Would You Read It Wednesday #311 – Hazel Lee Flew A Fighter Plane As Well As Any Man (PB) PLUS The October Pitch Pick!

Hey there, Peeps!

How are things in your reading, writing, teaching, library-ing, and parenting worlds today?

There is snow in my world, and it’s making me want to write a picture book about snow. The Snowy Day has been done 🙂  but there’s got to be another possibility!

snow scout

For any of you who didn’t notice the post I snuck in on Sunday evening, the guidelines for the 4th Annual Pretty Much World Famous Valentiny Contest have been posted!  And for those of you who did see it, the prize list has been updated! 🙂 So hop on over and check it out.

Then hop back here and make your choice in the October Pitch Pick!

Here are the revised pitches from our talented October participants.  Please read through them and choose the one you think is best and most deserving of a read and comments from editor Erin Molta, then vote for your pick in the poll below by Sunday February 3 at 5 PM (see? you’ll be done before the Super Bowl! 🙂 )

#1 – Katie – The Night There Was No Bedtime (PB ages 3-6)

Mischievous Bedtime decides sleeping is boring. When she and one playful little girl sneak outside for some starlit hide & seek, parents everywhere wonder if their children will ever sleep again—until Bedtime discovers the one thing that makes sleeping sound fun.

#2 – Ciara – Drop The Dragon (PB ages 4-12)

Dragon theft is a real problem for Lily.  Her best frenemy, the family dog, is a pilfering pup.  To thwart the theft of her toy dragon, Lily engineers towers, traps, and more. But when their toy disappears, these two must join forces to save their beloved dragon. 

#3 – Meghan – Weeping Willow (PB ages 4-10)

Todd is a young boy that faces an unexpected choice: one that could ruin or fulfill his new friend’s deepest dreams. She is a tree that yearns to be made into something magical, but the consequence might be too much for Todd to bear. Can he handle the pressure?

#4 – Sarah – The Punching Ballerina   (PB ages 4-8)

KC, a karate student, longs to take ballet lessons.  He weaves all things dance throughout his days, which encourages negative attention at school.  After several minor social losses, a group of kids confronts him on the playground.  He sticks up for himself peacefully, winning confidence, and gaining something else.

Thank you all in advance for your votes!  I think everyone has earned Something Chocolate! I’m on a Valentines theme apparently, started last week with the creme filled chocolate cake hearts, so let’s have heart-shaped butter cookies dipped in chocolate today!

Easy Cream Cheese Butter Valentines Cookies

That’s what I call breakfast/second-breakfast/elevenses/afternoon snack/dessert/bedtime snack/midnight snack! Perfect for dunking in coffee/hot chocolate/milk/maybe even tea 🙂

Now then, onto today’s pitch which comes to us from Fanny who says, “I’m a Chinese-American writer who used to design multicultural dolls and puppets for the early childhood education market. After my retirement, it’s natural I want to write for children.”

Find her on the web at www.fannywrites.com

Here is her pitch:

Working Title: Hazel Lee Flew A Fighter Plane As Well As Any Man

Age/Genre: Picture Book (ages 6-9)

The Pitch: A Chinese-American woman fighter pilot in WWII? No way! Women shouldn’t be flying alone, they are too nervous, too emotional. But Hazel Lee is not the stereotyped Chinese women!

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 Fanny 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 March, so you could get your pitch up pretty soon for helpful feedback and a chance to have it read and commented on by editor Erin Molta!

Fanny is looking forward to your thoughts on her pitch!  I am looking forward to writing my snow story!  I hope I get farther with it than I did with last week’s pie story! 🙂

Have a wonderful Wednesday everyone!!! 🙂

Oh, and P.S.  If I manage to scrape it together, I will post a Straight From The Editor post with the 6 I have hopefully on Saturday or Sunday!

Would You Read It Wednesday – A Plethora Of Pitch Picks!

Good Morning, Dear Friends!

Boy are you going to love today!

It’s all about sharing your opinions and letting your voice be heard!

Your vote matters!

Because today we have not one, not two, but THREE pitch picks for you to weigh in on!

(And in case you’re wondering, of course I planned this on purpose to be fun for you and give you a little lift in the dead of frigid winter, and three pitches in one day posted weeks after they should have been has nothing at ALL to do with being swamped with holding writing contests and meeting editorial deadlines and taking trips to Brazil and the holidays and visiting family and poor sick daughters who need company during Say Yes To The Dress marathons to recover from their terrible coughs!  No sirree Bob!  This was a matter of careful planning… 🙂 )

To fuel you for your voting marathon, here is Something Chocolate – and Something Perfect for these cold, cold January days!

