Would You Read It Wednesday #257 – Little Medusa’s Hair Do-Lemma (PB) PLUS The May Pitch Winner!!!

Hi Everyone!

So glad you could make it 🙂

Actually, I’m glad I could make it!  I’ve been so busy this week I almost forgot it was Wednesday!

I am busy planning the launch of WHEN YOUR LION NEEDS A BATH, WHEN YOUR ELEPHANT HAS THE SNIFFLES and THE ROAD THAT TRUCKS BUILT.  A fun-filled blog tour is in the making and I hope you’ll all join the high jinx and shenanigans!

But for now, it’s a regular Wednesday so let’s jump right in, shall we?

First of all, the winner of the May Pitch Pick was Cortney with her PB pitch for Olive Hills!  Congratulations, Cortney!  Your pitch is on its way to editor Erin Molta for her thoughts!!!

Congratulations also to our other pitchers who worked hard to write and revise their pitches and bravely put them up for all of us to learn from.  I hope it was a helpful experience.  And I have to say, this particular group had about the closest voting results I’ve ever seen on WYRI, so you must all have done an unusually good job!!!

Since summer is officially here, and cherries are in season and go so well with chocolate, how about some Triple Chocolate Cherry Cake for our Something Chocolate this morning?

TRIPLE CHOCOLATE CHERRY CAKE

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Recipe HERE at Averie Cooks

Delicious AND nutritious!!!  (I mean, it has cherries in it!  That’s fruit! 🙂 )

Now then, onto today’s pitch which comes to us from Jenny who says, “I graduated from Making Picture Book Magic in 2015 with an advanced degree in Kidlit and honors in Chocolate Appreciation.  I’m an active participant in the 12 x 12 community and a member of SCBWI.  While I regularly write non-fiction for Cricket Media, I’m chasing the dream of becoming a published picture book author.  Every line, every draft, is one step closer to success!”

Find her on Twitter @Yangmommy

Here is her pitch:

Working Title: Little Medusa’s Hair Do-Lemma

Age/Genre: Picture Book (ages 3-6)

The Pitch: Little Medusa loves everything about snakes–just as long as they’re not slithering and sliding through her hair!  She’s tangled up in knots trying to follow tradition.  Using her imagination and heart, Little Medusa tries her best to please her family, her snake and herself.

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 Jenny 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 July, 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!

Jenny is looking forward to your thoughts on her pitch!  I am looking forward to continuing work on the upcoming blog tour because I want it to be really special for you all!

Have a wonderful Wednesday everyone!!! 🙂

 

Would You Read It Wednesday #232 – Celebirdy: The True Story Of Mike The Headless Chicken

Good Morning, Everyone!

So, it turns out (not that this will come as a surprise to any of you, but it constantly shocks the socks off me!) that I really DO live under a rock!

Actually, I think it’s possible I still live in a cave!

When it comes to modern technology, I am a helpless baby.  Just ask my long-suffering children 🙂

Yesterday, thanks to a conversation at lunch with the lovely Elaine, Queen of Kidlit411, I found out that you can CHOOSE what shows up in your Face Book news feed!

Seriously!  I’m not kidding!

No doubt you guys all already knew this.  Like I said, I’m pretty much the last one to figure anything out!  But in case anyone out there is as technologically challenged as I am, it’s true.  You can go into your preferences and star people and pages you want to be sure to see every post from.

And now, for the height of hilarity, I will instruct those who might be as clueless as I am (talk about the blind leading the blind! 🙂 )  If you go on your FB page, at the top right there’s a little down arrow.

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See it?  Next to the padlock with the three lines?

If you click it, one of the options is for “News Feed Preferences”

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If you click on News Feed Preferences, you get this:

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And if you choose “Prioritize who to see first” it will take you to a screen that shows you every single person you’re friends with and all the pages you like, and you can select which ones you want to be sure not to miss!

Amazing, isn’t it?

I invite you all to practice by going to your FB pages, selecting your News Feed Preferences, Prioritizing who to see first, and clicking on Susanna Leonard Hill – Author! 🙂  That way you will be sure never to miss any of my scintillating Author Page posts (upon which I slave, working my fingers to the bone and burning the midnight oil! 🙂 ) And I assure you that you do not WANT to miss any of them because I may well hold a giveaway of awesome new picture books in the next week or so just to encourage people to like my page and star it in their news feeds so they actually see it!

Let’s not call it bribery.  I think happy incentive sounds much nicer 🙂

And speaking of bribery happy incentive, how about Something Chocolate?  For this morning’s treat, I’m thinking Chocolate Oatmeal Cookies!

