Would You Read It Wednesday #235 – Good Old Gus (PB) PLUS The October Pitch Winner!

Would you look at that?

It’s Would You Read It Wednesday again!

I really do not know where the time goes sometimes!

And the fact that today is Wednesday means that tomorrow is the opening day for the 6th Annual Pretty Much World Famous Holiday Writing Contest!  Woo hoo!  I hope you’ve all got your entries ready, or nearly so.  You have 5 days to post, though, so if you’re not done yet, don’t panic 🙂

I, of course, need to panic because I have not given my sample even a second’s thought yet… It will seriously be a miracle if I get one together to post for you guys tomorrow!  But fingers… and toes… and eyes… etc… crossed 🙂  Let’s hope the Muse is around and feeling generous!

Down to today’s business, I’m happy to announce that the winner of the October Pitch Pick was Michele with her pitch for When The Sheep Fall Asleep.  Congratulations, Michele!  Your pitch is winging through cyberspace to editor Erin Molta and I’m sure you’ll hear from her soon!  (Although given that we’re approaching the holidays, it may not be right away!)

And congratulations as well to all our other pitchers who wrote fabulous pitches for interesting stories and bravely put them out there for us to read and comment on and use to help each other learn how to write strong pitches.  You are all winners just for making that effort!  Consider yourselves showered with virtual chocolate treats! 🙂

And speaking of chocolate… how about a little Something Chocolate?  Festive and perfect for winter holiday entertaining – or breakfast 🙂 – there’s nothing like a Hot Chocolate Cake Roll!

Hot Chocolate Cake Roll

Doesn’t that look scrumptious?  Mmmm!  Yum!  Get a cup of coffee and have another slice! 🙂

Now then, onto today’s pitch which comes to us from Noel who is a lifelong learner and avid reader trying to become an avid writer for children. Recently moved from the snowy “Great White North”, Noel now has opportunities to acquaint herself with coastal creatures that provide new inspiration for stories.

Here is her pitch:

Working Title: Good Old Gus

Age/Genre: Picture Book (ages 5-8)

The Pitch: After years of working with his Captain at sea, an ice cream loving dog is left to wait, alone on the pier for the Captain’s return only to find that there are others on land who need his help more than they realize.

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 Noel 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!

Noel is looking forward to your thoughts on her pitch!  I am looking forward to the 6th Annual Holiday Writing Contest which opens at midnight!!!!!  Can’t wait to read all your amazing entries!

Have a wonderful Wednesday everyone!!! 🙂



29 thoughts on “Would You Read It Wednesday #235 – Good Old Gus (PB) PLUS The October Pitch Winner!

  1. jeanne curtin (@jeannecurtin) says:

    Hmm. I am curious. And the story is about a dog, but I’d like to know more. My suggestion would be to start off with the ice cream loving dog. Does he/she have a name? And I’d like to know why the captain left the dog at the pier. What is the conflict of the story? And what does the dog risk losing?
    Best of luck, Noel!! I’m going to grab a scoop of ice cream 🙂

    • Noel Csermak says:

      Thank you Jeanne. Well, step one, I piqued your curiosity 🙂 Gus is the dog’s name. Some clarification is obviously needed. Hope you had a big scoop and thanks for writing in.

  2. heavenlyhashformoms says:

    Hi Susanna! I should be working on my contest entry, too, but that’s proven to be a challenging topic for me! I certainly have learned to appreciate The Twelve Days of Christmas more than I ever have, though!
    NOel, Good Old Gus sounds like it could be a very poignant read with stunningly beautiful pictures of the coast. I would read it because I like books that pull on my heartstrings as well as illustrations that take me away to another place. Despite, the opportunity for gorgeous art, I feel like this would make a good chapter book for some reason…maybe because it sounds like you could really develop the emotions of the dog with more words than a picture book allows? I like how you have worded the plot, but I wonder if you might want to play around with breaking it into two sentences as that sentence seems a little long. You also might consider adding a little more information as to the tone of the story….adventurous, inspirational, sad? I would also perhaps keep working on the title…might give the story a tired feeling. Best of luck on this potentially beautiful book….sounds like one that could become a classic🐶🚢🍦❤️Liz

    • Noel Csermak says:

      Liz, you have hit the nail on the head. It is a heartstring pulling type of story. Good Old Gus is definitely a character driven book that will only be enhanced by the addition of stunning visuals. I like your idea of a chapter book as I have been playing around with additional story lines that build around the setting and more fully develops our love for Gus. And I’ll work on the title aiming for a “fresh” classic. Thank you for taking the time to assist with this. All the best, Noel

  3. David McMullin says:

    Hi Susanna and Noel. I would read this. I feel like from this description, it could pack a real emotional punch. I love the small specific detail of him liking ice cream. I would like a hint at who the others are, and what type of help he could offer them. Throw in a detail or up the stakes, to spice it up. Otherwise, I do appreciate its brevity. Nice.

    • Noel Csermak says:

      Thank you for taking the time to reply David. I always find it tricky upping the stakes, but maybe another small detail will provide the hint you are looking for. Now back to work! Noel

  4. viviankirkfield says:

    Can you believe it? I’ve finished my contest entry! Woo-hoo! So I will defintely help myself to a heaping portion of your chocolate delight this morning, Susanna.

    And Noel, I love your story idea…an ice-cream loving dog…what could be better!
    I think I’d like a bit more detail about what is going to happen. But I’d really want to read it from your pitch. Here’s a thought:

    After years of sailing the seas, an ice cream loving dog waits alone on the pier for his Captain’s return. When (who are the others and why do they need his help), NAME OF DOG must (what does he do) and discovers (what is the takeway).

