Would You Read It Wednesday #274 – Wendy’s First Taste Of Summer (PB)

So a couple days ago we had Super Bowl LII, and in a couple days the XXIII Olympic Winter Games will start!  What is with that whole Roman Numeral thing in sports?  Are they trying to be intellectual?  Or is it nod to gladiators and arenas and such to make it more exciting?  Who knows.  It’s probably mostly so our elementary school teachers can say that yes, of course we will use this knowledge in real life! 🙂

(Your chance to make your elementary school teachers do the dance of joy – identify what LII and XXIII represent in the comments 🙂 )


You will note that our own winter writing Olympics (in the form of the III Valentiny Writing Contest 🙂 )  will start the same day as the actual Olympics (well, the sports part anyway… I think opening ceremonies are Friday.)  I hope you’re all training hard so you’ll be ready to participate in top form! 🙂

Part of our training regimen should absolutely be Something Chocolate!  I’m thinking Chocolate Covered Strawberry Brownies!  How can we go wrong?  Health food AND a Valentine twist!  Sounds like the breakfast of champions to me! 🙂

Chocolate Covered Strawberry Brownies

Chocolate Covered Strawberry Brownies 800 2536

Recipe HERE at Closet Cooking Cooking In A Closet-Sized Kitchen

Help yourself to seconds – serious training requires fuel! – then wipe the chocolate off your fingers (and keyboard 🙂 ) and let’s get cracking on our Wednesday mission!

Onto today’s pitch which comes to us from Jennifer.  Jennifer Prevost is a part time nurse, full time mom of three (four if you count the dog), wife, avid reader, blogger and picture book writer of the pre-published variety. She’s dreamed of seeing her words in print for as long as she can remember (and feels blessed to have made it this far.) You can find her at her blog, Magnolias & Manuscripts (http://magnoliasandmanuscripts.wordpress.com/blog) where she’s capturing her writing journey and asking questions to authors far more successful than she. If she’s not there, she’s probably somewhere jotting down ideas, playing with her kids or chasing the big goofy dog, always with a cup of coffee in hand. (Check out @jennifergprevost on Instagram and Facebook…maybe one of these days, she’ll figure out Twitter)

Here is her pitch:

Working Title: Wendy’s First Taste Of Summer

Age/Genre: Picture Book (ages 4-7)

The Pitch:  Try as they might, Wendy’s parents can’t get her to break her picky-eater ways. But then she makes a bet with the owner of Millie’s Famous Melons and the results are as delicious as the first days of summer!

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 Jennifer 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 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!

Jennifer is looking forward to your thoughts on her pitch!  I am looking forward to the Valentiny Contest!  I hope you guys are too!  We have some seriously great prizes up for grabs!  One of them could be yours!  And I can’t wait to read your fabulous stories in celebration of the chocolate lovers holiday 🙂

Have a wonderful Wednesday everyone!!! 🙂


46 thoughts on “Would You Read It Wednesday #274 – Wendy’s First Taste Of Summer (PB)

    • Jennifer G Prevost says:

      Well in this case, and I think for the sake of brevity I only talk about fruit. But I bet if you ask Wendy she’d said vegetables too! (Ps sorry for my delayed comment!! I appreciate your feedback and your ‘maybe’!)

  1. Kaye Baillie says:

    Yes for sure. I love the sound of Milly and what she will do with the young picky eater. And the final line is so enticing. I imagine the parents are going to be pleasantly surprised. Lots of parents and children will relate to the picky eating problem too. Well done.

  2. awritersdream41 says:

    Yes, I would read it. I like the name Millie’s Famous Melons. Wendy sounds like a determined child with a spirit of competition. The reader will be drawn in to see what creation Wendy will come up with. Will she make a total mess? Will she make a messy creation AND eat it all?
    Good luck with your story.

  3. Rene` Diane Aube says:

    I would have to read this as I, too, am a charter alumini member of Picky Eaters Anonymous. I have lovely visions of summery, melony days inspired by yoir second line.

    My one concern with your very tight pitch is that it seems the problem is presented as Wendy’s parents’. I know it’s definitely a problem parents face, I just wonder if there’s a way to make it more Wendy’s. What are the stakes for her? Is she tired of sitting at the table forever and a day to finish her dinner? Does she miss out on some fun activity? A tv show or Xbox games?

    Well, I hope that helps somewhat. Now I’m going to get thsy recipe yo mske some of those delightful brownies! Yum!

    • Jennifer G Prevost says:

      Rene, thanks for your feedback! I actually received a critique back on this ms at the end of last week and she voiced similar thoughts. I appreciate that you took the time to pose such great questions, that’s definitely the route I’m going to take when I revise both my pitch and the ms.

