May 6, 2015

Would You Read It Wednesday #173 - A Case Of Cane-Syrupy-Sugar-A-Bitus (PB) PLUS The April Pitch Pick!

Guess what???

It's time for everybody's favorite writerly pursuit: Would You Read It?!

***cue game show music and wild applause from the overly excited audience***

"And what do we have for our contestant today Helmut?"

"Well, Brunhilda, today's contestant will receive the priceless gift of advice from readers, writers, teachers, librarians, parents and even a few kids around the globe!  Not advice on their love life, or how to build their house so it won't get swept away during monsoon season or how to make a delicious casserole out of stale breakfast cereal, but much more valuable advice on their book pitch!"

"That IS a prize Helmut!"

"They will also receive an unopened jar of a mystery substance that may be jam, or possibly a fruit butter of some type, or possibly refried beans, or possibly (but probably not) the unidentified growth that was removed from Uncle Howard's big toe last spring because dang-it-all no one seems to know where that got to!"

"Oh, the excitement!  Imagine the thrill of getting to open that mystery jar!"

"Well, let's get right to it, Brunhilda, starting with the April Pitch Pick!"

That's right, folks!  It's time for 
the April Pitch Pick!  Here are the five fabulous pitches, revised and polished by their authors thanks to your generous and helpful advice.

#1 Lidia - Don't Pinch Me! (PB ages 4-8)

The pencil is always getting pinched as the preschoolers learn to write and he’s really cranky about it…until he realizes just how important his job is.

#2 Amelia - The Princess And The Pee (PB ages 1-4)

When little Addy discovers an unexplored room in the family castle, her big sister Millie informs her that it holds The Royal Throne - a special seat only true princesses can use.  True princesses who are so sensitive they just can't play one second in a dirty diaper.  True princesses who are so clever they can sense wiggles and tinkles moving around even before they come out.  True princesses like Millie.  Addy knows she's a princess too, but if she ever wants to see The Royal Throne for herself, she'll have to find a way to prove it!

#3 Ariel - The Octopus Wants What She Wants (PB ages 4-8)

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.

#4 Pat - Monster Bakery (PB ages 4-8)
Esme and her parents run The Ghoulangerie, a popular bakery where maggot and mince meat pies, booger bagels with brain cheese, and bloody orange cupcakes fly off the shelves daily. However, the monsters in their neighborhood start moving away and business is falling. As hard as Esme and her parents try to cater to the new human clientele, nothing is working. Then one day, they can’t find regular baking ingredients anymore and Esme has to use her smarts and creativity to solve the problem.

#5 Randy - The Last Race (MG)
Twelve year old Ben's life was all about racing midget race cars, until the day he hit a roadblock he didn't see coming: His mother dying of breast cancer.

Please vote for the pitch you think most deserves a read and comments by editor Erin Molta in the poll below by Sunday May 10 at 5 PM EDT.

Many thanks!

And now it's time for Something Chocolate, 
helpfully discovered and shared by one of my favorite little chocolate hunters who frequently supplies us with our Wednesday chocolate delights!  Thank you, Kathy!!!  It's called Skinny Almond Joy Poke Cake, but let's forget the "skinny" shall we, and just go all out.  Breakfast is the most important meal of the day, after all - we must be well fueled!  You never know when you're going to be called upon to open a mystery jar!

SKINNY ALMOND JOY POKE CAKE from Renee's Kitchen Adventures is an
easy low calorie dessert recipe that tastes like your favorite candy bar!


Now that we've bolstered our caloric intake to a functional level, today's pitch comes to us from Zainab Khan.  She is a pre-published author who writes picture books that are quirky or interactive. She also writes picture books that deal with serious issues like disabilities, homelessness, and diversity. In addition, Zainab is in the midst of writing a middle grade mystery about ancient civilizations.

Before venturing on a full time writing journey, Zainab was an elementary school teacher. Having an entrepreneurial heart, she ran her own in home based  preschool. 

