Would You Read It Wednesday #304 – Flamingo Hugs Aren’t For Everyone (PB)

Hurray!  It’s Would You Read It Wednesday!  Seems like forever since we had one, what with the Halloweensie Contest running!

Before we get to today’s pitch, I’d like to announce that there’s a new addition to my little household!  It is Princess Blue Kitty’s successor!

Apparently I have a favorite color 🙂

IMG_6910

She is VERY beautiful! isn’t she?  But she does not have a name yet… I will entertain suggestions from the peanut gallery if anyone has one 🙂 I’m pretty sure she’s a she, but I’ve only had her for about 24 hours, so I could be wrong 🙂 She is smaller than Princess Blue, and very zippy 🙂 but she also has tremendous presence.

I think we should celebrate with Something Chocolate, don’t you?  How about some Flourless Belgian Chocolate Cake?  Look at that dense richness!  And anything with the words “Belgian Chocolate” in it has to be decadent and delicious!

Flourless Belgian Chocolate Cake

Plus it’s flourless and gluten-free, which makes it health food so we can have as much as we want guilt-free!  Dig in, my friends! 🙂

Now then, onto today’s pitch which comes to us from Ciara, whom you will remember from last month’s pitch for Drop The Dragon, who says, “I am a former teacher, mother of five, and corgi lover. I love puns. I might make them on an hourly basis. And I definitely think that there should be a job where one can be a personal shopper of picture books. That’s a thing, right?”

Find her on the web at ciaraoneal.weebly.com

Here is her pitch:

Working Title: Flamingo Hugs Aren’t For Everyone

Age/Genre: Picture Book (ages 6-11)

The Pitch: An affectionate but clumsy flamingo doesn’t quite understand why her hugs are not well received by zoo patrons. But when she tries delightful disguises, daring dances, and fishy gifts, will she be able to garner the affectionate she so desperately desires?

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 Ciara 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 could start the new year out with a bang by getting your pitch up for helpful feedback and a chance to have it read and commented on by editor Erin Molta!

Ciara is looking forward to your thoughts on her pitch!  I literally can’t wait to post the Halloweensie Contest finalists tomorrow and see how the votes turn out!

Have a wonderful Wednesday everyone!!! 🙂

 

The 8th Annual Halloweensie Contest aahhhrrrooooOOOOO!

***Update November 12th***
We’re pretty close to having the finalist list, but even if it was ready in a couple hours, that wouldn’t give enough time to vote today and I have previously scheduled blog posts for Tuesday Debut tomorrow and Would You Read It Wednesday on Wednesday, so the finalist list will be posted on Thursday November 15th.  Apologies for the delay, but there were a LOT of good entries and the judging process has been harrowing! 🙂 

***Update November 5th***
So sorry everyone but the other judges and I need more time – my fault not their’s.  Work deadlines, family needs, and 234 wonderful entries from you guys that all deserve careful and thoughtful consideration mean that I’m just not able to post finalists today.  I will get them up as soon as I possibly can but I think Wednesday or Thursday is likely.  Sorry for the delay!

Wool of bat and howlet’s wing!  It’s time for . . .

The 8th Annual Halloweensie Contest!!!!!
~ for children’s writers ~
aahhhrrrooooOOOOO!!!!!

halloweensie-pumpkin

The Contest: write a 100 word Halloween story appropriate for children (children here defined as 12 and under) (title not included in the 100 words), using the words shiver, cauldron, and howl.  Your story can be scary, funny, or anything in between, poetry or prose, but it will only count for the contest if it includes those 3 words and is 100 words (you can go under, but not over!)  Get it?  Halloweensie – because it’s not very long and it’s for little people 🙂  (And yes, I know 100 words is short, but that’s part of the fun and the challenge!  We got 235 fantastic entries last year, so I know you can do it!)  Also, you may use the words in any form – e.g. shivery, cauldrons, howling, whathaveyou 🙂  NO ILLUSTRATION NOTES PLEASE! (And yes, you may submit more than one entry if you’re so inclined 🙂 )

Post: your story on your blog between right now this very second and Wednesday October 31st by 11:59 PM EDT and add your post-specific link to the list below.  There will be no Perfect Picture Book or Would You Read It posts for the duration of the contest so the links will stay up for everyone to visit and enjoy.  If you don’t have a blog and would like to enter, you can simply copy and paste your entry in the comments section below (please include your byline, especially if your posting handle is something like AwesomeWriter92 so I can identify you.)  If you have difficulty posting in the comments, which unfortunately sometimes happens, you may email your entry to me at susanna[at]susannahill[dot]com and I’ll post it for you.  Please place your entry in the body of the email including your title and byline at the top – NO ATTACHMENTS!
Please Note: although you are welcome to submit more than one entry, please only post each entry ONCE!  If you post it on your blog (preferred method) everyone will come visit you and you’ll make new friends! 🙂  If you don’t have a blog, post it in the comment section below.  If you’re unable to post, please email me with your entry and byline in the body of the email.  Please DO NOT post on your blog, and in the comments, and send me an email to post.  It makes things confusing!
P.S.  Although I try to stay glued to my computer 24/7 I am sometimes forced to leave my desk.  If you haven’t commented on my blog before, your comment won’t show up until I approve it.  It may take a little while if I’m away from my desk.  Likewise, if you send me an entry to post, I promise I will do it as soon as I can!

The Judging: in a grueling marathon over the following days, my devoted assistants and I will narrow down the entrants to 3 top choices (hee hee hee – you know how much trouble I have with only 3, so we’ll see) which will be posted here and voted on for a winner on Monday November 5th (sooner if possible, later if necessary!)  The winner will be announced on Thursday November 8th, good lord willin’ and the creek don’t rise 🙂  If we get more than 25 entries, I will post 6 finalists and give prizes for 1st – 3rd.  If by some chance we get the kind of turnout we’ve had the past couple years, I may post as many as 10-12 finalists and I’ll probably end up giving everyone a prize 🙂  But we’ll cross that bridge when we get to it!

Judging criteria will be as follows:

  • 1. Kid-appeal! – These stories are intended for a young audience (ages 12 and under), so we’re looking for stories that children will enjoy and relate to.
  • 2.  Halloweeniness – the rules state a Halloween story, so it must be crystal clear that the story is about Halloween, not just some random spooky night.
  • 3. Quality of story – entries must tell a story, including a main character of some kind and a true story arc even if it’s tiny 🙂  Entries must not be merely descriptions or mood pieces.
  • 4. Quality of Writing: check your spelling, grammar, punctuation etc.  If you’re going to rhyme, give us your best 🙂  Overall writing quality and use of language are also important.
  • 5. Originality and creativity – because that is often what sets one story above another.

