Tra la! It’s Would You Read It Wednesday!
Which prompts me to ponder the following:
Pithy Polly penned a pack of perfect pitches,
A pack of perfect pitches Pithy Polly penned;
If Pithy Polly penned a pack of perfect pitches,
Where’s the pack of perfect pitches Pithy Polly penned?
Now say that 5 times fast 😊
Now say it 5 times fast with your mouth full of Something Chocolate (and try not to spit crumbs all over your keyboard 😊)
Hershey’s Chocolate Cheesecake Cake
All I have to say to that chocolate cake is YUM! Come to Mama! 😊
And the answer to where Pithy Polly’s pack of perfect pitches got to is, of course, right here, where a peck of practiced pitchers can always be found!
Let’s have a look at today’s pitch which comes to us from Melisa who says, “By day, I work in the corporate world, but at night and on weekends I wrangle words into stories. Writing has always been an interest of mine, and over the past couple years I’ve decided to give it the time it deserves. This story started as a seedling during Storystorm 2021 and I’m glad that it actually blossomed into something rather than dying on the vine. I’m definitely a better writer than a gardener. Thank you for your help with my pitch.”
Find her on the web at Melisa Wrex (Twitter @mowrex)
Here is her pitch:
Working Title: Hibernation Exasperation
Age/Genre: Picture Book (ages 4-7)
The Pitch: We all have that one neighbor…Groundhog just wants to hibernate, but tiny miscommunications keep Beaver SMACK WHACK WHACKing at the door—offering ingredients for…soup?! Groundhog has to figure out a way to get the message across before Beaver whittles hibernation season down to a mere nap. Back matter, colorfully narrated by Beaver, includes fun facts about groundhogs and the uniquely U.S. holiday—Groundhog 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 Melisa 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 January, 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!
Melisa is looking forward to your thoughts on her pitch! I am looking forward to the upcoming Halloweensie Contest, only 16 days away! In case you missed this year’s contest guideline, they are posted HERE. I hope you’ll all come join the fun!
Have a wonderful Wednesday everyone!!! 😊
43 thoughts on “Would You Read It Wednesday #397 – Hibernation Exasperation (PB)”
This is a cute story idea, so yes I would want to read it. However, is the story about a bad neighbor or is it about a friend who is annoying- I think the latter is more child relatable. What are some of the “tries” for groundhog…does he try putting a pillow over his head, plugging his ears, playing music… details please! I think you can tighten up the beginning .. “Ground hog just wants to hibernate, but Beaver keeps SMACK, WHACK WHACKING at the door (love the sound words!). If Groundhog doesn’t convince his friend it’s time to hibernate, winter may just be a short nap”
I like the back matter idea- maybe include it with other info In another paragraph about how the story was generated or your interests that led you to write the story. Goo luck!
Thank you so much for your detailed help! Groundhog goes back to sleep after getting woken up each time, but I could hint at the things GH does to try to get Beaver to stop coming over without giving too much away. Only at the end does GH make an apparatus to dull the noise.
Beaver and GH are new neighbors, haven’t even had the chance to get to know each other yet. Now isn’t the time for GH, but Beaver doesn’t get it until the end.
Again, thank you!
Thank you so much for your very helpful comments for Melisa, Mary! So thoughtful.
Sorry- Good luck!
I can’t think of ground hogs without thinking of Bill Murray. 🤣 We don’t have groundhogs in Australia and don’t have a lot of animals that hibernate so I find the idea of this story quite appealing. Like groundhog, I certainly wouldn’t like my hibernation to turn into a nap. I’m curious to know how groundhog convinces beaver that he needs to sleep. Yes, I’d read it.
I did some research to see where groundhogs lived before choosing my characters and found that they don’t live around the world. Heck, they’re quite limited! So I thought other places might be interested in learning a little about them. Thank you for letting me know! 🤗
Yes, we would be. 🙂
Haha, Norah! Bill Murray does come to mind! 😊 As (for me) does Punxsutawney Phyllis 😊 Thanks so much for your thoughts for Melisa!
My pleasure, Susanna. I didn’t know Punxsutawney Phyllis, but I do now. I just listened to it on YouTube. What a lovely story. Congratulations!
Lots of curricular connecting points – hibernation, social pragmatics, problem solving, and of course Ground Hog Day.
So true on all counts, Katie! It has a lot of potential to connect to curriculum and engage readers. Thanks for chiming in for Melisa!
…in addition to the back matter, of course. The voice seems likely to be engaging, too.
Thank you, Katie, for taking the time to write about the things that appeal to you. If this book baby gets published, I hope teachers will use it on GH Day and beyond.
Susanna, Thank you for the morning giggle with my coffee!
I’m a maybe. The story sounds fun but the pitch is too long. It’s hard to leave out that little bit of info that’s close to your heart! Aim to snag an agents’ curiosity, nothing more.
Try removing the back matter. It’s great stuff but too much info in a pitch.
Like ‘Writer on the Run’, it’s unclear to me who the MC is. Her pitch sounds great. The only thing I would add is something to indicate that this story relates to Groundhog Day.
BTW, We celebrate Groundhog Day here in Canada too 🙂
Thank you, Patti! I’ll have to brush up on my GH Day info! I appreciate it! Perhaps uniquely North American holiday instead. 👍
I’m glad you got a giggle, Patti! (Maybe some glow-in-the-dark goosebumps with your goodies, too? 😊) Thanks so much for your helpful thoughts for Melisa!
