Would You Read It Wednesday #159 – The Trouble With Homework (PB) PLUS Straight From The Editor x 2

Wait til you hear how forethoughtful I’m being!

Seriously.  You are NOT going to believe it.

It’s Sunday night.  SUNDAY.  And I am putting the finishing touches on this post which isn’t due to go up until Wednesday!

Wednesday is like 2 1/2 entire days from now!

I don’t think this has ever happened before in the history of my blog!

Don’t worry.

You’re in the right place.

I have not been possessed by aliens or anything.  (Of course, I would probably say that if I had been, wouldn’t I? Because they’d make me… But I’m pretty sure I haven’t!)

It’s just that the weatherperson in these parts seems pretty convinced that we’re going to be getting heavy snow – at least a foot – maybe 3 – and that means, in all probability, that I will have no internet.  So my usual operating procedure of finishing my Wednesday post 37 seconds before it’s due to go up may not pan out well.  And I don’t want today’s pitcher to miss her day!

PLUS!  We have not one, but TWO Straight From The Editors to share – always educational AND fun – so I wouldn’t want you to miss that either.  Or the most important part of the post… Something Chocolate 🙂

Black Magic Cake

Yummmmm!  Scrumptious!!

I know how you all count the hours until Wednesday for your chocolate treat, so far be it from me to deprive you! 🙂  I would never want it to be said that I don’t take good care of you!

Alrighty!  Now that we’re fortified, let’s see what the editor has to say!

Straight From The Editor for October:

You will recall Michelle’s winning pitch:

Miss Knaffle and her second graders all just want to have fun at school. But when her students take theiridea of fun too far—conducting a farting symphony during reading time, smuggling coffee beans to the class hamster, and using their desks for a bubblegum sculpture contest—Miss Knaffle decides that only a field trip to the zoo will avert classroom disaster. Once there, the canny teacher enlists irritable zoo animals to her cause. When Fátima tangles with a snake and Mario ends up on the wrong side of a baboon, the students quickly come to appreciate the zoo rules—and their teacher—in a whole new way.

Here are editor Erin Molta’s comments:

This is so cute! My only suggestion is to be more specific about the zoo incidents like Fatima tangles with a snake because she did what? You are specific about the farting symphony (hilarious!) and the coffee beans to the hamster so we need to see the zoo side, too—at least one. I’d omit the bubblegum sculpture contest to fit in more specific zoo incidents.

Straight From The Editor for November:

Here is Heather’s winning pitch:

The harpsichord is dusted, the tea is poured, the vases are arranged on doily laces, and Hubert the pug is settled calmly on the rug. Lottie Dobson is ready for her fancy luncheon party. But when the members of the Grandview Rose Society arrive with even more blooms, poor Hubert’s allergies kick in. What happens next is a riot of mishaps that gets him banned from the room. But when a wily rat sneaks in, steals the cheese, and dangles from the chandelier, it sends the proper party guests on a crazy chase–with a sneezing Hubert in the lead. One big sneeze will save the day! Too bad for Hubert, the sneezing doesn’t end there. 

And here are Erin’s comments:

Cute! The only problem I saw with it was that why wouldn’t Hubert be allergic to the roses that are already there? Would more make that much of a difference? I think Hubert’s allergies should be a new issue—a surprise, so to speak. And then be specific about at least one of the mishaps. Otherwise, it’s very fun and sounds like a delight!

As always, I find Erin’s comments insightful and helpful!  I hope they help you in your mission to create the perfect pitch!

Today’s pitch comes to us from Maria.  Maria is an educator with the best job in the world – she works as a Fire & Life Safety Educator for a municipal fire department! When she isn’t teaching others how to be safe, she can be found writing under a pecan tree, playing with her dogs and cats, or cruising around town with the top down searching for inspirational ideas or the next big story.

Here is her pitch:

Working Title: The Trouble With Homework
Age/Genre: Picture Book (ages 6-9)
The Pitch: What’s a kid to do when he’s waited until the lastminute to do his homework? Sometimes, you just have to improvise!

Join Connor along with his zany classmates as they prepare (some more than others) for their first-ever demonstration speeches.  Follow Connor’s speech outline and you, too, can show others what skills and talents you have.

Disclaimer: No snails or house cats were harmed in the making of this book! 

