August 15, 2012

Would You Read It Wednesday - The 53rd Pitch And The July Pitch Pick!

Happy Wednesday Everyone!

I am very excited for Would You Read It today!  Not only do we get to start the day with Something Chocolate, not only do we get to read a great new pitch, not only am I not in the car (it's true!  I'm not in the car!  Can you believe it?), but this is the first month where we're trying out the new system!

Previously, we just voted on the month's pitches, but NOW, as per the new policy, pitchers who wanted to have had the chance to revise their pitches for the pitch pick, so what you will be seeing today is that in action for the first time!

3 of our 4 July pitchers chose to take your helpful comments and revise for the July Pitch Pick, so here are the pitches for your evaluation:

#1 Carrie
Title: Singin’ Sam, the Ice Cream Man
Age/Genre: Picture Book (ages 4-8)
Pitch: Sam loves dishing out ice cream to his favorite customers. But when a rival ice cream truck shows up on his corner, Sam must find a way to out-sing, out-scoop, and out-serve the competition to keep his customers — and himself — happy.

#2 Rita
Working Title:  What's Wrong With Molly Zwirl
Age/Genre:  Chapter Book (ages 6-9)
The Pitch:  Molly, an immigrant girl from Europe settling in the USA, is just like the girl with the curl in the middle of her forehead.  She tries so hard to be good but when her grandparents come she just has to be bad.


#3 Vivian

Working Title: The Tomato Turner
Genre/Age: Picture Book/3-8
Stuck between a brainy brother and an adorable sister, Peter Peter middle-seater is searching for a way to be spectacular.  When he sees the basket of green tomatoes, he knows his chance to astonish his family has come...if only he can turn the tomatoes red.


#4 Dana
Working Title:  CJ's Tiger
Age/Genre:  Picture Book (ages 4-8)
CJ has always dreamed of having a tiger for a pet, so he is thrilled when he awakens one day to find that his cat “Tiger” has transformed into a real tiger. However he soon learns that having a pet tiger is a lot harder than he imagined when the day turns into one big catastrophe!

Please vote for your favorite below by Sunday August 19 at noon EDT.  I will announce the winner Monday and send her pitch off to editor Erin Molta for comment at that time.

I must say, this is a tough choice!!!  I can't wait to see how the votes land!

Now, onto today's pitch, which comes to us from Sharron.  Sharron loves reading, writing, sharing with friends and learning new things.  She blogs at Nothing But Writing and has joined us here once before for the 27th pitch of Sorrysorrysorry back on February 15.  (As a matter of fact, she was the winner of the February pitch pick!)

Here is her pitch for today:

Working Title:  Nothing But Blue Skies
Age/Genre:  Upper Middle Grade Fantasy
The Pitch:  Wizards have turned the world topsy-turvy. The sky is green. The grass is purple. Streams are pale pink. An abused, fourteen-year old princess is the only being able to change it back. But – not as a girl. A dragon’s tear transforms her into a prince. To triumph over magic, she must find out who she is and who she wants to be.

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 Sharron 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!!

Sharron has struggled mightily with this pitch and is very much looking forward to your thoughts!

I am looking forward to hearing everyone's reactions to the new pitch pick system.  Do you like it?  Would you prefer to have the old pitch and the revised pitch both shown so you can compare, or would that make too much reading or be confusing?  Inquiring minds want to know :)


Reactions:

53 comments:

  1. TransmogrifyHorse35August 15, 2012 at 3:15 AM

    http://goo.gl/vAJmQ

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  2. I'd have to say that I would read it. But I'm curious about why the princess-turned-prince is the only one who can set things right and also if the need to find out who she is comes from forgetting who she was? Just a couple of things that sprouted in my brain.

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  3. I'm interested. I'm curious about the girl turning into a boy too.

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  4. I love comparing the new pitches to vote. As a writer who deletes past versions after every revision, The past is off my radar as soon as something new happens.

    I rarely read fantasy, but I do love a good strong girl character - even if she has to be a boy for a while. She does turn back, doesn't she???!

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  5. I'd rather the new pitch stood on its own and judge it on its own merits.
    'Nothing But Blue Skies' sounds interesting. I am assuming this is a story about coping with being transgender. A touchy subject for sure. Gosh kids have so much to learn these days. This could be a good book for a doctor to keep in his office.

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  6. Rachel SchieffelbeinAugust 15, 2012 at 9:22 AM

    I was a bit thrown by the 'can't do it as a princess' idea. My first reaction was that it seems kind of anti-girl power. Only a boy can save them? Thefeatherednest's comment about transgender made me go, "ooh, now I get it." If that's the idea, maybe there is something that could make that more clear. She want to be a boy, rather than that she can't save them as a girl?
    As it is, I'm a maybe. It does sound interesting.

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  7. I'm curious to read. I was a little thrown by the word "abused" simply because the first sentence sounds much lighter--ie topsy turvy, purple grass. But maybe that's the intention?
    Very interesting!

