February 5, 2014

Would You Read It Wednesday #120 - The STEM Girls: Rising Stars (PB) AND The Phyllis's Fun Fashion Show Winners!

You don't have to tell me.

The Groundhogs' unanimous prediction that we'd have 6 more weeks of winter was a little hard to take.

As we are currently being buried under what some say will be 6-12 inches of snow (and what others are saying will be 12-15 inches, and still others are saying 30+ inches) I guess they're right so far.  Dang and blast the little marmots!

(Uh, please don't tell Phyllis I said that!)

This calls for Something Chocolate.  And I have the perfect thing:  Happy Cake!
Don't you feel better just looking at it?  Doesn't it make you believe spring will come?  Soon?

I thought so :)

Help yourselves! :)

Now then.  Before we get to today's Would You Read It pitch, we have a small matter of business to attend to....

Ironing our socks!

Hee hee hee!  I'm just funnin' y'all :)

I know the real order of business is....

Who won Phyllis's Fun Fashion Show???

And the answer is...

Did I tell you about how Princess Blue Kitty (my car, for anyone who hasn't had the pleasure of making her acquaintance :)) is absolutely filthy?  Seriously, I have a theory that they put more salt and sand on the roads at the first hint of snow than they ever used to... Why, when I was a mere sprat, it could snow 2 feet and nary a morsel of salt nor sand did we see!  We just had to tough our way through it, depending on the survival lessons our Maw and Paw had taught us in our upper east side apartments about how kitty litter makes for great traction...

I'm sorry.  What were we talking about?

I believe I may have gone off on a tangent.

If you would all kindly stop distracting me with ridiculous stories about your cars, I would tell you that the winner of Phyllis's Fun Fashion Show was none other than

JOSIE!!!

Congratulations, Josie!  Apparently I wasn't the only one who loved your sweet sleepytime Phyllis in her cozy pink PJs and slippers with her lovable teddy!  Great job!

2nd Place goes to Gracie for her stunning depiction of Springtime Phyllis!  Congratulations on a gorgeous drawing, Gracie!

Interesting, isn't it, that first and second place went to 8 year olds?!  I think it's clear that the youngsters in this crowd are mighty talented!

3rd Place was a tie between Julie Ro-Zo with her incredible Phyllis-as-Elvis drawing, Nata with Phyllis's Allonge, and Beth with Opera Star Phyllis.  (I told you we had a tie problem!)  Congratulations, you three!  You are exceptionally talented for people who are technically older than 8 (although we know you are young at heart :))

Josie, Gracie, Julie, Nata-ie, and Bethie, (I didn't think we should break up the streak of -ie names :)) please email me and we'll get those prizes sorted out!  (And in case you've forgotten what the prizes are, you may view them HERE, and you may all have your choice of whichever one you want, even if you all want the same thing.  Oh!  And Pat Miller kindly offered to sign a bookplate for anyone who chooses Substitute Groundhog!)

Thanks to EVERYONE who participated in the Fashion Show!  You are all SO creative and talented, and supplied all of us with SUCH enjoyment during this wintry week!  Phyllis has never felt so well dressed!!! :)

My, that was exciting!  But now we have something equally exciting in a different way...

Today's pitch comes to us from Kristine who says, "I'm a stay-at-home mom who is truly living the dream: playing with my daughter by day and writing (if I don't fall asleep first) at night.  I couldn't be happier to have found the amazing children's book writing community that exists online, and I look forward to the day when I can fill a bookshelf with works by authors that I also can call friends."

Here is her pitch:

Working Title: The STEM Girls: Rising Stars
Age/Genre: Picture Book (ages 5-8)
The Pitch: Sophia, Isabella, Madison, and Emma learn that science is not only fun, but an adventure, when their new telescope runs out of batteries, and they have to use their combined talents to save their stargazing trip. The girls are as enthusiastic about science, technology, engineering, and math - the STEM subjects - as Fancy Nancy is about being a girly girl, and they even have their own STEM Girls club to prove it. They invite readers to join them on their adventure, asking "Do you have what it takes to be a STEM Girl?"

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 Kristine 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 you've got a little time to polish up your pitches and send yours for your chance to be read by editor Erin Molta!

Kristine is looking forward to your thoughts on her pitch!  I am looking forward to Friday because I have a most excellent book to share with you for PPBF, and also to not being snowed in anymore because we have done that enough times already and the novelty has worn off!

