Pitch Contest #3

The Misadventures of Little Red Writing Hood

Have you ever felt like you’re just spinning your wheels, flinging mud but never getting anywhere? And does ‘getting anywhere’ mean achieving fame and fortune at the expense of being reasonable, responsible, and celestial?

Beckie Mackintosh feels like she’s been spinning her wheels all her adult life, but it’s not mud she’s flinging, it’s dust. Beckie, a would-be writer, lives in a small Utah town with three slightly wacky children [doesn't work] , two dogs who are devoted to food [doesn't work], a cat who thinks she's a queen [doesn't work], and a parrot that’s in love with a feather duster [works!]. Oh yes, and let’s not forget … a husband who’s a psychologist. She wrestles with paw prints, scouting, femininity, and moths [huh?], all the while wearing her lucky red sweatshirt to help her write, and wondering if achieving the celestial kingdom is at odds with achieving the best seller list.

Her most outstanding talent, her imagination, is also Beckie’s biggest challenge since it often carries her away. Her goal is to become a published author, and her family’s antics provide ample material for her to work with. However, finding a publisher who appreciates her ability to turn the mundane into the marvelous is not an easy task.

Frustration reaches a peak and she vows never to write again. However, her husband, Rusty, submits an entry for her in a contest sponsored by a toilet paper manufacturer. The entry is a chapter from her book, revolving around an experience Rusty had while on the Klondike … using toilet paper for a substitute ski mask [works!]. Beckie is awarded a cash prize, along with the opportunity to help write a commercial for the company. She finally understands that she can be celestial without being perfect, and that her family loves her just as she is … sitting at her computer in her quirky red sweatshirt, writing stories and ignoring the dust.

Okay, this could be really good or it could be really bad. I can see that you're going for humor, but most of it misses the zing (see notes in red). When I say "doesn't work," it means it's too familiar and commonplace. "Slightly wacky," how? Give us an example. All dogs love food and all cats think they rule the house. How are her pets out of the ordinary? The parrot hits right on. That is an unusual twist for a parrot.

I like the pun in the title--writing; red sweatshirt--but it’s hard for me to believe that there is going to be enough dramatic tension in this book to motivate sales. It’s not a romance, a suspense, or a mystery—so that means it’s going to be harder to sell. If it’s very, very funny then it might work, but the hints at the jokes and the fun aren’t sharp enough in this pitch to convince me.

Although I smiled at the set-up, I wasn’t completely sold. This is a fence-sitter. I might ask for partials if I was caught up on submissions and having a slow week. If I was really busy, I’d pass.

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