Would You Read It Wednesday #262 – Pirate For Hire (PB) PLUS The June/July Pitch Pick!

Good Morning, y’all!

(Can you tell I just got back from Texas? 🙂 )

I had a fabulous time!  The conference was so well organized and beautifully run, right down to little details like an old typewriter placed on the faculty lunch table with crumpled drafts surrounding it and a page in it that said


Isn’t that amazing???

And everyone was so so nice, and I was thrilled to have the opportunity to meet a whole bunch of wonderful people that I’ve previously only known online.  So I heartily recommend the North Texas SCBWI Conference should you ever find yourself in a position to attend!!!

Anyway, we have a very busy day today, so let’s jump right in, shall we?

First off, we finally have the June/July Pitch Pick.

Here are the revised pitches from our intrepid pitchers.  Please read through them and decide which one you like best and feel is most deserving of a read by editor Erin Molta!

#1 Chambrae – Oscar’s Noggin (PB 4-8)
Oscar can decode any dilemma, unravel any riddle and obliterate the most overwhelming obstacles with his extraordinary noggin… except one. Oscar has to go to school and, despite his efforts to make it more stimulating, school is simply not nogginey enough for a kid with such big ideas. When his teacher hires a substitute Oscar’s noggin starts to spin. Has he finally found a way to finagle his freedom?

#2  Jenny – Little Medusa’s Hair Do-Lemma (PB 3-6)
Little Medusa loves everything about snakes–just as long as they’re not slithering and sliding through her hair! She’s tangled up in knots trying to follow tradition. Using her imagination and heart, Little Medusa tries her best to please her family, her snake and herself.

#3  Katy – The Snugglebeast And The Spotty Sock (PB 3-7)

Have you ever stopped to ponder,
where all your lost socks go.
Where on Earth could they possibly wander?

You know the ones I mean,
your best socks, the very favourite kind
Where do they end up?
We seek them out, but we never can find?

Discover the world of a tiny, secretive, sneaky little creature, who adventures out at night in the night in a plot to steal your socks.

#4  Colleen – If I Could Only Be A Cat (PB 3-8)
Envy causes a young child to want to become her cat Daisy May. Who wouldn’t want to be able to stay out past suppertime and have no chores? The child’s imagination allows her to make the switch; now she’s free to chase mice and miss the school bus. But what about her friends? What about hugs from Mom and Dad? Maybe she doesn’t want to be a cat after all.

Now that you’ve had a chance to read and evaluate, please vote for your favorite in the poll below by Sunday October 1 at 5 PM Eastern.  Thanks in advance, from me and all the pitchers! 🙂

Phew!  That is always such a tough decision to make.  I’m sure you’re feeling the need for Something Chocolate.  I know I am 🙂  Since we’ve embarked on the Everything-Must-Be-Pumpkin-Related time of the year, and as always I have the best interests of your health at heart, I have chosen the perfect breakfast for you this morning!

Pumpkin Oat Chocolate-Chip Breakfast Cookies!

Don’t those look delicious?  And so healthful!  I mean, think of all the vitamin A! 🙂

Now then, onto today’s pitch which comes to us from Katie who says, “I’m a mama to four and a wife to one. Before starting a family, I had the very good fortune to be an English teacher. I have a Bachelor’s in English and a Master’s in British and American literature. It doesn’t get much better than reading and writing, does it?”

Here is her pitch:

Working Title: Pirate For Hire

Age/Genre: Picture Book (ages 4-8)

The Pitch: Pirate Patch has broken the ship’s plank…again. He must rustle up the money to fix it or be on deck duty till doomsday. With one month on land to earn the loot, Patch fumbles as a barber, flounders as a singer, and fails at selling jewelry before finding a job perfect for a pirate.

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 Katie 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 October, so you could get your pitch up pretty soon  for helpful feedback and have a chance to have it read and commented on by editor Erin Molta!

Katie is looking forward to your thoughts on her pitch!  I am looking forward to Book Club tonight.  We will be discussing this month’s book, The House At The Edge Of Night.  Has anyone else read it?  What did you think?

Have a wonderful Wednesday everyone!!! 🙂


34 thoughts on “Would You Read It Wednesday #262 – Pirate For Hire (PB) PLUS The June/July Pitch Pick!

  1. Norah says:

    Those breakfast cookies look delicious. Yum! And healthy too!
    Yes, I would read Pirate for Hire. What a novel idea. I want to know what was the perfect job for a pirate. Counting money?

