Would You Read It Wednesday #340 – The Unexpected Suitcase (MG)

It’s Would You Read It Wednesday again and something about the title of today’s pitch made me think of that old game we used to play on long drives in the car.  I’m sure it goes by different names, but in my family we call it “I Packed My Grandmother’s Trunk.”  (e.g. I packed my Grandmother’s Trunk and in it I put something beginning with A – apple – and so on through the alphabet, and as each person took their turn they had to recite all the things that had come before) and it occurred to me out of nowhere (a lightning strike of inspiration!) that today we should start with Would You Write It Wednesday! 🙂

So why don’t we pack our October/Autumn/Halloween stories, and in them place something that begins with O (as in ghostly moans OOOOOOOHHHHH! 🙂 ) and then write an October/Autumn/Halloween story with your “O” word in it?

The obvious Halloween-related choices are October, Owl, and Orange, so feel free to write your Would You Write It Wednesday October/Autumn/Halloween story about one (or more) of those.  But I thought, why not go with something less obvious and challenge yourself to put that in a story?! So for those of you who want to go advanced, put an Orangutan in your story! 🙂

Since I have Halloween on the brain, and we are all writing our Halloweensie Contest stories (even if choose not to write about Halloween orangutans today) and therefore need serious creativity fuel, I think our Something Chocolate today should be this scarily delicious Death By Chocolate Halloween Cake!

Death By Chocolate Halloween Cake

 

If THAT doesn’t jump start your creative process, I don’t know what will! The amount of sugar and caffeine in a chocolate cake that dark and delicious-looking ought to be enough to set your pen on fire and have you writing like the wind!

Now then, onto today’s pitch which comes to us from Natalie who says, ” I have been writing for over a year now and I am loving every minute of it. I am a substitute teacher with three young kids. So, trying to write sometimes is impossible when they need my undivided attention. I am looking forward to one day having one of my own stories to be physically in my hands because I love the smell of a new book and its crisp pages.”

Find her on the web at Twiter@CohnNatalie

Here is her pitch:

Working Title: The Unexpected Suitcase

Age/Genre: MG Mystery (ages 8-12)

The Pitch: A clumsy, eager boy named Henry discovers a tattered suitcase under a floorboard, at grandma’s house. Figuring out the mystery of the suitcase won’t be easy, eventually, he will need to tell the truth to his grandmother, but when Henry falls inside the suitcase, he is taken on an unexpected journey back in time in the 1950s, maybe forever.

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 Natalie 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, which is not as far away as you might think! so sign up for a date and polish up your pitch because you could put it up for helpful feedback and a chance to have it read and commented on by editor Erin Molta!

Natalie is looking forward to your thoughts on her pitch!  I am looking forward to writing an Autumn/Halloween story that involves Orangutans, Oreos, and Ovaltine 🙂

Have a wonderful Wednesday everyone!!! 🙂

 

Would You Read It Wednesday #339 – Mandy’s Magical Quest (PB)

Today, it seems, is National Dictionary Day.

Made for writers, don’t you think? 🙂

When I was in elementary school, I had a Latin teacher who let us play a game she called “Dictionary” on the day before we got out for school vacations.  (Undoubtedly she realized we weren’t going to learn anything on those days, so there was no point in teaching! 🙂 )  Someone would randomly select a word from the dictionary and write the correct definition on a slip of paper, and the rest of us would try to make up a definitions that sounded plausible and write them on our own slips of paper.  Then the teacher would gather them up and read all the definitions aloud and we’d vote on which one we thought was the real definition.  Whoever got the most votes won… and usually we did NOT choose the actual definition.  It was fun!

It’s not a game we can play here, I don’t think, but instead we can celebrate National Dictionary Day by closing our eyes, opening the dictionary to a random point (this is assuming you all still HAVE an actual dictionary and don’t rely solely on online versions) and point to a word on the page you open to.  Whatever that word is, let it be a story prompt for your writing today!

Maybe you have to use the word, or the idea of the word, in your story.  Or maybe the theme of your story has to be what the meaning of the word is.  Or maybe you play anagrams with the word and come up with three words made out of the letters from your word and include those three words in your story.  Or maybe you choose the antonym of the word and write your story using that.  Or maybe your main character’s name has to be the word… which could make for some interesting names… and characters… 🙂 Who knows?

Give it a try and see what you come up with!

