Would You Read It Wednesday #250 – Jessie’s Dream (PB)

Good Morning Everyone!

It’s a Whirlwind Wednesday today!

I’m off to two days of school visits, having just returned from the awesomeness that was NESCBWI.  What an amazing, inspiring weekend, and how fun it was to see so many online friends in real life!

Version 2

me, along with some of the wonderful people I’m lucky enough to call friends! at NESCBWI

Apparently the NESCBWI experience has fired me up 🙂  I was thinking it would be fun to bring back a couple of features I haven’t run in a while on this blog.  I’d love to know how you guys would feel about it, and whether or not one or both features are of interest to you!

First, I was thinking about reviving Oh, Susanna! the picture book equivalent of Dear Abby 🙂 where writers can post questions about techniques, process, and business of writing, teachers can ask questions about finding useful books or making writing fun in the classroom, and parents can ask for recommendations on specific subjects of interest (trucks, dinosaurs, etc.) or for addressing areas of concern (monsters, new siblings etc.) for the picture book reading crew at their house.

Oh, Susanna!

 

I was thinking of running Oh, Susanna! on the first Monday of each month.

Second, I thought I might revive Short & Sweets, fun writing exercises we can do on our own or in the group here to get the ideas and words flowing – great for writers, and great for teachers who might want a fun writing activity to do with their classes.

515a7-ssspringfinal

I was thinking of running Short & Sweets on the third or fourth Monday of each month.

So what do you guys think?  Any interest in either of those things?  Would they be helpful to you?  Or is there something else you’d like to see?

Let me know in the comments!

Gosh!  All the excitement of contemplating new/old blog series has caused me to experience low blood sugar!  I feel the need for Something Chocolate, don’t you?! 🙂  This is a really healthy one, too, because look!  Berries! 🙂

No Bake Three Chocolate Cake

3-chocolate-bundt-cake-2-1

Recipe HERE at CookingLSL

Ah!  That’s better!  I hope you feel refreshed! 🙂

Let’s launch into today’s pitch which comes to us from Emmie who says, “I am a retired first grade teacher. Member of SCBWI. Active in my local critique group and have attended conferences in Indiana. I just recently joined 12 x 12.”

Find her on the web at:
www.EmmieRWerner.com

Here is her pitch:

Working Title: Jessie’s Dream

Age/Genre: Picture Book (ages 6-8)

The Pitch: Jessie’s dream is to play baseball with her friends. Her reality is sitting on her porch listening to baseball because she has a halo cast. Until…..that’s what friends are for.

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 Emmie 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 June, 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!

Emmie is looking forward to your thoughts on her pitch!  I am looking forward to hearing your thoughts on reviving (or not reviving!) Oh, Susanna! and Short & Sweets, or your other ideas of what you’d like to see offered here!!!

Have a wonderful Wednesday everyone!!! 🙂

 

Would You Read It Wednesday #249 – A Worthy Captain Was She (PB)

Good morning, dearies!

I hope you are all having a lovely week so far!

I have aged this week.  I’m a whole year older!  Funny how that happens in the space of one day!

I was at a school visit on Monday and the kids asked me how old I was.  I said, “Guess!”  They guessed 99!  I think I look pretty well-preserved for 99.  I don’t even dye my hair! 🙂

So now, I am unexpectedly off on an unplanned whirlwind trip to Boston.  That is how things are when you have 5 kids.  So I’m leaving you unsupervised to play Would You Read It.  I will bribe you into managing yourselves with Something Chocolate 🙂  How does Hot Fudge Sundae Cake sound?

 

Mmmmmmm!!!!!!  It sounds pretty good to me!  Looks pretty good too!

So here is today’s pitch which comes to us from Gabi who says, “I currently live in Oregon with my husband, two kids, one dog, and one dog-like cat. I am a member of SCBWI and the 12 x 12 picture book challenge. You can check out my blog about writing for children at https://writingtoconnect.wordpress.com/.”

Here is her pitch:

Working Title: A Worthy Captain Was She

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

The Pitch:  Fans of Crankenstein and The Princess and the Pony will appreciate A WORTHY CAPTAIN WAS SHE—a quirky celebration of friendship and reconsidering rules, as needed.

Captain Sea Lion stuck firm to her rulebook. Rule number one: a worthy captain never turns back. Danger befalls hearties who do! But when a stubborn pelican challenges Captain’s number one rule, she must face her own stubbornness and choose empathy over fear.

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 Gabi 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 June, 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!

Gabi is looking forward to your thoughts on her pitch!  I am looking forward to seeing #4 – the reason for the Boston trip – and then to getting home because that is a lot of driving in one day!  Luckily, I have Audible.  Has anyone read Snow Like Ashes by Sara Raasch?  I’m thinking of trying it for the drive….

