Would You Read It Wednesday #297 – The Adventures Of Lou And Barley (PB) PLUS The March Pitch Pick PLUS The January/Februry Pitch Pick Winner!


You thought last Wednesday was busy!  Today is even busier!

Let’s jump right in, shall we?, by announcing the winner of the January/February Pitch Pick which was Erik with his MG pitch for Stoyanovich In Paris!!!  Congratulations, Erik!  Your pitch is winging it’s way to editor Erin Molta for her comments, and I’m sure she’ll be in touch shortly!

Congratulations, also, to all the other pitchers!  You all did a terrific job, with pitches for intriguing-sounding stories, all improved after feedback from our helpful readers.  Hopefully, even though your pitches won’t be read by Erin, you all feel that you have stronger pitches to go forward with than you had before!

From the winner of January/February, let’s dive right into choosing a winner for March with the March Pitch Pick!

Here are the revised and polished pitches updated by their authors in response to your helpful comments:

#1 – Pat – Baba Yaga’s Arrful Day (Chapter Book ages 7-10)

When pirate-witch Baba Yaga loses her magic, she finds trouble in the Schoolyard of Shame, the uber creepy Cedar Woods, and a seemingly innocent shoe store. She has to think outside the wand to turn the arr-ful day into a shipload of gold doubloons.

#2 – Nadine – Porcupette And Moppet (PB ages 4-8)

A young porcupine outsmarts a fisher, its natural enemy.  Porcupette narrowly escapes being eaten not by running away or hiding in a tree stump.  He outsmarts the fisher by reading a book!  

#3 – Gayle – Navy SEALs: BUD/S from A-Z (PB ages 4-8)

Boys learn their letters Navy SEAL-style while they explore the rigors of BUD/S, the first half of SEAL training, where a sugar cookie isn’t a snack and The Only Easy Day Was Yesterday.

#4 – Jean – A Little Witchy (PB ages 4-8)

After Beatrice decides being a witch is more appealing than being mortal, she begins acting a little witchy. But her failed attempts at casting spells and mixing magic potions land her in lots of toil and trouble! And her bumbling exploits soon attract the ire of witches, who offer to help her improve her witchery skills. Now Beatrice must decide rather to become a witch or be the best mortal she can be, and leave the witching to the real witches.


Now that you’ve had a chance to read through them, please vote in the poll below for the pitch you feel is best and most deserving of a read and comments by editor Erin Molta by Sunday September 16 at 9PM Eastern.


Phew!  I think all that reading and voting calls for a little Something Chocolate, don’t you?  And since chances are high that you’re reading this post somewhere near time for breakfast… or second breakfast… or breakfast for dinner 🙂  how about some chocolate chocolate chip pancakes?!

Double Chocolate Pancakes


Recipe HERE (along with helpful video!) at LauraFuentes.com

I don’t think you can ever go wrong with pancakes…especially not when there’s chocolate involved! 🙂

Now then, onto today’s pitch which comes to us from Katie (different Katie, not last week’s Katie! 🙂 ) who says, “I’m a kindergarten teacher of nearly ten years, a writer, and an outdoor enthusiast on a mission to visit all of the National Parks with my family.”

Find her on the web at:
Blog: katiewalsh.blog

Here is her pitch:

Working Title: The Adventures Of Lou And Barley

Age/Genre: Picture Book (ages 3-6)

The Pitch:  Oh no! When Lou leaves his stuffed Stegosaurus in the rain, he and his dog, Barley, set off on an imaginative quest to rescue him. Sailing giant waves, distracting hungry alligators, and battling the evil t-rex, this is one rip-roaring adventure!

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 Katie 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 October, 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!

Katie is looking forward to your thoughts on her pitch!  I am looking forward to (hopefully very soon!) getting a computer that is a little less exhausted than this one!  You do not want to know how long it took to write this post, given that the computer had to keep “resting”!

Have a wonderful Wednesday everyone!!! 🙂


29 thoughts on “Would You Read It Wednesday #297 – The Adventures Of Lou And Barley (PB) PLUS The March Pitch Pick PLUS The January/Februry Pitch Pick Winner!

  1. ptnozell says:

    Whew is right! But those chocolate pancakes helped, Susanna. Thank you!

    Katie, I would read your story – it sounds full of action and adventure, complete with a four-legged sidekick. I don’t think you need the “Oh no” at the start. I’d suggest jumping right in, or aboard, as the case may be. I also wonder about stating that this is a “rip-roaring adventure”. This is evident from what the pair encounter, I think, and it’s a conclusion that an editor or agent would come to on her or his own.

    I look forward to reading this story soon!

  2. rosecappelli says:

    Yes, I would read your story, Katie. Dinosaurs and dogs are always appealing. This sounds like quite an imaginative tale! I agree that the “oh no” is probably not needed. Good luck!

