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 #116 – The Witch’s Brew (YA)

Happy New Year Everyone!
(Which I’m saying again because I don’t think too many people were here on Friday.  After all, even I wasn’t really :))

I hope you all had wonderful holidays!

I thoroughly enjoyed mine.  The only hard part was sending all the kids back to school – I hate to see them go 😦 – and, oh, yeah, getting back to work!

As you know, I took about 2 weeks off.  I didn’t think I could do it, but I did.  It turned out to be easier than I thought 🙂  I spent lots of time with family, which was really wonderful, and I even got to read a couple books!  I admit it.  I’m a die-hard Jack Reacher fan – not the movie (I’m sorry, but Tom Cruise cannot pull off fair-haired, blue-eyed, 6′ 5″ and 250 lbs!) – but the books.  The whole time off thing was a real treat.  And now I’m finding it a little harder than I expected to get back in the groove 🙂

Since the Holiday Contest (and my time off) kind of took over December, a few things fell by the wayside.

I’m pretty sure I never announced the winner of the November Pitch Pick, so, without further ado, it was Steve with his pitch for Rashad Saves The World!  Congratulations, Steve!  You had some tough competition!  (And if I DID announce that before and just forgot, let’s all pretend I didn’t and be excited for Steve!  And let’s also all pretend I’m not going prematurely senile :))  Steve, your pitch is in Erin Molta’s inbox (yes, it really is – I did actually remember that :)) and I’m sure you’ll hear from her shortly.  Congratulations to the other brave pitchers as well because they all gave excellent pitches for stories which sounded terrific!

I also don’t think I ever announced the winner of Sharon Stanley’s lovely book The Little Dog In The Middle Of The Road and the accompanying stuffed toy!  So without further ado, the winner, as chosen randomly by random.org, is Diane Tulloch! 🙂  Diane, I will put you in touch with Sharon so you two ladies can work out mailing the goodies 🙂

Also, I didn’t get a chance yet to tell you about Elaine Kearns’s fabulous new website for writers – KidLit411!  It’s got everything!  You should definitely go check it out!  But after Would You Read It, please, because once you click over there you’re going to want to explore and it might take you awhile 🙂

I’d also like to remind anyone who might be interested that Meg Miller’s ReViMo is coming up next week – January 12-18.  It will be a full week to work on picture book revisions in the company of other picture book writers with prizes and everything!

It seems that everyone else is posting inspirational messages about their word for the year, their goals, their aspirations.  I have goals and aspirations too, but as you all know, I am not that organized.  So for now, I’m just going to sum up my goals for 2014 as Get Stuff Done 🙂

I think there was something else I forgot but, I forget… 🙂

You know what’s helpful when you forget things?

Something Chocolate!

How about cake?

courtesy of OMG Chocolate Desserts – recipe here

It doesn’t help you remember, but it makes you not mind that you forgot 🙂

If any of you all think of something else I’ve forgotten, please feel free to remind me!

Now then, enough with the catching up.  Let’s get on to Would You Read It!

Today’s pitch comes to us from Rena.  Rena J. Traxel writes silly picture books for kids and murderous novels for teens. Find her on twitter @renajtraxel or on Facebook

Here is her pitch:

Working Title: The Witch’s Brew
Age/Genre: YA (mystery/legal thriller/fractured fairy tale)
The Pitch: When the body of Gretel is unearthed the residents of Rosia are ready to burn the candy Witch everyone except 16-year-old Amy Faye. Fuelled by her own false arrest, Amy—lawyer in training— is willing to risk her reputation, her family and maybe even bend a law or two to prove her crush’s mother isn’t a murderer. But will the truth set the Witch free or will she be rightfully executed alongside Amy’s reputation. Grisham’s The Accused meets Willingham’s Fables.

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 Rena 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!

Rena is looking forward to your thoughts on her pitch!  I am looking forward to seeing everyone on Friday for Perfect Picture Books.  And now that this post is done, don’t forget to go check out KidLit411 and ReViMo!

Have a wonderful Wednesday everyone! 🙂

Would You Read It Wednesday #102 – The Savage Queen (YA) PLUS The July Pitch Winner

Can you believe it?  Here we are at the last Wednesday in August!  Where did the summer go?

Before we get to all of today’s exciting offerings, I just want to thank everyone who took the time to visit Eric’s website and listen to his music, and especially those who followed him on Twitter and downloaded tracks.  We are both so appreciative and hope you enjoyed what you heard.  (And if you didn’t get a chance to check it out, please feel free at any time :))

Also, while I was listing new things on Monday, I forgot to mention that my blog and website have been revamped a bit to make them more integrated.  I wish the titles for WYRI, PPBF etc. could be in smaller font, but Blogger won’t let you do that, so it is what it is.  Otherwise, I feel pretty good about it.  What do you guys think?

Now then, let’s fortify ourselves with Something Chocolate, shall we?  I’m in the mood for some Chocolate Cream Pie this morning… something I know Clar will back me up on because I think she eats that for breakfast every day 🙂

YUM!

By the way, if anybody out there has Something Chocolate they’d like to share with the group, please feel free to email pictures (and recipes if you have them) as Coleen and Teresa have done recently and I will use them and credit you on Would You Read It!

Alrighty… Let’s get to the July Pitch Pick!  All the pitches were terrific, and the vote was exceptionally close – unprecedentedly so as a matter of fact! – but in the end, the winner was….

RACHEL with her pitch for The Curse of the Shattered Sceptre!

Congratulations, Rachel!  Your pitch is on it’s way to editor Erin Molta for her thoughts.  And congratulations to all our brave pitchers for great story ideas and wonderful pitch revisions.  Good luck to all of you with your stories!

Today’s pitch comes to us from Alicia who says: About me: I am currently a freshman at Wright State University and heading towards a Masters Degree in Middle Childhood Education. Writing is my first and foremost passion, leading me to want to help kids in school achieve their goals through teaching them how to write. I also began writing in middle school, which is exactly why I would like to teach children of that age.

If you’d like to follow her on twitter she’s @TacitLady and you can contact her by email at aliciastew95@gmail.com

Here is her pitch:

Working Title: The Savage Queen
Age/Genre: YA (Fantasy/Adventure/Coming of Age)
The Pitch: Roma Whitewood is charged with treason for trying to protect the only family he has ever known as they are murdered before his eyes at the hands of the King’s Royal Army. The country Roma has always called his own, betrays him as his punishment is to be stripped of his citizenship and sent to work in the treacherous labor camps, where he meets Lyra and she opens his eyes to the truths of the world that he had been overlooking his whole life. All of the stories his mother told him as child, that he never even dared to believe, all begin to come true and Roma must face the ultimate decision: be oppressed or join the Uprising with Lyra. There’s more to Lyra than she’s telling him, but Roma can only put his trust in the hands of the girl who had been by his side every moment in the camps. She was going to escape, or die trying, and Roma was going with her, no matter the outcome.

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 Alicia 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 September so we could seriously use some new pitches!  Send yours for your chance to be read by editor Erin Molta!

Alicia is looking forward to your thoughts on her pitch!  I am looking forward to finishing cleaning my office (which yes, I am attempting once again… we’ll see if I succeed this time or give up in despair as usual 🙂  I may need another slice of pie :))

Have a wonderful Wednesday everyone!! 🙂