  2. kathalsey says:

    Susanna, pumpkin + chocolate and for breakfast – heck…YES. Pirates are perennial and thus, it is harder to put a new spin on the pirate tale -so bravo for finding a new spin on this topic. For me personally, what Patch (perfect name) does to earn money reads s a bit “old” for this age group – we’ll see what others have to say. Love your consonance w/those verbs, too. A fun pitch!

  3. Rene` Diane Aube says:

    It’s a good thing I only have to type since talking would be impossible with all the slobbering I’m battling over those yummy cookies! 🙂

    Susanna, so glad you had a great time in Texas! I’m sure your presentation was fabulous, as always, too.

    Yes, I would read Pirate for Hire. I like the premise with a new spin, as Kathy said above. I am concerned, however, that you are giving away a little too much by listing all he tries to do to earn money to make repairs. I wonder if you could be more elusive while using the same fun language? Also, I think you could tighten up your second and third lines by combining them in a way that adds to the urgency of only having one month to rustle up the money. LOTS of fun words in this pitch! Looking forward to seeing your book on the shelves soon!

    Happy Would You Read It Wednesday, everyone! 🙂

  4. curryelizabeth says:

    Yes, I would definitely read it. It left me very curious about what the perfect job could be. I agree with Renee that perhaps you could be a little more vague in the first tries but I love the use of “fumbles, flounders and fails”. So fun. Best of luck!

  5. Genevieve Petrillo says:

    Love the fun word choices in the pitch, and probably in the story as well. I can’t think of a thing I would change in this one. I would definitely read it. How else will I find out the perfect job for Patch? Good luck!

  6. Pj McIlvaine says:

    Maybe. The pitch, quite honestly, raised some red flags for me. If Pirate Patch already broke the plank, how did he get the money to fix it the last time? Wouldn’t he just do the same thing? And while a time frame might work in MG, in a PB, a month seems like an awfully long time. It could just was easily be a week. Plus, the jobs you list aren’t particularly funny or even outrageous. It could be bumped up, for example, an opera singer, an eel wrangler, etc. I do like the pirate aspect of it because, let’s face it who doesn’t like pirates. Hope I’ve helped. Good luck.

  7. Tracey Brown says:

    The typewriter on the lunch table is fantastic! Glad you enjoyed your time in Texas, Susanna. Yes, I would read Pirate for Hire – fresh spin on a pirate tale. I think Rene and Kathalsey have given you some great suggestions on your pitch, Katie. Good luck!

  8. Judy Sobanski says:

    Wonderful that you had such a great time at the Texas SCBWI conference, Susanna.

    I really liked this pitch, Katie! I love the tempo and alliteration of it. The only word that caught me up is “rustle.” It sounded a little “cowboyish” for me. Maybe “scrounge up,” “dig up,” or “get his hook” on some money? Just some suggestions. But I look forward to reading this one! I have to know what the perfect job for a pirate is!! Good luck!

  9. Sue Heavenrich says:

    Pirate for Hire sounds fun! I would read it just to find out what the pirate ends up doing. (digging holes? got lots of treasure-burying experience!)

  10. hermanator33 says:

    Good Lord! Those cookies would almost make me enjoy mornings. I would read this book. The pirate theme is always fun, and your spin on it had me so curious as to what the perfect job would be. (Thankfully I am a comment reader, or I would be wondering all night.) Lots of fun words in your pitch too. Go you!

      • Susan Schade says:

        I noticed that difference too after reading back through the comments. For a pitch, I think it could help hook someone into reading the story. If it was general, (“After many failed attempts”), it might not be as impactful. It all comes down to what feels right to you. Giving away these details may also allow the editor/agent to get a sense of the style of the story. (Especially if his attempted jobs are outrageously out of place for a pirate, that’s a funny tone and it’s okay for readers to be in on that joke.) Good luck with your story.

  11. celticsea says:

    I wish I could have joined you in Texas, but that is nowhere close to my home! And I also wish someone would bake me some of those cookies!!

    I would definitely read PIRATE FOR HIRE. I love the premise and I love the title. What I would like to know in the pitch is whether the pirate is a child or an adult. I am imagining a child as a barber and that’s a little hard to imagine, but funny too – so it would help me to picture the book better if I knew.

    Good luck Katie!!

  12. ingridboydston says:

    So happy to be back reading fabulous pitches, drooling over chocolate and sharing camaraderie! I would absolutely read Pirate for Hire. The fun language intrigued me, the set up is clever and left me wanting to open the book to enjoy Patch’s antics and to discover what his perfect job was! I do agree with Judy’s suggestion. Well done! 🙂

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