The Prizes: (it is currently 1:40AM and I’m at the stage where I’m going to make mistakes, so I will finish posting the prize list properly in the morning.  Apologies for the delay!)

First, the amazingly awesome prize I promised!

– Skip The Slushpile with Editor Hannah Lambert of Little Simon!!!
The lucky winner of this prize will get to place the picture book manuscript of his/her choice directly into editor Hannah Lambert’s hands!  (In case you are wondering, Hannah is the editor of all 4 of my books in the WHEN YOUR… series.)  Hannah will read the manuscript and then send you an email to let you know she’s read your story.  She will include a brief mention of something she likes, and something you can work on. (Not a full critique.)  Of course what makes this prize so incredible is that if you send her a really, really good manuscript the dream could come true! 🙂 So good luck to whoever wins this!  Hannah is particularly interested in mss with a very low word count, and always has an eye out for excellent holiday stories.
(with thanks to Tania Guarino for thinking up the idea of skipping the slush pile!)

– several picture book manuscript critiques from amazing critiquers (details to come – I need to spread my generous volunteers out over 3 contests, so, planning…)

 – 2-Pack of Personalized Signed Picture Books by the lovely and talented Tania Guarino, author of MEET THE QUACKERS (Spork, 2017) and GARDEN PARTY: A COUNTING ADVENTURE (Spork, 2018)
tania-guarino_1_orig Quackers Garden Party

– a personalized signed copy of NOT SO SCARY JERRY by the wonderful and gifted Shelley Kinder

shelley-kinder_orig   Jerry

– Bundle Of Books – assorted PBs, MGs, YAs (details to come) – generously donated by KidLit411

– an e-pub or PDF copy (winner’s choice) of Linda Ashman‘s Nuts And Bolts Guide To Writing Picture Books. OR paperback of Ann Whitford Paul’s Writing Picture Books: A Hands-On Guide from Story Creation to Publication.

Please join me again in thanking these very generous authors and other writing professionals for contributing their books and writing expertise as prizes by visiting their websites and blogs, considering their books and services for holiday or other gift purchases, rating and/or reviewing their books on GoodReads, Amazon, B&N or anywhere else if you like them, or supporting them in any other way you can dream up 🙂

Now then.  Time for my sample entry which I finished at 1:30 AM and provide because I would never ask you to do anything I wouldn’t do myself.  Also, in case anyone is worried about the quality of their entry they have only to read my truly horrific attempt to be filled with confidence that their’s is MUCH better!

Tricky Witches (100 words)

On a dark All Hallow’s night,
Shivering with cold and fright,
Tiny trick-or-treaters dare
To approach the witches’ lair.
Past the lighted edge of town
Black-cloaked witches stand around.
Something sticky, thick, and hot
Bubbles in their potion pot.
“Come and get it!” witches lure.
“It’ll warm you up for sure!”
Ghostly howls warn, “Stay away!
Don’t be fooled by the bouquet!
Cauldron’s contents might smell sweet,
But that’s trickery, not treat!”
Little candy-hunters flee!
Plan has worked out perfectly.
Witches cackle gleefully,
“Now there’s more for you and me!”
Final check, the brew is done.
“Fresh hot chocolate anyone?”

Now then, darlings!  Is everyone feeling better about their way-better-than-that! stories?  I certainly HOPE so! 🙂

I can’t wait to read all of your entries!  I’m so looking forward to them!  I hope there will be a lot – the more the merrier!  And there are still nearly 5 days to write, so you have time if you haven’t written yet.  Feel free to spread the word to your writing friends as well.  And your reading friends – parents, teachers, etc.  The more people who read and enjoy your stories, the better!!!

Contest Entrants, remember to add your post-specific link to the google form below so we can all come read your awesome stories!  (Post-specific means not your main blog url, but the actual url of the post that has your story in it – otherwise if you post again before the contest ends, your link will take readers… and judges!… to the wrong place!)

Eager Readers – just go along the list of links, click on them, and enjoy the stories!

Happy Writing and Happy Halloween!!! 🙂  🎃

And don’t miss the 122!!! fabulous entries that are posted in the comments below!  (Unfortunately I can’t make links to them, but please scroll through and read and comment for the talented authors!!!)
1. When The Shivers Moved In – Kaye
2. Luna’s Mysterious Costume – Sara A
3. Pet Cemetery Picnic – Corine
4. Fright Night Stew – Dee
5. Halloween Night – Karen
6. Belinda’s Broken Brew – Keatley
7. Mummy’s Mess – Diana
8. New Halloween Cauldron – Kathleen
9. There Was An Old Witch – Dianne
10. Trick Or Treasure – Anne
11. A Seedy Story – Connie
12. The “Wolf” At The Door – Charlene
13. Halloween Sleepover – Pat
14. Little Cauldron’s Halloween Surprise – Ingrid
15. A Halloween Bite – Debora
16. Who Needs – Joan
17. Cauldron Conundrum – Danielle
18. Pete And Re-Pete – Heather
19. Stitchy Witchy Brew – Jennifer B
20. The Lost Boys – Michael
21. Full Moon Rising – Michael
22. Truly Boo – Mary
23. The Last Piece – Carrie
24. One House Left – Tara
25. Mission Halloween – Monica
26. The Family Resemblance – Debora
27. One Chilly Halloween – Debora
28. Skellie Ton’s Encounter – Laura
29. Monster Vacancy – Laura
30. The Halloween Ball – Sylvia
31. Mrs. Tank’s Pennies – Jennifer M
32. Midnight Feast – Becky
33. Halloween Prize – Kirsten
34. Three Pig-Witches – Su
35. The First Corner – John
36. Potion Commotion – Jennifer Bu
37. If You Can’t Beat Them… – Linda
38. A Brew For You – Diana
39. A Horrid Witch’s Brew – Erin
40. Halloween Stew For Two – Anne B
41. A Halloween Scene – Michelle K
42. The Skeletons On Halloween – Michelle K
43. Wolfie’s Pumpkin – Joan
44. What’s Cooking? – Jill
45. Halloween Friends – Kay
46. Not This Halloween! – Carmen
47. A Calm Halloween – Jessica
48. Festival – Beth B
49. School Screams – Lu
50. It’s Only Pretend – Jill L
51. The Candivore – Jill L
52. Shiver, Cauldron And Howl – Lisa
53. A Bite Of Soup – Megan
54. The Gathering – MaryLee
55. Are You Sure? – Jim
56. A Halloween Haiku – Michelle K
57. Festive Feast – Jamie
58. Halloween – Amy
59. The Best Night For Little Ghouls – Beth S
60. Trouble – Bonnie
61. H-A-L-L-O-W-E-E-N K-I-D-S G-E-T C-A-N-D-Y – Michelle K
62. Opposite Day: A Halloween Scare – John
63. Midnight Fright – Patricia
64. Trick Or Treat – Linda
65. Snap Apple Fright – Corine
66. Worst Costume…Never – Rich
67. Witch’s Welcome – Elaine
68. Fright Fight – Nannette
69. The Halloween Ship – Laura B
70. A Gold Wand For Wanda – Laura B
71. Safe – Dawn D
72. Stage Fright – Michelle Kl
73. Dusty Bones Has No Guts – Andrea
74. Who’s The Scariest? – Mona
75. Chef Crone – Diana
76. Calling All Witches! – Anne S
77. Halloween Dinner – Sara G
78. Tis The Season(ing) – Judy
79. Itchy, Itchy, And Twitch – Patricia
80. A Witch Is In The Kitchen! – Jeannie
81. Avocado And Toast – Rebecca
82. The Scary Costume – Karen
83. Trick-or-Treat – Amy B
84. Three Little Pumpkins – Karen
85. Oh Drat! – Kathy
86. Witchy, The Transylvanian Sheepdog – Karen
87. Fright School – Lucretia
88. Ghosts, Witches and Wolves, Oh No! – Amy R
89. Grandma’s Secret – Susie
90. Transylbirdia – Debbie
91. Little Bat’s First Halloween Journey – Linda
92. Mischief Night – Tania
93. The Scariest Night Of The Year – Susie
94. Pumpkin Sky – Cassandra
95. Halloween Punch – Gyeong
96. Winifred Waited – Gail
97. The Night Of The Candy – Jennifer H
98. Untitled – Anna
99. Untitled -Ella
100. The Question Of The Cat On The Pumpkin At Hallowe’en – Jane
101. The Halloween Scheme – Susan
102. A Witch Can Switch – Nancy
103. Guess Who – Mia
104. Little Wolfs Howlween – Beth
105. Gordie Goblin’s Potion – Jen
106. Bubble Bubble – Jen
107. The Missing Treat – Cheryl
108. Stir The Pot – Linda S
109. No Bones About It – JC
110. Trick-Or-Sweet – Lauren
111. Spooky Spies II: The Spookening – Samantha
112. Halloween Surprise – Linda B
113. Last Halloween – Susan V
114. Eat Up Your Carrots – Susan V
115. The Creepy Cupcake CATastrophe – Karen G
116. No Chocolate For Dogs – Shae
117. Double, Trouble, Bubble… – Deborah A
118. Tricky Halloweensie Velvet – Virginia
119. The Sleepy Pirate – Jennifer C
120. Three Little Witches – Debbie V
121. Courageous Cauldron Queens – Katrina
122. One Sweet Halloween – Darcee

