Would You Read It Wednesday #300 – The Night There Was No Bedtime (PB) PLUS The June Pitch Pick PLUS The May Pitch Pick Winner!

Woo hoo!  It’s another fun-filled edition of Would You Read It Wednesday!

Not only that, it’s the 300th WYRI!  Can you believe it?  Apparently we’ve been doing this for awhile 🙂 I think that calls for a celebration!  So I’m going to give away a book to one random commenter today!

This is an interesting week on Blueberry Hill.  I had a new book out yesterday which was a kind of a first for me.  I was hired to write the first-ever picture book version of the well-known movie, Miracle on 34th Street for Sourcebooks and the Valentine Davies estate.  A pretty cool project to be part of!

Miracle Updated Cover


As any of you know who have seen the movie, it is LONG to condense into a picture book, and has elements (drunkenness, being committed to an asylum, etc) which are not necessarily picture book friendly 🙂 So it was an interesting challenge!  I think it came out pretty well, although, due to trying to keep the word count down there are a few places where some of the niceties of language and transition in my original manuscript had to be cut in the interest of space.  But it tells the story, and the art is beautiful and perfectly suited to the era of the tale.  I think it will make a lovely holiday time read.

Since it’s brand new and hot off the presses, and we’re celebrating the 300th WYRI, I will give a copy of Miracle On 34th Street to a randomly selected commenter on today’s post!  I’ll even sign it for you if you want since I wrote this particular version, even though the original story belongs to Valentine Davies 🙂

Anyway, we’d better get down to business!

For starters, the winner of the May Pitch Pick was Jackie with her nonfiction picture book pitch for One Smart Cookie: The Story of Ruth Wakefield and the Invention of the Chocolate Chip Cookie!!!  Congratulations, Jackie!  I have to say, you had me at the title! :). Your pitch is on its way to editor Erin Molta, who, being inundated with this giant pile of pitch winners, will eventually dig herself out from under!  I think we’re going to have a huge Straight From The Editor post at some point! 🙂

Congratulations to all our pitchers!  You all did an amazing job, and your stories sound so interesting!  Keep up the good work!  A fair few writers have ended up selling books they pitched here (one of these days I should make a list of exactly who and have a celebratory post about them) but YOU could be next!  Why not?! 🙂

Onward, now, to the June Pitch Pick!  After this we only have July to catch up… and of course September which we are now ready for as well.  But we’re getting there!

Have a look at the revised pitches. Think them over. Make your selection. And then vote below for your favorite and step on up to the chocolate bar! (see what I did there? 🙂 )

#1 – Katie E – The Tooth Fairy Conference (PB ages 5-9)

Tooth Fairy Gwyneth rallies brainy and brawny conference attendees to extract Plaque Man, a rot-minded foe, and save the fairy economy. Gwyneth must convince skeptical speakers presenting key economic and tooth collecting knowledge to form a posse with tough tooth fairies from all over the world. Now if only they can combine their dental and mental derring-do and wash skunky, gunky Plaque Man down the drain.

#2 – Patricia – Amy’s Birdsong Aires/American Composer Amy Cheney Beach (PB ages 4-8)

Amy wasn’t an ordinary child. A musical prodigy, she could accurately sing any song she heard. Amy wanted to sing, play the piano, and write music, but girls in the late 1800’s didn’t grow up to do such manly things. Despite the times, her talents blossomed and she gained recognition.When a professor learned that Amy had perfect pitch, he asked her to help him ‘name the birds’, which ended up being a very important thing.


#3 – Katie B – The Librarian’s Treasure (YA/Fantasy)

Drake’s assignment: Find the child of the lady and the leprechaun. Vague much? The League of Leprechaun’s, at least that is what the three diminutive men called themselves, had shown up at Drake’s pub and offered him more gold than he was willing to turn down.
Drake had narrowed down the “sense” his new bosses had to Raegan, the only person of the right age consistently in this place. She didn’t seem a leprechaun any more than the three men had and how they expected her to save the village from dying out the League hadn’t felt compelled to share.
Getting close to Raegan to discover the truth, Drake became unexpectedly drawn to the goodness and innocence she exuded. He wondered, would she save the village, or might she just save him?


#4 – Yvona – Granny’s Veggie Garden (PB ages 4-8)

The seasons come full circle in this intergenerational story that introduces gardening and cooking adventures with fun, fresh language as the characters plan, plant, till, weed, harvest and cook from their garden’s abundance.


