January 18, 2012

Would You Read It Wednesday - The 23rd Pitch

Wow!  There is so much fun stuff going on it's hard to keep track!

First off, thank you all for your enthusiastic response to Oh Susanna!  I've already got a couple questions, so I'll probably post the first episode of that feature on Monday.  Lest the first also be the last, though, please send more questions :)

Second, guess what I get to do today?  Interview the talented author/illustrator Michael Garland - in person! - so that I can share the interview with you on Sunday!!!  I know.  I said the author interviews this year were going to be the 3rd Sunday of the month.  But January started on a Sunday so that one doesn't count!  I hope you'll all tune in this Sunday January 22.  I'm sure Michael will have lots of wonderful things to share, and I will do a book giveaway in conjunction with the interview.  I think something along the lines of comment on which Michael Garland book you love most or would most like to own and why...  But maybe I'll think up something to make it more challenging... :)  I am open to suggestions... what do you think would be fun?

Third, (see, I TOLD you there was all kinds of fun stuff going on!) I am going to be hosting an event for the Ossining Open Door facility of Reach Out And Read on February 22.  Look at this totally cool poster:

And for our Spanish-speaking audience (which alas is not me!)...
sorry the bottoms got cut off - I had a terrible time uploading these!
How cool is that?!

Reach Out And Read seeks to get books into the hands of children ages 2-5 who otherwise wouldn't have any.  In conjunction with this event, we are trying to get as many donations of my books as possible to give away for free to the kids that attend.  If you'd be interested in donating a copy of Can't Sleep Without SheepPunxsutawney PhyllisApril Fool, PhyllisNot Yet, RoseAirplane Flight or Freight Train Trip, you can order from Merritt Bookstore at (845) 677-5857.  Tell them the book is for Susanna Hill's Reach Out And Read event and you will get a 20% discount and no tax on your purchase of the books for Reach Out And Read.  Open Door will collect the books on February 1st for inventory and transport, so if you're interested, please call before February 1.

And now, finally, grab your chocolate and get ready for Would You Read It!

This week's pitch comes to us from Margaret.  (Her blog is just getting started, so hop on over and make her feel welcome to our writing community!)  Margaret is from the Silicon Valley and is a full-time SAHM of 2 young children (SAHM is mom blogger speak for Stay-At-Home-Mom.)  She is also a budding entrepreneur and picture book writer.  Like all of us, she is looking for a formula to stretch time so if you find one... :)

Here is her pitch:

Working Title:  Home Is Where The Bird Is
Age/Genre:  Picture Book
The Pitch:  Bird thought he found his perfect birdhouse – until he encountered the mouse living inside.  After a feather-raising experience house hunting on his own, Bird asks Mouse for help.  Mouse leads Bird on a hilarious tour of unconventional housing options.  As winter looms, will Bird accept anything but his perfect birdhouse?


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 Margaret 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 the Would You Read It tab in the bar above.  Pitches are currently queued through March 7, but there are lots of openings after that, so send your pitch for a chance to be read by editor Erin Molta!

Margaret is looking forward to your thoughts on her pitch!

Please join us Friday for Perfect Picture Books!  I have such a wonderful book to share that I can barely wait to tell you what it is... but I will :)  See you Friday!

Reactions:

76 comments:

  1. LOL! yes I would read it. Why? Well, when you think of a bird looking for a place to live, you think high places, trees, nooks and cranies of houses, tall buildings, cliffs etc. I would not imagine finding a mouse living up high off the ground. Another thing that caught my attention and made me chuck was the wording, "feather-raising", "house-hunting" (can you picture a mouse and bird going house hunting? lol) and "unconventional" housing. I think the word 'unconventional' got me hooked. :) This seems like it is going to be one fun and hilarious story!!