Have a wonderful Wednesday everyone!!! 🙂  And be good to each other in my absence – share the Hot Fudge Sundae Cake nicely 🙂

 

Would You Read It Wednesday #248 – The New Girl (MG) PLUS The February And March Pitch Winners!!!

Happy Wednesday, my friends!

Wow!

Has spring sprung or what?

It was (no joke!) 86 degrees on Blueberry Hill yesterday afternoon!  I’m pretty sure that’s a record for April 11 in these parts!  Of course, it’s unlikely to stay that warm (which is okay because I’d worry even more about global warming if summer had already arrived!), but it sure was nice to be outdoors in a tee shirt and shorts!  It’s forecasted to be 20 degrees cooler today.

The question for the day is: do we think the danger of frost up here on the mountain has passed, and dare I plant my spring bulbs???

Whilst we think on that, let’s congratulate the winners of the February and March Pitch Picks that you all so kindly chose last week!

I’m happy to announce that the winner of the February Pitch Pick was Kathryn, with her pitch for Penelope Pickles And The Troll Kingdom (MG)!

And the winner of the March Pitch Pick was Traci, with her pitch for Riley And The Haunted Cupboard (PB)!

Congratulations, Kathryn and Traci!!!  Your pitches are winging through cyberspace to editor Erin Molta for her comments, and I’m sure you will hear from her as soon as she has time!

And congratulations also to all the other pitchers who so bravely shared their work, opened themselves to constructive criticism and used it to make already good pitches even stronger!  You are all winners, really, because when next you need those pitches they will be ready!

And, as always, I want to thank our wonderful readers without whom Would You Read It would not be what it is!  Thank you all for your thoughtful, considered and helpful comments.  So many writers have had the opportunity to improve their pitches thanks to you! ❤

I think we should celebrate with Something Chocolate, don’t you???!!! 🙂   Since Easter is nearly upon us, I vote for delicious homemade chocolate peanut butter eggs!

 

Oh my goodness, those are mouthwateringly delicious!  Plus, I know I don’t need to point out to you, my faithful devotees, that peanut butter is an excellent source of extremely healthful protein which will help you focus your brain and build your muscles – writing and otherwise! 🙂  So by all means, please help yourself to several.  There is always plenty of chocolate around here! 🙂

Now then, onto today’s pitch which comes to us from Joan.  Joan Leotta is a writer and story performer who haddock been playing with words since childhood.
She loves to use words to entertain, educate and encourage.

Find her on the web at:
Joan Leotta, Author and Story Performer on Facebook and
www.joanleotta.wordpress.com

Here is her pitch:

Working Title: The New Girl

Age/Genre: MG

The Pitch: Jenna’s Mom has just been deployed to Afghanistan. Dad is an FBI agent who went missing while on assignment. Jenna is sent to live with her Grandparents in Rural North Carolina, far from her friends in DC’s Virginia suburbs. In an effort to loose weight and gain friend, Jenna starts an exercise walking program so she can join the schools track team…on her first walk she finds a dead body. The man turns out to be a local banker long thought to have skipped town.  Jenna’s efforts to solve the mystery, make new friends and handle the separation from her parents are sided by her grandmas stitcher group  and one leader in her new school who is not afraid to make friends with Jenna, the new girl.

Possible Titles…the new girl,or  crossstitch and crossbones

So what do you think?  Would You Read It?  YES, MAYBE or NO?  Also, Joan would love title suggestions if you have any!

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 Joan 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 June, 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!

Joan is looking forward to your thoughts on her pitch!  I am looking forward to planting my spring bulbs.   Do not ask me what they’re called.  Something purple that blooms in early summer.  As you can see, I am an extremely knowledgable gardener.  They don’t call me the Black Thumb of Poughquag for nothing! 🙂

Have a wonderful Wednesday everyone!!! 🙂

 

Would You Read It Wednesday #247 – No More Cats (PB) PLUS The February And March Pitch Picks!!!

Would you look at that?

It’s time for another round of everybody’s favorite game: Would You Read It!

This makes two weeks in a row where the time has gone by so fast I feel like I missed it altogether!  I want to thank all the lovely people who stepped up to offer help with my book launch last week from the bottom of my heart!  I’m so grateful!  And if I haven’t replied to you yet, please know that you’re on my list and I’m getting there! ❤

We’ve got a lot to do today, so let’s begin by fueling our brain cells with a little Something Chocolate!  This Chocolate Italian Cake looks pretty delicious er, that is, it looks like it would be an excellent source of energy for efficiently facilitating synaptic response and neuron transmission 🙂

Don’t you feel like your ability to analyze pitches is functioning at an unprecedented level now?  (No, that is not a sugar/caffeine rush from the chocolate, that is Brain Power! 🙂 )

So let’s harness that power and go straight to the February and March Pitch Picks!

