August 8, 2012

Would You Read It Wednesday - The 52nd Pitch!!!

Happy Birthday to you
Happy Birthday to you
Happy Birthday Would You Read It
Happy Birthday to you!!!

I know!  I can't believe it either!  Would You Read It is one year old today!  Today makes the 52nd pitch we've had the privilege to read - 52 writers whose pitches have benefited from all the thoughtful, helpful comments generated by YOU.  I'm really proud to be part of such a generous effort.  It's wonderful that this community is so supportive!  Thank you all for participating, and I hope we'll have lots and lots more pitches to look forward to.  I'm waiting for the first book to be published that was pitched here - won't that be a day to celebrate?! :)

Before we get to today's pitch, a couple items of business.

First, I want to thank the lovely, vivacious, mistress of counting, everybody's favorite Cupcake for bestowing the Blog On Fire Award on me.  Cupcake, you are the mostest :)
As you all know, I am terrible at awards.  I'm supposed to tell 5 things about myself and pass the award to 5 favorite bloggers.  I'll try for the 5 about me, but I can't possibly pick only 5 favorites among you when I love you all :) so anyone who would like the award can consider themselves chosen :)

1.  I have fewer dresses than Cupcake (who owns 9) and
2.  I have no tutus at all (gasp! I know! Cupcake has 2!), so clearly I need to rectify that :)
3.  I have been in Maine, Vermont, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, New Jersey, Connecticut, New York, Delaware, Maryland, Pennsylvania, Ohio, Virginia, West Virginia, North Carolina, and the District of Columbia in the past month.  That may be a traveling record for me!
4.  I am totally looking forward to The Bourne Legacy even though Matt Damon isn't in it.  Sigh.
5.  I could have been an Olympic Gymnast... except I'm uncoordinated... and have no talent for gymnastics :)  But I really like watching them so that has to count for something :)

Alrighty, then.  Onward.

Due to my extensive traveling, I'm just a tad behind on ye olde blog schedule.  I was going to put the July Pitch Pick on today's post, but the new policy states that pitchers have the chance to revise their pitches before the vote and since I've been wandering around the midwest and random New York airports I haven't emailed them all to get the version they want to use for the pitch pick, so...  not Friday, because that's Short & Sweets, and not Monday because I have a special post to share that day :)... so I guess it'll be next Wednesday for that.  If you happen to be one of the July pitchers, please feel free to email me the version you want to use :)

So now, at last, it's time to grab your Something Chocolate (has anyone tried Chocolate Cheerios?  Are they good?) and see what you think of today's pitch which comes to us from the lovely Patricia who is a pre-published writer of picture books, with a YA fantasy and MG fantasy series rattling around her laptop.  After a meandering journey from Wall Street attorney to not-for-profit fundraiser, with many years volunteering to support arts and education in between, this mother of three mostly-grown children and two young-at-heart pups is now busy banging on the keyboard, trying to write that elusive perfect children’s book.  She loves dogs, travel & the flora and fauna of living life to the full.  Like Two Orange Pups on Facebook to share their Woofs of Wisdom each Wednesday.

And here's her pitch:

Working Title:  Two Orange Pups And The Ball
Age/Genre:  Picture Book (ages 3-6)
The Pitch:  Two orange pups.  The perfect ball.  Sounds simple, until the picky princess pup turns up her nose at each of her friends’ perfect balls.   Follow the pair and their friends on this madcap quest at they discover that shared experiences, not possessions, matter most.

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 Patricia 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.  There are openings in September, which is not very far away at all at this point, so we could really use some new pitches!!

Patricia is looking forward to your thoughts on her pitch!

And I am off - yes, on the road again! - but this time to a day care/summer camp visit with Phyllis and Woolliam - first one since school got out in June so I'm feeling a little rusty...!  I hope we'll have a good day!

Reactions:

62 comments:

  1. You'e been a busy woman, with all that traveling and whatnot. Giving Phyllis a run for her money? lol!!

    As for the pitch, I'd give it a Yes. Puppy dogs are always so cute. I can just imagine the great illustrations that could go with it. And the "sharing" concept is a great one, one that could never really be overdone with our little ones.

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  2. My kids have tried chocolate Cheerios and given it a resounding thumbs down.