Raising two kids (one who is extra special) and a cat with her husband keep Zainab occupied at all hours of the day. When she gets a free moment, Zainab  runs on the elliptical or she'll eat a delicious bowl of Grater's raspberry and chocolate ice cream covered in chocolate shavings. 

Zainab loves sharing her sugary treats with her friends. You can connect with her on Facebook ( or on twitter (@zainabzk).

Here is her pitch:

Working Title: A Case Of Cane-Syrupy-Sugar-A-Bitus
Age/Genre: Picture Book (ages 4-8)
The Pitch: When Samantha swallows too many sweet treats, she contracts a case of cane-syrupy-sugar-a-bitus (a.k.a. Sugar Bug). Will this high fructose bug send her home from school and end her dreams of becoming THE pirouetting star of the school talent 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 Zainab 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!

Zainab is looking forward to your thoughts on her pitch!  I am looking forward to seeing what's in that mystery jar!

Have a wonderful Wednesday everyone!!!  And thanks for helping Zainab and voting for your favorite pitch!



  1. I like the concept of a kiddo w/a sugar high. (Chocolate, anyone, Susanna?) I have some plot questions that will help me connect the dots in the pitch. If she's at school, how does she get all these treats, and does she practice for the talent show during school? How does being sent home keep her from being the pirouette star? Love the name of the disease, though! Keep at it.

  2. Hah, Susanna, you're funny! If the desser says "skinny," it must be good for me. ;)

    As for the pitch, yes, because I'm always in danger of becoming a sugar bug myself. LOL! However, a similar thought to Kathy's occurred to me, too. And we need some sort of indication at the beginning about the talent show. Just as we thought the whole story was about how she overcomes being a sugar bug, we get what seems like a separate plot altogether. Best of luck on this, Zainab!

  3. I love the concept here - so many families struggle to tame the candy monster! The actual name of your sugar bug felt a bit long and difficult for the age group you're proposing. (Granted, I've only had one cup of coffee, but I had trouble with the flow of it). I would try to tighten it to something more "hook-y."
    You have all the plot points here, but consider rearranging their order, e.g. "Samantha dreams of....but...."
    Good luck!

  4. Sugary fun abounds today! I would read it, because it's a universal issue. I would also shorten the title a bit, maybe even Sugar-A-Bitus? The plot sounds lively and very imaginative. I look forward to seeing what Zainab does with this cute story.

  5. Got my vote in, enjoyed that tasty chocolate and I would read today's pitch. I enjoyed the pitch.

  6. Hi, Zainab. Yes, I would read this simply because of the cane-syrupy-sugar-a-bitus. :) It sounds like fun, and I immediately thought of a few mentor texts. A Bad Case of the Stripes by David Shannon and Pink-a-licious. I was a bit thrown by the talent show being in the mix, perhaps because it was not mentioned until the end of the pitch. From reading only the pitch, it seems like the sugar bug is driving the entire story (sugar=her main desire) rather than her desire to be the pirouetting star of the talent show. A few simple adjustments could do the trick. If not, take a look at your plot and your main character's greatest desire again. Best wishes!

  7. I love the title. And the pitch makes me wonder what the symptoms are. Must be pretty bad if they would stop Samantha from dancing! Yikes. I'd love to get a hint about that in the pitch. I would definitely read this one. Good luck with it.

  8. Cane-syrupy-sugar-a-bitus! LOL! A funny way to introduce why eating too many sweets can ruin your day, or dreams! Assuming her energy level goes into overdrive? If so, a little peep inside something that happens when she's all sugared up may add a little something sweet to the hook. Yeah, I just did that, now I need a cookie, with chocolate!

