Would You Read It Wednesday #360 – Priya Paints Backwards (PB) PLUS Straight From The Editor x3

Welcome to Would You Read It Wednesday!

So exciting!  We get to start today’s post with Straight From The Editor x3 – words of wisdom from editor Erin Molta about the November/December, January/Early February, and Late February/March winning pitches!!!

The winner of the November/December Pitch Pick was Megan with her PB pitch for Wired To Worry.  Her pitch was as follows:

Wired To Worry (PB 4-8)

Bot arrives on the doorstep in a smiling box, ready to lead a perfectly programmed life.  Except he’s not perfect.  Bot has an extra worry port and everything from dripping water to malfunctioning lasers threatens to overload his system.  But when disaster strikes, Bot just might find that being wired to worry isn’t a fatal error after all.

Here are Erin’s thoughts:

This is cute. I would suggest minor changes to make it less passive. See what I’ve done below.

Bot arrives on the doorstep in a smiling box, ready to lead a perfectly programmed life.  Except he’s not perfect.  Bot has an extra worry port and everything from dripping water to malfunctioning lasers overloads his system.  But when disaster strikes, Bot discovers that being wired to worry isn’t a fatal error after all.

The winner of the January/Early February Pitch Pick was Paul with his PB pitch for All Over THe. World.  His pitch was as follows:

All Over The World (PB 4-8)
In a whirlwind tour of the world, from the Outback to Peru to Israel and Cameroon, ALL OVER THE WORLD (249 words, ages 6-8) reminds us that rain falls. The sun shines. Plants grow. Birds fly. Children read and laugh and play and write. Parents kiss their children and tuck them into bed at night. And all of us, regardless of age or gender, irrespective of orientation or creed, no matter our continent or city or home, share the same struggles and triumphs, fears and dreams, joys and laughter and hopes. All over the world.

Here are Erin’s thoughts:

While I am sure this is a heartwarming book, it’s coming across as a textbook. You are telling us what it’s about, rather than showing us. I suggest choosing two scenes that show children doing different things to accomplish the same thing—like going to bed, for instance. Something more like: A child in Swaziland  exercises before bed and his mama gives him a kiss before his head hits the pillow, while a child in Indiana, USA, reads a story before she gets a hug from her grandma before bed (and then you can add)) Regardless of age or gender, no matter our continent, all of us share the same fears and dreams, joys and sadness, laughter and hopes—all over the world.

The winner of the Late February/March Pitch Pick was Shae with her PB pitch for Skritch, Scratch Snuffle.  Her pitch was as follows:

Skritch, Scratch, Snuffle (PB 3-8)

Waffles, an anxious wombat, has trouble keeping her fears to a manageable size. She hears a noise and imagines a “what-if” monster which grows as her imagination runs wild. She’s certain she’s going to be eaten, until her echidna friend, Chicken, appears at her door and together they find the true source of the noise and overcome the monster by talking about Waffles feelings.

Here are Erin’s thoughts:

Love the title of this picture book! But your pitch seems too staid and over written. Short and to the point is always the best choice. You might consider something more like this: Waffles, an anxious wombat, is worried. She hears a noise and her imagination runs wild. She’s certain she’s going to be eaten, until her echidna friend, Chicken, appears and together they overcome the “monster” by talking about Waffles feelings.

I hope you all find Erin’s expert comments as helpful as I do!  She is so generous about sharing her expertise so that we can learn and improve!

All that learning has put me in the mood for Something Chocolate! How about you? Seems like a perfect day for cookie baking, and these Dark Chocolate Brown Sugar Cookies have the perfect chewy texture on the inside with just a bit of crisp on the outside!

Dark Chocolate Brown Sugar Cookie

dark chocolate brown sugar cookie

Recipe HERE at Call Me PMC

Yum! So chocolate-y and delicious!  Grab a cup of coffee or tea, or a glass of milk, dunk, and enjoy! 😊

Now then, onto today’s pitch which comes to us from Jenny Prevost.  Jenny is an aspiring picture book author and french fry aficionado who also loves coffee, her small southern town, and going on adventures with her hilariously loud family. (3 kids, 2 pets, 1 husband and a partridge in a pear tree. Kidding, no pear trees… only citrus ones.) She interviews authors and shares writerly musings at www.jennyprevost.com and ‘mom stuff’ over on  www.thelafayettemom.com.

Here is her pitch:

Working Title: Priya Paints Backwards

Age/Genre: Picture Book (ages 4-8)

The Pitch: Priya thinks blank pages are scary and art class is hard; harder for her than everyone else, at least.  When you add in other opinions and constant comparisons, she’s sure she’ll never make a masterpiece.  Then one day, she turns it all around, and finally finds her way.

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 Jenny 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 – like, ALL of them! – so you could get your pitch up next week for helpful feedback and a chance to have it read and commented on by editor Erin Molta!

Jenny is looking forward to your thoughts on her pitch!  I am looking forward to getting a few pitches from all of you for the May line up!

Have a wonderful Wednesday everyone!!! 😊

 

26 thoughts on “Would You Read It Wednesday #360 – Priya Paints Backwards (PB) PLUS Straight From The Editor x3

  1. Deborah Foster says:

    Thank you, Erin, for the wonderful pitch writing tips!

