Would You Read It Wednesday #394 – Which Newbie You Be? (MG)

Hi Everyone!

It’s officially Autumn!

I don’t know about you, but I LOVE Autumn! The pleasant days and cool nights, the colorful trees and crunchy leaves, the tang of woodsmoke in the air, and the season for miniature candy bars 😊 What’s not to love? Although I have to say, I have NO idea how we got to September 22 so fast! Wasn’t it August like, yesterday?!

Whether or not yesterday was August, today is Would You Read It Wednesday and I’m so glad you’re here!

Let’s start of the fun by announcing the winner of Rebecca Mullin’s darling board book, ONE TOMATO! (You all remember Rebecca – she was on Tuesday Debut last week. That link will take you there if you want another look at her book 😊)

And… the lucky winner of ONE TOMATO is… Bru Benson!!!

Bru, please email me or use the contact page above to email me so I can get your snail mail address and send you your book! I know you’ll love it! 😊

Nothing like talking about garden vegetables and thinking about how Autumn brings miniature candy bars to make you want Something Chocolate, so how about a little indulgence? Today I’m thinking Tiger Butter, which is a creamy fudge-type candy/bark made from chocolate, white chocolate, and peanut butter. Yum! Sounds like breakfast to me! 😊

Tiger Butter

The recipe website says it makes a great holiday candy, but it looks to me like it would be delicious ANY day! 😊

Now then, onto today’s pitch which comes to us from Kelly who says, “I live in eastern Washington on the mighty Columbia River. I homeschooled my son and daughter, then finished my degree in Early Childhood Education. I worked with the Early Childhood Education Assistance Program before retiring and pursuing a career in children’s literature. I am a determined literacy activist who tutored ESL students in college. I was diagnosed with bipolar disorder in 2000 and am a passionate mental health and neurodivergent  advocate.”

Here is her pitch:

Working Title: Which Newbie You Be?

Age/Genre: MG

The Pitch: The author uses weather metaphors to tell the story of resilient teen with a “can-do” spirit juggling the secret of her bipolar disorder as a newbie, negotiating the stigma of mental illness, middle school friendships, another newbie and parental conflict, to show hope through a life-altering move to a small town. Someone with a broken leg or diabetes does not have a stigma attached to their illness, why should a person with a brain disorder?

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 Kelly 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 November, 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!

Kelly is looking forward to your thoughts on her pitch!  I am looking forward to trying out that Tiger Butter recipe which looks simple enough that even I might be able to pull it off. If I fail at the recipe, Tiger Butter sounds like a good title for a picture book, so it’s all good 😊

Have a wonderful Wednesday everyone!!! 😊

30 thoughts on “Would You Read It Wednesday #394 – Which Newbie You Be? (MG)

  1. beingmelissakay says:

    Overall I love the concept and feel strongly that there cannot be enough books on these kinds of topics. As a pitch I am not sure it is selling your story in the best possible way. Are the weather metaphors the most important thing about your story? If you jumped right in with ‘Resilient, can-do teen [NAME?] is not only new but also has to juggle the secret of…’ or something, it might feel stronger.

    Also the list of obstacles is awkward/confusing to read because of ‘another newbie’. It could simply change to [NAME], who is also new. But you could also restructure along the lines of: When [NAME] arrives and XYZ happens our MC [does what or feel what or wonders what?!]. I guess I am just talking about amping up clarity and power.

    Would I read it, though? Yes! 🙂 Hope this helps. Wishing you all the best with your story.

  2. Katie Engen says:

    This reads more like a rationale with a hint of ‘mission statement’ than a pitch. It’s good to know your motivations; they fuel a pitch that will attract readers seeking a good story (not a lecture-in-disguise). Start with a trait-laced intro sentence of the MC (include a name) then share the MC’s current main problem, story-centric details about what is preventing the resolution of said problem, and what’s at stake if problem remains unresolved. The ‘life altering move to a small town’ phrase has elements of the type of phrasing for a pitch (but tell why/how it’s altering this particular life). No need to use ‘the pitch’ at the start. Don’t worry about spoilers.

