Would You Read It Wednesday #265 – The Magician’s Apprentice (PB)

All of a sudden there’s a nip in the air!

We even had a light frost last night!

So I think I’m right on base when I suggest the warming goodness of Hot Fudge Cheesecake Brownies for our Something Chocolate this morning.  Sounds like breakfast to me… 🙂  I dare you to eat fruit cup after a look at these… and just imagine the warm, chocolatey smell that could be wafting through your house right now…! 🙂

Hot Fudge Cheesecake Brownies Health Food 🙂

Ah!  Don’t you feel warmer and more motivated already?  I’m pretty sure chocolate has an inspirationa element as well – eat chocolate=write books – a direct correlation 🙂  (Or here’s hoping, anyway, because I’ve got to get some serious writing done ASAP!!!)

Now then, onto today’s pitch which comes to us from Leonie whom you will remember from September with her pitch for I’m Hungry Mummy.  She says, “Writing is my fun, I love putting pen to paper and watching a story unfold. I just know you’ll love my stories too! I live in Melbourne, Australia and work for a big company during the day and write early in the morning or late into the night. My husband, 3 daughters and I live in a Bayside community with our pooch, Jade – a German Short-haired Pointer. My love of reading started when I was a young girl and continued into my first job as a librarian. I now spend as much time as I can, reading and writing fiction.”

Find her on the web on Face Book at Leonie Hearn – Author, and on Twitter @leonie_hearn

Here is her pitch:

Working Title: The Magician’s Apprentice

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

The Pitch: The boys are preparing for a show, but Sam keeps forgetting his costume! An outfit disappears and they need to find who stole it!

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 Leonie 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, we’re probably looking into the new year for dates, so you have a little time to prepare and polish your pitches, but sign up now to secure a date so you can get helpful feedback and have a chance to have your pitch read and commented on by editor Erin Molta!

Leonie is looking forward to your thoughts on her pitch!  I am looking forward to the New York State Sheep & Wool Festival this weekend!  I’ll be at the booth in Building B run by Merritt Bookstore.  I will be reading and signing along with the fabulous and wonderful Iza Trapani, Nancy Furstinger, and Nancy Shaw…and probably some others!  I hope you’ll all come and join us!  Buy books for Christmas presents!  Eat some delicious fall fair food!  Immerse yourself in all things yarn and knitting, weaving and crocheting, cozy and crafty!  It’s such a fun event!

Oh, and in case you missed it Monday, since that’s not a regular posting day around here, the 2017 Halloweensie Writing Contest Guidelines have been announced!  Check them out and have some fun! 🙂

Have a wonderful Wednesday everyone!!! 🙂  And go make those brownies! 🙂

 

BIC Folks! – Announcing The 7th Annual Halloweensie Writing Contest Guidelines!!!

What with all that’s been going on lately, I have totally lost track of this month!

This is probably the Monday I should be posting a Short & Sweet or an Oh, Susanna! or something. . .

. . .but instead. . .

EVEN BETTER!. . .

. . .I’m announcing. . .

. . .get ready for it. . . !

The 7th Annual HALLOWEENSIE CONTEST!!!!!

halloweensie-pumpkin

~ for children’s writers ~

The Contest: write a 100 word Halloween story appropriate for children (title not included in the 100 words), using the words candy corn, monster, and shadow. (Candy corn will be counted as 1 word.)  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 nearly 150 fantastic entries last year, so I know you can do it!)  Also, you may use the words in any form – e.g. monsters, monstrous, shadowy, shadowed, 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 Friday October 27th and Tuesday 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 6th (sooner if possible, although I’m warning you ahead of time I have a deadline for something else and if time gets dicey the finalists may get posted later.)  The winner will be announced on Thursday November 9th, 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:  yeah… 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!  But for starters, prizes will include:

– a read and Skype critique of a picture book manuscript by the fabulous editor Callie Metler-Smith of Clear Fork/Spork Publishing!!!

