Would You Read It #333 – Well Spotted, Joey (Short Story) PLUS The June Pitch Winner!!!

Hello, Lovelies!

I hope you are all excited for the 50th Anniversary of the Moon Landing!

I know I am!

The whole idea of getting into a rocket and flying into space to walk on the moon is just so thrilling, don’t you think?

I have learned so many things about the Apollo 11 mission, not just from writing my book and sharing it with kids, but also from the newspaper this past week.

True or false?  Neil Armstrong, Michael Collins, and Buzz Aldrin all weighed 165 pounds and were all within an inch of 5′ 11″?

True or false? The astronauts ate Pop Tarts for their pre-lift-off breakfast?

True or false? A rocket weighs more than 6 times as much as a 747 Jumbo Jet and can travel 40 times as fast? 🚀✈️

True or false? Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin were saved by quick thinking and a pen?

True or false? One of the Apollo 11 astronauts was born on a popular holiday?

Maybe if I’m feeling very nice I’ll tell you the answers at the end 😊

Meanwhile, let’s talk about the winner of the June Pitch Pick.

In an (I think!) unprecedented moment in WYRI history, we actually had a tie!  It was one of the closest pitch picks ever, as all 4 pitches came within just a few points of each other, but I’m pleased to announce that the winners were Deborah (Farmer Jo And The Chicken Coop Calamity) and Ana (Bella The Best Quits Again).  Congratulations!  Fabulous pitches!  I will send them both to editor Erin Molta and prevail upon her extraordinary kindness to get her thoughts on both.

Congratulations also to Christina and Diana who also did a fantastic job and had very nearly as many votes as the two who won!  Tough competition this month!  But great job all around!!!

Truly, all that talk about rockets and ties has made me feel a tad faint.  I believe Something Chocolate is called for.  (Really, any excuse will do 😊)  Hmm… what should we have today?

Nothing says breakfast like marshmallow-filled chocolate cupcakes…! 😊

Marshmallow Filled Cupcakes


Recipe HERE at HugsAnd Cookies.com

As Cookie Monster would say, “Nom-nom-nom-nom-nom!”


Now then, onto today’s pitch which comes to us from Corine.  Corine Timmer is a self-published author, haiku poet, nature lover, and street dog advocate. She lives in the countryside in Portugal together with her adopted dogs and her beloved donkey, Lolita. When she is not writing, tending to her animals, or creating artwork, she enjoys nature walks, visiting art galleries, and eating with friends. She loves chocolate! You can visit her on her website www.bicadeideias.com ”

Here is her pitch:

Working Title: Well Spotted, Joey

Age/Genre: Short Story (ages 8-12) nonfiction

The Pitch: When Joey, who is nearsighted, forgets his glasses at the safari lodge, the morning game drive becomes increasingly frustrating. His family are spotting wildlife every five minutes and he cannot see farther than the bonnet of the jeep. Just when he is about to have a tantrum, a change of focus leads to a discovery that saves the day.

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 Corine 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, which at this point is not all that far away, but 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!

Corine is looking forward to your thoughts on her pitch!  I am looking forward to making you all go do some research to find out which of those questions were true and which were false!  Mwa ha ha! (how’s that for an evil laugh?! 😊)

Nah! I’m just kidding you!  They are all true except the pop tarts!  The astronauts actually had orange juice, steak and eggs, toast, and coffee for breakfast (surprisingly hearty, given they were about to get into a compartment about the size of a car and stay there for the better part of 8 days while traveling through space at 24,000 mph!). One little girl at an author visit I was on recently suggested the astronauts have ice cream sandwiches for breakfast, proving that I am not the only one who thinks ice cream for breakfast is a good idea! 😊 Oh, and if you’re wondering, Michael Collins was born on Halloween! 😊

Have a wonderful Wednesday everyone!!! 🙂


24 thoughts on “Would You Read It #333 – Well Spotted, Joey (Short Story) PLUS The June Pitch Winner!!!

  1. Katie Engen says:

    Yes. Efficient establishment of setting and problem. Nice marriage of a very practical issue in a rather exotic (well, to non-safari residents) setting. Hints of Brit (?) vs. standard American English add a little fun twist, too. The final ‘a discovery that saves the day’ is a bit too cliche. Without revealing all, I’d like something a bit more specific here.

