Monday Morning Special: A Straight From The Editor Extravaganza!

Good Monday to you, favorite peeps!

I am a fan of Mondays.  They are like mornings – new beginnings full of hope and possibility for good things.  Just because yesterday or last week may not have been all you hoped doesn’t mean things can’t turn around today!

This could be the day you get a BRILLIANT idea for a picture book!  The kind that makes you fish desperately in the glove compartment for an ATM receipt with ketchup on it and contort yourself to reach the partially melted crayon from the backseat of the car and start scribbling madly at a traffic light because ideas like this don’t come along every day and you’ve got to grab it while it’s hot!

This could be the day you finally get the opening sentence of your WIP just exactly right!  The content, the mood, the tone, the language – perfect for hooking anyone and everyone who reads it!

It could be the day you compose a query letter so perfect that it gets you a request!

You know that agent you desperately want to sign with?  The one you’re crossing your fingers and toes and eyes and everything else crossable for a positive response from?  This could be the day she calls and asks to represent you!

It could even be the day you get “the call” – the one where your fantabulous agent or esteemed Editor X says, “I have an offer for you!” 🙂

So embrace Monday 🙂

Here is a sunshiny picture to help get you in the mood (because if you live anywhere near me it is currently raining and you might have forgotten what a sunshiny morning looks like 🙂 )

spring morning

Oh, and that green stuff is grass, which could start growing at any moment, although there isn’t any yet in my neck of the woods 🙂

To help you love Monday, here is the long-awaited backlog of Straight From The Editors that we have been hoping to catch up with.  Editor Erin Molta finally had time to send them, and a mere 3 and a half weeks later Yours Truly is finally putting together the post to deliver all this amazing knowledge and expertise to YOU!  What a way to start off your morning and your Monday and your week! 🙂

Enjoy! 🙂

For JuneMichelle – The Sunflower Traveler (Chapter Book ages 6-9) 

Rhea’s interest in growing sunflowers for Petal Path’s Magazine Contest turned into a quest to help her family when her dad lost his job. Her final requirement for the contest is to describe something new about her sunflowers. But time traveling through a sunflower, talking with birds, and instructing a new gardener from the past may be more than she’s bargained for. Will Rhea solve her sunflower problem and still make it back in time to enter the contest?

Erin’s comments:  

Cute premise for a story! As for the pitch, it’s better if you don’t end with a question because of course, especially in children’s books, the conflict will be resolved. So, though you can ask questions, it’s better to make the reader want to know HOW it was resolved rather than asking the obvious question—if.

So, I would rework it something like this: Rhea’s interest in growing sunflowers for Petal Path’s Magazine Contest turned into a quest to help her family when her dad lost his job. Her final requirement for the contest is to describe something new about her sunflowers. But who would believe that she time traveled through her sunflower, talked with birds, and instructed a new gardener from the past?  Rhea needs to come up with a way to describe her sunflower situation in a way to not only help the people in the past but her family as well. 

For JulyKirsten – Stuck In The Muck (PB ages 4-8)

Sir Whiskerson loves kitty facials and paw-dicures. When he comes whisker to whisker with a mangy mutt named Sunny, Whiskerson is desperate to remain pristine. But with Sunny stuck in the muck and sinking, Whiskerson must decide whether doing the right thing is worth a gloppy, sloppy fur coat.

Erin’s comments:

This seems adorable but it would have more impact if we knew if Sunny was a friend or foe. Were Sunny and Whiskerson rivals before he was stuck in the muck? If you can get that in then I think this would be fab.

(August was blogcation – no pitching or pitch picks :))

For September:  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.

Erin’s comments:

This sounds like it could be interesting but I think you need to be more specific. I’m not quite sure what Bird’s letters have to do with a devious plan to trick Cat. It would work better if you framed it more simply: “Bird wants to be Cat’s friend but Cat snubs Bird. When it’s snack time Bird makes Cat notice him by (whatever it is he does)…  and Cat realizes that perhaps birds can be good friends.”

For October: 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.

Erin’s comments:

I love this. Gets the tension in and the voice and the humor! The only thing I would suggest is making the numbers consistent. In theory, all of them should be written out but if you prefer not to do that, then they should all be numerical. And I just tightened it up a tad.

I didn’t care much for Maddie Buckner. At two, she bit my ear. At four she pushed me off a slide. At eight, she broke my favorite model airplane that took five months to build. At ten, she kissed me – on the lips! – under the Big Toy in the playground and told me she loved me. At eleven, 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 saved my life. That’s when I discovered her secret.

For November: 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?

Erin’s comments:

This sounds like it could be adorable! The only thing I would worry about is making it too precious. AND, it’s best not to end with a question. What if you framed it as more of a statement: Wild Bill Hiccup and Sheriff Wyatt Burp face off to decide who will emerge as the rootin’ tootin’ squirt gun shootin’ hero of the West.

So much fantastic advice as always from Erin!  We are so lucky to have her, and she is so very generous to share her expertise with us!  Thank you, Erin, and thanks to all the writers who step up each month to share their pitches so that all of us can benefit and learn!

I hope you’ll all find Erin’s comments very educational and helpful.

Have a marvelous Monday, everyone!

(And in case, in spite of all the advice and uplifting words about Monday you’re still longing for it to be Saturday, I have two helpful words for you:  Mister Softee 🙂 )

Would You Read It Wednesday #159 – The Trouble With Homework (PB) PLUS Straight From The Editor x 2

Wait til you hear how forethoughtful I’m being!

Seriously.  You are NOT going to believe it.

It’s Sunday night.  SUNDAY.  And I am putting the finishing touches on this post which isn’t due to go up until Wednesday!

Wednesday is like 2 1/2 entire days from now!

I don’t think this has ever happened before in the history of my blog!

Don’t worry.

You’re in the right place.