    This pitch didn't work for me. it's funny because I loved the working title and had some ideas of what it might be, but the picky princess seemed very ordinary to me. I didn't like her there with the pups. I also think the words madcap and hilarious should never be in a pitch. They are kind of overused. I would focus more on the two pups and the perfect orange ball. What makes it perfect? Why wouldn't someone else want it?

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  3. Thanks, Kimberley, for your honest reactions to both the chocolate Cheerios and the pitch, and for your suggestion on how to improve the pitch.

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  4. Thanks, Angela! Love the emphasis on sharing, too!

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  5. Wow. Less dresses than a DOG. hee hee!
    Cupcake is the sweetest. :)
    I would read the book, but I was confused when I was reading the pitch. Why are the puppies orange? But, it still seems like a good story idea.

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  6. Glad to hear you like the story idea. The pups are orange to distinguish them from their better-known golden cousins. They are Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retrievers, a mouthful generally shortened to "Tollers", or sometimes called Red River dogs. Avoided the Red for one obviously huge reason...

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  7. Happy Birthday to "Would you Read it?"
    The message in this picture book certainly is a good one but I don't think I would have picked the book up off the shelf based on the title.

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  8. Thanks, thefeatherednest, for giving me something to ponder (and I LOVE your name!)

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  9. I'd say maybe....I think the 2 fragments at the beginning should be changed. I like the ending. I'm also a little confused at the number of pups in this story. The title says 2, but then the pitch says "friends' balls." Are the orange pups siblings, and then others dogs will be brought in? Or if the princess pup is the mc, then your pitch could be just about her, what she wants, and the problem.

    And Susanna, you get the gold medal for traveling to the most states in 1 month :) Hope your school visit goes well!

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  10. Thanks, Tina. It's becoming clear that I need to clarify this pitch! The story is about two pups - one tries to find the perfect ball for the other. The MS started as Two Orange Pups and the Happy Birthday Ball, but I deleted the birthday emphasis based on feedback at SCBWI NJ. Might need to rethink that deletion...

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  11. Happy Birthday, WYRIW! Catch your breath, Susanna...and "set" a while. :)
    The pitch end grabs my heart..."shared experiences, not possessions, are what matters most"...a definite YES for me...but I do agree with some of the other comments about wording and language for the rest of the paragraph. Sounds like a wonderful story, Patricia! I can see a whole series based on these two orange pups and their adventures. :)

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  12. Patricia, I love how your story will end on the true importance of friendship, wonderful! The title is not as engaging as your message. Nevertheless, I'd like to read how a picky princess pup changes her attitude. Sounds like a story filled with good lessons to learn and share.

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  13. Susanna, I do hope all these college visits have been fruitful and you have a good list now?

    Patricia, I am a maybe, as I am still a little confused as to how many pups are involved. :)

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  14. My reaction is a maybe ( to the pitch. My reaction to even the thought of chocolate cheerios is a resounding no!)

    Like a couple other people, I found the title not quite compelling enough. I think, too, that the pitch could be tightened. I know you have personal feeling as well as a facebook page invested in the phrase "two orange pups" but if it's in the title, I don't think it needs to be in the pitch. And perhaps "Two Orange Pups" could be the overarching series title, and "The Birthday Ball" or somesuch be the book title?

    A suggestion (only a suggestion) for tightening the pitch might be "The pups are on a quest for the perfect ball, but nothing is just right, at least according to Princess Pup. A madcap adventure with their friends shows them that perhaps it's not possessions that are the important thing." Obviously, that suggestion needs work!

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  15. Thanks, Vivian. I do hope that the Orange Pups become a series one day, too!

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  16. Thanks, Pamela, I plan to definitely rethink that title.

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  17. Thanks, Joanna. I'm envisioning a pack of pups - all sizes, shapes, breeds & favorite balls. Think Go, Dog. Go!, which was a definite inspiration.

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  18. Thanks, Beth. Your suggestions are spot on, as usual!

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  19. Patricia - You may know from my pirate birthday poem that I am a big fan of scarce and unusual dogs! Your FB page sent me scurrying to learn about Tollers. They are adorable and super smart!

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  20. Thanks, Cathy. Tollers love to be loved!

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  21. The title didn't grab me. Your pitch has more action, but I tend to agree with comments already made. But, I would read the book.