Screen Shot 2017-10-15 at 10.55.48 PM

–  a webinar of your choice from among the selection offered by Julie Hedlund on her Teachable site (details of selection choice to follow)

julie h

– picture book manuscript critiques (several amazing and highly qualified people are stepping up for this – details to come)

– an e-pub or PDF copy (winner’s choice) of Linda Ashman‘s Nuts And Bolts Guide To Writing Picture Books.

– a whole bunch of fantastic books, some signed, some offered in packages of 3 or more (details to come)

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 Callie, Julie, 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 #264 – Belly Button Piranhas (PB)

It’s Wednesday, my friends, and because I am genetically predisposed to be psychic (my mother’s great aunt’s second cousin once removed’s middle daughter-in-law grew up next door to a medium!), I know what the burning question in your minds is!

I know that you woke up this morning wondering to yourselves: what the heck do they do with the middle part of a bagel?

Really, it’s a mystery for the ages.

The middles of donuts become munchkins.  Everyone knows that!

But what becomes of bagel middles?

I’m glad you asked!

Because luckily, having recently traveled to the hinterlands of the untamed west (the outskirts of Los Angeles 🙂 ), I know the answer!

Bagel middles become Shmearfuls!

(I am not making this up!  Check out Einstein Bros Bagels if you don’t believe me! Or just look at the picture below – actual living proof!)

shmearfuls

All I wonder is why it took someone so long to come up with this absolutely amazingly awesome idea!  I mean, it looks like a munchkin but it’s actually a little round bagel middle stuffed with cream cheese and warmed to the perfect temperature… I don’t think I’m exaggerating when I say pure genius!!!

So, now that I’ve answered the morning’s burning question, how about Something Chocolate (to go along with our Shmearfuls 🙂 )  You know.  So we can do like the black bears and get ready for winter hibernation 🙂

Chocolate Craving Cake

chocolatecravingcake

Recipe HERE at i am baker (video link HERE)

 

Mmmm-mmmm!  Lip-smackin’ good!  I feel more prepared for winter already!  How about you? 🙂

Now then, onto today’s pitch which comes to us from Kim who says, “I’m an aspiring children’s book writer lost in the corporate world, using each book as a stepping stone to escape the gray cubicle realm I’m trapped in.”

Here is her pitch:

Working Title:  Belly Button Piranhas

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

The Pitch:  Olivia is a gullible eight year old girl that must come to terms with her Dad’s explanation of the origin of the holes in her favorite shirt. With the help of her friends and her dog Rowdy, they will cure the infestation of the belly button piranhas.

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 Kim 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 have a chance to have it read and commented on by editor Erin Molta!

Kim is looking forward to your thoughts on her pitch!  I am looking forward to cleaning my office.

Okay.

That may have been a small fib.

If you know me at all, you know I consider cleaning an act of desperation, only to be attempted when the writing is Just Not Happening.

But it IS fair and true to say that I’m looking forward to when my office IS clean!!! 🙂

Have a wonderful Wednesday everyone!!! 🙂

 

Would You Read It Wednesday #263 – The Puffin That Couldn’t Fly (PB)

Would you look at that?

It’s Would You Read It Wednesday again already!

I apologize in advance for horn-tooting, but there is great excitement in the Land of Hill because look what happened yesterday!

WHEN YOUR LION NEEDS A BATH made the Parents Magazine Best Children’s Books of 2017 List!!!

IMG_4194

Such an honor and a thrill!!!

Okay.  Thank you for indulging me!  Horn-tooting over 🙂

Onto today’s REAL business.  First, I’m happy to announce the winner of the June/July Pitch Pick, and that is Jenny with her PB pitch for Little Medusa’s Hair Do-Lemma!

Woo hoo!  Congratulations, Jenny!  Your pitch has been sent to editor Erin Molta for her comments!