I have not been possessed by aliens or anything.  (Of course, I would probably say that if I had been, wouldn’t I? Because they’d make me… But I’m pretty sure I haven’t!)

It’s just that the weatherperson in these parts seems pretty convinced that we’re going to be getting heavy snow – at least a foot – maybe 3 – and that means, in all probability, that I will have no internet.  So my usual operating procedure of finishing my Wednesday post 37 seconds before it’s due to go up may not pan out well.  And I don’t want today’s pitcher to miss her day!

PLUS!  We have not one, but TWO Straight From The Editors to share – always educational AND fun – so I wouldn’t want you to miss that either.  Or the most important part of the post… Something Chocolate 🙂

Black Magic Cake

Yummmmm!  Scrumptious!!

I know how you all count the hours until Wednesday for your chocolate treat, so far be it from me to deprive you! 🙂  I would never want it to be said that I don’t take good care of you!

Alrighty!  Now that we’re fortified, let’s see what the editor has to say!

Straight From The Editor for October:

You will recall Michelle’s winning pitch:

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.

Here are editor Erin Molta’s comments:

This is so cute! My only suggestion is to be more specific about the zoo incidents like Fatima tangles with a snake because she did what? You are specific about the farting symphony (hilarious!) and the coffee beans to the hamster so we need to see the zoo side, too—at least one. I’d omit the bubblegum sculpture contest to fit in more specific zoo incidents.

Straight From The Editor for November:

Here is Heather’s winning pitch:

The harpsichord is dusted, the tea is poured, the vases are arranged on doily laces, and Hubert the pug is settled calmly on the rug. Lottie Dobson is ready for her fancy luncheon party. But when the members of the Grandview Rose Society arrive with even more blooms, poor Hubert’s allergies kick in. What happens next is a riot of mishaps that gets him banned from the room. But when a wily rat sneaks in, steals the cheese, and dangles from the chandelier, it sends the proper party guests on a crazy chase–with a sneezing Hubert in the lead. One big sneeze will save the day! Too bad for Hubert, the sneezing doesn’t end there. 

And here are Erin’s comments:

Cute! The only problem I saw with it was that why wouldn’t Hubert be allergic to the roses that are already there? Would more make that much of a difference? I think Hubert’s allergies should be a new issue—a surprise, so to speak. And then be specific about at least one of the mishaps. Otherwise, it’s very fun and sounds like a delight!

As always, I find Erin’s comments insightful and helpful!  I hope they help you in your mission to create the perfect pitch!

Today’s pitch comes to us from Maria.  Maria is an educator with the best job in the world – she works as a Fire & Life Safety Educator for a municipal fire department! When she isn’t teaching others how to be safe, she can be found writing under a pecan tree, playing with her dogs and cats, or cruising around town with the top down searching for inspirational ideas or the next big story.

Here is her pitch:

Working Title: The Trouble With Homework
Age/Genre: Picture Book (ages 6-9)
The Pitch: What’s a kid to do when he’s waited until the lastminute to do his homework? Sometimes, you just have to improvise!

Join Connor along with his zany classmates as they prepare (some more than others) for their first-ever demonstration speeches.  Follow Connor’s speech outline and you, too, can show others what skills and talents you have.

Disclaimer: No snails or house cats were harmed in the making of this book! 

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 Maria 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 June 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!

Maria is looking forward to your thoughts on her pitch!  I am looking forward to getting my internet back so I can catch up on everything I’ve missed!  It should be back this morning, but we shall see… (Of course, I’m just assuming… because it’s SUNDAY! so I don’t know yet what will happen!)

Have a wonderful Wednesday everyone, and for everyone who lives on the East Coast, I hope you all weathered the storm okay!!!

Would You Read It Wednesday #150 – Zoo Rules (PB) PLUS Straight From The Editor

There is never a dull moment around here.

First, I got a flat tire.  (It’s possible this had something to do with the wood full of nails and screws that someone left directly in front of the garage… that I drove over as I hurried out to pick up my daughter from school and wondered, “Hmm… what was that?” Really, your guess is as good as mine… :))

Then the bear came and had a picnic out of our trash cans.  (If you haven’t had much experience with bear picnics, I can tell you they are not at all tidy.  There is much clean-up involved…)

Then on Monday the house that’s going in down the road from us had its foundation poured, so a parade of cement trucks thundered up and down the road all day.  Scout felt it her duty to bark at the passage of each one.  Both ways.  Jemma hid under the piano.  It was traumatic for everyone.

And now we are expecting rain in these parts so if anyone needs me I will be in my basement in the canoe.

I know!

Harrowing tales of this nature just don’t come along every day!

I’m dreadfully sorry if my horror stories have left you in a weakened state, but never fear!  I have snacks!

Continuing with our get-ready-for-Halloween-theme, today’s Something Chocolate is just the thing for when you want something sweet, salty, and candy-corny all at once.  (Because really, isn’t that a combination you often find yourself wanting?  I know I frequently find myself thinking, “Hmm… I’m in the mood for something sweet, salty and candy-corny… what to have?”  Okay.  I admit it.  I have never thought that.  But there’s always a first time :))  And they are pretty 🙂

Candy Corn Pretzel Hugs 🙂  Recipe HERE!

I think they might be easy enough for even me to make, so go ahead!  Give them a try!

Now that we have averted any danger of fainting, we have Straight From The Editor for September, which you will recall was won by Hope with her pitch for Cleo And Pinkie:

Whether it is marker stains on the carpet or mud trails in the hall, Cleo blames her mischievous, imaginary friend, Pinkie, for everything. “Pinkie did it!” Soon Mommy can’t take it anymore and declares, “No more Pinkie!” But without Pinkie, the house is too quiet until Cleo makes another mess, this time, to everyone’s delight.

