Would You Read It Wednesday # 350 – Hotdogs Don’t Camp (PB)

Hey there, peeps!

I saw this on FB yesterday, and I think I’m going to adopt it as my permanent motto 🙂


Think how cheerful we’ll all feel! 🙂

And to make us even cheerfuller (which should be a word because it’s fun to say) how about Something Chocolate?

I was instantly sold on this recipe because it was advertised thusly:

“If you haven’t made brownies in your waffle iron, you haven’t truly lived yet.”

Whoever wrote that, has the same appreciation I do for all things chocolate!

How is possible that I have never made brownies in my waffle iron?!

This is a situation which must be rectified immediately!

So let’s make breakfast, shall we?

Waffle Iron Brownies


Recipe HERE at Delish


I always say, “Chocolate!  It’s what’s for breakfast!”. . . and today it really is! 🙂

Now then, onto today’s pitch which comes to us from Sarah who you know very well by now! 😊  Sarah says, “I am an Optometrist, mother, and lover of the outdoors. I live in NH with my husband and two children. I love to paint in my free time, when I’m not writing.”

Find her on the web at www.sarahheturadny.com

Here is her pitch:

Working Title: Hotdogs Don’t Camp

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

The Pitch: Hotdogs, humans, and bears—oh my! All on one campsite? There is bound to be some in-tents conflict. Three stories in one—with the primary story about hotdogs trying the impossible:  to camp like the humans do—explode off the page in this illustrator-heavy manuscript.

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 March, 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!

Sarah is looking forward to your thoughts on her pitch!  I am looking forward to Leap Day!  What could be better than a day devoted to leaping?


Have a wonderful Wednesday everyone!!! 🙂


22 thoughts on “Would You Read It Wednesday # 350 – Hotdogs Don’t Camp (PB)

  1. lilyerlic says:

    Hi Sarah,
    Yes I would read it.
    I think your pitch is good but it needs clarifying. Please expand on what the conflict is specifically. What is the main characters name? Maybe an example of what the hotdogs do to camp like humans?
    All the best,
    Lily Erlic
    Children’s Author

  2. Judy Sobanski says:

    Hi Sarah,
    Your story sounds like it’s full of humor and fun! I love the word-play in your pitch. I would definitely read it but I would like to know a little more about what obstacle(s) the hot dogs have trying to camp, especially if those obstacles involve any of the other characters you mentioned. Best of luck!

  3. Katie Engen says:

    The title is quirky-catchy. The promise of puns and a tri-tiered story line intrigue me, but I don’t get a clear sense of anything that’s happening except hot dog camping foibles. Are there issues/problems beyond what one assumes could be obvious (i.e. who is eating whom?). Also, does ‘illustrator-heavy manuscript’ mean the plot turns on the art (not just or instead of text)? If so, please clarify the phrase (right now it suggests a lot of pictures in, um…a picture book and/or possibly that the illustrator is a bulky weight lifter). Is the tone akin to ‘Everybody Loves Bacon?’ or is it less ‘subtly snarky’ than that?

  4. matthewlasley says:

    I love the concept and your play on words. There are a couple of things that pull me out, so I would be a maybe. I am going to tackle this in parts:

    Hotdogs, humans, and bears—oh my! All on one campsite? Great opening. You use a common phrase to demonstrate the fun of the story. You even use a question, which I’m not a fan of in queries, but this one works. It is rhetorical and establishes the setting and the plot. The only foible here is the word “on”. Living spaces are defined as “in” so it should say “in one campsite?”

    There is bound to be some in-tents conflict. Three stories in one—with the primary story about hotdogs trying the impossible: to camp like the humans do.
    This part of the pitch drew me out. Is it three separate stories, like three mini short stories? Do they all happen at once or separately in the book?
    In my opinion, the sentence about three stories in one should be eliminated. Most stories have more than one thing happening and you already get a sense that there are three elements to the story from your opening line. If you want to emphasize that the hotdogs are characters, not food (please say that last part as Bruce from Finding Nemo), then that may need to be the emphasis of the pitch.

