Would You Read It Wednesday #301 – Drop The Dragon (PB) PLUS The July Pitch Pick PLUS The June Pitch Pick Winner!

Golly it’s been a busy week so far!

Somehow I’ve posted three days in a row!  Sorry about that!

But Tuesday and Wednesday are regular, and I had to get the Halloweensie Contest guidelines up on Monday to give you all some time to write… and at least you get a day off before PPBF… So next week we’ll be back to normal!

Today, however, I’m delighted to announce that the winner of the June Pitch Pick is Patricia with her PB pitch for Amy’s Birdsong Aires/American Composer Amy Cheney Beach!  Congratulations on a fabulous pitch for an interesting-sounding book, Patricia!  Your pitch is on its way to editor Erin Molta for her comments.

Congratulations also to all our other pitchers who worked hard on writing and revising their pitches and were brave enough to share them with us.  All your stories sound wonderful, and I hope the WYRI experience has helped you strengthen your pitches for future use with agents and editors!

Onward now to the July Pitch Pick – the last of the catch-ups, finally!  I so appreciate all of you being willing to read and vote for weeks in a row!

You all know the ropes by now! 🙂  but please read through the pitches and vote for your favorite in the poll below by Sunday October 14 at 9PM Eastern.

#1 – Katie – A BRUSH WITH DISASTER (PB ages 5-9) (previously titled The Boys Who Brushed Teeth Too Much)

Excited about a new toothbrush gaming app, Advik challenges neighbors then nations to compete. Brother Barun doesn’t bite. Instead, he boosts traditional brushing across communities and continents. When overbrushing overruns the world, the boys just stick to their ‘gums.’ Until tooth care supplies run out. United by need, they face (and fix) the painful impacts of their extreme habits. This modernized Panchatantra fable offers layers appealing to ages 5-9.

#2 – Gabrielle – MAGGIE’S NEW BIKE

Maggie wants shiny new wheels, not Dad’s old rust bucket. When Dad hints she could get one after she learns how to ride, Maggie gives the junker a second look. With determination and her barnyard cheering section of hens and roosters, Maggie soon discovers not every treasure comes from a store. This is a delightful story of one girls’ never-give-up attitude.

#3 – Sherry – Firestarter (MG Action/Adventure)

12 year old Cody’s mother left on the last day of school, and the care of his sisters and the small farm became his responsibility while his father works from dawn to dusk. Anxious to get away from his sisters demands and his father’s constant belittling, he makes plans to run away. But when smoke appears on the ridge above their home, he has to make a choice—fight the fire or leave his family to fend on their own. And to make matters worse, he has a secret that could cause him to lose his family for good and land him in jail.

#4 – Greg – The Remindeer (PB ages 4-10)

Wally has a very important job, to make sure everything goes smoothly for Santa on Christmas Eve. After going through his checklist and seeing Santa off, he discovers a present for Laurie has been left behind.

Unlike the other reindeer, Wally can’t fly. He calls a delivery service and finds out they are too busy to deliver the present. He’ll have to find another way to deliver the present and save Christmas for Laurie.

It’s a tough choice, I know!  But please vote if you can!

I don’t know about you, but I’m ready for Something Chocolate!  (Although I’m pretty much always ready for Something Chocolate, so that’s not news 🙂 ). How about some  Chocolate Chip Cheesecake Cookies?

Chocolate Chip Cheesecake Cookies


Scrumptious!  Luckily I made tons so everyone can have two or five or twenty or however many they want 🙂

Now then, onto today’s pitch which comes to us from Ciara who says, “I am a former teacher, mother of five, and corgi lover. I love puns. I might make them on an hourly basis. And I definitely think that there should be a job where one can be a personal shopper of picture books. That’s a thing, right?”

Find her on the web at ciaraoneal.weebly.com

Here is her pitch:

Working Title: Drop The Dragon

Age/Genre: Picture Book (ages 4-12)

The Pitch: A little girl’s best frenemy, the family dog, keeps stealing her toy dragon. Using her resourcefulness and imagination, she tries to thwart the theft. When the toy is held captive by the dreaded clothes line, these two will have to work together to save their beloved dragon.

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 Ciara 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 is an opening next week! – October 17! – so someone send me a pitch! 🙂 Additional openings in November, 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!

Ciara is looking forward to your thoughts on her pitch!  I am looking forward to getting all the prizes organized for the Halloweensie Contest!  I’m still searching for an agent or editor who would be willing to give a read and critique of a PB manuscript, so if any of you know anyone, please have your people get in touch with my people! 🙂

Have a wonderful Wednesday everyone!!! 🙂


34 thoughts on “Would You Read It Wednesday #301 – Drop The Dragon (PB) PLUS The July Pitch Pick PLUS The June Pitch Pick Winner!