You’re going to totally thank me for this one!  I mean seriously – it has oatmeal in the title!  How much more breakfast can you get?  And no-bake?  Ready in 5 minutes?  It doesn’t get much better 🙂

No Bake Chocolate Oatmeal Cookies!

chocolate-oatmeal-cookies

Recipe HERE at SugarApron

I’m pretty sure this is exactly what your mother had in mind when she told you it was important to start the day with a healthy breakfast! 🙂

We should be having the October Pitch Pick, but due to the Halloweensie Contest and the DIRE problems with my email (which refuses to load no matter how many picture books or chocolate oatmeal cookies I attempt to bribe it with!) I didn’t get the word out to the October pitchers.  So… maybe next week…

Now then, onto today’s pitch which comes to us from Carolyn whom you will remember from her October pitch for Muggsy And His Go-Go Cart who says, “I am a teacher librarian in the Chicagoland area. Working with children, I have discovered that they love to hear stories about the underdog overcoming obstacles and defeating “the top dog”. They also love weird, but true stories. These observations inspired me to write these two stories.

Here is her pitch:

Working Title:  Celebirdy: The True Story Of Mike The Headless Chicken

Age/Genre: Nonfiction Picture Book (ages 7-11)

The Pitch:  This nonfiction story tells the account of a chicken that lived without its head for 18 months. The truth doesn’t get much weirder than that!

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 Carolyn 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!

Carolyn is looking forward to your thoughts on her pitch!  I am looking forward to all the people who are going to like my FB author page and star it so as to be sure not to miss a single one of my not-to-be-missed spectacularly awesome posts! 🙂 🙂 🙂

Have a wonderful Wednesday everyone!!! 🙂

 

Would You Read It Wednesday #230 – Muggsy And His Go-Go Cart (PB)

Whoopee!  What do you know?

It’s Would You Read It Wednesday! 🙂

Today’s pitch is in the realm of a “weird but true” story.  I am a huge fan of weird but true facts – they’re so weird… but true! 🙂  So  I thought I should begin this post with a weird but true fact of my own that I’m sure will knock your socks off!  I also think it would be a great idea for a picture book, if anyone wants to take a crack at it, so I’m sharing it with you, my talented PB-writing posse! 🙂

Ready?

This is completely true.  Seriously.  I am not making it up:

A sheep, a duck, and a rooster were the first passengers on a hot air balloon!

I’m pretty sure no one asked them if they wanted to get in that basket.

I’m guessing they had some serious doubts as to the wisdom of the plan.

But being the helpless guinea pigs accommodating creatures they were, they climbed bravely aboard and made history!

Possible picture book?  I think so!  Whoopee!

And speaking of whoopee, how about Something Chocolate – a Whoopie Pie Cake?!

For starters, you really can’t go wrong with a recipe that has both pie AND cake in the title!  And really, I think that gooey chocolatey marshmallowy deliciousness looks like the perfect breakfast, don’t you?  Maybe we should send some along in the balloon with the sheep, the duck, and the rooster – I’m sure a little snack to sustain them would be most welcome and help make up for the fact that they were tossed willy-nilly and without their consent into a basket attached to a giant balloon and sent skyward where no sheep or rooster had any business being… the duck is another matter 🙂

Now then, onto today’s pitch which comes to us from Carolyn who says, “I am a teacher librarian in the Chicagoland area. Working with children, I have discovered that they love to hear stories about the underdog overcoming obstacles and defeating “the top dog”. They also love weird, but true stories. These observations inspired me to write these two stories.

Here is her pitch:

Working Title: Muggsy And His Go-Go Cart

Age/Genre: Picture Book (ages 4-8)

The Pitch: 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?

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

Carolyn is looking forward to your thoughts on her pitch!  I am looking forward to drafting a picture book about flying animals, aren’t you?  What could be more fun?!

Have a wonderful Wednesday everyone!!! 🙂

 

Would You Read It Wednesday #229 – Pochon’s Monster (PB)

Happy Wednesday, Folks!

As we are all picture book folk, immersed in the world of That-Which-Matters-To-Kids, I’m sure you all woke up this morning with only one thought on your minds:

Today is Take Your Teddy Bear To Work Day!

A lot of us, being writers, or work-at-home parents, are not going to supply much of an outing for our teddy bears.

(And I’m guessing it’s pretty unlikely that anyone besides a preschool or kindergarten teacher would actually consider leaving the house with a teddy bear :)… but I mention the whole Take Your Teddy Bear To Work idea because I think there’s a picture book in it somewhere… from the teddy bear’s POV!)