And to fuel your creative efforts, let’s have Something Chocolate!  After all, there’s nothing like chocolate to get the old brain in high gear! 🙂  I think today we should have Chocolate-Covered Coconut Chocolate Chip Macaroons.  Only 4 ingredients – that’s my kind of simple 🙂

Chocolate-Covered Coconut Chocolate Chip Macaroons

 

Now THAT’S a breakfast that will fill you with energy and ideas!!!

Alrighty then!  Onto today’s pitch which comes to us from Melissa who says, “As a girl, I roamed the hills and forests.  Connecting with nature is still a magical experience that leaves me fulfilled and happy.  I hope my manuscript encourages others to appreciate what lies just outside their door and inspires them to nurture our beautiful lands and creatures.”

Here is her pitch:

Working Title: Mandy’s Magical Quest

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

The Pitch: Mandy and her black crow, Bram, journey to the four elemental Goddesses in the far corners of the earth to save their grove of trees.  The journey is not easy, but they persevere.  Mandy is rewarded with a thriving grove and a magical thank you.

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

Please send YOUR pitches for the coming weeks!  For rules and where to submit, click on this link Would You Read It or on Would You Read it in the dropdown under For Writers in the bar above.  There are openings in January, so you have 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, but it doesn’t hurt to snag a date now!

Melissa is looking forward to your thoughts on her pitch!  I am looking forward to the New Atlantic Independent Booksellers Fall Conference which I am attending today!  I’ve never been before, so I’m looking forward to seeing what it’s all about! 🙂

Have a wonderful Wednesday everyone!!! 🙂

 

. . . BOO!!! Announcing the 9th Annual Halloweensie Writing Contest!!!

It was a dark and stormy night!

Ghostly shadows lurked among the grave stones…

…and from the mist-shrouded forest a ghastly voice shrieked, “BOO!!!!”

Please ignore the fact that it’s morning and the kitchen smells comfortingly of fresh coffee and toast with strawberry jam and the only sound is your preschooler singing the alphabet song.  We’re setting a mood here! 🙂

And I bet you can guess why!

Because it’s time to announce the rules for. . .

The 9TH 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 potion, cobweb, and trick.  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 over 235 fantastic entries last year, so I know you can do it!)  Also, you may use the words in any form – e.g. potions, cobwebbed, trickery, 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 Monday October 28th and Thursday October 31st by 11:59 PM EDT and add your post-specific link to the list that will accompany my special October 28th post.  There will be no Tuesday Debut, 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 28th post once it’s up (please include your byline if your posting handle is something like MamaWritesByNightlight 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 Tuesday November 5th (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:  SO AMAZING! What a generous community we have to donate so much awesomeness!!! 🙂

Go Directly To Go! Skip The Slushpile at Blue Whale Press and Get Your PB Manuscript Directly On The Editor’s Desk!!!

Submit your picture book manuscript directly to editor Alayne Christian for her consideration and critique. Helpful feedback is a certainty, publication could be a possibility!

blue whale logo

Who Will Will You Cover Reveal Official  thumbnail_randall-randall-cover-ISBN9780981493879-highres

Blue Whale Press is an SCBWI PAL publisher of children’s books that focuses on stories involving themes of friendship and/or personal challenge. Most often, stories are selected for publishing due to their inherent educational or moral value. But as a general rule, a good dose of humor or a tug at the heart doesn’t hurt their chances of being published either. While a few chapter books and a middle grade are on their list, their focus is picture books. As a boutique publisher who doesn’t mind taking risks, Blue Whale Press considers itself to be a launch pad for authors and illustrators hoping to establish themselves.

For more info: https://www.bluewhalepress.com/

Hone Your Skills with the Lyrical Language Lab Rhyme & Meter Self Study Crash Course (11 Lessons) from accomplished writer and poet Renee LaTulippe

INTENSIVE RHYME AND METER CRASH COURSE

This option contains all the same lessons as Module 1 of Renee’s fully guided course, including all supplemental materials, downloads, and audio/video components. This is the option to choose if you need to build a strong foundation in the mechanics of rhyming picture books and poetry. The major focus is on the four main types of meter and how to use mixed and varied meter. Other topics include rhythm, cadence, breath, scansion, rhyme, sound devices, figurative language, imagery, and diction.
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You also have the opportunity to submit two of your assignments to Renee for feedback, and have email access to ask questions about the lessons as you complete them. Although lessons will arrive every other day, you are free to complete them at your own pace.
See the course description above for more information.