And congratulations to our other brave pitchers who stepped up and put their work out for everyone to see and comment on!  It’s not easy!  All of us recognize that and applaud you for doing all you can to hone your craft and letting us learn with you!  I hope it was helpful to you even if you didn’t get Erin to read and comment!

Due to the above-mentioned celebratory announcement, I think we need Something Chocolate that is very decadent!  How about this delightful-looking chocolate mousse cake?  Look ma, no eggs!

Eggless Chocolate Mousse Cake

eggless chocolate mousse cake

Recipe HERE at OhSweetDay

Yum Yum Yummy Yum Yum if I do say so! 🙂

Now then, onto today’s pitch which comes to us from Corine.  Corine loves to write stories and haiku poetry. When she is not writing she may be found adopting another street dog, tending to her farm animals, or walking with friends. She studied Business and Interior Design (in a previous life) and is now exploring her passion for writing.

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

Here is her pitch:

Working Title: The Puffin That Couldn’t Fly

Age/Genre: Picture Book (ages 5-8)

The Pitch: When Paolo the penguin adopts a friendly puffin colony he doesn’t understand why he can´t fly like his friends—until he follows his gut into the deep sea where his flippers lead him to his family and true identity.

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 Corine 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 have a chance to have it read and commented on by editor Erin Molta!

Corine is looking forward to your thoughts on her pitch!  I am looking forward to the Warwick Children’s Book Festival this weekend where I will be on Saturday along with my friends and fellow children’s authors Iza Trapani, Nancy Furstinger, Karen Orloff, and many others!  Please come join us!  We’d LOVE to see you!!!

Have a wonderful Wednesday everyone!!! 🙂

 

 

Would You Read It Wednesday #262 – Pirate For Hire (PB) PLUS The June/July Pitch Pick!

Good Morning, y’all!

(Can you tell I just got back from Texas? 🙂 )

I had a fabulous time!  The conference was so well organized and beautifully run, right down to little details like an old typewriter placed on the faculty lunch table with crumpled drafts surrounding it and a page in it that said

THE GREATEST STORY EVER TOLD
BY:

IMG_4126
Isn’t that amazing???

And everyone was so so nice, and I was thrilled to have the opportunity to meet a whole bunch of wonderful people that I’ve previously only known online.  So I heartily recommend the North Texas SCBWI Conference should you ever find yourself in a position to attend!!!

Anyway, we have a very busy day today, so let’s jump right in, shall we?

First off, we finally have the June/July Pitch Pick.

Here are the revised pitches from our intrepid pitchers.  Please read through them and decide which one you like best and feel is most deserving of a read by editor Erin Molta!

#1 Chambrae – Oscar’s Noggin (PB 4-8)
Oscar can decode any dilemma, unravel any riddle and obliterate the most overwhelming obstacles with his extraordinary noggin… except one. Oscar has to go to school and, despite his efforts to make it more stimulating, school is simply not nogginey enough for a kid with such big ideas. When his teacher hires a substitute Oscar’s noggin starts to spin. Has he finally found a way to finagle his freedom?

#2  Jenny – Little Medusa’s Hair Do-Lemma (PB 3-6)
Little Medusa loves everything about snakes–just as long as they’re not slithering and sliding through her hair! She’s tangled up in knots trying to follow tradition. Using her imagination and heart, Little Medusa tries her best to please her family, her snake and herself.

#3  Katy – The Snugglebeast And The Spotty Sock (PB 3-7)

Have you ever stopped to ponder,
where all your lost socks go.
Where on Earth could they possibly wander?

You know the ones I mean,
your best socks, the very favourite kind
Where do they end up?
We seek them out, but we never can find?

Discover the world of a tiny, secretive, sneaky little creature, who adventures out at night in the night in a plot to steal your socks.