Of course, some of us (that would be me) never actually had a teddy bear.  I had a camel I was fond of.  He has no hair now.  And a Snoopy with an engineer hat and overalls.  Alas…he has no clothes or hair now…  But no actual bear.  (There’s probably a whole nother story idea in that…! 🙂 )

So on this Take Your Teddy Bear To Work Day I’m bringing my Brown Bear – not that coming to work is any big deal for her.  She does it every single day 🙂  The chair in my office that I recently had reupholstered has somehow become hers… I could probably have really skipped that reupholstering! 🙂

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As you can see, she is wide awake and on the job – a tremendous aid to my writing efforts 🙂

Did/do you have a teddy bear or stand-in?  Will you take it to work?  If so, what job will you take it to?  I’m serious – there may be a future picture book in this! 🙂

Okay, so now that I’m feeling like I had an underprivileged childhood because I never had an actual teddy bear, I believe it’s time for Something Chocolate!

How do you feel about Cookie Dough Brownies?

I knew you’d be fans!  I mean, it’s a brownie AND a (sort of) cookie with oodles of chocolatey goodness… how can you go wrong?! 🙂

Now.  Onto today’s pitch which comes to us from Greg, whom you will remember from his pitch back in the summer for The Bath Of Least Resistance.  Greg (clearly a kindred spirit!) says, “If I didn’t have to work for a living I’d be writing, eating chocolate and writing about eating chocolate.  For fun I play hockey, geocache, cook, and chase around my son.”

Find him on the web at https://www.facebook.com/gregoryebray/

Here is his pitch:

Working Title: Pochon’s Monster

Age/Genre: Picture Book (ages 4-10)

The Pitch:

A sock stealing monster made of socks?” Viola couldn’t believe the story she heard at a slumber about Pochon’s Monster was true.

Viola sets out to find the monster and get her socks back. With an act of kindness, she gets the monster to relinquish what it has taken.

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 Greg 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 Would You Read It in the dropdown under For Writers in the bar above.  There are openings in November, so you could get your pitch up pretty soon for some helpful feedback and have a chance to have it read by editor Erin Molta!

Greg is looking forward to your thoughts on his pitch!  I am looking forward to the upcoming 6th Annual Halloweensie Writing Contest, which I’m hoping you all saw the announcement for on Monday!  Here’s the LINK in case you missed it.  And there’s already a prize update – one lucky winner will have the opportunity for a read and critique from editor Marilyn Brigham of Two Lions!  And KidLit 411 is contributing a bundle of picture books!  And more stuff is rolling in, so stay tuned!

Have a wonderful start-looking-forward-to-Halloweensie Wednesday everyone!!! 🙂

Would You Read It Wednesday #228 – When Sheep Fall Asleep (PB)

Well, my friends, what a week THIS has been so far!

For starters, although it maybe wasn’t much in the grand scheme of things, we did finally get a little much-needed rain.  This may not sound like a big deal, but after what has to have been the driest summer on record for a long, long time, the parched ground and drooping trees were clearly grateful!  And there’s something very pleasant about a cool, gray day with the gentle sound of rain pattering on the roof while you work diligently at sudoku puzzles  sporcle quizes  catching up on the Game of Thrones episodes you never got to watch your writing!

Then on Monday, my own little thrill of excitement when I discovered my new books up on Amazon and GoodReads!  There’s something about seeing them there that makes it all feel more real! 🙂  And although I knew that WHEN YOUR LION NEEDS A BATH and WHEN YOUR ELEPHANT HAS THE SNIFFLES would be out on July 11, 2017, I did NOT know the publication date for THE ROAD THAT TRUCKS BUILT until I saw it up on Amazon – June 6, 2017 – so that was especially fun! 🙂

Coming soon… to a library/bookstore/classroom near you…! 🙂

And now, hopefully a little thrill of excitement for you when I hint that I have writing contest news coming soon… because in case you’ve been too busy to look at the calendar, that Halloweensie time of year is approaching…!  I’m working on prizes, but if anyone has anything to offer or great contacts who might have anything to offer, please feel free to let me know.  With 3 big contests coming up, I can use all the awesome prizes I can get for you guys!!!  Keep it tuned to this station… there will be news SOON! 🙂  And start thinking about those Halloweensie stories….!

Now.  We have all been awake for at least 5 minutes, many of us as many as 7 or even 12 minutes!, so that means it’s time for Something Chocolate.  After all, we can hardly be expected to soldier through a morning of hard writing/parenting/teaching/librarianing without a little pick-me-up!  Hmm… what would be good?  I’m thinking Something Cupcake.  Because cupcakes are yummy, portable, and small enough to eat two…or three… without feeling guilty 🙂

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Recipe HERE at HandleTheHeat best-chocolate-cupcakes-02

YUM!  Chocolate/chocolate – simple, classic, elegant, delicious!