Would You Read It Wednesday #303 – The Punching Ballerina (PB) PLUS The September Pitch Pick!

Can it be?

Only three more days until the opening moment of HALLOWEENSIE???!!!

I cannot wait!!! – despite the fact that I have been so busy with other projects that I haven’t given even one second’s thought to my sample entry!  It’s going to be another down-to-the-wire situation, I’m afraid.

But just you guys wait until you see what the big prize is!  You’re going to keel right over!

Let’s just say, you’re going to want to put your best effort forward because this is a prize you’re going to want a real shot at!

So.

Now that you’re DYING to know what the prize is and I’m certainly not going to tell you until Saturday morning when the contest post goes up (MWAH-HA-HA, she laughed evilly 🙂 ) let’s talk September Pitch Pick.

Please read through the pitches below, which have been revised thanks to your helpful input, and choose the one you think is best and most deserving of a read and comments by editor Erin Molta.  Then vote for your favorite in the poll by Sunday October 28 at 9PM Eastern.  I realize that Halloweensie will already be underway, so to make sure you remember to read and vote you might want to do it before the weekend!

#1 – Katie E – ENOUGH – PB ages 4-9

Elpis is an uncommon thing. With feathers sparkling, she spreads hope. Amicus and his friends play in her brilliant cascade. Until… Moros swoops in, throwing deep, deep shade. The children flee and Elpis sputters. Moros preens and gloats as gloom settles in. Elpis nearly sinks. Until… Amicus and his pals demand a return to joy. Their stubborn spirit buoys Elpis – and everyone else – because stepping up with hope is enough.

#2 – Katie W – THE ADVENTURES OF LOU AND BARLEY – PB ages 3-6

When Lou leaves his stuffed stegosaurus in the pouring rain he and his dog, Barley, set out to rescue him. Braving giant waves, outsmarting hungry alligators, and battling a monstrous T-Rex, the determined pair discover even imaginary adventures can be fun!

#3 – Lily – GARDEN BED – PB ages 2-4

In Garden Bed, a rhyming picture book targeted to ages 2-4, a parent and child tuck each vegetable in for the night, helping the child to become sleepy too. Tomato, cucumber, parsley, eggplant, kale, purple potato, lettuce, carrots and peas are lulled to sleep by the refrain: Sleep, sleep, my dear one,

  Sleep until the light,
  We’ll both tuck you in,
  And sing you goodnight. 

 

#4 – Sarah – NO SHOES STANLEY – PB ages 4-8 (formerly titled MARSTER SHOES)

While mostly human, like mom, Stanley has his dad’s huge Martian feet.  This wasn’t a problem when they lived on Mars, where Stanley enjoyed the feeling of being barefoot every day.  But Earth’s rules aren’t Mars’ rules, and Stanley must try to come up with a creative shoe solution for life in a new world.  Not one to follow the crowd, Stanley’s answer involves a twist.

It’s always a tough choice, but do your best!  Something Chocolate awaits as your reward 🙂

 

Thank you for voting!

Since Halloween is right around the corner, and this is our last WYRI before it, I wanted something Halloweenie for our Something Chocolate today.  I thought this Reese’s Pieces Peanut Butter Chocolate Lasagna fit the ticket pretty well 🙂

Reese’s Pieces Peanut Butter Chocolate Lasagna

YUM!  Doesn’t that look scrumptious?  I am totally having seconds!

Now then, onto today’s pitch which comes to us from Sarah whom you will remember from last month with her pitch for MARSTER SHOES who says, “I am an Optometrist, mother, and lover of the outdoors. I live in NH with my husband and two children. I love to paint in my free time, when I’m not writing.”

Find her on the web at www.sarahheturadny.com

Here is her pitch:

Working Title: The Punching Ballerina

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

The Pitch: KC is a boy with identity questions, who wishes to express himself via ballet.  Mom is hesitant to acquiesce, encouraging karate for self-defense instead.  After various attempts to learn ballet on his own, KC dresses as a ballerina for school, thereby inciting a group of bullies.    KC reacts in his own way, leaving the situation with new-found confidence in who he is, as well as a potential friend.

