April 22, 2015

Would You Read It Wednesday #171 - Monster Bakery (PB) PLUS Straight From The Editor x 2!!!

Well, hello there!  Fancy meeting you here!

Oh, right!  You're here for the chocolate.

We'll get to that in a sec.

First, I have to tell you what a big week it's been here at the Hill Homestead.  I have been to Pennsylvania, Connecticut, Massachusetts, and Vermont.  I celebrated the 21st anniversary of my 29th birthday and joined the half-century club.  My husband and I celebrated our silver wedding anniversary.  And Princess Blue Kitty has a headlight that is almost out!

I know!

Not every week is that chock-full of love, travel, adventure, drama, and the knife-edge of danger (what if a policeman sees us before our beloved Subaru mechanic gets back from vacation to replace Blue's headlight???!!!  Edge-of-your-seat thrill ride - that's the way we roll around here!)

A week like this gives me a chance to pause and reflect (whilst driving), to look at all the blessings in my life and be grateful, and to think holy swiss cheese, Batman, when did I get so OLD?! :)

All this by way of saying if I owe you an email or haven't commented on your blog or etc., etc., that's why.  Blame it on senility :)

Now then, first on today's agenda we have Straight From The Editor for both February and March!

February - you will recall Kirsten's winning pitch for Finley vs. The Fly (PB ages 4-8)
When a pesky fly fixes his eye on Finley’s peanut butter and jelly sandwich, the game is on. Armed with a magazine, vacuum cleaner, and sink sprayer, Finley is determined to deliver a final blow to the buzz. But when Finley serves up the final swat and the fly lands — splat — on the sandwich, Finley wonders whether he’s really won after all.
Editor Erin Molta had this to say:

I really like the potential action of Finley vs. the Fly. However, Finley wondering whether he won after all is a bit of a downer and nobody likes a fly. Finley needs to be the victor in this story and it seems as if he’s not.

March - you will recall Carrie's winning pitch for Stepping Into Adventure: The Magic Rocks (PB ages 4-8)
Stepping Into Adventure: The Magic Rocks is the story of Jude, a boy who is on a quest to find adventure because boredom has captured him.  He discovers he cannot escape his suddenly dull days without the help of his step-mom.  This results in high-flying adventure and a discovery that they are even better together.  
For this one, Erin said:

This sounds interesting but you need to tie in the beginning and the last sentence.  A discovery that Jude and his stepmom are even better together implies that he thought they weren’t and that seems to be more a problem than boredom. Perhaps if you started the pitch with something like, Jude’s new step mom took some getting used to but Jude is incredibly bored…and then perhaps make it so that his step mom gives him some adventurous ideas. Then it becomes a family story with more of a hook than just alleviating boredom.

As always, I find Erin's comments very enlightening (thank you, Erin!), and I hope Kirsten and Carrie will find her thoughts helpful!

Now then.  You've been very patient.  And now your patience shall be rewarded.  It's time for everybody's favorite snack: Something Chocolate!!!

http://www.bonappetit.com/recipe/chocolate-brownie-cookies
Really, when the name is Chocolate Brownie Cookies you just need to grab a cup of coffee or a glass of milk and dive in :)  (With many thanks to the lovely Teresa who supplied this deliciousness.  There was a rumor that Renee was going to test the recipe, but results have not been reported in! :))

Onward!

Today's pitch comes to us from Pat who says, "As an established food writer and cookbook author, my food obsession spills over into my children’s writing. I love reading and writing picture books, and am especially attracted to stories that have clever punch lines and subterfuge, diverse characters and themes are a bonus!  
Find me at--
Blog: Picklesandtea.org link
Twitter: @ediblewords 
Here is her pitch:

Working Title: Monster Bakery
Age/Genre: Picture Book (ages 4-8)
The Pitch: Esme and her parents run The Ghoulangerie, a popular bakery in their neighborhood. Every day, maggot and mince meat pies, booger bagels with brain cheese, and bloody orange cupcakes fly off the shelves. However, the neighborhood is changing and their regular customers soon stop coming in. To bring in new customers, Esme comes up with a three-step plan: tweak their recipes, change their opening hours, and advertise. Nothing’s working until a crisis encourages Esme to push the limits of her creativity.

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 Pat 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!

Pat is looking forward to your thoughts on her pitch!  I am looking forward to watching the grass turn green.  It's happening folks! :)

Have a wonderful Wednesday, everyone!!! :)


Reactions:

50 comments:

  1. I never could resist a bakery story. Or a bakery - let's face it. So yes, I would LOVE to read this. Pitch-wise, I'd rather know a little about what Esme DID to fix her drop in business, rather than what she THINKS she should do. Good luck with this one.