For more info: https://www.reneelatulippe.com/writing-courses/ (scroll down)

Picture Book Manuscript Critique (Rhyming, Non-Rhyming, Fiction, or Nonfiction – Vivian is open to any type of picture book critique) from Vivian Kirkfield author of SWEET DREAMS, SARAH (Creston Books, 2019), PIPPA’S PASSOVER PLATE (Holiday House, 2019), FOUR OTTERS TOBOGGAN (Pomegranate 2019), MAKING THEIR VOICES HEARD (Little Bee, January 14, 2020), and more…

Sweet Dreams Cover Template Revised Screen Shot 2018-12-05 at 10.39.16 PM

Nonfiction Picture Book Manuscript Critique from Christine Evans, author of EVELYN THE ADVENTUROUS ENTOMOLOGIST (Innovation Press, September 2019)

Evelyn cover Christine Evans

Rhyming Picture Book Manuscript Critique from Carrie Finison, author of DOZENS OF DOUGHNUTS and DON’T HUG DOUG, forthcoming from Putnam in August 2020 and Spring 2021.

Carrie-Finison-200x300

Picture Book Manuscript Critique (non-rhyming please) from Janet Johnson author of HELP WANTED, MUST LOVE BOOKS (Capstone, March 2020) as well as the MG novel THE LAST GREAT ADVENTURE OF THE PB & J SOCIETY (Capstone 2016)

must love books JanetJohnson.AuthorPic

Fiction OR Nonfiction Picture Book Manuscript Critique (non-rhyming please) from Darshana Khiani, author of HOW TO WEAR A SARI forthcoming from HMH/Versify, Spring 2021

Screen Shot 2019-10-09 at 8.19.13 PM

Picture Book Manuscript Critique (non-rhyming please) from Gabi Snyder, author of TWO DOGS ON A TRIKE, forthcoming from Abrams Appleseed, May 2020 and LISTEN, forthcoming from S&S/Wiseman, Spring 2021

twodogsonatrike_cov gabi-snyder-profile-pic

Query Letter Critique from Dee Romito, author of PIES FROM NOWHERE: HOW GEORGIA GILMORE SUSTAINED THE MONTGOMERY BUS BOYCOTT (Little Bee Books, 2018) as well as several middle grade books.

pies from nowhere dee romito

Book Bundle #1 – Nonfiction
Signed Copies of WAITING FOR PUMPSIE (Charlesbridge, 2017) and THE BOO-BOOS THAT CHANGED THE WORLD (Charlesbridge, 2018) by Barry Wittenstein

waiting-for-pumpsie boo boos barry-wittenstein-photo

Book Bundle #2  – Board Books
Personalized Signed Copies of LITTLE TIGER and LITTLE PANDA (both Amicus Ink, 2019) by Julie Abery

Little Tiger Cover Little Panda Cover julie abery

Book Bundle #3  – Holiday Books
Personalized signed copy of NOT SO SCARY, JERRY (Spork, 2017) by Shelley Kinder

Personalized signed copy of THE QUEEN AND THE FIRST CHRISTMAS TREE (Albert Whitman, 2018) by Nancy Churnin

Jerry  The Queen and the First Christmas Tree

shelley-kinder_orig .         nancy churnin

Please join me 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, recommending them for school visits, or supporting them in any other way you can dream up 🙂

Now!  Lay in a good chocolate supply (no better time than right before Halloween for THAT!)! Butt In Chair! Pencils, pens, or keyboards ready! Fire up the old idea generator!  And write those prize-winning stories!!!

I can’t wait to read them!!! 🙂

Would You Read It Wednesday #338 – Furrysaurus Rex (PB)

Can you believe it?

It’s Would You Read It Wednesday again!

Where did the week go?

I’ve been thinking about it and I feel pretty certain that Would You Read It Wednesday needs a theme song!  Wouldn’t that be fun?

(Beverly Hillbillies tune)
Let me tell you all a story ’bout a perfect pitch

One for which an editor will find a niche…

Okay, so it needs a little work! 🙂

Feel free to submit theme songs in the comments! 🙂

Let’s have Something Chocolate, shall we?  It might help us write better pitches.  And theme songs!   I think this morning we’ll have fudge – the breakfast of champions!  (Well, one of the breakfasts of champions, the most well-known being Little Chocolate Donuts! 🙂 )

3 Ingredient Creamy Homemade Fudge

microwave-fudge-i-heart-naptime-7

Recipe HERE (including helpful video!) at iheartnaptime

Mmmmm!  Isn’t that delicious?  Creamy, chocolatey fudge and ooey-gooey salted caramel on top?  With a nice cup of coffee?

