I know you're all feeling a little down because the Illustration Contest is over and it was so much fun, but never fear! We have plenty to keep us busy today so you won't have a moment to dwell on missing the illustrations!
I have a scrumptious snack to cheer you and energize you!
One of the reasons I love you all is because you are so considerate - always thinking of me when you see Something Chocolate and making sure I know about it :) Many's the time when one of you dear folks stumble upon Something Deliciously Chocolate and think to yourselves, "Oh Susanna!" whereupon you immediately send me a Helpful Face Book Post or an Enlightening Tweet, sometimes even a High Priority Email!, calling my attention to that Something Scrumptiously Chocolate. Thank you. Truly. From the bottom of my heart. It is so imperative that I know where ALL the chocolate is! :)
Today's Something Chocolate is a case in point. The lovely Rene helpfully called my attention to this. . .
Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Brownies by Recipe Girl
Please enjoy! (But maybe turn your head from the computer slightly so you don't get too much drool in your keyboard :))
Now that you are thusly fortified, let's get down to business.
First, we have Straight From The Editor for March. You will recall that the March Pitch Pick was won by Ann with her pitch for Sk8r Boy. Here is her pitch:
Working Title: Sk8r Boy
Age/Genre: Picture Book (ages 5-8)
The Pitch: Peter wants to be an ice skater but can’t because he’s homeless, and he doesn’t have the money for a pair of skates. But when there’s a poetry contest at school with a small cash prize, he may be able to make his smooth words glide and spin so that he can buy the skates and win his classmates’ respect.
And here is what editor Erin Molta has to say about it:
This is nice. The only thing I would change is the end. I’d think that he’d want to buy the skates so that he can pursue his dream. You don’t want to equate being poor with having no respect. See what I added to the end.
Peter wants to be an ice skater but can’t because he’s homeless, and he doesn’t have the money for a pair of skates. But when there’s a poetry contest at school with a small cash prize, he may be able to make his smooth words glide and spin so that he can buy the skates and
win his classmates’ respect pursue his dream to glide and spin on the ice (or something to that effect . . .).
Nice job, Ann! And great advice from Erin as always!
Now, it's time for the April Pitch Pick. Except we had a glitch and I didn't hear back from one person because she apparently did not receive my revision email. I am pretty much not speaking to my computer. Well. Actually. It's not the computer's fault. It's the internet's fault. Our internet is temperamental, moody, unpredictable, and vindictive. You think I'm joking? Just come up on Blueberry Hill and try to get anything done efficiently online. I am AGING, people! But I digress. The point is, you are off the voting hook until next week :) Which kind of works out nicely since you're probably all a little tired of voting after the incident from last week which we are not mentioning lest you become sad again after I just cheered you up with chocolate! :)
And now, the moment you've all been waiting for....
Today's pitch comes to us from Vivian, whom we've met before with her pitches for The Tomato Turner (WYRI #49), Confessions Of The Tomato Turner (WYRI #58), and The Tomato Turner Gets A Job (WYRI #98).
Here is her pitch:
Working Title: The Long Wait For Mom
Age/Genre: Picture Book (ages 5 and up)
The Pitch: There is a huge aching hole in Sophie 's life when Mom is deployed. Sophie tries unsuccessfully to make spring come more quickly by keeping busy, but when she starts baking cookies for soldiers, she discovers that helping others is the best way to wait for the ones we love.
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 Vivian 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.)
Vivian is looking forward to your thoughts on her pitch! I am looking forward to experimenting with that recipe above for the chocolate chip cookie dough brownies! (And by experimenting of course I mean tasting :))
Ooh! And one last thing before we go! My friend Sarah Frances Hardy, author/illustrator of Puzzled By Pink, has a BRAND SPANKING NEW book out! Really! It just came out yesterday! It's called PAINT ME! and I encourage you all to go check it out :)
Have a wonderful Wednesday, everyone!!! :)
I would definitely read this! Not only does it have a great idea (helping others helps you ...) but it probably features something chocolate - like chocolate chip cookies.ReplyDelete
I actually said "awww" out loud, so yes, I would read this! I think your pitch is tight and well written. The only thing I would consider looking at is your reader's age. There was some discussion at the NESCBWI conference last weekend about picture books really being for the younger set (2-4). However, many people do love the "picture storybook" format for older readers and I think this might be where your story would fit? And there was an editor (from Charlesbridge?) that said they are willing to work to find a 'category' for stories that they believe in. Best of luck!ReplyDelete
Yes! I would definitely read this. It's concise, to the point, and touches on a topic I haven't see a lot of books about.ReplyDelete
Congrats to Sarah for her new release and thanks, as always, to Erin for the great advice shared.ReplyDelete
As for WYRI, I would love to read it. Dealing with the deployment of a loved one is difficult for older ones, so younger ones really have to figure out how best to deal with the absence. Providing a helpful picture book is a great way to help younger ones adjust and the way in which the MC deals with it adds a very special lesson about life as well.