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  8. Thanks so much for weighing in, Coleen!

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  9. Thanks for your comments for Sharron, Genevieve, and for your thoughts on the new format for the pitch pick!

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  10. Thanks so much for your thoughts on both Sharron's pitch and the new WYRI format, Delores!

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  11. Thanks so much for chiming in, Rachel! Very helpful :)

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  12. I love fantasy. I would like to read this book. When I read the Working Title and the first sentence of the pitch, I thought that the sky was the only thing that didn't change color... Maybe a different title?

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  13. I would definitely read it, Sharron...I need to find out what happens...but I, too, was a little confused by the somewhat contradictory tones in the pitch language...the word "abused" seems to leap out at me...but perhaps that is the intent. :)
    Susannah...I hope everyone loves the new pitch rules...I think it makes sense for us to learn from the feedback of others. :)

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  14. I'm intrigued by the premise of this book, but I think my vote would be a maybe if the pitch was all I had to go on. As with other readers, I was a bit thrown by the latter part of the pitch, including the detail about being abused, and the need for her to become a prince.

    If it's a book celebrating transgender, I'm all for that theme, but I think that part of the pitch could be reworked. (Although at the moment, I don't have any useful suggestions.)

    One nit-picky detail -- no comma is necessary after the word "abused."

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  15. P.S. I really like the fact that people can now revise their pitches before we vote, and I don't think it's necessary for us to see both pitches, as we're not voting which version we prefer. If we really want to compare the versions, we can go back and read the original.

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  16. Voted!

    I am a maybe. I have the same confusion as the other readers, and somehow the mention of abuse needs more clarification for me if it is to go in the pitch. Intriguing, though! :)

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  17. I'm a maybe on this one. I'm not a big fantasy reader.

    Like others, I was a little thrown off by the word "abused" since it is not explained how she is abused. I'm not that familiar with the nuances of MG, upper MG and YA, but my impression has been that abuse themes would be more YA. Maybe this is more "neglected" than "abused?"

    Also, I wonder about the girl having to turn into a boy. Why? How can she be the only one who can save the world when she has to turn herself into a boy to do so? What I mean is, when she does turn into a boy, what special skill will she then have that all the other potential world-saving boys don't have?

    It would be nice to know her name in the pitch so it feels more specific.

    The construction of the first 4 sentences seems a little flat to me. Maybe something like this:

    In a world where wizards have turned the sky green and caused streams to run pink, a fourteen-year-old princess is the only one who can restore order.

    Good luck with this one!

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  18. I forgot to say -- I do like having the opportunity to revise the pitch (thanks!) and I don't think it is necessary to read the old pitch alongside. The point is to be improving so it seems fair to read everyone's "best" version.

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  19. Oh, they all sounds so good. But I did indeed vote.

    I do love the title, Nothing but Blue Skies, but I'm just not a fantasy fan, so I probably wouldn't read it, but that has nothing to do with Sharron's pitch, which I thought was quite good.

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  20. Pennny KlostermannAugust 15, 2012 at 10:12 PM

    Tough to chose, but I voted!

    I am a maybe. I have read through the comments and I am with others about the word "abused." I agree that the tone of the pitch isn't consistent. You had me at "Wizards have turned the world topsy-turvy. The sky is green. The grass is purple. Streams are pale pink." The rest of the pitch seems to address a serious issue that doesn't track with the first few sentences. You know your story best and I think with the comments in this post you will be able to tighten your pitch and get across the crux of your story in a way that will appeal to readers.

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  21. I voted.

    I do like fantasy. Although I share similar concerns others already mentioned, I would read this book. It catches my attention.

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  22. Thanks, Angela, for your thoughts. Believe me, they are mine, too. I'm not sure how much to put into the pitch; I definitely don't want it too long. But then again, questions will be asked. As you have done. I'm hoping this gives me a foot in the door, so to speak, and the opportunity to expound on the pitch in person.

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  23. Thanks, Stacy. I've had an editor reading as I wrote. She thinks the 'explanations' are pretty strong and will carry the book. I'm hoping it will be read by boys and girls who are in the midst of puberty and struggling with their own identify issues.

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  24. Hi, Genevieve. I'm not giving the ending away -- but it will be happy. Does that help? The girl doesn't start out strong, but she learns how to be. And that is a good thing.

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  25. Yikes! thefeatherednest. A doctor's office is a great idea. The story started out transgender, but as I continued, it became a larger story for boys and girls who are struggling with their identity. No matter what they decide in the end.

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  26. Hi, Rachel. If we continue looking at an issue as boy vs girl, we diminish ourselves. IMHO. I went beyond that to who am I? Who do I want to be? The pitch, as Susanna said, has been a thorn in my side. I'll continue to hone it to make it more generic and yet more substantive. *heavy sigh* Thanks for your comments. Most appreciated.

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  27. Great comment, Coleen. My writing buddies suggested I take out the 'abused' word because it can denote many 'states' of life. It does work better without that word. I don't want the reader expecting one thing and getting another. Your comment cements my decision.