FEBRUARY:

#1 – Kathryn – PENELOPE PICKLES AND THE TROLL KINGDOM (MG)

Toadstool is a troll who just wants to be left alone. But the Troll Kingdom is relying on him to start a plague in order to ward off pesky humans. His plan goes amiss when he meets Penny, a spunky girl with a contagious imagination. The Troll Kingdom isn’t happy about his new friend, and Toadstool soon finds himself having to choose between saving the Troll Kingdom or saving Penny.

#2 – Jill – SOCKS OFF (PB ages 2+)

A child delights in spending the day feeling the world against his bare feet. But when a run-in with a cat causes a chase and a tumble, the child soon finds a way back to barefoot bliss with a lick and a snuggle.

#3 – Robin – TALENT SHOW AT GILA ACADEMY OF FLICKCRAFT AND LIZARDRY (PB ages 4-8)

Chameleon was feeling blue about the Friday Night Talent Show. While the other lizards preened and practiced, Chameleon was a shrinking violet, sure his talent was…nothing. Watch Chameleon’s “nothing” become something. He’s a lizard of a different color!

Please vote in the poll below (by Sunday April 9 at 5PM Eastern) for the pitch you think is best and most deserving of a read and comments from editor Erin Molta!

 

MARCH:

#1 – Traci – RILEY AND THE HAUNTED CUPBOARD (PB ages 4-8)

What started out as a fun game of candy hide and seek between Riley and his dog, Scout, turns hairy when creepy noises coming from the cupboard under the stairs halts the game. Scout seems to be missing which forces Riley to first face his fear of dark places but more importantly face his fear that Scout may be gone forever.

#2 – Alexandria – FIONA FLYNN FINDS OUT (MG)

Fiona wants to prove her maturity by riding a horse. When that finally happens, the horse rides her right into her familial role as fairy physic—a physician to a magical world of nature guides who are in the fight for their lives against the evil goddess, Epona who seeks to destroy everything the fae protect. Can Fiona grow into her powers soon enough to stop, Epona?

#3 – Lisa – I AM… (PB ages 4-6)

Scared by a spider, Giraffe climbs a tree to hide. When his friend Zebra spots him, he listens as Giraffe talks about his fears. But Giraffe is facing an even bigger problem, and struggles to find the courage to admit it.

#4 – Joy – RODERICK FODERICK (PB ages 3-7)

Broderick Foderick a kangaroo rat. He accidentally pulls the throttle too much and his ship gets launched into space. When he gets snagged on a cumulus cloud, he must find the doohickey to return to earth.

 

Please vote in the poll below (by Sunday April 9 at 5PM Eastern) for the pitch you think is best and most deserving of a read and comments from editor Erin Molta!

 

Now then, onto today’s pitch which comes to us from Ana who says, “I am a teacher, artist, dancer and chocolate lover. I hope with my picture books make young and old laugh.”

Here is her pitch:

Working Title: No More Cats

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

The Pitch: When mom agrees to add a cat to the family, it seems like a fine idea. But one by one the cat count rises until things are out of control. She must find new homes for the felines and fast, before they take over her home and her sanity.

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 Ana 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 June, 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!

Ana is looking forward to your thoughts on her pitch!  I am looking forward to seeing who wins the pitch picks!  All these fabulous pitches – how will we ever choose???!!!

Have a wonderful Wednesday everyone!!! 🙂

 

Would You Read It Wednesday #246 – Roderick Foderick (PB)

Wow!

I don’t know where THIS week has gone so far!

Look at us!  Here we are at Would You Read It Wednesday already!

And in the spirit of “would you read it”, I have a question for you, my beloved and devoted blog readers!

As you may know, I have 3 books coming out this summer.

lion_needs_a_bath_cover elephant_has_sniffles_coverthe_road_that_trucks_build_cover

I’d like to organize a little blog tour to introduce the books, share a little about their inspiration, myself, the illustrators, the publication process, do some giveaways – generally have some fun!

If you’d be interested in hosting me and/or the illustrator for a post, and/or receiving an advance copy to review, I would be most grateful if you would email me! (susanna[at]susannahill[dot]com)

I’d also really like to spread the word to people and blog writers who are tied to the school community – teachers, librarians, parents.  I don’t know as many as I’d like to!  If you are a teacher, librarian, preschool, homeschool or mommy blogger, or if you would be willing to introduce me to anyone you know in those categories, I would be in your debt!  It is likely I would send you Something Chocolate 🙂

And speaking of… I think it’s about time we had Something Chocolate!  I recently read an article (thank you for sharing Lori Ann!) entitled “Research Shows That Eating Chocolate Cake For Breakfast Is Good For The Brain And The Waistline“, so I’d like to do my part to ensure you all get properly chocolate-fueled by 9 AM! 🙂  Let’s have some Hershey’s S’More Cupcakes!