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 Maria 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 June so you’ve got a little time to polish up your pitches and send yours for your chance to be read by editor Erin Molta!

Maria is looking forward to your thoughts on her pitch!  I am looking forward to getting my internet back so I can catch up on everything I’ve missed!  It should be back this morning, but we shall see… (Of course, I’m just assuming… because it’s SUNDAY! so I don’t know yet what will happen!)

Have a wonderful Wednesday everyone, and for everyone who lives on the East Coast, I hope you all weathered the storm okay!!!

98 thoughts on “Would You Read It Wednesday #159 – The Trouble With Homework (PB) PLUS Straight From The Editor x 2

  1. Stacy Couch says:

    Maria, I think 6-9 yos would really relate to doing homework at the last minute, and the disclaimer is fun. But I wouldn't worry about a cliffhanger in your pitch; many editors have stated they want to know what happens, and the more concrete you can be, the better. (Erin suggested even more specifics for both pitches today.) I would, literally and figuratively, let the cat out of the bag.

    Which, by the way, is a great specific to add!

    Susanna–you did your homework early! Gold star! Glad to hear you got “only” 8 inches. Where I live, we got maybe 1 — 3 inches would shut the town down.

  2. Maria B says:


    You helped me see what was missing in the pitch. You are so right – the editor does want to know exactly what is in the book. I think I may have written it more as an adult picking up the book. Thanks for helping me figure that out. I will definitely be letting the cat out of the bag!

  3. Maria B says:

    Thanks, Dora. I'm pleased with all thr positive feedback I've gotten today. I think I can come up with a few tidbits of information to add!

  4. Maria B says:

    That brings up a good point. I think I'll polish my pitch and the manuscript. Then I'll share it with a few children before I take it to the conference.

    Thanks for your honest feedback.

  5. Maria B says:

    Thanks Heather. This kid doesn't do his homework so he's sitting in class listening to all the other speeches. Everyone has props, etc. So… he uses all he has with him and literally let's thr cat out of the bag.

    Yes, I did incluse his most-interesting speech outline at the end and encouraged students to write one based on a talent or skill they have.

    So appreciate your feedback!

  6. Michelle Kogan says:

    Yes, I'd read the book! Though all comments have been covered, and so eloquently. Thanks for sharing your book pitch Maria! Thanks also to Susanna for hosting the pitches, editor comments and your lively intros. I'm working on a pitch myself and get so much from reading all that is here!

  7. Susanna Leonard Hill says:

    Thank you for your helpful comments for Maria, Stacy! And yes… unheard of, I know. Imagine ME doing anything ahead of time. Pat Miller called me an idea hamster today – that is absolutely the best description anyone's ever come up with for me! 🙂 I hope you didn't get any inches 🙂

  8. Susanna Leonard Hill says:

    You're so funny, Angela 🙂 I have not been to your blog yet, but you'd better believe I'll be hustling right over if you're serving chocolate cheesecake – it's time for dessert, after all! Thanks so much for your helpful comments for Maria!

  9. Susanna Leonard Hill says:

    Oh, so it was YOU who finished the cake, Jilanne? No worries. There's always MIK around here (my grandma's code for More In Kitchen – the opposite of FHB – family hold back – when she had guests :)) Thanks so much for your comments for Maria!

  10. Susanna Leonard Hill says:

    Thanks for chiming in for Maria, Michelle! And I'm so glad you're enjoying WYRI and very glad if it's helpful! We have such a wonderful, generous, talented group here – so helpful to our pitchers! Let me know if you want a pitch date 🙂

  11. Susanna Leonard Hill says:

    Thanks for your encouraging and supportive comments for Maria, Dora, and thanks for coming by! I didn't know about Maria's book – isn't she the modest one! – so thanks for letting that cat out of the bag! 🙂

  12. Tracy Campbell says:

    Erin provides such wonderful feedback and reading these really help. And that was too funny to read you were ahead of schedule, Susanna. I hope you don't get snowed it and/or lose your internet service. 🙂

  13. Susanna Leonard Hill says:

    I know, Erin's wonderful, isn't she, Tracy?! And yeah… I've discovered a new magical power! Apparently I can forestall a blizzard by writing my post ahead of time 🙂 We were lucky – kept our power and internet and only about 8 inches of snow 🙂 Hope you didn't get snowed under in Canada!

