October 15, 2014

Would You Read It Wednesday #149 - Your Friend, Conrad (PB) PLUS A Halloweensie Prize Update!

Darlings!

I was going to be so succinct and just get right to Would You Read It today, and you were going to be so proud of me for my extreme brevity... I had it all planned out...

BUT!

I have to squeeze in a teensy Halloweensie Contest update!!!

Remember how I told you that the prizes kept rolling in?

Here's what our goody bag of prizes looks like now! (words in color are links for more info)

Julie Hedlund's fantastic new course How To Make Money As An Author, interesting, educational and suitable for writers at any stage of their career

 - a 2015 membership to Children's Book Insider, an absolutely fabulous resource for kid lit writers of all kinds generously offered by Jon Bard and Laura Backes

 - a picture book manuscript critique from the renowned Alayne Christian (prose only, 800 words or less)
Alayne Kay Christian is an award winning author of BUTTERFLY KISSES FOR GRANDMA AND GRANDPA. She is represented by Erzsi Deak of Hen&Ink Literary Studio. To read more about Alayne, her critique service, and her books visit her websites and blog.

- a picture book manuscript critique (rhyme or prose) from Penny Parker Klostermann who, after extensive experience critiquing for writing partners, members of various kid lit groups, and clients of Erin Murphy Literary Agency, is opening her own critique service!!!
Penny Parker Klostermann writes picture books and poetry. Her debut book, THERE WAS AN OLD DRAGON WHO SWALLOWED A KNIGHT, is coming from Random House Children’s, August 2015. Penny is represented by Tricia Lawrence of Erin Murphy Literary Agency. Click HERE to learn more about her critique service. 

 - a picture book manuscript critique by Tracey M. Cox!  Tracey offers a full critique on a fiction PB, 800 words or less, which will include overall impression and line-by-line on a prose only pb ms.  She will also include thoughts and marketing ideas that she thinks about and if she can think of references, she'll add them also.  Tracey M. Cox has been writing professionally since 2000 and is an author of 6 picture books.  She is an active member in the children's literature community and explores how to self-market on little to no budget.
Website: www.traceymcox.com
Blog: www.traceymcox.wordpress.com


 - an e-pub or PDF copy (winner's choice) of Linda Ashman's Nuts And Bolts Guide To Writing Picture Books

 - a personalized signed copy of I WANNA GO HOME by Karen Kaufman Orloff, the latest in the brilliant PB series that began with I WANNA IGUANA.

 - a personalized signed copy of I AM COW HEAR ME MOO by Jill Esbaum (reviewed for Perfect Picture Books HERE and HERE - yep, it's so popular it got reviewed for PPBF twice :))

 - a personalized signed copy of NINJA RED RIDING HOOD by Corey Rosen Schwartz, the riveting follow-up to THE THREE NINJA PIGS.

 - a PDF copy of Ryan Sias's A Spooky-Doodle E-Book"doodle pages, drawing lessons and writing prompts inspire kids to invent their own stories, characters and artwork."

And I'd like to clarify (because I got asked) that people who donate prizes are still eligible to enter the contest!  Just, if they win, I won't give them their own prize :)

And that is 10 prizes now, all very generously donated!  So I'm hoping we'll get at least 10 entries :)

Okay!  Now back to our regularly scheduled programing.  (Brevity is overrated anyway... :))

Since I know you're all revved up at the prospect of all those amazing prizes, and are going to run right off to your favorite writing corner and get to work on your entries as soon as you've commented for today's WYRI pitcher, let me fortify you with a little Something Chocolate! :)

Since Halloween is coming, it's important that we embrace the occasion in our chocolate snacks.  Today (don't be scared!) we have Spooky Boo Brownies!!!

Find the recipe HERE if you want to give these scary delights a try! :)

Oooh!  So spooky! . . . and chocolatey and delicious :)

Now then, today's pitch comes to us from Debbie who says, "I have been writing all my life but have been more serious about it in the last 5 years, joining groups like SCBWI and Julie Hedlund’s 12 X 12, taking courses like MPBM (Making Picture Book Magic), and attending conferences. Susanna’s knowledge, generosity, and encouragement make this group essential to my writing life. Thank you, Susanna! And thank you all in advance for your feedback."