The World’s Best Hot Chocolate!

hot choc

Recipe HERE at AshleeMarie

Ah!  Isn’t that delicious?  So hot and creamy and chocolatey?!  Feel free to add extra whipped cream (we all need calcium, right?! 🙂 )

Alrighty, then!  Let’s Pitch Pick!

Please read through the groups of pitches below and vote for your favorite in each month (there are 3 separate polls.)  Whichever of these wonderful pitches win will be sent to editor Erin Molta for her professional feedback!

Please place your votes by Sunday January 14 at 5PM EST.  Winners will be posted next week, good lord willin’ and the creek don’t rise! 🙂

September Pitch Pick:

#1 – Maureen – Kit, Not Kitty (PB ages 4-8)
For as long as Kit can remember remembering, she has felt more like fetching a ball and less like laying on a laptop. But how can she convince her family that it’s nothing to take puuuuurrsonally, it’s just that how she feels on the inside does not match how she looks on the outside.

#2 – Katie – Pirate For Hire (PB ages 4-8)
Patch loves being a pirate. The beards! The singing! The treasure! There’s only one problem…he gets seasick. When his shipmates begin poking fun at him, Patch looks for a new gig and a new crew who understand him, but where to work? Patch fumbles as a barber, flounders and a singer, and fails as a jeweler before finding a place perfect for a pirate.

#3 – Leonie – I’m Hungry Mummy (PB ages 2-6)
I’m hungry, but so is Mommy… She pretends to ‘eat you all up’, but there are some problems I make her overcome first!

October Pitch Pick:

#4 – Corine – The Puffin That Couldn’t Fly (PB ages 5-8)
When Paolo the penguin adopts a friendly puffin colony he doesn’t understand why he can´t fly like his friends—until he follows his gut into the deep sea where his flippers lead him to his family and true identity.

#5 – Kim – Belly Button Piranhas (PB ages 4-8)
Olivia is a gullible eight year old girl that must come to terms with her Dad’s explanation of the origin of the holes in her favorite shirt. With the help of her friends and her dog Rowdy, they will cure the infestation of the belly button piranhas.

#6 – Leonie – The Magician’s Apprentice (PB ages 4-8)
The boys are preparing for a show, but Sam keeps forgetting his costume! An outfit disappears and they need to find who stole it!

#7 – Laura – Gustavo’s Big Idea (PB ages 4-9)
Aliana’s little brother Gustavo wants to be in charge for the day. Knowing she’s really the boss, Aliana agrees to play along. Now Gustavo needs to come up with a BIG idea to impress his sister! As they head out to explore the woods near their Rocky Mountain home, Gustavo searches for inspiration, finding his idea in the clouds. The power of observation combined with imagination show both siblings new ways to take pride in their discoveries. Easy-to-follow hands on science project for home or school included.

November Pitch Pick:

#8 – Jennifer – Dewey Drops (PB ages 4-7)
Dewey wants the chance to make someone’s day, but that will never happen if keeps raining on playgrounds and parades. Plus, the next drop zone will be the worst one yet! There’s no way he’ll see a smile now, all he can do is hope not to land on the cake.

#9 – Candice – The Wildness In Mellie Feye (Upper Middle Grade Eco-Fairytale Retelling)
Mellie isn’t sure what her mom made her…half sea serpent? Peculiar mermaid? Water spirit? Or simple cursed?!

Fifteen-year-old Mellie wants to get back home to the magical isle of her two triplet sisters, but her mom’s curse keeps her away, stuck on a spit of land near Sand Blast Bay, FL. Apparently Mellie getting revenge on her dad wasn’t what her mom intended when she told the girls he was still alive. To break the curse, Mellie needs (what else?) true love’s kiss. She’d rather suck out scallop guts. Until her beloved bay turns septic and all the fish and oysters start dying off. It doesn’t look like she can return home to her sisters until she figures out how to restore the collapsing ecosystem. Her revenge is what caused it after all.

THE WILDNESS IN MELLIE FEYE is an upper middle grade fairytale retelling of the Melusine legend (the water spirit on your Starbuck’s cup) with an ecological twist.

#10 – Leonie – Sara Stole My Hiccups! (PB ages 4-8)
Tommy has a problem and Sara is here to help! Follow these two friends on their journey to solve Tommy’s problem – with a twist.

#11 – Candace – Cock-A-Doodle WHAT? (PB ages 2-4)
Clarence Rooster is pacing around the barnyard. He is the smallest rooster at the farm and tomorrow morning will be his first turn at waking up Farmer Judy. What if he’s not loud enough and she sleeps right through his crowing? He decides to hold a practice session behind the barn. Clarence invites his friends to come listen. Each one has a bit of advice for him. Now, he must figure out whose idea is the best.

Wow!  That was a lot of pitch picking!  I hope you had fun, and I hope you know how much I and the participating pitchers appreciate you taking the time to read and vote, and on regular WYRI Wednesdays give thoughtful feedback to help our pitchers improve and give all of us the chance to learn!

