February 20, 2013

Would You Read It Wednesday #77 - Herman's Super-Powered Heiney (PB)

Well, it's Wednesday.  I don't know how we got here so fast this week, but we did.  Which is not good, because I am still on Monday's work! (Er, possibly LAST Monday's...!)

I think a little Something Chocolate is in order, don't you?  Clearly some of us (ahem... the person in charge around here) need a swift kick to get us in gear, and what better kicker than chocolate?  (That is a rhetorical question!  The ONLY answer is of course... chocolate!)  Let me check my supplies...  Mmmm!  This looks tasty!
I feel more energetic and motivated already! :)

Now that we are all fortified with cake, I shall announce the winner of the January Pitch Pick.  I know you have all been waiting anxiously to hear who it is, since we had such a nail biting vote what with the tie and all.  It was a tough, tough choice, and all the pitches were terrific, but the winner for January is WENDY with her MG pitch for Civil.  Congratulations, Wendy, your pitch has already flown through cyberspace and awaits the attention of editor Erin Molta.  And congratulations and thank you to ALL our pitchers who bravely put forth their work so that we can all learn.

Today's pitch comes to us from Wendy G - not to be confused with Wendy L who won the January Pitch Pick!  Once a microbiologist, then an attorney, Wendy found her way to writing for children. A lover of jokes (good and bad), she roots for underdogs. You can connect with Wendy:

Website/blog: http://www.wendygreenley.com/

Facebook: http://facebook.com/wendy.greenley.3

Twitter: @WendyGreenley


Here is her pitch:

Working Title: Herman's Super-Powered Heiney Or Why Fireflies Should Never Drink Soda

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

The Pitch: One night, all the insects at a campground sip from a discarded cup of soda—all the insects except for the two fireflies, Herman and his sister, Tara. In HERMAN’S SUPER-POWERED HEINEY OR WHY FIREFLIES SHOULD NEVER DRINK SODA, a feisty, rule breaking firefly learns firsthand why he shouldn’t drink soda. It's Curious George mixed with A Bug's Life. A wacky picture book with a sibling friendship hook.
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 Wendy 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 March so we could really use some new pitches!  It's your chance to be read by editor Erin Molta!

Wendy is looking forward to your thoughts on her pitch!  I am looking forward to another slice of cake, getting caught up on my work (hahahahahahahaha!!!!! - you know, it's good for you to laugh!), and to seeing if any new pitches come in because we are going to run out soon!

Have a great day, everyone!

Reactions:

72 comments:

  1. I would read it just for the title alone, but I think I need some more details like maybe something that happens when he drinks soda. Fireflies are a great idea for characters!

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  2. Wendy, your pitch has sparked my interest! Yes, I would read it! My only confusion lies in the fact that it seems as if Herman hasn't drunk from the soda - so how does the problem arise? If he does partake, that lead in should be changed. Look forward to reading more.

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  3. Thanks, Patricia. He does (finally) give in to temptation. Have to make that clear.

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  4. Thanks, Erik! It's one of my favorite titles-some folks had suggested tone it down to No Fizzy Drinks for Fireflies and I have been torn.

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  5. Patricia touched on the only thing that confused me as well. Since you've addressed in your reply to her comment, then, YES, I would love to read this cute book. Sounds like it would be a fantastic read.

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  6. Thanks, Angela. I was worried I didn't tell enough about how the firefly "learns his lesson." Glad this piqued your interest enough.

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  7. Okay, here's a revised version for the later arrivals to read. It's a little wordier than the first, but it addresses the issue the earlier commenters had. Help me get this right!

    One night, all the insects at a campground sip from a discarded cup of soda. Herman and his sister, Tara know fireflies aren’t supposed to drink it--but Herman can't stop himself. In HERMAN’S
    SUPER-POWERED HEINEY OR WHY FIREFLIES SHOULD NEVER DRINK SODA a feisty, rule breaking firefly learns firsthand why fireflies shouldn’t drink soda.

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  8. Hi Wendy, I like the revised version much better, except I do not think you have to put the title in there, especially as this one is super long.


    Congrats to Wendy.

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  9. I struggled with your initial pitch, but you fixed my concerns in the revised version. Yes, this pitch makes me want to read the story. Great title!

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  10. I'm confused by your pitch. It implies that the firefly does not drink the soda but the title says the opposite. Grab the editor with your line without the title in it and instead, add more details of the plot. Also, make your title shorter and snappier. This concept sounds funny so it seems worth tweaking.

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  11. Hi Wendy, from my new critique group :0) I love this pitch, wouldn't change a thing. *waves* to Susanna!

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  12. This is the part of the pitch that hooks me.
    "In HERMAN’S SUPER-POWERED HEINEY OR WHY FIREFLIES SHOULD NEVER DRINK SODA a feisty, rule breaking firefly learns firsthand why fireflies shouldn’t drink soda."