Have a wonderful Wednesday everyone!!! :)


Reactions:

168 comments:

  1. Ummm...YES!!!! Phenomenal!! Girls in the STEM fields is such an important issue right now and I LOVE this idea! I like the pitch and like that it is short, but I wonder if a reader not as excited about STEM would wonder if the book has enough plot and excitement to stand on its own--would there be a way to mention one or two exciting things that happen along the way to their fixing the telescope? And one slightly silly question: I thought it was funny that their initials almost spell STEM, except that Isabella starts with an I instead of a T. Is this a coincidence? A plot point? Or does it just mean I have too much time on my hands? :)

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  2. Congratulations to the winners!! That was a fun contest, especially since I didn't have to enter and could just enjoy other people's work. ;)

    Looove that cake! Almost made me forget the snow...and ice.

    As for the pitch, I would love to read it because I am a STEM gal at heart myself. But I do think the premise might be better suited for kids 7-10 than 5-8. I think the pitch could be shortened. The last sentence didn't add much to the pitch. Everything that is vital was mentioned in the first couple of sentences.

    I must be really old school because I've never heard of a telescope that needs batteries except for those that have automatic tracking systems. :)

    Hope you're staying warm and safe, Susanna!

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  3. Thank you for your excellent thoughts for Kristine, Wendy! I will be interested in her response about the names - I wondered that too!

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  4. P.s. I had a similar thought to Wendy re their names!

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  5. Thank you for your insightful comments for Kristine, Teresa! And do help yourself to as much cake as you like :) I am snug in my burrow, thank you, and hope you are too! It's only 7:29 AM and we have nearly a foot of snow already and it's still coming down HARD!

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  6. Yikes! We got a total of about maybe 6 inches with some ice on top (I'd rather have icing than ice...) but it looks like that's it for this storm. We're supposed to get another one by the weekend though. Holy moly! I want to swap Australia for some of their heat. :}

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  7. I know. Is it wrong to say I'm tired of winter??? The snow shows no signs of stopping any time soon here...

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  8. Congrats winners!
    I would read the story. I've been working on a few stem ideas too- I think there's a lot of room. My little girls love learning science. Shorten up the pitch. Break the first long sentence into two. Cut half the words from the next sentence and I think you're there. Why not make Isabella a "t" name? Then you'll have stem names!

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  9. Congratulations all you winners! Kristine, I am going to be annoying and ask if you have thought of making this into a chapter book (series) as it reads older than a picture book for me?

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  10. Sounds like a fun one for sure - I'd probably read it! I'd leave out the last sentence of the pitch and tighten up the rest. Also thing it sounds better for slightly older - and am intrigued about the name thing others have mentioned.

    And my kids have their seventh snow day of the school year today. Yay?? ;)

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  11. Hi Kristine- This is a great concept and I think there is totally room in the market for something like this. Right now, the pitch reads a little too message-y/lesson-y to me. I want to hear less about how they enjoy/learn about STEM topics, and more about the story and characters themselves. What's going to make us want to find out what happens in the story? That's not to say you shouldn't raise the STEM tie-in, because that's really important, but I think it could be in a second paragraph where you'd bring that up and maybe pitch a series?


    Also, I agree with Joanna that this sounds more like an early chapter book than a picture book. There doesn't seem to be one identifiable main character here, it's more about the group. What if you focused on one of the girls as the MC for this story, and then the other girls could be the MCs for other stories?


    Good luck with it, Kristine! :-)

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  12. This_Kid_Reviews_Books_ErikFebruary 5, 2014 at 8:51 AM

    CONGRATS JOSIE!!!!!!! (she's doing a happy dance) Congrats all of the other winners!
    I would read this book (even though I am a boy). I like the science part of it. I don't think I would compare it to Fancy Nancy but just tell what is cool about your book because it's a great idea! :)

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  13. Congratulations Josie and Gracie!!!! yipeee Hooray!!! you're both exceptionally talented artists!!!

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  14. Alayne Kay ChristianFebruary 5, 2014 at 9:14 AM

    I think most things have been covered. In addition to the things mentioned, I have a few comments about the following passage. My comments build on the other comments. "Sophia, Isabella, Madison, and Emma learn that science is not only fun, but an adventure, when their new telescope runs out of batteries, and they have to use their combined talents to save their stargazing trip." If Sophia is the main character, I would simply say, Sophia and friends (or and her friends) learn . . . - A dead battery doesn't seem like a sustainable story problem. I'd like to have a clearer idea of how they use their talents to save their stargazing trip. Is it really the trip that they are trying to save? Or are they in need of a new battery or telescope?