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 Sarah 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.  At this point, I think we’re full for WYRI until after the holidays, but there are openings in January, so you have plenty of time to polish your pitch before putting it up for helpful feedback and a chance to have it read and commented on by editor Erin Molta! Reserve your spot in the new year today!

Sarah is looking forward to your thoughts on her pitch!  I am looking forward to being struck with inspiration for a Halloweensie sample entry that will delight you all!  Failing that, I’m just hoping to write something down before I go to sleep Friday night/Saturday wee hours of the morning!

Have a wonderful Wednesday everyone!!! 🙂

 

Would You Read It Wednesday #302 – Weeping Willow (PB) PLUS The July Pitch Pick Winner!!!

Apparently, it is Wednesday.

I’m not sure how we got here… TARDIS? The twilight zone? The yellow brick road? The Starship Enterprise?…but I skipped right over Friday, Saturday, Sunday, Monday and Tuesday.  That is what days holed up in front of a deadline will do to a person.  Along with eating apple cinnamon cheerios for dinner so you don’t have to take time away from work to shop 🙂

Anyhow, one way or another, here we are at Wednesday, bright-eyed and bushy-tailed, shampooed and dressed in outdoor clothes and ready to take on the world!

Or possibly take a nap 🙂

But really, who can nap when the winner of July Pitch Pick is Greg with his PB pitch for The Remindeer!!!  Congratulations, Greg!  Your pitch will be on its way to editor Erin Molta any minute now as I try to regain control of my email after days of ignoring it!

And congratulations to our other fabulous pitchers who all did a tremendous job!  I hope the experience was helpful to you even if Erin doesn’t get to read your pitch.

Now, onto the next item on our agenda:

No Pitch Pick this week! 🙂

I could have done September, but I figured you guys had really earned a break!  So… next week 🙂 And thank you from the bottom of my chocolate-loving heart for being so wonderful about voting for weeks in a row!

Speaking of chocolate… How about Something Chocolate? I don’t really think we can go far wrong with 24 Layer Chocolate Cake!!!

24 Layer Chocolate Cake

I’m not sure I have the patience to actually bake and assemble that beautiful thing, but you can count on me to eat it! 🙂 Breakfast of champions – that’s what I say! 🙂

Now then, onto today’s pitch which comes to us from Meghan who says, “My name is Meghan. I am an aspiring author. When I’m not living with my nose in a book or a piece of writing I’m working on, I am teaching third grade, working out, spending time with the people I love, or binge-watching my favorite movies and television shows (I love to Netflix and chill on my own). I have loved books for as long as I can remember, and now I’d like to use that passion to create timeless works of literature for all ages.”

Find her on the web at her author page: https://www.facebook.com/Meghan-Wiley-563844300401335/

Here is her pitch:

Working Title: Weeping Willow

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

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

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 Meghan 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 and commented on by editor Erin Molta!

Meghan is looking forward to your thoughts on her pitch!  I am looking forward to that nap I mentioned…except I don’t actually have time for a nap, so maybe I’ll just have a second helping of the 24 Layer Chocolate Cake (fortification, you know – gotta keep my strength up 🙂 ) and forge ahead, plowing through my inbox, boldly going where nobody has gone for many days…

If you don’t hear from me within a reasonable amount of time, send out a search party! 🙂

Have a wonderful Wednesday everyone!!! 🙂

 

Would You Read It Wednesday #301 – Drop The Dragon (PB) PLUS The July Pitch Pick PLUS The June Pitch Pick Winner!

Golly it’s been a busy week so far!

Somehow I’ve posted three days in a row!  Sorry about that!

But Tuesday and Wednesday are regular, and I had to get the Halloweensie Contest guidelines up on Monday to give you all some time to write… and at least you get a day off before PPBF… So next week we’ll be back to normal!

Today, however, I’m delighted to announce that the winner of the June Pitch Pick is Patricia with her PB pitch for Amy’s Birdsong Aires/American Composer Amy Cheney Beach!  Congratulations on a fabulous pitch for an interesting-sounding book, Patricia!  Your pitch is on its way to editor Erin Molta for her comments.

Congratulations also to all our other pitchers who worked hard on writing and revising their pitches and were brave enough to share them with us.  All your stories sound wonderful, and I hope the WYRI experience has helped you strengthen your pitches for future use with agents and editors!

Onward now to the July Pitch Pick – the last of the catch-ups, finally!  I so appreciate all of you being willing to read and vote for weeks in a row!

You all know the ropes by now! 🙂  but please read through the pitches and vote for your favorite in the poll below by Sunday October 14 at 9PM Eastern.

#1 – Katie – A BRUSH WITH DISASTER (PB ages 5-9) (previously titled The Boys Who Brushed Teeth Too Much)

Excited about a new toothbrush gaming app, Advik challenges neighbors then nations to compete. Brother Barun doesn’t bite. Instead, he boosts traditional brushing across communities and continents. When overbrushing overruns the world, the boys just stick to their ‘gums.’ Until tooth care supplies run out. United by need, they face (and fix) the painful impacts of their extreme habits. This modernized Panchatantra fable offers layers appealing to ages 5-9.

#2 – Gabrielle – MAGGIE’S NEW BIKE

Maggie wants shiny new wheels, not Dad’s old rust bucket. When Dad hints she could get one after she learns how to ride, Maggie gives the junker a second look. With determination and her barnyard cheering section of hens and roosters, Maggie soon discovers not every treasure comes from a store. This is a delightful story of one girls’ never-give-up attitude.

#3 – Sherry – Firestarter (MG Action/Adventure)

12 year old Cody’s mother left on the last day of school, and the care of his sisters and the small farm became his responsibility while his father works from dawn to dusk. Anxious to get away from his sisters demands and his father’s constant belittling, he makes plans to run away. But when smoke appears on the ridge above their home, he has to make a choice—fight the fire or leave his family to fend on their own. And to make matters worse, he has a secret that could cause him to lose his family for good and land him in jail.

#4 – Greg – The Remindeer (PB ages 4-10)

Wally has a very important job, to make sure everything goes smoothly for Santa on Christmas Eve. After going through his checklist and seeing Santa off, he discovers a present for Laurie has been left behind.

Unlike the other reindeer, Wally can’t fly. He calls a delivery service and finds out they are too busy to deliver the present. He’ll have to find another way to deliver the present and save Christmas for Laurie.

It’s a tough choice, I know!  But please vote if you can!

I don’t know about you, but I’m ready for Something Chocolate!  (Although I’m pretty much always ready for Something Chocolate, so that’s not news 🙂 ). How about some  Chocolate Chip Cheesecake Cookies?