(Debbie's website will be up soon, and when it is, I'll let you know where to find her! :))

Here is her pitch:

Working Title: Your Friend, Conrad
Age/Genre: Picture Book (ages 4-8)
The Pitch: Conrad receives an invitation to visit his best friend Fiona. She tells him he’ll need to bring a sword, a bow and arrow, and … exactly ten marshmallows?! Conrad bravely sets out not knowing that the path will lead him into a leaky boat, past pesky ravens, through prickly brambles, and to the edge of a moat where a sweets-loving dragon lurks in the deep. Will this unlikely hero have the wits (and enough marshmallows) to make it to Fiona’s front door?

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 Debbie 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 one or two openings left for this year, since there will be a hiatus for the Holiday Contest and the holidays themselves, so polish up your pitch and grab one of the last couple spots for your chance to be read by editor Erin Molta before 2015!

Debbie is looking forward to your thoughts on her pitch!  I think I said this last week (and I'll probably say it next week :)) but I am looking forward to the Halloweensie Contest!  I seriously can't wait to read what y'all come up with, and I also can't wait to give away all these lovely and amazing prizes!  Let's have a round of applause for our very generous donors! :)

Have a wonderful Wednesday everyone!!! :)


Reactions:

81 comments:

  1. Oh, yes, I'd read it! I love the humor/hook of "exactly ten marshmallows" and I can see this is a writer who understands the concept of threes and the language of imagery. Yeah, this is a good 'un. ;-)

    ReplyDelete
  2. What a plethora of prizes, Susanna! But, more importantly, what awesome Halloween sweets!! ;)

    Debbie wrote an excellent pitch! I would love to read that. The only thing that confused me a mite was that I thought all those things that he was told to bring, as well as the list of stuff he saw (leaky boat, past pesky ravens, through prickly brambles, and to the edge of a moat where a sweets-loving dragon lurks) was at or to be used at Fiona's house, not along the way. But it could just be me and my pre-coffee brain. Overall, I love the idea and the pitch. Great job, Debbie!

    ReplyDelete
  3. Cute pitch. And I would read it. Not only do I have a special love for dragon stories, but I have a special love for marshmallows, too. (Although I usually eat more than ten! LOL)

    I might do a little bit of revision here: Conrad bravely sets out on a journey that leads him into a leaky boat, past pesky ravens, through prickly brambles, and to the edge of a moat where a sweets-loving dragon lurks in the deep.

    I don't think "not knowing" is necessary. And I think journey sounds more adventuresome than path.


    Love those Spooky Boo Brownies! Sooo cute!

    ReplyDelete
  4. Great prizes. Great treats. No tricks.
    Woo Hoo!

    I mean . . . BOO!



    Cute pitch. Especially the idea of pitching marshmallows at a dragon with a sweet snaggle tooth.


    But . . . since Shrek rescued Fiona from a Dragon, I might change Fiona's name.

    ReplyDelete
  5. Yes — I would read this story, Debbie. It's sounds suspenseful and fun (and sweet!). I think it's just the right length. I do agree with considering a character name change. Great job :)

    ReplyDelete
  6. I am in the "maybe" category. I am a bit confused about the invitation to visit. Has Conrad never been there before? If stye are best friends, he'd know how to get there, right? I like the characters' names and am curious as to how he uses his props, though. Good luck. I am not sure you want to end a pitch w/a question. That's what I was taught.

    ReplyDelete
  7. Yes, I would read it! I particularly like this question that popped into my head: What do the supplies have to do with ravens, prickly patches, and dragons. On the down side, the working title was not appealing, and had I not skimmed the pitch, I would have passed it by in a book store. I hope this helps :)

    ReplyDelete
  8. Pre-coffee brain too, Christie, or loved the pitch? LOL!

    ReplyDelete
  9. Thank you, Christie! I will look at the title again. I admit, I struggle with titles!!! I was trying to get across the correspondence part of this story, but maybe that's unnecessary. I appreciate the feedback!

    ReplyDelete
  10. Oops! I forgot to indicate that it's her new home. Thanks for the catch, Kathy, and for the advice on not ending the pitch with a question.

    ReplyDelete
  11. Thank you, Gail. I appreciate your feedback! :)

    ReplyDelete
  12. Thank you! I didn't think about THAT Fiona. Good catch. I will rethink the name. :)

    ReplyDelete
  13. Thank you, Penny! Your revision is great, and yes! Journey sounds better. :)

    ReplyDelete
  14. Thanks, Teresa. So is it that last question that's confusing things? Fiona is very cryptic in her instructions and sends him messages along the way. So Conrad doesn't know how those things will be used either. He thinks he's having s'mores. :) I appreciate your feedback. :)

    ReplyDelete
  15. Thank you, Cathy! :)

    ReplyDelete
  16. Debbie, I think what it is is that Fiona (love that name) tells him to bring certain items, then he sees these other things which I assume he was tackling at her house with the items she'd asked him to bring, but at the end, I realize that, no, those things he saw were en route to her place. Like I said, it could have just been my foggy, morning, pre-coffee brain not processing properly. LOL! It really is one of the best written pitches I've read!