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  22. Oh, my! I had a run for my money today, Angela! One of those visits where they aren't quite up front with you ahead of time and you're in for a big surprise. I had to cope with 20 2 year olds! Where did THAT come from?! One of my more challenging visits, but I think Woolliam and I carried it off successfully. The older group was fine - par for the course - but some of those little ones weren't even 2 - that's a tough crowd for a group presentation! Thanks for your comment for Patricia!

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  23. Ooh! Thanks for the heads-up, Kimberley! I will stay away from chocolate cheerios :) Thanks for your comment for Patricia!

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  24. What can I say? I'm a jeans and tee-shirt gal :) Cupcake is awesome - and she looks way better in a dress than I do :) Thanks for your comment for Patricia, Erik!

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  25. Thanks, Tina, both for your helpful comment for Patricia and for the gold medal :) The school visit was quite an experience - a lesson in making sure everyone is being up front about everything! But it was fun :)

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  26. Thanks for your comment for Patricia, Vivian, and for the happy birthday wishes for WYRI! I'm hoping to have time to "set" for a day or two in mid-Spetember, but certainly not before that! :)

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  27. Thanks for your thoughtful comment for Patricia, Pam. I agree, the true importance of friendship part is wonderful :)

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  28. Ha! I just realized I thought the ball was orange. Sorry! Note to self, read carefully when helping someone think something through. :)

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  29. The word of the day is "undecided", Joanna! But we sure have seen a lot of great schools. Thanks for your comment for Patricia. And looking forward to hearing where your adventures are taking you!

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  30. Thank you for your very thoughtful and helpful comment for Patricia, Beth. As for the cheerios, I'm with you... which is why I haven't tried them yet and was asking if anyone else had been brave enough :)

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  31. I'm with you, Cathy! I think they sound fantastic. And Patricia's are so cute :)





























    Cathy Mealey (unregistered) wrote, in response to Patricia Nozell:

    Patricia - You may know from my pirate birthday poem that I am a big fan of scarce and unusual dogs! Your FB page sent me scurrying to learn about Tollers. They are adorable and super smart!

    User's website
    Link to comment
    IP address: 173.76.159.156

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  32. I say Yes, but I think, like others that the pitch could be more appealing. I like that "they discover that shared experiences, not possessions, matter most."---but the beginning needs to be clearer.

    Happy Birthday to Would You Read It Wednesday! And...WOW! Whatta lotta travelin'!!!!

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  33. Thanks for your comment for Patricia, Penny, and yes - a lotta traveling! Good thing I have my trusty Blue Kitty :)

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  34. Happy pitches on the blog birthday. :D

    I have a hard time with picture book pitches. For me it's a no because I don't get a sense of the story. But I write YA, so what do I know.

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  35. Happy birthday, "Would You Read It!" What a wonderful gift you've brought into the world, Susanna. As for the pitch, I think the concept is cute. However, I was getting confused by how many pups. Who is the pair? It sounded like there were more than two involved?

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  36. You still know what captures your interest, so your opinion is helpful :)

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  37. Thank you for the WYRI birthday wishes and your kind words, Kirsten, I'm glad you enjoy it! And thanks for your comment for Patricia!

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  38. First, thank you for the gift of pitching to others. It's incredible. Especially reading others' comments. Teaches me by action.

    Chocolate cheerios. I could eat them, I suppose. But I absolutely love Hershey's syrup drizzled over my Cheerios! That way, I can control the amount of chocolate!

    On to the pitch: I'd read the book because puppies and princesses are what my little one hungers for.

    However, the title is not my cup of tea. Though something like, Orange Dogs? might work better for me.

    I'm not too taken with most of the pitch, I'm sorry to say, but I adore the last line.

    Best of luck with this!

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  39. Thanks, Pat. Sounds like we have a consensus here!

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  40. Thanks, Penny. Definitely plan to work on the start of the pitch.

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  41. Thanks, Stina. Fully understand - a totally different genre. Working on a YA fantasy in my "spare" time right now. Feel like I need to wear different hats depending on which MS I'm working on at the moment.

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  42. Thanks, Kristen. Sorry for the confusion. Two Orange Pups at the start, but the group grows as the search expands. This is showing me that I have work to do!

