Friday, December 16, 2011

Submissions Closed Until January 2, 2012

Well, we received a "mad rush" of submissions yesterday and we're busy sorting them, reading, and rating.  If you got your submission in by midnight last night (December 15th) you can plan on having your story and free critique rating returned you before or just after the Christmas holiday.

If you missed your chance to submit, Rate Your Story will be accepting submissions again in January 2012.  We hope you'll take the extra time to polish up those stories, picture books, and other pieces of writing before submitting them to Rate Your Story.

Any submissions received between today, December 16, 2011, and January 1, 2012, will be read and rated after January 2, 2012. 

Happy Holidays from Rate Your Story!

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Last Call for 2011: Submit by December 15th to Rate Your Story

The end of the year is upon us!

If you've got a story you want to get read, rated, and critiqued this year - make sure to submit it to Rate Your Story by December 15th.  That way, we can have it read and rated and send it back to you before we all stuff ourselves so silly we can't get to the computer.

Out of consideration of our volunteer judges, we'll not be reading any submissions between December 16th and January 2, 2012.  Happy New Year!

Now submit - quick!  Or your story will sit in our inbox until next year. 


Thursday, December 1, 2011

Win up to $500 in Free Books!

If you're visiting Rate Your Story, you're probably a writer.  Are you aware that the best writers often READ even more than they write?

In honor of this awesome writing tip, and a special holiday promotion from Chronicle Books, Miranda is posting her favorite titles from Chronicle.  Chronicle Books (and Chronicle Books for Kids) tend to publish quirky, non-main stream titles that always make for good reading.  They cover several niche markets.  And....they're one of the few publishing houses that still accepts unsolicited submissions!  (Remember to rate your story and revise first before sending, though!)

Anyway, back to that booklist and awesome giveaway.  Chronicle is giving away $500 in free books.  If Miranda wins, she's got to choose a FRIEND to also receive the books.    If you want to be that friend or know of a good charity that she should donate to (if she wins), COMMENT BELOW!!

And, a Charity will benefit if Miranda wins, too - Books for Africa.  Why Books for Africa?  Read all about their 1 Million Books for Gambia campaign that Miranda is involved with.

Now, if Miranda won $500 from Chronicle, here are the titles she'd choose (note, most of them are Chronicle Books for Children).  Oh, and she would request THREE copies of each - because she has two kids...and one for her!!

One Love

Adapted by Cedella Marley - Based on the song by Bob Marley
Illustrated by Vanessa Brantley Newton
10 x 9-5/8 in; 32 pp;
Guided Reading Level: G
Published in August, 2011
ISBN 9781452102245
ISBN10 1452102244

Story Painter

The Life of Jacob Lawrence
By John Duggleby
10 x 9-5/8 in; 64 pp;
Full color throughout, Ages 8-12
Published in October, 1998
ISBN 9780811820820
ISBN10 0811820823

Round is a Mooncake

A Book of Shapes
By Roseanne Thong,Illustrated by Grace Lin
9 x 9 in; 40 pp;
full color throughout, Ages 4-8
Guided Reading Level: J
Published in June, 2000
ISBN 9780811826761
ISBN10 0811826767

Night of the Moon

A Muslim Holiday Story
By Hena Khan,Illustrated by Julie Paschkis
8 x 11 in; 36 pp;
full-color throughout, ages 4-8
Published in June, 2008
ISBN 9780811860628
ISBN10 0811860620

Just a Minute!

A Trickster Tale and Counting Book
By Yuyi Morales
8-1/2 x 10-1/2 in; 36 pp;
full color throughout, ages 4-8
Guided Reading Level: L
Published in September, 2003
ISBN 9780811837583
ISBN10 0811837580

The Space Between Trees

By Katie Williams
5-5/8 x 8-1/8 in; 256 pp;
unjacketed hardcover with laser cuts, ages 14 and up
Guided Reading Level: Z
Published in June, 2010
ISBN 9780811871754
ISBN10 0811871754



How I Stole Johnny Depp's Alien Girlfriend

By Gary Ghislain
5-5/8 x 8 in; 208 pp;
1-color throughout, ages 12 and up
Guided Reading Level: Z+
Published in May, 2011
ISBN 9780811874601
ISBN10 0811874605

Dan Eldon: Safari As a Way of Life

By Jennifer New
6-1/2 x 8-1/4 in; 176 pp;
full-color art and photographs throughout, plus special features, ages 12 and up
Published in September, 2011
ISBN 9780811870917
ISBN10 081187091X


 Goodnight, Goodnight, Construction Site

By Sherri Duskey Rinker, Illustrated by Tom Lichtenheld
10 x 9-5/8 in; 32 pp;
full-color images throughout, ages 4-8
Guided Reading Level: J
Published in April, 2011
ISBN 9780811877824
ISBN10 0811877825

Remember, this promotion is sponsored by Chronicle Books (not Rate Your story - remember, we're a free site with no money to give away...).