#4  Colleen – If I Could Only Be A Cat (PB 3-8)
Envy causes a young child to want to become her cat Daisy May. Who wouldn’t want to be able to stay out past suppertime and have no chores? The child’s imagination allows her to make the switch; now she’s free to chase mice and miss the school bus. But what about her friends? What about hugs from Mom and Dad? Maybe she doesn’t want to be a cat after all.

Now that you’ve had a chance to read and evaluate, please vote for your favorite in the poll below by Sunday October 1 at 5 PM Eastern.  Thanks in advance, from me and all the pitchers! 🙂

Phew!  That is always such a tough decision to make.  I’m sure you’re feeling the need for Something Chocolate.  I know I am 🙂  Since we’ve embarked on the Everything-Must-Be-Pumpkin-Related time of the year, and as always I have the best interests of your health at heart, I have chosen the perfect breakfast for you this morning!

Pumpkin Oat Chocolate-Chip Breakfast Cookies!

Don’t those look delicious?  And so healthful!  I mean, think of all the vitamin A! 🙂

Now then, onto today’s pitch which comes to us from Katie who says, “I’m a mama to four and a wife to one. Before starting a family, I had the very good fortune to be an English teacher. I have a Bachelor’s in English and a Master’s in British and American literature. It doesn’t get much better than reading and writing, does it?”

Here is her pitch:

Working Title: Pirate For Hire

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

The Pitch: Pirate Patch has broken the ship’s plank…again. He must rustle up the money to fix it or be on deck duty till doomsday. With one month on land to earn the loot, Patch fumbles as a barber, flounders as a singer, and fails at selling jewelry before finding a job perfect for a pirate.

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 have 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 Book Club tonight.  We will be discussing this month’s book, The House At The Edge Of Night.  Has anyone else read it?  What did you think?

Have a wonderful Wednesday everyone!!! 🙂

 

Would You Read It Wednesday #261 – I’m Hungry Mummy (PB)

Happy Would You Read It Wednesday, Everyone!

Do you know what day it is?

It is George R.R. Martin’s birthday!  (I believe he’s 69.)  Although I have yet to watch the HBO series, I am a fan of the whole Song of Ice and Fire and have read all the books published so far.  So, speaking of Would You Read It, would you (or have you) read A Game of Thrones and its sequels?  In my opinion, that is some good story-telling! (Except the 4th book… that one was a little slow and tough to get through…)  I don’t envy George R.R. though, having to produce books 6 and 7!  Talk about pressure! Yikes!  The very idea makes me feel lightheaded!  Luckily there’s a remedy for that… 🙂 (Which doubles as a celebratory confection we can honor George’s birthday with! 🙂 )

Since tomorrow is technically the first day of Autumn, and in my neck of the woods that seems to mean that Every Single Thing we eat for the next 8 weeks should involve pumpkin 🙂 how about Something Chocolate along the lines of Death By Chocolate Pumpkin Cake Bread?!

Death By Chocolate Pumpkin Bread

Oops!  Careful!  Don’t drool on your keyboard! 🙂

I’d like to take this opportunity to point out that this recipe is technically a “bread” not a “cake” and involves healthful vegetables (pumpkin and the nutritious cocoa bean! 🙂 ) and therefore qualifies as a Healthy Breakfast!  So help yourselves to seconds… or thirds… think of all the vitamin A in there! 🙂

Now then, onto today’s pitch which comes to us from Leonie who says, “Writing is my fun, I love putting pen to paper and watching a story unfold. I just know you’ll love my stories too! I live in Melbourne, Australia and work for a big company during the day and write early in the morning or late into the night. My husband, 3 daughters and I live in a Bayside community with our pooch, Jade – a German Short-haired Pointer. My love of reading started when I was a young girl and continued into my first job as a librarian. I now spend as much time as I can, reading and writing fiction.”