  9. What fun. I would read this just to figure out the "disease." I am intrigued by the "Cane-syrupy-sugar-a-bitus," but torn by it, b/c it is such a mouthful. I agree with Carrie and Kathy that we need more of an understand of what Samantha desperately wants, how does this aliment stand in her way, and a hint of how she solves her problem. Good Luck.
    Now I have to run off the sugar high that Susanna just gave me! :-)

  10. Thank you so much for your helpful comments for Zainab, Maria! And I hope you enjoy your run :)

  11. Thank you so much for sharing your impressions with Zainab, Keila - I know she'll find them helpful!

  12. Thanks so much for your helpful comments for Zainab, Genevieve!

  13. Thank you so much for your helpful suggestions for Zainab including mentor texts, Carrie! :)

  14. Thank you for voting, and for your vote of confidence for Zainab, Angela! And I'm glad you enjoyed the chocolate :)

  15. Thanks so much for your helpful suggestions for Zainab, Linda!

  16. Thank you so much for chiming in for Zainab with your thoughtful suggestions, Nancy! :)

  17. All dessert is good for you, Teresa! :) Thanks so much for your thoughtful comments for Zainab - I'm sure she'll find them very helpful!

  18. Yes, it's just possible that Samantha and I have a thing or two in common :) Thanks so much for your thought-provoking questions for Zainab - I'm sure they'll help her write a stronger pitch!

  19. Samantha planned on pirouetting her way to kindergarten stardom in Ms. Hopple's talent show. But when she chomps on too many sweets, she Samantha fears only her tummy will be turning pirouettes.

    Samantha planned on pirouetting her way to kindergarten stardom in Ms. Hopple's talent show. But when she chomps on too many sweets, she Samantha fears only her tummy will be turning pirouettes.

    Samantha planned on pirouetting her way to kindergarten stardom in Ms. Hopple's talent show. But when she chomps on too many sweets, she Samantha fears only her tummy will be turning pirouettes.

  20. This was a great bunch of pitches. It's a tough call for me. I like Ariel's pitch because it's short and sweet. Monster Bakery made me busy up, but then I do have the kind of like "gross" food ideas. Amelia, your idea is great. Love the idea of a big sister revealing the "magic" of the Royal Throne.

  21. Thanks, Kirk!

  22. Keila, I love the idea. I'm going to add your bit in. Thank you so much for your help. :)

  23. Thank you for your comments. I am getting so many great ideas from all of you. :)

  24. Thank you for the feedback. It's so helpful. :)

  25. Awesome advice Carrie! Thank you. I love the mentor texts you've listed and they (especially Pink-A-licious) is a good comp. I will make the talent show part stronger and make the adjustments you mentioned. Thanks for your help! :)

  26. Thanks Angela! :) I'm glad you liked the pitch and the chocolate. Mmmmm.

  27. Linda, I love sugar! It's my achilles heel. Thank you for taking the time to respond and for wanting to read my story. I'll make some corrections and it'll be good enough to eat. :)

  28. Thanks Nancy for your feedback. I'll see how I can make it more hook-y. I'm always open to suggestions. I will rearrange the order of my sentence. Thank you! :)

  29. Teresa: Thanks for the feedback. You are right. I need to fix this itty bitty plot issue. I appreciate the comments. :)

  30. Thank you Kathy for your questions. This pitch (and story) need more work and you (and everyone else on this board) have given me the tools to make it better. I appreciate your help! :) I'm off to eat more chocolate. Mmmm.....

  31. Thank you Susanna for the opportunity to post my pitch on your blog. I am grateful for your help (and patience). You all are amazingly, awesome authors! :)

  32. Stacy, that is an awesome pitch! Thanks so much for your help and ideas. Eat chocolate! :)

  33. Hehehe Kirk! I'm happy you can see the Sugar Bug in your mind. Thanks for the great, positive feedback. Thank you! :)

  34. Hi. I'm actually in the "no" camp on this one. I'm worried the story might be preachy. It feels too obvious that it's a story about not eating too much sugar--which is an adult concern, unless you find a way to incorporate this theme organically into a story. Beyond that, I can't tell from the pitch what the action of the story might be, whether it's going to feature a main character I will care about, or what the story's emotional content might be. I need more detail, and a better sense of plot and character in order to feel confident about this one.

  35. Thank you Heather for your candid feedback. You raise some great questions and I appreciate your help. I see your point of view and will make this pitch better. :)


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

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...