Now then.  One last thing before we all tootle off to our Wednesday appointed rounds.  I have realized that, due to the craziness that was October 1 – December 31, 2017, I failed to mention around the web that we need pitches for Would You Read It!  I actually currently have NONE!  So if you have a pitch that you need some help on and feel could benefit from the wisdom of your peers over here, please send it my way!  You could go as early as next week!  If no one sends any pitches, we’ll just have to eat chocolate and shoot the breeze (which wouldn’t be so bad – I love your company and I love chocolate 🙂 ) but really, we’re supposed to do something productive around here, so fire those pitches my way! 🙂

Have a wonderful Wednesday, everyone!  Read! Write! Eat chocolate! 🙂

Would You Read It Wednesday #234 – Armadillo’s Pillow Fight (PB) PLUS The October Pitch Pick!

Good Morning, Poppets!

I hope you all had wonderful Thanksgivings with plenty of pie! 🙂


Here’s the situation:

My internet, as you know, is feeble at best (forget dial-up – think internet delivered by carrier pigeon… 🙂 )  Stone Age internet speed is pretty much the only downside to living on Bueberry Hill.  But in the computer age it’s a real humdinger!  Ever since my email server updated itself (without my knowledge or consent!), I’ve been having extremely sporadic luck being able to access my email.  I can get email by going to the local library, which has awesome internet speed, but usually not at home.

For the past two days, however, my email has been showing signs of working better! (Miracle of miracles!)  And I allowed it to lull me into a false sense of security (because it was pouring rain and chilly and I didn’t want to go to the library!)  After all, it made sense that the kinks would eventually get worked out of this fancy new email update and it would function as it was meant to!  But… when the time came to put this post together…my sluggish internet and fancy updated email once again refused to speak to each other.  As a result, I was not able to access the emails with the updated versions of the pitches for today’s pitch pick!

So, I have two options.

Option 1: hope the internet is working at 5 AM and try to update this post before most of you have gotten to it.

Option 2: postpone the pitch pick another week.

One or the other will show up below… which will it be???  I guess we’ll just have to be surprised! 🙂

Looks like I have internet this morning!!!  We’ll see how long it lasts… 🙂

#1 Michele – When Sheep Fall Asleep – PB ages 3-6

All Sam wants to do is stay up late. His parents agree to a deal: If he gets into bed and counts sheep all the way up to ten, then he can stay up all night. But the sheep aren’t cooperating, and once the monkeys, elephants, chickens, and even hyenas start crowding in, it’s all Sam can do to keep his room from turning into a zoo!

#2 Greg – Pochon’s Monster – PB ages 4-10

Staring at a pile of single socks, Viola wonders if Pochon’s Monster is to blame. A sock stealing monster made of socks. Created by the inventor of the manual dryer to take revenge on owners of electric dryers, one sock at a time.

Viola stakes out the laundry room and catches the monster red-socked in the act of stealing a sock. With a loud pop and a bright flash the monster escapes. Viola tracks down the monster and with an act of kindness gets the monster to relinquish what it has stolen.

#3 Carolyn – Muggsy And His Go-Go Cart – PB ages 4-8

Muggsy Pawsborne is born without his hind legs. However, he and his family have never seen this as a disability. It has always been his Musggsability, which means he can do anything other dogs can do, just differently. When Muggsy starts at a new school, he encounters the typical group of mean kids. When the mean kids make fun of Muggsy’s wheelchair during recess, he is left feeling embarrassed and lonely. A friendly classmate encourages Muggsy to participate in the school’s Olympic Day in order to show everyone that just because Muggsy has a wheelchair doesn’t mean he is disabled. Will Muggsy persevere and become the top pooch in school?

#4 Lisa – X Marks The Spot – PB ages 4-8

X is tired of his alphabet job. He wants to be a pirate! After getting hired to sail aboard The Porpoise, X quickly finds that he doesn’t eXactly fit in. For eXample, all the other posh pirates have squawking parrots and silver swords, but X only has his pet oX, a clumsy old aXe, and an ill-fitting tuXedo. X is utterly eXcluded from the pirate party on the poop deck. But when a band of scallywags try to steal The Porpoise’s most valuable treasure (spoiler: it’s their parrots!), X discovers his purpose with one eXpert move that saves the day!

Please choose the pitch you think is best and most deserving of a read by editor Erin Molta and vote for it in the poll below by Sunday December 4 at 5 PM EST!