  3. Katie Engen says:

    Yes. The pitch moves along with strong, rhythmic pace. That in itself may be the most enticing element. Not sure you need ‘imaginative’ since this IS fiction. But a livelier adjective could work well. The ‘Oh no!’ does help set the tone/indicate the immediacy of Lou’s shock, esp. since the next sentence is less charged with feeling. Speaking of which, I think changing two verbs could give an energizing boost: ‘Sailing’ to ‘Hurdling,’ ‘distracting’ to ‘outsmarting.’ The use of ‘rip-roaring’ gave me pause as a bit of a cliché esp. paired with ‘adventure.’ Yet, storm waves, gators, and T-Rex really do rip and roar, so maybe it’s less a cliché than a punny, accurate stereotype.

  4. matthewlasley says:

    For me, this would be a yes. Very well written, but I agree with many of the previous comments.
    -Jump right in.
    -alter the ending segment.

    I realize that dropping the ending would make the ending blunt, so you might bring it back to something like “proving even imaginary adventures can be fun.”
    The only other thing I have to add is the use of the word “evil” when describing the T-Rex. What makes him “evil”? I don’t know the story, but this would make me expect some sinister plot and I wonder if the T-Rex is not just being a T-Rex, which would make him terrifying and not evil.
    A bear catching and eating salmon is not evil, it is nature. A bear catching salmon and leaving them along the trail to attract an unknowing fisherman to hold him for ransom is evil.

    I am excited to see this book! Good luck.

  5. Gregory E Bray says:

    Great revisions everyone. I see Nadine has Porcupette And Moppet coming out from Blue Whale Press next year. So congratulations there too. =)

    I would read this. I agree with the other’s that the, “Oh no!” at the beginning isn’t necessary. My son names all of his stuffed animals. Maybe give the stegosaurus a name. Then the last line could read something like, “They must sail giant waves, distract hungry alligators, and battle the evil t-rex to save Fred (or whatever it’s name is)”

    Good luck!

  6. Judy Sobanski (@jkspburg) says:

    Katie, I would definitely read your story! I agree that the “Oh No!” isn’t needed. I also think “rip-roaring” doesn’t lend much to the pitch. I think it might read better if the “imaginative” is closer to the end. While it’s important to know this, making the “quest” to rescue the dinosaur feel more urgent would add more excitement to the pitch. So maybe something like:

    When Lou leaves his stuffed dinosaur in the rain, he and his dog, Barley, set out to rescue him. The determined pair must sail giant waves, distract hungry alligators, and battle a terrifying t-rex, on their imaginative quest to save Lou’s soggy Stegosaurus.

    Best of Luck!

  7. Maria Marshall says:

    Susanna, Chocolate ANYTHING is wonderful.

    Katie, I would read this. I do agree with the others about “Oh no!” and with Gregory about naming the stegosaurus. I also agree that this is fiction, so “imaginative” could be cut and the reader still know, esp. with a stegosaurus in the cast. :-). Also do “quest” and “rescue attempt” mean about the same thing? Maybe not use both..
    Also, I would make your wording SHOW this instead of telling us what the adventure is – “this is one rip-roaring adventure!”

    What about:
    “When [Steve] the Stegosaurus gets left in the rain, Lou and his dog, Barley, set off on to rescue him. Braving giant waves, outsmarting hungry alligators, and battling a monstrous [ or enormous, gigantic, hungry] T-rex, they ….[can you add the thing that helps them rescue him? Friendship, cooperation, bravery, something they discover or learn?]

    But it sounds like a fun book. Best of Luck!

  8. authorlaurablog says:

    YES! I would absolutely read this. The book sounds engaging and your pitch is well written which bodes well for the book also being well written!
    I think you don’t need the word imaginative and maybe a different word: exhaustive, exhausting, or something having to do with getting soaked would be better. Love the idea of a quest!
    Good luck.

  9. viviankirkfield says:

    Thanks for the awesome pancakes, Susanna!
    Katie…it’s a definitely yes for me. You’ve gotten some great suggestions here..I’d also axe the ‘oh no’…and I like Matthew’s possible pitch fix for the ending…taking out ‘rip roaring’.
    All the best with this story…it sounds like a winner!

  10. bababloggayaga says:

    I’m a maybe. I could be missing something, but I don’t understand how leaving the stegosaurus in the rain leads into the adventure. Why does he have to sail the high seas, battle evil creatures etc. to get to it? Where did he leave it? I would also get rid of the ‘oh no’ at the beginning and the word imaginative (unless it’s all in his head.)

  11. Kay Phillips says:

    Katie I would definitely read your book! I agree with some of the other comments that I would omit-substitute a word for “evil”. Perhaps scary, terrifying, huge…. I would also agree about naming the Stegosaurus. Obviously he/she is precious and would have a name. Love the dog’s name. I liked the “Oh, no!” at the beginning. I thought it was an energetic lead in.


  12. Erik says:

    First off, thank you to everyone who voted for Stoyanovich! He’s a very well-mannered rat and would thank you himself if he could. 🙂

    Katie, I think your pitch is really close – I do agree with the suggestion to drop the “rip-roaring” bit, but I’m going to buck the trend and come out in favor of “Oh, no” – I feel like it adds a bit of the book’s voice (does it?) to the pitch. I’d read the story based on this!

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