February 12, 2014

Would You Read It Wednesday #121 - Fee Fi Fo Flub (PB) AND Straight From The Editor AND The January Pitch Pick!

Sorry I missed you all on Monday.

I've got 5 words for you:

Man cold in the house!

'Nuff said :)

So!  We've got a doozy of a day!

Sometime in the holiday swirl, we lost track of Straight From The Editor for the November Pitch Winner.  Luckily, the people in charge around here are Extremely Alert and tend to notice such ball-dropping incidents within 2 to 3 months :)  So here is Straight From The Editor for November 2013 :)

You will recall that the winner was Steve with his picture book pitch for Rashad Saves The World.  Here is his pitch:

Rashad is tired of being the youngest and the least important member of his family. When he learns at school that he can save the world, he leaps straight into action and straight into trouble with his family as cell phones disappear down toilets and ice cream turns into soup. And when he accidentally demolishes the garden of his fearsome next door neighbour, his career as a Super Hero seems to have come to an abrupt end. Will he still be able to save the world? Perhaps he already has …

And here is what editor Erin Molta had to say about it:

Sounds like a cute story! But it’s a little confusing and an editor would spend too much time trying to figure out what exactly you mean. I think this sentence needs to be more clear: straight into trouble with his family as cell phones disappear down toilets and ice cream turns into soup. Why would his family’s cell phones disappear? Is he trying to save them from cell phone brain damage or is he using the cell phones to create something? Ice cream into soup also needs a clarifier. Brief and then you don’t need the bit about his neighbor.

As always, I find Erin's thoughts extremely helpful!

Now, I'm sure we're all feeling a bit peaked after all that reading and processing, so how about a sustaining snack?

In celebration of Valentines Day which is practically here, let's have Something Chocolate :)
From The Girl Who Ate Everything
Isn't that a thing of beauty?  And deliciousness? :)

Next item on the agenda is the December/January Pitch Pick.  We have 5 fabulous entries:

#1 Beth
Tomboy Rules: Blossoms Are Always Prepared (MG)

Mabel is so close to playing baseball she can almost see her spitting distance improving.Mabel's mom thinks she should work on sitting still instead. So they make a deal: Mabel can play baseball in the spring, but only if she learns to fit in with the local Blossoms Troop first. But that isn’t easy. Mabel turns square dancing into a contact sport, saves a spider like she’s sliding into second base, and wolfs down the entire cookie sale stash. That’s three strikes and she’s out of Blossoms, but Mabel is not about to let that stop her. She sneaks to the campsite to make amends and discovers she isn’t the only intruder crashing the camp-out. With the Blossoms trapped between a smelly skunk and a sizzling fire, Mabel realizes that she’s the only one who can save the Blossoms from the stinky situation.

#2 Rena
The Witch's Brew - (YA)

Ten years after the disappearance of sibling pair Hansel and Gretel, Gretel’s body is unearthed. All evidence points to Carmen Caramelo a.k.a. the Candy Witch. Fuelled by her own false arrest and her growing attraction to the witch’s son, sixteen-year-old Amy Faye, will stop at nothing to prove Carmen’s innocence. Unfortunately for Amy, that also means risking her reputation, her friendships and even her life, all in the name of justice. John Grisham’s The Accused meets Bill Willingham’sFables: Peter and Max.

#3 Joy
Tell Me About The Baby (MG Verse)
After the death of her parents, 13 year old Sara moves in with her older brother and his pregnant wife. With a brother who acts like her father, and a sister-in-law who resents having a teen to raise before she's even had a baby, Sara grieves for her old life.  Used to being the baby of the family, Sara isn't  happy with this new arrangement. Will she find a way to adjust to her new life?

#4 Kirsten
Gwynivere The Ear Finds Her Nose (PB ages 5-7)
Gwynivere the Ear, self-proclaimed superhero, can hear citizens in distress from miles away.  Unfortunately, chaos seems to follow Gwynivere closely; almost as closely as her arch nemesis, Nosy Rosy.  And, as much as Gwynivere proclaims that “superheroes don’t need help,” she will soon discover that everyone can use a helping hand (or nose) once in awhile.

#5 Stacy
Simon Wants To Help - (PB ages 4-8)
Simon's idea of helping isn’t the same as his mother’s. He empties the bookshelf, dusts the floor with his body, and scatters toys around his room. Simon feels his assistance isn’t needed, until one turn of a lock gives him a chance to make things better.

