Would You Read It Wednesday #283 – Willamina The Super-Mom Wolf Spider (PB)

Hiya, Peeps!

Hope you’re all having a lovely week so far!

I am having a school visit kind of week – teaching 4th graders about writing – tons of fun!  (But I confess to being away from my desk and absent from social media!)

Remember that baby horse I mentioned a while back?

(Don’t get excited…!)

We’re still waiting!

Such anticipation!!! 🙂

I’ll keep you posted!

Meanwhile, there’s nothing like Something Chocolate to help the waiting time go by… 🙂  Can I interest you in some Dark Chocolate Cream Pie?

Dark Chocolate Cream Pie

I know I can interest myself in some 🙂  YUM!

Now then, onto today’s pitch which comes to us from Corine.  An encounter on a dusty road in southwest Spain between a boar piglet, an abandoned hunting dog, and Corine, inspired her to write and self -publish her first children’s story. Nature is a constant inspiration and this new story idea is no exception. While sweeping the outside terrace of their holiday shack ( on a beach somewhere in Portugal), Corine stumbled upon a wolf spider with hundreds of babies on her back. EEEK! An incident that inspired this story.

Find her on the web at:
website https://www.bicadeideias.com
Pinterest https://www.pinterest.co.uk/ctbicadeideias
Face Book: https://www.facebook.com/corineaddis

Here is her pitch:

Working Title: Willamina the Super -Mom Wolf Spider

Age/Genre: Picture Book (ages 6-9)

The Pitch:  Willamina the Wolf spider wants more than anything to keep her spiderlings safe until they are ready to explore the world on their own. But when her tummy starts grumbling, she knows it’s time to leave the den to *hunt. Not an easy task with three hundred spiderlings on her back! To make matters worse, it is full moon and she is not the only one who is hungry. Willamina has to hide from an owl, run away from a shrew, and, in the end, outsmart a lady with a broom—an incident that forces her to release her spiderlings, but not without telling them they are going on an adventure.

*Wolf spiders hunt for prey. Females are single parents and carry their offspring
(hundreds) on their abdomen for about one week— until the spiderlings disperse— at times via ballooning.

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 Corine 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 May, 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!

Corine is looking forward to your thoughts on her pitch!  I am looking forward to that baby horse!  Maybe we should take bets on what day it will arrive! 🙂  I shall cast my vote for April 25 because that’s today… and it could happen… 🙂

Have a wonderful Wednesday everyone!!! 🙂


20 thoughts on “Would You Read It Wednesday #283 – Willamina The Super-Mom Wolf Spider (PB)

  1. Katie Engen says:

    Yes. But with hopes of images that can convince me of the beauty (or at least non-ickiness) of wolf spiders. I loved Charlotte, so maybe this mama can be charming, too. Curious if any marginalia will add non-fiction heft to the story.

    • Corine Timmer says:

      Katie, thanks for your thoughts. The illustrator can make or break this story. I have a bibliography at the end but notes/doodles on each of the pages is also an idea. If traditionally published I won’t be deciding on those things. But I can self-publish. After my first self-publishing journey however, I am tempted to try traditional too.

  2. fspoesy says:

    This is a definite yes for me. I think the pitch is pretty strong but could easily be punched up a bit and made shorter to have more impact. I don’t think the explanation of how Wolf spiders hunt needs to be part of the pitch although it would be great as part of the STEM back matter for the book, which I think you’d want to mention in a pitch letter but not have as part of the story pitch, if that makes sense. I’d still want to work on this pitch if it were mine but below is what would be my first pass at punching it up to add some excitement.

    “Willamina the Wolf spider knows that a spider on the hunt can easily become the hunted. But she’s not the only one she needs to keep safe. She’ll have to avoid the owl’s talons, run from the shrew’s bite, and outsmart a broom-wielding human, all while carrying her three hundred spiderlings on her back. If she can do all that, Willamina will be able to safely send her babies out into the world to have their own adventures.”

    • Corine Timmer says:

      Francis, thanks for thinking with me. I especially like: She’ll have to avoid the owl’s talons, run from the shrew’s bite, and outsmart a broom-wielding human. I will try and punch it up.