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  28. Good thought, Kid. The last line of the book is 'She looked up and saw nothing but blue skies.' Hence, the title. I'll give this some serious thought. Thanks!

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  29. Bless you, Vivian. I already took out 'abused.' It plays a role in her growth, but, in the hook, it only confuses. It's a great read. I know you'll enjoy it, once published.

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  30. Ah, Beth. I'm struggling with this blasted pitch. I took out abused. That's the easy part. It's the transgender, the who am I part, that is driving me mad. Thanks for commenting. This is a work in progress.

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  31. I know so many kids, Joanna, who struggle with their sexuality. I grew up in a household where boys were the only ones of value. I was horrified to discover that this is still a problem in way too many homes. And way too many countries. Pitch really has to be stronger. I'm working on it. Thanks, so very much, for commenting.

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  32. Ooh, Carrie. I like your pitch. I'm stealing it!

    She is abused, but not sexually. She is timid because of it, but learns, while a boy, how to be strong. But the word itself carries too many connotations and so I've deleted it.

    The culture she lives in precludes a girl from doing anything but sew, marry, and have babies. I might have to put that in the pitch.

    Thanks for all your thoughts. VERY helpful.

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  33. Bless you, Ruth. Reading fantasy can be a challenge for those who don't particularly like it. I appreciate your taking the time to tell me you liked the pitch.

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  34. Very astute, Penney. I know I want to keep the topsy-turvy world in the pitch. I'll give further thought to the change of tone.

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  35. If you like fantasy, Tiltonph, you'll like this. Lots of action, dragons, wizards, spells and intrigue. Along with a mighty dose of growing pains. Thanks so much for commenting.

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  36. I voted.

    I prefer voting for revised pitches. I remember how most of the four above were before. It was fun seeing the new versions.

    Thanks so much, Susanna, for the opportunity to post a pitch.

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  37. Thanks for voting, Sharron! And for letting me know your thoughts on the new pitch pick format. I'm so glad you wanted to pitch a second time and hope you've received some useful feedback!

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  38. Thanks for voting, Penny, and for your very thoughtful comments for Sharron!

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  39. Thanks for voting, Ruth, and for commenting for Sharron. i am still chickling over your post the other day :)

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  40. Thank you for your very thoughtful and helpful comment for Sharron, Carrie, and for your thoughts on the new format! I agree, but I suffered a moment of uncertainty so I thought I'd ask you guys what you thought :)

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  41. Thanks for voting, Joanna - that was one tough choice, wasn't it??? And thanks so much for chiming in for Sharron!

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  42. Thanks so much for your comments for Sharron, Beth, and for your thoughts on the new format! Much appreciated :)

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  43. Thanks so much for your comment for Sharron, Vivian, and for your support of the new format. I really like it and hope it will give people even more chance to benefit from the pitch experience.

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  44. I voted! It was hard y'all. If we could have the # of the original pitches, that would be great. I'd like to see from where/how the pitch was reworked.

    Sounds like this character is wrestling with demons from every direction. Is she being emotionally tortured (just wondering)? When I initially read the pitch, I had no idea that the character was dealing with issues regarding her sexuality. I know you don't want your pitch to be so long. However, if the crux of the story is about self discovery, initially painting the scene with pink streams, etc. could be eliminated. Hit us between the eyes in the beginning with her struggle of being in a world that is just as confusing as her feelings . It seems that the dragons tear is viewed as a curse but turns out to be a blessing of discovery. Oh, in case all of this nonsensical babbling didn't suggest it, I'd certainly read this.

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  45. Thanks for voting and for your very thoughtful comment for Sharron, Pam! :)

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  46. I like the new pitch pick, but I was not unhappy the other way! A great exercise and wonderful opportunity to learn something!

    The pitch is confusing. At the word 'abused', I am stopped in my tracks, then the dragon's tear spins me round. It seems like I would want to read it , but the pitch needs more solid footing. Pamela's suggestions seem good to me. Best of luck!

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  47. I'm glad you feel open-minded about trying the new pitch pick format, Julie, and thanks for your comment for Sharron! :)

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  48. I love fantasy so I would read it based on the genre alone. There is a lot going on in the pitch and it's hard to get a handle on the true conflict. Perhaps choosing which theme is primary (saving the world, dealing with abuse, or gender identity) and focusing on that in the pitch, making the other themes secondary. The three are competing for attention the way it is written here. It sounds like an interesting story and I do want to know what happens with your main character. Good luck!

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  49. Thanks for this insightful comment for Sharron, Heather - I think she'll find it very helpful!

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  50. I love fantasy so I would read it based on the genre alone. There is a lot going on in the pitch and it's hard to get a handle on the true conflict. Perhaps choosing which theme is primary (saving the world, dealing with abuse, or gender identity) and focusing on that in the pitch, making the other themes secondary. The three are competing for attention the way it is written here. It sounds like an interesting story and I do want to know what happens with your main character. Good luck!

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