Find her on the web at
Twitter: @leonie_hearn
FB: Leonie Hearn Author

Here is her pitch:

Working Title: I’m Hungry Mummy

Age/Genre: Picture Book (ages 2-6)

The Pitch: I’m hungry, but so is Mommy… She pretends to ‘eat you all up’, but there are some problems I make her overcome first!

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 Leonie 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 have a chance to have it read and commented on by editor Erin Molta!

Leonie is looking forward to your thoughts on her pitch!  I am looking forward to going to Texas this weekend for the North Texas SCBWI Conference!  Anyone going?  Tell me in the comments and we’ll try to meet up! 🙂

Have a wonderful Wednesday everyone!!! 🙂

 

Monday Funday Short & Sweet

Hey Everyone!

Isn’t it great to be back in the swing of things?

Well, almost back in the swing… since I didn’t realize until about midnight that today was the 3rd Monday of the month already which means it’s a Short & Sweet day! 🙂

SS Spring Badge Susanna Hill - Final Small

badge created by Loni Edwards

But since we’re all just starting into the new school year – not just as writers, but many of us as teachers and students as well – I thought it was important to have our beginning-of-the-week (and school year!) inspirational writing prompt.

I hope you’ll enjoy today’s as much as I do! 🙂

milking

Here’s what to do – and your answers can relate to yourself, one of your children, or a character in a story you’re writing… or maybe you’ll create a character for a story you haven’t written yet!  Whoever you choose to write about, hopefully it will end up inspiring story from somewhere!

Okay!  Write each of the following on a piece of paper (or a word doc or whatever)

  1.  a specific ordinary item from your childhood home (e.g. clothespins, books, embroidered doilies)
  2. two product names from your childhood/past (e.g. Clorox, vinegar, Tide)
  3. a phrase describing your childhood home (e.g. dirt under the back porch, slamming screen door, shingles red as sunset)
  4. adjective, adjective, sensory detail relating to the phrase in #3 (e.g. black, glistening, it tasted like beetles)
  5. a plant, flower, tree or natural item from your childhood home (e.g. the forsythia bush, Dutch elm)
  6. description of item in #5 (e.g. whose long gone limbs I remember as if they were my own)
  7. family tradition and family trait (e.g. fudge and eyeglasses, easter eggs and hair in braids)
  8. 2 names of family members (e.g. Imogene and Esther; can also be something like Grammy or Dad)
  9. description of family tendency and another description of family tendency (e.g. know-it-alls and pass-it-ons)
  10. something you were told as a child and something else you were told as a child (e.g. Perk up! and Pipe down!)
  11. 2 representations of religion or lack of (e.g. he restoreth my soul with a cottonball lamb and ten verses I can say myself)
  12. place of birth and family ancestry (e.g. Artemus and Billie’s Branch)
  13. 2 food items that represent your family  (e.g. fried corn and strong coffee)
  14. specific family story about a specific person and detail (e.g. the finger my grandfather lost to the auger)
  15. another detail of another family member (e.g. the eye my father shut to keep his sight)
  16. location of family pictures, mementoes, archives (e.g. under my bed was a dress box spilling old pictures)
  17. line explaining the importance of family items (e.g. those moments snapped before I budded, leaf fall from the family tree)

Now, take everything you wrote and turn it into an I Am From poem by filling in the blanks: (the numbers from above are in parentheses below the lines) (and don’t worry!  there are examples of finished poems below to help you get the idea! 🙂 )