  4. Wendy says:

    Since it’s my name, I’ve never used Wendy in a story, but I think the world can use more Wendy stories! I agree with Rene that it sounded like Wendy’s parents’ story in the pitch. Maybe switch out the first line (well-written, but parent-focused) and start with Wendy? That will help make the “she” in the second line clearer, too (I had to re-read). Good luck! (go, Wendy’s of the world!)

  5. authoraileenstewart says:

    I agree with Rene and Wendy, A re-write of the first sentence emphasizing Wendy instead of the parents. Other than that, I would take a stab at reading this story.

  6. Katie Engen says:

    Yes. And I’d like to know a bit more about what Wendy wants (not just her parents). Example – What is she risking or possibly gaining (beyond the assumed love of melons & pleasing her parents) with this bet?

    • Jennifer G Prevost says:

      Ohh, that’s another great question. I mentioned in a comment above that I recently received a critique on this story and she suggested I raise the stakes as well. Thanks, Katie for taking the time to shre your thoughts!

  7. ptnozell says:

    Jennifer, I’d definitely read this story, but I am with Rene on this – both a very picky eater and wanting to know why Wendy herself has an aversion to certain, or all, foods.

    I look forward to reading your revised pitch & your story.

    • Jennifer G Prevost says:

      Thank you! I really love this one and am eager to start revising both the story and this pitch. All of the feedback I’m getting is pointing me in the same direction, so that gives me a great place to start!

  8. rosecappelli says:

    I would definitely be interested in reading this story, but I agree with the others about the confusion about who owns the problem. If it is Wendy making the bet with Millie, it seems like it is her problem, but the pitch doesn’t read that way. Are your main characters the parents, or Wendy? Definitely think this is something to keep working on.

    • Jennifer G Prevost says:

      I didn’t stop to realize, when I submitted this pitch, that her parents stole the spotlight. (Thank goodness for WYRI!) They actually have a very small role in the story, in comparison to Wendy & Millie and I need to capture that better. Thanks for your help, Rose!

  9. fspoesy says:

    I would definitely read this, especially since eating melons in summer time sounds sooooo good right about now!

    As far as the pitch goes, I agree with the other commenters that the wording in the first sentence makes it seem like the parents have the problem, and therefore the story is theirs. I would recommend saying something like “Wendy’s upcoming summer vacation would be a lot more fun if she could get her parent’s to stop making her picky eating an issue.”

    I like that your pitch is concise, however, I felt like I was missing where the conflict comes into the story. It reads like Wendy’s making of the bet is the solution to her problem but its not clear yet what her problem is. Not knowing the story I can’t say exactly what you could add, but I’m thinking something about Wendy thinking winning the bet is impossible, that she made a horrible mistake making the bet, or that the bet makes her choose between her pride and her pickiness. Maybe something like “But when she makes a bet with the owner of Millie’s Famous Melons the results could be as delicious as the first days of summer, if only Wendy can convince her taste buds to try something new!”

    Good luck, Jennifer. This sounds like a sweet summer read (pun intended).

    And Susanna, I am definitely looking forward to the Valentiny Contest! I may have to cram on Friday night to get it finished and in shape, but I hope to have a winning entry! 🙂

    • Jennifer G Prevost says:

      I’ll be cramming for Valentiny right along with you!! Thanks for stopping by to offer feedback. I think if I can raise the stakes and bring Wendy to the spotlight I’ll be even more excited by this story. Thanks for your feedback (and the follow!)

  10. kathalsey says:

    HI, Jennifer. Love the title and we all know picky eaters, so you have a universal hook – good job. Make the story Wendy-centric as other have said and give us some stakes or obstacle and you’re good to go!

  11. David McMullin says:

    Jennifer, this sounds lovely. I love the mood you set here – it feels warm and playful. I would like a hint at what challenges Wendy faces as a result of this bet. Best of luck.

  12. matthewlasley says:

    While I think the concept has promise, from the pitch itself I would say no.

    Like many people have already mentioned, the hook line is about her parents. I love the name of the Melon shop, but the trouble I have is I don’t know anything about this character besides being a picky eater and a girl. How old is she? Is she a human or an animal?

    The title implies “first”, even if it is taste, it makes you think this child is very young. Since it is her first, does this make her 1? Now I know that you can go a long time without tasting something, but it make you wonder why. Why now? If she is picky, why would a bet change that now? You may answer that in the story, but it leaves me to project flaws in logic.

    That brings up the word bet. This also implies age. I have worked with kids for 20+ years and the concept of betting is not for younger kids. They do not grasp loss or equity of value and rarely use the term “bet”. We use that term, and kids may mimic it, but it is not something they normally use. In my class of first graders, they typically “dare” or “challenge” each other. They do not give up anything. I normally see the word bet get thrown around when kids reach late second or third grade.