Please vote for your favorite pitch – the one you think most deserving of a read and comments by editor Erin Molta – in the poll below by Sunday October 7 at 9PM Eastern.  Many, many thanks for your help! 🙂



Since it’s October and Halloween is coming, I thought we’d do something fun AND delicious for today’s Something Chocolate!  How do you feel about Spiderweb Cookie Cake? (Especially appropriate given today’s May Pitch Pick winner 🙂 )

Spiderweb Cookie Cake (basically, a gigantic chocolate chip cookie 🙂 )

Yum-MY!  Really, there’s nothing like homemade chocolate chip cookies!  I think I know what I’m doing this afternoon…while I’m working…multi-tasking at its best 🙂

Now then, onto today’s pitch which comes to us from Katie (yes! another Katie!) who says, “I am a Registered Nurse, mother to a sticky boy and a horse-lovin’ girl, and a writer of picture books. I enjoy spending time at the beach building sand castles and gawking at whales.”

Find her on the twitter at @KatieWills79

Here is her pitch:

Working Title: The Night There Was No Bedtime

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

The Pitch:  Drowsy children everywhere are yawning and hugging their teddies close… but Bedtime is nowhere to be found.  She has other plans for the night, and sleeping isn’t one of them. If Bedtime won’t return, the children may never sleep again!

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 – yes – NEXT WEEK! – so someone send me a pitch!  You will get helpful feedback from our devoted readers and a chance to have your pitch read and commented on by editor Erin Molta!  What are you waiting for?! 🙂

Katie is looking forward to your thoughts on her pitch!  I am looking forward to receiving an actual copy of Miracle On 34th Street and being able to give a copy to one of you!

Have a wonderful Wednesday everyone!!! 🙂


90 thoughts on “Would You Read It Wednesday #300 – The Night There Was No Bedtime (PB) PLUS The June Pitch Pick PLUS The May Pitch Pick Winner!

  1. Sandra Sutter says:

    HI Katie. Yes, I would read this book. You captured my attention with Bedtime making other plans, and I wonder what those might be. But I feel the pitch could be strengthened with more about the problems this causes for the children (other than the obvious) and whether they (the kids) or Bedtime has to solve the problem. Hope that helps!

  2. rosecappelli says:

    YES, I would read this book. I was pulled in by the personification of Bedtime which is a nice twist to the “won’t go to sleep” bedtime dilemma. I also would like to know a little more about the focus of the story – is it more about Bedtime or the children?

  3. ptnozell says:

    Congratulations Susanna – the 300th WYRI Wednesday AND a new/old book released yesterday! Woohoo!

    Yes, I’d read this book, Katie. I really like that you personified bedtime, and I think bedtime dilemma is an evergreen topic. I also like that your story flips the usual scene – generally the kids are fighting bedtime, but here it looks like they are sleepy & ready to settle down. Nice job!

  4. Jennifer G Prevost says:

    I give this pitch a resounding YES! And even though I don’t have anything else to offer from the earlier to posts, I just wanted to say great job, it sounds like a clever story! I do agree with Rose & Sandra, I would want a couple of words hinting to how the problem is solved. (Sincerely, another registered nurse, mom to TWO sticky boys and a girl who loves horses too!! What are the odds!)

  5. Jen Bagan says:

    WOW – Susanna! Retelling Miracle on 34th Street??! What a huge honor – I can’t wait to read it! And congrats on the 300th WYRI!

    Yes – I would read this story. It’s short, to the point and interesting! I also love the idea of personifying “Bedtime.” My only suggestion is to maybe give us a bit more information on how Bedtime will return. Clearly, I don’t know your story but if a child helps then perhaps something like “It’s up to Susie to convince Bedtime to return or the children may never sleep again!”

    Good luck with this clever idea!

  6. Nancy Riley says:

    Hi Susanna,
    Love Miracle on 34th Street, so a retelling as a PB sounds fun for the holidays!

    Katie, you have a resounding YES from me. I don’t have any other suggestions beyond the others before me. I can imagine all the trouble Bedtime can get into or the lengths the sleepy kids take to win her back! Good luck with this!