I am from ______________________________
#1 (specific ordinary item)
From ________________________ and __________________________
#2  (product name)                      #2  (product name)
I am from the ______________________________________________
#3 (home description)
___________________ , _________________ , ________________________________
#4 (adjective)              #4 (adjective)           #4 (sensory detail)
I am from _________________________________________ ,
#5  (plant, flower, natural item)
________________________________________________________________________
#6   (description of above item)
I’m from ____________________________ and ______________________________
#7  (family tradition)                         #7   (family trait)
From ______________________________ and _________________________
#8  (name of family member)            #8   (another family name)
I’m from the ____________________________ and ______________________
#9 (description of family tendency)           #9 (another one)
From _________________________________ and ________________________
#10 (something you were told as a child)                #10 (another)
I’m from ___________________________ , __________________________________
#11 (representation of religion or lack of), (further description)
I’m from _______________________________________________
#12 (place of birth and family ancestry)
______________________________________ , ________________________________
#13 (a food item that represents your family)      (another one)
From the ______________________________________________________________
#14 (specific family story about a specific person and detail)
The _________________________________________________________
#15 (another detail of another family member)
_________________________________________________________________
#16 (location of family pictures, mementos, archives)
__________________________________________________________________
#17 (line explaining the importance of family items)

And for examples of finished poems:

Screen Shot 2017-09-17 at 10.40.34 PM

So try your own!  Have fun with it!  See how poetic and evocative you can make it and share it in the comments below for all of us to enjoy!  Remember, it can be about your own self, your child, or a character from a story you’re working on!

I hope it will give you some inspiration!

(And I will try to add in my own sample this morning, but as I mentioned I wasn’t quite in the swing of things and it’s way too late for me to pull that off now!  We’re talking wee hours 🙂 )

Have a marvelous Monday, everyone!

 

Would You Read It Wednesday #260 – Kit, Not Kitty (PB)

Woo hoo!

It’s Wednesday!

And Would You Read It is back!!! 🙂

It so happens, though, that while Would You Read It is back, I was called away to defend the universe…

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…from terrifying threats 🙂

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So I hope you’ll forgive a brief post… I mean… seeing as how I’m a mite busy with saving the world and all 🙂

I’ll try to make it up to you a little with Something Chocolate.  How about, hmmm…. Texas Sheet Cake Cookies! (with many thanks so Stacy for the photo and for introducing me to this delightful dessert breakfast!)

Now then, onto today’s pitch which comes to us from Maureen who says, “I am a high school English and ESL teacher with my summers off so when the 3:00am ideas arrive, I can get up and act on them without looking like a zombie for school.
I’m a recent graduate of the writing program of Stony Brook University where I was lucky enough to be mentored by amazingly gifted humans such as Emma Walton Hamilton and Peter H. Reynolds.  ”

Here is her pitch:

Working Title: Kit, Not Kitty

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

The Pitch: For as long as Kit can remember having feelings, she has felt more like fetching a ball, and less like a feline. But how can she convince her family that it’s nothing to take puuuuurrsonally, it’s just who she is.

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 Maureen 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 have a chance to have it read and commented on by editor Erin Molta!

Maureen is looking forward to your thoughts on her pitch!  I am looking forward to another fun-filled day in sunny CA… where I will be pursuing my destiny of Greased Lightning 🙂

 

 

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Have a wonderful Wednesday everyone!!! 🙂

 

Would You Read It Wednesday #259 – If Only I Could Be A Cat (PB)

Happy Wednesday, Folks!

We’re taking a quick breather from the blog tour today for our regularly-scheduled programming 🙂

Given the whirlwind of all that’s going on in this neck of the woods, though, I’m going to be uncharacteristically to the point!

I don’t think anyone will argue that the best way to begin the morning is with Something Chocolate, so let’s! 🙂

No-Bake Chocolate Mousse Cake

No-Bake Chocolate Mousse Cake is perfect for summer!  No baking and the cake stays refrigerated for a nice, cool, chocolatey treat!

YUM!!!!! 🙂

Now then, (and just look how well I’m focusing on the job at hand and not wandering off on tangents! 🙂 ) onto today’s pitch which comes to us from Colleen who says, “I’m a 7th grade Math teacher (with a law degree and once-CPA), proud mother of three daughters – a Veterinarian, a First Lieutenant in the Air Force (CSO/EWO) and a Broadcast Journalist, and lifetime poet still pining to publish. Now that our three daughters are all graduated from college, it is, at last, time to pursue my dream of having my books in the hands of children.”