    • Noel Csermak says:

      Vivian I love the structure of your suggestion! Thank you for providing such a clear example. I’ll keep at it and I’m sure Gus will be melting your heart before you finish your chocolate delight. And congratulations on getting that entry done!

  5. Wendy says:

    Is it December already?!! (that pretty much sums up my state of mind).
    I’m a bit confused by the pitch. I love dog stories–so I’d lean toward reading, but I’m not sure how the ice cream loving and captain figure into the dog’s story. I wasn’t sure if Gus is the captain, or the dog, and without a name, the dog doesn’t feel like a MC (even Dog-capitalized would work if that’s how it thinks of itself). It made me sad to think of the dog left behind! Is it alone, or did the captain provide for him? Perhaps something like “When a sea-faring dog gets too old to accompany the captain, it meets Y and discovers that it’s love for ice cream may be the tasty answer. (I’m assuming you mention that it’s ice cream loving because that has a part in the resolution!). Good luck, Noel!

  6. Noel Csermak says:

    Oh dear, I have some work to do. Gus is the dog and it is no longer safe for him or the Captain to have him on the boat. Oooh, I like your structure suggestion as well. It is quite a job to balance the intrigue while providing enough detail to pull the reader in. I appreciate your feedback and suggestions. Thank you for sharing. Noel

  7. Noel Csermak says:

    Susanna, Thank you so very much for the opportunity to learn and grow! What a fabulous and generous community of writers. If I can pull it off, Gus may be coming your way for the holiday contest. Well, if not this one, then one in the near future – this dog just won’t leave me alone 🙂
    All the best and happy holidays!

  8. Johnell DeWitt says:

    Gotta get my entry up! Looking forward to all the entries. I wasn’t sure what the story was about, so I might make some recommendations:

    After years of working with his Captain at sea, an ice cream loving dog is left to wait,NO COMMA HERE alone on the pier for the Captain’s return only to find that there are others on land who need his help more than they realize. SORRY, IT LOOKS LIKE I’M SHOUTING :).


  9. Melissa Rutigliano says:

    I’m confused as to what him loving ice cream has to do with anything (is this an important part of the story), and why he’s left on the pier versus what’s in store for him on land. I think we need a few things filled in for us here, but I love the idea of a dog hero.

    • Noel Csermak says:

      Hi Melissa, I was trying to entice readers with something unusual. The ice cream does have significant relevance, but to say more will give things away. Back to work to give this dog hero his best chance at success. Thank you for taking the time to comment.

  10. ptnozell says:

    Noel, I’m a dog lover, too, so definitely would read this story. Like others have mentioned, I’m confused as to why he’s left behind (old-age, perhaps), and what role ice-cream plays in the story, if any (if it’s chocolate, I’m sure it’s there for Susanna, of course!).

    Susanna, researching & writing my entry with a goal of a weekend entry. This is a tough one, I think, and I look forward to finishing & then seeing what others post.

    • Noel Csermak says:

      PTNOZELL, Thank you for your comments as you were closest to the truth of the story. This helps me understand where some key tweaking needs to take place. Good luck on your contest entry!

    • Noel Csermak says:

      Thank you Genevieve, I will keep working on my pitch to ensure that it lives up to the expectations it creates. I am so happy that you would take the time to consider reading it and to offer your support.

  11. writersideup says:

    First—congrats to Michele on the win! 😀

    And I’m very drawn to this pitch! It’s a very fresh premise and my curiosity is piqued, for sure. I want to know why the dog being an “ice cream-loving” one is key, and of course—who needs his help.

    I would suggest though, that if you leave the wording as is, that you insert a comma after “pier.” Also, I think it’s necessary to state the dog’s name for two reasons: so we, the reader, become “attached” because the dog is more real, and also because when you say “his help,” it’s confusing at first, having to think whether he is the dog or the captain. Great stuff, Noel! 😀

    • Noel Csermak says:

      WriterSideUp, thank you for your very specific and helpful suggestions. Clarity is key so I’ll keep at it. This is a story that I really would love to see make it out to the big, wide world. Fingers crossed that the next time you see it you will feel more attached and will dive on in!

  12. Karen LaSalvia says:

    Hi Noel, your pitch made me interested in the story. I especially like the ‘fish out of water’ idea of a dog who’s always been at sea to now be on land… and alone! I agree with other feedback in that a little more hint into the stakes would make it a must read. Good job! Keep going. 🙂

    • Noel Csermak says:

      Karen, I love your take on a fish out of water. I may have to expand on that idea. I’ll keep at it and I just want you to know that I appreciate you making the effort to offer your support. Thank you.

  13. Lisa Riddiough says:

    Hi Noel,
    I love the idea of a dog waiting and wanting his owner who is out to sea. But I do want a few more details. Why can’t he go out with the captain? What is it that happens that makes him realize he is needed on land? I agree with the structure suggestions above. It sounds like an adorable story!! Good luck.

    • Noel Csermak says:

      Hi Lisa, I’ll be doing my best to offer a few more details without giving it away. Hopefully I’ll be able to create enough of a balance to convince you that you need to read the whole story to learn more. This pitch writing often feels even trickier than creating the story. Thank you for your support.

  14. smfordblog says:

    I think you’ve gotten some good suggestions here for rewriting. I want to read the story! I love playing with titles–maybe some of my ideas will stir something up for you. Left-behind Gus, Gus Gets Losts, Sea Dog on Land, Too Old Sea Dog, Landed Sea Dog.

  15. Norah says:

    Thanks for the slice of hot chocolate cake roll. It was delicious. May I have another slice please?
    I do like the title “Good Old Gus”, and wonder why he is good. I think I’d like a little more in the pitch – perhaps the importance of ice-cream, and why the people need Gus more than they realise. It’s a Maybe for me.

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