Chocolate Chip Cheesecake Cookies

 

Scrumptious!  Luckily I made tons so everyone can have two or five or twenty or however many they want 🙂

Now then, onto today’s pitch which comes to us from Ciara who says, “I am a former teacher, mother of five, and corgi lover. I love puns. I might make them on an hourly basis. And I definitely think that there should be a job where one can be a personal shopper of picture books. That’s a thing, right?”

Find her on the web at ciaraoneal.weebly.com

Here is her pitch:

Working Title: Drop The Dragon

Age/Genre: Picture Book (ages 4-12)

The Pitch: A little girl’s best frenemy, the family dog, keeps stealing her toy dragon. Using her resourcefulness and imagination, she tries to thwart the theft. When the toy is held captive by the dreaded clothes line, these two will have to work together to save their beloved dragon.

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 Ciara 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 is an opening next week! – October 17! – so someone send me a pitch! 🙂 Additional openings in November, 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!

Ciara is looking forward to your thoughts on her pitch!  I am looking forward to getting all the prizes organized for the Halloweensie Contest!  I’m still searching for an agent or editor who would be willing to give a read and critique of a PB manuscript, so if any of you know anyone, please have your people get in touch with my people! 🙂

Have a wonderful Wednesday everyone!!! 🙂

 

The Nina, The Pinta, and the Guidelines for the 8th Annual Halloweensie Contest!!!

Happy Columbus Day, Everyone!

As usual on this day, it’s time for a special message from our sponsors.

Remember how on a dark and stormy night in 1492 (I think it was Thursday) our good ole buddy Chris, involved in a heated discussion with his crew about what the 5 Little Pumpkins were doing on a gate in the first place instead of being home in bed where they belonged, accidentally sailed the Nina, the Pinta, and the Santa Maria into an island in the Bahamas for which he was credited with discovering America even though he missed the entire coast from Maine to the Florida Keys?  (And incidentally never figured out why the 5 Little Pumpkins were on that gate.  I don’t think Thursdays are his day.)

Anyway, the point is, thanks to his navigational shortcomings, we all have the day off!

And what better way to celebrate poor navigation skills and a day off than by warming up our writing utensils and setting forth to win a contest?

That’s right! (Or should I say, that’s write?!)

(Yeah.  Okay.  Sorry 🙂 )

ANYway…

In case you haven’t guessed…

It’s time to announce the guidelines for…

The 8TH Annual HALLOWEENSIE CONTEST!!!

halloweensie-pumpkin

~ for children’s writers ~

 

The Contest: write a 100 word Halloween story appropriate for children (children here defined as 12 and under) (title not included in the 100 words), using the words shiver, cauldron, and howl.  Your story can be scary, funny, sweet, or anything in between, poetry or prose, but it will only count for the contest if it includes those 3 words and is 100 words (you can go under, but not over!)  Get it?  Halloweensie – because it’s not very long and it’s for little people 🙂  (And yes, I know 100 words is short, but that’s part of the fun and the challenge!  We got 235 fantastic entries last year, so I know you can do it!)  Also, you may use the words in any form – e.g. shivered, shivery, cauldrons, howled, howling, whathaveyou 🙂  NO ILLUSTRATION NOTES PLEASE! (And yes, you may submit more than one entry if you’re so inclined 🙂 )

Post: your story on your blog between 12:00 AM EDT Saturday October 27th and Wednesday October 31st by 11:59 PM EDT and add your post-specific link to the list that will accompany my special October 27th post.  There will be no Perfect Picture Book or Would You Read It posts for the duration of the contest so the links will stay up for everyone to visit and enjoy.  If you don’t have a blog and would like to enter, you can simply copy and paste your entry in the comments section of my October 27th post once it’s up (please include your byline if your posting handle is something like AwesomeWriter92 so I can identify you.)  If you have difficulty posting in the comments, which unfortunately sometimes happens, you may email your entry to me at susanna[at]susannahill[dot]com and I’ll post it for you.  Please place your entry in the body of the email including your title and byline at the top – NO ATTACHMENTS!  And please do not submit entries before the start of the contest!

The Judging: in a grueling marathon over the following days, my devoted assistants and I will narrow down the entrants to 3 top choices (hee hee hee – you know how much trouble I have with only 3, so we’ll see) which will be posted here and voted on for a winner on Monday November 5th (if the judging takes longer than we expect if could be later…but we will do our best!)  The winner will be announced on Thursday November 8th (good lord willin’ and the creek don’t rise 🙂 ) If we get more than 25 entries, I will post 6 finalists and give prizes for 1st – 3rd.  If by some chance we get the kind of turnout we’ve had the past couple years, I may post as many as 10-12 finalists and I’ll probably end up giving everyone a prize 🙂  But we’ll cross that bridge when we get to it!

Judging criteria will be as follows:

  • 1. Kid-appeal! – These stories are intended for a young audience (ages 12 and under), so we’re looking for stories that children will enjoy and relate to.
  • 2.  Halloweeniness – the rules state a Halloween story, so it must be crystal clear that the story is about Halloween, not just some random spooky night.
  • 3. Quality of story – entries must tell a story, including a main character of some kind and a true story arc even if it’s tiny 🙂  Entries must not be merely descriptions or mood pieces.
  • 4. Quality of Writing: check your spelling, grammar, punctuation etc.  If you’re going to rhyme, give us your best 🙂  Overall writing quality and use of language are also important.
  • 5. Originality and creativity – because that is often what sets one story above another.

The Prizes:  as usual, I’m still working on the prizes 🙂  Feel free to chime in in the comments if there’s something you’d particularly like to win! 🙂  Or if you have something awesome to offer!  I’d be very grateful if anyone could put me in touch with an agent or editor who would be willing to be the big prize because I’m not having good luck with that so far!!!  But for starters, prizes will include:

– several picture book manuscript critiques from amazing critiquers (details to come – I need to spread my generous volunteers out over 3 contests, so, planning…)

 – 2-Pack of Personalized Signed Picture Books by the lovely and talented Tania Guarino, author of MEET THE QUACKERS (Spork, 2017) and GARDEN PARTY: A COUNTING ADVENTURE (Spork, 2018)
tania-guarino_1_orig Quackers Garden Party

– a personalized signed copy of NOT SO SCARY JERRY by the wonderful and gifted Shelley Kinder

shelley-kinder_orig   Jerry

– Bundle Of Books – assorted PBs, MGs, YAs (details to come) – generously donated by KidLit411

– an e-pub or PDF copy (winner’s choice) of Linda Ashman‘s Nuts And Bolts Guide To Writing Picture Books. OR paperback of Ann Whitford Paul’s Writing Picture Books: A Hands-On Guide from Story Creation to Publication.