You can enter to be the FRIEND Miranda considers giving her prize to if she wins by COMMENTING BELOW.  Help her win books for herself, you (hopefully), and Books for Africa's 1 Million Books for Gambia Campaign!

Want to get in on the original promotion?  Check out the details here!

Want submission guidelines for Chronicle Books?  Check out their submissions page.  But first, don't forget to get your story read and rated for FREE by a professional writer at Rate Your Story!

Friday, November 18, 2011

Rate Your Story: New Poll

Our new November/December 2011 poll question is up - asking those who've submitted a story to reveal (anonymously) of course, what your story's score was!  Please take a moment to visit the sidebar on the right side of the website and answer the poll.

If you haven't submitted a story to Rate Your Story, there's still plenty of time to get your story critiqued and rated and participate in our online poll before the end of December.  Simply visit our submissions page to find out how to have a professional writer read and rate your short story or picture book for free.

Thanks also to those who participated in our last Rate Your Story Poll, which asked about the size of your critique groups.  It seems that most/average critique groups are 4-5 people in size.  If you don't know what a critique group is, or how to find a critique group, check out some of the resources on this site and our How to Find a Critique Group page.

Happy Holidays and keep on writing!

Thursday, November 17, 2011

It's Official: A 1 Rating IS Possible!

Well it's only taken six weeks of Rate Your Story for someone to submit a story that wowed a volunteer judge and garnered a '1' score!

We promise to keep your manuscript contents and your identities confidential, so I'm not going to release any more details except to encourage all of you who submit that it IS possible to get the highest rating!

Over the last six weeks, stories have been rated EVERY number except 10.  In fact, we've had several 2 and 3 ratings as well.  What does this all mean?  If you're not sure how stories are rated at Rate Your Story, make sure to visit our Rating Scale page.

And, if you have submitted a story to Rate Your Story and since submitted it to be published - remember to keep us posted!  We'd love to hear back from you...rejection or acceptance!

Keep on writing and keep on revising!

Monday, October 10, 2011

A Submission a Day Keeps the Rejections Away

After our first week at Rate Your Story, we're seeing a steady stream of submissions - averaging just over a submission a day!

While writers who submit enjoy confidentiality of their rating, I'm pleased to announce that we've had a couple of promising submissions already in our first week.  Keep 'em coming!

If you're stopping by to visit, consider submitting a story to Rate Your Story.  Our volunteer judges have been very helpful in offering free critique advice along with the free rating that comes with this online service.  A few of our judges even offered complimentary line-edits!

If you're one of those who submitted a story and you've already received your Rating Card, you may wonder what to do next.  While you can hire a professional to edit or critique your work in depth, also consider joining a critique group.  We've got resources available for you on Rate Your Story that will help you link up with an online writing group where you can exchange manuscripts and get critiques of your work for free.

Don't forget to take our poll as well!  We want to know all about your writing critique group.  What's your number?

Thanks for stopping by and we hope that you'll Tweet, Share, Facebook, etc. Rate Your Story with friends.

Saturday, October 1, 2011

Rate Your Story Now Open for Submissions

The wait is over!  Our volunteer judges are ready to offer you "first step" help with your story. 

If you're unsure what we're offering here at Rate Your Story - read up!  Our About page tells you more about Rate Your Story, a website where you can get a free rating on your story from a professional, published writer. 

If you have a story that you'd like us to rate, remember to check out our submission guidelines first to ensure that Rate Your Story will, in fact, rate your story!

Want to know who our judges are?  Check out our professional critiques page, where each volunteer judge is currently profiled.  You can also find links to their websites to learn more about their writing and professional critique and editing services.

Lastly, make sure to check out our resources on finding a free critique group.  Today, we've also posted "The Writing Game," an article written by children's author Margot Finke.  If you're new to writing or struggling to get work published, you may find this article very insightful.

Thanks for stopping by and don't forget to share Rate Your Story!  Tweet, Facebook, Email, and Comment!