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  15. Congrats Josie! I'm with Phyllis today in my PJs.
    I like this book. I wondered about so many characters and whether it is a higher age book too?
    It seems like they already know that science is fun, since they have their own club.
    Maybe skip the not only fun … but also an adventure part.
    Make it more about saving their stargazing trip and putting their STEM skills to the test.
    Sophia and her friends' stargazing trip is in jeopardy when their telescope runs out of batteries. The girls must use their STEM Girls Club — science, technology, engineering, and math - talents to see the stars. Maybe an example of what they have to do? Is one girl the leader and they use teamwork to solve their dilemma? Good luck.
    SNOW SNOW here too. Still pretty sparkly, but very cold.

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  16. Alayne Kay ChristianFebruary 5, 2014 at 9:15 AM

    I forgot to congratulate Josie and all the other Phyllis's Fun Fasion Show winners

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  17. I guess I'm more Fancy Nancy than STEM, because my first thought was, "Telescopes have batteries??" Ugh. That being said, I love strong, smart girl characters so I would read this like crazy (and learn a few things in the process...). I think the pitch can do without the last sentence. Good luck with it.

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  18. congrats to the 8-year-olds (even the ones technically over 8)!
    Now the pitch: I love the idea but ditch "STEM girls". I am totally STEM, but I think you should sneak it in. Could their names each start with a letter? Otherwise I'm guessing each is has a specific geeky love (science, math...) Reminds me of a book where a girl emphatically states "Insects are my life". Anyway - I would def. read the pitch. But - heck- I am such a STEM girl.

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  19. Thanks so much for your helpful thoughts for Kristine, Sue! And I've got to wonder... if I was 8, could I draw? I think I missed my chance :)

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  20. I like your point that Fancy Nancy types might learn from a STEM story, Genevieve. So true! Thanks for your helpful comments for Kristine!

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  21. Congratulations winners! Yes, I'd read this book. Actually, I just read an article on Yahoo about a girl who wrote LEGO, complaining most of the Lego minifigures are for boys and the boys' legos are more adventurous than the ones for girls. So this story would really fit in our culture. For the pitch though, I don't know if kids would recognize STEM in the title. How about the science girls? kind of like PBS has a cool show for girls called the scigirls? Also, I'd get rid of the second part of the pitch where you explain what stem is. The part that starts "the girls are enthusiastic as..."

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  22. Thank you for your very helpful suggestions for Kristine, Stacy! We're all in PJs here too! We've gotten about a foot of snow, but the sound on the windows indicates it has just turned to ice... I'm glad I don't have to drive anywhere for awhile!

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  23. Thank you so much for your helpful insights for Kristine, Alayne!

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  24. They really are, aren't they? And so young! :)

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  25. I'm glad Josie is doing a happy dance - she deserves it! And I'm guessing you guys have the day off from school - everything is shut down in our neck of the woods - so more happy dancing :) Thanks for your thoughts for Ms. Poptanich, Erik - I'm sure she'll find them helpful and like having a boy's POV.

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  26. First things, first- Wow! What a cake! If it wasn't for all the snow, I'd be over right now!

    Congratulations to all the winners and to those who entered for their wonderfully creative artwork!

    As for the pitch, I found it a bit confusing. Why not just replace the dead batteries? I imagine there is another greater problem that prevents their stargazing, and some hint to that needs to be mentioned. I think too much emphasis is put on the Stem Girls rather than their dilemma. I would focus the pitch more and shorten it.
    But, yes, I would read it, because girls who are not girly and who enjoy science will relate to it,and perhaps even girly girls might gain some interest in things beyond their tutus and tiaras!

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  27. Thank you for your helpful and insightful thoughts for Kristine, Carrie!

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  28. Thanks for your thoughts for Kristine, Joanne! And wow! 7 snow days. It seems like more! :)

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  29. yes!!!!!!!! Kids drawings are so special! next time my daughter Bella would like to enter a future contest :)

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  30. I wondered about that too, Joanna! Thanks for mentioning it!

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  31. Congratulations Josie! I loved Phyllis in PJs, too! And congrats to Gracie and my fellow not-exactly-8-year-olds as well. (Does it count that at my next birthday I'll be a number that ends in 8?) Opera Star Phyllis is delighted that she has tied for 3rd, and I have a feeling I'll be hearing groundhog arias all day in celebration!

    Now the pitch -- everyone has already said the things I was going to say. Yes, I would read it, but I would like more about the story in the pitch rather than several mentions of STEM. I'm with the others who expected the names to have the same initials as STEM -- I think that would be cool. I really liked Stacy's suggested rewording.

    Good luck with your story, Kristine!