Please vote for the pitch you feel most deserves a read by editor Erin Molta in the poll below by Sunday February 16 at 5 PM EST.

Many thanks!

Now, finally!, today's pitch comes to us from Pam B, whom we met before with her pitch for Flood Dogs last April (WYRI #82).  Pam says, "Professionally I was a 3rd and 6th grade teacher before becoming an instructor in Early Childhood and Adolescent Education at Bloomsburg University.  Currently I’m taking time away from teaching to focus on my family and my writing.  You can follow me on Twitter @PamBrunskill."

Here is her pitch:

Working Title: Fee Fi Fo Flub
Age/Genre: Picture Book (ages 4-8)
The Pitch: Mini’s thrilled to have a part in her school’s production of Gog and the Beanstalk, and she takes her role seriously. But frustrating dialogue, panicked practices, and a giant blunder make Mini realize that sometimes creativity and flexibility are what’s needed to carry the show.

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 Pam 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!

Pam is looking forward to your thoughts on her pitch!  I am looking forward to Spring.  Seriously!  We're supposed to get up to another foot of snow by tomorrow night, so pretty much all I can think of is green grass and flowers and sunshine!  I will leave you with this in hopes that it will help drive winter away for a moment or two :)


Have a wonderful, productive and happy Wednesday everyone! :)


Reactions:

77 comments:

  1. This_Kid_Reviews_Books_ErikFebruary 12, 2014 at 7:28 AM

    Great pitch, Ms. Brunskill! I think it sums up your story very well. :) I love the title too.
    I voted Ms. Hill! Now, excuse, I need to gorge myself in those healthy chocolate cupcakes. :)

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  2. I have to agree, the pitch is clear and concise. I would definitely read the book!

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  3. I promptly went straight to the photo and imagined myself eating that delicious cupcake. It was so worth the two pounds added to my hips lol!!


    The editor's notes are always a delight and offer great educational notes to keep in mind.


    I voted but it wasn't fair. All those pitches were so great!


    And as for WYRI, why yes. Yes I would. I don't have any suggestions on improving the pitch. It was fairly well written.

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  4. Hey, that looks like out hilltop...in the spring... ;)

    Voted! Good insights from Erin!

    I would most certainly read the pitch for today. Pam has done a very nice job with it. The only thing I'm not sure about is the "panicked practice" segment. It's a bit vague and, to me, needs clarification. Even a simple expansion to "panic at the practice helps me. Good luck!

    Now I'm going to eat a dozen of the cupcakes to keep warm. ;)

    Hope you, and all in the east and south, are faring ok in the storm!

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  5. Yes, I would definitely read this. The only suggestion I would make is about "panicked practice" segment too. It did seem a bit vague.

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  6. Nice to hear Erin's thoughts! She really clarifies things.


    That's a great bunch of pitches! Hard to chose, as always. But I chose and I voted.


    As for the pitch, I would want to read the story. The only think I think that would amp up my curiosity, and the action of the pitch is for the problem to take place the night of the show instead of indicating that it takes place at practice. I kind of think that's what Pam had in mind but the way the pitch is worded doesn't put me in the "big night" when the school production would matter the most. Instead by mentioning the dialogue and panicked practices it sounds like we're at rehearsals and that theses are things that should be dealt with prior to the show. Maybe play up the big blunder and make us feel like this is the performance night, so that we see the importance of Mini's flexibility and creativity. Hope I made sense!


    Oh...and that cupcake was just what I needed this morning as I'm off to substitute in kindergarten and I will need all the chocolate-sugar-rush I can get! Thanks for helping out!

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  7. Hi Susanna and Pam--I would read this book. I do agree that panicked practice could be more specific to clarify the direction of the story. I'm wondering if you picture your characters human or animals?

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  8. This is another good pitch today and I would read the book. As we know in children's books, our characters are not watchers. They're doers. So I'm wondering if Mini doesn't just learn about what is needed but actually does something to carry the show herself? If so, it might be nice to get a hint about what that might be. Good luck, Pam!

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  9. hi, pitch sounds interesting and i like the title. maybe i'm missing something, but what is the significance of the name "Gog?" and "Mini" is also a bit strange. I agree about changing panicked practice—nice alliteration, but what does that mean—a crazy rehearsal?

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  10. Rena Traxel BoudreauFebruary 12, 2014 at 12:34 PM

    Yes. I love the title. Penny pretty much said what I was thinking. What role does she play?