  2. Angie says:

    Congratulations, pitch winners!

    Yes, I would definitely read this one. I’m hooked in and want to know how he saved the day! The premise is a good one. Everyone forgets their glasses at least once. Love the safari setting.

    • Corine Timmer says:

      Thanks for your enthusiasm, Angie. I’m glad you want to know more and I’ll try and add more information without giving it all away.

  3. Genevieve Petrillo says:

    Oh blerg! The Pop-Tart fact was the one I MOST wanted to be true. What a letdown. Plus, now I want a Pop-Tart… Ugh.

    Love the pitch, although I can’t imagine what Joey could spot inside the Jeep (?) at the safari park without his glasses. My only suggestion would be to give a hint at how Joey solves this situation. Is that just me being selfish and wanting answers? Maybe… Anyway, I love that this takes place at such a fun location. Great setting. Fun premise. Good luck.

  4. Gregory E Bray says:

    I would read this. We are planning on a safari trip next year, there’s a place here in Northern California. I would like a little more of a hint as to what discovery saves the day for Joey. Good luck!

    • Corine Timmer says:

      Thanks for your enthusiasm and your suggestion. I hope you will enjoy your safari trip next year in Northern California.

  5. matthewlasley says:

    I like the concept and I think that overall, the pitch is fun and makes me want to know more, so I am a yes.

    A few suggestions to tighten up the pitch:

    1. The first line is a bit long. Take out the first comma and make your sentence begin with “When nearsighted Joey forgets his glasses….”

    2. “His family are” is not proper grammar. His and family are both singular, so it should read “His family is”.

    3. “His family is spotting” is passive. I would change it to “Every five minutes his family points out another animal and he can’t see beyond the bonnet of the jeep.” (BTW, in the USA, not everyone knows what a “bonnet” is. I would not delete it as it adds voice, but be aware of it.)

    Making the second to last sentence more active helps the flow of the final sentence.

    Good job and good luck.

    • Corine Timmer says:

      Matthew, these are all great suggestions. Thanks! Of course ”his family are” is bad grammar (silly mistake).

  6. Buffy Silverman says:

    I would read it–I love the idea of a different ability (I assume to focus on something closer when others are looking beyond?) leads to a new discovery. If your audience is 8-12 I would find a different way to express his frustration than about to have a tantrum.

    And to celebrate the 50th of Apollo–I found Susanna’s Moon’s First Friends on the new book shelf of my (tiny) local library. Wow–what a perfect blend of fact and fiction. I’m going to study this one as a mentor text, and highly recommend it to other writers considering ways to incorporate fiction into a nonfiction driven idea.

  7. asiqueira1307 says:

    I also want to say thanks to all that voted for Bella pitch. I can’t wait to get some feedback from Erin Molta. And thanks for all the amazing suggestions that made my pitch stronger. Gracias.

  8. ptnozell says:

    Corine, I would read this, but I agree with the comment above about the tantrum seeming “young”, and the other comments about revealing a bit more about how Joey solves the problem.

    Susanna, you certainly shared a space challenge with us!

    Congratulations to the June pitch winners (I’ve had the pleasure of reading Deborah’s manuscript, and I can’t wait to see what Erin has to say about the pitch).

  9. Jilanne Hoffmann says:

    My son (who wrote a 25 page paper on the history of the U.S. Space program for his 8th grade history project) would know these answers. Me, not so much….

    Pitch: I’m going to be the odd person out, here. Although the setting is unusual, I don’t think I would read the story, based on what’s here. I don’t think “saves the day” shows what the theme of the story is supposed to be. What does Joey learn? Does he actively change the focus, and what does that mean? Does he learn something about changing the focus, whatever that means? A couple of minor points: I don’t think you need to say he’s near-sighted at all. Glasses are enough of a hint that he can’t see well, and we’ll get the nearsighted part from his troubles seeing what his family is seeing. I also agree about changing the word “tantrum” to something that doesn’t sound like a 2-year-old. Thanks for sharing your pitch with us! Good luck with it!

  10. Nancy Riley says:

    Hi Corine,
    I’m a yes, but agree with the other comments and suggestions above, especially making it more active voice rather than passive I can relate being very near-sighted! You might want to add a little more tension or suspense because I only hear his increasing frustration, not a situation where he must save the day. Good luck!

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