Would You Read It #332 – The Fishing Cat Who Found Her Home (PB) PLUS The June Pitch Pick!

Hello my friends who I’m down to seeing once a week these days!

I hope everyone who celebrates had a fabulous Fourth!

I spent a good portion of mine hiding in the basement behind the drum set comforting my trembling dog!  Poor Jemmie.  She does not like fireworks or thunder one single eensy weensie teeny tiny little itty bitty bit!

Scouty, meanwhile, lay flat out and snoring without a care in the world – completely oblivious!  If only she could explain to Jemmie that this too shall pass and there’s no need to fret!

But until that day, all moments of terror require crouching in the corner behind the drum set.  So comfortable. 😊

Speaking of drums, let’s get to the June Pitch Pick!

(How’s that for a non sequitur? 😊)

Our June pitchers took your helpful advice to heart and set about revising their pitches for your vote. Please read through them, choose your favorite, and vote for it in the poll below by Sunday July 14 at 9 PM Eastern.  The winning pitch will be sent to editor Erin Molta for her comments!!! 😊

Here are the pitches:

#1 – Deborah – Farmer Jo and the Chicken Coop Calamity (PB 4-8)

Henrietta, Goldie, and Pearl are three chickens with grand ideas. After convincing Farmer Jo to build improvements on their hen house, word spreads and many new chickens come to the farm to roost. But the weight of the situation proves to much to bear and the results are shattering as the hen house splinters apart.

#2 – Diana – Wrong Way, Ray (PB 4-8)

Ray’s poor sense of direction heads the flock of geese off in the wrong direction each time it’s his turn to lead them south for the winter. The gaggle are ready to give him the boot. When a raptor attacks the gaggle, Ray flies into action to save his feathered friends.

#3 – Ana – Bella The Best Quits Again (PB 4-8)

Bella, a Latina girl as sassy as Junie B. Jones, quits everything she (barely) tries because she’s not the best at it: her backflips look like giraffes rolling downhill & her dulce de leche frosting: crocodile skin. Bella must learn it’s ok to try again or she won’t be good @ anything. For kids who enjoy  The Girl Who Never Made Mistakes.

#4 – Christina – Aurora Takes The Lead (formerly Mommy Is Not A Morning Person) (PB 4-8)

AURORA TAKES THE LEAD is a role-reversing romp about how to be a leader, when you’re the smallest one in the house. Spunky Aurora flies out of bed, bent on getting her family up and out the door on time. It’s field trip day, and like it or not, those sea lions wait for nobody. But there are road blocks along the way. Baby Olive won’t stop bawling. Big brother AJ refuses to brush his own teeth. And Mommy has one hand stuck on the snooze button. It’s up to Aurora to pull on the parenting pants (just for fun!) in the ultimate battle to the school bus.



And now I think we all deserve Something Chocolate! (Don’t we always? 😊)

How about some No Bake Chocolate Ricotta Cake (because it’s summer and while we all want to eat chocolate no one wants to overheat their kitchen with baking!)

Chocolate Ricotta Cake

Now then, onto today’s pitch which comes to us from Nadishka.  Nadishka Aloysius is a teacher, actor, author, blogger and mother of two boys. All her books are intimately related to life-experiences, and although they are all based in her home country of Sri Lanka they are generic enough for an international audience.

Nadishka loves reading crime fiction and fantasy and this is reflected in her writing. She conducts creative writing workshops and school visits to share her love of literature. As an actor, she prefers to play the antagonist since it allows her to explore the darker sides of human nature.

Find her on the web at

Here is her pitch:

Working Title: The Fishing Cat Who Found Her Home

Age/Genre: Picture Book (ages 2-7)

The Pitch: Fiona is a fishing cat. She doesn’t realize how special she is until she survives a terrifying journey. Abandoned by her human family, she escapes predators and finds her way to a Wetland Sanctuary. This is the first in a new series aimed at educating children about endangered species in Sri Lanka. I have already partnered with the Urban Fishing Cat Conservation Project and I have some fun facts and an educational element to the book. The story also teaches youngsters to persevere when times are hard.