 

See?  Don’t you feel slimmer and smarter already? 🙂

Now then, onto today’s pitch which comes to us from Joy who says, “I am a writer/ business person/ ordinary person who has been writing since the age of eight. In the year 2010 I decided to get serious. Since that time I have had three books published.”

Find her on the web at:
Website: joymooreloop-de-loops.webs.com

Here is her pitch:

Working Title: Roderick Foderick

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

The Pitch: Broderick Foderick a kangaroo rat. He accidentally pulls the throttle too much and his ship gets launched into space. When he gets snagged on a cumulus cloud, he must find the doohickey to return to earth.

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 Would You Read It in the dropdown under For Writers in the bar above.  There are openings in June, 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!

Joy is looking forward to your thoughts on her pitch!  I am looking forward to hearing from anyone who might be interested in participating in my hopefully upcoming book blog tour, or who might be able to introduce me to potentially interested teacher/librarian/mommy etc bloggers, and I thank you all in advance!

Have a wonderful Wednesday everyone!!! 🙂

 

Would You Read It Wednesday #245 – I Am… (PB) PLUS Straight From The Editor Nov/Dec

Spring has sprung, peeps!  It’s official!

Hello Spring!

 

I am ignoring the fact that we have 2 feet of snow on the ground and the low temp tonight is supposed to be 7 (I don’t know who is in charge around here, but I’d like to suggest a change of personnel! 🙂 )  Pshaw! I say to the snow and the cold!  (Because actually I have never said Pshaw! but people in books do it all the time when they want to snort at something so I thought it would be fun to try it out.)  I refuse to pay heed to snow and cold and shall instead revel in thoughts of green grass, luxuriant blossoms, and cute baby animals 🙂

Now that we are all feeling suitably spring-y, I’m thrilled to be able to share Straight From The Editor with you today for the winner of the November/December 2016 Pitch Pick – Nadine with her PB pitch for Armadillo Pillow Fight.  You will recall her pitch:

Nadine – Armadillo Pillow Fight (PB ages 4-8)

It is Willow Armadillo’s birthday and she wants a pillow fight party.  She asks her friend to help spread the word of this nocturnal affair. Her animal friends mess up the message spreading details by accident.  Did Willow say to meet at the peat moss or where the streams cross?  Poor Willow. Hopefully she will have someone show up to her burrow tonight.

Here are editor Erin Molta’s thoughts:

This sounds like it could be cute. Though I’d  add a hint of more substance because otherwise the story is about a poor armadillo whose party invitations got messed up—which is humorous but pretty slight because if nobody comes to the party then story is over. Or if only some come, it’s still a matter not much more story. It could be as simple as working up to the party, sway, Willow Armadillo had everything ready for her party—perfect pillows, soft mattresses, twinking fairy lights and the most delicious birthday cake ever! But her friends got the details confused…

Something like that implies more of a story.

 Best of luck…

Thanks so much to Erin!  As always, I find her thoughts enlightening and I hope you do too!

I don’t know about you, but I’m starving!  Something Chocolate would sure hit the spot right about now!  Fudge-Stuffed Chocolate Chip Cookie Bars sound good to you?

YUM!  Me too! 🙂

Now then, onto today’s pitch which comes to us from Lisa.  Lisa Katzenberger is an active member of SCBWI where she serves as the Social Media Co-Coordinator for the Illinois Region. She wrote short stories and novels for many years before her kids helped her discover the world of children’s literature. When she’s not taking care of her six-year-old twins, writing, or lingering on twitter for too long, she works as a freelance writer to fund the writing classes and conferences she is addicted to taking. Lisa is thrilled to be a part of the fun and supportive KidLit community.

Find her on the web at:

Twitter: @FictionCity
Website: www.lisakatzenberger.com

Here is her pitch:

Working Title: I Am…

Age/Genre: Picture Book (ages 4-6)

The Pitch: Giraffe gets scared by a spider and climbs a tree to hide. When his friend Zebra finds him, he listens to Giraffe and helps him work through his irrational fears, pointing out Giraffe’s strengths. But there’s one last problem Giraffe is facing, and he’s not sure he has the courage to admit it so he can get the help he needs.

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 Lisa 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 May, 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!

