Would You Read It Wednesday #211 – Room For Olives (PB)

Happy Wednesday, Folks!

I don’t know about where you live, but here on Blueberry Hill the whole entire weather system has gone topsy-turvy.  We had snow in April instead of January and February.  We had 80 degree days in March and April but now that it’s May we’re back to the 40s.  And those April showers?  Well, we had more of a drought in April… but now that May is here it’s done nothing but pour… and the Weather People (they’re like the Village People but not as much fun to dance to 🙂 ) are making dour predictions that the rain will continue today, tomorrow, Friday, Saturday… you get the idea.

So how timely is it that today, May 4, is the 201st anniversary of Frenchman Jean Marius inventing the first folding umbrella?  Such a clever lad, he was.  The rich (who liked to maintain their superiority by keeping their skin lily-white) had used parasols against the sun for ages, but apparently it never occurred to anyone to come up with a version to keep the rain off.  Enter our boy Jean and his genius creativity and voila! (which we can say in complete fairness because he was French! 🙂 ) everyone was suddenly free to go march about in the rain.  Too bad for them that rubber rain boots didn’t come on the scene until 1853.  I would not be at all surprised if there was a lot of grumpiness prior to 1853 due to wet feet 🙂

Meanwhile, here in the rain belt, we’re in a bit of a pickle because a) anytime we get heavy rain there is danger that the basement will flood and b) tomorrow is Cinco de Mayo and it really should be sunny for that!

I can’t make sunshine (I know.  I have amazing magical powers, but I still can’t manage to pull that off!)  But I can make Something Chocolate!  So let’s put some cheer in Cinco de Mayo by having some Churro Pancakes With Spicy Chocolate Sauce!

Mexican Churro Pancakes Spicy Chocolate Sauce

Mexican Churro Pancakes With Spicy Chocolate Sauce for Cinco de Mayo Recipe HERE at Cooking On the Front Burner

Yum!  Aren’t they delicious?  Think of them as cinnamon-sugary chocolate sunshine 🙂

Now then, onto today’s pitch which comes to us from Susan who is a writer from Gilbert, AZ where she lives with her husband, three young sons and their corgy/jack Russell rescue dog, Jedi.  Originally from Madison, WI, she cheers on the Packers and the Badgers, loves movie nights with her family, and enjoys reading as much as writing.

Here is her pitch:

Working Title: Room For Olives

Age/Genre: Picture Book (ages 3-8)

The Pitch: Little Olive has always been happy with her life in the jar until she discovers the fancy world outside of the fridge. When adventure leads to danger, the real journey begins.

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 Susan 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 June, 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!

Susan is looking forward to your thoughts on her pitch!  I am looking forward to paddling around the basement in my canoe rescuing salamanders 🙂

Have a wonderful Wednesday everyone!!! 🙂


29 thoughts on “Would You Read It Wednesday #211 – Room For Olives (PB)

  1. Maria Marshall (@MariaMarshall_) says:

    Susanna, for once Seattle isn’t cloaked in grey clouds and drizzle (rain), though that may change Thursday. Stay dry and safe. Thanks for the really yummy treat!
    Susan, I am curious about your story. I like olives and a number of really funny food PBs have been published lately, so I would probably read your book. But, your pitch doesn’t tell me what Little Olive wants (adventure? return home?…) nor what obstacles are in her way. Also your pitch needs to hint at the ending and/or the theme of your story.

    One possible suggestion –
    “Discovering the fancy world outside the fridge, Little Olive longs for more than just her life in the jar. When ____, _____, and ______happen, Little Olive must _______ , and finds that _____________..”
    Good Luck.

  2. Genevieve Petrillo says:

    Adventure, danger, and olives – of course I would read it! I agree with Maria, although she really said it much better than I ever could. I would’ve suggested it needs more. So, yeah – what she said… Good luck.

  3. Nancy Tandon says:

    Okay, that’s adorable. Yes, I’d read. And ditto/ditto…can’t get much more succinct than Maria’s suggestion. Maria – new job as the pitch whisperer?