Here’s what editor Erin Molta had to say:

This sounds really cute. I made a small tweak because I think if you put the Pinkie did it in the beginning it’s more of a hook. The only thing that didn’t quite work for me was the very ambiguous ending—Cleo made a mess to everyone’s delight? You don’t want to make readers guess, you want to intrigue them, yet this is just confusing. It would be better to be more specific so they can get the joke. Then they would appreciate it more.

“Pinkie did it!” Whether it is marker stains on the carpet or mud trails in the hall, Cleo blames her mischievous, imaginary friend for everything. Soon Mommy can’t take it anymore and declares, “No more Pinkie!” But without Pinkie, the house is too quiet until Cleo makes another mess, this time, to everyone’s delight.

It’s amazing what a difference a small change can make, isn’t it?  As always, I find Erin’s comments so helpful!

Let’s move onto Would You Read It, shall we?  (Please, have another pretzel hug if you’re feeling peckish!)

Today’s pitch comes to us from Michelle, who you will remember from her July pitch for Escalators Don’t Bite (WYRI #140).  She is a mom, a teacher, and a writer.  She blogs at http://amomnextdoor.wordpress.com/about/

Here is her pitch: (and she did mention that she’s still looking for a title that really zings, so feel free to chime in if you’ve got any brilliant ideas!)

Working Title: Zoo Rules
Age/Genre: Picture Book (ages 4-8)
The Pitch: Miss Knaffle’s second graders have a thing or two to learn about their teacher. They think they can get away with feeding coffee beans to the class hamster, or making farting houses during read aloud. Will a trip to the zoo set them straight? When the canny Miss Knaffle enlists zoo animals to her cause, readers will delight in seeing what happens to children who don’t follow the zoo rules in this PB cross between Peggy Rathmann’s GOODNIGHT, GORILLA, and William Bee’s WHATEVER.

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 Michelle 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 December 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!

Michelle is looking forward to your thoughts on her pitch!  I am looking forward to (yes, I warned you last week I would probably say this again!) the Halloweensie Contest!  At least 4 people have mentioned here and/or on FB that they have written stories and I can’t wait to read them!  I also can’t wait until I think up my sample story, because time is running out and I’m getting just a teensy bit anxious about the fact that I haven’t even started thinking about it.  Which is shocking, because usually I’m prepared months in advance.  Oh wait.  That’s not me.  Okay.  Everything is right on schedule 🙂

Have a wonderful Wednesday everyone!!! 🙂

Would You Read It Wednesday #144 – Cleo And Pinkie (PB) PLUS The July Pitch Winner PLUS Straight From The Editor x2!

Hellooo Dearies!!!

I am so glad to be back after my August off of blogging, and so glad to see you all!!!

I know the year officially begins on January 1st, but really, September always feels like the new year to me.  Too many years in school, I guess 🙂

It’s lovely to see so many friends reappearing on their blogs after a summer off.  There is energy and excitement and enthusiasm in the air.  I am, as always, full of ideas I don’t have enough time to implement (but that never stops me from thinking I can follow through on them somehow :))

There will probably be some changes afoot around here.  I’m not sure what yet, exactly, but I might want to try something new and different on Mondays at some point… feel free to make suggestions in the comments if there’s something in particular you’d like to see.  And I’m going to try (after today :)) to make my posts a little shorter…  Stop laughing!  Seriously!  I can HEAR you!

I find I’m having a hard time keeping all the balls in the air, what with writing, teaching, critiquing, blogging/social media, school visits, marketing, continuing ed, and my position as COO in a home with a husband, 5 kids, 2 dogs, aging parents just down the road and a pony up the road, so my answer to that is A SCHEDULE.  Novel idea, don’t you think?  I haven’t written it down yet, but I am cogitating on it (er, since January…), and I feel confident that at some point a Master Plan that is helpful and productive will emerge that will allow me to get everything done in half the time.  There is a faction here on Blueberry Hill that objects to me working 24/7 🙂  You’ll know the Master Plan is in place when I tell you I’ve read a book longer than 32 pages for fun 🙂

I’m already looking forward to the upcoming writing contests! and I’ll give you a heads up: The Halloweensie Contest will run from October 27-31, and The Holiday Contest will run from December 8-12.  In both cases the judging, voting, and winner announcements will occur in the week following.  So mark your calendars 🙂

Now, before we go a step further, there is something CRUCIAL we must attend to after these weeks off!  It’s time for…

SOMETHING CHOCOLATE!!!

Ultimate Brownie Sundae – YUM!

And something specially NOT chocolate for Julie R-Z because she did something deserving of a special treat and she doesn’t like chocolate for breakfast – go figure!  (And if you give me a few minutes I might remember what it was she did – all I have here is a note that it had something to do with a survey… :))

Glazed Apple Crumb Muffins!
Recipe here: http://sallysbakingaddiction.com/2014/06/10/glazed-apple-crumb-muffins/

Alrighty!  Now that we have bolstered our blood sugar, let’s continue, shall we?

(The problem with vacation is there’s always catching up to do afterwards.)

First, did I get a chance to tell you who won the June and July Pitch Picks?

I think I mentioned that Kimberly had won the June pick with her pitch for Sprinkles The Clown.  But we can’t have gotten around to the July winner yet because we haven’t been here!  The July Pitch Pick was won by Brandie with her pitch for The Trouble With Keeping Vikings!  Congratulations to Kimberly and Brandie as well as to all the other brave and talented writers who submitted pitches.  Your pitches were ALL so good, and it’s such a wonderful opportunity for us all to learn from each other!

Second, we have Straight From The Editor for both June and July!