  3. matthewlasley says:

    I am waffling between a No and a Maybe; and not just because I do not like spiders. I find nature and critters interesting. In fact, the most interesting thing to me was the note added to the pitch. You should not have notes in pitches as you should be able to convey the idea within the pitch about important details like this. If you have to explain the point, it is like having to explain a joke…which does not make it work.

    I also have trouble with the title. Willamina is not an easy nor appealing name to look at. If it is difficult to read, people will move on. When I see “super mom” in the title, I instantly think of fictional heroic powers which takes away the STEM value for me. And what makes it a super mom? The fact that she has 100s of babies? Do other wolf spiders not do this? This is cross comparing human expectations with those of a wolf spider. It falls in the same realm as saying a robin is a super mom because she can fly.
    I think that “super mom” would be best left in the text and not the title, especially if you are looking for it to have STEM value.

    Good luck with the book. I am glad you are finding inspiration in the world around you.

    • Corine Timmer says:

      Matthew, thanks for taking the time to give feedback. I added super-mom later on. I will think about your comments. I didn’t make me think of fictional heroic powers but it’s interesting to take on board how it makes others feel and think. The text has facts woven into the story so it will have STEM value.

  4. Amanda Kirkham says:

    I would read this. I love the nonfiction element to it. Who knew that you could be inspired to craft a story based off of sweeping the terrace. I found your pitch to be engaging. (While I haven’t read the other comments posted here, my thought is her name is cumbersome. I wonder if “Willa” or “Willow” the Wolf spider might work better? Best of luck!

    • Corine Timmer says:

      Amanda, I am glad you would like to read my story. The name Willamina is not popular so I may change that. I quite like Willow, it has a softness about it. I will consider that name a contender.

  5. rosecappelli says:

    Yes, I would read this story. I think animals are fascinating and this also lends itself to some interesting back matter which is appealing. I would not include that in the pitch, however. Your first sentence pulled me in immediately and reveals what the main character wants. But I think the following sentences give too much away. You might just want to say that when it’s time to hunt she has to outsmart several other hungry creatures to keep her babies safe. Good luck!

    • Corine Timmer says:

      Rose, I am glad it appeals to you. I wrote this with a query letter in mind. Some publishers prefer a synopsis. Nevertheless I will be needing a shorter version (blurb) at some point. I like your suggestion, thanks.

  6. Genevieve Petrillo says:

    This is fascinating! What a wonderful way to learn about those creepy mama spiders. Yikes. I like the pitch a lot. The last sentence needs some kind of a transition or something to explain why the broom was more threatening than the owl and the shrew. Also, I’m pretty sure you don’t need the footnote at all. Good luck!

  7. Rachel Tomlinson says:

    Hi Corine,

    I’m a maybe. I love STEM in picture books!!! The concept really drew me in… and being an Aussie girl I have always had a bit of a fascination with spiders! There were a few points that could be tightened to really nail your pitch (which would have turned me to a definite Yes!!). The title is a little wordy and I think it might be the name of your spider? I second the comments about not needing the back matter in the pitch itself about hunting… but that’s the kind of info that would be perfect for a side bar or glossary at the end of your story. Also the pitch does feel more like a synopsis of the story… possibly leaving something to the imagination and enticing us (or a lucky agent!!) to want to read more. Wilhelmina is forced to defend her babies the only way she knows in order to save them from xxxxx. I really like how you show, not tell. It makes me think there will be good quality writing, which always keeps my interest and makes me want to read on! You have done a great job 😊

  8. Lauri Meyers says:

    Yay for 4th graders and chocolate pie!

    I like the single mother angle of the pitch. You don’t need the asterisk because you do a good job getting the problem across in the following sentence.
    I do wonder if it would be stronger without “But when her tummy starts grumbling, she knows it’s time to leave the den to *hunt. Not an easy task with three hundred spiderlings on her back! To make matters worse, it is full moon and she is not the only one who is hungry. ” That would keep it tight and focused on the challenges she has to face to save her kids.

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