Would You Read It Wednesday #144 – Cleo And Pinkie (PB) PLUS The July Pitch Winner PLUS Straight From The Editor x2!

Hellooo Dearies!!!

I am so glad to be back after my August off of blogging, and so glad to see you all!!!

I know the year officially begins on January 1st, but really, September always feels like the new year to me.  Too many years in school, I guess 🙂

It’s lovely to see so many friends reappearing on their blogs after a summer off.  There is energy and excitement and enthusiasm in the air.  I am, as always, full of ideas I don’t have enough time to implement (but that never stops me from thinking I can follow through on them somehow :))

There will probably be some changes afoot around here.  I’m not sure what yet, exactly, but I might want to try something new and different on Mondays at some point… feel free to make suggestions in the comments if there’s something in particular you’d like to see.  And I’m going to try (after today :)) to make my posts a little shorter…  Stop laughing!  Seriously!  I can HEAR you!

I find I’m having a hard time keeping all the balls in the air, what with writing, teaching, critiquing, blogging/social media, school visits, marketing, continuing ed, and my position as COO in a home with a husband, 5 kids, 2 dogs, aging parents just down the road and a pony up the road, so my answer to that is A SCHEDULE.  Novel idea, don’t you think?  I haven’t written it down yet, but I am cogitating on it (er, since January…), and I feel confident that at some point a Master Plan that is helpful and productive will emerge that will allow me to get everything done in half the time.  There is a faction here on Blueberry Hill that objects to me working 24/7 🙂  You’ll know the Master Plan is in place when I tell you I’ve read a book longer than 32 pages for fun 🙂

I’m already looking forward to the upcoming writing contests! and I’ll give you a heads up: The Halloweensie Contest will run from October 27-31, and The Holiday Contest will run from December 8-12.  In both cases the judging, voting, and winner announcements will occur in the week following.  So mark your calendars 🙂

Now, before we go a step further, there is something CRUCIAL we must attend to after these weeks off!  It’s time for…


Ultimate Brownie Sundae – YUM!

And something specially NOT chocolate for Julie R-Z because she did something deserving of a special treat and she doesn’t like chocolate for breakfast – go figure!  (And if you give me a few minutes I might remember what it was she did – all I have here is a note that it had something to do with a survey… :))

Glazed Apple Crumb Muffins!
Recipe here: http://sallysbakingaddiction.com/2014/06/10/glazed-apple-crumb-muffins/

Alrighty!  Now that we have bolstered our blood sugar, let’s continue, shall we?

(The problem with vacation is there’s always catching up to do afterwards.)

First, did I get a chance to tell you who won the June and July Pitch Picks?

I think I mentioned that Kimberly had won the June pick with her pitch for Sprinkles The Clown.  But we can’t have gotten around to the July winner yet because we haven’t been here!  The July Pitch Pick was won by Brandie with her pitch for The Trouble With Keeping Vikings!  Congratulations to Kimberly and Brandie as well as to all the other brave and talented writers who submitted pitches.  Your pitches were ALL so good, and it’s such a wonderful opportunity for us all to learn from each other!

Second, we have Straight From The Editor for both June and July!

Let’s start with June since that appeals to my sense of orderly chronology.  Because I am so orderly 🙂 (Please refer back to the Master Plan under construction :))

You will recall Kimberly’s pitch for her picture book, Sprinkles The Clown:

Sprinkles the Clown wants to fit in with her classmates on the first day of Kindergarten, but when her show-and-tell juggling act goes wrong, all the other little clowns laugh at her. However, as a storm rolls in scaring all the students, Sprinkles puts her own fears aside and uses one of her true clowning skills to save the day!

Here are editor Erin Molta’s insightful thoughts:

This sounds cute, though for a pitch you need to be a little more specific. Don’t worry about giving it all away. I’m assuming that all the kids are clowns, right? So I’d say something like I’ve done below. Also what is a “true” clowning skill? I would definitely say what Sprinkles did that made all of the other little clowns feel safer or less afraid.

Sprinkles the Clown wants to fit in with her classmates on the first day of Kindergarten, but when her show-and-tell juggling act goes wrong, all the other little clowns laugh at her. However, as a storm rolls in scaring all the students, Sprinkles puts her own fears aside and [does what?] to save the day!