Now then, onto today’s pitch which comes to us from Michele who says, “I’m an executive editor at the children’s publishing arm of an entertainment company. As an author, I have published leveled readers, books of word games, a board book set, and children’s apps for iOS and Android–but this is my first attempt at a picture book, and it’s nerve-wracking being on the other side of the desk! I’m a member of SCBWI and Children’s Media Association, and you can find me Tweeting about books, children’s entertainment, and whatever else pops into my mind at @michelewells.”

Find her on the web at @michelewells

Here is her pitch:

Working Title: When Sheep Fall Asleep

Age/Genre: Picture Book (ages 3-6)

The Pitch: 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!

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 Michele 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 November, so…not so far off at this point!  You could your chance soon to get your pitch up for helpful feedback and have a chance to have it read by editor Erin Molta!

Michele is looking forward to your thoughts on her pitch!  I am looking forward to telling all my relatives that my new books are available for preorder (in the hopes that they will honor their familial obligation to support me 🙂 ) and checking Amazon obsessively to see if cover art for the TRUCK book goes up because I can’t wait to see it! 🙂  I am the soul of patience, aren’t I?  Perfectly cut out for a career in the (ahem) fast-paced industry of children’s publishing 🙂

Have a wonderful Wednesday everyone!!! 🙂

 

Would You Read It Wednesday #227 -Grandmother’s Parrots (PB) PLUS The May, June And July Pitch Pick Winners And Straight From The Editor!!!

Happy Wednesday to you, folks!

You know, I don’t when the world got so busy!  But it surely did!  Everyone but everyone seems to have more to manage than they can keep up with.  We all muddle along as best we can, but sometimes Straight From The Editors have to wait awhile until the editor in question has time to read and comment on the pitch!

I usually announce the pitch pick winners and tell them that their pitch is on its way to editor Erin Molta for her read and comments and they will hear from her shortly.  But THIS time, I sent the winning pitches to Erin and she replied before I got the post up, so today you get the whole shebang – pitch winners AND Straight From The Editor!

But, in our busy busy world, this time we’re AHEAD of schedule!  (Please take note and enjoy it… it’s not likely to ever happen again 🙂 )

So first off, the June Pitch Pick was won by Susan with her PB pitch for Bossy Bird.  Congratulations, Susan!!!  *confetti*  *multi-colored balloons*  *cheering from all sides!*

The July Pitch Pick was won by Robyn with her MG pitch for Fear On The Mountain.  Congratulations, Robyn!!!  *more confetti* *celebratory double-decker chocolate cupcakes*  *thunderous applause*

I’d also like to congratulate and thank all the other June and July pitchers who wrote strong pitches for amazing-sounding stories and then worked to revise their pitches based on your wonderful feedback.  It takes courage to share a pitch here!  And Would You Read It wouldn’t be what it is without all the  writers who put their work on the line, braving constructive criticism for the sake of their craft – so they can make their pitches stronger – and so all of us can learn.  Great job all of you!  Really!  And while I’m at it, I’d like to thank all of you for being so generous with your time and expertise, sharing your reactions, comments, advice and help each week to aid our pitchers on their quest for pitch perfection!  You are all lovely!!!

Moving right along, we’ve now got Straight From The Editor for May, June AND July!

 

May – Melissa – Walking With Memphis

You will recall Melissa’s winning pitch:

Walking With Memphis: Inspired By A Real Dog (Nonfiction Picture Book ages 3-8)

When Memphis becomes paralyzed and loses his wag, he must learn to walk with a wheelchair. He worries his dog days will never be the same, but he digs up the courage to embark on an adventurous discovery of all that he is capable of and what it means to be a lucky dog.

Here are editor Erin Molta’s thoughts:

This sounds like a great story. However, if you’re calling it nonfiction then you can’t have the story from Memphis’s point of view. It needs to be an omniscient narrator. If it is “inspired” by a true story then it can be just a picture book and not nonfiction. Then you can keep it in the dog’s POV. Besides that, I have a slight tweak to suggest

When Memphis becomes paralyzed and loses his wag, he must learn to walk with a wheelchair. He worries his dog days will never be the same, but he digs up the courage to embark on an adventurous journey to discover all that he was capable of and what it meant to be a lucky dog.

June – Susan – Bossy Bird (PB)

Here is Susan’s winning pitch:

Bossy Bird is the largest, loudest and bossiest bird of the bunch.  When the fed up flock ruffles HIS feathers, he leaves the safety of the group.  With danger crouching around the corner, Bossy Bird must find a way to save the birds that sent him away and discovers that being the boss is not as important as being a friend.

And here are Erin’s thoughts:

This is nice! I just have one tweak and that’s to add in that he’s been forced out, rather than he “leaves” the safety of the group because that makes it more clear that they didn’t want him, so him saving them from the creature has more resonance.