Let’s start with June since that appeals to my sense of orderly chronology.  Because I am so orderly 🙂 (Please refer back to the Master Plan under construction :))

You will recall Kimberly’s pitch for her picture book, Sprinkles The Clown:

Sprinkles the Clown wants to fit in with her classmates on the first day of Kindergarten, but when her show-and-tell juggling act goes wrong, all the other little clowns laugh at her. However, as a storm rolls in scaring all the students, Sprinkles puts her own fears aside and uses one of her true clowning skills to save the day!

Here are editor Erin Molta’s insightful thoughts:

This sounds cute, though for a pitch you need to be a little more specific. Don’t worry about giving it all away. I’m assuming that all the kids are clowns, right? So I’d say something like I’ve done below. Also what is a “true” clowning skill? I would definitely say what Sprinkles did that made all of the other little clowns feel safer or less afraid.

Sprinkles the Clown wants to fit in with her classmates on the first day of Kindergarten, but when her show-and-tell juggling act goes wrong, all the other little clowns laugh at her. However, as a storm rolls in scaring all the students, Sprinkles puts her own fears aside and [does what?] to save the day!

Brandie’s pitch for her picture book, The Trouble With Keeping Vikings, was as follows:

A boy opens his front door and comes face-to-face with a startling surprise. A Viking horde has come for a visit, and they REEK of mischief. From snot-snakes to clashing swords, the outrageous antics of these pesky pillagers are never-ending. That is until the boy makes a certain phone call that will leave these manner-less brutes quaking in their Viking-boots.

Erin had this to say:

I love Vikings and they are somewhat “hot” now, so this definitely has potential, but no need to hide so much. Who is the boy calling? An editor might be so curious that they’ll ask for the manuscript to find out, but usually they’ll ask because the idea intrigues them and they want to see how you go about it. So it’s much better to give them as much information to aid in that process as possible.

Thanks as always to Erin for her very helpful thoughts.  We are so lucky that she is such a cheerful contributor to this series!

Now, then.  The moment you’ve all been waiting for – Would You Read It!

Today’s pitch comes to us from Hope who says, I used to travel around the globe, working as a contract interpreter for the US State Department and a freelance translator until I became a mother. Now as the mother of two children, I continue my love of language by reading with them and writing.”

Here is her pitch:

Working Title: Cleo And Pinkie
Age/Genre: Picture Book (ages 4-8)
The Pitch: Cleo is always busy doing something, but that often turns into trouble. As Mommy grumbles, Cleo brings in Pinkie, her imaginary, mischievous friend, and blames him for everything. “Pinkie did it!” But soon Mommy can’t tolerate it anymore and declares, “No more Pinkie!” With Pinkie gone, the house is quiet and trouble free until Mommy discovers another mess…this time to her delightful surprise.

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 Hope 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 October so jump right in and send your pitch for your chance to be read by editor Erin Molta!

Hope is looking forward to your thoughts on her pitch!  I am looking forward to getting back into a routine and implementing my Master Plan… as soon as I think it up 🙂  I am also looking forward to starting up Perfect Picture Book Fridays again in only 2 days!  I have a special one on deck for you that includes a giveaway so yay! 🙂

Have a wonderful Wednesday, everyone!  So glad we’re all back together again! 🙂

Would You Read It Wednesday – The July Pitch Pick! PLUS Straight From The Editor And Summer Vacation :)

Do you guys know what today is?

Well, yes, you’re right, it is Would You Read It Wednesday.

It also happens to be the day before my granddaughter’s 3rd birthday (which coincidentally falls on the same day as Harry Potter’s, Neville Longbottom’s, and J.K. Rowling’s! :))

It also happens to be National Cheesecake Day, which I intend to honor in a moment…

But it is also the last day of posting here until September!

It’s true.  In order not to be disowned by my family I am taking August off from blogging.  I promised I would, and so I shall.  But it’s going to be hard and I’m going to miss you all terribly!

Let’s have Something Chocolate to lift our spirits, shall we?  In honor of the day, I’m thinking Chocolate Cheesecake!

Death-By-Chocolate Cheesecake!
Recipe here: http://hotpolkadot.com/2013/02/10/death-by-chocolate-and-the-birth-of-a-blog/

I think I speak for all of us when I say I may not feel that much better about not seeing you for a month but boy is that good! 🙂

And now, how about Straight From The Editor for May?  Hearing from Erin Molta, our wonderful and helpful visiting editor, always perks us up, doesn’t it?

You will recall that the May Pitch Pick was won by Todd with his pitch for Orville Wright’s Final Flight.

Here is his winning pitch:

Orville Wright’s Final Flight by Todd Burleson (NF PB ages 7-12)

Orville Wright may be best remembered for his first flight, but it was his final flight 41 years later would completely change the world of aviation.  

And here are Erin’s thoughts:

This sounds somewhat intriguing but in the crowded nonfiction picture book market you need to give us a little bit more.. Is there any way you can give us a little hint about what made his last flight so special? 

That could make or break whether an editor will ask you for the whole manuscript.

As always, I find her thoughts insightful!  Thank you, Erin 🙂

And now, it’s time for the July Pitch Pick, which is always so exciting 🙂  Here are our 4 fabulous pitches:

#1 Michelle – Escalators Don’t Bite! –  Picture Book (ages 2-6)


Salim, world traveler, worries about whether he’s packed enough crayons. He worries his backpack will come unzipped. But with his whole family on its way to see Grandma and Grandpa, he’s worried most about his little sister Malika, who never does what she’s supposed to do. On her first trip to the airport, Salim knows that if it’s sticky, Malika will spill it. If there’s an escalator, Malika will get stuck on it. And if there’s a red button, Malika will push it. Desperate to ensure his family gets to the gate on time for their flight, Salim has started work on a Little Travelers’ Guide to Airports. But while he’s busy writing, the irrepressible Malika is busy exploring. When Salim’s sage travel advice comes up against Malika’s infectious sense of adventure, both siblings learn something important from each other about airport travel safety and fun.
(And Michelle adds: Many thanks to all who gave their revision advice. I hope I’ve gotten closer with this version!)

