Would You Read It Wednesday #315 – Charley Finds Her Family (PB)

Mornin’ Folks!

I am counting the minutes until Spring! (10,080!  Or if that sounds like too big a number we can count by hours – 168! or by days – 7! or by weeks – 1!!!)

I realize of course that up here on Blueberry Hill the Spring Equinox does not blossoms and bunnies and green grass make.

But Spring is a state of mind – a state we have official permission to be in in one week!

And I am READY!

So ready  that I’ve got the picnic packed with Something Chocolate!  How do you feel about Italian Chocolate Cake?

I confess, I feel quite good about it 🙂

Italian Chocolate Cake

Doesn’t that look scrumptious?  It’s part of a complete breakfast along with toast, juice, eggs, milk, fruit, and breakfast cereal! 🙂

Now that we are suitably fortified, onto today’s pitch which comes to us from Sarah who says, “After spending most of the past decade living in various parts of Europe with my husband, I’ve recently returned to the US. I currently run a freelance business providing editing and book design services to independent authors while continuing to work toward my own publishing dreams, which began with the paid publication of a short story online. I am an active member of SCBWI.”

Find her on the web at:

FB: https://www.facebook.com/SEHolroyd/
Website: https://sarah-holroyd.com

Here is her pitch:

Working Title: Charley Finds Her Family

Age/Genre: Picture Book (ages 3-7)

The Pitch: Charley Sock-kitty finds a sock with stripes like hers, and then another one. Her wise friend Patrick the Pony tells Charley socks always come in pairs—they’re twins. Charley wonders if she has a twin like the sock does. Her friends—Bubbles the Yarn-Kitty, Teddy the Bear, & Patrick—help her try to find her family. But Charley discovers she’s had one all along.

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 Sarah 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 May, 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!

Sarah is looking forward to your thoughts on her pitch!  I am looking forward to 🌼🌸🌹 SPRING!!! 🌷🌺🌼(although it is marginally possible I may have already mentioned that! 🙂 )

Have a wonderful Wednesday everyone!!! 🙂

 

17 thoughts on “Would You Read It Wednesday #315 – Charley Finds Her Family (PB)

  1. Wendy says:

    Spring is close here but snow still in the yard- hoping the warm temps take care of that soon!

    Sarah – Perhaps there’s a way to focus the pitch on what Sock Kitty wants more? The Why of the story. Why does Sock Kitty want to find her twin? Was she happy before that? And does twin= family? Do all her other friends have twins? (the alliterative names stopped me a bit-perhaps just Pony, Bubbles etc?)
    Good luck with your story!

    • Sarah Tobias says:

      I remember wondering if I had a twin when I was little so I like your story idea. From the pitch, I am on the fence about reading the story, there were several parts that were confusing. It sounds like you have gotten lots of great feedback to strengthen your pitch. I wonder is you say, Charley THE (not actually in caps) sock-kitty, would make the clear distinction that you are sharing the character name and the type of character. I agree that the list of all of the characters gets confusing. It might also be a put-off to agents and editors that you have defined exactly what each character should be unless your are the illustrator as well as the author. Leaving room for the illustrator to add their touch could potentially make an even stronger stuffed animal world. I would also like a peak at the journey to discovery without letting me know the ending so I can be surprised by the result.

  2. Patti Ranson (@pcakeran) says:

    Certainly got me curious but uncertain about the search goal. Perhaps too many character names to maintain clarity in the pitch. Some thoughts…

    If socks come in pairs then cats must too. A curious Charlie Sock-kitty sets out on a quest with friends to find his (birth family? I’m unsure about he is specifically searching for). [ add something about her attempts as suggested above ] Charlie discovers he’s had one all along.

  3. ptnozell says:

    Susanna, the Two Orange Pups and I are counting the daffodil stems peeking out among the snow piles here and feeling ever more hopeful that warmer temperatures and green grass can’t be far behind. We’ll try to send some north to Blueberry Hill.

    Sarah, this is such a sweet story. I had tears in my eyes, maybe because I’m an adoptee who always believed my twin was out there someplace. I agree with Wendy that the many names were a bit hard to follow, and I think I would change the emphasis, “Charley tries to find her family, with the help of…”, to make clear that Charley is the active seeker. I look forward to reading your story!

