Would You Read It Wednesday – Straight From The Editor!

Seems like it’s been awhile since we had any Straight From The Editor feedback, so today we’re going to rectify that!

Don’t laugh. I know how far behind these are. Apparently editor Erin Molta has been as busy as I have, and between us she didn’t get to these and I didn’t remind her, so here we are learning from February, March, and May of 2021. (Not sure what happened to April – hoping that comes through soon!)

ANYway, we now have an opportunity to learn, so get ready to take notes! 😊

The winner of the February 2021 Pitch Pick was Robin, with this pitch:

But When She Opens the Door… (PB 4-8)

On an Irish March day, Katie O’Shea and her feline assistant, Shamrock, are surprised by the fickle weather shifting dramatically each time she opens the door. In rollicking read aloud rhyme, Katie keeps changing clothes until a look at the calendar reveals the perfect outfit!

Erin’s comments are as follows:

This sounds so cute and I think it has potential but…rollicking read-aloud rhyme aside—will there be some weather facts in said rhyme or is it just a cute paean to unpredictable March—it comes in like a lion and leaves like a lamb type of thing? If it’s got a little weather information in it, I think you may want to state that a tad more clearly or if it’s a book about St. Patrick’s Day you need state that more clearly, too. Different editors will be interested in different aspects and you want to clue them in right up front. No need to keep them guessing.

The winner of the March 2021 Pitch Pick was Diana with:

Wait For Cate (PB 5-8)

Cate promised her team she’d finally be on time for the championship kickball game. But when she encounters the new girl in her class, stuck in the sand on the playground in her wheelchair, she has to make a BIG decision. Should she help or hurry on by? The clock’s ticking.

Erin’s comments are as follows:

I love the premise of this story but I think the pitch might be helped with a tad more “showing” not telling. And maybe an example of why Cate is always late—does she get distracted helping others a lot—whether it be people, animals insects… And I don’t think you need to ask the question of whether she should help or not. THAT can be implied.

Perhaps something more like: Cate is late for everything! She always has a really good reason but when her kickball team plays the championship game she promises she won’t let them down. What’s she supposed to do when the new girl in school’s wheelchair is stuck in sand in the playground?

The winner of the May Pitch Pick was Patricia with:

TY’S TREASURES (PB 4-7)

A crystal.  A marble.  A feather.  Ty growing collection of treasures is causing problems for his family.  But  where can he stash them?   Not in the toybox. Not in the closet. Not in the bed.  Mom wants them outside. In his search for a worthy spot, Ty observes birds, squirrels, even his dog hanging on to their treasures.  But a visit with his grandma helps Ty discover the difference between a treasure and a memor,y and that there is a place for both.

Erin had this to say:

I like the premise of this story but it seems so quiet and honestly if the poor boy can’t keep a box of treasures (a crystal, marble and a feather are very small, easily stored objects. If you want to make the point that he’s got a lot –rather than saying it’s causing problems for his family — say what is exactly. Is he collecting tires or does he have 4000 marbles and 250 feathers? Is he spreading them all across the dining room table? Or in his mother’s flour canister? Dad’s medicine cabinet? Go big so you can get the point across in a fun way—to grab an editor’s attention and then you can end with how his grandmother helps him tell the difference between a treasure and a memory.

As always, I find Erin’s thoughts so enlightening and so helpful! I hope they are useful to all of you, too!

Due to all the recent upheaval, the upcoming Would You Read It calendar is wide open. If you’d like to share a pitch here for feedback from our wonderful readers between now and June and the chance to get your pitch in front of Erin, please email me! I’d be happy to fill the calendar. Hopefully next week we’re going to catch up and do some voting on who the winners should be for the fall 2021 pitches and then we’ll be sitting pretty 😊

Have a wonderful Wednesday! Happy writing! 😊

11 thoughts on “Would You Read It Wednesday – Straight From The Editor!

  1. readmybook2002 says:

    I always like to hear a take from an editor on what works or doesn’t for them. We are all in the same boat of queries, loglines etc. Does it work? and Did I write it well enough to pique the interest of an agent ? These are all common questions writers have. Thank you for providing a glimpse and a great learning experience.

  2. robincurrie1 says:

    Wow – I reenergized to work the St Patty’s pitch and try again! I look forward to Wednesday and pitch day – thanks for keeping it up! Hope things are looking sunnier now!

  3. Judy Sobanski says:

    Erin’s comments are always so insightful. Thank you Susanna and Erin for helping us writers craft the best pitches to spark interest in our work!

  4. Lauri Meyers says:

    The thread I see in Erin’s comments is how important specificity is in pitches. It never occurred to me that one element of a pitch (weather facts vs St Patricks Day vs April Fools) might be the one that hooks an agent.

  5. Sue Heavenrich says:

    these are great comments from editors. So glad you shared them today. They help not just in writing pitches, but also in thinking about the story itself.

  6. Hannah Roy LaGrone says:

    This is so helpful to read. I really like that there was feedback of how the pitch could be better. And especially that it still ended with a question. I guess the form matters less than the specifics of the pitch and story.

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