 Bossy Bird is the largest, loudest and bossiest bird of the bunch.  Then the fed up flock ruffles HIS feathers and forced him out.  With danger crouching around the corner, Bossy Bird must find a way to save the birds that sent him away and discovers that being the boss is not as important as being a friend.

July – Robyn – Fear On The Mountain (MG)

Here is Robyn’s winning pitch:

What was supposed to be an idyllic birthday of fun and horseback riding becomes a grueling test of survival.
Thirteen-year-old Anna, a diabetic, doesn’t plan on getting lost in the Blue Ridge Mountains of North Carolina without her insulin bottle. But that’s what happens, thanks to the carelessness of Claire, her best friend.
When Claire’s horse gets loose they leave the trail to find him. They find themselves lost with nighttime closing in. Wild animals, a storm, and devastating injuries won’t stop Anna from searching for a way down the mountain. Or will they?

And here are Erin’s thoughts:

Sounds like it could be exciting. It might work better if you trim the extra info. and stick to the highlights. Also, no need to end on a question because that doesn’t actually make people want to read to find out the answer—since it’s pretty much a given, anyway.

 Best of luck!

What was supposed to be an idyllic birthday of fun and horseback riding turns into a nightmare.

Thirteen-year-old Anna, a diabetic, ends up lost in the Blue Ridge Mountains of North Carolina without her insulin bottle, thanks to the carelessness of Claire, her best friend.

When they must search for Claire’s horse, they find themselves lost with nighttime closing in. Wild animals, a storm, and (be specific about the injury) become a grueling test of survival that Anna and Claire must pass in order to get home.

As always, I find Erin’s perspective so helpful and enlightening, and I hope you all do too!

Wow!  That was A LOT of pitch winning and Straight-From-The-Editoring!  (It’s feast or famine around here in that department!)  I don’t know about you, but I’m ready for Something Chocolate!  (aren’t I always? 🙂 )  How about some fresh, cinnamon-scented cider donuts?  Okay.  Technically not chocolate.  But I found them on a blog called Chocolate Chocolate And More, and it’s fall… and you all know my weakness for cider donuts…  So here are some – warm, cinnamon-sugary, and delicious to dunk into your coffee while you help today’s pitcher with her pitch – and I’ll give you some chocolate hot fudge sauce to go along with them 🙂

cider-donuts

Recipe HERE at ChocolateChocolateAndMore (do not be fooled that the url mentions white chocolate caramel gingerbread cookie cups – which also sound delicious – the url is correct and has the donut recipe!)

Now go ahead!  Dip in hot fudge sauce to your chocolatey little heart’s content! 🙂

Now then, onto today’s pitch which comes to us from Patricia whom you may remember from her previous pitch for Bird And The Baker in March.  Patricia is a pre-published author and long-time 12×12 and PiBoIdMo participant. She primarily writes picture books, which she loved reading with her three children when they were young and hopes to read with grandchildren sometime in the future (the first wedding looms!). Patricia lives with her husband, an orange and white Toller pup, and more than 400 high school students at a New England boarding school. She loves travel and gardening.

Find her on twitter @ptntweets, or reviewing Perfect Picture Books at  Wander, Ponder, Write.  

Here is her pitch:

Working Title: Grandmother’s Parrots

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

The Pitch: Charlotte isn’t happy about her first solo overnight at Grandmother’s house. Grandmother is so old, and her house is so creepy! But when Charlotte discovers the joys of birdwatching and uncovers a secret from Grandmother’s past, Charlotte wishes she could stay much longer.

Grandmother’s Parrots explores the London Blitz from a child’s perspective and the origin of London’s parrot population.

 

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 Patricia 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 October, 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!

Patricia is looking forward to your thoughts on her pitch!  I am looking forward to enjoying the Season Of Cider Donuts (yes, I think it should be capitalized and celebrated as its own Season! 🙂 ) to the fullest possible extent!!!

Have a wonderful cider donut-filled Wednesday everyone!!! 🙂

 

Would You Read It Wednesday # 226 – Madeleine’s Crowning Moment (PB) PLUS The June And July Pitch Picks!!!

Good Morning, Everyone!

It’s Hope-You-Ate-Your-Wheaties Wednesday today!

We have A LOT to do!

(Which means you are excused from me waxing poetic about tomorrow being the first day of Autumn… or doing any form of interpretive dance to celebrate the very-nearly-here season premiere of Gray’s Anatomy… or practicing my sheep-song-in-progress which I’m composing in anticipation of the upcoming NYS Sheep & Wool Festival… or any of my other tomfoolery… because we have no extra time!  Lucky you 🙂 )

So let’s get right down to it, shall we?