 

Plus stay tuned because other great stuff is coming! 🙂

I hope those fantabulous prizes will at least whet your appetite for the contest!

Many, many thanks to Tania, KidLit411, and the PB MS critiquers for their very generous prize offerings!

So sharpen your pencils!

Get your butt in that chair!

See what amazing, knock-your-socks-off story you can dream up!

It’s a chance to hone your writing skills, practice your craft, write to specifications and a deadline, win amazing prizes, AND get to read and enjoy the wonderful stories written by all your fellows 🙂

I am SO looking forward to seeing what you all come up with!!!

Have a Marvelous Monday everyone! 🙂

Would You Read It Wednesday #300 – The Night There Was No Bedtime (PB) PLUS The June Pitch Pick PLUS The May Pitch Pick Winner!

Woo hoo!  It’s another fun-filled edition of Would You Read It Wednesday!

Not only that, it’s the 300th WYRI!  Can you believe it?  Apparently we’ve been doing this for awhile 🙂 I think that calls for a celebration!  So I’m going to give away a book to one random commenter today!

This is an interesting week on Blueberry Hill.  I had a new book out yesterday which was a kind of a first for me.  I was hired to write the first-ever picture book version of the well-known movie, Miracle on 34th Street for Sourcebooks and the Valentine Davies estate.  A pretty cool project to be part of!

Miracle Updated Cover

 

As any of you know who have seen the movie, it is LONG to condense into a picture book, and has elements (drunkenness, being committed to an asylum, etc) which are not necessarily picture book friendly 🙂 So it was an interesting challenge!  I think it came out pretty well, although, due to trying to keep the word count down there are a few places where some of the niceties of language and transition in my original manuscript had to be cut in the interest of space.  But it tells the story, and the art is beautiful and perfectly suited to the era of the tale.  I think it will make a lovely holiday time read.

Since it’s brand new and hot off the presses, and we’re celebrating the 300th WYRI, I will give a copy of Miracle On 34th Street to a randomly selected commenter on today’s post!  I’ll even sign it for you if you want since I wrote this particular version, even though the original story belongs to Valentine Davies 🙂

Anyway, we’d better get down to business!

For starters, the winner of the May Pitch Pick was Jackie with her nonfiction picture book pitch for One Smart Cookie: The Story of Ruth Wakefield and the Invention of the Chocolate Chip Cookie!!!  Congratulations, Jackie!  I have to say, you had me at the title! :). Your pitch is on its way to editor Erin Molta, who, being inundated with this giant pile of pitch winners, will eventually dig herself out from under!  I think we’re going to have a huge Straight From The Editor post at some point! 🙂

Congratulations to all our pitchers!  You all did an amazing job, and your stories sound so interesting!  Keep up the good work!  A fair few writers have ended up selling books they pitched here (one of these days I should make a list of exactly who and have a celebratory post about them) but YOU could be next!  Why not?! 🙂

Onward, now, to the June Pitch Pick!  After this we only have July to catch up… and of course September which we are now ready for as well.  But we’re getting there!

Have a look at the revised pitches. Think them over. Make your selection. And then vote below for your favorite and step on up to the chocolate bar! (see what I did there? 🙂 )

#1 – Katie E – The Tooth Fairy Conference (PB ages 5-9)

Tooth Fairy Gwyneth rallies brainy and brawny conference attendees to extract Plaque Man, a rot-minded foe, and save the fairy economy. Gwyneth must convince skeptical speakers presenting key economic and tooth collecting knowledge to form a posse with tough tooth fairies from all over the world. Now if only they can combine their dental and mental derring-do and wash skunky, gunky Plaque Man down the drain.

#2 – Patricia – Amy’s Birdsong Aires/American Composer Amy Cheney Beach (PB ages 4-8)

Amy wasn’t an ordinary child. A musical prodigy, she could accurately sing any song she heard. Amy wanted to sing, play the piano, and write music, but girls in the late 1800’s didn’t grow up to do such manly things. Despite the times, her talents blossomed and she gained recognition.When a professor learned that Amy had perfect pitch, he asked her to help him ‘name the birds’, which ended up being a very important thing.

 

#3 – Katie B – The Librarian’s Treasure (YA/Fantasy)

Drake’s assignment: Find the child of the lady and the leprechaun. Vague much? The League of Leprechaun’s, at least that is what the three diminutive men called themselves, had shown up at Drake’s pub and offered him more gold than he was willing to turn down.
Drake had narrowed down the “sense” his new bosses had to Raegan, the only person of the right age consistently in this place. She didn’t seem a leprechaun any more than the three men had and how they expected her to save the village from dying out the League hadn’t felt compelled to share.
Getting close to Raegan to discover the truth, Drake became unexpectedly drawn to the goodness and innocence she exuded. He wondered, would she save the village, or might she just save him?

 

#4 – Yvona – Granny’s Veggie Garden (PB ages 4-8)

The seasons come full circle in this intergenerational story that introduces gardening and cooking adventures with fun, fresh language as the characters plan, plant, till, weed, harvest and cook from their garden’s abundance.

 

Please vote for your favorite pitch – the one you think most deserving of a read and comments by editor Erin Molta – in the poll below by Sunday October 7 at 9PM Eastern.  Many, many thanks for your help! 🙂

 

 

Since it’s October and Halloween is coming, I thought we’d do something fun AND delicious for today’s Something Chocolate!  How do you feel about Spiderweb Cookie Cake? (Especially appropriate given today’s May Pitch Pick winner 🙂 )

Spiderweb Cookie Cake (basically, a gigantic chocolate chip cookie 🙂 )

Yum-MY!  Really, there’s nothing like homemade chocolate chip cookies!  I think I know what I’m doing this afternoon…while I’m working…multi-tasking at its best 🙂

Now then, onto today’s pitch which comes to us from Katie (yes! another Katie!) who says, “I am a Registered Nurse, mother to a sticky boy and a horse-lovin’ girl, and a writer of picture books. I enjoy spending time at the beach building sand castles and gawking at whales.”

Find her on the twitter at @KatieWills79

Here is her pitch:

Working Title: The Night There Was No Bedtime

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

The Pitch:  Drowsy children everywhere are yawning and hugging their teddies close… but Bedtime is nowhere to be found.  She has other plans for the night, and sleeping isn’t one of them. If Bedtime won’t return, the children may never sleep again!

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 Katie 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 – yes – NEXT WEEK! – so someone send me a pitch!  You will get helpful feedback from our devoted readers and a chance to have your pitch read and commented on by editor Erin Molta!  What are you waiting for?! 🙂

Katie is looking forward to your thoughts on her pitch!  I am looking forward to receiving an actual copy of Miracle On 34th Street and being able to give a copy to one of you!