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  2. Ha ha - would definitely read it. Who could resist maggot pie? Wording suggestions:... "However the neighborhood is changing. The regular customers stop coming in. What to do? Esme tweaks recipes, changes opening hours, advertises. Nothing works until a crisis forces her to push the limits of her creativity."

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  3. Happy Birthday & Anniversary, Susanna!!

    I can't wait to eat brownie cookies! But first...yes, I would definitely read this!! I think the concept of a monster bakery is hilarious! Also, the twist of new customers with different tastes is great. I thought the last two lines could be combined to cut out the 3 step plan part: 'to keep new customers coming in, Esme must think of a plan that pushes the limits of her creativity.' Great pitch!!

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  4. I think it's a fun concept and I'd like to see more language play like you did w/the title - so cute. The treat titles will make kids squeal, too. Feel you need too tighten and yet at same time tell us more about the crisis. That part piques my interest, but give us a few hints so we care.

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  5. Well my curiosity is certainly piqued, so I would have to read it. :)

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  6. Thanks, Iza! Yes, humans have started moving in and are pushign the monsters out. I'll try to hint at how she solves the problem without giving it away :).

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  7. Gotcha, Genevieve. Thanks!

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  8. My son giggles with glee whenever I mention maggot pie. Thank you, Julia!

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  9. Great suggestion, thanks Ariel!

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  10. Thanks, Kathy!

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  11. Thanks, Lauri!

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  12. Thanks, Teresa!

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  13. Oh, I LOVE this pitch! Love the wordplay. The humor. I would read it! I do think you could tighten those last two sentences to: Esme tries to save the business, but nothing works until a crisis tests the limits of her creativity.


    Great feedback on the other pitches. And let me welcome you to the half century club. It's a fine place. I'll buy you a drink—or maybe some chocolate.

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  14. Pat, I love the name of the bakery and all your little puns. I'm intrigued right away. My only suggestions are for the ending:

    The Pitch: Esme and her parents run The Ghoulangerie, a popular bakery in their neighborhood. Every day, maggot and mince meat pies, booger bagels with brain cheese, and bloody orange cupcakes fly off the shelves. However, the neighborhood is changing and their regular customers soon stop coming (in)--you can take this out.

    To bring in new customers, Esme comes up with a three-step plan, but nothing works until ???? I'd be a tiny bit more specific here on what happens instead of the specifics of the three-phase plan and then leave out the following line: Nothing’s working until a crisis encourages Esme to push the limits of her creativity

    Such a fun story. Can't wait to see. :)

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  15. Hi Pat! I would read it, but if the point is that the monsters have to make food that appeals to humans, I think you should clearly state that -- because that's a funny concept. As written, the pitch sounds a little too foodie-business-centered. Just my two cents. (Booger bagels with brain cheese, LOL.)

    Happy birthday and anniversary, Susanna!

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  16. Pat, you had me at the name - The Ghoulangerie! I also really like Johnell's suggestions for edits, too. Kids, and certain illustrators, will love the images that your product names evoke! Such humorous possibilities. Dying to read this!


    Susanna, I joined the club one week before you! Welcome. Here's a chocolate & champagne toast to us and many more birthdays to come!

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  17. POSTED FOR SALLY SUEHLER (who was having trouble with the comments, Pat)

    I am new at pitches (as in I have never done one), but I thought it was great. The only thing I would wonder in the pitch is why has the neighborhood changed, e.g. since the vampires moved out, bloodyberry scone sales have fallen. Should that be brought in more. Just thinking... New to the Art of Pitching, but willing to learn! ;-)

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  18. Monster books are always fun and this sounds like a very fun idea. This pitch has plenty of ick factor, which is always popular with the kiddies. I echo that we need to know what is making the neighborhood change. With more information included, I think this will fly.

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  19. Oh wow! Thank you so much everyone for all the kudos and encouragement, not to mention the great tips and advice. I appreciate your time and effort in helping me sharpent my pitch! Now back to the drawing board. Cheers, Pat

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  20. Julie, I'm a food writer too so yes, a recipe!

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  21. Thanks, Johnell!!!

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  22. Erin's comments were super helpful. Thanks for the opportunity! Pat, you certainly have an unusual story. Your pitch really gives the flavor of your book, but I feel it could be tightened. The first two sentence are setup/backstory. I would start the pitch by tweaking the third sentence, which has your inciting incident. Good luck!

