Would You Read It Wednesday #204 – Trouble With A Capital “E”! (PB/ER)

Happy Wednesday, Peeps!

So yesterday, I drove to JFK.  I got there a teensy bit early (shocking, I know! I don’t think I’ve ever gotten anywhere early before! :)), so I went to hang out in the cell phone lot.  And guess what?  What should come along but a Mister Softee truck!  It plonked itself right in the middle of the cell phone lot, and drivers from all the fancy black SUVs with taxi and limousine service license plates came flocking up for ice cream!  That’s what I call enterprising – capitalizing on a captive audience.  And the line for cones proves that the child in all of us is never too far away 🙂

And since I’m apparently spouting random facts today, as you’ve no doubt noticed by now, being observant writerly types :), I have a new website – just about 2 months old 🙂  I’m picking away at adding to it and updating it, and it occurred to me that maybe I should mention (in case your browsing hadn’t taken you that far) that there are all kinds of hidden gems, either already up or coming soon!  So I am taking this opportunity to mention the Resources For Writers page (still under construction) which has, er, not surprisingly, resources… for writers 🙂  Hop over if you’re interested.  Peruse what’s there.  And then come back and let me know if there’s something you’d particularly like to see there that I can add for you!

Right then.  Enough with the chit chat.  We’ve been here nearly 14 seconds already so it’s time for Something Chocolate, don’t you think?  What with spring being in the air and all, I thought I’d go healthy today, so I’m serving No Bake Strawberry Chocolate Tart (healthy by virtue of the fact that it contains a fruit item :))

Looks like health food to me! 🙂  And you can’t go wrong with a dessert item that is both chocolate and no bake!  (I seem to be on a no-bake kick… impatient much?! :))

Alright.  Grab a napkin so you don’t get chocolate and strawberry juice all over your computer and let’s check out Would You Read It!

Today’s pitch comes to us from Tracy who says, “Hey there! I’m Tracy and I am a Language Arts Interventionist, who loves every minute of it! I recently submitted my first article for Highlights Children’s Magazine and I couldn’t be more excited, Yahooie! Animals, children and writing are my passion, and fortunately for me, I have all three in my life. Thanks so much for taking a look at my pitch :~)”

Visit her at:

Here is her pitch:

Working Title: Trouble With A Capital “E”!

Age/Genre: Picture Book/Early Reader

The Pitch:  Sometimes, no matter how perfect things seem, trouble will find you and perhaps even follow you home. And that’s exactly what happened on an extraordinary day while Jack and his favorite person, Lily, went walking. Join Jack and Lily on their early morning adventure that brings trouble and the unexpected into their quiet home. The perfect pooch found the perfect friend, and together the unlikely duo find friendship, love, mischief, and yes TROUBLE. Sometimes, “T-R-O-U-B-L-E,” can be spelled with a capital E.

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 Tracy 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.  There are openings in April so you could get your pitch up for some helpful feedback very soon, and have a chance to have it read by editor Erin Molta!

Tracy is looking forward to your thoughts on her pitch!  I am looking forward to seeing what you think of the Resources For Writers page and what kinds of things you might like to see added there!

Have a wonderful Wednesday everyone!!! 🙂

38 thoughts on “Would You Read It Wednesday #204 – Trouble With A Capital “E”! (PB/ER)

  1. Catherine Johnson says:

    Yum! The story sounds great. I would just hint at what kind of trouble, who solves the problems and are the solutions funny or not.
    p.s. I would love to queue up gor ice cream with you Susanna 🍦

    • chattytcp says:

      Thank you Catherine, for your thoughtful comments! Jack is the perfect pooch and Lily is his favorite person. Sorry for any confusion. I’ll work on making that a bit clearer. The story is pretty humorous, but I don’t want to give away too much. I promise, You’ve never seen trouble like this :~)

  2. mona861 says:

    I would read it. I want to know who or what the capital E is. A thought I have while reading the pitch-I get the feeling that Lily is the “perfect pooch”, yet you say ‘went for a walk with his favorite person’. If Lily is a person and there is a dog too, then I need clarification. And maybe for kids sake you may spell- troublE- to emphasize the E. Otherwise, I want to read because I am soooo curious as to what the capital E is and how it can get in capital trouble!