I admit it.  I’m swooning 🙂

Now then, onto today’s pitch which comes to us from Greg who says, “I’m a chocolate loving, hockey playing  happily married, father of an energetic seven year old who keeps me young and inspires me to write silly stories.”

Find him on the web at:

Twitter: @GEBray19
Instagram: @gregoryebray

 

Here is his pitch:

Working Title: Furrysaurus Rex

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

The Pitch: Having seen a live furry dinosaur roaming around in his neighborhood, Edwin grabs his friend Jennifer to investigate. After several false dinosaur sightings, his amateur paleontologist title is on the line.

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

If your answer is YES, please feel free to tell us what you particularly liked and why the pitch piqued your interest.  If your answer is MAYBE or NO, please feel free to tell us what you think could be better in the spirit of helping Greg improve his pitch.  Helpful examples of possible alternate wordings are welcome.  (However I must ask that comments be constructive and respectful.  I reserve the right not to publish comments that are mean because that is not what this is about.)

Please send YOUR pitches for the coming weeks!  For rules and where to submit, click on this link Would You Read It or on Would You Read it in the dropdown under For Writers in the bar above.  At this point, we’re pretty much looking at the new year (there might be one spot left in December) so you have 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!  But there’s no time like the present to secure your date! 🙂

Greg is looking forward to your thoughts on his pitch!  I am looking forward to Warwick Children’s Book Festival this weekend!  Always a well run, super fun event!  I hope I’ll get to see some of you there!!!

Have a wonderful Wednesday everyone!!! 🙂

Oh!  And P.S.! Hopefully a special post tomorrow on something we’ve all been anticipating…! 🙂

 

Would You Read It Wednesday #337 – Mighty Little Nikita (ER/PB)

Happy Wednesday, Everyone!

I don’t know about you guys, but now that autumn is officially here I’m wondering what’s up in the animal kingdom.

The only wooly bear caterpillar I’ve seen suggested a mild winter (mostly brown, only a little black at nose and tail.)

But the acorns are falling like nobody’s business – pattering down on the garage roof and the driveway and all through the woods almost constantly –

IMG_8575

and the bears are out and about more noticeably than usual.

Last week I saw one little bear in the woods while out horseback riding (luckily my fearless steed was unperturbed by the experience.  And by “unperturbed” I mean she happened to be looking the other way and was thusly oblivious 🙂 ) Then, not two days later, another little bear trundled across the Clove Valley Road in front of my car – not so close that we were in any danger of bumping into each other, but close enough for a good view! (This video is actually from last summer, not last week, but I was unable to video whilst driving 🙂 )

What does this mean?

In the old days, I’d think it was a sign of a hard winter.  But these days, what with global warming, that doesn’t seem possible.  So I think Mother Nature is just having fun at our expense 🙂

In any case, it definitely calls for Something Chocolate because, well, really , around here, doesn’t everything? 🙂  Today I think we should feast on Pecan Pie Bars Dipped In Chocolate, partly because they sound delicious (and everyone knows pecans are good for you! 🙂 ) and partly because they come from a website called Hugs And Cookies and what could be better than that?!

Pecan Pie Bars Dipped In Chocolate

YUM…

…YUM!!!

Now then, onto today’s pitch which comes to us from Sri who says, “A little bit about me: I love writing stories and reading them to my little kids who turn out to be some of my strongest critiques. I have self published some of my stories but I am looking forward to that day when I can call myself a published author in the more traditional sense!”

Sri gained her inspiration to write stories because of her two young kids who love to read books. Her kids love her stories and are in fact her best critics! Sri presently lives and works as a research administrator in the beautiful Pacific Northwest.  Sri is also the author of Tales of Rishi and Neela which was published in April 2019. When she is not working or driving her kids around for classes and play dates, Sri likes to spend her leftover time creating jewelry or listening to podcasts.

Here is her pitch:

Working Title:

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

The Pitch: Nikita has a problem, rather a huge problem. The problem is that she is small – smaller than all of her friends.  Everyone in her kindergarten class call her little Nikita. Her friends think it is cute to call her that way but Nikita does not like it a wee bit.  Nikita complains to her mom who is also hmm…short but her Mom dusts her off saying that’s just in our geneticsGenetics .. whatever that means, Nikita thinks. Nikita’s fate withLittle Nikita continues until one day a huge insect comes into the class and scares the peanut butter out of everyone; well, everyone except Nikita, who is small but really brave. The rest of this funny story revolves around how Nikita works bravely to trap the huge insect to release it outside. She thus rewrites her name from Little Nikita to Mighty Nikita – a name that she is absolutely proud of.