Oh yes - would DEFINITELY read this one. Great premise, well-stated. Though, for some reason, the first sentence of it felt a bit clunky. Wonder if it would work better mentioning the deployment before the hole in her heart? Could be just me (and probably is! :D).ReplyDelete
And I may have to take a computer break and make those brownies. When will you be over, Susanna? ;)
Kudos to Ann for having such a near-perfect pitch that Erin had almost nothing to say about it (though it was a good call, the one thing she suggested).ReplyDelete
I would definitely rea Vivian's pitch! I don't know if it's from allergies or a chocolate-induced coma from looking at that brownie clouding my head, but I have no suggestions for any improvements. I think it is pretty great the way it is. :) Good luck, Vivian!
I would love to read this! And I bet publishers would fall in love with the concept.ReplyDelete
Oh, and now I'm hungry for brownies. Thanks a bunch, Susanna!
I love the premise and the lesson it teaches, so yes, I would definitely be interested in reading this book :)ReplyDelete
And since my first inclination with ANYthing to do with the written word is line editing, that's what I thought I'd contribute. I think it goes without saying that the changes I've made are not necessarily the best, but perhaps it can be useful to you, Vivian. Basically, I flipped the order of phrases in the first two sentences, thinking certain info should be imparted first, took a few words out and added a couple, and pushed back the repetition of Sophie's name so it's not right on top of itself. It's up to you to determine if you think it's effective :) So, here you go:
Working Title: The Long Wait For Mom
Age/Genre: Picture Book (ages 5 and up)
When Mom is deployed until spring, Sophie finds a huge hole in her life and an ache in her heart. Till her mother’s return, she tries to speed up time by keeping busy. When she starts baking cookies for soldiers, Sophie discovers that helping others is the best way to spend her days while waiting for the return of a loved one.
Nancy...thanks so much for sharing that tidbit from the NESCBWI conference - which I sadly missed because of a family wedding. I know there is lots of controversy about the 'age' of picture book readers/listeners...but there is also a push to use them in the early and middle grade classrooms. I'll keep my fingers crossed for an editor who is passionate about it. :) And thank you for the kind words about the pitch...I put it up in the 12x12 Pitch Perfect forum and got great feedback there.ReplyDelete
You are right, Katie...this is a topic that has not been addressed very often...yet so many kids are impacted by parental deployment. Glad you liked the pitch. :)ReplyDelete
Hi Angela -ReplyDelete
Yes, it's an important issue. And I think it's crucial to give kids 'role models' and concrete examples of what they can do in difficult situations...I'm glad you liked the premise of the story.
Joanne...I really appreciate your feedback...I'm always looking to make it better...I'll play with it and see what I come up with. Glad you liked the premise...and please save a couple of brownies for me...I LOVE chocolate!!!!ReplyDelete
Hahaha...you are so funny, Teresa! Thanks for the kind words about the pitch, whether chocolate-induced coma-related or not. :) :) :) I'll be resubmitting the story soon to a small niche publisher who was somewhat interested in it...I'm glad everyone is excited about the premise!ReplyDelete
Thanks so much, Mike! I hope you are right about the publishers. :)ReplyDelete
Wow...Donna Marie...I'm grateful for your pitch fix...I'm always looking to improve...and I LOVE how you separated 'a huge hole in her life and an ache in her heart'...very poetic and perfect!ReplyDelete
I appreciate your kind words about the premise and lesson contained in the story...I'll keep you all in the loop as I submit the manuscript. :)
Congratulations to Ann on a terrific response from agent Erin...I'm not surprised...Sk8er Boy is one of my favorites! And congrats also to Sarah Frances Hardy - Paint Me looks like a great book!ReplyDelete
Thanks so much for the luscious chocolate brownie...I do love chocolate!