  3. Tracey M. Cox says:

    Strawberries & chocolate… you’re spoiling us Susanna!
    Tracy, I WOULD read this. I think you can punch it up a little and give us a hint of what the trouble is. Something to sink our teeth into and make us wonder more.

    • chattytcp says:

      Another Tracey I see, yay! Growing up as a child, I never, ever, not even once, met another Tracy, so it is really nice to see there are many of us, Tracys, out and about.
      Thanks a million for your wonderful comments. I will certainly work on building up some more momentum and what lies ahead. Have a fabulous day and eat some chocolate! :~)

  4. Wendy says:

    Oh, my, it’s hard to concentrate with strawberries and chocolate on the mind!
    Tracy, I would read, but I wanted to know more. Kids/animals getting into trouble is a common theme and I want to know how your story is different. I don’t think you need this sentence at all “Join Jack and Lily on their early morning adventure that brings trouble and the unexpected into their quiet home.” Since you capitalize all of the letters in trouble, why is the letter E important? What is extraordinary about finding the perfect friend? Is this Jack’s or Lily’s story–or is the friend for both of them? Hope these questions help! 🙂

  5. Lynne Marie says:

    The Pitch: Sometimes [[[DELETE, no matter how perfect things seem,]]] trouble [[[DELETE will]]] find(((S))) you and [[[DELETE perhaps]]] even follow(((S))) you home. [[[DELETE And]]] (((T)))hat’s exactly what happened (((ONE))) [[[DELETE on an]]] extraordinary day(((.))) [[[DELETE while Jack and his favorite person, Lily, went walking.]]]
    Join Jack and Lily on their early morning adventure (((WHEN))) [[[that brings]]] trouble (((IN THE FORM OF A PLAYFUL POOCH))) [[[and the unexpected]]] (((COMES))) into their quiet home. [[[DELETE The perfect pooch found the perfect friend, and together the unlikely duo find friendship, love, mischief, and yes TROUBLE.]]]
    Sometimes, “T-R-O-U-B-L-E,” can be spelled with a capital E.

  6. Christie Allred says:

    That resource page looks great, Susanna 🙂 I wish I would have come across something like that years ago.

    Tracy, yes, I would read it. I agree with the others about tightening and clarifying the pitch.

    To clarify: It sounds like “trouble” IS “the perfect pooch”, and perhaps the pooch’s name starts with an E. But it also sounds like Jack is the pooch (walking with his favorite person), which leaves me wondering why the capital E is important.

    To tighten: I believe you can combine the first and second sentence into something like, “On an extraordinary day while Jack and his favorite person, Lily, went walking, trouble followed them home.” Of course, that might not work – depending on who is “trouble”.

    One last suggestion: take a look at tense consistency and overuse of the word “find”…you’ve got “will find”, “found”, and “find” in there.

    I LOVE your last two sentences – they are what made me want to read it.
    Good luck with revisions. Pitches can be a bear!

    • chattytcp says:

      Thank you Christie! I will definitely take your feedback into consideration. Finding out why Trouble is spelled with a capital E is the whole reason why I hope people will want to turn those pages – HMMMMMMMM

  7. Gabi Snyder says:

    Susanna, I love your story about the Mister Softee truck in the cell phone lot!

    Tracy, I would definitely read your story! It sounds fun and a sense of the sweet relationship between Jack and Lily comes through in your pitch.

    I think you’re referring to Jack and Lily in the phrase “the perfect pooch found the perfect friend” (Jack is a dog, right?), but the placement of the phrase in the middle of the pitch makes it sound like that is what happens in the course of the story rather than a statement about their existing relationship. I hope that makes sense. Like others, I would like a hint about why/how the “E” in “trouble” plays a role here.

    I love stories that feature human/dog relationships. This sounds like an endearing one!

    • chattytcp says:

      Yes Gabi, I love Susanna’s story about the Mister Softee truck too. Clever! Thanks for your comments regarding my pitch. It sounds like others are also a bit confused, so it looks like clarifying is on the top of my to do list.

  8. hethfeth says:

    Hi. I’m curious about your concept, and weather a word will literally follow them home. (That’s what I’m picturing). I do think the pitch itself needs some help. It’s sort of repetitive, sort of circular. We hear about the walk, and the friendship, and trouble following them home…but then we hear it again in a few different ways without any new information being added. Trim it back. Make sure it’s not repetitive. Make sure the information you give us is all…nutritious. I will look forward to reading your rewrite when it’s time for the pitch pick.