(Nadishka mentioned she’s still deciding on the cat’s name.)

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 Nadishka 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 September, 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!

Nadishka is looking forward to your thoughts on her pitch!  I am looking forward to continuing all the fun with MOON’S FIRST FRIENDS!  I am doing a countdown to the 50th Anniversary of the Moon Landing on FB, Instagram (and twitter sometimes although twitter just baffles me), so there are lots of recipes, fun facts, activities, and even a giveaway or two! Come join the fun!

Have a wonderful Wednesday everyone!!! 😊


13 thoughts on “Would You Read It #332 – The Fishing Cat Who Found Her Home (PB) PLUS The June Pitch Pick!

  1. Sandra Sutter says:

    Hi Nadishka! I would love reading about a Fishing Cat – that alone is intriguing. And I personally enjoy informational fiction where young readers get both a story and facts worth knowing to help someone or something in specific ways. For the pitch, I would suggest moving the sentence about realizing how special she is until after she is abandoned and goes on a journey. Perhaps also add a few clues about what dangers or obstacles she must overcome to find her sanctuary. Best of luck!

  2. Katie Engen says:

    The premise is unique and your connection with the Conservation project should add meaningful insights/background to the story. The pitch switches from plot summary to author blurb and back to plot/theme summary, so maybe a bit of re-ordering is worth a try. I’d like a few more details about Fiona’s obstacles and something about her personality or skills that hints at possible solutions. I do like the name Fiona. I’m not sure the title indicates a return to or recovery from adventure; as written it sounds more like she’s never had a home.

  3. ptnozell says:

    Congratulations to the June pitchers – I remembered most of these & noticed some awesome changes. So hard to choose just one pitch!

    Nadishka, this sounds like a fascinating story, and I like that you focus on the obstacles faced by one fishing cat to explore the problems faced by many. Unless you are pitching specifically to a publisher in Sri Lanka who, presumably, would know what a fishing cat is, I’d start off by defining the term & explain why these cats have that name. Do they swim & fish that way? Do they live on boats & help fishermen (and perhaps women)? Are they a unique subspecies of cat? And why are they special – an economic, cultural or religious reason, perhaps?

    I hope this helps as you revise the pitch.

  4. https://katiewalsh.blog/ says:

    Hi Nadishka! What a unique sounding story that I’d love to read more about. One thing that really stuck out to me what the first sentence in the pitch about a terrible journey. To hook the reader, share a quick bit what this terrible journey entailed. Did Fiona nearly get eaten? Did Fiona flounder in shallow water? Your background information that you share is very interesting and I think would be great in your query after your short pitch. Thanks for sharing and best of luck to you!

  5. katherineadlam says:

    I read everything about cats but I’m not familiar with fishing cats. Is there going to be backstory included in addendums or as part of the story? I lost interest when it seemed to be part of the story.

  6. authorlaurablog says:

    First of all, these June pitches are all familiar and yet quite improved! Good work to all 4 of you! Not giving away my vote, there was one I liked before, but now I LOVE it more than I can say!
    I’m a bit confused by today’s pitch. What is a fishing cat? Aren’t most cats fish lovers? I love your connection with Sri Lanka and the conservation project. I’m a maybe because I have too many questions at this point.
    Susanna, I’m doing a blog countdown to 7/20/19 50th Apollo anniversary and realized you are doing an Instagram one too! Great minds think alike! I think Aliana would love your book. 🌙📚💜

  7. matthewlasley says:

    Good morning. While I find the concept of the story interesting, I am not sure what this story is about, so I am going to be a no.
    I have read about fishing cats before and being a wildcat, I am concerned about the human family. Are they abandoning her or returning her to the wild?
    You say she is special. What makes her special? Her journey and survival? Isn’t that what her breed survives every day?
    And how does she find the Wetland Sanctuary? Was it by accident? Did she get help?