    The pitch ending is nice, but overall seems flat. I want to hear your voice in the pitch. I want to hear Wendy’s voice. Is this a funny story? Does something incredible happen? Does Wendy only eat certain kinds of foods; i.e. by color, shape, taste, texture, hot, cold?

    I hope you do not take my criticisms as anything other than helpful. I would like to see this pitched again after finding your or the character’s voice.
    Good luck.

  13. marsue77 says:

    I love the idea of this story and yes, I am a picky eater too, I agree with “the bet” that Matthew mentioned. I taught first grade and they do dare each other. Good luck with this.

  14. Genevieve Petrillo says:

    First of all, OF COURSE you count the dog…

    Now, on to the pitch. I would definitely read it and identify with the picky eater main character. I agree with the commenters who said the problem needs to be more Wendy’s than her parents. My parents made me sit at the table till I finished, and most nights that was after the dishes were done and everybody was in the living room watching TV. It was tough. BTW – it didn’t help. I am still picky and have food issues. Also, is Millie a grown-up? It would be fun if she made a bet with another child and ended up solving the problem that way. Good luck with it.

  15. Maria Marshall (@MariaMarshall_) says:

    Susanna – I LOVE this brownie combination! Can’t wait to try it.
    Wendy – I would read it. I also agree with the earlier comments. What about something like:

    Tired of fighting her parents over her picky-eater ways. Wendy makes a bet with the owner of Millie’s Famous Melons to ______(what is the bet?). She _____, _____, and ____ (what does she do to win the bet? Does she succeed immediately or is there a bit of a struggle? Put “teasers” of that here) and the results are as delicious as the first days of summer!
    Hope this helps.

  16. jeanjames926 says:

    Wow brownies and strawberries! I love Roman numerals and LII equals 52, and XXIII equals 23 which seems like a low number for the Winter Olympic games. Anyway on to the pitch, I would read it, but I agree that the pitch reads like it’s the parents problem to solve. I think more detail could be added to help the reader understand the connection between picky eater and the bet. I also agree bet could be changed to dare, because as the mother of three children (14,12,10) my kids are constantly daring each other. Good luck Jennifer.

  17. viviankirkfield says:

    The virtual chocolate delight is perfect, Susanna…I’ve got a few pounds that need to come off, so I will enjoy seconds of this!
    And I’m looking forward to the Winter Olympics…whatever the number is.
    And as far as today’s pitch goes…WOW…Jennifer…this is fabulous. Nice and tight, I think you got some great feedback in the comments…I, too, would like to have a little more info as to what happens. But I would definitely want to read this story!

  18. Jilanne Hoffmann says:

    Mmmm, chocolate. I’m eating my homemade date-almond-cocoa powder concoction right now. I will pass the stratosphere faster than the Falcon Heavy did yesterday, with the addition of your sweet treat. Thank you!

    Now, about this pitch….Jennifer, yes I would read this. My son, at age 14, is still a pretty picky eater, so I’ve specialized in preparing and offering things of the vegetable and fruit families in creative ways. But, that first sentence focuses more on the parents than the child. I’d flip it, if I were you. Then in the second sentence, I’d want to know a little more about that bet and just what that delicious result looks like. Good luck!

  19. heavenlyhashformoms says:

    Great premise!! I imagine it to have two parts…one part where Wendy battles parents and the reader gets to laugh at all of the tactics the parents try to no avail (much like all of the ‘I dont want to take a bath’ or ‘I don’t want to go to bed’ books. ) Then, it sounds like an unlikely person emerges who finally outwits the child, but the child is the true winner when he discovers how great new foods are! I think parents would love this book as it is a common battle! I think kids could relate to the picky eater part so easily, and they love books they can identify with! Sounds like a winner!! Good luck!!

      • heavenlyhashformoms says:

        Ha ha! That’s only because I’ve lived that story with my own child, minus the fairy godmother coming in to rescue me from his picky-eater ways! Maybe I have to visit more melon markets! Look forward to seeing your book on the shelves some day!🙂

  20. ingridboydston says:

    Strawberries and chocolate! Doesn’t get too much better than that? 👏👏👏👏 Bravo also on a great topic Jennifer. As others have mentioned, I’d like to hear more about Wendy. Perhaps state the problem from her point of view, not the parents. Good luck and have fun!

  21. Jean Richardson says:

    I’d have to say maybe too, to the pitch as is, Jennifer. But if revised to focus on Wendy’s issue and give more of a hint into the origin of the bet (or how she comes to make it with Millie), then
    I would be hooked. Other than that you had me at ‘her picky-eater ways.’

    Happy revising! Sounds like it will be a great, fun story when you’re done. Good luck.

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