Boy, do we have an action-packed day today, folks!
I’m not going to waste one single second telling you what the dogs found in the woods or what creative concoction I baked or what the scuttlebutt down at the post office was. Nosireebob! We’re going to get right down to it today!
First (your favorite and mine!) we have a thrilling triple episode of Straight From The Editor!
For September: You will recall Katie’s pitch:
Katie – Pirate For Hire (PB ages 4-8)
Patch loves being a pirate. The beards! The singing! The treasure! There’s only one problem…he gets seasick. When his shipmates begin poking fun at him, Patch looks for a new gig and a new crew who understand him, but where to work? Patch fumbles as a barber, flounders and a singer, and fails as a jeweler before finding a place perfect for a pirate.
And here are Erin’s comments:
This is cute. Though it might garner more interest if you went slightly more active and specific—even the end. Something more along the lines of: Patch loves being a pirate. “Yohoho! The shiny gold coins! The beards! There’s only one problem…he gets seasick. When his shipmates poke fun of him, Patch looks for a new gig. But where to work? What to do? He fumbles as a barber, flounders as a singer, and can’t tell a diamond from a pearl—before finding the perfect place for a pirate –((and I would say what it is)).
For October: Laura’s pitch:
Laura – Gustavo’s Big Idea (PB ages 4-9)
Aliana’s little brother Gustavo wants to be in charge for the day. Knowing she’s really the boss, Aliana agrees to play along. Now Gustavo needs to come up with a BIG idea to impress his sister! As they head out to explore the woods near their Rocky Mountain home, Gustavo searches for inspiration, finding his idea in the clouds. The power of observation combined with imagination show both siblings new ways to take pride in their discoveries. Easy-to-follow hands on science project for home or school included.
And here are Erin’s thoughts:
I love the concept of this pitch, but I wish you gave an example because I have no idea what the big idea is and how that correlates to being in charge. You need to make that connection for the reader, especially when you mention a science project included. An editor will be confused—is this a picture book about little brother finally being in charge or a book of scientific observation?
Essentially, you just need to provide some more information.
And last but not least, for November: Candace’s pitch:
Candace – Cock-A-Doodle WHAT? (PB ages 2-4)
Clarence Rooster is pacing around the barnyard. He is the smallest rooster at the farm and tomorrow morning will be his first turn at waking up Farmer Judy. What if he’s not loud enough and she sleeps right through his crowing? He decides to hold a practice session behind the barn. Clarence invites his friends to come listen. Each one has a bit of advice for him. Now, he must figure out whose idea is the best.
And Erin’s advice:
This is very cute. Everybody likes an underdog 🙂 However, it would liven it up a tad if you added more specifics. Draws the reader in. So, if you say something like, Cow says stand still to maximize loudness.. Goat says kick your feet when you crow. OR if different Roosters are giving him the advice, then include their different opinions—two maybe—just to add some color.
As always, I find Erin’s thoughts very insightful, interesting, and helpful, and I hope her words help all of you to strengthen your pitches!
Gosh! All that awesome pitching advice has left me a mite peckish! How about you? I think we should refuel with Something Chocolate before we go on to today’s pitch. As you can see, I’m on a Valentine-themed roll the last couple weeks – very fitting for this time of year 🙂 This looks easy and delicious!
Valentines Day Marbled Graham Cracker Toffee
I personally am not a fan of sprinkles on anything – they interfere with texture to my way of thinking. So I’ll probably make my toffee with colored sugar instead. But you guys feel free to sprinkle to your heart’s content 🙂 (Or use “jimmies” if that’s what you call them in your neck of the woods!)
Now then, onto today’s pitch which comes to us from Tim who writes under a pseudonym (Francis S. Poesy) and says, “Francis S. Poesy was born on Slipshod Island off the northwest coast of Ireland in 1961. He attended the St. Blathmac Monastary School which was well known for producing many great Slipshod writers, until the island was reclaimed by the sea in 1969.
Francis is also entirely a figment of Tim Canny’s imagination, which many have characterized as “over-active”. Tim currently writes under the pseudonym Francis S. Poesy as he always thought an author should have a much more interesting back story than growing up in the Mid-west and writing technical manuals for a living. Tim is an unpublished writer and is currently working on a presentable version of his second children’s book manuscript. His website is http://www.mulberryandbliss.com.”
Find him on the web at
Here is his pitch:
Working Title: The Troublesome And Unpleasant Adventures Of Murphy The Reluctant Potato
Age/Genre: Picture Book (ages 4-8)
The Pitch: Murphy isn’t like all those other potatoes. He doesn’t dream of becoming delicious French fries; of making beautiful art that gets displayed on the fridge; or of winning ribbons as a science fair project. No, Murphy is very happy kicking back in Farmer McCubbin’s cozy little garden. He has no plans for going on any “potato adventures” thank you very much. But that all changes the day a shovel turns his world upside down and getting back to the garden turns into the biggest potato adventure of all.
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 Tim improve his 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 March, so you could get your pitch up pretty soon for helpful feedback and a chance to have it read and commented on by editor Erin Molta!
Tim is looking forward to your thoughts on his pitch! I am looking forward to Friday, which as you may know is Groundhog Day – a big favorite around here! 🙂 Phyllis is all set to get her furry brown self outside at the crack of dawn to let us know if spring will come early! Fingers crossed…!!! 🙂
Have a wonderful Wednesday everyone!!! 🙂