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  32. Thanks for your helpful suggestions for Kristine, Lauri! :)

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  33. Bravo for the LEGO girl! I hope LEGO follows up! I have long thought about that issue! And thanks for your comments for Kristine, Tina :)

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  34. Congrats to Josie! Now, as for the pitch, I would definitely read it! I think (as was already mentioned) that I would make the girls initials spell STEM. As an educator, there is a huge push for STEM projects in school, so I think this has great marketability! Good luck, Kristine!

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  35. Thanks for your comments for Kristine, Elaine! And... looks like another snow day :) Sledding anyone?

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  36. Congrats to YOU, Beth! Phyllis and I were VERY fond of Opera Star Phyllis. So much so, in fact, that she is refusing to wear anything but a Viking helmet (which was her favorite part.) It's magical in the bathtub :) Thanks for your thoughts for Kristine!

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  37. Hitch Jambo to the toboggan! I'll be waiting for you... in my PJs :) And thanks for your very helpful thoughts on Kristine's pitch!

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  38. Oh shucks! She should have done this one! But no worries. I'm sure we'll have some other wacky scheme going on again soon :)

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  39. next time!

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  40. Kristine, Great pitch! I would definitely read on. You may want to explain what STEM stands for. Much success with your book.

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  41. Susanna, I let the dog out and I lost her. She sank right in! (I think there is a PB story in there somewhere) Enjoy the day! :)

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  42. Great idea, great pitch! STEM is becoming a very common hot topic, so I wouldn't worry about people wondering what it stands for. Hooray for brainy girls!

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  43. Definitely! :) My dogs just now decided they had to go out... in the snow/ice mix... and they are forging through snow up to their chests, barely able to go forward!

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  44. Hooray indeed! Thanks for chiming in, Nancy! :)

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  45. I echo Stacey's and Alayne's thoughts below. I would read it but it does sound more like a chapter book to me too. I'd like to hear more about the girls' problem solving skills and the real problem(may need a bigger one than the battery in telescope idea) in the story in the pitch. Congrats to the fashion show winners-they were all adorable!

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  46. Thanks for your thoughtful comments for Kristine, Ann - I know she'll find them helpful! And I know - everyone did such a good job with the fashion show I wish they all could have won!

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  47. Wow, what a beautiful cake. Congrats to the all the fabulous winners. Phyllis must be pleased. :-)

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  48. She is very pleased! But also hiding because the weather is very bad and she is afraid of being blamed!

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  49. Yay Josie! Pj's all the way. :-)

    I like the suggestions already made on the pitch. My fear in asking "Do you have what it takes to be a STEM Girl?"
    is that a non-stemmer will reply NO! and close the book. Perhaps a more open ended question, or just delete it. Great job!

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  50. So cool that youngsters won. Congrats to Josie and all the winners! Great pitch. I agree with Cathy about the ?

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  51. Congrats to all the winners! Phyllis should feel no shame for the weather. Bad weather plus: Blow bubbles, and the BUBBLES FREEZE!


    Adore the science-loving supergirls. They could be HUGE. But I agree with others: A bit more focus on the story would perk it up, with perhaps a bigger conflict than batteries, and a hint of weird science solutions.


    One question I'd ask is if you want it to be a chapter book or a PB. If you want a PB, maybe you could focus on one or two main characters and a simple story arc (conflict re: stargazing trip, but no club). But if you really like having all the girls, the club, and a more involved conflict, I'd go for the chapter book. What does the book want?

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  52. We are having a crazy snowstorm here in NH also...great day for being in PJs.
    Congrats to Josie!!! And the other winners!!! And to everyone who participated...what a fun fashion show. :)
    Thanks for the cake...perfect with the hot chocolate I just made.:)
    Kristine...I would definitely read this book - I like many of the pitch fixes suggested already - having their names be the letters of STEM...you are 3/4 of the way there already; saying Sophia and her friends; cutting the last sentence...it might turn off kids who are not science and math brained...and perhaps it is on this adventure where the batteries run out that several other incidents take place that call for the teamwork of these clever girls, each using her specialty to save the day.

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  53. Oh,wow--great pitch, and I think the timing is perfect! There seems to be huge interest in STEM and in girls getting involved in science. I love the attitude behind, "Do you have what it takes..." I didn't know telescopes took batteries, but all in all I love this pitch and YES, I would read it! Good luck with this, Kristine!

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  54. Thanks so much for your comments for Kristine, Deborah! :)

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  55. Thanks for your helpful suggestions for Kristine, Vivian! Enjoy your cozy jammie day :)

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  56. Really? Bubbles freeze? I never tried that! And of course I won't until all my work is done. You won't see me out on the back porch with the Mr. Potato Head bubbles, nosirree bob! :) Thanks for your comments for Kristine!