    Too me that gives enough to make me want to read on. I think it sound hilarious.


    And congrats to the other Wendy on her win for January's Pitch Pick!

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  13. A rule breaking firefly? I'm hooked! Sounds cute and funny.

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  14. First of all, yes I would read it. I love a rule-breaking firefly! I'm torn about the word heiney, but from the earlier comments I am the only one with that issue. Also, I like the revised one better than the original, but it still says "all" the insects drank the soda, but then it sounds like Herman's sister didn't. So maybe "all" isn't what you need there. Besides that it sounds like fun, and I expect to see fireworks in the illustrations. Ka-boom....?

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  15. Of course I would read it. I want to know what happens when a firefly drinks soda.

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  16. Genevieve, you're not the only one with that issue. I don't care for the first half of the title and it doesn't make me want to read the book which, presumably, centers on fireflies farting.

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  17. You had me a microbiologist! LOL! Seriously, though, I would TOTALLY read this because I love pretty much any book about bugs, especially cute and feisty insects...add to that the evil of sodas, and how can I not love it? ;)


    Even if the pitch were just so-so (which it isn't; it's super-duper!), I would have been induced to say yes to it by the chocolate coma that Susanna's photo put in me (aha! That's why you post chocolate photos, isn't it, Susanna?)


    Seriously cool and hilarious concept, Wendy!

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  18. Yes, I would - anything that causes bugs to burp (my imagination is fueled) must be good! I would take out the comparison - the pitch needs to stand alone - and it can. Like Penny, I got hooked on the one sentence alone. Congrats to Wendy L., too!

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  19. Thanks, Joanna. I'm hoping the "real" title wouldn't be as long, but I worry that in a pitch an editor/agent would be turned off if they thought it was a story about a flatulent child! What to do...

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  20. Thanks, Alayne. Appreciate the support!

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  21. Thanks, Alison. This is exactly why I'm putting this out there.

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  22. Hi, Catherine! It's nice to see a new friend.

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  23. He doesn't fart! It just makes his light stay on!

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  24. Thanks, Penny. Let's hear it for Wendy week!

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  25. Thanks for taking a look, Coleen.

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  26. Thanks, Rose. I didn't want to give away what happened in the pitch-but I also don't want folks turned off by thinking the firefly is farting! Decisions, decisions.

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  27. Microbiologist doesn't usually get much applause. Thanks, Teresa!

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  28. Yes, I would read it -- sounds super fun and original. A couple of things: 1) The first sentence implies Herman did not drink the soda, which is opposite of where the story goes 2) I know generally what the story is about, but would benefit greatly by some examples of what happens 3) Your two titles are fun but I prefer the second. From the first one, I thought the story was going to be about Herman having gas. Looking forward to seeing more about this!

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  29. POSTED FOR RACHEL

    My computer still won't let me comment on your blog (boo!) but I think this sounds like a cute concept. But I was a little confused. It's probably just me, but how do they learn why fireflies shouldn't drink soda if the two fireflies are the only bugs that don't drink it?

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  30. Thanks for your very helpful comments for Wendy, Margaret! :)

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  31. Thanks for sharing your thoughts, Erik! Very enlightening! :)

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  32. Thanks for chiming in for Wendy, Patricia - very helpful!

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  33. Thanks, Joanna! I'm glad you got to see and comment on her update - I'm sure she'll find your thoughts very helpful!

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  34. Thanks for taking the time to read both, Alayne!

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  35. Thanks so much for chiming in, Julie, in spite of the fact that I exposed you to cake at this ungodly hour :)

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  36. Thanks so much for your thoughts for Wendy, Teresa! And really, I put the chocolate cake there to lure you into my web so you'll help our writers with their pitches :)

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  37. Thanks for your thoughts, Nancy. THat would be an important issue to resolve because I don't think you're the only one who might be put off by it... although Walter The Farting Dog doesn't seem to have any problems! (Well, aside from the obvious :))



























    nrhatch (unregistered) wrote, in response to Genevieve:

    Genevieve, you're not the only one with that issue. I don't care for the first half of the title and it doesn't make me want to read the book which, presumably, centers on fireflies farting.

    Link to comment
    IP address: 72.184.69.105

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  38. Thanks for chiming in, Genevieve - very helpful! :)

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  39. It does, doesn't it? Thanks for weighing in, Coleen! :)

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  40. Masterfully edited, Penny! Thanks for your thoughts! :)

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  41. So fun that you and Wendy are in crit group together, Catherine! Thanks for coming over to help with her pitch :)

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  42. Thanks so much for your suggestions for Wendy, Alison - very helpful! :)

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  43. I love fireflies - and yes, your edited version makes more sense.
    I can see a curious bug getting in lots of trouble, and sipping from the "forbidden cup" is too enticing to pass up.
    My guess is this has something to do with bioluminescence.... and maybe (since flashing signals is how they communicate) he gets his signals crossed and ends up saying rude things unintentionally?
    Give it a shorter title and I'd give it a read.