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  11. Susanna, sorry to hear you're so cold. I voted, can't wait to see you it is. Love todays pitch title. Keep warm. :-)

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  12. Hi Susanna! I found another way in to the comments--if I open your blog in an "incognito" tab I'm in! This must be the work of the NSA. :) Anyway, YES to the pitch, I'm especially interested in the giant blunder. Also, thanks for the spring photo, I'm wishing on it especially today as we're expected to get 4-8 inches of snow tonight. Ack. Hope you're having a good week!!

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  13. I think we need to know what the giant blunder is, I would have to ring up right away to find out if I was an editor :0) I'm going to wolf down that cupcake and then skip along that Spring path to burn it off.

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  14. Definitely a something yummy for Valentine's Day. I voted--some great stories. :) Thank you, everyone, for your comments so far. I'll revise the pitch in the future to let everyone know that it's a fractured fairy tale, and all of the main characters are giants.

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  15. Yes, I would read it. Great suggestions below. Like that the characters are all giants. You may want to work that it in because I've heard many agents and publishers say they don't want to guess when they read a pitch. I think it would add to your pitch!
    Good luck to those who pitched in January! Fun voting because of the well-written entries.

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  16. Hi Pam and Susanna.
    I would certainly read it, but like the other commenters, I did not get that this was actually a fractured fairy tale or that the characters would be giants. I didn't get a sense of Mini's voice either, which I am told is what the agents really want. It sounds loads of fun though. Best wishes.

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  17. Yes, yes. Will work on getting Mini's voice, the big blunder, and inserting the fractured fairy tale element in! Thank you!

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  18. Thanks to Erin for another critique to learn so much from!
    Pam, I like your title, which alludes to Jack and the Beanstalk, so 'Gog' had me confused. I would also like to know just a tad more about the blunder since this is fro 4-8yr olds. I agree with Penny's comment too. Good luck!

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  19. Thanks, Erik!

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  20. Hurray! Thanks, Iza!

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  21. Thanks, Angela! I agree with you re: Erin's notes and the pitches, and Susanna's temptations are always yummy. :)

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  22. Thanks for the suggestion, Teresa!

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  23. Good point! Will look into it. :) Thank you for chiming in.

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  24. Thanks, Penny. The story does take place over the practices and the climax happens on the big night, but I'll have to think about how to fix the pitch to better show what happens. You've given me some good ideas. Again, thank you!

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  25. I knew I recognized your name! And this was how :). Thanks for your comments, Ann. All the characters are giants putting on the giants' version of Jack and the Beanstalk. I will fix the pitch to say this. Good point!

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  26. Good point, Beth! I'll think about this as I revise the pitch.

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  27. Thanks, Belinda. Gog was what I named the giant from Jack and the Beanstalk. I need to do a better job portraying the story world in this pitch somehow--the giants are putting on the play of that fairy tale from their perspective. Thanks for helping me to realize this.

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  28. Thanks, Rena. I will work on tweaking the pitch.

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  29. Thanks, Tracy!

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  30. Thanks, Coleen! I guess you'll have to wait until the story's published to find out what the giant blunder is. :)

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  31. Hi Catherine, thanks for the comment--do you mean you want to know what the giant blunder is in the pitch or do you mean that you like the line about a giant blunder and that would make an editor read the story?

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  32. Thanks, Patricia. Yes, I already have some ideas on how to improve the pitch. Love this community and Susanna for organizing this.

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  33. Thanks, Julie. I will work on all of these points when I revise the pitch. You make some good points.

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  34. Thanks for your comments, Julie. I will keep them in mind as I revise.

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  35. I think you need to say what the giant blunder is in the pitch. It's very intriguing without but having read loads if Erin's feedback and know she'll want details. :)

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  36. Got it. Thanks.

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  37. I would read this. I'm a sucker for school play books. My question is - Is Mini usually inflexible and not creative? Is that the lesson she needs to learn right from the start?

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  38. Thanks for your thoughts for Pam, Genevieve - I'm sure she'll find them helpful!

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  39. Erin is awesomesauce (as Catherine would say :))! Thanks for your thoughts for Pam, Julie!

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  40. Thanks so much for sharing your reaction with Pam, Julie!

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  41. Thanks for your helpful suggestions for Pam, Pat!