You’ll be thrilled to know that at long last we are ready for the June and July Pitch Picks, so here goes!  (And a little side note: I don’t want to influence your choices by telling you which ones, but one of these pitches is for a story that has since sold for publication, and one of them earned its author a contract with an agent!  How awesome is that?  WYRI and all the help you guys give each other is really paying off! 🙂 )

June Pitch Pick

Please read through the 5 pitches below and then vote for the one you think most deserving of a read and critique from editor Erin Molta by Sunday September 25 at 5 PM EDT.  Winner will be announced next Wednesday (Sept.28)

#1 Susan – BOSSY BIRD (PB ages 3-8)

Bossy Bird is the largest, loudest and bossiest bird of the bunch.  When the fed up flock ruffles HIS feathers, he leaves the safety of the group.  With danger crouching around the corner, Bossy Bird must find a way to save the birds that sent him away and discovers that being the boss is not as important as being a friend.

 

#2 Greg – THE BATH OF LEAST RESISTANCE (PB ages 3-8)
Bogie wakes up to a strange new smell in his puppy nose. He goes to investigate and discovers a tray of paint in the living room. He dives in and enjoys the wonderful new scent and texture.

His brother discovers a paint soaked Bogie and decides to get him cleaned off before their parents return. His brother uses Bogie’s favorite toys and food to lure him into the bath with no luck. What will it take to give Bogie a bath, or is he destined to remain a colorful pooch forever?

#3 Sam – Crab And Gull (PB ages 4-8)

Gull wants Crab’s sandwich. Crab wants Gull to leave him and his sandwich alone. But when Gull goes missing, Crab’s treat just doesn’t taste as sweet. He packs up his food in search of Gull, and finds that sometimes cooking up a friendship a more important than cooking up a seaweed sandwich.

#4 Lindsay – BREAKDANCE BERTIE (PB ages 3-8)

With a grand-prize pool at stake, Bertie the emu wants to wiggle her way to victory in a breakdancing competition, but when hail destroys the boombox, Bertie and her barnyard pals must build their own beat.

#5 Lydia – Dancing Through Space (PB ages 3-7)

3-2-1- Blast off! Dr. Mae Jemison launches into space and accomplishes her childhood dream. Despite challenges along the way, she never gave up and went on to become the first African-American woman to orbit the earth.

July Pitch Pick

Please read through the 4 pitches below and then vote for the one you think most deserving of a read and critique from editor Erin Molta by Sunday September 25 at 5 PM EDT.  Winner will be announced next Wednesday (Sept. 28)

#1 Susan – PIZZA FOR THANKSGIVING? (PB ages 3-8)

As Thanksgiving approaches, Lennie is determined to save himself and the other turkeys from their dinner fate.  After his adoption plan, escape attempt and turkey slim down plan fall short, the gobbler must turn the tables with a dinner scheme that will deliver the rescue they need before they all become the main course.

 

#2 PJ – CAMP CRAZY MEATBALLS (PB ages 3-6)

CAMP CRAZY MEATBALLS is a zany picture book about siblings Matt and Morgan. Mom insists they go to camp for a week to break their routine of TV and computer games. But this camp isn’t quite what the kids expected. First, the counselors are talking animals, and second, everything—and I mean EVERYTHING— is made out of meatballs. Even their beds! And meatballs is the only thing on the menu! At first, the kids are thrilled—what kid doesn’t like meatballs—but meatballs morning, noon and night soon drives everyone crazy. In the end, the kids dream up a clever way to solve the dilemma and develop a new appreciation for broccoli.

#3 Robyn – FEAR ON THE MOUNTAIN (Upper MG ages 9-12)

What was supposed to be an idyllic birthday of fun and horseback riding becomes a grueling test of survival.
Thirteen-year-old Anna, a diabetic, doesn’t plan on getting lost in the Blue Ridge Mountains of North Carolina without her insulin bottle. But that’s what happens, thanks to the carelessness of Claire, her best friend.
When Claire’s horse gets loose they leave the trail to find him. They find themselves lost with nighttime closing in. Wild animals, a storm, and devastating injuries won’t stop Anna from searching for a way down the mountain. Or will they?

 

#4 Amy – Grizzie Moon Does NOT Like Cats! (PB ages 3-6)

When Bob the cat accidentally ruins Grizzie Moon’s extraordinary ghoul stew, he must find a way to save the recipe and win the favor of this persnickety witch before her Stitch and Witch Club arrives.

Phew!  All that reading and trying to decide which of those amazing pitches is the MOST amazing and deserves your vote is hard work!  I think it’s time for Something Chocolate (though of course when do I ever NOT think that? 🙂 )  How about some No Bake Brownie Batter Cheesecake?!