    ReplyDelete
  17. Boooo!

    Yes! I would read this! I love the missive from the friend and the VERY particular details about what Conrad is allowed to bring. I like the potentially creepy/scary situations that Conrad will encounter. BUT, Since they're best friends, and Conrad has most likely been to Fiona's house before, I'm wondering why this path is going to be different from any other day Conrad has visited Fiona? Does the invitation also contain a map with a new path he has to take? Not a show-stopper, but just something to think about. Love their names, BTW.

    ReplyDelete
  18. This pitch sounds really good! It's a little long, but well written and really gives you an idea of the story. I agree with other readers that a more enticing title is needed.
    And, wow, Susanna, the prizes keep getting better and better!

    ReplyDelete
  19. I'd read it based on the pitch, but like another person said, the title doesn't grab me. What about Notes from the Wildwood--that sounds more YA...Maybe some spoof on the idea of Notes from, or Letters from, or Message in a something. Marshmallow Message(s)?

    I like the pitch overall. Without knowing the story my suggestions may or may not help. Hopefully something will.
    The Pitch: Conrad gets get's a house-warming invitation from his friend with mysterious instructions: Bring a bow, an arrow, and exactly ten marshmallows. Conrad sets off, battling a leaky boat, pesky ravens, and prickly brambles. But then he meets his final foe--a sweets-loving dragon. With just enough marshmallows left, he bests his foe and finds his friend expecting him.

    I usually avoid rhetorical questions in pitches as I've heard some agents don't like them, but they are used a lot, so it might work. Good luck with this. It sounds really fun.

    ReplyDelete
  20. I love this concept. This sounds really, really cute. Yes, I would read it. I think the pitch is just right with a good amount of information. Great job!

    ReplyDelete
  21. I'm powerless in the face of a dragon story, so yes - I would read it. Fiona has been done already, so I'd consider a name change for the girl. Also, wouldn't Conrad need more than weapons and marshmallows to address the brambles and leaky boat? Meanwhile, it's an adorable idea, so good luck with it!

    ReplyDelete
  22. Darn tootin' I'd read it! I would only suggest tightening:

    Conrad is invited to Fiona's house. "Please bring a sword, a bow and arrow, and … exactly ten marshmallows"?! Conrad's path leads him into a leaky boat, past pesky ravens, through prickly brambles, and to a moat where a sweets-loving dragon lurks in the deep. Will this unlikely hero have the wits (and enough marshmallows) to make it to Fiona’s front door?

    Good luck, Debbie

    ReplyDelete
  23. I'm a sucker for dragons.

    ReplyDelete
  24. WOW WOW WOW!
    The prizes for the Halloweensie Contest...WOW #1
    The DELICIOUS treats...WOW #2
    Debbie's adorable story...WOW #3
    Yes, I would definitely read it. Here's a idea for a bit of tightening:

    Hurray! An invitation! According to the instructions, Conrad must bring a sword, a bow and arrow, and … exactly ten
    marshmallows to his best friend, Fiona's house. On the way, he encounters a leaky boat, pesky ravens, prickly brambles,
    and a sweets-loving dragon who lurks in the
    deep moat. Will Conrad have the wits, courage and enough marshmallows to
    make it to Fiona’s front door?

    ReplyDelete
  25. Thank you, Vivian, for both your enthusiasm and your revision suggestions. WOW! :)

    ReplyDelete
  26. I forgot to include the small detail that this is her new house. She moved away so Conrad is eager to visit her. Thank you for your feedback! :)

    ReplyDelete
  27. Thank you, Julie! I so appreciate your suggestions for tightening things up. :)

    ReplyDelete
  28. He doesn't know he's going to encounter those things so he has to use a little ingenuity (and maybe a couple of those marshmallows) to successfully traverse some unexpected circumstances. Thank you for the suggestion to change Fiona's name. A few have mentioned that and I will definitely take it to heart. Thanks, Genevieve, for your feedback! :)

    ReplyDelete
  29. Thank you, Rosi! I'm glad you liked it. :)

    ReplyDelete
  30. Thank you, Johnell! I appreciate you reworking the pitch. Thanks for mentioning the rhetorical question at the end. I never know if I should tell all or leave a little left unsaid. I will definitely rethink that. :)

    ReplyDelete
  31. Thank you, Iza. Yes, as I mentioned, coming up with titles is not my strong suit. Do you think it would be rejected based on the title?