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  57. That is the happiest Dr.Seuss/AliceinWonderland/FancyNancy cake I've ever seen :D :D :D

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  58. You go work! And I won't tempt you at all with this Frozen Bubble recipe: http://blog.highlights.com/post/75082710237/what-can-you-do-when-its-freezing-outside-blow#.UvKhj5CPLhl
    :P

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  59. Thank you Deborah - I love all the help, support, advice, etc. You've given on FB since I started this journey! And yes, these modern telescopes are crazy!

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  60. I love the names idea - easy enough to do! Will get on it. Thank you Vivian for everything you do on FB and now here to keep me on the straight and narrow!

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  61. Stacy! I always love your comments. That is EXACTLY what I've been struggling with - I want the girls and the club, but I'm just struggling to fit it all in. I can definitely up the action, and I'll give serious thought to the chapter book idea. I've just heard that it's really hard to break in on that front, but hard isn't anything new for PB writers - right?!

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  62. Such a great perspective Cathy - I'll find something more inviting. Love the suggestion - thank you!!!

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  63. Thanks Ann! I've been struggling with that issue, and no matter which way I go, I'll find a better conflict! I'll also be sure to address the problem solving, as you are so right to point out how important that is!!

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  64. Nancy!! You just made my day with your hooray for brainy girls comment!! When this gets published, I'm going to track you down and send you a copy!

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  65. Thanks Robin! I'll definitely be careful about my use of it. I didn't realize it wasn't as common a term as I thought. That's why this is such a helpful exercise - thank you for commenting! I really appreciate it!!

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  66. Crazy cake - how would you cut it? Congrats to Josie and Gracie and my tie-mates! Always a good idea to get involved in another hair-brained scheme!

    As to Kristine's pitch, of course I would read a book that combines stars and telescopes and kid-smarts! But I would tighten it. I don't need to know their names yet, and I don't need a comparison to Fancy Nancy. I would also refrain from using questions in a pitch. Also, based on the content, I would have thought this is a chapter book, at least an early one. Good luck, Kristine.

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  67. Thank you so much Elaine! I have so much respect for educators - it really helps to know that it fits well with the current pushes. Love your aviator btw - you two look so happy!

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  68. Beth - I love the name idea, and I'm definitely going to do it! Consider it done (as soon as I get to a computer). I'll definitely work on putting more story in, and thank you so much for taking time to comment!! It helps so much!!

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  69. But who is going to keep ME on the straight and narrow? :) :)

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  70. I&A - I LOVE your tutus and tiaras comment!!! LOVE IT! You are absolutely right, and I'll beef up the conflict and make sure the dilemma doesn't play second fiddle to the club angle!! Thanks for the great feedback!

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  71. Okay, autocorrect thought I&A was the same as Iza - silly autocorrect!!

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  72. Tina - great suggestions, and I loved the LEGO story! The President talked about STEM in the State of the Union as well, so I'm keeping my fingers crossed that I can make this MS as strong as the girls and subject deserve!

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  73. I love that you are a STEM girl Sue, and I'll definitely give a lot of thought to sneaking the term in, versus throwing it out there so much. They do each have a specific geeky love, and I can't wait to get back to it now after all these great comments!!

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  74. Consider the last sentence gone Genevieve! I love anyone who is more fancy nancy, but would read this, as I really want to make sure girls don't see it as either or!! Thanks again!!

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  75. Yay! That coming from you Alayne makes my day! I have so many great comments and suggestions from everyone that hopefully by the time you do see it on bookshelves you'll be proud! Go Sub Six!!

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  76. Wow - love the re-write Stacy! I definitely see where you are going with your suggestions, which would help reconcile all that I'm trying to shove in the MS! I know the age is pushing it, and I'll definitely keep an eye on word choice so that I don't outpace my audience! I want kids to love it, and they won't if they can't relate right! Thanks again - awesome comment!

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  77. Of course I will read it! I love books that show girls being interested in math and science. As for the pitch, the first line is good but I don't think the next two lines work. We can already tell from the first line that the girls like science. As for the STEM connection you would want to mention that in your query but in the following paragraph which touches on market appeal. With the pitch all you should be trying to do is "sell the story idea", why is it interesting to read. So now expanding on the first line the last part "use their combined talents to save their stargazing trip" feels a little flat. Can you give us some hints, entice us? I would really like to read this story, hope you post it to our critique group when it's ready. :-)

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  78. Such a good point about "and friends," and I definitely hear you and everyone about batteries not being enough. I'm going to go back and supercharge their problems - make the girls really work for their adventure!