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 Sri 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 about 2 openings left for this year, so if you want one, let me know!  You can polish your pitch and put it up for helpful feedback and a chance to have it read and commented on by editor Erin Molta!

Sri is looking forward to your thoughts on her pitch!  I am looking forward to writing something new today.  Who knows what? Maybe something fun! 🙂

Have a wonderful Wednesday everyone!!! 🙂

Would You Read It Wednesday #336 – Isaac’s Apple Tree (PB) PLUS Straight From The Editor for June and July!!!

It’s Would You Read It Wednesday!  Woo hoo!

And you’ll all be thrilled to know that we get to start today’s proceedings with a triple Straight From The Editor!

You’ll recall that back in June we had a tie between Deborah and Ana.

Deborah’s pitch was for Farmer Jo and the Chicken Coop Calamity (PB) –

Henrietta, Goldie, and Pearl are three chickens with grand ideas. After convincing Farmer Jo to build improvements on their hen house, word spreads and many new chickens come to the farm to roost. But the weight of the situation proves to much to bear and the results are shattering as the hen house splinters apart.

 

Erin said:

This pitch has potential and could be very funny but it’s not telling the story. Are the three chickens with grand ideas the protagonists or is Farmer Jo? Is the conflict that the hen house collapsed  or that too many hens came to roost? If the three hens are the reason for the problem—too many hens in the hen house—how do they resolve it? That’s what you need to get across. Who are the protagonists? What is the conflict and what’s the resolution? Right now you have the first two, but not the solution.

 

Ana’s pitch was for Bella The Best Quits Again (PB) –

Bella, a Latina girl as sassy as Junie B. Jones, quits everything she (barely) tries because she’s not the best at it: her backflips look like giraffes rolling downhill & her dulce de leche frosting: crocodile skin. Bella must learn it’s ok to try again or she won’t be good @ anything. For kids who enjoy  The Girl Who Never Made Mistakes. Back Matter Famous Div. People who struggled. #PB #Humor

 

Erin’s said:

Bella seems like a great girl and the story could be sweet but the comparisons you make—like Junie B Jones and  The Girl Who Never Made Mistakes are taking away from YOUR story. You can say those things outside of the pitch but it would be better to let your story shine through on its own merits. What if you said something like, “Bella, a sassy seven year-old Latina, won’t do backflips because she looks like a giraffe rolling downhill and her dulce de leche frosting tasted like crocodile skin (which are great images BTW), so she refuses to make anymore…”  And then you need a sentence that tells the reader how she comes to accept that practice makes perfect…

 

The July pitch winner was Nancy with her pitch for Cupid’s Tango (PB)

Cupid, the prairie chicken, has his feathers all in a twist over his flock’s step dance contest. If he fails, no hen will pick him to go to the All Species Ball. The problem – he is horrible at step dancing and when he’s nervous, he’s worse. When the contest ends in disaster, Cupid is determined to find a dance he loves and win a hen’s heart to go to the ball.

Erin said:

This looks intriguing. I’d tweak the bit about if he fails no hen will pick him to go to the All Species Dance (which is adorable, BTW) because somebody’s got to lose so only one prairie chicken will go to the All Species Ball from all the contestants? That’s what it sounds like. Even if you phrase it more like “no hen will want to go to the All Species Ball with a chicken with two left feet” it will make a big difference.

So much fantastic pitch feedback straight from our talented and generous neighborhood editor!  I hope you all find Erin’s thoughts as instructive as I do!

I’m sure we will all absorb that helpful information much better with Something Chocolate to stimulate our brains!  How about some Chocolate Mini Cheesecakes With Oreo Crust?

Chocolate Mini Cheesecake With Oreo Crust

Sounds like brain food to me! 🙂

Now then, onto today’s pitch which comes to us from Marcia who says, “Aspiring writer, not yet published…I have lived in every New England State but one. I am slowly restoring an 1858 cape and love to explore historic houses. On a mission to visit as many presidential homes as I can, in between responding to the demands of my Siberian princess of a cat. Member NESCBWI and 12×12.”

