April 15, 2015

Would You Read It Wednesday #170 - The Octopus Wants What It Wants (PB) PLUS The March Pitch Winner!

Are you familiar with Steve Martin from Saturday Night Live back in the old days?

You know that skit where he strums his banjo and sings, "I'm a ramblin', ramblin', ramblin', ramblin', ramblin', ramblin'  GUUUYY!"?

Well, that's me.

I'm a ramblin', ramblin', ramblin', ramblin', ramblin', ramblin'  GUUUYY, er, well I guess technically, gal!

I took Princess Blue Kitty for her very overdue oil change on Monday, loaded her up yesterday, and... you won't believe it... but right now, this very second, while you are here reading my blog (thank you so much for being here!) I am somewhere in the wilds of Pennsylvania at an institution of higher learning.

Basically, I am a chauffeur.

A ramblin', ramblin', ramblin', ramblin', ramblin', ramblin'  chauffeur :)

So anyway, whilst I'm touring the eastern United States, I am simultaneously presenting to you the winner of the March Pitch Pick, a delicious Something Chocolate, and a fabulous pitch from today's WYRI participant!  I'm such a multi-tasker.  (Er, ahem, that was a tiny fib.  A fiblit.  I am so not a multi-tasker.  I can't even talk on the phone and fold laundry because I get a crick in my neck.  You can thank Blogger's scheduling feature for making this presentation possible.)

So first off, let's have a round of applause for the winner of the March Pitch Pick!  It is Carrie with her PB pitch for Stepping Into Adventure: The Magic Rocks!  Congratulations, Carrie!  Your pitch is on its way to editor Erin Molta for her comments!

And congratulations to our other brave and talented pitchers for doing such a great job!  Everyone is a winner, really, just for polishing their pitch, putting it out there, taking the feedback constructively, and making the pitch even better than before.  Bravo to all of you!!!

After all that excitement, you probably need Something Chocolate.  Today's pitcher has requested Chocolate Cream Pie, and far be it from me to disappoint a pitcher :)



Can you say scrumdiddlyumptious?  Mmm-mmm!

Today's pitch comes to us from Ariel who says, "I'm a mom of two young children in New Jersey, which means I get to read a ton of picture books and pretend I'm reading them for my kids and not myself. I'm on Twitter @a3bernstein and write a blog, How to Raise Benevolent Dictators at https://a3bernstein.wordpress.com. I also believe that a day without chocolate isn't a completed day."

Here is her pitch:

Working Title: The Octopus Wants What It Wants
Age/Genre: Picture Book (ages 4-8)
The Pitch: Sea creatures beware! Billie the octopus wants what she wants and she takes what she wants. But when Billie takes a boy from a fishing boat and finds out what it's like to have a friend, she learns what she really wanted all along.

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 Ariel 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 September 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!

Ariel is looking forward to your thoughts on her pitch!  I am looking forward to sleeping in my own bed tonight because as nice as hotels are they are not my own bed :)

Have a wonderful Wednesday everyone!!! :)
Reactions:

48 comments:

  1. Drive safe, my friend! :)

    I like the pitch - a lot - you do a good job, I think, of showing us the problem, what's at stake, and ALL that. Honestly, though, I'm not crazy about the title. A suggestion is NOT coming to me regarding what to change - but maybe others will help.

    Also, this may just be me, but you refer to the octopus as "it" in the title, and "she" in the pitch. That threw me a little bit. Just something to consider.

    Nicely done - and THANK you for that pie. It's gone ;)

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  2. Happy safe travels for the chauffeur and her passenger while out and about seeking the best institute for highter learning.


    Yes, I would read Ariel's book. Since I had the opportunity to do so, perhaps my comments are biased. But, what can I say? Nothing but good stuff for the amazing Ariel. Billie learns how to be a better friend than being a bully. When she finally realizes what *it* is that she truly wants and needs, and it is not too late to be a friend.


    Susanna, may I have one slice of chocolate cream pie, please? I guess your birthday cake is all gone by now! ; ] Thank you.

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  3. Mike Allegra writerApril 15, 2015 at 9:13 AM

    I like this pitch! My only hope is that Billie, in her zeal, doesn't drag the boy underwater. I'm curious to see how this friendship will work. What do they do together? How do they play?

    I agree with Joanne, regarding the title. "Octograb" maybe? "The Tentacled Taker"? Meh.