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  79. Great pitch, Kristine! I love the idea of the "STEM Girls" - very unique! In fact, I keep imagining an early-reader series. The only thing I could suggest is to tighten your focus on the story's conflict and let go of some of the extraneous details. Otherwise, it sounds really fun! Yes - I would definitely read this! :)


    Now, Susanna - about these tasty cakes - I am now on a diet, so I do not appreciate the temptation. Humph! I mean, bathing-suit season is right around the corner! ;)


    Oh, and congratulations to all of the Phyllis Fashion Show winners - all of the entries were fabulous!


    That's all! Keep up the good work, Kristine!

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  80. Erik - thank you for the comments. I'll definitely drop the Fancy Nancy reference, and I'll definitely find a way of working boys in if this gets picked up for a series. I'll name him Erik :)

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  81. Thanks Carrie!!! I will definitely re-focus on one of the girls more in the pitch, as the book certainly is from one POV. Great point for sure. I'll also try to tone down the Message-y ness :). Thanks so much - two really great points, and I'll try to do them justice in the revisions!

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  82. Growing up in Southern California I got ZERO snow days in all the years I went to school!

    As for your comments, I hear you. My goal, in my revisions, is going to be to change that "probably" to absolutely, and with all the great suggestions I certainly have the ideas to do it!

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  83. Snow days are new to me too - never had them growing up in So Cal either - though I think I'd prefer them to the smog alerts that kept us in from recess (though we didn't get to miss school for those!).

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  84. Not an annoying question at all Joanna, as I ask it of myself all the time, and you certainly aren't the first to voice it after hearing the idea!

    I am definitely not opposed to the idea, but I've heard chapter books are even harder to sell than PB?

    I'll definitely think about it some more, and thanks so much for being honest! It helps, even if I'm not sure what to do!

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  85. Definitely on the name change! It's a great idea! I'm so glad to hear that there are others carrying the torch as well!! Love the line edit suggestions - easy to implement, and I agree, they would make it much tighter. Thank you Lauri!!

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  86. They are a harder sell and really need to be pitched as a series. Right now Kate Messner is doing really well with her Marty McGuire science/animal geek girl series.

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  87. You guessed it Teresa - automatic tracking :). I love that you're a STEM gal at heart, and you are absolutely right about the last sentence.

    I'll definitely give the age range issue serious thought. I am completely torn about whether to jump up to CB or keep it a PB, but either way, I really appreciate your candid thoughts on the issue!

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  88. Consider it done!! Maybe my at will be. . . .Teresa :)

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  89. Congratulations Josie and to all the other winners of the Phyllis fashion contest.
    Yes, I really like the idea of the STEM Girls, and Darshana gave you some good advice. It needs tightening. Some of the material could go into a query letter. But, I see this as having great potential to be a series.

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  90. Wendy!!! I have stared at this MS forever at this point and never noticed that!!!!! I LOVE THE IDEA!! I am definitely going to change the I name, and your comment brought such a smile (ok, GRIN!) to my face. I just got a rejection yesterday that had me down, but all these great comments, starting with your phenomenal idea, and energy have me chomping at the bit to get back to revising this MS.

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  91. Fabulous point Martha about tightening it up - and you now know what you're going to be seeing I our new critique group ;)

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  92. Will do RE critique group! Love the way you described it - keep the story to the pitch, the stem to the market appeal - great and easy way to think of it! Thank you!!!

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  93. Julie - sage advice as always! Consider the edits made, and I'll definitely think about the early reader angle!! Thank you so much for commenting!!!

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  94. I absolutely love this premise. My thoughts are it's is hard to know who is the real driving character. Is it Sophia, or are all 4 girls equal shares in the development of the story. I also think you should start with their problem.
    Ie,
    When Sophia, Isabella, Madison, and Emma learn their new telescope is out of power, they have to use their combined talents to save their stargazing trip. The girls are as enthusiastic about science, technology, engineering, and math - the STEM subjects - as Fancy Nancy is about being a girly girl, and they even have their own STEM Girls club to prove it. They invite readers to join them on their adventure, asking "Do you have what it takes to be a STEM Girl?"
    Have you also found any comparative titles other than Fancy Nancy. Although it is a good comparison for the style of your book, I think you would benefit by finding comparative titles that highlight science side of your book.
    Best wishes with the, I would read this in a heart beat.

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  95. Scanning through later comments, I see I'm not the only one who thought this might be better as a CB. :) But don't let that discourage you! It's certainly worth exploring it fully as a PB before trying it as a CB, especially if you really envision it as PB.