Lisa is looking forward to your thoughts on her pitch!  I am looking forward to wearing shorts and a tee shirt outside and not being cold.  I know… I’ve got a little bit of a wait yet… but I’m still looking forward to it! 🙂

Have a wonderful Wednesday everyone!!! 🙂

 

Would You Read It Wednesday #244 -Fiona Flynn Finds Out (MG)

So, in a complete break with my usual MO, I am writing this post AHEAD OF SCHEDULE!

I know.

It boggles the mind.

But here’s my reasoning: every single weather service that exists appears convinced that we’ll be getting heavy snow in our area on Tuesday.  Heavy snow (or light snow… or a cloud… or an overzealous hummingbird in the wrong spot…) means my internet will most likely not be functioning for an extended period of time.  And I didn’t want this week’s scheduled pitcher to get bumped by bad weather.  So here I am, making sure the post is written and scheduled on Monday night, so that whatever my fickle, unreliable internet decides to do I will Be Prepared!

All that preparing ahead definitely earns us Something Chocolate… not to mention all the snow we’re going to have struggled through by the time you’re actually reading this!  So I think we need some Triple Chocolate Cheesecake with Oreo Crust, don’t you?

I knew you’d think so.  And I think we can all agree that was definitely the right choice!  Feel free to help yourselves to seconds or thirds, especially if you had to do a lot of snow shoveling!

Now then, onto today’s pitch which comes to us from Alexandria who is the author of over a dozen children’s books, including the Scott O’Dell award winning Worth and Walking Home to Rosie Lee, a picture book about the heroic journey to reunify African American families after the emancipation proclamation. She teaching the MFA program in the Writing and Illustration for Children and Young Adults at Hollins University. You can catch up with her in her Facebook community, Sylvanocity, on Twitter, or her website.  ”

Find her on the web at:
http://www.facebook.com/alafayeauthor
http://www.alafaye.com
@artlafaye

Here is her pitch:

Working Title: Fiona Flynn Finds Out

Age/Genre: Middle Grade (ages 8-12)

The Pitch: Fiona Flynn finally takes her long-awaited first horseback ride on the fiesty Snickers who canters right into her familial role as fairy physic—a physician to a magical world of animal guides who are in the fight for their lives against the evil goddess, Epona who seeks to destroy everything the fae protect and anyone who stands in her way. What can Fiona do to stop her?

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

Alexandria is looking forward to your thoughts on her pitch!  I am looking forward to digging out from the snow and stepping lightly into spring! 🙂

Hope everyone who was in Stella’s path stayed safe and warm!

Have a wonderful Wednesday everyone!!! 🙂

 

Would You Read It Wednesday #243 -Riley And The Haunted Cupboard (PB)

Good Wednesday to you, everybody!

Before we get to our pitch today, I just have to share something fun… please forgive me my little moment of giddy excitement 🙂

Look what showed up on Sunday!

TRUCKS

THE ROAD THAT TRUCKS BUILT has a cover!

It’s so thrilling to see!  I think it’s so cute, and Erica did such a great job!  And I’m told that the wheel on the cover will actually spin!!!  How fun is that???

Okay.  I’m done.  Thank you for indulging me! 🙂

Let’s celebrate with Something Chocolate, shall we?  That’s your reward for listening to me gush over my book cover 🙂  Today I think we have to go with Millionaire’s Shortbread.  “Sweet simple, crisp shortbread, rich chewy, homemade caramel, and thick dark chocolate ganache…”  How, I ask, can you possibly go wrong with THAT?!  Even if you have no clue what a ganache actually is? 🙂

Millionaires-shortbread-1-of-1-12

Recipe HERE at SugarSpunRun.com

There’s really no possible way any of us are stopping at one of those, so please help yourself to five or six to sustain you through sharing your thoughts with Traci followed by an exceptionally productive morning of writing!

Now then, onto today’s pitch which comes to us from Traci who says, “I write picture books and ghostly young adult full time. Ghost stories are my favorite to read and tell to my family and their friends. Social media posts, media clips, and movies that have happy animals in them will keep me entertained for hours. Promoting authors and illustrators on social media makes me happy because I want to help get quality literature into the hands of as many children as I can.”

Find her on the web at:
Twitter @1967BoldWriter
My webpage : https://boldwriter67.wordpress.com/
Facebook: Traci Bold : https://www.facebook.com/tmbold

Here is her pitch:

Working Title: Riley And The Haunted Cupboard

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

The Pitch: What started out as fun game of hide-and-seek with his dog, Scout, turns hairy when creepy noises coming from the cupboard under the stairs force Riley to face more than one fear.

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 Traci 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 April, so you could get your pitch up for some helpful feedback pretty quick and have a chance to have it read by editor Erin Molta!