I thought you’d like that!  How can you go wrong when the title includes the words “no bake”, “brownie batter” and cheesecake”?

I believe second helpings are in order… there were TWO pitch picks after all… 🙂

Now then, onto today’s pitch which comes to us from Tina who says, “I am Tina  Shepardson , age 50, completing my 27 th year of teaching . Currently I teach grade 6, most of those years have been in the middle school level . My husband and I have a 13 year old daughter , Payton. Our other children are 2 furry Akitas , a breed we adore.  I am working on my next career as it would be a dream co e true to write and visit children and teach in a different way.”

Find her on the web at https://www.facebook.com/tinamshepardson

Here is her pitch:

Working Title: Madeleine’s Crowning Moment

Age/Genre: Picture Book (ages 4-8)

The Pitch: Madeleine, a dog living in a shelter is looking for a sense of belonging and desire to make a difference. She has always wanted to compete in a pageant and discovers and opportunity to compete . Her experience leads her to learn a great deal about others . Will she achieve her goals and make a difference?

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 Tina 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 October, 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!

Tina is looking forward to your thoughts on her pitch!  And I am looking forward to getting my kitchen sink fixed!  The sprayer broke, so every time I turn the water on, the sprayer sprays wildly and no water whatsoever comes out of the faucet.  It’s like an April Fool prank every time 🙂  The plumber assures me he can come fix it Saturday (by which point I will probably have soaked every item of clothing I possess by turning the water on with my mind on whatever story I’m writing and forgetting about that sprayer 🙂 )

Have a wonderful Wednesday everyone!!! 🙂

 

Would You Read It Wednesday #225 – Go Granny Go! (PB)

Happy Wednesday, Everyone!

What a week it’s been so far!  I don’t know about you, but I’ve been busy as a beaver!

(This is bizarrely fitting because long ago in my misspent youth I went to an all girls’ school where our mascot (very unfortunately) was a beaver.  Just imagine the terror we struck into the hearts of our athletic competitors…!  Even more unfortunately the slogan for the 100th year anniversary of the school was “100 years of eager beavers”… but that’s whole nother story best left unmentioned… although I guess now I’ve gone and mentioned it 🙂 )

My dogs have been busy too.  They take their guard duties VERY seriously and have been forced to repeatedly defend the perimeter against the likes of these two:

Have you ever seen such extreme danger?!

They are twins and have taken to hanging about in our yard.  Somehow I don’t think they find the dogs all that intimidating.  But the dogs find themselves intimidating and that’s all that matters 🙂

So there has been quite a lot of busy-ness around here.  Which of course calls for Something Chocolate (because doesn’t everything? 🙂 )

As it happens, Something Deliciously Chocolate arrived on my doorstep Monday.  In case you haven’t heard, I am lucky enough to have the best kids in the world.  One of them, for no reason other than sweetness and kindness, sent me these, and I will share them with you.  For once I’m not even really stretching the truth that much when I proclaim that they are health food 🙂

img_1989

Enjoy with a clear conscience! 🙂

(This is the part where I confess in a teeny voice (I’d shrink the font to something teeny but I don’t know how to do that in wordpress!) that I have to postpone the June and July pitch picks one more time because I didn’t get the pitch revisions yet – my fault, not the pitchers’!  Next week…?!)

Now then, onto today’s pitch which comes to us from Lauren who says, “I live in Normal, IL so perhaps that’s why I’m drawn to things that are slightly off-kilter. I enjoy using my experiences to create fantastical picture books. When my granddaughter was born, I rode the train to Chicago for 2 years to help take care of her. Nothing unusual happened on my travels, but they were the inspiration for a not-so-normal adventure for a not-so-normal Granny.”

Find her on the web at: http://www.laurencollierswindler.com

Here is her pitch:

Working Title: Go Granny Go!

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

The Pitch:  When Granny receives an alarming phone call, she sets off to reach her ailing granddaughter. Armed with not much more than wit and grit, this plucky Granny negotiates a series of increasingly preposterous obstacles with remarkable aplomb. Tattered, tuckered out and sore, she staggers on, but will Granny reach Rosie or will the next obstacle lead to her downfall?

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 Lauren 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 October, 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!

Lauren is looking forward to your thoughts on her pitch!  I am looking forward to actually posting the June and July Pitch Picks next week, and if I fail for the third time you all have permission to throw chocolate at me! 🙂

Have a wonderful writing and reading Wednesday everyone!!! 🙂

 

Would You Read It Wednesday #224 – Heidi Seek (MG) (or YA?)

Happy September-Back-To-School-Back-To-Blogging, my friends!