Brandie’s pitch for her picture book, The Trouble With Keeping Vikings, was as follows:

A boy opens his front door and comes face-to-face with a startling surprise. A Viking horde has come for a visit, and they REEK of mischief. From snot-snakes to clashing swords, the outrageous antics of these pesky pillagers are never-ending. That is until the boy makes a certain phone call that will leave these manner-less brutes quaking in their Viking-boots.

Erin had this to say:

I love Vikings and they are somewhat “hot” now, so this definitely has potential, but no need to hide so much. Who is the boy calling? An editor might be so curious that they’ll ask for the manuscript to find out, but usually they’ll ask because the idea intrigues them and they want to see how you go about it. So it’s much better to give them as much information to aid in that process as possible.

Thanks as always to Erin for her very helpful thoughts.  We are so lucky that she is such a cheerful contributor to this series!

Now, then.  The moment you’ve all been waiting for – Would You Read It!

Today’s pitch comes to us from Hope who says, I used to travel around the globe, working as a contract interpreter for the US State Department and a freelance translator until I became a mother. Now as the mother of two children, I continue my love of language by reading with them and writing.”

Here is her pitch:

Working Title: Cleo And Pinkie
Age/Genre: Picture Book (ages 4-8)
The Pitch: Cleo is always busy doing something, but that often turns into trouble. As Mommy grumbles, Cleo brings in Pinkie, her imaginary, mischievous friend, and blames him for everything. “Pinkie did it!” But soon Mommy can’t tolerate it anymore and declares, “No more Pinkie!” With Pinkie gone, the house is quiet and trouble free until Mommy discovers another mess…this time to her delightful surprise.

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 Hope 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 October so jump right in and send your pitch for your chance to be read by editor Erin Molta!

Hope is looking forward to your thoughts on her pitch!  I am looking forward to getting back into a routine and implementing my Master Plan… as soon as I think it up 🙂  I am also looking forward to starting up Perfect Picture Book Fridays again in only 2 days!  I have a special one on deck for you that includes a giveaway so yay! 🙂

Have a wonderful Wednesday, everyone!  So glad we’re all back together again! 🙂

79 thoughts on “Would You Read It Wednesday #144 – Cleo And Pinkie (PB) PLUS The July Pitch Winner PLUS Straight From The Editor x2!

  1. Angela Brown says:

    Hey Susanna! So glad to see you back. And you even came bearing gifts of chocolate and yummy goodness. You are sooooo thoughtful. 🙂

    I enjoyed the advice Erin provided for both pitches. Sometimes, just a little tip or there can make a big difference.

    As for the WYRI pitch, I would. Imaginary friends are a wonderful topic to address with little ones. I would recommed sharing a bit more about the delightful mess. Maybe a short sentice about it, sort of going back to what Erin mentioned in her advice. Also, the pitch can be tightened by removing the little quote of blame since that is detailed nicely.

  2. This_Kid_Reviews_Books_Erik says:

    YAY! The fun-ness has come back! 🙂 WOOOOOO!!!
    Great pitch! It sounds like something I would like to read! 😀

  3. Stina Lindenblatt says:

    I was doing so well reading, and then I saw the desserts. Nothing distracts me more than pictures of hot guys and desserts (though not necessarily in the same pic lol).

  4. Susanna Leonard Hill says:

    Hahaha! 🙂 I'm glad you enjoy the desserts. Alas you will not find any hot guy pics around here – this is a family-friendly blog 🙂 But that reminds me of when my son was little. One day he came home from school and said, “Kristen said I was the hottest boy in second grade!” I said, “Oh, really?” and he said, “Well, it WAS pretty hot out!” (It did happen to be 93 that day, but I'm afraid he missed the point :))

  5. Stacy Couch says:

    Welcome back, Susanna! Can't wait to hear your Monday Master Plan. And if you get overwhelmed, I'd be glad to take that pony off your hands. 🙂
    The pitch sounds so cute. I'd love a Pinkie myself. But I agree with more Cleo and a more specific ending–so ditto what everyone said.

  6. pennyklostermann says:

    Woohoo! You're back and I'm happy about it!! Erin's tips were so great as usual and so was the chocolate and the bite of Julie R-Z's muffin I snatched!

