Would You Read It Wednesday #232 – Celebirdy: The True Story Of Mike The Headless Chicken

Good Morning, Everyone!

So, it turns out (not that this will come as a surprise to any of you, but it constantly shocks the socks off me!) that I really DO live under a rock!

Actually, I think it’s possible I still live in a cave!

When it comes to modern technology, I am a helpless baby.  Just ask my long-suffering children 🙂

Yesterday, thanks to a conversation at lunch with the lovely Elaine, Queen of Kidlit411, I found out that you can CHOOSE what shows up in your Face Book news feed!

Seriously!  I’m not kidding!

No doubt you guys all already knew this.  Like I said, I’m pretty much the last one to figure anything out!  But in case anyone out there is as technologically challenged as I am, it’s true.  You can go into your preferences and star people and pages you want to be sure to see every post from.

And now, for the height of hilarity, I will instruct those who might be as clueless as I am (talk about the blind leading the blind! 🙂 )  If you go on your FB page, at the top right there’s a little down arrow.


See it?  Next to the padlock with the three lines?

If you click it, one of the options is for “News Feed Preferences”


If you click on News Feed Preferences, you get this:


And if you choose “Prioritize who to see first” it will take you to a screen that shows you every single person you’re friends with and all the pages you like, and you can select which ones you want to be sure not to miss!

Amazing, isn’t it?

I invite you all to practice by going to your FB pages, selecting your News Feed Preferences, Prioritizing who to see first, and clicking on Susanna Leonard Hill – Author! 🙂  That way you will be sure never to miss any of my scintillating Author Page posts (upon which I slave, working my fingers to the bone and burning the midnight oil! 🙂 ) And I assure you that you do not WANT to miss any of them because I may well hold a giveaway of awesome new picture books in the next week or so just to encourage people to like my page and star it in their news feeds so they actually see it!

Let’s not call it bribery.  I think happy incentive sounds much nicer 🙂

And speaking of bribery happy incentive, how about Something Chocolate?  For this morning’s treat, I’m thinking Chocolate Oatmeal Cookies!

You’re going to totally thank me for this one!  I mean seriously – it has oatmeal in the title!  How much more breakfast can you get?  And no-bake?  Ready in 5 minutes?  It doesn’t get much better 🙂

No Bake Chocolate Oatmeal Cookies!


Recipe HERE at SugarApron

I’m pretty sure this is exactly what your mother had in mind when she told you it was important to start the day with a healthy breakfast! 🙂

We should be having the October Pitch Pick, but due to the Halloweensie Contest and the DIRE problems with my email (which refuses to load no matter how many picture books or chocolate oatmeal cookies I attempt to bribe it with!) I didn’t get the word out to the October pitchers.  So… maybe next week…

Now then, onto today’s pitch which comes to us from Carolyn whom you will remember from her October pitch for Muggsy And His Go-Go Cart who says, “I am a teacher librarian in the Chicagoland area. Working with children, I have discovered that they love to hear stories about the underdog overcoming obstacles and defeating “the top dog”. They also love weird, but true stories. These observations inspired me to write these two stories.

Here is her pitch:

Working Title:  Celebirdy: The True Story Of Mike The Headless Chicken

Age/Genre: Nonfiction Picture Book (ages 7-11)

The Pitch:  This nonfiction story tells the account of a chicken that lived without its head for 18 months. The truth doesn’t get much weirder than that!

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 Carolyn 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 January, so you have a little time to polish your pitch before putting it up for helpful feedback and have a chance to have it read by editor Erin Molta!

Carolyn is looking forward to your thoughts on her pitch!  I am looking forward to all the people who are going to like my FB author page and star it so as to be sure not to miss a single one of my not-to-be-missed spectacularly awesome posts! 🙂 🙂 🙂

Have a wonderful Wednesday everyone!!! 🙂


14 thoughts on “Would You Read It Wednesday #232 – Celebirdy: The True Story Of Mike The Headless Chicken

  1. elainekielykearns says:

    Your page is marked and now it’s time to (no) bake cookies- those look delicious! Thanks for the literary lunch, Michael Garland and Chad Wallace were pretty awesome too, glad they could join us. XO

    • Elaine Kiely Kearns says:

      Oh, and my reason for being here- the pitch! I was sidetracked by chocolate cookies! Anway, I am very curious about HOW a chicken could live without its head for 18 months, so I would read it for sure. Heck, I already have so many questions and I only read her pitch. Nice job!