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  4. Catherine JohnsonApril 15, 2015 at 9:29 AM

    Love that pitch! Hope you had a lovely birthday, Susanna. Toasting you with virtual cream pie

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  5. Thank you, Joanne! I hadn't noticed the switch from 'it' to 'she' before and you're absolutely right - I'll work on making it consistent!

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  6. Thanks, Suzy!!! :) :) :)

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  7. Mike, I love the title of 'Octograb'!!! Thanks for reading & I'm happy you like the pitch!!

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  8. Thank you, Catherine!!

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  9. A huge YES to Ariel! And like the Octograb idea, too. Happy Birthday to you, Susanna. Hope it was drenched in chocolate!

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  10. Thank you, Vivian!! I really appreciate your feedback!!!

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  11. Thank you, Genevieve!! I do address the boy needing to breathe underwater in the book :) I'm so glad you like the pitch!!

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  12. Thank you for reading & commenting, Linda!! It's great to hear you'd read it!

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  13. Nice, tight pitch! The line about taking the boy from a fishing boat is a little vague and worrisome- does she drag him underwater? How does he breathe? I agree with the others that the title could be improved. And yes, definitely fix the it/she issue. Sounds like a great story!

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  14. I feel like the pitch reveals too much too fast, but I would definitely read it!

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  15. Susanna, happy and safe ramblin'! And thanks for the delightful chocolate cream pie! YUM!
    Yes, Ariel, I would read it! It sounds like a wonderful, enchanting learning experience for Billie. I think you can strike out the second she in your first sentence since there's concern about all the "shes". I'm also wondering if you need the part about "finding out what its like to have a friend." Would the intrigue increase without that tidbit? Or would you not have enough? As far as the title is concerned, what do you think of OCTOPUS WANTS IT! Can't wait to see this one on bookstore and library shelves :)

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  16. Like Vivian I think this pitch is a pitch hitter and a home run. It is tight and to the point giving the hook right away. Way to hit em, Ariel

    Like you I always schedule my posts. Last week I was visiting with my out of town boys and then went out of town visiting my grandson four hours away.

    Love your chocolate cream pie. I Often eat that for breakfast. :)

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  17. Thank you!! It's great to hear you like the pitch!!

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  18. Oh, I like your title suggestion! You've made some really helpful points to consider - thank you!!

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  19. Thank you for reading & your feedback, Julie!! I'll think of how to slow it down a bit.

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  20. Thank you, Iza!! I do address the breathing issue within the story but it sounds like I need to address it in the pitch as well. I appreciate your thoughts!!

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  21. Ariel, I like your pitch. It's tight and has a unique slant with the grabby octopus. For me, it just needs some tweaking.


    Sea creatures beware! No matter what, Billie the octopus always takes what she wants--example X, example Y, and even [boy's name], who wants to be friends.


    Safe travels, Susanna! Enjoy all those college kids!

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  22. Kristen SchroederApril 15, 2015 at 3:11 PM

    Hi Ariel! Yes, I would read it! The title was intriguing; it drew me in. But then I saw the suggestion for "Octograb" and liked that more. Then I thought of "Octograbby", so I'm throwing that into the mix as well.

    The pitch is nice and tight, but I may skip the first sentence, "Sea Creatures Beware!". You could start with the second sentence and state the problem more clearly. She takes what she wants....and what happens? Maybe provide an example of the negative consequences before she takes the boy and discovers friendship. Just a thought.

    p.s. I wasn't worried by the thought of the boy being stolen from the boat. It provides some good action in my opinion and I'm sure you address it in the text.

    Sounds like a great story! Nice job!

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  23. This sounds like a fun story. I would want to read it. You might consider deleting "wants what she wants and she" and combining the last 2 sentences.

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  24. You are the Queen of multitasking, Susanna!

    Congrats to Carrie on winning the pitch. Can't wait to see what Erin says.

    I love chocolate cream pie! I actually make a good one but my chocolate peanut butter pie is even better. Mmmm...now I'm drooling.

    I think Ariel's story sounds adorable and has a good subtle lesson to kids about taking things that aren't theirs. :) I will read anything with an octopus in it. Seriously! But I do think that the pitch will be a bit more enticing with a detail or two (e.g. "But when Billie takes a boy from a fishing boat and he ________, she finds out that...etc"). Good luck, Ariel!

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  25. Thank you, Teresa! I figured the world of picture books needed one starring an octopus :)

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  26. Thank you for reading and the helpful suggestions!!

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  27. Oh man, I don't know which title is best now! 'Ocyograbby' is so fun!! Thank you for you comments!!

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  28. Thank you, Stacy! I have some great suggestions for edits from this group!!