Find her on the web at:

Twitter: @MZ_Parks

Here is her pitch:

Working Title: Isaac’s Apple Tree

Age/Genre: Narrative Nonfiction Picture Book (ages 4-8) – includes Author Note

The Pitch: The tree that facilitated the discovery of gravity (leading to the principles on which all space missions depend) now has “space offspring.” In Isaac’s Apple Tree, the tree under which Isaac Newton sat that fateful day tells its own astounding and far-reaching story.

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 Marcia 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 2 or 3 openings left for this year at the end of November/beginning of December, so you could still get your pitch up before 2020 for helpful feedback and a chance to have it read and commented on by editor Erin Molta!

Marcia is looking forward to your thoughts on her pitch!  I am looking forward to seeing my new book!  Did I say that last week? I think I might have!  But I’m still waiting for the books to arrive (because I live on a blueberry-covered mountain in the apparent Middle Of Nowhere! 🙂 )

Have a wonderful Wednesday everyone!!! 🙂

Would You Read It Wednesday #335 – P.I. Goat And The Case Of The Missing Bone (PB)

Hey there, everyone!

Hope you’re all having a lovely week so far!

Since it’s Would You Read It Wednesday, I have something fun to share that I hope you will read!  (There should be a rhyme about that… maybe something like how many books would a woodchuck… uh, well, actually maybe not that 🙂 Devouring books is fine, but not necessarily the way a woodchuck might 🙂 )

I am fortunate to have many friends who are talented writers and illustrators, and I always love to share their books.  If you’re looking for something great and hot off the presses, check out these two titles released in the past week!

vole and troll huggle wuggle

 

Congratulations to Iza and Della on their newest books! (and don’t miss their previous titles! 🙂 )

Now that we’ve got some good new books to read, let’s cozy up with Something Chocolate  – a breakfast treat I’m sure we can all agree is totally healthy and delicious for myriad reasons – Chocolate Covered Peanut Butter Oatmeal Cookies.

Chocolate Covered Peanut Butter Oatmeal Cookies

 

Not only is this Something Chocolate totally yummy, I got to use the word myriad and it’s always a good day when you can work that in! 🙂

Now then, onto today’s pitch which comes to us from Kim who says, “I’m blessed to be pursuing my dream of writing full-time after a career in mortgage lending. I have two grown boys but no grandkids to read my stories to yet.”

Find her on the web at

Here is her pitch:

Working Title: P. I. Goat And The Case Of The Missing Bone

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

The Pitch:  P.I.Goat gets his first case when Puddles, a puppy, hires him to find Paw-Paw’s bone. Nearsighted Paw-Paw thinks Goat is a pig, but Goat has a worse problem: he faints when startled! Despite the lack of help from a cast of wacky farm animals, Goat unravels the startling truth behind the Case of the Missing Bone. He also discovers that being a P.I. is not for the faint of heart—KLUNK!

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 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!

Kim is looking forward to your thoughts on her pitch!  I am looking forward to seeing my new book which is due out in a couple weeks and which I am hoping will show up on my porch one of these days VERY SOON!  (Not that I’m impatient, mind you.  Not me!  I’m a model of calm and decorous waiting 🙂 )

Have a wonderful Wednesday everyone!!! 🙂

 

Would You Read It Wednesday #334 – The Airport Goat (PB) PLUS The July Pitch Winner!!!

Cheerio, friends!

(Somehow that reminds me of the episode of I Love Lucy when Lucy writes a play and then there’s confusion amongst the actors about whether they’re performing with a Cuban accent or a British one and they keep saying “Pip! Pip! Cheerio, wot?” 🙂 )

lucy writes a play

(And since Lucy wrote a play, that is a writing reference and therefore appropriate for inclusion here… 🙂 )

But ANYway… 🙂

After a month off, it’s time to get back to everybody’s favorite past-time: Would You Read It Wednesday! (Which. I’ll have you know,  is a legitimate educational writing feature and not just a thinly veiled excuse to eat chocolate 🙂 )

First, I’m thrilled to announce that the winner of the July Pitch Pick was Nancy with her PB pitch for Cupid’s Tango!  Congratulations on a fabulous pitch and a terrific story idea, Nancy!  Your pitch has been sent to editor Erin Molta for her comments and I’m sure she’ll get back to us at her earliest convenience. Then we can have a Straight From The Editor party with Erin’s thoughts from the June and July pitches!