Have a wonderful Wednesday everyone!!! 🙂

 

Would You Read It Wednesday #299 – Marster Shoes (PB) PLUS The May Pitch Pick PLUS The April Pitch Pick Winner!

In case you were wondering, not only is today Would You Read It Wednesday, it is also Johnny Appleseed Day!

(I KNOW!  I, too, am wondering how I got through all these years without knowing there was a Johnny Appleseed Day!  Can you imagine?)

It stands to reason there would be one though, because how could we have apple cider donuts without Johnny Appleseed?  And we couldn’t really have autumn without apple cider donuts, and just think of the havoc that would be caused by no autumn and therefore no pumpkin-spiced everything!

Because of Johnny Appleseed, pumpkin-spiced trash bags.

Wow.

I think I just did philosophy.

Or possibly locomotiary substitution 🙂

Anyway, enough about Johnny!  We’ve got lots to get to today, starting with the winner of the April Pitch Pick who, I am pleased to announce, is Corine with her pitch for Willamina The Wolf Spider!!!

Congratulations, Corine!  Your pitch is wending its way along the cyber highway to editor Erin Molta for her thoughts!

Congratulations, too, to our other fabulous pitchers who did an amazing job!  I hope Would You Read It was helpful to you and that you all feel you’ve emerged with stronger pitches and a better understanding of what makes a good pitch for your future endeavors.  We are lucky to have such wonderful, helpful and discerning readers here to aid us in the pursuit of pitch excellence!

Now then!  Moving briskly onward to the May Pitch Pick!

(We’re making progress with the catching up… only June and July to go after this… but by then we’ll need September…!)

Have a look at May’s interesting and entertaining pitches:

#1 – Jackie – One Smart Cookie: The Story of Ruth Wakefield and the Invention of the Chocolate Chip Cookie (NF PB ages 4-8)

For years the invention of the chocolate chip cookie has been hailed a happy accident. Perhaps it was, or perhaps it was the clever invention of a clever lady. Devour every morsel of this mystery and decide if it was a lucky mistake or the creation of one smart cookie.

#2 – Patricia – Sadie’s Tail (PB ages 4-8)

Whenever Ryan tries to brush rescue-pup Sadie’s fluffy tail, Sadie growls and howls. Wary of scaring or hurting her, Ryan stops. Sadie’s fluffy tail grows matted, and things like cooking utensils, toothbrushes and even glasses get stuck in her fur. Ryan tries several ways to tame that tail, and retrieve the missing items, but fails, until he discovers that the solution was wagging at him the entire time.

#3 – Francis/Tim – I Am Not A Hugger (PB ages 4-8)

Val is not a hugger. She just isn’t. But nobody in her extend family of huggers seems to know it. Val has devised elaborate plans to make herself unhuggable, but nobody ever takes the hint. So when the latest family gathering promises to be another hug fest, Val must figure out how to be heard, or endure yet another hugtastrophe.

Now that you’ve had a chance to read through and evaluate, please vote for the pitch you think is best and most deserving of a read and critique by editor Erin Molta in the poll below by Sunday September 30 at 9PM Eastern.

 

 

Yowza! (a word just added to the Scrabble dictionary, for those of you who are keeping track.)  All that pitch evaluation and voting and talk of cider donuts has made me a mite peckish.  How about you?  Nothing like 100 layers of Something Chocolate to get that under control!

100 Layer Chocolate Chip Cookies

100-Layer-Cookie-6

Recipe and helpful video HERE at iambaker

Mmm!!!  So much delightful chocolate-y goodness!  I don’t know whose idea chocolate was, but it sure was a good one!!!

Now then, onto today’s pitch which comes to us from Sarah who says, “I am an Optometrist, mother, and lover of the outdoors. I live in NH with my husband and two children. I love to paint in my free time, when I’m not writing.”

Find her on the web at www.sarahheturadny.com

Here is her pitch:

Working Title: Marster Shoes

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

The Pitch: Stanley has a human mom, a Martian dad, and a foot problem. MARSTER SHOES is a 425wc PB in which Mom insists Stanley wear shoes for school. Stanley wants to please her, but doesn’t want to give up the feeling of being barefoot. The end comes with a cringe.

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 Sarah 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 (10th and 17th!), 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!

Sarah is looking forward to your thoughts on her pitch!  I am looking forward to October!  How about you guys?  I love October – warm days, cool, crisp nights, apples (and all the good desserts that go along with them 🙂 ), orange, gold, and red leaves that make even gray, rainy days seem bright, Sheep & Wool Festival, long walks with the dogs, usually the first cozy fire of the year, fun-size Halloween chocolate (worthy of making the list twice 🙂 ), the Halloweensie Contest… and not too close to winter yet! Lots of good things 🙂

Have a wonderful Wednesday everyone!!! 🙂

Go forth and write!

 

Would You Read It Wednesday #298 – Garden Bed (PB) PLUS The April Pitch Pick PLUS The March Pitch Pick Winner!

Are any of you guys Calvin and Hobbes fans?

There’s a Calvin and Hobbes collection called The Days Are Just Packed, and that title just says it all!  Really, doesn’t it seem like every day is just packed?  How is it Wednesday again already?! 🙂

Given the packed-ness of everyone’s days, let’s get right down to business, shall we?

First up, I’m happy to announce the winner of the March Pitch Pick! It is Jean with her picture book pitch for A Little Witchy!  Congratulations on a strong (and popular!) pitch, Jean!  It is on its way to editor Erin Molta for her expert review!

Congratulations to all our other pitchers as well for excellent pitches and wonderful story ideas!  I hope the WYRI experience has helped you strengthen your pitches so that all those stories pique the interest of agents and editors and result in multi-house bidding wars!

Now, let’s move on to the ARPIL Pitch Pick!  (I apologize again for getting so far behind with the pitch picks that we’re having to do one a week for eternity here – you guys are very patient with me!)

Please read through our WYRI contestants’ revised pitches below.  Choose the one you like best and think is most deserving of a read and comments by Erin Molta and vote by Sunday September 23 at 9PM Eastern.  Rachel, Candace, Amanda, Corine, and I all thank you and send virtual Snickers bars your way! 🙂

#1 – Rachel – The Littlest Astronaut – PB Ages 4-10

All Seren has ever wanted is to become an astronaut…but training at the academy is hard work and she cant keep up! If Seren doesn’t improve her grades she won’t be selected for an upcoming space mission. A crisis hits the International Space Station and only a pint sized hero can save the day. Seren has to step up in order to save a team of astronauts and to achieve her dream of going in to space.