Sheesh!  That was exhausting!  How about Something Chocolate?  Now, before you point out that this is pink, I realize that of course!  It’s made with white chocolate, which I know is the poor sister of the chocolate family, but it’s so pretty and seasonally appropriate that I’m sharing it anyway 🙂  (Also, I didn’t even know there was such a thing as hot chocolate made out of white chocolate, and I thought you might not either, so I felt it incumbent upon me to further our chocolate experience!) (Also, just because white chocolate is the poor sister doesn’t mean it should be shunned – it’s still chocolate – technically!)

Slow Cooker Candy Cane White Hot Chocolate!

Even though it’s not dark chocolate doesn’t it look beautiful and delicious?  I haven’t actually tried it yet… but it’s cold and rainy again and this looks so cheerful and festive that today might be the day! 🙂

YUM!  It would probably go GREAT with a brownie 🙂

Now then, onto today’s pitch which comes to us from Nadine who says, “I am an elementary librarian in an urban school district and I love my job! I am on the selection committee for the Pennsylvania Young Reader’s Choice Award (PA’s state book award) and a wiener dog owner and lover!”

Find her on the web at:

Here is her pitch:

Working Title: Armadillo’s Pillow Fight

Age/Genre: Picture Book (ages 3-8)

The Pitch:  Willow Armadillo is planning a pillow fight. She asks a friend to spread the word of this nocturnal party. As each friend gets the message, an important detail is left out. Poor Willow. Perhaps her pillow fight wasn’t meant to be.
ARMADILLO’S PILLOW FIGHT is a 446-word character driven picture book and is as much fun as a game of Telephone or Whisper Down the Alley. Children will roll with laughter at the animals’ silly missteps. ARMADILLOW’S PILLOW FIGHT is a great read-aloud encouraging audience participation.

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 Nadine 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 a little time to polish your pitch before putting it up for helpful feedback and have a chance to have it read by editor Erin Molta!

Nadine is looking forward to your thoughts on her pitch!  I am looking forward to

Have a wonderful Wednesday everyone!!! 🙂

A Plethora Of Pitch Picks!


I’m so glad to see you! 🙂

This extra Monday post gives me a whole ‘nother day to hang out with you!

(And a Monday post reminds me (just come along on the stream-of-consciousness train of thought here) that it’s been ages since we did Oh Susanna!  So if anyone – writer, teacher, parent – has a question of any kind about reading, writing, submitting, picture books, etc… – feel free to email it to me using the handy Email Me button or susanna[at]susannahill[dot]com and put Oh Susanna in the subject line.  Your picture book questions answered!  I’d love to run Oh Susanna! again, at least occasionally :))

But today is all about Pitch Picks!  So many!  In appreciation of your hard work and dedication, I will supply Something Chocolate – extra Something Chocolates! Triple Something Chocolates! – for each Pitch Pick!


Here we go!

The September Pitch Pick… with this delicious, delectable, Triple Chocolate Cheesecake with Oreo Crust… YUM!!!



Triple Chocolate Cheesecake with Oreo Crust Recipe HERE at OMG Chocolate Desserts http://omgchocolatedesserts.com/triple-chocolate-cheesecake-oreo-crust/

#1 Lizette – Moms (PB ages 1.5 – 3)

This book is an illustrated story about mothers. It demonstrates that mothers from all over the world love and care for their children no matter what walk of life they come from. It is very reflective of Canada’s multicultural community and celebrates diversity. It is a simple story where the only text is the word ” Mom” “Mother or “Mommy ” in various languages. The illustrations will represent the feelings and interactions that occur daily between a mother and her children.  Pictures can capture emotions and can be understood by all and make for an open ended reading experience.

#2 Maria – Firefighters’ Busy Day (PB ages 2-6)

Firefighters are busy! They have many tasks to do each day including “washing, waxing shining the truck, cleaning the gear, getting rid of the muck.”

Many don’t realize that firefighters do much more than just put water on fires. In Firefighters’ Busy Day, they can see the jobs firefighters do before, during, and after a fire call. Through the use of movement written into the text, they can even help firefighters get their jobs done.

Young children can pretend to be busy firefighters too, by trying some of the exciting fire safety activities included such as a fire truck parade or having firefighter-themed meal. The activities included are sure to turn everyday learning into firefighter fun.

#3 Diana – Wait For Cate (PB ages 4-8)

Cate has made a promise to her school friends to be on time for the big kickball game at recess. And they need her! When Cate encounters the new girl stuck in the sand in her wheelchair, Cate needs to make a decision. Should she keep her promise to her kickball team or help a new friend out of a “sticky” situation?

#4 Zainab – Dear Cat (PB ages 4-8)

Persistent Bird keeps bugging Cat with his letters to be his friend.  Cat snubs Bird…until it’s snack time. Cat is ready for a tasty meal except Bird has his own devious plan in mind for this “clever” cat.

Please read and consider Lizette, Maria, Diana, and Zainab’s pitches and choose the one you think is best and deserves a read by editor Erin Molta, and vote for it in the poll below by Tuesday January 12 at 7 PM EDT.