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  42. Oh, cool! I didn't realize about the giants :)

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  43. Catherine, you are just full of excellent plans! Thanks for your thoughts for Pam :)

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  44. An incognito tab? That sounds very undercover! You aren't a titian haired sleuth from River Heights are you? Daughter of the famous criminal attorney, Carson Drew? 4-8? Lucky you! We're expecting 10-20! In spite of this horrible weather, I AM having a good week - I am determined to! - and I hope you are too! :)

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  45. Thanks for voting, Tracy, and for your enthusiasm for Pam's pitch :) Isn't it colder in Canada than it is here?

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  46. Thanks for your helpful thoughts for Pam, Belinda!

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  47. Thanks for your insightful comments for Pam, Beth!

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  48. Thanks for your thoughts for Pam, Ann! Good question!

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  49. Thanks for your very thoughtful comments for Pam, Penny! And I'm glad I could help with a sugar rush! Hope your day with the littles went well :)

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  50. Thanks sharing your thoughts for Pam, Pat!

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  51. Glad you liked Erin's thoughts and thanks so much for voting, Teresa! And thanks for your thoughts for Pam. Those cupcakes ARE mini, so you might need 2 dozen to keep warm if the temperature at your house is anything like it is here :)

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  52. After imagining myself eating today's delicious cupcake, and voting, I finally got to today's pitch! Yes, I would definitely read it as I love school plays. As with other comments already given, I didn't realize this was about giants, but maybe if I hadn't been in a sugar-coma from the yummy cupcake I would have gotten that from the title (which I really liked btw!) I, too, think the pitch needs a little more pitching so we know what's really at stake for Mini other than normal theatre chaos--what is it that she learns or changes from/because of? Thanks for sharing this, Pam, and Happy Wednesday!

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  53. Glad you enjoyed Erin's thoughts, the pitch, and the cupcakes Angela! Thanks for chiming in. And no worries - MY cupcakes are delicious and add nothing to the hips :)

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  54. Thanks, Iza! I'm sure that will make Pam happy :)

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  55. Thanks for your thoughts for Ms. Brunskill, Erik. And my all means, help yourself to cupcakes. You are a growing boy, and you must fuel up properly for what will most likely be another day off from school tomorrow :)

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  56. Thanks for your helpful thoughts for Pam, Karen. I accept full responsibility for causing the sugar coma that prevented you from realizing there were giants involved :)

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  57. You got it, Genevieve! She wants the school play to go exactly as it always had. I'll tweak the pitch to make this clearer. :)

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  58. Thanks for your input, Karen!

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  59. Erin definitely has a way with cutting to the chase...her pitch critiques are always helpful!
    I voted...although it was difficult because all 5 stories sound intriguing.:)
    And YES, Pam, I would certainly read your story. I, too, need some clarification about 'panicked practices'...but the pitch is great and not too wordy.:)

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  60. Great pitches, guys! I wanted to vote at least twice.


    I too love the concept of the book, Pam. And ADORE how it's "Gog and the Beanstalk": the giant's POV--not Jack's.


    You've already heard great advice: clarify the giant POV, specific details about the stakes, voice. Not an easy task: "Mini was never the most flexible little giant?" But the story's so unique, I can't wait to see what you do.

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  61. Hi, great pitch Pam! I read through all the critics and it looks everything has been covered, just wanted to say that YES i would read it!

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  62. Glad you found Erin's comments helpful, Vivian, and thanks so much for voting (I know it was tough!) and for your comments for Pam!

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  63. Thanks for voting, Stacy, and for your enthusiasm and encouraging comments for Pam :)

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  64. Thanks for the advice, Vivian!

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  65. Thanks, Stacy. Will work on the pitch.

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  66. Thanks, Lyla!

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  67. I love the idea of panicked practices and forced improvisation. If Gog is a giant (as others have said) - I totally didn't understand that. Is Mini a very small person? I would read this though - because I want to know what "giant blunder" could possibly befall a school play.

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  68. I'm late to the party, eating cupcake crumbs and reading all the wonderful comments. I love the story idea Pam and think it's covered in the other comments. Good luck.

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  69. Thanks so much for your thoughts, Sue - very helpful :)

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  70. Hi Sue. Mini's a "small" giant. Thanks for pointing out your confusion. I'll do my best to fix it.

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  71. Thanks, Stacy.

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  72. Thanks, Katie!

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  73. Susanna, your food pictures are THE best! Btw, I just recently "gave" a pic of your "Happy Cake" to an illustrator who had a book birthday :) Of course, I told her I got it here ;)

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  74. I hope she enjoyed it! :) Happy ooh birthday to her and glad you like my desserts :)

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