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  44. oh yeah, and thanks for the cake, Susanna. It is to die for! (I took a second piece... crumbs all over the keyboard and frosting smudges on the monitor.)

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  45. I would definitely read it! Sounds hilarious, actually. I think the pitch is a bit long and I think this would be stronger: In HERMAN’S SUPER-POWERED HEINEY OR WHY FIREFLIES SHOULD NEVER DRINK SODA, a feisty, rule breaking firefly learns firsthand why he shouldn’t drink soda. It's Curious George mixed with A Bug's Life.
    Good luck, Wendy!

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  46. Thanks so much for your helpful comments for Wendy comparing the 2 pitches, Sue! :)

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  47. So glad you enjoyed it, Sue! Now go over to Julie R-Z's FB page and see the piggies swimming in mud cake - cutest thing ever!

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  48. Thanks so much for sharing your thoughts with Wendy, B.J.! :)

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  49. You're right, Sue! It's his flasher that goes crazy. Thanks for your feedback on the title.

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  50. Thanks for the feedback, Rachel. I'm thinking it's wisdom passed down from the ages...

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  51. Thanks for the feedback, Margaret. I hope you get to see more!

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  52. I wondered about the comparison. Some agent/editors specifically ask for one, some don't.

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  53. Congrats to pitcher Wendy L...can't wait to read your published book!
    And yes, I would definitely read Wendy G's story...such a cute concept...I'm not crazy about the 'heiny' part in the title...but kids will love it! Don't know about mentioning the other books...I've been told that if you do that you have to tell how your book is unique and provides a different perspective. And keeping the pitch short seems to be the goal.:) Here's another thought:


    A discarded cup of soda in the campground trash barrel proves too much temptation for rule-breaking Herman. When the feisty firefly take a sip, fireworks of one sort or another ensue...and the winged beacon learns why he's been taught that fireflies should never drink soda.


    Thanks for the chocolate cake, Susanna...I think I need to make a cup of hot chocolate now...we are in for some snow.:)

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  54. Excellent pitch Wendy. Yes, I'd read it. Sound quirky and fun! I wouldn't mention the other books as it is a bit confusing, and I don't think it is needed. Your pitch is good without the mention.

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  55. Thanks for all your helpful comments and suggestions for Wendy, Vivian! And I'm so glad you enjoyed the cake. Every day is better with chocolate, don't you think? :) Hope you're getting pretty snow, not troublesome snow! :)

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  56. Thanks so much for your help for Wendy, Pat! :)

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  57. Thanks for the wonderful feedback, Vivian! You've read the first 250 words, haven't you? :)) I feel lucky to get such expert help.

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  58. Thanks, Pat. Quirky and fun are exactly what I'm going for.

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  59. I think the book sounds great. I would scratch the last two lines - I couldn't imagine what Curious George meets a Bug's Life would entail.

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  60. Thanks for your input, Lauri. So many great comments to process!

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  61. First, thanks so much for those who voted for my pitch! I'm so excited! Second, I LOVE LOVE LOVE the title of this book. I would read the book before I even got to the pitch! And I love the concept. One thing I didn't really understand is Herman's role. He's described as rule-breaking, and yet in the pitch it says he's the one who DOESN'T drink. BUt it says he learns a lesson, so maybe he does. But if he does after all the other bugs do, that seems less rule-breaking and more like following the others. So maybe there is something I'm missing? I do think comparing the the book to a mix of others can be useful, but in this case, I'm not sure. I think Curious George is a good comparison, because we know immediately what that means--a curious character who gets into trouble but is probably good-hearted. But I don't know much about A Bug's Life, so that didn't help me as much. Good luck with the pitch and the story!

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  62. Yes, I would read it. I sounds fun and your pitch promises a great character. I was confused by the 'everyone sips except for ...' and then '...why he shouldn't drink soda.' Unless you are implying that he gulped a lot more? It distracted me initially from the rest of your pitch. I think you packed a lot of information in your pitch, well done!

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  63. Thanks for your input for Wendy, Iza! I'm sure she'll be thrilled to know that the wonderful Iza Trapani admires her imagination - what a compliment! :)

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  64. Your story sounds great and I am very curious! I think the pitch is a little confusing and I am not sure about using the word "heiney" in the tile (inside ok). Personally, I think it's hysterical, but some people may object to it and it may deter them from looking inside the book. You have quite an imagination!

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  65. Congratulations again, Wendy! I'm sure you'll hear from Erin soon! :) And thanks so much for your thoughtful and helpful reply to Wendy!

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  66. Thanks so much for your input for Wendy, Lauri! :)

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  67. Thanks so much for chiming in to help Wendy, Yvonne! :)

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  68. I'm a maybe. The pitch was a little confusing, but I like the quirkiness of the title.

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  69. Thanks so much for chiming in for Wendy, Elaine!

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