April 23, 2014

Would You Read It Wednesday # 130 - Todd's Top Secret Dance Moves (PB)

Well, the big news is that TOMORROW is the opening of the First Ever Pretty Much World Famous Illustration Contest!

Can you believe it?

It's practically time!!!

I'm excited and also nervous!

I'm really hoping we'll get some entries.  It would be so much fun to see the March Madness Contest winners' stories brought to life in art!

The contestants will get to have a bunch of people come around and see their art, including the pretty much world famous Iza Trapani and Lisa Thiesing who will be judging.

They'll get a chance to show their work to a boatload of authors who, in this day and age of self-publishing, might need an illustrator at some point - you never know! - as well as some teachers who might need a school visit from an illustrator at some point - you never know!

AND they get a chance at some awesome prizes, most especially a portfolio critique by the pretty much world famous Michael Garland!

And WE will get to see all their fabulous art!

So it's all good in my book! :)

So much excitement is making me a little faint.  Quick! Something Chocolate!

I have a special treat for Coleen, who has been so very extremely helpful and nice about tweeting the illustration contest (even though I keep forgetting to!) that really, she should have her heart's desire which just so happens to be peanut butter and chocolate.  So here is a choice, because I wasn't sure which you'd all prefer :)

Gold Rush Peanut Butter Sundae
with homemade chocolate fudge and melted peanut butter!

Peanut Butter Brownie Sandwich - Scrumptious!!!
I feel fairly certain that either or both of those will be very helpful in fueling your creative spirit and/or your vacuuming, car pooling, shopping, or whatever else you have planned for the day.  Nothing like a little chocolate and sugar to get you going in the morning!  That's what I always say! :)

Now then.  Ready for Would You Read It?

Today's pitch comes to us from Sean who says, "I'm a writer at an advertising agency, and I love being creative. Writing picture books is my favorite creative outlet, and I hope kids will enjoy reading my books as much as I enjoy writing them. Beyond writing, I love to read, run, cook, eat, and watch Mad Men if there's extra time to spare."

Here's the link to his Twitter page. He's also on Facebook.

https://twitter.com/slamb05


Here is his pitch:

Working Title: Todd's Top Secret Dance Moves
Age/Genre: Picture Book (ages 6-8)
The Pitch: His moves are smoother than a buttery bowling ball sliding over a field of silk tuxedos. And Todd is ready to reveal them all: the Fuzzy Banana, the Lunch Lady, the Frosty Snowman, and many more. Follow the footsteps of a dynamite dancer and try to resist tapping your feet. If you want to dance like Todd, the first secret is... 

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 Sean improve his 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 July 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!

Sean is looking forward to your thoughts on his pitch!  I am looking forward to THE CONTEST!!!  Whoopee!  By this time tomorrow, we could have art up!  I can't wait! :)

Have a wonderful Wednesday everyone! :)

And tune in tomorrow for the contest!!!

Oh, and P.S. let me take this opportunity to remind the PPBF bloggers that there will not be a PPBF this Friday (April 25) or next Friday (May 2) because of the contest.


Reactions:

43 comments:

  1. Now that I've finished drooling over our chocolatey peanut buttery eatery choices, I can say that yes, I would read today's pitch. As Nancy Tandon commented, I was intrigued by the wording but wondered if there was any conflict at all to solve. Maybe there's no conflict, but rather just entertainment?

    ReplyDelete
  2. Not one but two chocolatey desserts! Wow! :)

    And oh my gosh...how is it contest time already?? I thought I had more time still. I've got a thumbnail done but not much else. Blah.

    Because I grew up watching and loving Fred Astaire and Gene Kelly, I loved Sean's idea. But as Nancy said, there needs to be something more to the pitch, something that tells a little bit of a story. If it's a book just about new dance steps without an actual story, that's fine too but he would need to convey that.

    Best of luck to Sean and his little Todd Astaire! :D

    ReplyDelete
  3. Another yummy desert, Susanna! As for Sean's pitch, I'm intrigued, and I like the fun word choices. These alone would get me to look at the manuscript. I'd start off the first sentence with "Todd's moves" instead of "His moves." And, as Teresa suggested, either hint at the story more or make it clear that it is about dances. Good luck!

    ReplyDelete
  4. The pitch's "the first secret is..." bugged me a little. Sean certainly doen't need to give up the story's secrets, but the pitch does need to arrive at some kind of logical conclusion.
    And would I read it? Yes. I would very much want to dance The Lunch Lady at the next wedding I attend.