#2 – Candace – Curious Cassandra – PB Ages 2-6

The pitch:  Cassandra overhears her mother talking about the plants their neighbor, Mrs Fulton, is growing in her garden – turtle’s heads, fox’s gloves, and lamb’s ears.  She wants to see these mysterious plants for herself but, Mrs Fulton is on vacation. There must be a way to spy over, under, or through the garden fence and Cassandra intends figure it out.

 

#3 – Amanda – Sylvia Swan And Cabot – PB Ages 4-10

Matilda + Big Hero 6 + Walle + Frankenstein

When Sylvia’s family is too busy to help her build a blanket fort, she takes matters into her own hands. She utilizes her pint-sized engineering skills: brainstorming, sketching, measuring, and drafting to create the perfect invention! She brings CABot, her Customized Assisting Robot, to life. CABot becomes her fort building solution—making her favorite pastime a reality. But Sylvia soon finds out that CABot can help her build more than just a fort when inspiration strikes again—solving her problem of eating eggplant parmesan for dinner.

#4 – Corine – Willamina the Wolf Spider – PB Ages 6-9

Willamina the wolf spider wants more than anything to keep her spiderlings safe, but when her tummy starts grumbling, she knows it’s time to hunt. Not an easy task with three hundred spiderlings on her back! To make matters worse, it is full moon, and she is not the only one who is hungry. Willamina has to outsmart an owl, a shrew, and, in the end, a woman with a broom—an incident that forces her to release her spiderlings, but not before telling them they are going on a flying adventure.

 

Now then!  I think we’ve all earned Something Chocolate, don’t you?  What should we have today…?  How about some chocolate pound cake with chocolate ganache? That sounds like breakfast, doesn’t it? 🙂

Chocolate Pound Cake

Mmm!  Delish!  Goes great with coffee, tea or milk, and is guaranteed to either pep us up or put us down for a nap 🙂

Now then, onto today’s pitch which comes to us from Lily.  Lily Erlic is a member of the SCBWI. She has authored many books included Finger Rhymes for Manners and Glaciers: Landscape Carvers. She is a preschool and daycare teacher (ECE) with a BA degree from the University of Victoria.

Here is her pitch:

Working Title: Garden Bed

Age/Genre: Picture Book (ages 2-5)

The Pitch: Garden Bed is a lyrical rhyming book that takes place in the garden. Each plant is put to sleep gently. Tomato, cucumber, parsley, eggplant, kale, purple potato, lettuce, carrots and peas are lulled to sleep. At the end, a young child is placed in a “garden bed” and gently lulled to sleep as well. An early picture book for children five and under, this book will find an audience in preschool and daycares across the country. This book will resonate with parents especially for nap time or before bed. I can provide back matter for each type of vegetable.

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

Lily is looking forward to your thoughts on her pitch!  I am looking forward to the Princeton Children’s Book Festival this Saturday!!!  Will any of you be there?  I hope you’ll stop by and say hi!

Have a wonderful Wednesday everyone!!! 🙂

 

Would You Read It Wednesday #297 – The Adventures Of Lou And Barley (PB) PLUS The March Pitch Pick PLUS The January/Februry Pitch Pick Winner!

Wow!

You thought last Wednesday was busy!  Today is even busier!

Let’s jump right in, shall we?, by announcing the winner of the January/February Pitch Pick which was Erik with his MG pitch for Stoyanovich In Paris!!!  Congratulations, Erik!  Your pitch is winging it’s way to editor Erin Molta for her comments, and I’m sure she’ll be in touch shortly!

Congratulations, also, to all the other pitchers!  You all did a terrific job, with pitches for intriguing-sounding stories, all improved after feedback from our helpful readers.  Hopefully, even though your pitches won’t be read by Erin, you all feel that you have stronger pitches to go forward with than you had before!

From the winner of January/February, let’s dive right into choosing a winner for March with the March Pitch Pick!

Here are the revised and polished pitches updated by their authors in response to your helpful comments:

#1 – Pat – Baba Yaga’s Arrful Day (Chapter Book ages 7-10)

When pirate-witch Baba Yaga loses her magic, she finds trouble in the Schoolyard of Shame, the uber creepy Cedar Woods, and a seemingly innocent shoe store. She has to think outside the wand to turn the arr-ful day into a shipload of gold doubloons.

#2 – Nadine – Porcupette And Moppet (PB ages 4-8)

A young porcupine outsmarts a fisher, its natural enemy.  Porcupette narrowly escapes being eaten not by running away or hiding in a tree stump.  He outsmarts the fisher by reading a book!  

#3 – Gayle – Navy SEALs: BUD/S from A-Z (PB ages 4-8)

Boys learn their letters Navy SEAL-style while they explore the rigors of BUD/S, the first half of SEAL training, where a sugar cookie isn’t a snack and The Only Easy Day Was Yesterday.

#4 – Jean – A Little Witchy (PB ages 4-8)

After Beatrice decides being a witch is more appealing than being mortal, she begins acting a little witchy. But her failed attempts at casting spells and mixing magic potions land her in lots of toil and trouble! And her bumbling exploits soon attract the ire of witches, who offer to help her improve her witchery skills. Now Beatrice must decide rather to become a witch or be the best mortal she can be, and leave the witching to the real witches.

 

Now that you’ve had a chance to read through them, please vote in the poll below for the pitch you feel is best and most deserving of a read and comments by editor Erin Molta by Sunday September 16 at 9PM Eastern.

 

Phew!  I think all that reading and voting calls for a little Something Chocolate, don’t you?  And since chances are high that you’re reading this post somewhere near time for breakfast… or second breakfast… or breakfast for dinner 🙂  how about some chocolate chocolate chip pancakes?!

Double Chocolate Pancakes

Dbl_choc_chip_pancake_low_3

Recipe HERE (along with helpful video!) at LauraFuentes.com

I don’t think you can ever go wrong with pancakes…especially not when there’s chocolate involved! 🙂

Now then, onto today’s pitch which comes to us from Katie (different Katie, not last week’s Katie! 🙂 ) who says, “I’m a kindergarten teacher of nearly ten years, a writer, and an outdoor enthusiast on a mission to visit all of the National Parks with my family.”

Find her on the web at:
Twitter:@KWalsh1
Blog: katiewalsh.blog

Here is her pitch:

Working Title: The Adventures Of Lou And Barley

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

The Pitch:  Oh no! When Lou leaves his stuffed Stegosaurus in the rain, he and his dog, Barley, set off on an imaginative quest to rescue him. Sailing giant waves, distracting hungry alligators, and battling the evil t-rex, this is one rip-roaring adventure!

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

Katie is looking forward to your thoughts on her pitch!  I am looking forward to (hopefully very soon!) getting a computer that is a little less exhausted than this one!  You do not want to know how long it took to write this post, given that the computer had to keep “resting”!

Have a wonderful Wednesday everyone!!! 🙂