Would You Read It Wednesday #334 – The Airport Goat (PB) PLUS The July Pitch Winner!!!

Cheerio, friends!

(Somehow that reminds me of the episode of I Love Lucy when Lucy writes a play and then there’s confusion amongst the actors about whether they’re performing with a Cuban accent or a British one and they keep saying “Pip! Pip! Cheerio, wot?” 🙂 )

lucy writes a play

(And since Lucy wrote a play, that is a writing reference and therefore appropriate for inclusion here… 🙂 )

But ANYway… 🙂

After a month off, it’s time to get back to everybody’s favorite past-time: Would You Read It Wednesday! (Which. I’ll have you know,  is a legitimate educational writing feature and not just a thinly veiled excuse to eat chocolate 🙂 )

First, I’m thrilled to announce that the winner of the July Pitch Pick was Nancy with her PB pitch for Cupid’s Tango!  Congratulations on a fabulous pitch and a terrific story idea, Nancy!  Your pitch has been sent to editor Erin Molta for her comments and I’m sure she’ll get back to us at her earliest convenience. Then we can have a Straight From The Editor party with Erin’s thoughts from the June and July pitches!

Congratulations also to the other pitchers from July who did a great job writing and revising their pitches as well!  It takes a lot of courage and dedication to your craft to put a pitch up for everyone to read and comment on, but it’s invaluable because we all get to learn from the experience and hopefully the pitchers end up with something stronger than they started with!

I think all your awesomeness calls for a little Something Chocolate, don’t you?

Let’s hang onto summer a little longer with some S’mores Fudge Bars!

S’mores Fudge Bars


Don’t those just make you think of summer sing-alongs beside the campfire with the starry heavens up above?

“The other day
The other day
“I met a bear
I met a bear
A great big bear
A great big bear
Away up there
Away up there
The other day I met a bear….
A great big bear away up there!”

Come on, everybody!  “He looked at me…” 🙂

Okay!  Enough campfire singing 🙂  Onto today’s pitch which comes to us from Erin who says, “I am a book writer, avid reader, twin mama, and cf fighter. I have called WI, MN, MS, NYC and now San Diego CA home.”

Find her on the web at:

Twitter: @erin_buhr


Here is her pitch:

Working Title: The Airport Goat

Age/Genre: Picture Book (ages 3-8)

The Pitch: On the airport lawn, a herd of goats munches grass day after day, but one goat is not content. One morning, tired of his repetitive diet, this goat takes off to investigate new culinary options. He will have to search high and low and avoid airport security, but surely somewhere there are more delectable things to eat.

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 Erin 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 actually still openings in September, so you could get your pitch up very soon! for helpful feedback and a chance to have it read and commented on by editor Erin Molta!

Erin is looking forward to your thoughts on her pitch!  I am looking forward to the return of Perfect Picture Books on Friday (good lord willin’ and the creek don’t rise! – my best intentions last week were derailed!) because I have a fun book to share! But you’ll just have to wait and see what it is!  (How’s that for a cliffhanger ending! 🙂 )

Have a wonderful Wednesday everyone!!! 🙂


54 thoughts on “Would You Read It Wednesday #334 – The Airport Goat (PB) PLUS The July Pitch Winner!!!

  1. Lynne Marie says:

    I would definitely read this because I do like goats. But I do think, perhaps the pitch can be tweaked to be made a little more kid friendly. Consider involving planes and such more so that it will have that hook. It can be tightened and made a bit more snappier. The beginning sounds a little ordinary (becoming tired of his life), and then wanting a culinary change (although I really like it), may not appeal to kids as much as desired. But if you say the same thing in a more fun way, it can work. Perhaps be a little more specific, rather than general, but don’t give the ending away. Hope this helps. Lynne Marie http://www.literallylynnemarie.com

  2. Katie Engen says:

    Yep! Love the gentle absurdity of goat + airport. Envisioning a baggage conveyor belt fiasco in there somewhere… I would like to know if there’s a bigger issue at hand beyond MC goat’s culinary curiosity (e.g. will he solve something for the herd? improve airport food?). Also, I’m assuming a ‘hilarity ensues’ kind of tone, but the pitch could use a phrase or two to indicate if this is your intent.