Aaaaand… a little more Something Chocolate to keep your strength up… Triple Chocolate Poke Cake (bonus points to anyone who can tell me what a poke cake is! :))

triple chocolate poke cake

Triple Chocolate Poke Cake Recipe HERE at Beyond Frosting http://beyondfrosting.com/2013/12/08/triple-chocolate-poke-cake/

The October Pitch Pick

#5 Kirk – My Next Door Neighbor Is A Dragon Princess (MG)

I didn’t care much for Maddie Buckner. At two, she bit my ear. At four she pushed me off a slide. At 8, she broke my favorite model airplane that took five months to build. At 10, she kissed me – on the lips! – under the Big Toy in the playground and told me she loved me. At 11, she spit in my face and said she hated me. Then she asked Parker Williams to the sock hop. Parker Williams! Oh, how I despised her. But then she had to go and save my life. That’s when I discovered her secret.

#6 Lisa – Kitten Ciao (PB ages 4-7)

Kitten Ciao is fed up with Mama’s cooking, so he consults his food lover’s map and dashes off to Europe. It all seems so right, but everything goes wrong. The rain in Paris turns his crepes to goo, his English pudding is filled with (gasp!) raisins, the sauerkraut at Oktoberfest is, well, he’s not sure what it is, and there’s no chocolate dip for his Spanish churros. Most tragically, he accidentally bites his tongue while eating pasta in Rome. Kitten Ciao swiftly learns there is no place like home – and a grilled cheese sandwich.

#7 Patricia – Aunt Elvira and the Watermelon Seed (PB ages 4-7)

A visit from Great-Aunt Elvira happens once in a lifetime. But why must it be during Clarissa’s lifetime? Her prim and proper twin, Marissa, is sure to shine. With her slurps, burps and spitting skills, Clarissa can’t imagine how to shine, let alone survive dinner, even with watermelon on the menu.

Please read and consider Kirk, Lisa, and Patricia’s pitches and vote for the one you think is best and deserves a read by editor Erin Molta in the poll below by Tuesday January 12 at 7 PM EDT.

And now, last one! You’re doing great! And here’s a little more Something Chocolate to keep you going! Triple Chocolate Mousse Cake… sorry if you’re drooling on your keyboard… I take full responsibility 🙂


Triple Chocolate Mousse Cake Recipe HERE at OMG Chocolate Desserts http://omgchocolatedesserts.com/triple-chocolate-mousse-cake-by-vera/

The November Pitch Pick

#8 Jessica – Showdown At The Sippy Cup Saloon (PB ages 4-8)

In the tiny town of Toddle, in the cradle of the West, Sheriff Wyatt Burp is snoozing in his crib when Wild Bill Hiccup arrives to wake up — and shake up — the pint-size population. “Don’t go gettin’ yer onesie in a twist,” Wild Bill warns Wyatt, but tempers flare until the two go bib to bib in a showdown at the Sippy Cup Saloon. Who will emerge the rootin’ tootin’ squirt gun shootin’ hero of the West?

#9 Sandy – Caterwauling Cats (PB ages 4-8)
Jack and Dave miss their happy home where they take cushy naps and eat Kitty Cat Comfort Cozies. After several attempts to escape overdressing and mud pie feeding from Esther, they learn to yowl like monsters under her bed. Esther exits and the kitties have their own room for napping and noshing.

#10 Christie – The Naked Goose (PB ages 3-7)

When Honk flies south, he meets a few oddly dressed geese and tries to follow suit. However, he does not realize they are lawn ornaments. After an awkward inquiry, followed by several disastrous outfits, Honk discovers he is happier the way he came – naked.

#11 Jen – Ernie’s Toothfake (PB ages 4-8)

Ernie Blossomfoss rushes home to get his first lost tooth under his pillow, but when he trips he watches it go sailing into the playground woodchips. Convinced the tooth fairy won’t come unless she has a tooth to collect, Ernie hatches a plan to leave the perfect counterfeit. When the clever fairy doesn’t fall for it, Ernie ups the ante until he finally discovers that being honest is more valuable than a crisp dollar bill.
Please read and consider Jessica, Sandy, Christie, and Jen’s pitches and vote for the one you think is best and deserves a read by editor Erin Molta in the poll below by Tuesday January 12 at 7 PM EDT.

Phew! I know! That was a lot of pitch reading and picking! You are all the absolute best, and that is why I and everyone who submits a pitch love you so much. Know that you have done a good deed for the day and that the universe will return that goodness to you in multiples!

And now, this extra poll-laden post wouldn’t be complete without me telling you the results of last week’s poll on the subject of an extra writing contest in February….

The response was overwhelmingly in favor of a contest!