    This questions do not lead me down a path, instead, I do not feel empathetic towards Fiona. I am being “told” a lot through narration, but I want to hear Fiona’s voice. Because of this, I am a no.

    Also, I would get rid of the whole ending about why you wrote the story. I know it can feel part of the pitch, but a pitch is why I would want to read the story, not why you wrote it. It also creates some issues.
    A) An editor is looking for a story. If I am going to give out contracts, they are for a story, not a series. I have no idea how you write and how well this story will sell. If I am questioning, a series at this point would make me lean to the no because it is too big of a risk.
    B) Most of this material is not covered in the pitch (or pitch section of a query) but in other parts of the query/querying process.
    C) The last line makes your story seem didactic. I understand that you are looking at an educational market place and lessons/lesson plans can be addressed at a later date. If you feel compelled to keep it in your query, move it from “The story” to “I want to.”

    I wish you the best of luck and hope that you can refine your craft. There are many great blogs, webinars and books on how to do so. There are also many great writing groups and programs that can help you refine and learn. Thank you for being brave enough to step out and share.

  8. asiqueira1307 says:

    I also love books that can be fun and inform, since I’m a teacher. I would like to know more about what Fiona goes through and how she perseveres. Maybe tighten up the material about the nf part and letting us know a little more about Fiona’s journey. Good luck.

  9. Judy Sobanski (@jkspburg) says:

    Nadishka, your story sounds very intriguing! I don’t know what a “fishing cat” is so I think it would help if you could explain that. Can you, perhaps, draw the reader in with something like:
    Fiona is a fishing cat who likes to (explanation of fishing cat). When a fishing adventure turns into a terrifying journey, Fiona finds herself abandoned by her human family. All alone, she must make her way to a Wetland Sanctuary battling predators along the way and discovering that ____________________. (tell us what Fiona discovers about herself and her ability to survive.)
    Hope this helps. Best of luck!

  10. Katie Williams says:

    I’m a no at this point, but could easily be turned into a yes with more details provided. I agree with all the others–definitely explain what a ‘fishing cat’ is and why that makes her special (if indeed, that is the reason she’s special). Why did the family abandon her? What’s at stake and why does she end up at a Wetland Sanctuary? Does she find her owners after that, or does she stay there forever? If so, why? I would omit everything below “wetland sanctuary”. That information is for the bio and synopsis, not for the pitch (which should draw the reader in and give a brief hook as to what the book is about). The topic sounds fascinating though and I would definitely read this if more information was provided.

  11. Christina Julian (@christin_julian) says:

    This has the makings of a fascinating story. The first couple sentences reminded me instantly of the film Homeward Bound the Incredible Journey. Have you seen it? That premise of a pet getting separated from its people. As I continued on with the pitch I wasn’t sure if Fiona was a true “pet” or something more or less. I think some of the other suggestions about defining what a fishing cat is would likely help with that disconnect. I also enjoy the backstory but agree it should be separated from the pitch and likely most appropriate for the bio. I also wanted to know what happens to her once she is at the wetland sanctuary. I feel like that sentence left me hanging. I was waiting for the “then what.” I get the sense that your story straddles fiction and non-fiction, which offers great potential! Thanks for sharing!

  12. Corine Timmer says:

    Based on your pitch, I am a maybe. I would like to learn more about where we are and the problems Fiona needs to overcome to reach her goal (resolution). Perhaps you can keep the fact that she can fish as a surprise until the end? This means you could leave it out of the title too. You could start with something like this: When Fiona the cat is abandoned (where?) by her human family she feels lost. It takes an encounter with . . . and a ……. among others, to awaken her instincts which eventually lead her to a Wetland Sanctuary. Not an easy place for a cat to catch her meal, or so she thought. These are just suggestions 🙂I like the idea of back matter but that part of your pitch could be shorter. I haven’t read the previous comments. Good luck!

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