    Best of luck with it, Kristine!

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  96. I would definitely read this book - great role models for young girls! As for the pitch - I agree with Julie Grasso's rewording of the first sentence. I actually like the last sentence - to me it speaks of the exclusivity of being in a coveted group.with smart girls to boot!

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  97. Patricia!!! Yes! I am desperately hoping it has series potential! I'll work on tightening it, for sure! That you so much for your comment - I'm glad I'm not the only one that thinks this could have legs (since I'm obviously totally biased)!

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  98. Congratulations to all the winners. Great stuff!!


    I would absolutely read it. It sounds like the beginning book of a great series girls will love. There is such a good place in the market for this. Good luck with this one.

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  99. It kind of fills you with happiness, doesn't it, Donna? Or it would if it wasn't virtual... :)

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  100. Who said anything about cutting it? Just dive in headfirst :) Thanks for your helpful thoughts for Kristine, Julie :)

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  101. Great ideas, Darshana! Thanks so much for pitching in! :)

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  102. Thanks for your thoughts for Kristine, Martha. As for bathing suit season, it's already here if you're Phyllis - she got quite a few bathing suits to model :) And now that she's run away to the Bahamas, she's getting to wear them all every day :)

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  103. I grew up in NYC. Glad I never had a smog alert!

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  104. It sounds great, doesn't it, Pat? Thanks for your helpful thoughts for Kristine!

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  105. It's a very appealing premise, isn't it, Julie? Thanks so much for all your helpful suggestions for Kristine!

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  106. Bet you never had an earthquake drill either, Susanna. :)

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  107. Fabulous point on finding comparisons to the subject Julie!! I'll definitely work on that, and absolutely agree - need to make sure there is a driving character. I love your example, and thank you SO much for taking the time to give me such substantive suggestions!!!

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  108. Beth I am so lucky to have found you as a writing partner! I can't wait to tighten it up and get it to you for critique!! Your thoughts on this subject have been awesome, and did I mention how lucky I was to find you as a writing partner ;)

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  109. Rosi - your comment is so nice. I can't wait to make it a reality now - I owe it to you and everyone who commented to make my MS worthy of all the great support!

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  110. Yes! I would definitely read it. I already want to know more about their talents :) However, maybe you can add a little more to the tension like what will happen if they don't get new batteries. But as is, I'd still want to read it. My sister is doing her Phd in engineering and sometimes, during her undergrad studies, she would be the only female in her class. She volunteers now going to schools to talk to girls about STEM and more precisely, engineering to encourage more girls to join this field. So YES, I would read it. we need more books like it.

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  111. I would read it! My 4th grade son is in a STEM class. They did away with GATE and one of the replacement advanced electives is STEM. Love too that girls are interested in typically boy interests.

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  112. Thanks for chiming in with your thoughts for Kristine, Pia! :)

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  113. I agree, Saba! And how cool that your sister takes the time to encourage other young women to pursue STEM subjects!

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  114. Oh, great! I can't wait! :)

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  115. Ahhhhh...the Bahamas... :)

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  116. I agree about the series potential Rosi. Girls need role models like these girls.

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  117. Yes! Great idea. My niece is a rocket scientist. At her school there was this saying about dating: The odds are good, but the goods are odd. Time to change both of those odds!!

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  118. I love that your niece is a rocket scientist, Keila! I never really thought about it being an actual job - just something people say - you know, "It's not rocket science!"

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  119. And she is a girly girl too! The are actually aerospace engineers and her post grad worked focused on jet engines. Funny story. Sitting at her dad's house (my brother's) one day we were in a discussion about something and he said, ''You need to be a rocket scientist to understand blah, blah, blah." She raised her hand ever so politely and said, ''I'm a rocket scientist dad, can I help?'' Of course we all cracked up...

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  120. Yes! You have a faaabulous premise, Kristine. PB or chapter book--STEM Girls will rock!

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  121. I would read it--I'm all for encouraging girls to pursue their interests and realize their potential (although I do like Fancy Nancy). Do you realize that if Isabella's name started with a "T," the first letters of their names would spell out STEM?

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  122. This_Kid_Reviews_Books_ErikFebruary 6, 2014 at 10:48 AM

    Awww... I'm honored! :D

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  123. Alayne Kay ChristianFebruary 6, 2014 at 11:08 AM

    Sounds like an excellent plan, Kristine. Enjoy the adventure!