So I guess I’ll be seeing what I can put together for you all! 🙂

Ooh! This is exciting!

Stay tuned! I’ll get the contest guidelines up as soon as I think of them… and keep your fingers crossed that I can rummage up some good prizes for you on short notice!!!

Have a marvelous Monday, everyone, and thanks again for all your help with the pitches! We couldn’t do it without you!

Would You Read It Wednesday #153 – Knights Of The Kids’ Table (PB) PLUS The October Pitch Pick

Happy Wednesday, my friends!

I think I might owe you an apology.

I may have accidentally abused my powers.

You see, on Monday, I posted the contest rules for the Pretty Much World Famous 4th Annual Holiday Contest.  If you have read them, you will know that the subject matter is wild weather.  I was merely thinking we could have tons of fun with that topic. . .

But here we are, within hours of that posting, and the temperature is 12 degrees in mid-November!

In New York!  (not the Buffalo part! where there are already 3 feet of snow with 3 more predicted!)  in the semi-civilized part not that far from NYC!


Unheard of!


I’m afraid not.

I’m going to do my best to turn things around by buying a new pair of expensive warm winter boots (Sorel.  Model: Women’s Caribou.  Color: Cinnamon.  Or maybe Slate. Size: 7.5 – or maybe 7 since the reviews say they run large.)  That should pretty much guarantee that we won’t get any snow.  But of course that will be unusual too… so there we are, back at wild weather!

I’m afraid I’ve caused it coming and going.

You just have to be sooooo careful when you have magical powers!  One little moment of inattention, and whoops! you’ve unleashed Winter 2014-2015!

So yeah, sorry about that.

Let me try to distract you with a look at the fabulous pitches from October which await your voting pleasure for the October Pitch Pick.

#1 Tonia – Eat At Antonio’s – PB ages 8+
A  strange looking restaurant pops up in a small ho hum farm town offering fine cuisine. A real stir is created as these plain Jane folks can’t swallow much more than meat and potatoes and common sense. The Grand Opening announces a real eating adventure. Once inside, Master Chef Antonio will transform the taste buds that will take them to exotic places with just one bite.

#2  Gail – Me Hungry – PB ages 4-7

Ted discovers a teeny-tiny zombie, and quickly learns that the little monster packs a big appetite. The little boy sets out to feed his famished friend, leading the pair on a whacky adventure — meat kabooms, a plate is pinched, and a restaurant is invaded! Ted’s quick thinking sees Zombie’s tummy finally fill, and his own dream of becoming a chef come true.
“Me Hungry!” is a fast-paced, 500-word picture book. A little “Master Chef Junior” meets “Goosebumps,” the story features Ted, a boy who learns that facing his fears is the first step in making his dreams come true.

#3  Debbie – Exactly Ten Marshmallows – PB ages 4-8 (originally titled Your Friend, Conrad)
Finally, an invitation! According to the instructions, Conrad must bring a sword, a bow and arrows, and … exactly ten marshmallows?! He eagerly sets out for his best friend Fiona’s new home. But his journey quickly becomes complicated by a leaky boat, prickly brambles, and a sweets-loving dragon lurking in the moat. Will Conrad have the wits (and enough marshmallows) to make it to Fiona’s front door?

#4  Michelle – The Zoo Rules – PB ages 4-8
Miss Knaffle and her second graders all just want to have fun at school. But when her students take theiridea of fun too far—conducting a farting symphony during reading time, smuggling coffee beans to the class hamster, and using their desks for a bubblegum sculpture contest—Miss Knaffle decides that only a field trip to the zoo will avert classroom disaster. Once there, the canny teacher enlists irritable zoo animals to her cause. When Fátima tangles with a snake and Mario ends up on the wrong side of a baboon, the students quickly come to appreciate the zoo rules—and their teacher—in a whole new way.

Please vote for the pitch you feel most deserves a read by editor Erin Molta in the poll below by Sunday November 23 at 5 PM EST.

Many thanks!

Now then, since the Mid-Hudson Valley is in the grip of the polar vortex (I know! My fault!) and I am therefore freezing ( I know! Still my fault!), we shall have something warming for our Something Chocolate today… Molten Chocolate Cake!!!

Don’t you feel warmer already just looking at that molten flood of scrumptious chocolate?  Plus, we really need the extra calories to keep warm, so it’s actually GOOD for us to eat this 🙂

Now that we’ve averted the danger of freezing AND wasting away into skin and bones, let’s jump into Would You Read It!

Today’s pitch comes to us from Gail, whom you will remember from October with her pitch for Me Hungry.  (Um, really you don’t even need to remember since her pitch is above in the October Pitch Pick :))  She says, “Recently, I participated in the Making Picture Book Magic workshop and in the Telling Children Stories in Today’s Market intensive. I’m a member of SCWBI, and hold both a degree in Fine Arts from Wilfrid Laurier University and a diploma in Journalism from Cambrian College. You’re welcome to visit http://gailtalbot.com anytime to learn more.”