  7. Katie Engen says:

    Yes. Clever, new concept. Concise pitch with clear dilemma. I do wonder if the whole story is about kids everywhere or if a specific kid or family comes into focus. I also did not realize that Bedtime is a character/being until I read the last sentence. This struck me less as a fun reveal, and more like a ‘Hey, what?’ moment. Maybe that last sentence could be first?

  8. sarahheturadny says:

    Hello Katie! I am a maybe who could easily be swayed to a yes. The character “Bedtime” seems vague to me, so I’d like to know a little more about her. I’d also like to know more about the kid, if the kid is the main character (or is Bedtime the main character?). Best of luck! Sarah

  9. Diana Lynn Gibson says:

    Hi Katie! I love the idea of personalising “Bedtime” as a character. I’m not sure how you do that in your story but it sounds very interesting! I had to reread the pitch a couple times as I had assumed that “She” was a little girl and I was trying to figure out who “She” was. Now I get it!

  10. Angela Brown (@ALBrownwrites) says:

    Cast my vote.

    Interesting that the WYRI pitch gave Bedtime something of a personality, its own person and character. I would read it in the interest of seeing how things turned out for Bedtime and the children (and adults like me) who really depend on having it around 🙂

  11. Gregory E Bray says:

    Congratulations, Susanna! We love that movie. I’ll make sure to pick up your book.I would read this. I don’t have much to add that hasn’t already been said above. Just a few more details about the characters would make it perfect. Good luck!

  12. matthewlasley says:

    Congrats Susanna.

    This is a very well written. Concise. To the point. Clear. I get the problem. I love the unique view of the character. So for me, this is a yes!

    I usually like to hear the voice of the main character, but in this case, I don’t think it is necessary as the problem is just as much a part of the character’s voice as it is the story. I disagree with others about whether this story is about children or bedtime as I found it clearly about Bedtime. The children are a part of the plot and setting, and though you lead off with them, it is the setup.

    The only recommendation is the ellipses. I think a comma will do fine here. I know you are setting up a dramatic point, but to an editor or agent, it speaks to your writing style, and in a picture book, you want concise, clear thoughts.

    I look forward to seeing this book!

  13. Danielle Hammelef says:

    Yes, I would read this book. I think the pitch would be stronger hinting at what Bedtime plans to do instead of her job as well as what might happen to the people who can’t sleep.

  14. Judy Sobanski (@jkspburg) says:

    Susanna – I found an old hardcover copy of MIRACLE ON 34TH STREET at a church rummage sale. It is remarkably close to the screenplay of the movie!

    Katie- I would definitely read your story! What a unique perspective on the going to bed woes! I was curious as to what Bedtime chose to do instead of her usual job. Maybe giving a hint would make your pitch a little more intriguing. Best of luck!!

    • Susanna Leonard Hill says:

      I was told the screenplay was first, followed by his novelization of the movie. I think both came out in 1947, but the movie was first. But I could be wrong 🙂 I was also told by the editor in charge of this that there had never been a picture book version, although I am aware of at least one chapter book version for kids. How cool that you found an old copy! Was it first edition? Thanks so much for your comments for Katie!

  15. marty says:

    Congrats, Susanna! Would love an autographed copy. What an honor for you.
    And yes, I would read this, Katie. The title hooked me immediately. From your pitch, I gather Bedtime is the MC, and again, that makes me curious as to what she’s up to. Best of luck with this. It sounds like a great story.

  16. Rene` Diane Aube says:

    Hi Katie and Susanna, YUM! Chocolate chip cookie cake??? I’m just finishing the cookies I made the other day, but I surely would love some of this, too!

    Susanna, congratulations on your project with the Davies on Miracle on 34th Street! Very exciting! Will definitely be looking for this in the store.

    Katie, I would definitely read this. It sounds like so much fun. I like how you personified Bedtime and am very interested to see what you have done with this. Sounds different and fresh to me. I think kids would love to know that Bedtime can’t be found. Very intriguing. Best wishes with your project. 🙂 Happy Wednesday everyone!

  17. Maria Marshall (@MariaMarshall_) says:

    What an amazing honor for you. Congratulations, Susanna. 🙂

    Katie, I too like the switch in this story, by personifing Bedtime. In addition to the other’s comments, I would try to clarify Bedtime’s motive. What does Bedtime want/need/desire?
    I like the ending as it is, but I would like to know either what she does to avoid coming back or who/what tries to convince her to come back (and how). Maybe a tweak of the middle sentence or one more quick sentence.