#2 Lavanya – How Not to Be a Monster Meal – Picture Book (K-3)
Posey has a brand new room. But something lurks within the gloom — A monster with a riddle dare! And he’s hungry as a bear. If Posey can’t outwit the cretin, little Posey will be eaten…

#3  Brandie – The Trouble With Keeping Vikings – Picture Book (ages 4-6)
A boy opens his front door and comes face-to-face with a startling surprise. A Viking horde has come for a visit, and they REEK of mischief. From snot-snakes to clashing swords, the outrageous antics of these pesky pillagers are never-ending. That is until the boy makes a certain phone call that will leave these manner-less brutes quaking in their Viking-boots.

#4 Erin – Love, Emmett – Picture Book (ages 4-8)

Emmett loved books so much that he eventually loved them to pieces…literally. After his favorite one falls apart, Emmett saves the last remaining page, only he can’t remember the story quite right. When his teacher asks the class to share their favorite books, Emmett must decide how to tell the story. But his love for the book might just say everything.

Please vote for the one you think is best and deserves a read by editor Erin Molta by Sunday August 3 at 5 PM.
Thank you so much!

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 September 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!

And now, my poppets, I bid you happy August.  I hope you all have tons of fun with your families and your writing and reading, swimming, sailing, sunning, hiking, biking, kayaking, riding, playing volleyball, tennis, baseball, or whatever floats your boat – generally enjoying all summer has to offer!

See you September 10 for the return of Would You Read It, and September 12 for the kick off of Perfect Picture Books Year 3!


xoxoxo 🙂



Would You Read It Wednesday #138 – Immortal Island (YA) PLUS Straight From The Editor!

Greetings from the Green Mountains, my friends!

(Because that is where I am right now – campus touring and college info session-ing to beat the band 🙂  Would anyone like to hear me GIVE a college tour and info session by the way?  I’m pretty sure I could do it, since I am on my 43rd college visit in the last 4 years at the moment!)

I love Vermont.  It’s so bucolic.

I used to live here, you know, back in some of the days of my misspent youth 🙂 so I feel very at home.  I mean, Vermont is the land of Ben & Jerry’s so what’s not to love? 🙂

Quick poll!  Favorite Ben & Jerry’s flavor!

For me it’s a tie between mint oreo and coffee heath bar.  Although I do also have quite a fondness for Cherry Garcia…  How about you?

While you mull over that immensely important question, let me present Straight From The Editor from April.  You will recall that the April Pitch Pick was won by Frances, and here is her winning pitch:

Working Title: Peter and AsburyBy Frances Kalavritinos
Picture Book Ages 4-8

Peter is a shy, socially awkward six-year old boy whose best friend just happens to be an ancient oak tree he calls Asbury.  When Peter learns that Asbury will be cut down, he comes up with a plan to keep the memory of Asbury alive forever.  The unlikely bond that develops between boy and tree helps Peter discover a very special talent that he and Asbury will one day share with the whole world.  

Here are editor Erin Molta’s insightful comments:

This seems like it has potential, but you are going in two seemingly different directions which makes it a little confusing. Peter and Asbury are best friends, which is great—though begs comparisons to ShelSilverstein’s The Giving Tree. But is the story about this special talent that Peter and Asbury will share or the plan that will keep Asbury’s memory alive forever? And if it’s to keep the memory alive—wouldn’t a reader rather keep the tree alive—and shouldn’t Peter be fighting for that, instead? These are questions that an editor may not want to bother with. You want to present a more linear pitch that is clear on a point that will grab an editor’s attention and make her or him want to see the full story.

This is why we call on the expert, folks!  Erin has a knack for getting to the heart of the issue and helping us see it!

Now then.  Thanks to you all talking incessantly about Ben & Jerry’s ice cream flavors, our Something Chocolate for today simply has to be ice cream…

YUM!  Doesn’t that look just chock full of chocolatey goodness?

Happy sigh.  Now that we are fortified with chocolate ice cream, let’s have a look at today’s pitch, shall we?

Today’s pitch comes to us from Amanda who says, My name is Amanda Hildreth (though my pen name is Amanda Wilson). My YA works have been previously published though now I seek new representation. I’ve been writing since I learned how to hold a pencil and began in the field of poetry. I have a degree in psychology which adds rich and gritty elements to my array of characters. I savor YA fantasy and romance because of the fast pace and magical worlds. Reading was my escape before my poems gave way to novels. Now, writing is not simply my escape from reality, it’s my way of life.” 

Here is her pitch:

Working Title: Immortal Island
Age/Genre: YA
The Pitch: Seventeen year old Aria has awoken on the strangely familiar parallel world, Immortal Island, where life is eternal and once imagined monsters lurk everywhere. Aria’s arrival sets off a chain of events leading the Island’s destruction.

With the evil ruler’s son’s vow of protection, Aria is led to swim with hungry Sirens, cross hell to battle Nymphs of the Underworld and bargain the life of a loved one away to Muses with only the obscure chance of being guided home.

As a connection between Aria and the island becomes clear, so does the true nature of the ruler’s son and the other friends Aria has made. Her discovery sets both the Mortal World and the Immortal World on a path to complete annihilation. As her arrival brought catastrophe to the island, only her journey to find home can set everything right.

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 Amanda 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.)
Amanda is looking forward to your thoughts on her pitch!  I am looking forward to touring Ben & Jerry’s today’s college, which is actually at a college I’ve never toured before! Woo-hoo!

Have a wonderful Wednesday everyone!!! 🙂

Would You Read It Wednesday #128 – Sammy Dougie Foxtrot: Look, Smile, Roar (PB) PLUS Straight From The Editor PLUS the March Pitch Pick

My goodness we have a busy day today!