And thanks, Susanna, for WYRI...I can already see I will be getting some awesome feedback that will help me improve my pitch.
Nice job, Donna! Thanks for lending Vivian a hand :)ReplyDelete
You're welcome, Mike. I consider it my duty to keep you drooling for brownies :) Thanks for your comments for Vivian!ReplyDelete
I think it's because it's a god pitch, Teresa, but you might also have a chocolate-induced coma :)ReplyDelete
I'm leaving now! :) So kind of you to bake :) Thanks for your comments for Vivian!ReplyDelete
It's a great idea for a book, isn't, Angela? If I were an editor, I'd be interested :) Thanks for chiming in for Vivian!ReplyDelete
Thanks so much for your positive encouragement for Vivian, Katie!ReplyDelete
I really feel the concept of this story is needed for kids today, and I would pick up a book on this topic. I like how the Mc solves her problem, but feel Donna Marie's redo below makes the stakes higher. It needs a bit more "emotional tug-at-the-heartstrings" to truly hook me.ReplyDelete
Hmm... That is very interesting info, Nancy, thanks for sharing! (Although I like to think that kids older than 4 could enjoy and get a lot out of a picture book!) Thanks so much for your comments for Vivian!ReplyDelete
You know, Sue, I really like the way your think :) Thanks for your thoughts for Vivian!ReplyDelete
We have the best peeps ever over here! I'm sorry I forgot to schedule tweets this AM before I left to clean the barn, but I've got some up now. Hopefully people will be flocking over as the day progresses!ReplyDelete
I'll tell her you said so :)ReplyDelete
Thanks so much for your insightful thoughts for Vivian, Kathy!ReplyDelete
Yes, I would read it - the opening sentence is great! I would like some detail in how she keeps busy instead of 'unsuccessfully' in the second sentence - a chance to tell us more about Sophie. Then cut in order to make the third sentence more active: In baking cookies for soldiers, she finds helping others is the best way to help ourselves. Best of luck!ReplyDelete
Hi Vivian - Love the story idea and think Donna's suggestion are terrific!ReplyDelete
ps - congratulations to Sarah!ReplyDelete
Thanks, Michele! Glad you like the story idea...and Donna was really helpful. :)ReplyDelete
So glad you thought it was helpful :) In fact, I just now read through more comments and saw that Joanne felt the first sentence should be switched up, too, so at least I was on the right track? I really wish you good luck with the publisher! :DReplyDelete
And Susanna, just LOOKING and DROOLING over the pic of that brownie was SO glutonous of me, I feel like I broke my diet ;)
Good thoughts on filling in a bit about Sophie...I'll give that a try, Julie. I appreciate your great feedback. :)ReplyDelete
Yes! Sounds like a positive story with a great take away value. Win. Win.ReplyDelete
Gang, I was forgetting I wanted to post a GREAT article here, pertaining to the state of picture books. I agree with EVERY word---which is probably why I think it's great! lolReplyDelete
I definitely have that...and I blame it on you! :DReplyDelete
Yay! Well-honed is music to my ears.:) And hopefully, to the editor as well.:)ReplyDelete
I appreciate your kind words, Ruth! Thanks for your input...I'll let everyone know how things go.:)ReplyDelete
First of all, a huge congrats to all the illustrators! A whole lotta talent out there; I felt like I could go to the bookstore and buy the books!ReplyDelete
Second, thanks to Susanna for hosting. Though now I want chocolate, and blame you.
Third, great pitch, Vivian. I'm totally going to steal Julie and Donna's advice, as well as your fine pitch, to stitch together my attempt.
When Mom is deployed until spring, Sophie finds a huge hole in her life and an ache in her heart. She tries x, y and z, trying to keep busy. But when she starts baking cookies for soldiers, Sophie knows that helping others is the best way to wait for the ones we love.