  1. sarahheturadny says:

    Hello! Yes/Maybe I’d read it. Because I know you like to make puns, I am dying to see just how funny this story might be. The only thing that “held me up” in your pitch was the clothes line. Is Clothes Line a character? It sounds like s/he is based on how you word the pitch. If so, I suppose I want to know more about him/her, especially as the other characters are living, but then again, maybe all that means is that your pitch accomplished your goal (sparking my interest)!

  2. Katie Engen says:

    Yes. You had me at ‘personal PB shopper,’ Also liked that the pitch speaks to adult readers (i.e. purchasers). I know that may be taboo, but efficacious vocabulary conveys so many layers so succinctly. More specifically, the characterizations come shining through and the various plots/twists are set up nicely. I would read this with 20 of those choc chip cheesecake cookies, for sure.

  3. authorlaurablog says:

    Yes! Love the idea of being a personal shopper for picture books! I had the good fortune of doing this recently for a friend’s granddaughter at the library. It was delightful for me and even more so when I heard how much she enjoyed my selections!
    Yes, I would read this book. I love the set up of two characters at odds needing to work together for a common goal. I’m not sure about the word frenemy for the PB audience but everything else in your pitch and bio is perfect. Best of luck!

  4. Gregory E Bray says:

    I would read this. Anything with Dragon’s in it has me. I agree with Laura above about the word frenemy. It’s hard to imagine the family dog being a frenemy. Unless the main character is a cat.

  5. matthewlasley says:

    I am a maybe. I can hear your voice in the title, but the pitch, while well written, lacks a clear voice. I think that the opening sentence tells me the plot, but does not draw me into the story. “A little girl’s…” keeps the story distant. Name the girl and then describe how she feels. Example: Natalie has lost her toy dragon and is sure that Spot has taken it again.

    I see a lot of potential for this story. Be bold and let your voice, and/or your character’s voice come through in the pitch. It is that whole “show don’t tell” thing again.

  6. Maria Marshall says:

    Ciara, I am a maybe as well. I do love anything with a dragon and “stuffies.” But I agree with Matthew that personalization of the MC & the dog would help. In addition, it might be nice to offer a taste of “her resourcefulness and imagination.” You’re telling me she is using these things, not showing me how she does it. One idea: “Name” tries bribery (treats), stealth, and ____ [whatever unique specifics are in the story] to retreive her dragon.

    I am curious how “the toy [got to &] is held captive by the dreaded clothes line,” And I do like the ending “these two will have to work together [or join forces?/team up?] to save their beloved dragon.” I agree that the story has potential, but just a little more specifics to THIS story (versus all other stories of resourceful kids using imagination), would tip me over to a definite yes. Good luck!

    • Ciara O'Neal says:

      Thank you! That is super helpful. And I love the “join forces” because in the book the MC and her dog have need of their superhero capes!

      • Maria Marshall says:

        I am so glad I could help. I really wish it was an exact science sometimes, but as each book, author, agent, & editor (not to mention reader) are different . . . Best of luck with this MS.

  7. Katie Williams says:

    Yes, I would read this : ) I love the title and the pitch flows nicely. A couple of parts stuck out at me though–when you say “using her resourcefulness and imagination, she tries to thwart the theft” I think you could go into more detail about HOW she uses her imagination/resourcefulness to do so. I’m also wondering if it shouldn’t be “thwart the thief” (instead of theft)? And I’m a little confused as to who is rescuing the dragon with her? Is it the dog? It’s a bit unclear since he’s the one who stole it in the first place. Maybe just clarify that part a bit : )

    I also think that your age range, 4-12, is a bit broad for a picture book. If you’re submitting it, I would probably state that it’s for readers ages 4-8. Most kids older than that are moving on to chapter books. Great job, it sounds super cute!

  8. ingridboydston says:

    I may be an easy audience but you had me at puns! If you could work a pun or two into the pitch it would be even more fun! The “best frenemy” line is great but I have to tell you many of my students don’t know what a clothesline is! Not sure if its necessary, perhaps you make it clear in the story, but in this age of dryers its something to consider. I hope this is helpful. Thanks for sharing!

  9. Kari Gonzalez says:

    I am a yes, Ciara. I like the creativity you have shown in the pitch and I am intrigued by how they will resolve their predicament. I would love for you to provide a bit more detail on their trials and triumphs along the way. Good luck on your story!

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