Would You Read It Wednesday #201 -Mary Alice (PB)

Good Morning, Lovelies!

Please excuse this interruption to the Valentiny Contest for Would You Read It!

I hope you have all been enjoying reading the 12 Valentiny Contest finalists and voting!  As of last check there were 2 ties, so anyone who hasn’t read and voted, please feel free to hop on over and do so.  You could be the hero(ine) tie-breaker, thereby earning my undying gratitude which (I don’t mean to brag!) is almost as valuable as a brand new unopened bag of hamster chow!  So get on out there and break those ties and feel free to share the finalist link on social media with anyone who might enjoy reading the stories to themselves and/or the kiddos in their lives!  The more readers and voters the better!

As a reward, in addition to my undying gratitude, (I know! It’s hard to believe there could be more!) I shall bestow upon you Something Chocolate!

Hmmm… what are you in the mood for today?  How about…

Chocolate Buttermilk Pancakes With Homemade Salted Caramel Sauce???!!!

chocolatepancakes-13

From Averie Cooks: Recipe HERE

 

YUM!

Chocolate.  It’s what’s for breakfast 🙂

Now then, today’s pitch comes to us from Tracey who is a published author with nine picture books currently published. Among her writing activities she includes:  SCBWI PAL member, Southern Breeze (SCBWI) Local Liaison for South Georgia and Webmaster for the region,  KidLit TV team member, a South Georgia Writers Guild member, and the founder/director of the Books Love & Taters Book Festival.

 

Here is her pitch:

Working Title: Mary Alice

Age/Genre: Picture Book (ages 12 and under)

The Pitch:  Mary Alice really does like her job. She escorts all kinds of boats up and down the Hudson River. Secretly, she wishes to have passengers, but who would want to be on a dirty tug boat? One fateful morning, everything changes. Mary Alice sees smoke tumbling out of the two skyscrapers. A call over the crackling radio has Mary Alice heading full steam towards the island where a small tug boat can make a big difference.

On 9/11,  the largest sea evacuation in world history happened. Hearing the United States Coastguard call, many mariners converged onto Lower Manhattan to rescue almost a half a million people. Mary Alice, a blue-collared tugboat, was one of the vessels used. Mary Alice’s story will resonate with readers, as they see a small boat doing a mighty thing.

 

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 Tracey 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 Would You Read It in the dropdown under For Writers in the bar above.  Unbelievably, there are actually openings in March so you could get your pitch up for some helpful feedback pretty soon, and have a chance to have it read by editor Erin Molta!

Tracey is looking forward to your thoughts on her pitch!  I am looking forward to seeing who the winners will be for the Valentiny Contest!  I can hardly wait to share them with you on Friday!  It’s going to be so exciting!!!  I’m all goose-prickly at the very thought!

But you all just stay calm.  Don’t get nervous or excited or anxious.  Don’t bite your nails.  Don’t lie awake wondering WHO the winners will be!!!  It’s not THAT many hours til Friday.  I’m SURE you’ll be able to focus on other things…

Uh huh.

See you Friday! 🙂

Have a wonderful Wednesday, everyone!

 

 

45 thoughts on “Would You Read It Wednesday #201 -Mary Alice (PB)

  1. Nancy Tandon says:

    Tracey – I most definitely would read it. Looks like a winning blend of fiction & non-fiction all wrapped up in an important story. I had forgotten about all the evacuations by boat. Our kids should be taught about all the people (and boats!) that helped that day. So, keep going on this and I’m looking forward to seeing it in print.

  2. cherylsec says:

    Wow, I really like this pitch. This touched me on an emotional level when I read it, so I would definitely read the book. I like the unique approach of showing this topic through the tugboat’s viewpoint. I’m probably not much help because I don’t have any suggestions on how to improve it. Maybe a more intriguing title? Great job with this. Thanks for sharing, Tracey and Susanna!

  3. ptnozell says:

    I definitely would read this book, Tracey. Such a tough subject & such an intriguing viewpoint. I was, however, a bit confused at first: seeing the age listed & the title, I hadn’t at first understood the subject matter & why the older target. Perhaps adding “Tugboat to the Rescue” to the title might help? I’d also condense the beginning of the pitch, starting with “Mary Alice escorts all sorts of boats up and down the Hudson River, but secretly longs to carry passengers, too. But who would want to ride such a dirty tug boat?…”

    The only other change I’d make would be in the second paragraph, rather than “one of the vessels used” I’d say, “one of the vessels that responded to the call” to keep the pitch in Mary Alice’s voice.