Here is her pitch:

Working Title: Knights Of The Kids’ Table
Age/Genre: Picture Book (ages 4-8)
The Pitch:  Most of the Knights of the Kids’ Table found Flooted funny. After all, when he got nervous, Flooted tooted. But cranky Hugh couldn’t stand the smell, so he hatched a plan to get rid of Flooted…for good. When Hugh’s scheme flopped, the little knights giggled, the big knights enjoyed silly sword fights, and the grumpy little knight got exactly what he wished for.

“The Knights of the Kids’ Table” is a 554-word, humorous myth set in a time when swords were silly, and playing cards were the hottest toy. Little readers will be sure to chuckle when they learn the unlikeliest and silliest way some of today’s gaseous gags were coined.

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 Gail 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 the Would You Read It tab in the bar above.  There are openings in January so you’ve got a little time to polish up your pitches and send yours for your chance to be read by editor Erin Molta!

Gail is looking forward to your thoughts on her pitch!  I am looking forward to Spring 🙂

Have a wonderful Wednesday, everyone!!! 🙂

Winners Of All Kinds!

What a way to start the week!

I’ve got nothing but winners for you today 🙂

Oh.  And one teeny question…

But first, let’s give out some prizes, shall we?

Somewhere in the flurry that was the end of the Halloweensie Contest, you’ll recall we voted for the October Pitch Pick winners.  Well, wouldn’t you know it?  There was a tie!  Normally I would have made you vote again to break the tie, but I thought after the contest and the pitch pick you might be all voted out, so I asked Erin if she’d be willing to take 2 pitches this month and being the amazing, kind, generous person she is, she said yes!  Many, many thanks, Erin, if you happen to be reading this!

SO!  The dual winners of the October Pitch Pick are:

Julie, with her pitch for Broccolilocks,
Rosi, with her pitch for Iris The Rainbow Girl!!!

Congratulations to you both – your pitches are already in Erin’s inbox 🙂  And congratulations also to all our pitchers for October.  You all did a terrific job!  I hope you all found the reader feedback helpful.  We are certainly grateful to you for being brave enough to pitch – it gives us all a chance to learn.

Next up, you will recall that we had a copy of SARAH GIVES THANKS by Mike Allegra to give away – very timely with Thanksgiving right around the corner.  And the winner of this fabulous book is…

Teresa M.I. Schaefer!!!

Congratulations, Teresa!  You lucky duck 🙂  Please email me (handy email button in side bar or susanna[at]susannahill[dot]com) so we can work out details!

Next up, we had a special Would You Read It last week for Faith The Heroic Pony.  People who contributed helpful feedback were entered to win 3 separate prizes.  And the winners are:

Wendy Greenley – who gets the “signed” photo of Faith!!!
Cathy Hall – who gets the DVD of “The Story So Far”!!!
Stacy Couch – who gets a copy of the book Diary Of A Heroic Horse: Molly Gives Faith Hope!!!

Thank you, thank you to everyone who tried to help with the book’s blurb.  We all want to see the Easy Horse Care Rescue Center benefit from sales of this book!

Winners, please email me (handy button in side bar or susanna[at]susannahill[dot]com) so we can work out how to get your prizes to you!

PHEW!  That was a lot of prizes!  Pretty good way to start off the week, wouldn’t you say?

So now, the teeny question:

As you may know (because I’ve been talking your ear off about it :)), the Holiday Contest is fast approaching.  It will probably run from Monday December 9 – Wednesday December 18 or Thursday December 19 (5 days to post your stories, a couple days for judging, a couple for voting, and then the winners announcement in time to get you all on your way with a week of shopping time in hand :))

So here’s what I want to know:  If I post the rules next Monday November 25, which gives you about 2 weeks (a little more really because you’ll have all the way to the 13th to post) will that give you enough time to work on your stories given that part of that time is the Thanksgiving long weekend and Black Friday?  Or would you prefer I post it sooner?  I can add it onto the end of WYRI on Wednesday or PPBF on Friday.

So let me know….  I don’t want to give you so much time that you think to yourselves, “Oh!  I have AGES to get that done!” followed by “Oops!  I forgot.”  Likewise, I don’t want to box you into too short a time frame.  So please let me know in the comments.

Have a marvelous Monday everyone, after all that prize giving! 🙂

Would You Read It Wednesday #111 – Rashad Saves The World (PB) PLUS Straight From The Editor PLUS The October Pitch Pick!

My goodness, we have a busy day today!