Here is her pitch:

Working Title: If Only I Could Be A Cat

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

The Pitch: “If only I could be a cat like our cat Daisy May!” So the narrator of the story thinks; it would be great to eat, sleep and play all day. Or would it? When she considers what she would be missing – like Mom and Dad’s hugs goodnight, she realizes it may not be so great after all. Follow along with the rhyme and the reasoning in If Only I Could Be a Cat.

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 Colleen improve her pitch.  Helpful examples of possible alternate wordings are welcome.  (However I must ask that comments be constructive and respectful.  I reserve the right not to publish comments that are mean because that is not what this is about.)

Please send YOUR pitches for the coming weeks!  For rules and where to submit, click on this link Would You Read It or on Would You Read it in the dropdown under For Writers in the bar above.  There are openings in July, so you could get your pitch up pretty soon  for helpful feedback and a chance to have it read and commented on by editor Erin Molta!

Colleen is looking forward to your thoughts on her pitch!  I am looking forward to continuing the blog tour!  Even though Publication Day was yesterday, rest assured that the fun and games continue! 🙂

For your convenience, here’s a handy list of the blog tour stops to date (with helpful links) 🙂

7/1/17 – Susanna Leonard Hill – Blog Tour Kickoff

7/2/17 – Lauri Fortinos’s Frog On A Blog – Guest Post on Writing A Series PLUS a Giveaway!

7/3/17 – Jena Benton’s Of Tea And Mermaids Blog – Simply 7 Interviews with Susanna & Daniel PLUS a Giveaway!

7/4/17 – Lynn Davidson’s Polilla Writes Blog – LION book review and GAME

7/5/17 – Susanna Leonard Hill – Fun With LION – reveal of LION ACTIVITY KIT and LION BOOK TRAILER

7/6/17 – Lynn Davidson’s Polilla Writes Blog – Interview with Susanna PLUS a Giveaway

7/7/17 – Vivian Kirkfield’s Picture Books Help Kids Soar – LION/ELEPHANT Reviews and Crafts PLUS a Giveaway

7/8/17 – Vivian Kirkfield’s Picture Books Help Kids Soar – Will Write For Cookies With Susanna – Picture Book Writing Inspiration

7/9/17 – Susanna Leonard Hill – Fun With ELEPHANT – reveal of ELEPHANT ACTIVITY KIT

7/10/17 – Julie Abery’s Little Red Story Shed – 3 Posts!
WHEN YOUR ELEPHANT HAS THE SNIFFLES Plus Preschool- Friendly Elephant Ears Recipe!
WHEN YOUR ELEPHANT HAS THE SNIFFLES Plus Preschool Art Activity!
WHEN YOUR LION NEEDS A BATH Plus Preschool-Friendly Lion Pancake Recipe!

7/11/17 – PUBLICATION DAY!!! – 2 Posts
Lynn Davidson’s Polilla Writes Blog – ELEPHANT Review Plus Elephant Tightrope GAME
ReFoReMo Post by Keila Dawson – Mentor Text Author Study Susanna Hill

I’d hate for you to miss any of the fabulous participating blogs so remember that if you comment on every post, you will earn yourself a chance toward the Special Prize Raffle at the end of the tour! (The goody bag and signed books described on the kickoff post.)  And if you share this, or any related post, item, photo, etc. on Social Media with the #whenyourbooks, each share will add to your chances to win Special Prize #2 at the end of the tour! (3 $25 Amazon gift cards up for grabs!)

And be sure to tune in tomorrow for Lynn Davidson’s interview with Daniel Wiseman (illustrator of LION and ELEPHANT) Plus a Giveaway!, and on Friday we will be on the World-Famous Kidlit411 with an interview with yours truly in which you can learn something most people don’t know about me! 🙂

Have a wonderful Wednesday everyone!!! 🙂

 

(And after all that blog tour talk, don’t forget to let Colleen know what you think of her pitch! 🙂 )

Would You Read It Wednesday #258 – The Snugglebeast And The Spotty Sock (PB) PLUS Straight From The Editor

Hi Everyone!  Happy Wednesday!

