Would You Read It Wednesday #287 – I Am Not A Hugger! (PB)

Darlings, I am such the world traveler!

Here I am, back from Brazil for the second time in 6 months!


Who didn’t even have a passport until about a year ago!

Where should I go next?

I’ve always had a hankering to visit the Spanish Riding School in Vienna and see the Lipizzans… And for no particular reason I can think of I’ve always wanted to go to Ireland.  Maybe it’s because they have a lot of horses there too… 🙂  Any suggestions?  Maybe one of you will have a great idea and I’ll go and get a picture book out of it! 🙂

I will not even pretend that I’m on top of things around here.  I’m so behind it isn’t even funny.  So let’s all fuel up with Something Chocolate, shall we?  And then you guys can help out today’s pitcher, and I can go try to desperately to dig myself out of my email inbox, meet my editorial deadline, finish some critiques, and…. ok, I’m just going stop listing stuff because it’s scaring me 🙂 Did someone say CHOCOLATE?!

I’m in a cookie mood.  You can eat 3 cookies without feeling too guilty, whereas 3 cupcakes… ok, well I would eat 3 cupcakes too on a day like today! 🙂

Fudgy Chocolate Brownie Cookies

Mmmm!  Chocolate cookies!  They’re what’s for breakfast!  A perfect companion to coffee, tea, milk, or hot chocolate!  And why stop at 3?  They’re small… 🙂

Dig in!

Now then, onto today’s pitch which comes to us from Francis S. Poesy who says, “Francis S. Poesy is the pen name of Tim Canny, a writer of children’s stories aspiring to authorship, or is it authorhood? Authorness maybe? Basically, he’d like to be published. He has self-published a self-illustrated alphabet book, titled A Rather Round Alphabet, just to see what that would be like. He is a part-time graphic artist, but does not consider himself an illustrator.”

He can be found on the web at:
website: http://www.mulberryandbliss.com
twitter: http://www.twitter.com/tcanny
instagram: http://www.instagram.com/timcanny
A Rather Round Alphabet: https://www.amazon.com/Rather-Round-Alphabet-Francis-Poesy-ebook/dp/B06XFSKV1D/ref=tmm_kin_swatch_0

Here is his pitch:

Working Title: I Am Not A Hugger!

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

The Pitch: Val likes her personal space. But she is a minority of one in her extended family of huggers. So when the latest family gathering promises to be a complete hug fest, Val must find her voice and stand her ground if she wants to avoid the impending hugtastrophe.

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 Francis 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 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!

Francis is looking forward to your thoughts on his pitch!  I am looking forward to catching up, which at this stage feels impossible, but I’m sure with enough chocolate it can be done 🙂

Have a wonderful Wednesday everyone!!! 🙂


23 thoughts on “Would You Read It Wednesday #287 – I Am Not A Hugger! (PB)

  1. Nadine Poper says:

    A hug story! I truly enjoyed the Hug Machine where the main character hugs EVERYTHING. But your character Val also has an honest obstacle of not wanting to hug. That was me growing up. It always felt awkward. UNTIL….well, that isn’t important. I am just glad I joined the hugging world 🙂 So, yes. I would read it.
    To make your pitch a little tighter, provide an example of what she attempts in order to overcome or avoid the hugtastrope (love that word). Val liking her personal space is not truly the obstacle for her is it? Hugging is? If so, start out with stating that and then give an action she takes that gets her to her final take away/discovery.
    Good luck Francis!

    • fspoesy says:

      Thanks for your comments, Nadine. Your advice has given me some good ideas on how to tighten up my pitch. And a second thanks for the book recommendation. I reserved it online through my local library and was able to pick it up on the way home from work! I look forward to reading about the Hug Machine!

    • Katherine Rothstein says:

      Yes, I’m intrigued! I and my kiddos are reluctant huggers. We are friendly and love people but just aren’t easily affectionate. And the hug fests at family gatherings can be filled with pressure and anxiety provoking. Did I hint that there’s a market for this topic? For the pitch, I would swap the first two sentences. Maybe add some emotion?…butterflies, pressure, space.
      Good work. We look forward to reading! Katherine

  2. Katie Engen says:

    YES – for ‘hugtastrophe’ alone. The pitch makes Val sound a bit hard-edged. Is she supposed to be or is there another reason for her anti-hug stance? If the latter, maybe add a 1-3 word phrase to hint at her attitude or how she’ll (more specifically) ‘stand her ground.’

    • fspoesy says:

      Hehe! I must say I was quite proud of myself when I came up with ‘hugtastrophe’! I’m happy you liked it Katie. I definitely don’t want Val to come across as hard-edged. I’ll have to think on how to let her personality come through in a few words for the pitch. Thanks for your insight.

  3. ptnozell says:

    Susanna, what a wonderful, whirl-wind wedding trip! Congratulations to you & the family!

    Tim, yes, I’d read this! We’re a family of non-huggers & I used to hate extended-family gatherings with the hugging aunts. As a non-hugger, I can empathize easily with Val. I’m not sure everyone will feel that way, though. As Katie mentioned, as written, Val seems a bit hard-edged. Maybe instead of “personal space”, mention the ways of showing affection that Val likes or reasons why she doesn’t like hugs. I look forward to reading your revised pitch & story.