  3. ptnozell says:

    Welcome back, Susanna, and thank you for prolonging that summer-time feeling with s’mores & a campfire sing-along.

    Erin, I would read this story – it sounds hilarious. I agree with the others, though, that it would strengthen the pitch if you add more hints of the humor here. Also, I’m presuming that “one goat” is the main character & most likely has a name. I think it would help build empathy for him if he’s named in the pitch. I hope this helps.

  4. Karen Condit says:

    YES, I would read this! I’m thinking I’ll be laughing throughout since goats will eat, at least munch on, just about anything! And an airport…how crazy is that! There’s plenty of absurdity to draw me in! I agree with the comments from Lynn and Katie—a little more spunk and what’s at stake would help bring the tone and major conflict of the story to the forefront. The pitch is clear, yet a little flat. Could you include the goat’s name in the pitch? Sometimes that helps flesh out the character right from the start, especially if the name gives us a peek into his personality. Good luck! (I love goats!)

  5. Nancy Riley says:

    Wow! Thank you Susanna and everyone! I can hardly believe that my pitch won! I’m so excited to hear what Erin Molta has to say.

    As for your pitch, Erin, I would read it. Love goats doing goat things. I’d like to know the goat’s name. Children get tired of the same, boring food, so you might want to talk about the goat’s dislike of grass in kid terms and hint at more delicious treats. Like Lynn said above, the airplane angle would grab a child’s attention. A little tightening and word choices will make this one a winner! Good luck!

  6. Kim Larson says:

    Yes, I love goat stories. And this hints at a hilarious adventure. I agree with the other comments. Here’s just an added suggestion, maybe include more of the mayhem he creates, like you did with getting past security–without giving away the ending.

  7. authorlaurablog says:

    I love serendipity and on Monday night I was walking with a friend in her neighborhood and she told me a few summers ago the city had goats brought in to eat the grass around the small lake we walked around. They would move the fencing when an area was taken care of and they made it a petting zoo on certain days.
    So now, reading this pitch, I’m assuming it’s based on a real airport and I like imagining all the mayhem that could happen with a goat inside an airport which great. I think the first sentence of your pitch is fine but I would go from there to having your MC either by accident or curiosity end up inside the terminal and give a few specifics of the things they see and do.
    Yes, I’d read this book and the visual opportunities make for a fun picture book.

    • Erin Buhr (@erin_buhr) says:

      Oh I love that! What a fun coincidence. It is indeed based on a real airport – the O’Hare Airport – although there are several in the US that have used goats and other grass chewing creatures to “mow” the lawn. Thanks for the feedback – I getting a general sense that I need to include more of the story in the pitch. I’m going to work on that. Thank you! And thank you for sharing your fun story as well.

  8. Angie says:

    I would definitely read this one! For one, anytime there is undergrowth or a messy field and it needs to be cleaned up, I always say, “They should just get some goats.” For two, I love the premise! Sounds very funny and entertaining! I would add a few tantalizing tidbits of the things the explorer goat is trying, just to amp the lure. Great job!

  9. Marcia Z. Parks says:

    Yes, I would read it. The scenes I envision of the goat’s search are potentially hilarious. The pitch needs to be tightened up a bit and maybe hint at the humor. I am not sure about including the planes…

    On the airport lawn, a herd of goats munches grass day after day, but one goat is not content. Tired of grass, grass, grass, he sets out to investigate delicious smells wafting from the nearby building and some odd, silvery birds. Cleverly avoiding airport security, he begins his search, trotting from one escapade to another.