    I truly look forward to reading the revised pitch & the book when published. And Susanna, thank you for sharing the chocolate pancakes to keep us nourished as we await the conclusion of the Valentiny contest.

  4. Lynne Marie says:

    (((POSSIBLE ADDITIONS)))
    [[[POSSIBLE DELETIONS]]]
    *****COMMENTS

    *****FIRST OF ALL — I REALLY LIKE THIS PITCH. I AM A FORMER NEW YORKER AND WAS AFFECTED GREATLY BY 9/11 AND WOULD DEFINITELY READ THIS!
    Age/Genre: Picture Book (ages 12 and under)
    *****I HAVE HEARD QUITE A FEW AGENTS AND EDITORS SAY RECENTLY NOT TO PUT AN AGE AS THEY WILL GET A FEEL FOR THE AGE AND DECIDE FOR THEMSELVES. ALSO IF YOU ARE SKEWING TOO HIGH OR TOO LOW, IT WON’T MAKE IT LOOK LIKE YOU ARE OFF ON YOUR TARGET AUDIENCE. JUST A THOUGHT TO CONSIDER.
    The Pitch: (((LITTLE))) Mary Alice [[[really does like]]] (((LOVES))) her job (((ESCORTING BIG BOATS UP AND DOWN THE HUDSON RIVER))).
    ******I SUGGEST PUTTING LOVES AS IT IS A MORE ACTIVE AND EMOTIONAL VERB AND HELPS YOU TO CUT THREE WEAK WORDS FROM YOUR PITCH.
    [[[ She escorts all kinds of boats up and down the Hudson River.]]]] (((HOWEVER, SHE SECRETLY WISHES TO HELP PEOPLE INSTEAD OF BOATS(((.))) [[[ Secretly, she wishes to have passengers,]]] (((B)))ut (((SHE GIVES UP HER DREAM BECAUSE SHE KNOWS [[[ who would want to be]]] (((ONE WILL WANT TO TRAVEL))) on a dirty tug boat[[[?]]](((.))) One fateful morning, everything changes. (((WHEN))) Mary Alice sees smoke tumbling out of [[[the]]] two skyscrapers[[[. A call over the crackling radio has Mary Alice]]] (((SHE))) head[[[ing]]](((S))) full steam toward[[[s]]] the island <<>>

    On 9/11, the largest sea evacuation in world history happened. Hearing the United States Coastguard call, many mariners converged onto Lower Manhattan to rescue almost a half a million people. Mary Alice, a blue-collared tugboat, was one of the vessels used. Mary Alice’s story will resonate with readers, as they see a small boat doing a mighty thing
    ******LOVE THIS. MY ONLY COMMENT IS THAT YOU PRETTY MUCH SAY “A SMALL TUGBOAT CAN MAKE A BIG DIFFERENCE TWICE, SO I WOULD JUST SAY THAT AT THE END, AND REVISE THE FIRST INSTANCE TO (((SHE GETS HER CHANCE TO SHOW HER TRUE MIGHT))). OR, SOMETHING TO DO WITH HELPING PEOPLE. OF COURSE I AM SURE YOU CAN COME UP WITH SOMETHING BETTER, AND THESE ARE JUST SUGGESTIONS IN THE SPIRIT OF HELPFULNESS. TAKE OR TOSS AND GOOD LUCK WITH THIS — HOPE TO SEE IT ON THE SHELVES. :

    • Tracey M. Cox says:

      Thanks, Lynne Marie! I’m a New York state native, botlrn in Rochester. I live in Georgia now. 9/11 touched me in ways it didn’t with most of my friends here in Georgia. I’ve wanted to write something about it since and finally saw the documentary on Boat Lift. I cried watching it, and then I sat down and this story poured out.

  5. Stacy S. Jensen says:

    I really like this and would read it. I thought Mary Alice was a kid and was confused until the last graph that she is a boat. It may just be me. This is a unique story and I love how it adds another layer to so many 9/11 stories. Best of luck with this one.

  6. Lisa Riddiough says:

    Yes, I would definitely read this! It pulled at my heart strings immediately. But I also thought Mary Alice was a kid at first. Then I figured it out. You could conisider changing the very first sentence to something like, “Mary Alive loves her job as a tugboat on the Hudson River.” Then we get the idea right off the bat. I really think this is an amazing story that puts the lesser known heros of the 9/11 tragedy into a picture book for all ages. Great job!