Good thing I gave you Monday off to rest up 🙂

First up, we have Straight From The Editor for Kristine, the February Pitch Winner.  You will recall her pitch:

Working Title: THE STEM GIRLS TAKE OFF
Age/Genre: Picture Book (ages 5-8)
The Pitch: Sophia wants to win the school science fair, but when her project won’t cooperate, she uses perseverance and teamwork to bring home the goal, proving that every girl can be a STEM girl.

Here are editor Erin Molta’s comments:

This is a great premise and goodness knows, we definitely need more books about girls succeeding in science, technology, engineering and math. However, in order for this to catch an editor’s eye, you need to put a little more spark into it. It’s very generic right now. What is her science project? How was it not cooperating? Was she snubbed because she was a girl and had something to prove? It seems to infer that, but the focus in your pitch is on perseverance and teamwork, whereas it should be more specific. Think of the one thing that she did to get everyone to help her OR why her project was failing and base your pitch around that. And if there’s humor—see if you can get that in, too.

As always, I find Erin’s comments so helpful and insightful!

Now, after all that education, we should probably have a snack 🙂  Something Chocolate anyone?  I’m in a cupcake mood. And this one is kind of cheerful and spring-like as well as luscious and chocolate, don’t you think? 🙂

Scrumptious! 🙂

Now that we’re all fortified, let’s take a look at the awesome pitches from March and see which lucky writer is going to get her pitch reviewed by Erin.

#1 Karen – Puddles And Rainbows (PB ages 4-6)
Growing up is hard, but learning to rain might just prove harder. Either way, this Little Cloud needs plenty of patience and determination. A colorful discovery makes it all worthwhile.

#2 Ann – Sk8r Boy (PB ages 5-8)
Peter wants to be an ice skater but can’t because he’s homeless, and he doesn’t have the money for a pair of skates. But when there’s a poetry contest at school with a small cash prize, he may be able to make his smooth words glide and spin so that he can buy the skates and win his classmates’ respect.

#3 Beth – Martin’s Perfect Web (PB ages 5-7)
In a quest to build a perfect web, a fussy spider confronts his biggest fears through an unlikely friendship with an inquisitive dragon.  Laurent the dragon takes Martin on a wild ride on his tail.  No one is more surprised at the ending than this stubborn intractable spider who finally learns how to relax, and enjoy the simple process of creating.

Please vote for the pitch you feel most deserves a read by editor Erin Molta in the poll below by Sunday April 13 at 5PM EDT.

Many thanks!!!

Today’s pitch comes to us from Morgan who says. “I am an aspiring children’s book writer, a licensed school psychologist, and a mother of two boys (ages 1 1/2 and 3), with another on the way. Reading and writing emotional literacy is my passion. I also enjoy writing social stories and making reward charts for fun!” 

Here is her pitch:

Working Title: Sammy Dougie Foxtrot: Look, Smile, Roar
Age/Genre: Picture Book (ages 4-8)
The Pitch: Boogie along with Sammy Dougie Foxtrot and his trusted lion, PJ, on their courageous playground adventure. When PJ gets stuck in a sycamore tree, Sammy is scared: “The kind of scared when brakes on a truck screech, it’s dirt dumps, and it is as stiff as stabilizer legs.”Sammy discovers the true meaning of courage: that one can feel scared and brave at the same time. Even though the children at the playground look different, Sammy looks, smiles, and roars, bravely asking for their help. Find out if Sammy and the playground crew can work together to rescue PJ. “Look, Smile, Roar” enhances 4 to 8 year olds emotional literacy through the use of their imaginations. While entertaining, Sammy and PJ also emphasize tolerance and acceptance to promote early intervention. Oh, and I forgot to mention, they love to have fun! 

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 Morgan 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 July 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!

Morgan is looking forward to your thoughts on her pitch!  I am looking forward to the upcoming Illustrators Contest!  I really am!  Of course, we might not have any entries, but if we DO, think how awesome they will be!  I can’t wait to see what our talented friends come up with to bring the March Madness Contest Winners’ stories to life!  I have to learn how to do those convenient “tweet this” thingies – then I could helpfully put one here and make it so easy for all you guys to spread the word. I’ll add it to my to-do list. . . which is exceedingly long. . . so don’t hold your breath for convenient tweet thingies 🙂

Have a wonderful Wednesday everyone! 🙂

Would You Read It Wednesday #124 – Puddles And Rainbows (PB) PLUS Straight From The Editor

Ola petitos!

(For those of you who don’t speak my version of Spanish, that means hi little ones!  It’s a term of endearment :))

For starters today, we’ve got a Straight From The Editor.  You will recall that the December/January Pitch Pick was won by Beth with her pitch for Tomboy Rules: Blossoms Are Always Prepared (MG Realistic Fiction).

Here is her pitch:

Mabel is so close to playing baseball she can almost see her spitting distance improving.Mabel’smom thinks she should work on sitting still instead. So they make a deal: Mabel can play baseball in the spring, but only if she learns to fit in with the local Blossoms Troop first. But that isn’t easy. Mabel turns square dancing into a contact sport, saves a spider like she’s sliding into second base, and wolfs down the entire cookie sale stash. That’s three strikes and she’s out of Blossoms, but Mabel is not about to let that stop her. She sneaks to the campsite to make amends and discovers she isn’t the only intruder crashing the camp-out. With the Blossoms trapped between a smelly skunk and a sizzling fire, Mabel realizes that she’s the only one who can save the Blossoms from the stinky situation.

And here are editor Erin Molta’s comments:

This looks appealing! The only thing I would suggest is reworking the first sentence because it’s a little confusing because she can be close physically, too and the reader will have to go back and re-read it to figure out what you mean—especially with the spitting distance image. I suggest something a little more straightforward and perhaps more baseball-oriented. Maybe something like: baseball season is almost here and Mabel can hear the crack of the bat and the sound of the ball hitting her glove in her sleep . . . But Mom wants Mabel to make friends with more girls her own age (or something like that)

Insightful as always, I think!