I am having so much fun this week!  Crazy and busy, but totally fun!  My new books are about to launch, and the swag and activity pages and blog tour and book trailers, etc. are all starting to come together and I can’t wait to share everything with you!  I am so lucky to have the opportunity to work with such talented illustrators!  And so lucky to have the support of so many wonderful, generous kidlit bloggers as well as lovely people who have agreed to read the books and consider reviewing them!  I hope you’re going to enjoy it all as much as I do.  I think there’s a not-so-subtle reason I’m drawn to writing for the picture book age… I may well still be there myself! 🙂

It’s all going to kick off here on July 1, good lord willin’ and the creek don’t rise!  I’m a little afraid of how close that date is when I think of everything I still have to do!  But for now, let’s focus on Would You Read It! 🙂

First, we have Straight From The Editor for May!  You will recall winner Cortney’s pitch for Olive Hills (PB ages 3-6):

Elle’s mind drifts through an olive grove as she tries to keep memories of her grandma alive. She surprisingly finds herself with a familiar, yet forgetful brontosaurus. The two set out to retrace their footprints in hope to relive fading memories. When they reach the giant tree where Elle’s grandma used to sit and reflect, they discover love ones will always be with you no matter where they are.

Here are Erin’s thoughts:

This sounds like it could be a lovely picture book but I’m getting stuck on the brontosaurus. How is he familiar… and forgetful? Dinosaurs and death are pretty disparate concepts for kids age 3-6 and you need to somehow clarify that link in this pitch.

As always, I find Erin’s comments very illuminating!  I hope they’re helpful to you too – and to Cortney as she continues to perfect this manuscript and pitch!

Now then, burning the candle at both ends as I am, I feel in need of Something Chocolate right this minute!  What should we have today?

You know I’m nothing if not health-conscious… 🙂 so how about a little Death By Chocolate Zucchini Bread?!  (Note the ZUCCHINI in the title…like I said, health food 🙂 )

DEATH BY CHOCOLATE ZUCCHINI BREAD

Also, I hope you noticed that it is clearly called “bread”, not “cake”, so again with the health benefits and it is perfectly okay to eat it for breakfast! 🙂

YUM!!!!!

Now then, onto today’s pitch which comes to us from Katy who says, “I’m a Design Director who does branding and packaging design the north of the UK and am very much an early stages writer. Because of my creative job I love to have an outlet for my other ideas and like to sketch, illustrate and create story’s and picture books amusing children’s characters that are usually based on animals.”

Here is her pitch:

Working Title: The Snugglebeast And The Spotty Sock

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

The Pitch:

Have you ever stopped to ponder,
where all your lost socks go.
Where on Earth could they possibly wander?

You know the ones I mean,
your best socks, the very favourite kind
Where do they end up?
We seek them out, but we never can find?

Discover the world of a tiny, secretive, sneaky little creature, who adventures out at night in the night in a plot to steal your socks.

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 Katy improve her pitch.  Helpful examples of possible alternate wordings are welcome.  (However I must ask that comments be constructive and respectful.  I reserve the right not to publish comments that are mean because that is not what this is about.)

Please send YOUR pitches for the coming weeks!  For rules and where to submit, click on this link Would You Read It or on Would You Read it in the dropdown under For Writers in the bar above.  There are openings in July, so you could get your pitch up pretty soon for for helpful feedback and have a chance to have it read and commented on by editor Erin Molta!

Katy is looking forward to your thoughts on her pitch!  I am looking forward to getting everything done so we can all start off on this crazy, wonderful book launch blog tour!

Have a wonderful Wednesday everyone!!! 🙂