  4. jeanjames926 says:

    Mexican Churro pancakes…who knew? Yum! Susan I feel you and my 8 year old son would get along famously cheering on those Packers (and we’re from NY, so go figure). I love the title of your story, but your pitch is need of some more detail to help me along. I love Maria’s suggestions to help tighten it up. Otherwise I’m curious about little Olive, and would read your story. Good luck!

    • Susan Schade says:

      Everyone’s comments are so helpful. I was still thinking that I needed to leave a surprise element in my pitch but am discovering that I am not giving up enough. Thank you.

  5. Lynne Marie says:

    I am interested to read and see how an olive as a main character is handled (AND I love pizza with olives). However, I do think that the pitch sounds too vague. Perhaps a more specific problem, rather than general, so we can see what makes your book stand out against the rest of the books in which the character leaves the safety of its home and goes on a journey. As is, it sounds fairly generic. Perhaps flavor the pitch to match the flavor and tone of your story. Hope this proves helpful!

  6. Lynne Marie says:

    Oh, one other comment. The title made me think of a Martini (and I don’t even drink), so I am thinking it might benefit you to revise and make it a bit more child-friendly. Just a thought, as an editor might think of a martini too LOL….

  7. ptnozell says:

    Susanna, Despite all the rain falling on you, there’s still plenty left that’s migrating into CT & drenching us, too. Thankfully, I have both umbrella & Wellies to hand & many dog towels for muddy paws.

    Susan, I love the idea of a PB told from the point of view of an olive, but I’d agree with the others about adding more details. In particular, given the recent popularity of Lady Pancake & Sir French Toast, I think you need to show us how Olive’s journey differs from the conflict in that work (without necessarily mentioning it by name).

    • Susan Schade says:

      I do love that book but Little Olive’s journey is very different. I will work on grabbing the reader with a stronger sense of what the story is about. Thank you.

  8. Gabi Snyder says:

    Hi Susan – I’ve never read an olive adventure story so I’m definitely intrigued. Maria made marvelous suggestions. I was curious about what fancy elements of the outside world lured Olive. Is it a table set with crisp white tablecloths and sparkling stemware or something else? I’m sort of imagining her being lured by the beauty a gorgeously laid table but then realizing the danger of being eaten and longing to go back to her jar/frig. I’d like a hint of the dangers she faces and where she wants to end up on her journey.

    Good luck with this fun story!

  9. hethfeth says:

    Hi, Susan. I love your first sentence. It’s well composed and full of character, and would read the story based on that. Olive already sounds adorable. But I’d say definitely flesh out the pitch more. The second sentence is generic. Offer a few key details that will illuminate the style and tone of your story. Show us why only you could have written about Olive’s adventures.

  10. Michelle O'Hara Levin says:

    In DC we are facing similar rain issues… 😦 oh well – I guess we should all insert something encouraging about flowers.

    Susan, I like this pitch and I would absolutely read it. As Maria Marshall suggested, I think it needs a pinch more specifics about what kinds of adventure and danger sweet Olive will face. I can’t wait to meet Olive though – and getting that feeling from just a few sentences is pretty impressive!

  11. Keila Dawson says:

    I love olives and Mexican pancakes, but not together. ;). My 2 cents: the pitch needs more detail to clarify the conflict and or concept if it doesn’t have a traditional arc. And I wonder why the title is plural.

    • Susan Schade says:

      It is interesting that you mention the title being plural because the story is really about a jar of olives with Olive being the stand out character. It gives me some things to think about. Thank you!

  12. viviankirkfield says:

    Hello Susanna…yes, here in NH, we’ve had weird weather also…and at the Wild Midwest SCBWI conference in Chicago, it was RAINY and COLD! But the presenters were on fire!

    I love your story concept, Susan…I think you’ve gotten some great pitch advice, especially from Maria Marshall…oh my goodness…she laid it out perfectly!!! I would definitely read this story…and maybe the title can be: Room for Olive…I actually love that title…but ‘olive’ not ‘olives’.

  13. shaelynberg says:

    YES! This concept sounds very cute and fun! I would definitely read it. However, I think the pitch is missing a bit more detail about the story problem. What danger does Olive face? I think teasing the problem in the pitch, without giving away the ending, will turn any MAYBE readers into YES readers. 🙂

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s