch” file for helping me with revision. I have struggled with the wording of each pitch, but especially with this complicated MG, what to put in; what to leave out. The storyteller part of me battles a lot with the writer part! Thanks to each of you, I now feel I can streamline it.

    A thousand virtual cupcakes to all! And know I will reciprocate each month on your pitches.

  3. Susanna Leonard Hill says:

    Well thank you for bravely pitching, Linda, and I'm so glad if you got helpful feedback – everyone is wonderful, aren't they? And I'm sure I speak for all of us when I say YUM to the virtual cupcakes 🙂

  4. Stina Lindenblatt says:

    I'll admit, I thought that pitch was for a YA novel, not a MG one.

    Oh, those donuts look good. And they're good for me. BONUS!!!! 😀

  5. coleen patrick says:

    I say yes. I am intrigued by the Cherokee customs and ancient curse. Plus, just for a moment it made me think of The Indian and the Cupboard–one of my fave books when I was a kid. 🙂

  6. Susanna Leonard Hill says:

    Thanks for your comment for Linda, Stina – interesting point. And yes, all the donuts I serve are health food and you can eat as many as you want and only become stronger, smarter and more beautiful 🙂

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