    —explode off the page in this illustrator-heavy manuscript.
    Are you the illustrator? If not, you have no idea what the illustrations will be, you have your vision which may not be the vision of the publisher. As a writer, if you want to show this is an “illustration” heavy manuscript, the more appropriate phrase is “illustration driven manuscript”.
    Some agents and editors won’t read a manuscript that is heavy with illustration notes. Most every one I have talked to say they will skip them all together when reading because they want to know if the words hold up on their own.
    However, some are visions and can only be expressed through illustration, so putting a phrase like “illustration driven” can help them understand.

    I know I wrote a lot. I think this story is intriguing and your voice comes through nicely. I hope you find a home for it and I hope what I have written will help you do that.

    • Sarah Hetu-Radny says:

      Matthew, I can always count on you for great advice! I thank you for breaking your points down for me. I will definitely consider all of them in my rewrite of the pitch. Yeah, I know I go against the ‘rules’ to not have a ms heavy in illustrations… but… you never know…I do feel strongly there is a place for this story somewhere! 🙂

  5. marty says:

    Hi Sarah,
    I would definitely read this.
    Agree with many of the other comments above.
    My suggestions for condensing and clarifying:
    Hotdogs, humans, and bears – oh my! All in the same campsite? There’s bound to be some in-tents conflict as the hotdogs try to camp like humans do, by (here, give us an example or two to make us curious).
    I would cut ‘the illustration heavy manuscript’ portion completely.
    If you are an illustrator, you’ll be submitting a dummy most likely and otherwise, it’s not your decision. Make us want to READ your story 🙂
    Hope this helps. Best of luck.

  6. rosecappelli says:

    Hi Sarah-
    Yes, I would read this. I love the first lines of your pitch with the nod to The Wizard of Oz and the promise of word play. But then things got a little confusing. When you say there are three stories in one, does that mean three separate stories? Are they linked? I had to check to make sure this wasn’t a chapter book you were pitching. I would like a few more examples of the events. I also agree that you should consider taking out the line about it being illustration heavy. Don’t think that is something that would make an agent or editor want to read on, unless you are also the illustrator.

  7. Janet Smart says:

    Hi Sarah. I agree with most of the other commenters. I love the first sentences, But I think I would take out the part about it being 3 stories in one and the part about the illustrations (the publisher might think you’re telling them what to do) Maybe say something like – see the hilarious results as the hot dogs try to _______, _______, and _______on their camping trip. The unique story line sounds like it will be a fun book to read. Good luck and congratulations.

  8. palpbkids says:

    Hi, Sarah,

    What a fun set of stories! Who wouldn’t love tales about hotdogs, humans and bears around a campsite!?! Here’s my two cents worth. Please take it for whatever you find helpful.

    First, The ‘oh my!’ has been overdone. And, doesn’t capture the voice of your stories. I think of already written books and do not focus on yours.

    Secondly, There’s a lot of telling in this pitch. What’s missing, in my opinion, is the excitement of the storyline. It needs the descriptive energy that I’m sure is found in your writing.

    Thirdly, here’s my shot-in-the-dark at writing this pitch, which is just an outline since I do not know the entire plot:

    If bears, humans and hotdogs in one campsite doesn’t strike up trouble, hotdogs deciding to go camping will. When hotdogs set out to try to do the impossible, watch the wacky confusion begin! HOTDOGS DON’T CAMP is a illustrator-heavy manuscript with three stories in one.

    I’m sure you’ll nail this!!

    Cheers, PALPBKIDS

    • Sarah Hetu-Radny says:

      Palpbkids – Great advice! Thank you so much for taking a stab at it! I will contemplate and incorporate! I hope you stop by to vote later on!!! ~Sarah

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