    • Susanna Leonard Hill says:

      Oh, golly! The pressure! Now I’d better hop over to FB and post something to make it worth your while! 🙂 Thank YOU for the literary lunch too! It was fun. And now we’d probably better have another one where we can talk girl talk 🙂

  2. ptnozell says:

    True confession, I am more blind than you, Susanna, as this Facebook trick is news to me. Luckily, there also must be some algorithm lurking within that book, as Kidlit posts dominate my feed. But just to be sure, I will check those preferences…

    Carolyn, I’ll give this a maybe. I love the title, but I’d like to learn more about what you’ll reveal about Mike: how/when/where he became headless, how he survived (and who would keep him alive in that state) & why he finally succumbed. I would also suggest deleting the second sentence, as I don’t believe it reveals anything about your story specifically.

    Good luck with this!

  3. Wendy says:

    I didn’t know either, Susanna! Headed out today, but will definitely star you. 🙂
    I’m familiar with the chicken story–shared this oddity with my critique group in the past. Perhaps tell us a bit more about the project in the pitch? Told from who’s POV? Using newspaper accounts from X? Something to hint there’s enough to carry an entire book that would be rereadable and not a magazine story. Good luck!

  4. Jen Bagan says:

    Well, I’d have to say you’re a techno-WIZ, Susanna! You have shared something I had no clue about and I’m so happy you did! I already seem to get everything from you in a timely manner but I’ll certainly star you just to be double-sure 🙂

    I would definitely read this book – I want to know more about how this was even possible! I agree that a tad more info would make it that much more interesting but I hope to see this one day. Good luck!

  5. Maria Marshall (@MariaMarshall_) says:

    Thank you Susanna, I didn’t know this was possible either. What a great tech-whiz, instructor you are. Super easy step- by- step directions. You are now “starred” on my feed list. Those are cookies my mom used to make all the time! 🙂

    I might read this book. However, as mentioned before, the query doesn’t give me the point of view or tell me how the chicken lost its head. It feels like you are writing more of a magazine description of an event. Why is this a PB?
    It is interesting, in that it begs a lot of questions – how did it live without food or water, how did it lose its head, what did it do without its head? (walk, or just lay about?) But I’m not sure, from this brief description, how the story will be carried through 32 pages. Perhaps a bit more information about the arc of the story, the problems the chicken/family faced, or what the family/business did with the chicken for 18 months.

    One suggestion would be to read a bunch of jacket cover descriptions for similar non-fiction books. That will help you see how others described their books to get teachers & kids interested in reading them. Good Luck! 🙂

  6. Lisa Riddiough says:

    Carolyn, Oh my goodness, I can’t believe a chicken lasted that long without its head. Wow! I love the title but, like others, feel that the pitch needs more information. It is amazing that the chicken lived that long, but is that the only point of the story? The subject is so fantastical that I would probably want to see the book, but maybe not for the right reasons, unless I knew a tad more about the story. Best wishes.

    Susanna, I love those no bake chocolate oatmeal cookies. We have been making them for years, but with dark chocolate! I might have to make those today!!! Thanks for the FB tips!!

  7. David McMullin says:

    I would read this book. It is far too intriguing to pass up. This pitch tells me exactly what to expect. But I would like a little more. How is your telling of the story going to be more than just the telling facts about an oddity? I’m sure you have a great idea for this, but I want to be let in on what that might be.

    And Susanna, these cookies are my stand-bys. I always have the ingredients for these lying around in case of a cookie emergency.

  8. Judy Sobanski says:

    Susanna – the cookies look delicious! The FB page – done! Now for the pitch. Carolyn – I would definitely read this! However, I’d like to know more about how the headlessness occurred. I also wondered who took care of this chicken and named him “Mike”? Are they important to the story?
    A few more details in the pitch would help but what a fascinating/weird main character! Good luck!

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