Traci is looking forward to your thoughts on her pitch!  I am looking forward to actually holding a copy of THE ROAD THAT TRUCKS BUILT in my hands and trying out that spinning wheel!

Have a wonderful Wednesday everyone!!! 🙂

 

Would You Read It Wednesday #242 – Lizards Got Talent (PB)

Hello, Everybody!

Can you believe it’s March 1???

How did that happen already?!

I, for one, am tickled pink about it even if I have little to show for January and February 🙂  Because if today is March 1, that means spring is right around the corner and I am a HUGE fan of spring 🙂

I had this clever plan that I was going to start my newsletter on March 1 but, well, here we are and I haven’t figured out the whole MailChimp newsletter thing yet so… maybe by April?  I need a clone so I can do twice as much work in half the time!  Although actually, not a clone – I need the other version of myself to be WAY savvier at technology! 🙂 Among other things! 🙂

I don’t need a clone to enjoy chocolate, however, so let’s do that, shall we?  Grab your spoons and dive into this Something Chocolate – a thing of true beauty!

Chocolate Brownie And Mousse Trifle

Ah!  That’s trifle the way it should be!!!  YUMMMM!!!

Now then, if you can all bestir yourselves from the chocolate coma that scrumptious breakfast probably pulled you into, let’s have a look at today’s pitch which comes to us from Robin, whom you will remember from January with her pitch for No More Turnips!  Robin leads the children’s departments of Midwestern public libraries providing reference and literacy foundations to the smallest patrons and supporting their parents. Mid life, she was called to ordained ministry as a parish pastor. She continues to read to children as a volunteer in developing countries and writes stories to read and read again! Robin is represented by Cyle Young of Hartline Literary Agency.

Find her on the web at:
www.robincurrie.net
https://www.facebook.com/Pastorrobinsnest/

Here is her pitch:

Working Title: Lizards Got Talent

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

The Pitch: It’s Talent Show time at the Academy of Flickcraft and Lizardry! The geckos and skinks polish their acts in the rain forest, except for Chameleon whose talent is…nothing. (In a very colorful way!)

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 Robin 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 February, 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!

Robin is looking forward to your thoughts on her pitch!  I am looking forward to figuring out that MailChimp newsletter thing…eventually!  And of course I am looking forward to spring which is now, technically, only 19 days away! 🙂

Have a wonderful Wednesday everyone!!! 🙂

 

2017 Valentiny Contest Winners!!!

Hurray!

It’s Friday!

And you know what THAT means! . . .

. . .

It’s National Tortilla Chip Day!

It is!  I would not tease you by making something like that up!  If you don’t believe me, you can go check!

It is also the 178th anniversary of Mr. William S. Otis receiving a patent for the steam shovel!

And as I’m sure you all know, the invention of the steam shovel is of EXTREME historical import not because of stuff like the Panama Canal but because without it we would never would have had MIKE MULLIGAN AND HIS STEAM SHOVEL! 🙂

(And did you know that William’s cousin Elisha thought up the elevator ?- those Otises were clever boys!)

 

Today is also featherweight boxer Floyd Mayweather Jr.’s 40th birthday, so we should probably have cupcakes 🙂

cupcakes

All around great day, wouldn’t you say?

Ok!

Thanks so much for stopping by!  Hope you all have a great weekend!

 

 

Oh wait.

 

I have this nagging feeling I may have forgotten something . . .

 

think.  Think!  THINK!!!

 

OHHHHH yeahhhhhhhh!!!!!

valentinywriting-contest2017

WINNERS!!!

Seems like maybe we have a few winners to announce, and prizes to give away! 🙂

We had a great turnout for the 2nd Annual Valentiny Contest – 117 entries!

I was thrilled beyond measure to see so many wonderful stories and meet so many new writers!

But with large entry numbers come hard choices.  My assistant judges and I worked hard to winnow the total down to a manageable number of finalists that we felt were truly all-around deserving of that distinction, and those were the ones we presented to you on Monday for your vote.

There were, however, many other entries that were well-written, entertaining and very enjoyable even though they might not have made the finalists for one reason or another (one reason being that, at a certain point, we just had to stop adding finalists to the list! :))

So my assistant judges and I would like to award recognition and a small prize to the following authors for the following merits:

1.  For Honorable Mention In The Competition As A Whole:
All the terrific entries on this longer-than-usual list were well-written and within a hair’s breadth of being chosen for the finalist list and were cut for the nit-pickiest of details and judges’ inability to reach a unanimous consensus!

Meagan Friedman for Bob’s Valentine Dilemma

Jill Proctor for Val N. Tine’s Day

Kimberly Delude for The Shape Of Love (also original POV – shapes!)