Yes, I would read that. The voice is adorable, and I love the topic, onomatopoeia, and back matter. I love that this book could be used as a curriculum tie-in. When new ideas can be introduced in a fun way in the classroom, that’s a huge bonus! The one line that doesn’t seem to fit for me is “We all have that one neighbor….” – it doesn’t move the plot forward, nor does it seem like a kid-like thought. If you remove, it leaves room to add Comp X Comp if you plan to post your pitch online at a pitch party or the like!
You’re spot on with some others here, I’m guessing that line will have to go! Snip snip! LOL! And you’re right, it leaves room for comps in a Twitter pitch too. Bonus!
Thanks a bunch!
Thanks so much for your enthusiasm for Melisa, Christine, as well as your excellent points!
This sounds delightfully entertaining. I can see the hilarious illustrations!
Looking forward to reading it:)
Thanks so much for your positive response for Melisa! I’m sure she’ll be thrilled to know you like her pitch!
I appreciate your kind words. My heart is warm and fuzzy. 🤗🤗
Melisa, I would read this, but I agree to delete the back matter from the pitch and instead place it in a separate paragraph of the query letter. I love your inclusion of sound words, and your vocabulary gives me a wonderful sense of the two characters. If soup is only one of the interruptions, though, I’d mention a few others and hint at Groundhog’s attempts to keep Beaver at bay. I hope this helps as you revise the pitch.
Hi! The various miscommunications lead Beaver to believe GH is making soup, so Beaver’s interruptions are all related to that. But I could hint at what GH does to keep Beaver away without giving too much away.
Thanks so much for your helpful advice for Melisa, Patricia!
This sounds like a fun story. I would definitely read it. I agree with Writer on the Run that you could start with “Groundhog wants to hibernate but…” I’m confused by “tiny miscommunications?” And if Beaver is offering ingredients rather than asking for ingredients, does that mean they had agreed to make soup together? Is that what the miscommunication is about? If so, you may want to make that clear. I think agents/editors will appreciate that there is back matter and information about Groundhog Day. Good Luck!
Hi Judy! The tiny miscommunications are the backbone of the story, so I don’t want to give too much away in the pitch. But, for example, Groundhog needs peace and Beaver mishears it as peas, and then Beaver assumes GH is making soup. It spirals from there.
Thanks so much for your thought-provoking questions to help clarify the pitch, Judy!
Yes, I would read this! I might consider taking out that very first line in the pitch about “we all have that one neighbor” (probably not necessary to the pitch/story). But, other than that, this sounds like a delightful, fun story!! 🙂
Thanks so much for sharing your thoughts with Melisa, Jessica! Very helpful!
Yeah, Jessica, I think it’s getting scrapped LOL…thanks for weighing in. I appreciate your time so much!
Yes, I’d read this story! It sounds hilarious and I love the unique subject matter. Any child who has annoying siblings or has to share a bedroom will relate to the groundhog’s desperation for some peace and quiet. I agree with the other comments that you could cut out the first line and also the last bit about backmatter. Or change it to “uniquely North American holiday.” if you decide to keep it in. It would be nice to see some comp titles as well. Good luck!
Kim, you’re a GEM! Thank you for taking the time to comment. I appreciate you so much!
OH yes! Groundhog vs beaver – I love it! If this is a picture book you might need a few shorter words in the text if not in the pitch – not sure “hibernation exasperation” would fly off the shelves (I misspelled both words typing it!). You might check the reading level of the pitch – just so editors can read easily. Back matter sounds super. I hope it is fun read aloud for the librarians out there!
Greetings Robin! Titles are the bane of my existence. I will definitely take a look at options here. Thank you.
Definitely would read! Love your use of “whittles” here, and the idea of having Beaver narrate the back matter! I don’t think you need “offering ingredients for…soup”; to me, the mention of soup lowers the stakes and energy of the pitch. You could change “just wants” to something like “needs.” And maybe “spiraling miscommunications” instead of tiny?
Thanks Marjory! I will (chicken) noodle on all of these thoughts. I really appreciate the time you took to consider the pitch!
I would read your book, Melisa! I love that your writer’s voice comes across clearly and effectively and draws the potential reader in. I would want to learn more about what happens.
I agree with the other suggestions to leave out the first sentence and leave out the back matter reference.
Perhaps adding that snippet about peace and peas would help us better understand the dilemma.
(Susanna – you make me laugh each time your post about Read it Wednesday! And I am game about the Halloweensie Contest. This will be my second after Valentiny. )
After these comments, I’m definitely leaning towards hinting at the type of miscommunications they encounter. Thank you for letting me know it would help strengthen it for you.
Beavers are like that sometimes. Always making soup….? Wait. What? Mom and I would definitely read this one. We ALL have one of those neighbors. Is that the only bothersome thing the Beaver does? Some neighbors have a whole bunch of stuff that cuts into our alone time. We agree with the previous commenters. The back matter is where you want to cut if you want to tighten the pitch. Good luck!
Love and licks,
You’re one smart Cupcake! Thank you for taking time out of your busy napping and licking schedule to help me out!
Love this pitch! The onomatopoeia is great. I do agree with the comments to leave out the line about we all have that neighbor, although it is fitting!!! Backmatter is a plus, especially narrated by Beaver! Good Luck! 🙂
I appreciate it Susan. I think the adults definitely get the neighbor line but it’s got to go. That seems to be the major consensus. And so it goes!