  9. chattytcp says:

    Awe, my heart is just bursting with gratitude! I can’t express how much I value each and every one of your comments. Susanna’s blog is an incredible resource and an even better venue for the novice writer, like me. This is a new career venture so your feedback is vital. It is amazing how much you can miss when you are engrossed in your topic, so all the extra eyes examining my piece are very welcomed indeed. I say we nominate Susanna Hill’s blog,” King of the blog hill,” and we dub her our queen. She is such a visionary and clearly a leader in her field, but more importantly, she is always providing us with the most delicious treats. SWEET!

    Oh, and YES, I am always ready for ice cream!

  10. K Neggia (@kneggia) says:

    Yes, I would read this book. I like the title, and I like the idea of spelling troublE with a capital e. I would like to find out more about Jack and Lily’s adventures, and I’m intrigued to learn just why trouble might need that capital E.

  11. Keila Dawson says:

    No bake! I’d add some softserve on top too.Nom,nom,nom.

    My two cents on the pitch: Start with your main character right away. Jack likes doing quiet things. When on a walk one day (a dog follows him home? he finds a dog, brings him home?) and hopefully a friend. But when……..Jack…..

    Cute story idea to have a kid’s life turned upside down by an adventurous pup. Hope this helps. Good luck!

  12. ptnozell says:

    Tracy, yes I’d read it, but like others have noted, there is some confusion. I’m guessing someone or some animal whose name starts with E follows them home.

    And speaking of capital E, Extraordinary that you were both early & had ice cream at JFK airport, Susanna. I’m not sure I would even have found the cell phone lot, let alone an ice cream truck, too. Well done!

  13. viviankirkfield says:

    Stop the presses!!! Mr. Softie? Please, please, please, may I have some? 🙂 🙂
    And also a piece of that awesome looking chocolate concoction. 🙂
    Okay…now that I’ve finished filling my face, I’ll try to get over to look at your writer resource page, Susanna…I know if will be the best!

    Tracy, I would definitely read your story. I love the idea of a dog telling the story and TROUBLE is always fun…but I think we need to hear a bit about what the trouble is…and I think the pitch could be tightened up a bit. During the first read through, I was a bit confused, Tracy. I thought Jack and Lily were two kids who meet a dog. But I think Jack is the dog? And Lily is his person? And then we hear that there will be trouble in their quiet home…but they are out on a walk. You tell us that the dog finds a friend…so what happens to Lily?I’m not sure who the main character is…or who is telling the story…or who the unlikely duo is. I think we need some of that info in the pitch. 😉

    On an early morning walk with his favorite person, Jack (what happens? meets another dog? a cat follows them home?). When (what happens? the cat takes Lily’s affection? the other dog messes up the house?), Jack must (what does Jack do in response to the TROUBLE…is he jealous, sad, angry) and ultimately discovers (how does Jack change, grow).

    I hope that is helpful, Tracy…and doesn’t just confuse you more. 😉

  14. janebuttery says:

    Hello Tracy I would read this as animals involved in exciting trouble can be fun.But ,like Vivian i was a bit confused about who was who? Who is your main character- the person or the dog? I just read a short way to think of a pitch M.Character introduced, gets into a problem and then who does it proceed- just a teeny bit please to wet the appetite.

  15. Rosi Hollinbeck says:

    I would read it, but I do think the pitch should tell what the E is for. I also found Jack and Lily confusing. Are they sister and brother? You say “their home” but don’t make their relationship clear. Also, the pooch seems to bond with only one of them. Which one? Why only one? I think the idea sounds cute, but the pitch needs work. Good luck with your project.

  16. chattytcp says:

    Comment from Laura Smelas, posted by chattytcp
    Love the chocolate no bake goodie recipe – total yumness!

    Tracy, I agree with some of the comments above about tightening up the first two sentences by combining them. Also in the last sentence you wrote “mischief” and trouble, so maybe just use “trouble” and then combine with you last sentence …. “So, the perfect pooch found the perfect friend, and together the unlikely duo find friendship, love, and yes TROUBLE and, sometimes, “T-R-O-U-B-L-E,” can be spelled with a capital E ”

    It’s a super topic for a children’s book because who doesn’t love dogs, kids, and trouble!

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