    • fspoesy says:

      I never would have seen Val as coming off as hard-edged but if others see it then I need to take a closer look. This is what makes Susanna’s WYRIW such a great opportunity. I’ll see what I can do to soften how she comes across. Thanks for your insights.

  4. Judy Sobanski (@jkspburg) says:

    Susanna, Brazil…are you nuts?? haha! Congratulations on the wedding!
    Tim, I love the premise of your story! I’m wondering why Val doesn’t like hugging? Is is just “yucky” to her or is there a physiological reason? If you could hint at the reason, I think it would help. “Finding her voice” is used a lot, especially lately…maybe that’s a good thing? Not sure with a pitch. Perhaps experiment with a few other phrases and go with what you think works.
    Great job! Best of luck!

    • fspoesy says:

      Judy, in the manuscript I’m trying to keep Val’s reasons something that non-hugger readers can fill in on their own. But I may have to rethink that. I’ll think on the “finding her voice” cliche. I thought I was being clever as Val is shy and a bit of a mumbler, so she has to use her full voice in order to be heard. Thanks for pointing out the cliche. I’ll definitely be thinking of some other phrases.

  5. Terry Catasús Jennings says:

    Tim, I would definitely read it. I would pitch the first sentence. It’s not as funny as the rest and you don’t really need it. I think the rest is fine. Leaving it loose like this makes me want to read it to find out why she doesn’t like hugging, how she’ll avoid all those horribly huggable situations, and whether in the end she’ll change. I kind of agree with the “finding her voice” comment, but mostly because again, it’s not as funny as the rest. Love it! Lots of luck.

    • fspoesy says:

      Thanks Terry! I’m glad to hear it piqued your interest. That’s what I was shooting for. I’ll definitely be looking at the first sentence and the “finding her voice” cliche.

  6. authorlaurablog says:

    Brazil! It’s on my list of places I want to visit but haven’t yet.

    Tim, I’m not sure what generated the idea for writing this but I’ve seen it on people’s wish lists after #metoo and how to deal with the holidays, I like that you said “family gathering” which could be a reunion instead of a specific holiday to make it more universal. This has a lot of potential. Good luck!

  7. Genevieve Petrillo says:

    Having grown up in a huge Italian family of huggers (and kissers and squeezers and shakers and grabbers and holders and close-talkers), I didn’t know personal space even existed till I was a grown up. Val, I feel ya. I love the word “hugtastrophe” I would definitely read this and I like the pitch a lot. I agree with the commenters who suggested adding a strategy or two as examples of what Val is planning to try. Good luck.

  8. Jennifer G Prevost says:

    Tim, I don’t have much to add, you have some great feedback here. I would certainly read it… and I AM a hugger! As for ‘hugtastrophe’, that might be my new favorite word. Great job and good luck!

  9. Lindsay Beaudreau says:

    I also love “hugatastrophe”! I would read. I have 3 kids and one is a total non-hugger/touchy-feely and I feel like I am always encouraging her that it’s ok and that she is allowed to say “no thank you”. She’s 3. Like some of the other posts, I would only be careful that she doesn’t come off too hard. I think this is actually a challenge in real life too for the non -huggers! As in my daughters case, I think some people just assume that she is less friendly because compared to her siblings she is a bit more tentative. So, I guess because of my personal connection I would definitely read!

  10. fspoesy says:

    Thanks Lindsay! I think I’ve made Val very like-able in my manuscript but I think you are right about trying to soften her in the pitch. Glad to hear you have a personal connection to non-hugger.

  11. Rachel Tomlinson says:

    Oooh you lucky thing Susanna!!! Brazil! My favourite holidays have been Poland, Paris and Budapest!! This year we have a trip booked to Iceland and Sweden as we want to see the Aurora borealis.

    I’m a yes for this book! As a psychologist I think it’s important that children have boundaries… if they don’t want to hug they shouldnt be forced. So I love the idea of consent and talking about what it’s like not to be a hugger. There are a few opportunities to tighten the pitch. I found your line about being a minority of one a bit confusing…it could be something like…. in a family of huggers she is the odd one out! The word minority sounds a little mature for the age group you are pitching at… so I also think you might tweak the language used (and Val’s name) has me thinking the MC was much older. Maybe talk about her feelings about being hugged and how a child might describe it.

    I would love to see this pitch again and I really appreciate the concept!


    • fspoesy says:

      Thanks for the encouragement and insight, Rachel. I’ll definitely look at youngifying my verbage. I definitely want Val’s young age to come across in the pitch. I also get what you are saying about Val’s name. I originally wrote the story with the MC unnamed and un-gendered. I wasn’t sure if I wanted a boy or girl MC. I chose Val because it worked for both, but then when it came to pronouns, I had to pick a side. I’m going to do some more research on names to see what I can come up with.

  12. matthewlasley says:

    I know I am a week late, I disconnected for a week after recovering from a hard year of teaching first grade.

    I don’t have anything really to add. I too like this story and it would be a yes. I want to know why she doesn’t like hugs. You might be able to soften her with something she does like? At the same time, I don’t know if she should be softened, this is who she is and is the way others would see her when she refuses hugs. It fits to her character.

    Good luck!

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