Would You Read It Wednesday #149 – Your Friend, Conrad (PB) PLUS A Halloweensie Prize Update!


I was going to be so succinct and just get right to Would You Read It today, and you were going to be so proud of me for my extreme brevity… I had it all planned out…


I have to squeeze in a teensy Halloweensie Contest update!!!

Remember how I told you that the prizes kept rolling in?

Here’s what our goody bag of prizes looks like now! (words in color are links for more info)

– Julie Hedlund‘s fantastic new course How To Make Money As An Author, interesting, educational and suitable for writers at any stage of their career

 – a 2015 membership to Children’s Book Insider, an absolutely fabulous resource for kid lit writers of all kinds generously offered by Jon Bard and Laura Backes

 – a picture book manuscript critique from the renowned Alayne Christian (prose only, 800 words or less)
Alayne Kay Christian is an award winning author of BUTTERFLY KISSES FOR GRANDMA AND GRANDPA. She is represented by Erzsi Deak of Hen&Ink Literary Studio. To read more about Alayne, her critique service, and her books visit her websites and blog.

– a picture book manuscript critique (rhyme or prose) from Penny Parker Klostermann who, after extensive experience critiquing for writing partners, members of various kid lit groups, and clients of Erin Murphy Literary Agency, is opening her own critique service!!!

Penny Parker Klostermann writes picture books and poetry. Her debut book, THERE WAS AN OLD DRAGON WHO SWALLOWED A KNIGHT, is coming from Random House Children’s, August 2015. Penny is represented by Tricia Lawrence of Erin Murphy Literary Agency. Click HERE to learn more about her critique service. 

 – a picture book manuscript critique by Tracey M. Cox!  Tracey offers a full critique on a fiction PB, 800 words or less, which will include overall impression and line-by-line on a prose only pb ms.  She will also include thoughts and marketing ideas that she thinks about and if she can think of references, she’ll add them also.  Tracey M. Cox has been writing professionally since 2000 and is an author of 6 picture books.  She is an active member in the children’s literature community and explores how to self-market on little to no budget.

Website: www.traceymcox.com
Blog: www.traceymcox.wordpress.com

 – an e-pub or PDF copy (winner’s choice) of Linda Ashman‘s Nuts And Bolts Guide To Writing Picture Books

 – a personalized signed copy of I WANNA GO HOME by Karen Kaufman Orloff, the latest in the brilliant PB series that began with I WANNA IGUANA.

 – a personalized signed copy of I AM COW HEAR ME MOO by Jill Esbaum (reviewed for Perfect Picture Books HERE and HERE – yep, it’s so popular it got reviewed for PPBF twice :))

 – a personalized signed copy of NINJA RED RIDING HOOD by Corey Rosen Schwartz, the riveting follow-up to THE THREE NINJA PIGS.

 – a PDF copy of Ryan Sias’s A Spooky-Doodle E-Book“doodle pages, drawing lessons and writing prompts inspire kids to invent their own stories, characters and artwork.”

And I’d like to clarify (because I got asked) that people who donate prizes are still eligible to enter the contest!  Just, if they win, I won’t give them their own prize 🙂

And that is 10 prizes now, all very generously donated!  So I’m hoping we’ll get at least 10 entries 🙂

Okay!  Now back to our regularly scheduled programing.  (Brevity is overrated anyway… :))

Since I know you’re all revved up at the prospect of all those amazing prizes, and are going to run right off to your favorite writing corner and get to work on your entries as soon as you’ve commented for today’s WYRI pitcher, let me fortify you with a little Something Chocolate! 🙂

Since Halloween is coming, it’s important that we embrace the occasion in our chocolate snacks.  Today (don’t be scared!) we have Spooky Boo Brownies!!!

Find the recipe HERE if you want to give these scary delights a try! 🙂

Oooh!  So spooky! . . . and chocolatey and delicious 🙂

Now then, today’s pitch comes to us from Debbie who says, “I have been writing all my life but have been more serious about it in the last 5 years, joining groups like SCBWI and Julie Hedlund’s 12 X 12, taking courses like MPBM (Making Picture Book Magic), and attending conferences. Susanna’s knowledge, generosity, and encouragement make this group essential to my writing life. Thank you, Susanna! And thank you all in advance for your feedback.”

(Debbie’s website will be up soon, and when it is, I’ll let you know where to find her! :))

Here is her pitch:

Working Title: Your Friend, Conrad
Age/Genre: Picture Book (ages 4-8)
The Pitch: Conrad receives an invitation to visit his best friend Fiona. She tells him he’ll need to bring a sword, a bow and arrow, and … exactly ten marshmallows?! Conrad bravely sets out not knowing that the path will lead him into a leaky boat, past pesky ravens, through prickly brambles, and to the edge of a moat where a sweets-loving dragon lurks in the deep. Will this unlikely hero have the wits (and enough marshmallows) to make it to Fiona’s front door?

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 Debbie 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 one or two openings left for this year, since there will be a hiatus for the Holiday Contest and the holidays themselves, so polish up your pitch and grab one of the last couple spots for your chance to be read by editor Erin Molta before 2015!