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  29. Congrats Carrie

    Nice job Ariel. I would definitely read this. We definitely need more octopus stories.
    Maybe you could add a few examples? Show us an act of friendship, rather than telling us she finds out what a friend is? Something like...
    Billie the octopus she takes what she wants, [a "---" from Ray and a "----" from Crab.] But when Billie takes a boy from a fishing boat and [he "----"s (an example of friendship)], she learns what she really wanted all along.

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  30. Thank you, Maria! I hadn't thought to add examples but that's a great suggestion!!

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  31. Oh my goodness, those desserts.
    Congratulations Carrie! You really did a great job. As for Ariel's pitch, I'd definitely read it. I am emotionally hooked with this story. I always love those, "When you know better, you do better. And it seems this character is gonna turn out to be a loveable one. Good job

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  32. Thank you, Pamela!! It's so awesome to read how Billie comes across strongly in the pitch to you!! I'm definitely hoping she's seen as moveable by the end of the story :)

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  33. Kirsten Peavy BockApril 15, 2015 at 9:48 PM

    Ariel - this sound fantastically funny! I don't think that I have any feedback for you, as I really loved it.

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  34. Thank you, Kirsten!! I appreciate it!

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  35. Tight pitch. I like Maria's suggestion too...adding some action examples will give a bit more about your main character's personality. Hmmm, also agree with brainstorming some other titles. Octograb is funny. Or ''How to Friend an Octopus'' Good luck Carrie and to you too Susanna!

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  36. Hi Ariel! Your title grabbed me and your pitch is off to a great start. I also loved that you chose the name Billie for a girl. :) You might consider whether you want to completely reveal the ending surprise in the pitch or leave something to be desired. Perhaps if you list some of the funny things Billie is grabbing before she gets to the friend, it might intrigue the reader to want to know more about the struggle. Is her struggle that she is never satisfied and still wants more? I also wondered, if Billie wants everything, does she have a strongest desire propelling her or is it the actual act of wanting that is her greatest desire? You've definitely done a great job of making me curious about the story. Have fun working on this! Best wishes!

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  37. I had the same concern about the boy not being able to breathe. I do think it should be addressed in the pitch. But the octopus seems like a good character. Her many arms and grabby nature go together well, and I can imagine funny illustrations. I'm not attached to her name though--Billie. It doesn't say "octopus" to me.

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  38. This story sounds fantastic. I love the title and the pitch is great too but I would maybe cut back or use a different word instead of 'want' all the time.

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  39. Hi, Ariel! The first line of your pitch grabbed me right away. Yes, I would read this story. I will be interested in finding out more about how Billie's encounter with the boy will unfold. It sounds like a great story! ^^

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  40. Thank you, Hope!!! I'm happy to hear the first line grabbed your attention!!

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  41. I absolutely love the title. Yes, I would read it. It sounds charming.

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  42. Thank you for reading & for your encouraging comment, Rosi!!

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  43. Thank you for reading, Keila! Yes, there are some great titles to consider!

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  44. I'm vey late, but I definitely Want to read, The Octopus Wants What It Wants. I want to find out more about Billie and I like that she's a she octopus!

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  45. First: I always hope you have safe trips, Susanna. You do SO much traveling!

    Second: Congrats, Carrie! :D

    Third: I have to go gluten and dairy free (and a lot of other things-free) so this pie is SO bad for me! It's one of my favorites and we have it every year for my father's birthday :) By then I may give in and have a bit anyway *sigh*

    Fourth: Hi, Ariel! I have to say I'm intrigued as to how this would play out :D Naming the female octopus Billie makes me think of the Patty Duke movie from when I was a kid and I wanted my name to be Billie! lol I'm not so sure it'll go over in a children's book only 'cause it may be confusing. Don't know!

    Also, you begin with "SEA creatures beware!" so I'm wanting some kind of transition to segue from beneath the sea to above it. Maybe something like:

    Sea creatures beware! Billie the octopus wants what she wants and takes what she wants as she prowls the ocean deep. But it's when Billie wanders above the waves, when she snatches a boy from a fishing boat, that she finds out what it's like to have a friend, ultimately learning what she really wanted all along.

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  46. Thanks, Michelle!! I like her being a 'she' too :)

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  47. I never knew any Billie's who were girls growing up but having two young kids I've seen it become very popular for girls and I'm hoping it'll work ok :) Thank you for your pitch suggestion!!

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  48. Ariel, I had NO idea Billie was becoming an actual "thing"! lol

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