What with all the Halloweensie hoopla, there hasn’t been time for much else, so we have a packed agenda.  In the interest of moving things along and not making this post any longer than necessary, I will try to keep my usual charming ramblings to a minimum 🙂

First, if you haven’t yet had a chance to read the Halloweensie Contest finalists and vote for the one you think deserves to win, please go HERE.  The poll is open until 5 PM EST today.

Next, we’ll skip on to Straight From The Editor.  You will recall that Kirsti won the September Pitch Pick with her pitch for Upside Down In Frown Town.

Here is her pitch:

Where Sam lives, smiling is frowned upon. But, no matter what he tries, he can’t wipe the smile off his face. Even a frowning contest doesn’t make a frowner out of Sam. When he can’t change himself, he decides to change the town instead.

and here are editor Erin Molta’s thoughts:

This sounds cute! And I know people tend to “frown” at the use of standard popular phrases, but in this case, I think it would work like a charm. J What if, instead of saying: When he can’t change himself, he decides to change the town instead, you said: When he can’t change himself, he decides to turn those frowns upside down.
I think that really gets the idea across and might make an editor smile . . .
Good luck!

I really like Erin’s idea!  It’s always so interesting to hear her insights!

Now I think we could use a little break.  Something Chocolate, anyone?

It feels like a Chocolate Lava Cake day, don’t you think?

Let’s dig in 🙂

And now, without getting chocolate all over your keyboards, let’s tackle the October Pitch Pick!

Here are the pitches, thoughtfully revised after your very helpful feedback.

#1 Kari
The Great UFO Hunt – ER
Seven year old Mekayla, who’s an aspiring astronaut and lover of all things space, is convinced she sees a UFO crash land in the woods behind her house. Weird stuff begins to happen around town: lights are going on and off in an empty house, a strange girl keeps showing up out of thin air, and Mekayla finds what she believes is part of the space ship. But despite all the evidence, no one believes her!  Can Mekayla and her friends save the town before it’s overrun?

#2 Linda
Proberta Gerber And The Terrible Mess PB (ages 4-8)
Clean one thing at a time.” Proberta’s brother suggests. “Start with your bed.” But Proberta can’t find it in the terrible mess that used to be her bedroom. She blames the Dust Bunnies, but Mom isn’t buying it. Proberta hopes for magic but discovers she should be careful what she wishes for!

#3 Rosi
Iris The Rainbow Girl PB (ages 2-5)
Iris sees a sparkling rainbow.  It’s so beautiful, she decides she wants to be one. Her parents tell her all the reasons she cannot, but Iris is determined and won’t let anyone hang a dark cloud over her idea. Soap bubbles have little rainbows on them, but when she covers herself with them, they burst and wash away. After dreaming about rainbows, Iris comes up with a way to achieve her goal.

#4 Julie
Broccolilocks PB (ages 3-6)
CRUNCH! To satisfy Broccolilocks’ GIANT appetite her parents plant every inch of their community garden plot. But a mysterious stink leads her nose down the rows to find that something has been munching on her favorite: broccoli! Inviting hungry friends to keep pesky aphids in check, and Broccolilocks fed, may be just right!

I know you may be a little burned out on voting 🙂 but this one should be a little easier – only 4 choices instead of 12 🙂  Please cast your vote for the pitch you think deserves a read by editor Erin Molta by 5 PM EST on Sunday November 10.

Many thanks for voting… again 🙂

Finally, we have today’s pitch which comes to us from Steve.  Steve says,  “I spent 20 years as a teacher of small children in London. Reading aloud was my favourite part of teaching. This means that I absolutely know what a PB, Lower MG should sound like. The challenge is to make my own writing sound right!

Steve is currently in New Zealand and wants everyone to know that if he doesn’t respond to your comments right away it’s because of the time difference.  He is greatly appreciative of everyone’s input and looks forward to hearing from you!

Here is his pitch:

Working Title:  Rashad Saves The World
Age/Genre: Picture Book (ages 5-8)
The Pitch: Rashad is tired of being the youngest and the least important member of his family, so when he learns at school that he can save the world, he leaps straight into action. Which leads him straight into trouble with the rest of his family. And when he accidentally demolishes the garden of his Rottweiler Next Door Neighbour, his career as a Super Hero seems to have come to an abrupt end. Will he still be able to save the world? Or will somebody special have to step in to help?

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 Steve improve his 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 the Would You Read It tab in the bar above.  There are openings in January so you’ve got a little time to polish up your pitches and send yours for your chance to be read by editor Erin Molta!

Steve is looking forward to your thoughts on his pitch!  I am looking forward to announcing the Halloweensie Contest Winners tomorrow, along with some other little surprises!!! 🙂

Have a wonderful Wednesday, everyone!  And see you tomorrow for a very special Halloweensie Winners Post!!! 🙂