I think I already read that one…several times! And it just keeps getting better and better. :-)ReplyDelete
Vivian, I love your pitch! I think it works really well. I liked Julie's suggestions. Also, maybe consider keeping the end specific to Sophie instead of expanding it to "we," which feels a tad lesson-y to me.
Hello Stacy...thank you soooo much! I'm happy you did a pitch fix...I like your second sentence..giving me an opportunity to show how Sophie tries to keep busy...and I love how you phrase the third sentence...'Sophie knows'...I think that is exactly what happens...she gets a 'knowing' and realizes this is the best way to wait. :)ReplyDelete
I appreciate your feedback, Carrie...AS ALWAYS! I've told you before that you are an amazing pitch whisperer! I agree with your thought about keeping the ending specific to Sophie. You guys are pretty awesome. :)ReplyDelete
yeah, well, I guess I can't really sidestep the blame on that :)ReplyDelete
I think I read the very original version of it for the 4th of July Contest :) Looks like it's developed into an amazing story! Thanks so much for your helpful comments for Vivian, Carrie - especially so since you've actually read the ms! :)ReplyDelete
I'm getting a lot of blame about chocolate today! Sheesh! Maybe next week I'll serve something vanilla just to make you all appreciate the deliciousness that is chocolate! :) Thanks so much for your very helpful re-wording for Vivan, Stacy.ReplyDelete
It does sound great, doesn't it Ruth? I would totally read it :)ReplyDelete
Ah, but you didn't! Therein lies the beauty :)ReplyDelete
I would read this! It sounds like a very sweet book! :)ReplyDelete
What's next? I want a video contest! That was fun! ;)
I know the brownies are a day old but they're still very yummy! I'm glad there were some left!ReplyDelete
I would read the book for sure. Vivian's pitch started out very strong and with the suggestions folks gave, it will be awesome! I don't have anything to add.
That's high praise from you, Penny! I so appreciate your kind words...if there aren't enough brownies for you, I'll have Sophie make some more. :)ReplyDelete
Hi Erik! Glad you would like to read it...promise me you will review it if/when it gets published, okay? ;)ReplyDelete
And a video contest sounds like fun...maybe that would force me to learn how to do it. :)
Ah! That brownie looks to die for! And Vivian YES, I would read it. :) I really like your pitch. The first sentence hooked me! In the second sentence, I'm not sure you need the detail about spring as their isn't anything else in the pitch specifically about the seasons. My first thought was "why spring?" Because of the other suggestions, I tried writing a pitch using details from the story; however, I think the way you have it now is better. So while I like the idea of adding specifics, too many details can also slow down the pace of a pitch. However, you move forward, it's a great pitch and a fantastic story. Good luck!!!ReplyDelete
"there isn't anything..." I must have sticky fingers from that brownie.ReplyDelete
I stopped by late. I read through several of the suggestions. Lots of helpful advice Vivian. So, I'm apparently eating the brownie crumbs and just saying Hiiiiiii.ReplyDelete
That is very important work too, Stacy :) Thanks for stopping by to attend to the crumbs :)ReplyDelete
Yay for Vivian! And I always make sure to save some dessert for you, Penny :)ReplyDelete
Hmm... yes, I believe you mentioned that before. I wonder what we should video? Time to put on our thinking caps...!ReplyDelete
Thanks so much for your comments for Vivian, Hannah! And I'm glad you enjoyed the brownies :)ReplyDelete
Thank you Susanna!!!ReplyDelete
Any time :)ReplyDelete
Well, if you want a random (but realistic-ish) reason, visit www[dot]daysoftheyear[dot]com! It should be something where everyone (including me!) makes big fools of themselves! (me especially, for suggesting that... ;) )ReplyDelete
I would love to read and review it!ReplyDelete
It's a deal, Erik!ReplyDelete
Hahaha! I love that site. I don't know how many people besides you I could talk into doing videos, though... For some of us older folk it's very technologically challenging :)ReplyDelete
Lucky Ms. Kirkfield :)ReplyDelete
Good thing I came back to this page when Susanna reminded me it was time to post the revisions for the May pitch pick (it is now almost July) - I somehow missed your lovely comment and helpful thoughts! Thanks for chiming in - I truly value your feedback. :)