  14. Maria B says:

    Ahhh – thanks, Michelle! The comments have been great! I will certainly take them to heart. Good luck with your pitch. I can't wait to read it!

  15. Maria B says:

    Ariel, thanks for your honest comments. I can tell that several points were confusing so I am going to work on that. Hopefully, one day, The Trouble with Homework will be available for kids and families to enjoy.

  16. Maria B says:

    I will certainly be adding some specifics. I think that will really help me make it a solid pitch.

    Thanks for joining in – no matter what time it was.

  17. Maria B says:

    Yes, I can see something like that. Several other folks have mentioned something similar.

    Thanks, again, for the feedback!

  18. pennyklostermann says:

    I have to admit I was curious about the chocolate and even though I'm late, I had to come check it out!! It looks delish!

    I enjoyed Erin's comments. I always learn from her 🙂

    As to the pitch-When I saw the age, I wondered about the market for PB for this age group. But the subject matter is something most kids that age can relate to. I think if you think outside the box, this could be a PB with a story as well as a sort of nonfiction resource. I like that you're going to have an outline that readers can follow and create along with Connor.

    You have some great advice in previous comments, Maria, so I'll stop there.

    Susanna, I hope your warm 🙂

  19. Pamela Courtney says:

    Oh the chocolate! And that sauce! Heaven.
    I enjoyed Erin's advice for the writers. Her advice provides such support. As for the pitch itself, I would definitely read the story. However, I think the additional information may distract from the true intent of your pitch with the disclaimer, and the info about he outline. BUT I like that bit of resource. Just not in the pitch. Does that make any sense?

  20. Maria B says:

    Hi Pam,
    Thanks for the comments. The disclaimer was to hint thay some animals may have been part of some of the speeches. Hint hint!

    I appreciate your comments.

  21. Maria B says:

    Thanks for stopping by. I love all the constructive comments folks have made. I've got a few days to make some changes and then it is back to Susanna for the contest. Hope everyone will like the changes!

  22. Susanna Leonard Hill says:

    Hope you enjoyed the chocolate, Penny! And glad you liked Erin's comments. And thank you for your thoughts for Maria! I would not say that I am *warm*… but I am not cold. And given that it's currently below zero out, “not cold” is just fine 🙂

  23. Susanna Leonard Hill says:

    Er… that sounds a bit stressful! But I have an important post to get up Monday and it's supposed to snow again. Given that it's Saturday night (bedtime hour) and I haven't written it yet, I'm not sure it's going to be early enough to stop the snow this time! 🙂

  24. This_Kid_Reviews_Books_Erik says:

    Dang asterisk dollar-sign squiggly-line computer! (how'd you like my “comic cursing”? – completely kid-friendly!)
    This is the third time I've written this comment and then my computer turns off, and then this comment disappears!

    Ms. Molta's a great lady! 😀
    I would read the story, but I think some more details about the story (and maybe explaining why you have the disclaimer). It sounds like a funny story. 😀
    Wait. Ms. Hill – PLANNING AHEAD?!
    WHOAAAAA!!!! I'l mark the day on my calendar? Will you sign my [empty] to-do list? 😉

  25. Susanna Leonard Hill says:

    That was very creative kid-friendly cursing, Erik 🙂 I'm sorry you're having trouble – I hope it's not my blog… but I also hope it's not your computer! Thanks for your comments for Ms. Bostian, and I'm glad you think Ms. Molta is great – I have to agree 🙂 And fine – just rub it in that your to-do list is empty… which mine NEVER is!!! Maybe you should come be my volunteer personal assistant…! 🙂

  26. This_Kid_Reviews_Books_Erik says:

    Whoops. Slip of the finger! I meant empty ACCOMPLISHED list. 😉 Sorry!

    And, it isn't your blog. My computer just wanted some down time. 😉

  27. Lovable Lobo says:

    Love the combo of chocolate and raspberries and I enjoyed reading Erin's comments. I think Maria's book sounds super fun and I would certainly read it. As always, a delightful post, Susanna!

  28. This_Kid_Reviews_Books_Erik says:

    Sure! Right after school! And my job at after-school karate (helping out)! And homework! And writing a blog post!
    Yep. Too much free time around here! 😉
    Have fun at the school visit! 😀

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