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  2. Reach out and Read...putting books in the hands of children who have none!
    Would you read it...giving aspiring picture book writers a platform to present their ideas (and yes, I would read it! I wanted to know more...what housing options did mouse show him and what will his final choice be. It is a tale told before in different ways...but that doesn't matter. Children love stories like this...they love the humor and silliness and will eagerly await the return of the bird to his proper home.)
    Perfect Picture Book Friday...providing an unbelievable resource of book summaries and activities for parents and teachers.
    So, Susannah, that's why I've given you the Versatile Bloggr Award. :) http://viviankirkfield.wordpress.com/2012/01/18/project-365-challenge-day-17-awards-and-attitudes/#comment-1992

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  3. Aww, Vivian, you're so sweet! Thank you so much! I am honored to receive the award from you and just glad if you enjoy the blog!

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  4. Love your Reach out and Read project, Susanna, and super it is for Spanish speakers too.

    I confess it is hard for me to pick a Michael Garland favorite, I do love so much of his work!

    YES, I would most definitely read this picture book. It has great potential for humor and the problem is cool! I think I would try and shorten the pitch just a little.

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  5. I'm so glad to be part of Reach Out And Read! It's such a wonderful program. And I hate to think of any child growing up without books - every child should have at least one. As for Michael, anything you want me to tell him when I see him today? Any specific questions?

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  6. Thanks so much for your feedback for Margaret, Saba!

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  7. Erik - This Kid Reviews BooksJanuary 18, 2012 at 7:47 AM

    I would read it! I think it sounds like it will be funny. I like the reading project!

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  8. I just realized that the "Reach Out and Read" charity is one that I have been trying to win books for (the Philadelphia Reach Out and Read)! My mom works at a children's hospital and they have a drive for books. It's a good idea to do your own drive!

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  9. Yes, I would definitely read this! It's got humor, conflict, and the potential for some awesome illustrations! Congrats on your project, Susanna, and thanks for doing something so worthwhile! Love the posters :)

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  10. I would read it, it sounds adorable! I smiled at the 'unconventional housing options.' Good luck!

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  11. Thanks, Jess! I know, aren't those posters so cute? People are so clever and artistic!

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  12. That's pretty neat that we're working on the same project :) Please tell your mom to let me know if I can ever help her with the children's hospital book drive!

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  13. I would read it. It's funny. It seems a bit long, but then others I've read seem too short. Forgive me Margaret — for I do not know what I'm doing. :)

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  14. Stacy, you are so funny! You made me laugh :)

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  15. Thanks Stacy! I don't know what I'm doing either, so I'll take a look at the length. :-)

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  16. I would read it. You did a great job with the pitch! Lots of story-specific and humorous words.

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  17. Thanks Rachelmarybean! I appreciate the feedback!

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  18. Yay! Thanks Jess for the feedback.

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  19. Great! Erik, thanks for the feedback.

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  20. Joanna, thanks for the feedback. I will definitely take a look at the length.

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  21. Congrats Susanna on the Versatile Bloggr Award!
    Vivan -- thank you for the feedback. Did you want to know more in the pitch, or was it an "I want to know more so I would read it" comment?

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  22. Thanks Saba -- I appreciate understanding your thought process!

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  23. I would indeed. It will be refreshing change from "property virgins". I don't think it's too long at all.

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  24. Susanna,
    Reach Out and Read sounds like a wonderful program -- so great that you are a part of it.

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  25. Thanks Vicki! I love hearing positive feedback! :-)

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  26. Thanks for the feedback Del. What is "property virgins"?

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  27. Susanna - great program!

    Margaret - YES I would read it! Though I wonder if changing the pitch to be present tense or shortening it up a little bit might make it even stronger and more suspenseful! Good luck with this!

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  28. Thank you, Margaret! :)














    Margaret Greanias (unregistered) wrote, in response to Vivian Kirkfield:

    Congrats Susanna on the Versatile Bloggr Award!
    Vivan -- thank you for the feedback. Did you want to know more in the pitch, or was it an "I want to know more so I would read it" comment?

    Link to comment

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  29. It really is a great program, and I'm so glad to be able to do something to help out!

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  30. It's a wonderful program, and I was honored to be invited to participate with them!

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  31. Susanna - will you be accepting questions we might have for authors/illustrators you are planning to interview?

