Golly, has it gotten cold hereabouts! It’s like winter!
But guess what?
Today is Brown Scouty’s birthday! She is 9. And yes! Certainly we are having cake! Although not chocolate because alas, chocolate is not good for dogs and she must have some of her own birthday cake!
Here she is when she was tiny:
And here she is now:
Apparently not much has changed… she likes to sleep on the furniture 🙂
She is my faithful companion. She walks and runs with me on our road, she takes her squirrel-chasing duties very seriously, she
sleeps by guards my bedside at night, and she is lying on my feet while I write this post so that in case I should decide to get up and do something that is Interesting For Dogs she will not miss out 🙂 She is the Best Dog Ever. Happy Birthday, dear Scouty ❤
I’d offer you some of Scout’s birthday cake, but since it’s not chocolate it would be all wrong for today. Besides, I promised Cathy Nutella Croissants, so here they are in all their chocolate-hazelnut-buttery-pastry deliciousness…
Scrumptious! And if you’re looking for an easy recipe, this one has only 3 ingredients! (Possibly even within my limited cooking capacity! 🙂 )
Now that you’re not in danger of a low blood sugar flame-out and have consumed enough calories to help you withstand with extreme cold without perishing :), let’s get down to the fun!
First, the Pitch Pick Winners!
We have so many, I think it calls for some kind of celebration so how about this:
For September, the winner is Zainab, with her picture book pitch for Dear Cat!
For October, the winner is Kirk, with his MG pitch for My Next Door Neighbor Is A Dragon Princess!
And for November, the winner is Jessica with her picture book pitch for Showdown At The Sippy Cup Saloon!
Congratulations Zainab, Kirk, and Jessica Your pitches are winging through cyberspace to editor Erin Molta for her thoughts!
Congratulations also to ALL our intrepid pitchers who stepped up boldly and put their work out their for all the world to see in an effort to improve their craft! Everyone did a great job, and I hope you all got valuable feedback that will help these pitches to pique the curiosity of the agent or editor of you dreams!
And thank you to all the wonderful readers who show up to lend their expertise each week and to vote for the monthly winners! Would You Read It wouldn’t be what it is without you! ❤
Next up we have today’s Would You Read It pitch which comes to us from Cynthia who says, “When I’m not working, or taxi driving my kids to sporting events, I play with words. I have a love for picture books, especially ones in verse.”
You can find her at her website: http://randomthoughts-myblog.blogspot.com/ and on Twitter @Elomaa10.
Here is her pitch:
Working Title: Nicky And The Inchworm
Age/Genre: Picture Book (ages 4-8)
The Pitch: Nicky loves to splash in puddles, but when Nicky finds a shiny wet inchworm hanging by a thread Nicky knows he has to act fast, but not before being amazed by this tiny little creature. Nicky soon forgets all about splashing in the puddles and sets out to find a safe home for his tiny new friend.
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 Cynthia improve her pitch. Helpful examples of 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 HERE or on Would You Read It in the dropdown menu under For Writers in the header bar above. There are openings in February which isn’t that far off, so polish up your pitches and send yours for your chance to be read by editor Erin Molta!
Cynthia is looking forward to your thoughts on her pitch! I am looking forward to posting the guidelines for the brandy spandy new writing contest that we will be having! Mark your calendars for the week of February 8-12 and keep a weather eye out for a special post from moi with the low-down!
Have a wonderful Wednesday, everyone!!!
52 thoughts on “Would You Read It Wednesday #197 – Nicky And The Inchworm PLUS A Plethora Of Pitch Pick Winners”
I would definitely read this. I like an inchworm story. I think your first sentence needs some trimming and rearranging. Is splashing in puddles relevant to the inchworm part of the story? It’s hard to tell from the pitch. Also, I’d love to know HOW Nicky goes about this inchworm relocation project. 🙂 Maybe you can tease us with some of his ideas. Good luck with this, Cynthia!
I would read this book, Cynthia, as I love that Nicky is observant enough to notice an inchworm and empathetic enough to interrupt play & help his new friend. I would suggest tightening the pitch by deleting the last clause of the first sentence (“but not before being amazed by this tiny little creature.”) as I think it slows the pitch down. I’d also like you to show how Nicky loves splashing in puddles, rather than just stating it – something like “Nicky splashes in puddles anytime and anywhere he can. When he finds a shiny wet inchworm…by his favorite puddle, Nicky knows he has to act fast….” I hope this helps – I look forward to reading the revised pitch.
