Would You Read It Wednesday #405 – The Paper Route (MG)

Hello, my friends!

Welcome to another exciting installment of Would You Read It Wednesday!

Let’s begin with a Fun Fact that might spark a story idea for you. . . so that you can have a turn on Would You Read It with a pitch for your brand new story sometime soon!

Did you know that porcupines can float? It’s true! North American porcupines are good swimmers and their hollow quills help them float. Also, just so you know in case you ever run into one, porcupines will stamp their feet and grunt a warning before they charge. You should probably mention that to your dog so they know when it’s time to beat a hasty retreat! 😊 I think it’s important that porcupines get some stories written about them that do not involve their prickliness. I think there’s an opportunity here for a superhero porcupine story, a quill-raising rescue involving AquaPorc. . . 😊

While we think about porcupine stories, let’s have Something Chocolate. It is scientifically proven the world over (okay, well, anecdotally-proven at Casa Hill) that chocolate promotes creativity, so let’s have some Cosmic Brownies!

Cosmic Brownies

Yum! Don’t you feel the explosion of creativity already, just from looking at that luscious, delightfully festive chocolate treat?! I knew you would! 😊

Now then, onto today’s pitch which comes to us from Jessica who says, “I usually write picture books, but I’ve recently delved into middle-grade territory as well. I’m looking for feedback on whether this pitch piques interest before I get too far into it. Thanks!”

Find her on the web at:
Twitter: https://twitter.com/JessHinrichs
Blog: https://jessicahinrichs.com/

Here is her pitch:

Working Title: The Paper Route

Age/Genre: MG Magical Realism (ages 10-14)

The Pitch: Grace takes over the neighborhood paper route, only to discover that the papers magically reveal her neighbors’ secrets and wishes. When Grace learns that she is able to grant these wishes, she desperately needs the advice of her trusted friend, Miss Maisy. But, Miss Maisy died two years ago. How could she possibly help? As Grace comes to grips with reality, will she be able to grant one last wish—her own—before it’s too late?

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 you answer is MAYBE or NO, please feel free to tell us what you think could be better in the spirit of helping Jessica 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 menu bar above. There are openings in February, so you could get your pitch up pretty soon for helpful feedback and a chance to have it read and commented on my editor Erin Molta!

Jessica is looking forward to your thoughts on her pitch! I am looking forward to Cosmic Brownies and The Adventures of AquaPorc 😊😊😊

Have a wonderful Wednesday everyone!!! 😊

13 thoughts on “Would You Read It Wednesday #405 – The Paper Route (MG)

  1. Nadine Poper says:

    Ooooohh…these brownies look amazing!!! Suzanne, as I am writing this, I can see a ‘Related” post right above this reply from 2018… my Porcupine story pitch! LOL!!!

    This pitch sounds intriguing Jessica. Yes, I would read it. Two things to perhaps tweak is 1) how does Grace learn she can grant these wishes? Give a hint as to what element Grace has to make this happen. And 2) comes to grip with what reality? I am assuming Miss Daisy’s death? But I would make this a bit more clear.
    Good luck! This will make a wonderful story!

  2. Karen Condit says:

    Yes, I would read it . . . and want Grace to deliver my paper! The pitch seems packed with mystery: How can Grace grant her neighbors’ wishes? How can Miss Maisy, who died, help? How can Grace grant her own wish? I’m left wondering what the main goal in this story is, or how these mysteries are intertwined. Keeping your main goal in mind will be key as you write. I think it’s a great story idea!! (And if Grace could add a sample of those cosmic brownies to the delivery…that would be perfect!)

  3. Judy Sobanski says:

    Susanna, those brownies must be cosmic because they look out of this world good!

    Jessica, I would definitely read this! The pitch combines some interesting mystery and magical elements. I was thrown a bit by the “comes to grip with reality” sentence. Can you be a little less abstract? I don’t know the story but maybe…When Grace realizes_________? If Miss Maisy is involved with helping Grace, is there a way to hint at that without giving too much away?(secretly hoping she is involved) 🙂 I am totally intrigued! Best of luck with this MG novel!

  4. robincurrie1 says:

    Maybe – I am sure my kids and grandkids have not had paper routes – or even know what it is. I love the premise of magic paper and wishes. Is there is some other way to “get the news”? Pursue the story and the details will sort themselves out. Best wishes.

  5. eleanorannpeterson says:

    Yes, I would read it. I also agree with Nadine’s suggestions. You hooked me with the first sentence but I believe you’re giving away too much information. My interpretation as a reader is that Grace unknowingly finds out she can grant wishes, feels confused and uncertain about what she’s doing, and would like to seek Miss Maisy’s help but she died two years ago. I wonder if Grace’s last wish is to speak with Miss Maisy? Hmm? Do we need to know about Miss Maisy? Does Grace get into trouble by granting wishes? Is this the reality you were talking about? I don’t know if this helps, but keep going. It will be a fantastic read.

  6. Rita Jimenez says:

    I think your pitch starts really strong, and I was totally in. Then I got a bit mired down in the subsequent details. Why did she need Miss Maisy’s advice (doesn’t she have anyone who is alive to help her out)? Why does she need advice, couldn’t she just jump down this magical path she’s been offered? Now she’s got a wish? It was just a lot of stuff coming at me in the pitch, whereas I was totally intrigued by the first sentence and the possibilities there. Also given the magical realism in that first sentence and the premise of the book, I think it’s best to let go of any “grip on reality.” Lean into the magic and the fantastic. Thanks for the brownies. I love chocolate! Best of luck on your writing journey….

  7. Steena Hernandez says:

    Hi Jess, and Susanna.
    Magical Realism is my favorite genre! I love the concept, and would absolutely read this. I wonder what Grace wants the most, and how old she is? Is being able to grant these wishes a burden, or is she eager to grant them? The part about Miss Maisy being able to help, but no longer living, isn’t completely clear. Maybe a little more info about Miss Maisy if she is going to be part of your pitch.
    Best of luck with your story! Sounds great!

  8. Helen Tanner (@readhelentanner) says:

    This sounds like a clever and engaging read. Lots to discover and explore in the story. I really like your opening line. When I get to the second line, I get a bit lost in why she needs Miss Maisy’s advice. Is there something that Grace lacks that Miss Maisy has (or had)? And it is a tad confusing she needs advice from someone who is not alive… unless that is part of the story – her magic allows her to talk to her? Overall, I am not sure I am clear what the story is about – it is that Grace can grant wishes? Is she running out of time with this ability? I think the elements are there but just need to tease out exactly what you are trying to get across. Grace sounds like a great character!

  9. palpbkids says:

    Every MG reader who loves magical realism will devour this story! Just tighten up the pitch for clarity. I wish I could help you with this, but I don’t know all the ins and outs to do so.
    This sounds like a terrific read! I’m in:)

  10. seschipper says:

    Yes I would make and devour these brownies oops! 🙂 I mean yes I would read this ! I was totally captivated by the opening line. The following sentences may require a little tweaking to add clarity. Good luck! 🙂

  11. Sarah Meade says:

    Yes, I would read it! Love the creative premise. I’m intrigued by Grace’s situation and curious about the secrets and wishes of her neighbors– and her wish, as well as how Miss Maisy comes into play.

  12. Jamie Donahoe says:

    Yes! I love the idea of magic newspapers. I think the pitch could use a bit of tweaking; it’s got a strong start but then becomes a bit too caught up in detail, and ends with a question. I know people go back and forth on whether it’s positive or negative to have a question in the pitch, but I think here it would be stronger to indicate Grace solves the problem with a little help from beyond, or some such.

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