  10. Katie Williams says:

    Yes, I would definitely read this, although I do think it could have a few more details to really make it pop and sparkle! A few teasers as to the kinds of adventures he gets into, a couple of words describing his personality (a mischievous goat, a curious goat, a picky goat), and few hints of humor would make this a top notch pitch!

  11. Sarah Tobias says:

    WOW! You have such great feedback. I don’t need to add anything to what has been said other than, Yes, this sounds like loads of fun and will be even better with a few added details and hints.

    Two things popped into my head, With the popularity of Goat Yoga, this is a great theme. Parents will buy in.

    This summer, I went to Summerfield Zoo out in Belvidere, IL. Just an hour trek west of O’Hare Airport. They have lots of goats and you can feed the babies. It is insane and funny and a little nerve wracking. I’m not sure who had more fun, the kids, the adults, or the goats.

    I can just imagine what your goat will be up to. Can’t wait to see your tweaks to this pitch.

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

    “He looked at me!
    He looked at me.
    I looked at him!
    I looked at him.
    He sized up me.
    he sized up me.
    I sized up him.
    I sized up him.
    He looked at me, I looked at him! He sized up me, I sized up him!

    Thanks for stretching summer out with a campfire song, Susanna! And that dessert looks scrumptious!! Perhaps I’ll make it for upcoming trip. 🙂

    Erin, YES! I would read your story. I love goats and their antics. With all the suggestions above, I can only suggest you include some of the same language you use in the book without giving too much away. Also, as far as naming the goat, why not a name that is associated with an airport or airplane? Blade? Landin? Have fun naming him using airport talk!

    Bet wishes with your manuscript! 🙂

  13. Karen Gebbia says:

    Super cute! I would definitely read this, and I agree that the already enticing pitch could be tighter. Perhaps start right off with this intriguing character. . . “Fredrick [or Billy whatever name] the goat munched weeds in the same field, by the same airport, with the same goats, day after day until he had had quite enough.. . . ” Maybe not exactly those words, but get us hooked right away on this one MC. Also, I would consider putting the goat in a field (which gives an opportunity for imaginative illustration of that type of ecosystem, and is what I tend to envision around airports) or something rather than a lawn (which sounds so manicured) unless the boring lawn was important to the story; similarly weeds rather than grass, again unless the boring grass was important to the story. Best wishes getting it in print!

  14. authoraileenstewart says:

    A goat at the airport, now that is what they call a hook. It seems you combined two well know things in an unusual way, so cudos to you. The pitch could use some polishing, however. I would like to see an action verb in the first sentence instead of the passive is not. Perhaps a rearrangement would be beneficial. And the culinary bit seems to be a little advanced for 3 to 5 portion of your age range.

    *Day after day, a herd of goats munches grass on the airport lawn. But one goat, tired of his repetitive diet, leads airport security on a merry chase as he searches for more delectable things to eat. (Now add some of the unusual circumstances he finds himself in and end with the outcome.)

  15. Marcia Nass says:

    I’d love to read it with all the mayhem with your MC, the goat at the airport. I can imagine him eating the luggage or its content and all the craziness that you can throw in. I think kids will love this.

  16. matthewlasley says:

    The idea has potential, but for me, I would be a maybe at the best.

    The pitch is a bit dry and a lot of telling. It makes me wonder if the writing is as well. I can interject ideas that may make it funny or entertaining, but as a pitch, that is lost.
    I want to feel for this goat! Why should I care? Why does he care? He is a goat and will eat just about anything!

    I want to hear your voice as a writer. I want to feel for the goat.

    You have potential here and I hope you can help me want to read more of it.

    • Susanna Leonard Hill says:

      Thank you so much for your input, Matthew. You make an interesting point that the voice in the pitch might make an editor wonder about the voice of the writing itself – something I should probably think about myself since I tend to look at pitches as a way of capturing the idea of the story to make sure I have a solid one and forget a bit about the voice 🙂

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