Congratulations also to the other pitchers from July who did a great job writing and revising their pitches as well!  It takes a lot of courage and dedication to your craft to put a pitch up for everyone to read and comment on, but it’s invaluable because we all get to learn from the experience and hopefully the pitchers end up with something stronger than they started with!

I think all your awesomeness calls for a little Something Chocolate, don’t you?

Let’s hang onto summer a little longer with some S’mores Fudge Bars!

S’mores Fudge Bars

 

Don’t those just make you think of summer sing-alongs beside the campfire with the starry heavens up above?

“The other day
The other day
“I met a bear
I met a bear
A great big bear
A great big bear
Away up there
Away up there
The other day I met a bear….
A great big bear away up there!”

Come on, everybody!  “He looked at me…” 🙂

Okay!  Enough campfire singing 🙂  Onto today’s pitch which comes to us from Erin who says, “I am a book writer, avid reader, twin mama, and cf fighter. I have called WI, MN, MS, NYC and now San Diego CA home.”

Find her on the web at:

www.erinbuhr.com
Twitter: @erin_buhr

 

Here is her pitch:

Working Title: The Airport Goat

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

The Pitch: On the airport lawn, a herd of goats munches grass day after day, but one goat is not content. One morning, tired of his repetitive diet, this goat takes off to investigate new culinary options. He will have to search high and low and avoid airport security, but surely somewhere there are more delectable things to eat.

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 Erin 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 actually still openings in September, so you could get your pitch up very soon! for helpful feedback and a chance to have it read and commented on by editor Erin Molta!

Erin is looking forward to your thoughts on her pitch!  I am looking forward to the return of Perfect Picture Books on Friday (good lord willin’ and the creek don’t rise! – my best intentions last week were derailed!) because I have a fun book to share! But you’ll just have to wait and see what it is!  (How’s that for a cliffhanger ending! 🙂 )

Have a wonderful Wednesday everyone!!! 🙂

 

Would You Read It Wednesday – July Pitch Pick!!!

Welcome to Wednesday, folks, where I’m telling you right now we’re having Something Chocolate for breakfast!

Just dig in! I really do not think we can go wrong with these frozen cheesecake brownie sandwiches – like ice cream sandwiches at a whole new level!

Frozen Cheesecake Brownies

 

Mmmm-mmm good!  Scrumptious breakfast perfection for summertime! 😊

Now that we’re all fortified, let’s get right to the July Pitch Pick!

Our pitchers for this month have taken your helpful advice to heart and revised their pitches.  Please read through and evaluate them and decide which one you think is best and most deserves a read and comments from editor Erin Molta, then vote in the poll below by Sunday July 28 at 9PM Eastern.

#1 – Nancy – Cupid’s Tango – (PB ages 4-8)

Cupid, the prairie chicken, has his feathers all in a twist over his flock’s step dance contest. If he fails, no hen will pick him to go to the All Species Ball. The problem – he is horrible at step dancing and when he’s nervous, he’s worse. When the contest ends in disaster, Cupid is determined to find a dance he loves and win a hen’s heart to go to the ball.

#2 – Nadishka – The Fishing Cat Who Found Her Home (PB ages 2-7)

The story is about a fishing cat who overcomes adversity and finds out where she truly belongs.

Fiona lives with her adopted family who rescued her off the highway. However, they realize she is a fishing cat and since it is illegal to keep endangered animals as pets they abandon her in a forested area.  Having lived in a human household from when she was very young, she has to use her wits to survive. She escapes the jaws of a monitor lizard and she learns to forage for food.  She learns to avoid road traffic and garbage dumps. Finally, she meets an adult fishing cat who teaches her more about her species and escorts her to a Wetland Sanctuary.

Fishing cats are a type of small wildcat that lives in wetland areas.  They get that unique name because they are able to swim underwater and fish for food. They are an endangered species. This book is aimed at educating children about endangered species in Sri Lanka. I have already partnered with the Urban Fishing Cat Conservation Project and I have some fun facts and an educational element to the book.  The researchers at the Conservation Project have already confirmed that the storyline is quite plausible since many people unknowingly rescue fishing cat kittens. The story also teaches youngsters to persevere when times are hard.

#3 – Corine – Well Spotted, Joey! (Creative nonfiction Short Story ages 8-12)

When nearsighted Joey forgets his glasses at the safari lodge, the morning game drive becomes increasingly frustrating. Every five minutes his family points out another animal and he can’t see beyond the bonnet of the jeep. Just when he is about to burst with anger, a change of focus leads to a discovery that saves the day.