    ReplyDelete
  32. Hi, Jill! These are all good questions. I left out the teensy tiny detail that this is Fiona's new home. What the pitch doesn't tell you is that the invitation and all the back and forth correspondence are delivered via carrier pigeon. Thanks for your feedback. I appreciate it! :)

    ReplyDelete
  33. I will tweak that to make it clearer. Thanks, Teresa, for your encouragement. :)

    ReplyDelete
  34. Thank you all so much for your feedback today! It's really helped me see where I need to tweak things to clarify. And I'll be brainstorming a new title and a new name for Fiona (although I adore that name). And thank you, Susanna, for the chance to share my pitch.

    ReplyDelete
  35. Now I love it even more! Can't wait to see it in print!

    ReplyDelete
  36. You're very welcome, Debbie :) Thank you for bravely pitching! And thanks to all our wonderful, generous, insightful readers who are always so ready and willing to help out!

    ReplyDelete
  37. Glad you're excited for Halloweensie, Vivan! And glad the snacks meet with your approval - you could try making them with Jeremy :) And thanks so much for your very helpful pitch re-wording for Debbie!

    ReplyDelete
  38. There's just something about dragons, isn't there? They are fun to have in a story :) Thanks for your thoughts for Debbie!

    ReplyDelete
  39. Thanks so much for your helpful tightening suggestions for Debbie, Julie! :)

    ReplyDelete
  40. It doesn't really seem fair that just because Shrek had a Fiona the rest of the world has to think twice now - it's such a good name for the right character :) Thanks so much for your thoughts for Debbie, Genevieve!

    ReplyDelete
  41. Thanks so much for your enthusiasm for Debbie, Rosi! I know she'll find it encouraging!

    ReplyDelete
  42. Thank you so much for your helpful suggestions and pitch re-wording for Debbie,Johnell!

    ReplyDelete
  43. Thanks so much for sharing your thoughts with Debbie, Iza! And I'm glad you like the prizes :)

    ReplyDelete
  44. Thanks so much for your thoughts for Debbie, Jilanne! You make some good points... Sometimes we need a little more info... I'm very fond of that carrier pigeon bit mentioned below! :)

    ReplyDelete
  45. Thank you so much for your thoughtful comments for Debbie, Christie, and for sharing your reaction to the title - that kind of feedback can be so helpful!

    ReplyDelete
  46. Thanks so much for your thoughts and suggestions for Debbie, Kathy - very helpful!

    ReplyDelete
  47. Thanks so much for chiming in for Debbie, Gail!

    ReplyDelete
  48. Glad you like the prizes, Nancy! I'm hoping they'll entice you to participate again :) And thanks for your helpful comments for Debbie!

    ReplyDelete
  49. Thank you so much for your helpful suggestions for Debbie, Penny! And I'm glad you like the Brownies - I'm pretty sure there's marshmallow involved there, so they should be right up your alley :)

    ReplyDelete
  50. I'm glad you like the prizes, Teresa, and the sweets :) You're such a good chef, you can probably make them! Thanks so much for your helpful comments for Debbie - pre-coffee brain or no, it's always good to know if there are parts that are confusing to anyone!

    ReplyDelete
  51. Glad you like it Cathy :) Thanks for chiming in for Debbie!

    ReplyDelete
  52. This_Kid_Reviews_Books_ErikOctober 15, 2014 at 9:22 PM

    AWESOME!!!!!!!!!!!! I love the chocolate marshmallow things, the prizes, and I love the pitch. I would definitely read the book! It sounds amazing! I especially like that there has to be exactly ten marshmallows. :D

    ReplyDelete
  53. That is an excellent detail, isn't it, Erik? It certainly makes me want to know what he needs the 10 marshmallows for! Glad you like the prizes and snacks. I hope you'll have time for a contest entry - I always look forward to your stories :)

    ReplyDelete
  54. I'm going to chime in here even though the question isn't addressed to me :). My former job was in PR. Names are important--people spend a lot of money "branding" their products. The more recognizable your name is, the better chance you have of catching new customers' eyes. Tara Lazar talks about high concept books and titles. Monstore--you know immediately what the idea is. Ninja Red Riding Hood--same thing--immediate connection. So a title that's ambiguous or bland may not necessarily be rejected, but it may not be picked up and read as soon as one with a catchy title--without a grab-you title your job in catching the eye of an agent or customer has become much harder. Kids love marshmallows, so you have a great op to use that in your title. Like I suggested above maybe Marshmallow Messages or Marshmallow Dragon or Ten-Marshmallow Quest--sorry I'm just pitching out ideas based solely on the pitch, but something that relates instantly to the reader and lets them know immediately what your book might be about. Just my two cents. :)