Now that we’ve been enlightened, I think this would be an excellent time for Something Chocolate.  (Of course, I always think that… :))  How do you feel about cookies today?  I personally think I could be very comfortable with the idea 🙂

Aren’t these beautiful? So Yin and Yang!

You may be excused for one minute to get a cup of coffee or a glass of milk to go with the cookies, but come right back for Would You Read It!

Today’s pitch comes to us from Karen who says, “I enjoy writing for children, specifically, PBs, and have been working to both hone my craft and connect with other writers. I recently completed Tara Lazar’s PiBoIdMo and now am onto my first 12×12 challenge with Julie Hedland! I am a mompreneur of sorts and a bit of a daydreamer, journeying however fast or slow towards my goal of publication.”

Come visit her at:
Twitter @kmaewrite
FB as Karen Mae Zoccoli.
Wish I could say I have a website, but not yet (it is on my to do list!)

Here is her pitch:

Working Title: Puddles And Rainbows
Age/Genre: Picture Book (ages 4-6)
The Pitch: Little Cloud desperately wants to play with the bigger clouds, but he needs to prove himself first by learning to rain. Raining takes patience and hard work. As Little Cloud figures out the science of rain, he soon makes a colorful discovery.

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 Karen 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 May 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!

Karen is looking forward to your thoughts on her pitch!  I am looking forward to Spring.  Have I mentioned that before?  Is it starting to sound repetitive?  I can’t help myself.  It’s because of the robins.  Even though we’ve still got a good foot and a half of snow on the ground (with a nasty icy crust, no less) and the temperature this morning was a whopping 4 degrees, the brave, cheery little robins are back.  I don’t know what they’re eating (though we’ve been doling out birdseed by the ton to all the local winter residents, so the robins are welcome to get in on that action if it helps), or how they’re managing the cold, but it’s so uplifting to see them.  They are harbingers of spring.  When the robins come, there is hope!

Have a wonderful Wednesday, everyone, filled with the kind of upliftingness the robins bring 🙂

Would You Read It Wednesday #121 – Fee Fi Fo Flub (PB) AND Straight From The Editor AND The January Pitch Pick!

Sorry I missed you all on Monday.

I’ve got 5 words for you:

Man cold in the house!

‘Nuff said 🙂

So!  We’ve got a doozy of a day!

Sometime in the holiday swirl, we lost track of Straight From The Editor for the November Pitch Winner.  Luckily, the people in charge around here are Extremely Alert and tend to notice such ball-dropping incidents within 2 to 3 months 🙂  So here is Straight From The Editor for November 2013 🙂

You will recall that the winner was Steve with his picture book pitch for Rashad Saves The World.  Here is his pitch:

Rashad is tired of being the youngest and the least important member of his family. When he learns at school that he can save the world, he leaps straight into action and straight into trouble with his family as cell phones disappear down toilets and ice cream turns into soup. And when he accidentally demolishes the garden of his fearsome 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? Perhaps he already has …

And here is what editor Erin Molta had to say about it:

Sounds like a cute story! But it’s a little confusing and an editor would spend too much time trying to figure out what exactly you mean. I think this sentence needs to be more clear: straight into trouble with his family as cell phones disappear down toilets and ice cream turns into soup. Why would his family’s cell phones disappear? Is he trying to save them from cell phone brain damage or is he using the cell phones to create something? Ice cream into soup also needs a clarifier. Brief and then you don’t need the bit about his neighbor.

As always, I find Erin’s thoughts extremely helpful!

Now, I’m sure we’re all feeling a bit peaked after all that reading and processing, so how about a sustaining snack?

In celebration of Valentines Day which is practically here, let’s have Something Chocolate 🙂

From The Girl Who Ate Everything

Isn’t that a thing of beauty?  And deliciousness? 🙂

Next item on the agenda is the December/January Pitch Pick.  We have 5 fabulous entries:

#1 Beth
Tomboy Rules: Blossoms Are Always Prepared (MG)

Mabel is so close to playing baseball she can almost see her spitting distance improving.Mabel’s mom thinks she should work on sitting still instead. So they make a deal: Mabel can play baseball in the spring, but only if she learns to fit in with the local Blossoms Troop first. But that isn’t easy. Mabel turns square dancing into a contact sport, saves a spider like she’s sliding into second base, and wolfs down the entire cookie sale stash. That’s three strikes and she’s out of Blossoms, but Mabel is not about to let that stop her. She sneaks to the campsite to make amends and discovers she isn’t the only intruder crashing the camp-out. With the Blossoms trapped between a smelly skunk and a sizzling fire, Mabel realizes that she’s the only one who can save the Blossoms from the stinky situation.

#2 Rena
The Witch’s Brew – (YA)

Ten years after the disappearance of sibling pair Hansel and Gretel, Gretel’s body is unearthed. All evidence points to Carmen Caramelo a.k.a. the Candy Witch. Fuelled by her own false arrest and her growing attraction to the witch’s son, sixteen-year-old Amy Faye, will stop at nothing to prove Carmen’s innocence. Unfortunately for Amy, that also means risking her reputation, her friendships and even her life, all in the name of justice. John Grisham’s The Accused meets Bill Willingham’sFables: Peter and Max.

#3 Joy
Tell Me About The Baby (MG Verse)
After the death of her parents, 13 year old Sara moves in with her older brother and his pregnant wife. With a brother who acts like her father, and a sister-in-law who resents having a teen to raise before she’s even had a baby, Sara grieves for her old life.  Used to being the baby of the family, Sara isn’t  happy with this new arrangement. Will she find a way to adjust to her new life?