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  43. Thanks, Sharron. Happy to hear you think that your daughter would like the book. Will definitely rethink the title & the beginning of the pitch.

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  44. Wow Susanna, you are quite the traveler! Congrats on the One Year Anniversary of "Would You Read It"!
    I love chocolate but not chocolate-flavored things, so that'd be a "no" on the Cheerios!

    As for the pitch: There are already a lot of helpful comments here. I'd say I would read it because I love puppies and I love a good princess-diva!
    However I agree that the pitch needs some tightening; Beth Stillborn wrote a great suggestion for the pitch. An added suggestion of my own to add on could be something like, "Follow the friends as they discover that it's not the ball but the adventure itself that is the true treasure." Again, just a suggestion.
    The title I feel should have a bit more dazzle to capture interest, such as "The Quest for the Perfect Ball." The cover illustration will show that puppies are the main characters.
    Good luck, write on! :-)

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  45. Chocolate Cheerios do NOT count as something chocolate. My six-year-old likes them, but he'd eat chocolate covered rocks. I think Patricia has received excellent advice in the comments already. I was also confused about the number of dogs, balls, and why they want the picky princess pup to like their ball in the first place. But it sounds like a fun and rollicking story. Best wishes Patricia!

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  46. Maybe they'd taste better with some of that awesome-looing peanut butter play dough :) And I might eat chocolate covered rocks... :) Thanks for your comment for Patricia, Hannah!

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  47. Thank you, Dana - I'm always happy at any excuse for birthday cake :) Thanks for your very helpful comment for Patricia!

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  48. Thank you, Sharron, for having been brave enough to pitch and for always checking in to help others. I love how WYRI has turned into such a cooperative and helpful forum - I think we all learn a lot. And how is it possible that I never thought to add Hershey's syrup to cereal? What an excellent suggestion :) Thanks for your comments for Patricia!

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  49. Thanks, Hannah. Glad to think it sounds like a "fun and rollicking story." That is my intention!

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  50. Thanks, Dana. These are great suggestions!

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  51. Happy b-day to would you read it Wednesday! As for today's pitch, puppies are always cute, but I agree with everyone else's suggestions :)
    By the way I have less than 9 dresses too (much less)!

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  52. Do you have less than 2 Coleen? 2 is how many I have! (And I am not making that up!)

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  53. No. I don't think of dogs as thinking creatures that crave relationships not things. Yes dogs love relationships, but they probably don't THINK about it. I'm sorry, but the story sounds very boring to me. Three puppies. Two are orange? And one is a princess? I just don't see much of a plot. I'm having a hard time imagining the story.

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  54. Thanks for your honesty, Christie. Think I have some work to do to give you a better idea of the plot!

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  55. Thanks, Coleen, for weighing in.

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  56. Hi Susannah,Happy Birthday Would you read it? I like the idea of this one, but I think some more specific examples would help make it more compelling. Have fun!

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  57. Thanks for your comment for Patricia, Catherine, and for the WYRI birthday wishes! Lovely to hear form you! Hope you're having a wonderful summer!

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  58. First, I love the phrase "pre-published writer". I'm going to put that on my business cards. :) Second, no on the chocolate cheerios, but yes on chocolate chip pancakes if anyone was asking. I don't think they were, but I'm hungry.


    As far as the pitch, I think there are a lot of promising aspects. I like the idea of an action-driven story in which the dogs are chasing/playing with the balls and one is trying to be picky while learning a lesson along the way. I hesitate at the idea of a picky princess though. Princesses are everywhere, and kids, especially girls, really relate to them. I wish so many of them didn't have to be picky. I wonder if the picky character could be a different one? Just my two cents. I think to think about what we are modeling for children. And I think the title could use a little oomph of some sort. But good luck with it! Everyone likes dogs and princesses!

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  59. Thanks so much for your comments, Wendy - very helpful! And I think chocolate chip pancakes are an EXCELLENT suggestion and I may just have to borrow the concept for this week's WYRI :)
    Susanna Leonard HillChildren's AuthorWebsiteBlogFB Author PageTwitter

    Subject: [susannaleonardhillblog] Re: Susanna Leonard Hill: Would You Read It Wednesday - The 52nd Pitch!!!

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