 

 

Tough choice, I know!  As always!  Thank you for voting!!!

Now then.

It’s the end of July, so I’m going to take a little blogging break.  I do have Tuesday Debut-ers scheduled for Tuesday July 30 and Tuesday August 6, so please do stop by and support them!

But otherwise, you are all excused for summer vacation and I’ll see you back here sometime after Labor Day for all our regularly scheduled programming!

Enjoy your summers and families and whatever time off you can get!  You deserve it!!! 😊 😊😊

Would You Read It #333 – Well Spotted, Joey (Short Story) PLUS The June Pitch Winner!!!

Hello, Lovelies!

I hope you are all excited for the 50th Anniversary of the Moon Landing!

I know I am!

The whole idea of getting into a rocket and flying into space to walk on the moon is just so thrilling, don’t you think?

I have learned so many things about the Apollo 11 mission, not just from writing my book and sharing it with kids, but also from the newspaper this past week.

True or false?  Neil Armstrong, Michael Collins, and Buzz Aldrin all weighed 165 pounds and were all within an inch of 5′ 11″?

True or false? The astronauts ate Pop Tarts for their pre-lift-off breakfast?

True or false? A rocket weighs more than 6 times as much as a 747 Jumbo Jet and can travel 40 times as fast? 🚀✈️

True or false? Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin were saved by quick thinking and a pen?

True or false? One of the Apollo 11 astronauts was born on a popular holiday?

Maybe if I’m feeling very nice I’ll tell you the answers at the end 😊

Meanwhile, let’s talk about the winner of the June Pitch Pick.

In an (I think!) unprecedented moment in WYRI history, we actually had a tie!  It was one of the closest pitch picks ever, as all 4 pitches came within just a few points of each other, but I’m pleased to announce that the winners were Deborah (Farmer Jo And The Chicken Coop Calamity) and Ana (Bella The Best Quits Again).  Congratulations!  Fabulous pitches!  I will send them both to editor Erin Molta and prevail upon her extraordinary kindness to get her thoughts on both.

Congratulations also to Christina and Diana who also did a fantastic job and had very nearly as many votes as the two who won!  Tough competition this month!  But great job all around!!!

Truly, all that talk about rockets and ties has made me feel a tad faint.  I believe Something Chocolate is called for.  (Really, any excuse will do 😊)  Hmm… what should we have today?

Nothing says breakfast like marshmallow-filled chocolate cupcakes…! 😊

Marshmallow Filled Cupcakes

marshmallow-cupcakes-filled

Recipe HERE at HugsAnd Cookies.com

As Cookie Monster would say, “Nom-nom-nom-nom-nom!”

😊

Now then, onto today’s pitch which comes to us from Corine.  Corine Timmer is a self-published author, haiku poet, nature lover, and street dog advocate. She lives in the countryside in Portugal together with her adopted dogs and her beloved donkey, Lolita. When she is not writing, tending to her animals, or creating artwork, she enjoys nature walks, visiting art galleries, and eating with friends. She loves chocolate! You can visit her on her website www.bicadeideias.com ”

Here is her pitch:

Working Title: Well Spotted, Joey

Age/Genre: Short Story (ages 8-12) nonfiction

The Pitch: When Joey, who is nearsighted, forgets his glasses at the safari lodge, the morning game drive becomes increasingly frustrating. His family are spotting wildlife every five minutes and he cannot see farther than the bonnet of the jeep. Just when he is about to have a tantrum, a change of focus leads to a discovery that saves the day.

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 September, which at this point is not all that far away, but you have 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!

Corine is looking forward to your thoughts on her pitch!  I am looking forward to making you all go do some research to find out which of those questions were true and which were false!  Mwa ha ha! (how’s that for an evil laugh?! 😊)

Nah! I’m just kidding you!  They are all true except the pop tarts!  The astronauts actually had orange juice, steak and eggs, toast, and coffee for breakfast (surprisingly hearty, given they were about to get into a compartment about the size of a car and stay there for the better part of 8 days while traveling through space at 24,000 mph!). One little girl at an author visit I was on recently suggested the astronauts have ice cream sandwiches for breakfast, proving that I am not the only one who thinks ice cream for breakfast is a good idea! 😊 Oh, and if you’re wondering, Michael Collins was born on Halloween! 😊

Have a wonderful Wednesday everyone!!! 🙂