Would You Read It Wednesday #289 – Amy’s Birdsong Airs/Composer Amy Cheney Beach (PB)

Hiya, folks!  Hope your Wednesdays are all off to a good start!

Princess Blue Kitty and I (that’s my car, for anyone who happens to be new around here and doesn’t know her 🙂 ) are hopefully off to a good start (or possibly arrived, depending on exactly when you’re reading this) to our favorite long-term parking lot.  I am such the traveller these days.  Normally I don’t go anywhere, but when I do, it seems to all be at the same time.  Didn’t I just get back from Brazil? 🙂

Anyway, let’s all get fortified with Something Chocolate, shall we?  And then we’ll be all fueled up and rarin’ to go to help  today’s pitcher!

Earthquake Cake



If you’re drooling it’s okay 🙂  You’re in good company 🙂

Now then, onto today’s pitch which comes to us from Patricia who says, “As a kid, I was totally into painting, singing, dancing and making up stories. Sometimes things never change and I’m glad I still enjoy it all :>)   And I’m so happy and blessed that Callie-Metler Smith at Clear Fork Publishing has given me the opportunity to have two books published in the near future.”

Find her on the web at:

@Writer Saunders….twitter

Here is her pitch:

Working Title: Amy’s Birdsong Airs/Composer Amy Cheney Beach

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

The Pitch: Amy, a prodigy, wants more than anything to play the piano and compose music, but isn’t allowed, so she compensates by writing songs in her head. Eventually, her God given talent is recognized and Amy learns that perseverance leads to success.

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 Patricia 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 could get your pitch up pretty soon for helpful feedback and a chance to have it read and commented on by editor Erin Molta!

Patricia is looking forward to your thoughts on her pitch!  I am looking forward to 6 hours on an airplane!  (Okay, maybe not that part 🙂  But I sure am looking forward to seeing my daughter! 🙂 )

Have a wonderful Wednesday everyone!!! 🙂


9 thoughts on “Would You Read It Wednesday #289 – Amy’s Birdsong Airs/Composer Amy Cheney Beach (PB)

  1. ptnozell says:

    Safe travels, Susanna! I hope you enjoy plenty of cake, but no earthquakes, with your daughter!

    Patricia, your pitch intrigues me, so I want to learn more. Is this a biography? If so, I’d state that clearly in the pitch. How is Amy a prodigy if she hasn’t been allowed to play or compose music? Instead of “eventually,” I’d add more information about who recognizes her talent & how that happens. And unless you are targeting religious publishers or there’s a religious aspect to this story, I’d say “talent” as “God-given” implies there is a religious theme here (at least in my mind).

    I look forward to reading your revised pitch, as I love stories about women succeeding in the arts.

  2. Kathy Halsey says:

    Safe travels, Susanna, and congrats on your soon-to-be published books with Clear Fork, Patricia.
    Your title made me wonder if I was reading fiction or nonfiction picture book. Perhaps you can revise the title to just AMY’S BIRDSONG AIRS. I like the assonance in the title but I’m not sure if “airs” means it is finally sung or what? Still unclear on the title even if I shorten it.. Sorry, maybe it’s just me.
    I have several questions per you pitch that may make it more specific. Why is she not allowed to play or compose music? I need a few specifics that won’t give away the whole plot for me to care about Amy’s problem. How does her talent get recognized? Good luck with the story and your book launches!

  3. Katie Engen says:

    Maybe. I’m mostly intrigued by the title – which I think is strong – but I’m not sure it’s connected to the pitch. Where are the birds? I also want to know if this is traditional NF (the subtitle suggests that it is). How is it known she’s a prodigy if she never can play? I’d like a detail or 2 about how she reaches success (beyond the mental composing stage). And does success mean playing/composing in real life? You state Amy ‘learns’ which is a bit passive for a MC. Maybe another verb like ‘practices,’ ‘creates,’ etc. would convey her (budding) autonomy. Picky point: God-given should have that hyphen.

    Overall, great potential for sharing the inspirational synergy of nature & the arts.

  4. authorlaurablog says:

    I’m struggling with this one. The title is confusing. I know she’s a real person but I’m not sure why “birdsong” – if that’s one of her compositions, I’m not familiar with it. I find the term “God-given talent” jarring unless you are pitching to only religious publishers. I would suggest something about how she overcame being forbidden from playing music.

  5. Rene` Diane Aube says:

    HI Susanna and Patricia!

    Susanna, mmm…yummy breakfast! Have a safe and wonderfully refreshing trip, too 🙂
    Patricia, I would read this. I am wondering, though, why Amy is “not allowed” to play piano and write music. Who is stopping her? How does this impact her emotionally? I wonder if leaving the fact that she compensates by writing music in her head is giving away too much, too. Is there a way to phrase it to be more enticing without revealing so much?
    I’m not sure if my questions are appropriate for a biography piece, so others may be far more helpful.
    Best wishes with your story! 🙂

  6. Gregory E Bray says:

    I think I’ll be making this cake for father’s day.=)

    I would read this. I had to lookup who Amy Cheney Beach was. I agree with the comments above; why isn’t she allowed? Who is stopping her? Is this one of the books you’re publishing through Clear Fork? Good luck with this!

  7. Nancy Riley says:

    Hi Patricia,
    Now that I’ve looked up Amy Beach, I would definitely read this book. Sounds like she was an amazing musician and composer – another woman whose accomplishments need to be sung! As others before me have said, your pitch needs a little more info to draw us into her story. Since she composed pieces that attempted to imitate bird songs, perhaps that idea came to her when she was composing in her head while listening to birds? As a wildlife biologist, I find this fascinating. Good luck.

  8. matthewlasley says:

    For me this is a no. You have an intriguing idea and biographies and nonfiction are in for picture books, but if I do not know who the person is or what is interesting about them, I can’t empathize and therefore would not go on.

    The title is too much. Without context, it confuses me. Leave it at Amy’s Birdsong. That part I wondered about.

    Break up the first sentence a bit and let me know about this little girl who can’t play music. There are too many commas.

    I want to hear about this girl’s struggle. I want to hear her voice. I want to hear the music. I want to hear how she perseveres.

    I too had to go look her up (so congrats on that; it shows people have interest), and I could not find even in the brief excerpts that I read why she could not compose. It sounds like she came from a wealthy privileged family and was encouraged in every way to perform. I realize she was the first American female composer, but I want to know the barriers she faced as a child.
    I did not get that from the pitch.

    I hope you can find the way to truly represent and honor this female American pioneer. Your book, in my opinion, has great potential, but the pitch fell short. I hope you take the feedback you have gotten and repitch this again soon.

    Best of luck!

  9. Jennifer G Prevost says:

    Patricia!! Yes, of course! You know anything of yours will automatically make it on my TBR list. I do agree with the above contents. Your pitch is a great length but needs a bit more tension and info. A couple of thoughts I had were
    1. Starting the pitch with WHY she’s forbidden to play, which would put the reader right in the middle of the drama.
    2. Also, knowing a bit more about her from some of the other comments, I do think the birds need to make a cameo in your pitch. Even if you just reference her ‘feathered friends’. If their important enough to be in the title, they should probably be in the pitch. Best of luck! 😊

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