    Margaret - first I am thrilled to have you be a part of the blogging world. congrats on deciding to start a blog. second, i am glad to see the pitch for this story. i love the words "feather-raising experience", great use of words. I think the 1st and 3rd lines could use a little tightening. I think the 2nd and 4th lines are perfect.

    (fyi- margaret and i are in a critique group. i've read the MS it is creative & hilarious, a fun read. i hope it gets picked up soon as i'm dying to see some illustrations to go with it).

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  32. Thanks Miranda for your suggestions. I'll take a look and see what I can do!

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  33. Thanks Darshana! See you Thurs!

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  34. I recall some shocking experiences when I house hunting, so I am REALLY curious to see what Bird encounters! Hmm...will they become housemates? I love it!

    SLH - congrats on the ROR event. Terrific!

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  35. YES. I think Margaret really has a winner here. I would also try to shorten the pitch, but please don't take out "feather-raising" and "unconventional housing!" I think the premise is unique and an illustrator would have a ball with it. Brava - well done!

    And Susanna, congrats on all your cool news, too! So you're near Ossining - my aunt is a Maryknoll Sister there!

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  36. It sounds like a great idea. It's already been said below but I too think it would benefit from shortening and thereby tightening up the pitch.

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  37. Absolutely, Darshana. I've already spoken with Michael, but if you have a question for him I'm sure I can ask :) And if there's something you'd like to know of all authors, that would be great to know. And I guess it's a small world - you and Margaret already knowing each other :)

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  38. Thanks, Cathy! I hope it will go well and that we'll get lots of books to hand out to the kids :)

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  39. Thanks, Renee. Yes, I'm about 45+ minutes from Ossining? And in case you're wondering, I have spent half my day outside in the frigid wind messing with the camera... hair in my face... forgetting the words... freezing... literally... It's going very well!

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  40. Hahaha, Susanna! Too funny! I mean...thank you! Or..um...I'm sorry? I'm filming two tomorrow, hoping for decent weather. Can't wait to hear more about your experience! :)

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  41. chatterchatterchatter.... I would tell you if my teeth would stop chattering!













    Renee LaTulippe (unregistered) wrote, in response to Susanna Leonard Hill:

    Hahaha, Susanna! Too funny! I mean...thank you! Or..um...I'm sorry? I'm filming two tomorrow, hoping for decent weather. Can't wait to hear more about your experience! :)

    User's profile
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  42. about the pitch: OH! Yes! I'd read it. Sounds like a great pitch but maybe a little too long. It would be a good back of the book blurb though. Maybe not give away so much.

    About the reach out and read: congrats! I'll call the store and order one to give away

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  43. Thanks Cathy!

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  44. Thank you Renee! Now...I just have to figure out what to cut...

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  45. Thanks Rosalind!

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  46. Thanks Clarike. I appreciate the feedback!

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  47. Susanna- wow, you have some very cool projects lined up!
    Margaret, Yes I would read it. I also think that maybe it could be shortened or streamlined. Hmmm. Consider take out the last sentence or trying something like "Bird finds the perfect birdhouse... too bad Mouse got there first. Wanting to help, Mouse leads Bird on a hilarious tour of unconventional housing options. As winter looms, will Bird find a nest of her own?"

    I know I'm totally taking out what a lot of other people liked, and probably lost the character of your story. Just trying to mix it up. Best of luck! Pitches are hard.

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  48. You're so sweet, Clar! Thank you so much! The kids will be so grateful :)

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  49. Thanks, Hannah! I'm glad you think so :)

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  50. Yes! Not only would I read it...I want to read it. If your book is anything like your premise, it will be irresistible. I'm not sure if bird needs to hunt on his own. That seems like two adventures. The first being bird and his feather-raising hunt, and the second being Mouse leading Bird on the tour. Mouse leading Bird is what is irresistible to me. After all, he is in Bird's house so the least he can do is help Bird out. Just my opinion. To sum it up...write the book, please :-)

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  51. Jennifer RumbergerJanuary 18, 2012 at 7:21 PM

    Yes, I would read it. I love the pitch and can just imagine the houses they check out!