  3. ptnozell says:

    Susanna, that Tiger Butter sounds perfect for a holiday. So happy that First Day of Fall is now an official holiday!

    Kelly, I’m intrigued by your pitch, but I think you can strengthen it by giving a few examples to show how weather metaphors run through the story, by identifying the main character by name at the get-go (it will help readers empathize with her), by deleting the reference to the author at the beginning, and by ending with a declaratory sentence. I’d also give some hints to show readers why the move to a small town is life-altering (as a serial mover, I personally think all moves qualify as such; what makes THIS move particularly life-changing?).

    I think it’s so important for kids with bipolar disorder to see themselves in books, and for their peers to learn more about this disease. Bravo for tackling this subject!

  4. readmybook2002 says:

    Maybe I would read it as is. I WOULD READ it because of the idea/premise. The first line, “The author uses weather metaphors to tell the story of (a) resilient teen with a “can-do” spirit juggling the secret of her bipolar disorder as a newbie.” (make this just one sentence) This catches my attention about the story; secret disorder of a newbie and weather metaphors. The second line (which is part of the first line) is too much info all at once. It takes away the power of the first line (section). These are important points but need to be tightened. “With a life-altering move to a small town, (Character Name) negotiates the stigma of mental illness, middle school friendships, and parental conflict. Best of all (he/she) meets another newbie who may understand her dilemma. (If that is the case) I hope this helps. You have a great idea presented in a unique way. The pitch has to be tightened to reflect this.

  5. Robin Currie says:

    Maybe. I get the sense of a lot of interesting drama – the odds are against your protagonist! I just failed to connect with a story – and I bet it’s a good one. What actually happens? (No spoilers needed!) Which of the conflicts you describe is the life changing one for the protagonist – new friend? Maybe give us his/her name? Just a little more hook – this story is needed! Thanks for sharing.

  6. palpbkids says:

    This is such an important topic. A not-so-easy- subject. And sometimes very personal. Kudos to you for tackling it. Your message is clearly written. I very much like how you bring to the forefront that brain disorders should be no different than a physical disease/ailment. Now, the question you might ask yourself is, “How do I convey this to the agent/editor in a pitch (through a logline -think movie trailer) while showing the voice of the main character (MC)? Something that ‘shows’ what you have very well ‘told’ us in your words today. Are there one or two riveting/short/ to-the-point lines in your pages that show the MC’s voice and could stand alone in pitch? Perhaps an inner thought? An incident that left your MC almost mentally crippled/hurt. Then show us the MC’s can-do spirit/ her resilience instead of telling us. You sound dedicated to this story and to getting this message out. Many readers will thank you.

  7. Writer on the run says:

    I am a maybe- I think the topic is super important and there is a need in the market. However, the way the pitch is worded left me a little confused. I agree with the previous comments to name the protagonist, clarify the focus of the story (because there are a lot of layers mentioned), and use weather metaphors in your pitch… (e.g., When MC moves into a new town, she faces a stormy reception from her middle school peers.) Do you have a word bank of weather-related words? That might help!

  8. Sharon McCarthy says:

    I am a yes. I love the idea of this topic. It has a lot of layers that seem intriguing to me. I do agree with the comments above. The mention of weather threw me off a bit. I think you have a great IT factor. With a little more clarity in wording I am sure this book will find its place on the shelf.

  9. Jeannette Suhr says:

    I’d like to know more about the MC such as age and sex. Something more to engage me as a prospective reader. Also maybe a little more about why the bipolar disorder is a secret or kept secretive. And where the teen is moving from.

    Here’s a rewrite of the pitch that might provide some suggestions.
    Weather metaphors relate the story of a resilient teen with a “can-do” spirit. Follow her path as she juggles bipolar disorder, middle school friendships, parental conflicts and a life-altering move to a small town. Stigmas surrounding mental illness surface as the teen navigates her way towards success and self-appreciation.

    I would read this book. I would like to become more informed related to mental illness and stigmas surrounding it, along with middle-school friendships, parental conflicts and moving to a new city.

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