    ReplyDelete
  5. I love the imagery in the opening, but I think the pitch can live without it. If this is a concept-type book with dance instructions, make than known and if it's an actual story, give us a hint about the conflict. I'd read it like crazy either way. It sounds hilarious! And I think the illustrations would be awesome. Good luck.

    ReplyDelete
  6. I can't wait for the contest! I'm going to have to focus on eating chocolate bunnies so I don't explode with anticipation in the mean time.

    ReplyDelete
  7. Thanks for the helpful feedback everyone! The big question I have...can I create a successful PB like this without the conflict/solution format? Is it too risky? My goal was to write a fun/silly "How-To" PB that doesn't follow the typical format.

    ReplyDelete
  8. I didn't think about the conflict to the story because I was so busy wiping up my drool over the luscious desserts...after all, I just came in from the barn! After I went and cut myself a piece of Peanut Butter Pie and read the other comments, I do have to agree that there isn't a mention of conflict in the pitch...which would make it even more intriguing to me. I would, however, have read it anyway since I love stories that are just plain fun entertainment, too. Since I'm not an editor or agent, though, I think you might want to really consider all the more professional opinions that are in this comment.
    Now, I have to go! There's almost a whole pie left to eat! And hubby is getting ready for a duathalon, so he can't eat it all! Guess it's up to me...dang! bwhahahahah! :D

    ReplyDelete
  9. I love the pitch, but agree with not showing the opposite or conflic in the pitch and story -- whether it be teasing from other kids to problems with being able to afford to buy his shoes. He has to grow in the story. Is it based one a famouse male dancer. I'm like you, I like positive stories that inspire, but agents don't.
    Hope everyone has fun with the illustration contest.

    ReplyDelete
  10. Oh boy, illustrators, I can't wait to see your entries!
    Sean's book sounds energetic and cheerful and I'd love to learn some of Todd's moves, but I am not so sure a "how to" book for kids would be received by editors and agents. They do want a story. It can be a very simple plot, but something does have to happen to build a story then round it out in the end. On the other hand, I could be wrong and there could very well be publishing houses that might be interested in a how to dance book (Charlesbridge's Imagine imprint would be a good possibility.) In that case, you will definitely need to make the book informative- showing the steps, diagrams etc...I would rework the pitch so the reader knows this is a how to book in the non-fiction genre.

    ReplyDelete
  11. Yes, I would read it--love all the silly dance names! But I agree with everyone who said you need a bit of a story to go along with the dances--it would keep the interest of little ones more, I think. Best of luck!

    ReplyDelete
  12. Sean, I loved your pitch. My only suggestion might be to tell us how old your character is. Say perhaps, "Six-year-old, Todd's moves...," etc." Looking forward to viewing all the wonderful illustrations, Susanna. :-)

    ReplyDelete
  13. I think the contest will be awesome! I can't wait to see the entries and watch the March Madness Winners' stories come to life!

    You made me hungry with those yummy photos! I want the Peanut Butter Brownie Sandwich.

    I think you've gotten some excellent feedback on your pitch, Sean. I think good points were made about a strong character and conflict. But, I would say if your dream is to write a fun/silly "How-To" PB that doesn't follow the typical format, give it a try. You will have to have something really unique with an unusual hook. It's always a good idea to write your story in several different ways so maybe try it as a How-To and as a strong character story and see which one you like the best.

    ReplyDelete
  14. Maybe. I would like to know what is in stake for this character. This pitch tells us about the character, but not about the character's story.

    ReplyDelete
  15. Thanks so much for chiming in for Sean, Becky!

    ReplyDelete
  16. Great advice for Sean, Penny, thank you so much! And I am excited for the contest too - I hope every title gets at least one illustration! Enjoy the brownie sandwich :)

    ReplyDelete
  17. Thank you so much for your excellent thoughts for Sean, Erik!

    ReplyDelete
  18. I'm definitely interested in knowing how to dance the fuzzy banana! Sounds fun. :) Thanks for the special pb and chocolate treats Susanna!!! And while absolutely no vacuuming happened in my house today, I did make progress on my illustration!

    ReplyDelete
  19. Chocolate has magical powers, but even it can only make cleaning so much better :) Thanks so much for your very helpful comments for Sean, Stacy! And here's hoping we get lots of great entries for the illustration contest!