Leslie Liebhart Goodman for Showing Love

Anne Sawan for What Is Love?

Cathy Ballou Mealey for Something’s Fishy – A Valentiny Tale (also clever and funny!)

Molly Golden McDonough for Fiona’s Day (also likable/relatable character!)

Jim Jones for Balingtine Day Mix Up

Congratulations to the All-Around Honorable Mention Winners!  Because of the outstanding quality of your entries, you are eligible for one of the 3 following special prizes should you prefer one of them to the regular honorable mention prize options below.

The Nuts And Bolts Guide To Writing Picture Books by Linda Ashman (for Kindle), OR

Writing For Children And Teens by Cynthea Liu (paperback), OR

$10 Amazon gift card

2.  For Fabulously Written Entry That Didn’t Seem Quite Confusing Enough But We Otherwise Loved:

Linda Evans Hofke for Punny Bunny’s Valentine Dilemma 

Vivian Kirkfield for A Valentine’s Day Cake For The Queen (also great use of language!)

Ingrid Boydston for Oh My Darling Valentine

Kimberly Delude for Ways To Say I Love You (also very sweet for younger readers!)

Allison Alley for Inseparable (also original POV – 2 halves of friendship necklace!)

Penelope Aaron for Abuelita’s Valentine’s Day Surprise (also lovely incorporation of Spanish!)

Jana Locke for Vampy’s Val-o-ween

Christyne Elizabeth for Love Makes Me Sick

 

3. For Stories That Had Us Until The Ending (for one reason or another):

Terri Ross for Mr. Zombie’s Undying Love (also great character!)

Christine Evans for A Martian Valentine (also humorous!)

Although in other contests here prizes are often awarded for best character or humor or kid appeal etc, in this particular contest the entries that would have qualified were chosen for overall good writing, so we did not feel the need for the extra smaller categories.

 

Congratulations to all of you for your wonderful stories!  You may all email me at susanna[at]susannahill[dot]com, subject line Prize Winner to collect your prize, which is your choice of one of the following: (the titles are all links so you can go see what they’re about)

Please email your HM prize choice within 2 weeks so we can wrap up the contest in a timely fashion 🙂

For Kindle:

Picture Books: The Write Way by Laura Salas and Lisa Bullard, OR

Rhyming Picture Books: The Write Way by Laura Salas and Lisa Bullard, OR

How To Query An Agent Or Editor: A Children’s Writer’s Insider Guide From Mentors For Rent by Laura Salas and Lisa Bullard, OR

Getting Published: How To Access Editors: A Children’s Writer’s Insider Guide From Mentors For Rent by Laura Salas and Lisa Bullard, OR

The Easy Way To Write Picture Books That Sell by Robyn Parnell OR

The Emotion Thesaurus: A Writer’s Guide To Character Expression by Angela Ackerman & Becca Puglisi , OR

The Postitive Trait Thesaurus: A Writer’s Guide To Character Attributes by Angela Ackerman & Becca Puglisi, OR

The Negative Trait Thesaurus: A Writer’s Guide To Character Flaws by Angela Ackerman & Becca Puglisi, OR

The Urban Setting Thesaurus: A Writer’s Guide To City Spaces by Angela Ackerman & Becca Puglisi, OR

The Rural Setting Thesaurus: A Writer’s Guide To Personal And Natural Places by Angela Ackerman & Becca Puglisi

The Ultimate Fiction Thesaurus by Sam Stone OR

In paperback:
if you choose an item that has to be mailed, please include your snail mail address 🙂

The Six Senses In A Nutshell: Demonstrated Transitions From Bleak To Bold Narrative by Jessica Bell OR

Adverbs And Cliches In A Nutshell: Demonstrated Subversions Of Adverbs & Cliches Into Gourmet Imagery by Jessica Bell OR

Creating Extraordinary Characters by Angela Hunt, OR

Evoking Emotion by Angela Hunt, OR

Picture Books: The Write Way by Laura Salas and Lisa Bullard, OR

Rhyming Picture Books: The Write Way by Laura Salas and Lisa Bullard

 

Now then.  A word about the prizes before I announce the winners.

We have 10 fabulous prizes, generously donated by authors and various professionals in the writing field.  My policy is to let the first place winner have first pick of all the prizes, the second place winner have second choice, etc.  That way hopefully nobody gets something they already have, and hopefully everyone gets something that’s valuable to them.  All prizes are listed at the bottom of this post for your convenience in perusing the goodies 🙂  Since we had a problem with follow-through in the last contest, I’d like to ask that winners who choose a critique please be sure to use it within a month so that the professionals who are generously donating their time and expertise are not left hanging! 🙂

And now…

…the moment you’ve all been waiting for…

…THE WINNERS OF THE 2017 VALENTINY CONTEST as chosen by you, our esteemed voters!!!!!