    • Tracey M. Cox says:

      Thanks, Lisa! One line from the documentary I watched was… “Everyone has a little hero in them.” I thought this would be a great way to show that. Thanks for your suggestion too.

  7. Gabi Snyder says:

    I remember reading about all the different boats that responded to the call on 9/11. It’s such a moving story and perfect for a PB! I would most definitely read it.

    I agree with others that you don’t need that first sentence of the pitch. You can show Mary Alice’s love of her job through your verb choice. Also, in the second sentence, I think it’d be more active to say “carry passengers” instead of “have passengers.” You might consider rephrasing the last sentence of the first paragraph as, “A call over the crackling radio sends Mary Alice heading full steam towards the island.” (As others pointed out, you talk about a little tugboat making a big difference in the second paragraph.)

    Good luck with this wonderful story!

    • Tracey M. Cox says:

      Thanks for the suggestions, Gabi. Tighten & tweak! 🙂 Living in Georgia, I hadn’t heard of the boats evacuating people. My friend, who lives in NY sent me the documentary and that’s how I found out. Amazing and it shows what NY is about! 😀

  8. Sue Heavenrich says:

    I would definitely read this! I love the idea of a blue-collar tug boat. go, go, go.
    And thanks for the pancakes, Susanna.

  9. viviankirkfield says:

    Thank you, Susanna, for keeping us on track with perfecting our pitches as well as our stories.

    Tracey…I would DEFINITELY read this! It reminded me of an updated, mighty girl Little Toot. I, too, wondered about the age you put down…is this a nonfiction picture book? From your second paragraph, it seemed like it was a true story. If so, I agree with Pat that you might want a subtitle…or even if it isn’t, a subtitle might help define who the story was about, because I’m with Stacy…for the first line or two, I thought Mary Alice was a girl who was like a cruise ship director. 🙂
    Here’s a thought::

    Tugboat Mary Alice knows if she were bigger, she might get to carry passengers and not just escort ships up and down the Hudson River. But when smoke tumbles out of two skyscrapers, Mary Alice speeds full steam ahead towards the trouble where being small might make a big difference.

    Great concept, Tracey…I think you need to go full steam ahead with this story. 🙂

    • Tracey M. Cox says:

      Hi, Vivian! Thank you bunches. Yep, need to make this clearer on the mc being a tugboat. It is based on a true event. Mary Alice is real too and still in operation! She chugs up and down the Hudson today. 🙂 I have spoken with her company owners and they gave me permission to use her name and gave me some awesome facts to punch up my author note too.

  10. Traci Bold says:

    Tracey, I loved this when I read it and immediately want to read the book. But I did have a few minor suggestions that other commenters cleared up so I will not repeat them. Your pitch just needs tweaking using suggestions given in the comments above and you are golden.

  11. onthisnewmorning says:

    Tracey, I would absolutely read this. However, I wasn’t sold until I got to the second paragraph. Once I knew this was based on actual events that took place on 9/11, I immediately started googling the details of the sea evacuations that day. So interesting! But the first paragraph didn’t hook me immediately. I agree with Vivian’s suggestion about a subtitle. Let the reader know right away this is narrative/creative non-fiction and there’s more to it than a tug boat who wishes she were a passenger boat. Great job … I’ll be excited to get my hands on this book one day!

  12. jeanjames926 says:

    Tracey I’m so glad you are writing this story!! I would definitely read it! My father was at the Trade Center for both tower collapses. He was an Inspector in the NYPD and drove immediately to the site when he heard about the first plane crashing into the World Trade Center while on his way to work. After the second tower collapsed he and his men headed for the Hudson and assisted so many people onto those boats as part of that massive sea evacuation. He subsequently died of Lung cancer related to his toxic exposure of the building debris, but I will always remember his stories from that day. I too saw that documentary on the evacuation and cried. This would be a great children’s book for the 9/11 museum as well. I wish you all the best in getting this published.

    • Tracey M. Cox says:

      I’m sorry to hear about your father. I’ve had a few people who were personally touched by this day read this story and they have loved it. They say I have managed to capture the bravery and hope 9/11 brought out. I humbly thank you for your comments.

  13. Pat Conway says:

    I love the idea for this book, especially that it is based on fact. And I love the wording, “blue-collared tugboat.” That says it all.
    I’m a New Yorker and I want to read everything about 9/11 because nothing should be left out. We should never forget and having books being published on it (even several years later) reminds us anew that it is a deeply touching, horrendous day but that there were so many heroes and heroines that played a part in it (like the tugboat) that should be publicized and read about. Thank you, Tracey, and best of luck!

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