    ReplyDelete
  20. Thanks so much for your comments for Sean, Tracy! And I'm still hoping for an entry from YOU in the illustration contest!!! :)

    ReplyDelete
  21. Thanks so much for your thoughtful comments for Sean, Ann!

    ReplyDelete
  22. Thank you so much for your helpful suggestions for Sean, Iza! And oh boy - I can't wait to see the illustrators' entries either!!! :)

    ReplyDelete
  23. Thanks for your comments for Sean, Pat! And only a few more hours until we (hopefully!) start to see some illustrations!!!

    ReplyDelete
  24. Thank you for sharing your thoughts for Sean, Rene! And now, hang on, did you say you'd just come in form the barn? I spend part of every day in a barn!! What kind of barn? Horse or otherwise? If you say horse, we are kindred spirits and how nice to know that! :)

    ReplyDelete
  25. Some of our wonderful readers have jumped in to address this. Aren't they wonderful? :)

    ReplyDelete
  26. That is an excellent thing to focus on, Lauri! One bite at a time. The illustrations will start rolling in before you know it :) Fingers crossed we get at least one, hopefully a bunch!, for every title!

    ReplyDelete
  27. Thanks so much for your helpful thoughts for Sean, Genevieve!

    ReplyDelete
  28. I know! Doesn't that sound like fun??? Thanks so much for chiming in for Sean, Mike!

    ReplyDelete
  29. Thanks so much for your helpful suggestions for Sean, Pam!

    ReplyDelete
  30. The more chocolate the merrier, Teresa! :) And no worries, you can still pull off an illustration. You have until Monday at 5 PM :) Thanks so much for your comments for Sean!

    ReplyDelete
  31. Thanks so much for your helpful thoughts for Sean, Angela! And by all means, help yourself to as much chocolatey peanut buttery deliciousness as you like! :)

    ReplyDelete
  32. Thanks for your great advice for Sean, Nancy!

    ReplyDelete
  33. No vacuuming happened in my house either. Nor did I even attempt at illustration! But I'm sure glad to know you're working on one! I can't wait to see it! :)

    ReplyDelete
  34. Well, my friend, we are kindred spirits! I have my horse at a friend's barn about ten miles from my house...I, too, spend part of every day with the clean dirt of horses! ;)

    ReplyDelete
  35. We are definitely going to have to talk horses somewhere that isn't a blog post thread! :)

    ReplyDelete
  36. Who left all those peanut butter brownie crumbs for me to clean up? Sorry I'm so late to the party! I like Sean's idea of fun dance moves being at the center of a story, but I, too, am wondering about a conflict or something to move it forward. Is Todd entering a dance contest? Is he an aspiring jr. choreographer? Is he the same age (6-8) as the potential readers? What about Todd will make them feel connected with him? I can think of several young dancers who would be intrigued with a story based on the basic premise that Sean has going here.

    ReplyDelete
  37. Yummy chocolate, Susanna...you definitely know my weak spot. ;)
    Good luck to all the illustrators who will be submitting their work...it's going to be a fun contest, watching the winning stories come to life. ;)
    I'd read the story, Sean...I love the idea of a kid who wants to dance! But I think you need to add some hint of the problem your mc faces. I scrolled down and you've got some great ideas here for your pitch.

    ReplyDelete
  38. Wow...thanks everyone! SO helpful. Back to the drawing board.

    ReplyDelete
  39. Glad you enjoyed the yumminess, Vivian :) I aim to please :) Thanks for your comments for Sean, and fingers crossed we'll get plenty of entries for the illustration contest!

    ReplyDelete
  40. Thanks for your though-provking questions for Sean, Charlotte!

    ReplyDelete
  41. I love the title (cuz I love to dance!), but I would add 'dance' to the first words in the pitch, so we are not left guessing what kind of moves we're talking about here. Actually, I might even cut the poetic description (sorry!) to cut to the chase, but I still need at least one why - why is he ready, why is he revealing, why does he love to dance? In any case I do want to read it! Good luck, Sean.


    Todd is ready to reveal his smooth dance moves: the Fuzzy Banana, the Lunch Lady, the Frosty Snowman, and many more. Follow the footsteps of a dynamite dancer and try to resist tapping your feet. If you want to dance like Todd, the first secret is...

    ReplyDelete
  42. Thanks so much for your very helpful suggestions for Sean, Julie!

    ReplyDelete

I love to hear from you and try to respond to every comment. Please share your thoughts!

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...