In First Place

Winner of the whole shebang…

who gets first choice of all the prizes…

Kayla Prochnow

for
Love Bug

Congratulations, Kayla, on a fabulous entry that was all around well done, and clearly very popular!!! 🙂

In Second Place

Ryan Roberts
for
Banana In Love: A Valentiny Knock-Knock Story!!!

Congratulations, Ryan!!  You get first choice of the prizes that are left after Kayla makes her choice.

In Third Place

Heather Kinser
for
Valentine Crush

Congratulations, Heather!  You get first choice of the prizes that are left after Kayla and Ryan choose theirs.

In Fourth Place

Geoffrey Hyatt
for
Misaki’s First Valentine

Congratulations, Geoffrey!  You get to pick after Kayla, Ryan, and Heather.

In Fifth Place

Jilanne Hoffman
for
Cupid’s Heart Finds A Home

Congratulations, Jilanne!  You get to pick after Kayla, Ryan, Heather, and Geoffrey.

In Sixth Place

Katie Frawley
for
Valen-Rhymes

Congratulations, Katie!  I’m sure you get the idea of how the prize picking goes by now 🙂

In Seventh Placea tie!!! between

          Colleen Murphy                       and                                      Katelyn Aronson
                     for                                                                                              for
    Sebastian, Say Something                                          Lilla, Not Just Vanilla (A Tiny Self-Love Story)

Congratulations, Colleen and Katelyn!  You get to pick next – we’ll negotiate 🙂

In Ninth Place,

Jen Garrett
for
Never Text A Valentine

Congratulations, Jen, on a humorous entry!  You get to pick your prize after Colleen and Katelyn.

In Tenth Place,

Aileen Stewart
for
A Mixed Up Valentine

Congratulations, Aileen!  You get to pick a prize after Jen!

 

And, I don’t think I need to remind anyone that in addition to all these fabulous prizes, everyone mentioned on this page has bragging rights as having won or placed in the 2nd Annual Pretty Much World Famous Valentiny Contest!  Not just anyone can say that 🙂

All the winners should email me at susanna[at]susannahill[dot]com with the subject heading Prize Winner so we can work out details for you to receive your prizes!  Finalists who did not finish in the top 10 (David, Joanne) may also contact me for their choice of the Kindle or paperback prizes listed above.

Congratulations again to all our winners – it was a stiff competition!! – and congratulations to EVERYONE who wrote and entered a story in the contest.  You all deserve a standing ovation, a glitter heart confetti parade, and a large amount of Valentine chocolate 🙂

Thank you to everyone who helped make this contest SO MUCH FUN, whether by writing an entry, reading people’s stories, leaving comments for the authors, and/or voting in the finals.  It’s because of all of you that this contest was such a success, so many, many thanks from the bottom of my heart!

Have a terrific weekend everyone, and thanks again for making the 2nd Annual Valentiny Contest such a smashing success and a wonderful time for all! 🙂

 

The Prizes:

– A Picture Book Manuscript Read and Critique from “Dear Editor” Deborah Halverson!!!

– A Picture Book Manuscript Read and Critique from children’s literary agent Jodell Sadler!!!

– A Picture Book Manuscript Read and Critique from Andria Rosenbaum, author of the forthcoming Trains Don’t Sleep (May 2017) and Big Sister, Little Monster (September 2017) as well as others!!!

– A Picture Book Manuscript Read and Critique from children’s author Jodi McKay!!!

– A Picture Book Manuscript Read and Critique from Amy Dixon, author of Marathon Mouse, Sophie’s Animal Parade, and the forthcoming Maurice The Unbeastly!!!

– A Picture Book Manuscript Read and Critique from children’s author Jason Kirschner!!!

–  A Picture Book Manuscript Read and Critique from Children’s Author Vivian Kirkfield!!!

– A Query Letter Read and Critique from SubIt Club founder Heather Ayris Burnell!!!

– a personalized signed copy of Jodi McKay’s delightful Where Are The Words?

– a personalized signed copy of Diana Murray‘s wonderful (and very seasonally appropriate!) Groggle’s Monster Valentine

Once again, please join me in thanking Deborah, Jodell, Andria, Jodi, Amy, Jason, Vivian, Heather, and Diana for their incredible generosity, and show your appreciation by visiting their sites, buying and recommending their books and services to your writer friends and/or friends with kids, writing them nice reviews on Amazon, GoodReads etc if you’ve read and liked their books, and showing your appreciation to them in any way you can!  I truly can’t thank them all enough!