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  23. I can definitely hear the kids giggling already. My kids definitely went through a time where the icky factor in books was a must.
    And Yay! and best wishes for all the happy happenings Susanna!

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  24. Kirsten Peavy BockApril 24, 2015 at 8:36 PM

    This sounds really cute and it puts a unique twist on the beloved monster theme. I feel that the pitch is bit long, though and still kind of vague. Why/how does the neighborhood change? I think you could probably cut down on set-up (examples of the dishes, etc.) and cut to the chase.

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  25. This_Kid_Reviews_Books_ErikApril 24, 2015 at 8:38 PM

    WHOA! You are busy! And, happy 21st anniversary! ;)
    I don't know if I can add more about the pitch, but I'd read the book. :D

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  26. Congratulations, Susanna, on all of your milestones! I hope your special days were filled with sunshine and love. ;)
    And congrats to the pitchers who got awesome feedback from the ever generous Erin Molta!
    Regarding Pat's pitch...I would DEFINITELY read it...a monster bakery...very clever...love the treats they serve...love how the conflict is going to amp up and I think the pitch is spot-on.

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  27. Thank you, Vivian! It's been a big week, and a lovely one :) It's not every week you get to celebrate 25 years of marriage to the guy who's still the man of your dreams, 5 amazing kids, 2 adorable grandkids, and only being 29 for the 21st time :) Thanks so much for your cheery comments for Pat - I'm sure she's thrilled :)

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  28. Yes, Erik, I am pretty much running like a hamster on a wheel these days, which is why I haven't commented on your blog enough lately and for that I apologize and will try to do better! Thank you for the anniversary wishes :) And I'm sure Ms. Tanumihardja will be happy you'd read her book!

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  29. Thank you for your very helpful thoughts and suggestions for Pat, Kirsten!

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  30. Oh, yay! Pat will be thrilled! And thanks for the best wishes, Coleen :)

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  31. I'm so glad you found Erin's comments helpful, Kirsten! And thanks so much for your response to Pat's pitch - I know your thoughts will be valuable to her!

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  32. Thanks for the good wishes, Angela - I so appreciate them! It was certainly a week full of shenanigans :) And thanks for chiming in for Pat!

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  33. Don't we have the best readers ever, Pat?! :) I'm glad you found their advice helpful!

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  34. Thanks so much for sharing your reactions with Pat, Rosi. I know she'll find your thoughts helpful!

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  35. Thanks so much for chiming in for Pat, Sally! Every response is important and helpful, whether you're new to pitching or an old hand :)

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  36. Thanks so much for your comments for Pat, Julie, and for your birthday and anniversary wishes - so sweet of you! And I don't feel a day over 21 and 29 years :) Have fun with the therapy dogs (that will be so amazing!) and I already know from your email that the origami owl making was a hit - yay! :)

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  37. Thanks so much for your helpful comments for Pat, Maria! And HAPPY BIRTHDAY! Definitely a moment for chocolate and champagne! :)

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  38. Thanks so much for your helpful suggestions for Pat, Marlaina and for your very kind birthday and anniversary wishes :)

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  39. Thanks so much for your helpful thoughts and pitch re-wording for Pat, Johnell!

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  40. Thanks so much for sharing your enthusiasm with Pat, Jilanne, and for your helpful suggestions for her! And wow! Look at all these people popping out of the woodwork and announcing their membership in the 1/2 Century Club! I thought you and Maria were way younger than me!

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  41. Thanks so much for showing up at the party, Teresa - it wouldn't have been the same without you! :) I do not know what Renee's excuse is, but maybe I'd better threaten the ECP! Thank you for the club welcomes - I am VERY glad to hear chocolate is one the menu :) And thanks for your helpful comments for Pat!

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  42. Just what every writer wants to hear! Thanks, Lauri :)

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  43. Thanks so much for chiming in for Pat, Kathy! Very helpful :)

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  44. Thank you for the lovely wishes, Ariel! :) And thank so much for your helpful thoughts for Pat!

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  45. Thanks so much for your helpful suggestions for Pat, Julia!

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  46. I know how you feel about bakeries, Genevieve - they're pretty much my favorite kind of store... especially if they have chocolate croissants, chocolate cake, etc :) Thanks so much for chiming in for Pat!

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  47. Thanks so much for your helpful thoughts for Pat, Iza! Ghoulangerie really is a good one, isn't it?!

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  48. You're right Kirsten, I definitely need to cut it down a little and be more specific. Thank you!

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  49. Pat TanumihardjaMay 4, 2015 at 11:21 AM

    Yes! Thanks for the opportunity, Susanna!

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