And happy birthday to Brown Scouty! The Two Orange Pups & I hope Mom found a tasty treat, indeed, for such a loyal pup.
Thank you so much for your very thoughtful response to Cynthia, Patricia! And we had a delicious yellow cake with vanilla icing for Scouty and she got the first slice 🙂
Great advice! I’ll definetly try to tighten it up.
That sounds like a winning recipe Susanna – and what a great title for their blog “Gimme Some Oven”! Mmm…
Cynthia’s pitch sounds like a winner too! We have those dangling inchworms in the spring on our maple trees. The birds seem to find them quite delicious! I agree with Genevieve about trimming that first sentence. Have you thought about writing it from the inchworm’s POV? Good luck with this!
Oh – and happy birthday Scouty. No nutella for you, sadly, but I am sure Susanna will make it up to you! Woof!
Scouty says thank you, Cathy, and she enjoyed her yellow cake with vanilla icing very much even though it wasn’t chocolate 🙂
I know! Isn’t that so good? I probably drove my daughter nuts last night saying, “Gimme some oven” – so clever! 🙂 Thanks so much for your very helpful comments for Cynthia!
I agree with Genevieve in that you can drop one of the puddle references and add in a tease about what happens or goes wrong in the rest of the story. But as a Children’s Librarian, I would say to any future editors that this works on so many storytime levels – inchworms, puddles, Spring, etc. Go Cynthia with your brave self!
Thanks so much for your helpful comments for Cynthia, Eileen!
Thank you Genevieve and Cathy, I admit I did have a little trouble deciding on how to break up the first sentence. POV of Inchworm? I’ll have to look into that, thanks. 🙂
Thanks for the help. I have to admit I did have trouble breaking up that first sentence. POV from the inchworm? I’ll have to play with that. 🙂 Thanks
Am I to assume that the inchworm is dangling over the puddle? If so, then that point needs to be a little more clear.
Thanks for chiming in for Cynthia, Mike!
I think inchworms are great kid material! I too didn’t understand how a puddle (on the ground) related to the inchworm hanging in space? If Nicky is the MC, the pitch should focus on his want and the stakes, so does the inchworm transform him from a puddle splasher to a naturalist or something like that? Good luck!
Thanks so much for sharing your reaction with Cynthia, Wendy! It is so helpful to know how our words touch objective readers who are not inside our heads!
Great point. Also I always loved inchworms as a child. 🙂
Good point. 🙂
Yes I would read Cynthia’s story because I am always intrigued with learning more about another animal.
As for your WordPress issue. Could it be the template you’re using for your blog. I do not have that problem with capitals on my WordPress Blog: lisaconnors.wordpress.com
Thanks for your response for Cynthia, Lisa. And good to know about your wordpress experience. Like I said, I’m new to this system… and not very quick on the uptake 🙂 Hopefully I’ll figure it out… or someone will take pity on me and explain it in words of one syllable 🙂
Liked the pitch, as someone new to writing children’s picture books the feedback is especially useful.
Your uppercase titles are due to the WordPress theme you are using.
In the CSS file of the theme (it’s a file which sets fonts, colours etc…) you’ll find this code:
It’s the “text-transform: uppercase;” bit that turns the titles into uppercase.
Since you are using the WordPress.com hosted version of WordPress (there’s another version with much more control) I don’t think you’ll be able to modify this theme. I use the self hosted version of WordPress (build my own themes), so no experience of the WordPress.com version.
If there is an option to add your own CSS rules try this:
That should stop your titles going uppercase.
Other option is change themes.
Note: added pre code around the CSS code, if it doesn’t work will post again without it.
Congratulations to the pitch pick winners!
Congrats to the winners. I would read this. I agree with the other commenters about the first sentence. I also like Cathy’s idea of writing from the inchworm’s PoV. That might make this more interesting.
Thanks so much for sharing your thoughts for Cynthia, Rosi!
Cynthia, Yes, I would read it 🙂 This is a sweet story concept – it will help children pay attention to the tiny, admirable things in nature. A couple of suggestions I have…
One, there are three Nicky’s in the first sentence. Remove one or two. For example, “Nicky loves to splash in puddles, but when he finds a shiny wet inchworm…”
Two, the first sentence is a little wordy, and “…but not before being amazed…” feels awkward, though it’s an important point in your pitch. Consider consolidating and adjusting them – maybe, “Nicky loves puddles, but when he finds a shiny wet inchworm hanging by a thread Nicky soon forgets all about splashing. He sets out to find a safe home for his tiny new friend and in the process (something about how amazing the little creature is).” My suggestion is a rough brainstorm, but you get the idea, I hope.