    ReplyDelete
  55. Once again, you have a wonderful round up of prizes for Halloweensie! And for WYRI, why yes I would read it. It has a dragon. :-)

    ReplyDelete
  56. I'm intrigued right away by ten marshmallows. Why ten? I can't wait to find out how Conrad will use his wits and ten marshmallows to finally get to Fiona's house. I would definitely read it to find out. ^^

    ReplyDelete
  57. Thanks, Erik! I'm glad you like that detail. It plays an important part in this story. :)

    ReplyDelete
  58. Apparently we have found the secret formula to writing a book people want to read: put a dragon in it! :)

    ReplyDelete
  59. I know! What on earth are those 10 marshmallows for? I too am intrigued :)

    ReplyDelete
  60. Yes I would read it. I would like to read how Conrad makes it to Fiona's place.
    Debbie, you made me smile which is a good sign.

    Oh My goodness, such prizes Susanna, I feel like I have Debbie's ten marshmallows in my mouth it is gaping so wide. Wow. I will definitely have to write something for this. :)

    ReplyDelete
  61. Ah, thanks, Cecilia. I'm glad because this story is all about the humor. :)

    ReplyDelete
  62. Since people have been intrigued by the marshmallows, what about this for a title: (Susanna, your drum roll, please.) Exactly Ten Marshmallows. What do you think?

    ReplyDelete
  63. Yes. Better! Or maybe even something more alliterative--Ten-Marshmallow Trouble, Ten-Marshmallow Test, A Ten-Marshmallow Trip/Trek. But the Ten Marshmallows in the title is really cool. Good luck.

    ReplyDelete
  64. I like it, Debbie, assuming the marshmallows are integral to the plot :)

    ReplyDelete
  65. Oh, yay, Cecilia! Can't wait to read it :)

    ReplyDelete
  66. What amazing prizes, Susanna! And from the pitch, I'm definitely curious about Debbie's book, but don't have time now to put any thought into it :( I'm sure lots of others have though! :D And, btw, I put an image of chocolate cake in a recent post and thought of you the whole time, Susanna! lol

    ReplyDelete
  67. Oooo.....I like. :) It sounds like a very fun book and something I would definitely read to my story time kids. I really like the suggestion about putting the marshmallows in the title. I think that it sounds more appealing. Not really digging the name Fiona( makes me think of Shrek). Overall....Great pitch! :)


    And awesome prizes! I just finished my Halloweensie piece. :)
    And...I will take 10 of your ghost sweets. It is almost my b-day after all. :)

    ReplyDelete
  68. Thanks so much for your comments for Debbie, Brandie! And yay! Can't wait to read your Halloweensie! And happy early birthday - you should probably take an extra sweet to grow on :)

    ReplyDelete
  69. I hope I will be seeing an entry from you, Donna! You are welcome to embellish with art for our viewing pleasure :) And thank you for thinking of me and putting chocolate cake on your blog :)

    ReplyDelete
  70. I would, but I avoid doing stuff for holidays. I'll stick with the "everyday" type subjects :) Or, of course, fairy tales, but I'd consider them things that should be "every day" anyway! lol

    ReplyDelete
  71. Okay. I'm sad. But I'll do my best to soldier on. Even without a story from you. Sniff. Sniffle. Really. I'll be fine.

    ReplyDelete
  72. Yeah, yeah, yeah...here's a tissue ;)
    You will NOT be missing a story from me because you will end up with a MOUNTAIN of them! I'm already prepared to return to dust ;)

    ReplyDelete
  73. Well, you never know. Sometimes we get a lot, sometimes we don't. If we get less than 20 I expect you to step up to the plate! :)

    ReplyDelete
  74. Deborah HockenberryOctober 29, 2014 at 5:45 PM

    I'd like to read the book when it comes out. I loved the pitch but think it needs tweaking in a couple of places (not that I'm an expert). I think it needs a better hook like: One afternoon, Conrad recieved a curious phone call from his best friend, Fiona. She invited him to come to her house but told him to bring a sword, bow and arrow, and...exactly ten marshmallows?!

    ReplyDelete
  75. Thanks so much for your helpful suggestions for Debbie, Deborah! :)

    ReplyDelete

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

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...