    As far as Hope's pitch…I think you've been given some great suggestions for tightening/focus and, to me, that's all it needed. I would read the story even based on the pitch as it stands because it sounds really cute. “Mischievous” always hooks me!
    And, well, because it reminds me of an episode from my childhood where I blamed not an imaginary friend…but my sister, Tris, for a mishap. Of course we all blame siblings for the trouble we make, but in my situation, I pretty much sold myself out. OK…I have to tell the story! I'm standing at the top of the stairs with wet britches and a puddle at my feet. I look at my parents, point at Tris, and say, “Tissy did it!”
    So when I read your pitch, Hope, the memory came flooding (pun intended) back because my family has never let me forget it!

  7. Vivian Kirkfield says:

    YES to schedules and time management! And when you find the magic formula, Susanna, that allows you to write/revise/submit/blog/care for family, hearth and home and still have a couple of hours to sleep, I know you will share it with all of us. I keep saying I won't get on the computer until I've done everything else that needs doing – but that won't work either, since there is ALWAYS something that needs doing. 🙂

    Thanks for the yummy chocolate…and the apple crumb thingy looks amazing! My summer was filled with writing classes – Kristen's Non Fic in June, Renee's Lyrical Language Lab in August and Jodell's Picture Book Pacing coming up in October. Don't know if they are making me a better writer, but I did just get back three stories from Rate Your Story – a '1', a '1', and a '3'. 🙂

    Great feedback from Erin Molta for the pitches!
    As far as Hope's story – I would DEFINITELY read it! Kids will relate to a child who blames things on an invisible friend. 🙂 You've gotten some great suggestions here for pitch fixing…here's my thought (I don't know the particulars of the story – you could change the details as needed):

    Whether there is a puddle of milk on the floor or a trail of mud prints in the hall, Cleo blames her imaginary friend, Pinkie. “Pinkie did it!” When Mommy declares, “No more Pinkie!”, the house is quiet and trouble free…until Mommy discovers another
    mess…this time to her delightful surprise.

    Hope…I think it would help to have a bit more about this delightful mess – or what Cleo is doing to take ownership of her mischief – unless she has totally changed her stripes and is not creating any more trouble, which I doubt. 🙂

  8. Brandie Reedy says:

    So glad WYRI is back! I love reading all the new book ideas! And I'm so excited that I won the pitch for July. I was up against some tough competition! Thanks everyone for voting!!! Hugs and chocolate to you all!!!!!! And many thanks to Erin Molta for the helpful advice!

    As for the pitch, sounds intriguing enough that I would give it a read. Just like Erin said about my pitch, I wouldn't hide what the ending is. Sounds cute! 🙂

  9. Susanna Leonard Hill says:

    Hi Vivian! So lovely to see you! My! You HAVE been busy! I wish I could say I'd taken all those classes! Congrats on all the great outcomes from RYS! I know it won't be long before we're seeing Vivian Kirkfield titles on the shelves. Thanks so much for your helpful pitch re-wording for Hope. Glad you enjoyed the snacks 🙂

  10. Hope Lim says:

    Vivian, thank you so much for rewording my pitch! I like how you changed it. ^^ Coincidentally, CLEO AND PINKIE has mud prints in the story! Congratulations on getting such good scores from RYI. ^^

  11. Hope Lim says:

    Penny, thank you for sharing your personal story and encouraging comments! ^^ I'm flattered that my story brought back one of your childhood memories. ^^

  12. Michelle Hackel says:

    Hi Hope! Great to see your pitch here–I love this story. Agree with Vivian's rewrite to give specific examples of Cleo's mischievousness. Also agree that Id like to see more at the end. The estimable Erin Molta often gives the feedback that editors prefer more information than to be left guessing by a pitch. What is the mess at the end? How does Cleo change at the end? Or how does Mommy change? YES I would read this story.

  13. :Donna Marie says:

    Susanna, it was so nice to read this, especially since I'm trying to catch up on weeks of blogs having spent them trying to launch my own. Your humor and appealing personality ALways draw me in, making me WANT to read instead of me wanting to just get through it. Well, that and the chocolate (and muffins!), of course 😉
    My brain is too mushy to offer any suggestions, but I'm sure there were great ones in these many comments here 🙂 Loved the critiques on the pitches, too! And yes—ORGANIZATION is the key to life! You've discovered the “secret.” 😀 Happy to see you back 🙂

  14. Susanna Leonard Hill says:

    So happy to see you again, Donna 🙂 And you're so kind to say such nice things about my blog – it means the world to me to know reading my blog doesn't feel like a chore! 🙂 And yes, I may have discovered that the secret is organization… but being able to actually BE organized has so far eluded me 🙂

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