I missed you all during August, but my goodness! where did that month go?!  I feel like it just vanished in the blink of an eye – like we skipped straight from July to September!

But here we are.

There’s something about September that always feels like New Year’s to me – almost more so than January 1.  It’s that whole back to school thing… first for ourselves… all those years from Kindergarten through graduate school 🙂 … and then for our children…and for those of us who have them, grandchildren.  (And for those of us who are teachers, it comes with the job description 🙂 )  It has that same new start feel, full of possibility!

Who knows what awesomeness we will all accomplish in the coming months?! 🙂

Meanwhile, what’s the consensus?  How many of you are feeling bittersweet and poignant over your kids going back to school, or going to school for the first time, and how many of you are doing the dance of joy to have the little darlings out from underfoot for a few hours a day? 🙂

I offer you consolation or celebration in the form of Something Chocolate!  Given the heat this week, I think our Something Chocolate should be Something Ice Cold And Refreshing!  How about Frozen Hot Chocolate?  And not just ANY frozen hot chocolate, the one that claims to be the BEST! 🙂

Ah….!

Lip-smackin’ brain-freezing good! 🙂

I had grand plans of posting the June and July pitch picks today, but my internet has been extremely uncooperative.  It took so long for it to decide to work that I’m lucky I’m getting anything up today, never mind extras.  So… next week?

Meantime, we’ll get right onto today’s pitch which comes to us from Jeanna who says, “I’m a homemaker and I write romance and picture books – but not romantic picture books! My Twitter for anyone who’d like to keep up with my many ramblings is: http://mobile.twitter.com/JeannaLStars

Here is her pitch:

Working Title: Heidi Seek (or possibly or possibly Heidi Sikh as I’m thinking of making my MC a young Asian girl)

Age/Genre: MG… or YA… or even PB?

The Pitch: If it’s lost, she’ll find it. Her parents first discovered her talent for hide & seek during an ultrasound, when she gave them – and the midwife – quite a fright! Now 12 year old Heidi Singh’s life revolves around finding lost keys, missing cats and trying not to lose friendships. When one half of an identical twin pop duo disappears, Heidi finds herself pulled into a mystery so complex, she has to look deep within herself for answers – or SHE might be next to get lost.

So what do you think?  Would You Read It?  YES, MAYBE or NO?

Special note:  Jeanna is on the fence about her title (see above) and on the fence about whether the book would work best as MG or YA.  She has even considered a simpler/funnier version as a PB.  She would love your input on this issue: MG, YA or PB?

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 Jeanna 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 October, 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!

Jeanna is looking forward to your thoughts on her pitch!  I am looking forward to vacuuming.

That was a test.  If you believed me, you failed totally and completely 🙂

Have a wonderful Wednesday everyone!!! 🙂

 

Would You Read It Wednesday #223 – Grizzie Moon Does NOT Like Cats! (PB)

Happy Wednesday, Everyone!

Can you believe August is almost upon us?  How did THAT happen???!!!

August is traditionally the month I take a blogcation, which means today will be our last meeting until Wednesday September 7 when we return with Would You Read It and the June and July Pitch Picks – it will be a big day!!! 🙂

For now, though, let’s celebrate the almost beginning of our August vacation with Something Chocolate.  How does gooey, delicious, warm Chocolate Chip Pie sound?  With a scoop of vanilla ice cream for extra deliciousness calcium and protein? 🙂

Chocolate Chip Pie

YUM!

The good thing about warm, gooey, deliciousness?  No crumbs in your keyboard 🙂

Now then, onto today’s pitch which comes to us from Amy.  Born and raised in Louisville, KY, Amy has earned two degrees in English and an MFA in Creative Nonfiction. Naturally, she writes picture books. She tests her picture book ideas on her two kids (ages 9 and 12) and her kid-like husband (age 47). Sometimes her two dogs offer their opinions. She’s really looking forward to your reader’s opinions, too!

Find her on the web at:
AmyMMiller1@twitter.com
https://www.facebook.com/ADDledliving/
AmyMMiller.com

Here is her pitch:

Working Title: Grizzie Moon Does NOT Like Cats!

Age/Genre: Picture Book (ages 3-7)

The Pitch: When Bob the cat destroys Grizzie Moon’s extraordinary ghoul stew, he must find a way to save the recipe and win the favor of this persnickety witch before her Stitch and Witch Club arrives.

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 Amy 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 October, 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!

Amy is looking forward to your thoughts on her pitch!  I am looking forward to spending the next couple weeks visiting with my sister and her family who are here from Georgia, and hopefully, maybe, working on some projects that I haven’t had enough time to finish up!

Have a wonderful Wednesday everyone!!!   And a wonderful, relaxing, enjoyable August!!!  See you after Labor Day 🙂