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  52. Hi Hannah, thanks for your feedback. You gave me some great suggestions to start with...I'll play around with them. :-)

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  53. Thanks Penny. I see what you mean about potentially having two stories there. I actually don't spend that much time on the feather-raising adventure in the story -- perhaps it's best to leave it out of the pitch.

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  54. Thanks Jennifer! I appreciate the feedback!

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  55. Yes I would read it! I love the title and the premise. Great job!

    Thanks for the reminder about buying your books for Reach Out & Read because of course I forgot! Will do tomorrow!!

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  56. I'm late to the party again. I may try unsubscribing, and then subscribing again in the early morning, and see if that helps.

    Anyway, I would definitely read it. I concur with Penny Klosterman that perhaps the search Bird does on his own needn't be in the pitch.

    I hate to lose the "feather-raising experiences" though. What about something like "After a long search, Bird finds the perfect house, but it's already occupied by Mouse. When Bird asks Mouse for help, Mouse leads him on a feather-raising tour of unconventional housing options. Will Bird find just the right house before winter?"

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  57. Thanks Julie!

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  58. Thanks for the suggestions, Beth. I'm going to keep playing with the pitch and see if I can shorten and keep the words that people liked here today. :-)

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  59. I wouldn't read this book because it's not my kind of read. HOWEVER, I love the pitch. :) It's intriguing, unambiguous, and just plain great!

    It's the type of book my 4-year-old could convince me to read at least once without me feeling like I'm forced into a major chore.

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  60. That pitch and story sound awesome, I'm in!

    Your interview surprise is super! Let the fun begin.

    Those posters look adorable, best of luck with that great project. You are a busy bee!

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  61. You're so sweet, Julie! Thank you so much!

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  62. I'm sorry, Beth. I don't know how to fix that. I have the same problem with Joanna's posts, and Peggy's and a bunch of other people - I'm always the last to comment because I get the notification so late. Please let me know if you figure it out. Maybe I'll try asking on the FB groups - Melissa seems to know a lot! :)

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  63. Yes, I AM a busy bee. I wasn't everyone to call me that :)I really enjoyed interviewing Michael yesterday, and I asked him YOUR question! :) So stay tuned...

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  64. Pitch sounds interesting to me! I am already envisioning cute illustrations ;)
    Looking forward to the interview!

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  65. Thanks Reena!

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  66. Thanks Catherine!

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  67. Thanks Coleen! I hope the story gets illustrations some day!

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  68. I would definitely read this! Love the idea and how great would it be in the end if Bird and Mouse decided to be roommates? I love the expression "feather raising." I can see it!

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  69. Love the pitch! As someone who recently navigated the real estate market in NYC to find my place I am truly intrigued by what mouse and bird encounter. :). You should probably edit to tighten it a bit but I do like it! Well done!

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  70. Marcie, Tracy, Reena, Jennifer, Penny, Roasalind, Del, Vicki, Rachel and Vivian - thank you all so much for your helpful comments to Margaret!

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  71. Margaret, I would read it. I can just see mouse and bird looking for the perfect house and can imagine what mouse shows him.

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  72. What a neat feature, Would You Read It?!

    Yes, I would read this. "...unconventional housing options" is what attracts me, but I think the synopsis is pretty good overall.

    The title is a bit drab, I'm afraid, but titles are hard and likely to change. Even though I haven't read the story, this idea came to mind based on the little that's conveyed here: If Bird finds other animals living in all the places s/he likes, maybe several animal names can be listed and crossed out before BIRD is finally placed in the phrase.

    I feel very silly making a suggestion when I know so little about the story, but there it is. Obviously, Margaret will know best.

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  73. Thanks for you comments for Margaret! I'm glad you like the idea of WYRI. Please feel free to send a pitch anytime :)

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  74. The pitch is interesting and the results could be fun to read and great to look at. Children enjoy unusual ideas and funny ways a story can go so this one would certainly lead them up different paths( or trees!)

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  75. The pitch is interesting and the results could be fun to read and great to look at. Children enjoy unusual ideas and the funny ways, a story can go, so this one would certainly lead them up different paths( or trees!) Lots of laughter too.

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