Debbie is looking forward to your thoughts on her pitch!  I think I said this last week (and I’ll probably say it next week :)) but I am looking forward to the Halloweensie Contest!  I seriously can’t wait to read what y’all come up with, and I also can’t wait to give away all these lovely and amazing prizes!  Let’s have a round of applause for our very generous donors! 🙂

Have a wonderful Wednesday everyone!!! 🙂

81 thoughts on “Would You Read It Wednesday #149 – Your Friend, Conrad (PB) PLUS A Halloweensie Prize Update!

  1. Susanna Leonard Hill says:

    I'm glad you like the prizes, Teresa, and the sweets 🙂 You're such a good chef, you can probably make them! Thanks so much for your helpful comments for Debbie – pre-coffee brain or no, it's always good to know if there are parts that are confusing to anyone!

  2. This_Kid_Reviews_Books_Erik says:

    AWESOME!!!!!!!!!!!! I love the chocolate marshmallow things, the prizes, and I love the pitch. I would definitely read the book! It sounds amazing! I especially like that there has to be exactly ten marshmallows. 😀

  3. Susanna Leonard Hill says:

    That is an excellent detail, isn't it, Erik? It certainly makes me want to know what he needs the 10 marshmallows for! Glad you like the prizes and snacks. I hope you'll have time for a contest entry – I always look forward to your stories 🙂

  4. Johnell DeWitt says:

    I'm going to chime in here even though the question isn't addressed to me :). My former job was in PR. Names are important–people spend a lot of money “branding” their products. The more recognizable your name is, the better chance you have of catching new customers' eyes. Tara Lazar talks about high concept books and titles. Monstore–you know immediately what the idea is. Ninja Red Riding Hood–same thing–immediate connection. So a title that's ambiguous or bland may not necessarily be rejected, but it may not be picked up and read as soon as one with a catchy title–without a grab-you title your job in catching the eye of an agent or customer has become much harder. Kids love marshmallows, so you have a great op to use that in your title. Like I suggested above maybe Marshmallow Messages or Marshmallow Dragon or Ten-Marshmallow Quest–sorry I'm just pitching out ideas based solely on the pitch, but something that relates instantly to the reader and lets them know immediately what your book might be about. Just my two cents. 🙂

  5. Angela Brown says:

    Once again, you have a wonderful round up of prizes for Halloweensie! And for WYRI, why yes I would read it. It has a dragon. 🙂

  6. Hope Lim says:

    I'm intrigued right away by ten marshmallows. Why ten? I can't wait to find out how Conrad will use his wits and ten marshmallows to finally get to Fiona's house. I would definitely read it to find out. ^^

  7. Cecilia Clark says:

    Yes I would read it. I would like to read how Conrad makes it to Fiona's place.
    Debbie, you made me smile which is a good sign.

    Oh My goodness, such prizes Susanna, I feel like I have Debbie's ten marshmallows in my mouth it is gaping so wide. Wow. I will definitely have to write something for this. 🙂

  8. Debbie says:

    Since people have been intrigued by the marshmallows, what about this for a title: (Susanna, your drum roll, please.) Exactly Ten Marshmallows. What do you think?

  9. Johnell DeWitt says:

    Yes. Better! Or maybe even something more alliterative–Ten-Marshmallow Trouble, Ten-Marshmallow Test, A Ten-Marshmallow Trip/Trek. But the Ten Marshmallows in the title is really cool. Good luck.

  10. :Donna Marie says:

    What amazing prizes, Susanna! And from the pitch, I'm definitely curious about Debbie's book, but don't have time now to put any thought into it 😦 I'm sure lots of others have though! 😀 And, btw, I put an image of chocolate cake in a recent post and thought of you the whole time, Susanna! lol

  11. Brandie Reedy says:

    Oooo…..I like. 🙂 It sounds like a very fun book and something I would definitely read to my story time kids. I really like the suggestion about putting the marshmallows in the title. I think that it sounds more appealing. Not really digging the name Fiona( makes me think of Shrek). Overall….Great pitch! 🙂

    And awesome prizes! I just finished my Halloweensie piece. 🙂
    And…I will take 10 of your ghost sweets. It is almost my b-day after all. 🙂

  12. :Donna Marie says:

    I would, but I avoid doing stuff for holidays. I'll stick with the “everyday” type subjects 🙂 Or, of course, fairy tales, but I'd consider them things that should be “every day” anyway! lol

  13. :Donna Marie says:

    Yeah, yeah, yeah…here's a tissue 😉
    You will NOT be missing a story from me because you will end up with a MOUNTAIN of them! I'm already prepared to return to dust 😉

  14. Deborah Hockenberry says:

    I'd like to read the book when it comes out. I loved the pitch but think it needs tweaking in a couple of places (not that I'm an expert). I think it needs a better hook like: One afternoon, Conrad recieved a curious phone call from his best friend, Fiona. She invited him to come to her house but told him to bring a sword, bow and arrow, and…exactly ten marshmallows?!

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