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  124. Alayne Kay ChristianFebruary 6, 2014 at 11:10 AM

    Seeing it on the shelves will be one exciting day. Looking forward to it. I'm so glad you had the courage to post your pitch. You have gotten some excellent feedback.

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  125. Thanks so much for your thoughts and suggestions for Kristine, Belinda! :)

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  126. Thanks so much for your input, Lacey! :)

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  127. Congrats to all Phyllis fashionistas. This contest was a hoot!

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  128. I'm glad you enjoyed it, Mike. Even though you were... ahem... allegedly unable to participate...! :)

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  129. I would definitely read it. I want to encourage girls to love science and know that they too can have adventures. Like the idea of a series.

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  130. Thanks so much for chiming in for Kristine, B. I know she'll appreciate it :)

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  131. This sounds like I book I would want to get for my daughters (if they were still young enough to read picture books).

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  132. Why can't my cakes ever look like that??? Or even somewhere in the same facility!

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  133. Thank you Pia for the vote of support. I had a HUGE plot breakthrough this morning. I think it was all the energy of you guys and your comments! I can't wait for everyone to see what's in store for the girls!

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  134. Saba - that is so awesome!! I'll chat with you more about her in our group - and I can't wait to share the draft with you! I think the tension comment is spot on, and I hope I've addressed it!

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  135. Pia, that is a great piece of Intel - I hadn't heard about them doing that! I'd love to hear more, if you're open to it!

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  136. Hahaha - that is so awesome. You must be ridiculously proud of her! I love that she's a girly girl too - some of the comments here have helped me clarify that I really want to show that all girls can be STEM girls!

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  137. Very cute saying - if these girls end up a series I may have to borrow that! If her name starts with a T let me know - the awesome group consensus is I need a T name!

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  138. You are absolutely right - consider it done! I definitely want to make the message that all girls can be STEM girls - so less competition, and more inclusion for sure!

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  139. I hadn't Belinda until you and others mentioned it, because their individual STEM talents hadn't aligned to their names, BUT I love the idea. I'm looking for awesome T names now!! And I definitely am dropping the Fancy Nancy reference, as Keila and others have shown that they aren't mutually exclusive types of girls! Any girl can be STEM girl! That's my new motto!

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  140. Yay!! I love all the series support! I can't wait until everyone can see the changes you guys have inspired!

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  141. How about Tess? Although it's shorter than Sophia, Emma and Madison...

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  142. Thanks for the comment - high praise indeed! I guess I need to start thinking about what to write for when the girls grow up. They may not catch up with your daughters fast enough (kids grow up too fast!), but it's a great idea to start thinking about!

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  143. I just wanted to share my excitement with everyone. This morning, while thinking through all the great advice and suggestions, I came up with a solution that I think you guys are going to love for how to deepen the conflict. I really cannot begin to capture my gratitude for all the comments. You guys are absolutely, positively amazing. Thank you, thank you, thank you from the bottom of my heart!

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  144. Yay! how exciting, Kristine! I'm sure I speak for all of us when I say we can't wait to see it in print :)

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  145. Oh Stacy - you really are such an awesome member of this community!!!

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  146. One of my daughter's best friends is a mechanical engineer and she is so girly she worked in a designer boutique every summer during high school. Now she has to learn how to accessorize steel toe boots! LOL

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  147. Yeah, I really am completely overwhelmed by the amount of support and fabulous comments. We have such an amazing community!!!

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  148. Yeah, nobody talks about the adventure behind the adventures that we all write :). I'm so excited though - this morning I finally had my aha moment. I couldn't be happier :). You know that feeling!! It's the best!

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  149. I'll totally use your avatar as my inspiration when I write him :)

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  150. And the little food kits you had to bring at the start of the year just in case the big one hit, and your parents couldn't pick you up right away . . .

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  151. Tara? You can always check out names at name berry.com

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  152. Yep :) GLAD to be in the Midwest (even though I got stuck at the end of my driveway today for the THIRD time since Sunday - silly snow plow drivers!)

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  153. Have y'all heard about this toy company called GoldieBlox started by a female engineer? LOVE this advertisement! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IIGyVa5Xftw&list=TL5wOJ-epnayZRCe5BhaSIB6dhdttfXs-X

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  154. I've heard of the product, but not seen that commercial - awesome! :)

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  155. katrinamoorebooks.comFebruary 10, 2014 at 6:44 PM

    I would read it! As an elementary school teacher and an author, I see this fitting in well with school-aged students. There is a need for more women in the STEM fields, and this book sounds like a great way to inspire young girls to get excited about STEM! :)

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  156. Thanks so much for chiming in, Katrina! It's great to get a teacher's perspective!

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