Would You Read It Wednesday #285 – The Day Without Y (PB)

Howdy, Folks!

I would like to announce that at long last the apple tree in my yard has blossomed!


Aren’t apple blossoms just so beautiful?!

And… while we’re totally not on the subject… 🙂 I know it’s early and you might not have shaken off the cobwebs yet, but I have a question for you.

(And this is an actual question, not a riddle, because I don’t know the answer, which is why I’m asking 🙂 )

What’s red like a fox but shaped like a groundhog?

Because I spotted a critter fitting this description and I have no idea what it might be!

I’d guess a red panda, but I’m pretty sure they don’t hang out in the wilds of Blueberry Hill 🙂

The only other hints I have to offer are that it looked like it might be nibbling on leaves… but it may have just bumped them in its hurry to escape my prying eyes… and it disappeared into an opening in some rocks.

Maybe it was a rotund little baby fox… 🙂

A mini mystery for the day… and maybe a good spark for a story 🙂

While we mull over the identity of my mysterious visitor, let’s have Something Chocolate, shall we?  How about some Salted Caramel Brownie Ice Cream Cake!

Salted Caramel Brownie Ice Cream Cake

Mmm mmm good!  If that doesn’t say “breakfast”, I don’t know what does! 🙂

Now then, onto today’s pitch which comes to us from Jennifer who 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.

Here is her pitch:

Working Title: The Day Without Y

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

The Pitch: As the youngest of a big family, Y struggles to find her place: the Consonants are crowded and the Vowels only let her hang around sometimes. Tired of being ignored, she decides to pretend she’s like the other Letters, but chaos and confusion set in as Y’s family tries to make sense without her.

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 July, so you have time to polish your pitch before putting it up 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 Millbrook Literary Festival this Saturday!  Iza Trapani, Karen Orloff, Nancy Furstinger, Tania Guarino, Michael Garland, Jenna Grodzicki, Steven Petruccio, and many others will be there too, so you should all come!

Have a wonderful Wednesday everyone!!! 🙂


14 thoughts on “Would You Read It Wednesday #285 – The Day Without Y (PB)

  1. Katie Engen says:

    YES – I like clever variations on ABC books and this has the basic ingredients for that. Several things come to mind:
    1. If it’s a day without Y, then spelling ‘Day’ doesn’t work. Picky point, I know. But maybe the title can be something like ‘Missing Y’
    2. Re: Y being the youngest: I immediately start wondering about Z’s birth order. And who are the parents? Are the letters extended, not just nuclear family?
    3. The words ‘decides to’ aren’t necessary; they slow down the pitch. Just ‘…she pretends she’s like…’ works fine.
    4. I’m not clear on how being like other letters can help with getting noticed (not ignored). So, while I’m hooked to want to figure this out, a slush pile wrangler (or similar) may consider that illogical. Maybe you can add a short detail/hint to the pitch about how Y turns imitation into attention-getting.

  2. ptnozell says:

    Susanna, I hope your lovely apple blossoms survived the rains yesterday. How red is your mystery critter? I’m thinking maybe a groundhog that fell in a paint can, perhaps a red rabbit, or possibly (hopefully?) some new hybrid, Susannus Groundfoxus. Endless story ideas!

    Jennifer, I would read this! Sounds so funny, with a possible spelling lesson snuck in. I agree with Katie’s comment above, though, that the second sentence is a bit confusing – can you give an example of how being like the other letters causes her to be absent when her family needs her?

    Susanna, enjoy the Literary Festival! Jennifer, I look forward to reading your revised pitch soon!

    • Jennifer G Prevost says:

      Thanks! I think because this has an element of ‘concept’ in it, I know that a lot of this will be shown in the illustrations and type but I can’t figure out how to fit it into a pitch. I do have words with extra letters, and words without Y in the story which I think adds humor… but the pitch is killing me! I always appreciate your feedback. 🙂

  3. Gregory E Bray says:

    Susana, let me know when to stop by for a slice of home made apple pie. =) I would read this. Thoughts of elementary school came back to me. I think Katie’s comments are spot on. I like the idea of leaving Y out of a word in the title. Example on a lack of coffee, “Without Y You’re Just Happ” Good luck with this.

    • matthewlasley says:

      I actually disagree with leaving the Y out in the title. That will be an artistic thing done by the publishing company and would be too confusing in a text pitch. “The Da Without Y”?

      Oh and Gregory……drink more coffee ;P “Without Y You’re Just Happ” wouldn’t work because it would have to be “Without Y Ou’re Just Happ” That just hurts my head LOL

      • Jennifer G Prevost says:

        This morning my daughter said “coffee makes grown ups un-grumpy” to which I promptly responded, “Oh, it does much more than that!” Thanks Greg, for your feedback. The text of the story definitely carries that pattern through, the pitch and the title are really making me think though! I appreciate you stopping by to comment.

  4. matthewlasley says:

    I am a maybe on this. I see potential as it smacks of plot Tara Lazar’s “7 Ate 9” in which a number hides from everyone by acting like another number.

    The pitch is well written, but I do not hear your “voice.” I like the title, but I can’t see how it ties into the pitch. Y doesn’t go anywhere, she pretends to be like other letters. I want to know what letters she tries to be like and why she thinks she will be successful. What chaos follows?

    The first line needs to be shortened up. Take out “As the youngest of a big family” as it is not necessary to the pitch. Start right off with the character and problem. “Y struggles to find her place. The Consonants are crowded and the Vowels only let her hang around sometimes.” This instantly lets you have empathy for your character and understand the problem.

    Good luck.

    • Jennifer G Prevost says:

      Thanks, Matthew! Your feedback always has so much substance to it, and I’m once again so grateful. In an earlier draft, Y actually leaves… but I don’t know how I feel about her running away, so I shifted gears and now I’m getting conflicting feedback from all my CPs. Ay yie yie. (There’s a touch of Cajun for you.) Thanks again for your feedback!

  5. authorlaurablog says:

    YES! I love the premise of Y not fitting in with either group. This is very relatable and the opportunity to learn how important the letter Y is In both the spelling of words and being part of a group even if you aren’t easily categorized is wonderful!

    If you add “one of” to the sentence, I think It addresses the concerns in the comments above.
    As one of the youngest of a big family, Y struggles to find her place: the Consonants are crowded and the Vowels only let her hang around sometimes.

    Great idea! Best of luck!

  6. Amanda Kirkham says:


    This sounds like a story I would want to read! I did take the time and peruse the other comments and agree with something from each response. With that, I don’t have anything additional to offer but wish you the best of luck!


  7. fspoesy says:

    I’m a sucker for anything to do with the alphabet so I’d definitely read this. My only comment is that I was a little confused when the pitch said Y was going to be like the other letters, but then it said her family tries to make sense without her, as if she wasn’t even around, or had left. But I think that confusion could easily be fixed by saying something like “her family tries to make sense without her very special personality”. And thinking about it a little more, maybe instead of saying Y was going to “pretend she’s like the other letters” you said something about her trying to fit in or blend in and be like everyone else. I think that might pull a little more on an agent’s or editor’s heartstrings, thinking that Y feels like she can’t be herself. Anyway, take that FWIW and good luck with pitching!

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