  4. Katie Engen says:

    The tone/energy seems well-geared for the intended audience. The pitch is a bit too much a list of characters and not quite enough presentation of the main problem. Friends being chosen family is a nice theme.

  5. heavenlyhashformoms says:

    I am considering “planting “ some silk flowers in our snow banks. I think that would be the only signs of spring we will have for quite some time!
    Pitch suggestions:
    -Cute characters and sweet premise
    -perhaps somehow clarify that the characters are all stuffed animal friends (I think it might just be me, but it took me a minute to figure out if Charley was a sock with a cat print, or a real cat who likes socks, or a stuffed animal)
    -perhaps introduce the obstacles in the way as he searches for his family, or the places he searches(?) to give us a little more idea of the plot
    -best of luck—it sounds so sweet!❤️

  6. Sarah Holroyd says:

    I see a theme in the comments. 🙂 I need to remove the descriptive parts of the character names (but make it clear that they’re all stuffed toys), and provide a bit more of Charley’s motivation in wanting to find her twin.

    Thanks everyone!

  7. Judy Sobanski says:

    That cake looks delicious, Susanna! Perfect for a Spring picnic!

    Sarah, I love the plot of your story. I can tell it has a lot of humor and heart. I agree with others that the listing of names sort of takes over the pitch. Maybe something like this would work:
    When Charley Sock-kitty learns that socks come in pairs, like twins; she wonders if she might have a twin? With the help of some friends, Charley makes a plan including ___________ (maybe give one example or hint at what she does) to find her twin. But in her search for her long-lost family, Charley discovers that she’s had one all along. (or, you don’t have to look the same to be family…or something like that.)
    Hope this helps, Sarah. Best of luck. I look forward to reading your story!!

  8. matthewlasley says:

    I think you have a strong story concept here with real marketing value. I am instantly drawn into the concept, but I am on the bubble between maybe and yes.

    I think the thing that holds me back the most is the names. Charley is necessary because it helps you understand the story, but no one else needs to be mentioned by name. I would go with “friends” and “stuffed friends”.

    Just like in a picture book, the issue needs to be revealed in the first couple of lines. Since a pitch is even shorter, it needs to be in the first line.
    When Charley Sock-kitty discovers socks come in pairs, she wonders if she has a twin somewhere in the world. With the help of her stuffed friends, she sets off to find her family, only to find out she had one all along.

    Your writing is strong and clean. Good luck with this book. I hope to see it on the shelf some day.

  9. Rene` Diane Aube ~ Children's Author says:

    YAY SPRING!! I’m so ready for it, too. And the Italian Chocolate Cake looks like an absolutely delightful way to usher in warmer weather, while staying healthy of course!

    Sarah, I like your concept, it’s really cute. I agree with those that commented regarding the list of names. I also like Matthew Lasley’s nice tight suggestion. The only thing I would add is this: I wonder what kind of word play you can include to amp up/reflect the adorableness of your story?

    Best wishes! I look forward to buying this some day 🙂

  10. bababloggayaga says:

    I agrees with yer other reviewers. They be always telling us to only use they main character name in pitches and summaries. So you could be talking about her friends the other sock-creatures. Also, you be telling us the ending, which not be good in a pitch. Mayhaps you could say she finds it but it’s not what she expects.

  11. Sarah Holroyd says:

    I’m trying to keep this to Twitter pitch length, and I also wanted to include some comp titles. So here’s a revised pitch, designed to fit a Twitter post:

    WHO’S IN MY FAMILY X OTTER
    When Charley Sock-kitty discovers socks come in pairs, she wonders if she has a twin. Her stuffed friends help her search for her #family. But she finds she had one all along. CHARLEY FINDS HER FAMILY helps kids understand mixed families #PitMad #PB

  12. jpuglow says:

    I’m late to the party, but not to first day of spring 2019. Thanks the stars for springtime!

    Yes! I would read it. Might I suggest, though, that the characters’ names be simplified?

    Sock Kitty sees other socks have matches, and wonders if she, too, is a twin. (But… Name the obstacles.) She embarks on a seek-and-find journey with her friends only to discover she didn’t need to go far.

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