#4 Kirsten
Gwynivere The Ear Finds Her Nose (PB ages 5-7)
Gwynivere the Ear, self-proclaimed superhero, can hear citizens in distress from miles away.  Unfortunately, chaos seems to follow Gwynivere closely; almost as closely as her arch nemesis, Nosy Rosy.  And, as much as Gwynivere proclaims that “superheroes don’t need help,” she will soon discover that everyone can use a helping hand (or nose) once in awhile.

#5 Stacy
Simon Wants To Help – (PB ages 4-8)
Simon’s idea of helping isn’t the same as his mother’s. He empties the bookshelf, dusts the floor with his body, and scatters toys around his room. Simon feels his assistance isn’t needed, until one turn of a lock gives him a chance to make things better.

Please vote for the pitch you feel most deserves a read by editor Erin Molta in the poll below by Sunday February 16 at 5 PM EST.

Many thanks!

Now, finally!, today’s pitch comes to us from Pam B, whom we met before with her pitch for Flood Dogs last April (WYRI #82).  Pam says, “Professionally I was a 3rd and 6th grade teacher before becoming an instructor in Early Childhood and Adolescent Education at Bloomsburg University.  Currently I’m taking time away from teaching to focus on my family and my writing.  You can follow me on Twitter @PamBrunskill.”

Here is her pitch:

Working Title: Fee Fi Fo Flub
Age/Genre: Picture Book (ages 4-8)
The Pitch: Mini’s thrilled to have a part in her school’s production of Gog and the Beanstalk, and she takes her role seriously. But frustrating dialogue, panicked practices, and a giant blunder make Mini realize that sometimes creativity and flexibility are what’s needed to carry the show.

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 Pam 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 March 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!

Pam is looking forward to your thoughts on her pitch!  I am looking forward to Spring.  Seriously!  We’re supposed to get up to another foot of snow by tomorrow night, so pretty much all I can think of is green grass and flowers and sunshine!  I will leave you with this in hopes that it will help drive winter away for a moment or two 🙂

Have a wonderful, productive and happy Wednesday everyone! 🙂

Would You Read It #117 – Tell Me About The Baby (MG Novel In Verse) PLUS Straight From The Editor!

Remember last week when I was going through the things I forgot and said I thought there was something else?

Well, there WAS!

Due to the fact that I didn’t receive them (holiday busy-ness and all that) I never posted Straight From The Editor for our tied October winners!  (At least, I’m pretty sure I never posted them…  If I did, just pretend I didn’t.  You know the drill :))

I wouldn’t want you to miss any of Erin’s insightful comments, so here they are:

First, Julie’s pitch:

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!
And here are Erin’s thoughts:
This has potential, but I am not getting a feel for the story. Is it about getting rid of aphids—thus teamwork or about satisfying a growing appetite.  The hook—the reason why an editor would want to acquire this or even ask to see more is missing. I like the Goldilocks reference –it’s very cute–but what about hungry friends is just right? I think you need to figure out what the main point of the story is. The main goal and message, so to speak for the story. Is it that Broccolilocks will eat anything and everything but broccoli is her favorite and the aphids are eating it, so she must save it? Or is it that Broccolilocks doesn’t have any friends because she eats anything and everything but she manages to meet some in their common goal of getting rid of the aphids? Once you’ve determined the main goal of the story then you can work in the clever Goldilocks references.
Second, Rosi’s pitch:
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
And here are Erin’s thoughts:
This is lovely. However, the last bit falls flat. You don’t want to keep the ending a secret when you’re pitching because an editor doesn’t necessarily ask to see something because she is curious about the ending—she is intrigued and wants to see how the author got there—the actual writing. So, I would give more of a hint as to what Iris did to BECOME a rainbow.
As always, I find Erin’s comments so helpful!  I hope you do too!
Now.  I’m feeling a little faint after all that absorbing of professional pitch critique, so I think we better have a little pick-me-up…  A little snack to tide us over until second breakfast 🙂
It’s time for…
You guessed it!
Something Chocolate!!!

I went all out for you guys today – fancy chocolatey deliciousness… with coffee!!  Enjoy! 🙂

Today’s pitch comes to us from Joy who says, I’m a children’s poet.  I’ve published in Highlight’s HIGH FIVE  (Follow The Footsteps–a puzzle poem is scheduled for publication Feb. 2014) and have poems in The Poetry Friday Anthology, and the Poetry Friday Anthology for Middle Grades, edited by Sylvia Vardell and Janet Wong (Pomelo Books). And their anthology of science poems scheduled for March 2014.
I have a blog at www.poetryforkidsjoy.blogspot.com  where I daily post a children’s poem and a writing prompt.  I’ve been doing this for almost 3 years.  (You do the math, that’s a lot of poetry and a LOT of fun!)
Here is her pitch:

Working Title: Tell Me About The Baby
Age/Genre: MG Novel in Verse
The Pitch:  When Sara’s parents are killed in an auto accident, her older brother comes to take her home with him.  Will Sara be able to adjust to the grief of losing her parents, her home, her school and friends?  Will she adjust to an older brother who wants to act like a father, a pregnant sister-in-law who resents having an almost-teenager in her house, and a new town, school, teachers and hopefully new friends?  Will Sara, who has always been the baby, adjust to a new baby, or will she be a built-in babysitter?  Can Sara make a new life for herself?
(The title comes from the first question Sara asks her brother as they are riding on an airplane to Tucson where she is to tart her new life.)

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 Joy 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 February so you’ve got a little time to polish up your pitches and send yours for a chance to be read by editor Erin Molta!

Joy is looking forward to your thoughts on her pitch!  I am looking forward to when it stops raining (which will hopefully be before the house floats off the mountaintop :))

Have a wonderful Wednesday everyone, and good luck to all the ReViMo-ers out there – you can do it!!!