Good luck, Cynthia 🙂
Thank you so much for your very thoughtful and helpful response to Cynthia, Christie!
Hi Susanna. Sorry about your WordPress woes. I’m able to add color to text and my titles aren’t in all caps…h-m-m-m. I bet you’ll figure this out.
I think this story sounds fun and I would read it, but feel you can cut this “but not before being amazed by this tiny little creature.” Since he forgets about splashing in puddles it will be obvious that he is taken with the inchworm.
Maybe I need a tutorial from you, Penny 🙂 Thanks so much for your helpful comments for Cynthia!
I noticed your menu items are in all caps, too. Maybe that’s part of the theme you’re using.
You might be right… I thought font size, color, type, and caps/lowercase were such easy things to have options on that everything would have options… but perhaps not!
Thanks Christie, I agree the sentence is long and has to be shortened, and rearranged. I’ll play a bit more. 🙂
I did some edits, if anyone would like to comment: Thanks!
Nicky loves to splash in the puddles, but when he finds a shiny wet inchworm hanging by a thread over a puddle he knows he has to act fast. Nicky, amazed by this tiny little creature, soon forgets all about splashing in the puddles and sets out to find a safe home for his tiny new friend.
Love the treats, Susanna…I may have to try that 3 ingredient delight!
Congrats to all the pitch winners…and to all who put their pitches out there…honing pitches is a great exercise for every writer. 😉
Cynthia, I would definitely read your story! And so would every puddle-loving splasher…I love Christie’s pitch fix suggestion…sounds pretty perfect to me.
Thank you Vivian 🙂
I baked birthday cake today, Vivian, so let me know how those nutella delights come out 🙂 Thanks so much for chiming in for Cynthia!
Congrats, winners! And an easy dish?? With chocolate?? Can’t beat that, can we?
Cynthia, the story does look cute – I would recommend some trimming – I think you have a bit too much repetition. Definitely get rid of a couple of the “Nickys” – and maybe be more succint – especially in the first sentence. You’ve got some great advice above – you are definitely on the right track!
No, we certainly cannot 🙂 Thanks so much for your helpful comments for Cynthia, Joanne, and enjoy those Nutella croissants 🙂
I feel your pain about WordPress. It’s the Theme you are using. I had to learn a little code (very simple) for a few formating issues. As for the pitch, cute story idea, agree with others about shorter sentences. I too would like to see something about what happens when he attempts to reach his goal of finding a home for the inchworm. Or what he takes away from finding the worm and the connection to splashing. Is he now more careful, etc. Good luck!
Thanks so much for your helpful comments for Cynthia, Keila! And as for the theme thing… you’re saying if I use a different theme I’ll have more options for capitalization vs. lowercase and for font size, type and color?
Morning everyone. I’d like to thank everyone for their comments and help with my pitch. I seem to be having trouble posting so I hope this goes through. I’ll be printing this out to reference for my edits. Thanks so much again for your help! I’m so glad you liked it. 🙂 Cynthia
It might have been me, Cynthia – I’m so new to WordPress, and I think some of the comments went through and others were waiting for approval. Sorry for the delay!
Oh I love inchworms, and kids splashing in puddles (as long as I don’t have to clean up their mess). Yes I would read this story, I don’t think I could add anything that hasn’t been said already. Good luck!
Thanks so much for chiming in for Cynthia, Jean! 🙂
Hi Cynthia (and everyone)! Based on the pitch, I can’t say that I would read it because I’m not sure about the connection between the inchworm and the puddle. Maybe it could be as simple as adding something about the proximity of the inchworm in relation to the puddle to clarify it.
I like the formula of your first line: character introduction+problem=action you have to read about.
Based on the overall idea though, maybe I would read it just to see how the problem is resolved. -Ashley
Thanks so much for your candid thoughts for Cynthia, Ashley!
Sorry to be chiming in late, but I agree that I would definitely read this story! Like others, I wasn’t sure if splashing in puddles relates to the inchworm story or is just how Nicky discovers the inchworm. Great kid appeal here!
Thanks so much for your helpful thoughts for Cynthia, Gabi! 🙂
I would read this. Love the puddles. Then the fact that making sure a friend is safe is more important adds to the charm.
I would read the book! I don’t know if I could add more, but I would read the story! 🙂
Wow, can’t believe I won! Had a great time here, Susanna. Thanks for making this such a welcoming and fun environment.