    Yes, I would read this! But I would want to know a bit more (just a hint) about what she does to turn things around. Also, why is it harder for her than everyone else? Is she left-handed and everyone else is right? Is she just terrified of others’ opinions? Does she just not feel like she can create things?
    I’m definitely curious about what happens to Priya!

  2. sjwmeade says:

    Thanks for this post, Susanna! I enjoyed reading Erin’s comments on the other pitches. YES, I’d read Priya Paints Backwards. The last sentence of the pitch could be improved though. I did wonder if the backwards part of the title would be mentioned in the pitch. I like the alliterative parts of the pitch (constant comparisons, make a masterpiece). Good luck!

  3. Erik says:

    I might read it, I think the premise has potential… as a southpaw I’m wondering if Priya is just left-handed, and really hoping that’s not the source of her “problem”. I’d like to see at least a hint as to the root of the problem in the pitch; and, assuming she tries different things to make it better before “turning it all around”, then maybe show a couple of them so we can see her being proactive. Good luck!

    • Jennifer G Prevost says:

      Noooo definitely not because she’s left handed, it’s more about creative anxiety. As a kid I decided I “wasn’t creative” and that became such a stumbling block for me. Thanks for your suggestions, super helpful!

  4. Katie Engen says:

    Appealing premise and tone. I’m wondering if reader connection to ‘scary blank pages’ is as strong is it may be to ‘I’m bad at art,’ a very common kid-plaint (adults, too). Why is it so much harder for Priya (extenuating circumstances or just her perception)? The start can be more succinct e.g. “Priya knew was bad at art and could never make a masterpiece. Everyone said so.” Then I’d like an example of the feedback – who comments? what kind of comparisons? The final line suggests Priya takes useful action – can you add a few details?

  5. rosecappelli says:

    While this story has potential, right now I’m a maybe. I think it is very relatable to kids who often feel they are bad at something. Like others, I was craving a few more details. Why is art hard for her? What are some of the comparisons she must deal with? Can you hint at what she does to turn things around? With just a few more details, I would definitely be a YES.

  6. Genevieve Petrillo says:

    Like the comments above, I would love to know more. Where does the backward part come in? I would definitely read this because I am intrigued by that. I just want a hint of what helps her overcome her failure mindset Good luck.

  7. Judy Sobanski says:

    Erin’s comments on the pitches are so helpful to read!

    Jenny – Your story sounds interesting. Like the other commenters, I’d like a few more details. Why is a blank page harder for Priya than anyone else? What is her “Aha” moment? What turns it around for her? Does she do it completely on her own? Or was a teacher or another student involved? Most importantly, what’s at stake if she doesn’t create something on the blank page? Does she fail the class? Does she not have anything to enter in the art show?

    Perhaps using a When…but when format might help. When Priya sees a blank page in art class she is scared. Comparing herself to others and listening to their opinions only makes it worse. She need to create a masterpiece for…(what’s at stake) But when she… (discovery moment here) she realizes….(takeaway).

    Hope this helps. Best of luck!!

  8. ptnozell says:

    Loved reading Erin’s comments – so instructive!

    I agree with the other comments, Jenny, and I especially like Judy’s suggestion of using the “when…but when” format. I love Priya’s name – one I haven’t heard before. Are there some cultural factors that play a role here? I also was intrigued at the thought of painting backwards, as some writing is read from right to left or veritcally, as opposed to the left to right progression so many of us take for granted. If there are some cultural factors at play, I’d make that more explicit, as I think an agent or editor will be intrigued.

    Hope this helps!

  9. matthewlasley says:

    As it is pitched, I am a no. I think it has potential for a story, but I am creating it in my head as I don’t really know what your story is about. All I really get is that Priya is having a hard time in art.

    I work with first graders and it breaks my heart when a kid says they aren’t any good at something, especially when it is something creative.

    I want to hear that kids voice in your pitch. Don’t simply tell me she struggles in art, why does she struggle. Does she like art, but finds it hard. Does she not like art and that makes it hard? Why is she a perfectionist? Is she lazy? Does she have a disability? Is it learning or physical? Why does she need to do well in art? Is it important to her? Why?

    I also find the last line to be a bit of a throw away. I feel the wording may have something to do with the plot, but I am not certain.

    The premise of this story has merit and I want to hear you character tell me why I should read her story.

  10. Sierra Wilson (@SierraTWilson) says:

    Thanks for sharing your pitch! I’d put myself at a “maybe”–I like the idea of art class/the fear of the blank page/facing comparisons and criticisms but I’d love at least a little hint at how she’s going to overcome this challenge–right now the solution sounds pretty vague and general so it’s not quite pulling me in.

  11. ingridboydston says:

    I enjoy the premise a lot! And I’m curious as to how she paints backwards. Does she just begin painting and then see “what it is” as opposed to trying to paint something in particular? So I’m a yes. I do think you’ve recieved some helpful feedback from others on how to make the pitche even better, but you included enough to intrigue me.
    Susanna- you are killing me! I get hungry every time I read your post…but I don’t really mind! 🙂

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