    This is very interesting and I would enjoy reading it. Good Luck.

  18. Genevieve Petrillo says:

    I’m a yes. I would definitely read this. I love bedtime! And Bedtime! I like that she’s a person (or whatever she is). In your sentence, “She has other plans for the night, and sleeping isn’t one of them.” I’m not sure Bedtime actually sleeps. Maybe – She has other plans for the night, and putting children to sleep isn’t one of them – instead. Good luck with this!

  19. viviankirkfield says:

    Wow…what a chock full post! First of all, CONGRATULATIONS, dear Susanna…what an amazing opportunity…I am so very happy for you…and for all the kids who will get to read the story…and how generous of you to offer a copy of Miracle on 34th Street as a giveaway!]

    Next, I know I’ve missed a few Would You Read It Wednesdays, so I was glad to have a chance to vote on what look like fasciatig stories.
    And the chocolate chip cookie is adorable!
    Plus, I love the idea of Katie’s story…so YES, I would definitely read it. Katie, I think you’ve got a really good pitch here…I think you’ve gotten some very good advice for pitch tweaks.
    Happy October, everyone…I know we are all anxiously awaiting the announcement of the Halloweensie Contest.

    • Susanna Leonard Hill says:

      I know… these posts have been a little busy lately with all the catch-up voting, Vivian. But we’re almost caught up and then hopefully things will be a little less chock full! :). Glad you like the cookie – a perfect Halloween treat, don’t you think? – and thanks so much for your thoughts for Katie!

  20. authorlaurablog says:

    Yes! I love the personification of Bedtime! I don’t know what’s coming but your pitch makes me want to find out! The pitch is doing exactly what a pitch should and that’s no small feat. Speaking of bedtime ….. going to sleep soon.

  21. heavenlyhashformoms says:

    Miracle on 34tg was one of my favorites when I was a kid, so it is fantastic to see it come out as a picture book!
    The pitch is so intriguing!!! It did take a reread of the first sentence for me to realize you were personifying bedtime, but maybe that is ok? Maybe that is just because personifying bedtime is so unique! I would definitely read it, just to see how you manage to pull off the personification….so cool! Reversing the bedtime dilemma is a great idea. I think you have a winner! 🌝

  22. diciui says:

    Yes! I love the tantalising twist on a PB bedtime story. I was caught by the simplicity of the pitch and I want to know more. I don’t think that a hint of Bedtime’s motive is needed as I’m already hooked! If you do add a hint, keep it simple.

  23. Pamela Courtney says:

    Susanna you are to be commended for all the work you do for our community. 300 WYRIs?? Think of all the writers you’ve helped just with this event alone. And now, Miracle on 34th? Whoa and WOW! I am so proud of you dear lady. So very proud. I canNOT wait to see how you handle the challenging subject matter or how you arc around it. I’ve no doubt about it being a brilliant and fun read. BTW, thanks for the cookies (you’ve been knowing me for quite a few years, you know I took more than one). As for the pitch You better believe it is a major YES for me. This is too intriguing. I’m excited about this story. Like Pixar excited!

    • Susanna Leonard Hill says:

      Dearest Pam, thank you for all your kind words! I hope you helped yourself to PLENTY of cookies! It is my pleasure and honor to get to run WYRI – it’s really all the helpful commenters like you who make it such a good experience for people – and I am beyond thrilled when I hear that a pitch someone worked on for WYRI ends up getting them an agent or a book deal! Thanks so much for your encouraging comments for Katie!

  24. Debbie Lee says:

    A huge YES to Katie on reading her book! I love the idea of bedtime being the problem and not the kids. As someone who spends a huge amount of time in the library with the kids this book title and decription would definitely have me pulling it off the shelf!

    Congrats Susannah on Miracle!!!! I love that story and can’t wait to add it to my collection🎅🎄

  25. Katie Williams says:

    I just want to say a big thank you to Susanna for the opportunity to be #300!!! And thank you so much to everyone who commented, your feedback has been extremely helpful!

  26. yangmommy says:

    I would definitely read this story! There are a lot of books already on the market about getting kiddos to bed, but this is probably the first from Bedtime’s POV. The pitch is spot on–it gives me just enough information to want to read more without overwhelming me or telling me everything.

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