Friday, September 30, 2011

The Writing Game - An Article by Margot Finke

The Writing Game
By Margot Finke, Rate Your Story Volunteer Judge

I have been at the writing game for many years.  For a long time I tore my hair when rejections rolled in. I loved every word, sentence and paragraph I wrote.  I tweaked, reviewed and reworked stories until I lost all perspective.  Yet my so called writing career was a flop.

I was was saved by the Internet. I joined a great online writing list and picked all the knowledgeable brains I could find.  I made notes of the good advice and suggestions that flowed through that list.  I went to writing conferences and soaked up the information that bubbled up in every group of writers I joined.  Several kind and talented writers took me under their wing and mentored me.  They set me straight.  I listened, and wrote and rewrote until my typing fingers were numb, and my butt became grafted to the chair.  Ouch-h-h-h!

Then it was time for a super critique group of like-minded writers. People that wrote the same genre, and would give me honest feedback on all my hard work.  They taught me to “rest” my manuscript between tweaks, and reread every month or so with a fresh eye. Amazingly, this kept my focus on what really mattered - a strong plot, and rich characters that would ring true to readers.

All this paid off in acceptances and contracts, rather than making myself balder, and then papering my bathroom with rejection slips in my spare time.  And I also discovered a hidden Crit Group bonus – a bunch of trusted writing friends who supported and advised each other through rejections, acceptances, and the dreaded writer’s block. 

What made the difference?  Networking with other writers - both online and at conferences, and in the safety of a critique group.  Writing tends to be an isolating career.  You need to break the isolation habit, mix, mingle, and listen to words of wisdom from those who have already found success.

Book learning only teaches you the technical side of writing.  Writers that HOOK readers on every page need to know more than where to place the commas and good grammar. Superb books, with plots and characters that linger in our memories, are written by those with a keen imagination, great observant skills, and a flair for writing a paragraph that "sings" to our senses and emotions.  They keep their focus on what is important.  These writers instinctively choose powerful and evocative words that make the plot and the characters jump off the page.  Their words allow us to visualize scenes and characters as if they WERE pictures. Artist paint pictures with paints, great writers do the same by painting instant word pictures in our minds.

 What makes a successful writer?  This has been asked many times.  Here is my stab at it: Patience, lots of rewriting, research publishers, a good critique group, plus a determination to never quit trying – no matter how many rooms you have papered with rejections!

 Oh, and don’t forget LUCK.  Having the right manuscript, with the right publisher, at the right time, is nothing to sniff about.

This article was written by Rate Your Story volunteer judge Margot Finke.

Visit Margot's website
*Margot's Magic Carpet
Kid's Books With a WOW Factor!

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Only 3 More Days Until Submissions Open!

3...2...1...The day will soon be here!

Rate Your Story, our new website, will soon be accepting and reading submissions.  On or after October 1, 2011, be sure to send in your short stories or picture books if you'd like a published writer to review and rate it for you.

Got questions?  Learn more about Rate Your Story here.

Got stories?  Make sure to follow the Submission Guidelines here.

Wanna help out?  Sign up to be a volunteer judge here or Tweet, Facebook, and Share a link to Rate Your Story.  (To see who's already reading manuscripts, visit our Professional Critiques page).

Coming Soon:  "The Writing Game," an article from volunteer judge and published children's book author Margot Finke.   The full article will be posted on Saturday, October 1, in honor of our launch at Rate Your Story.  Bookmark this site or Follow us!

Thursday, September 15, 2011

15 Days Until Submissions Open at Rate Your Story

We've got 12 volunteer judges, 15 days, and many mentions on Twitter and Facebook! 

The countdown is in progress for Rate Your Story, so make sure to read up on our submission criteria and polish that story you're planning to submit on or after October 1, 2011.

If this is your first time visiting the Rate Your Story website, make sure to read all about the project and bookmark us.  We'll be adding valuable information on writing, revising, publishing, and joining critique groups – basically, resources to help you on your path to becoming a published writer (or getting more work published).

And, we also want to share that MG/YA Author Marcia Hoehne is giving away a FREE critique of the first 1,000 words of your story on her blog this week.  Stop by her blog before September 25th.  If you miss it, or want a second opinion - remember that Rate Your Story also offers a free rating service begining October 1st.

Make sure to follow our Volunteer Judges on Twitter and Facebook so that you'll be updated of news, giveaways, and helpful information from Rate Your Story.

Now...get writing!

Thursday, August 18, 2011

We'll Rate Your Story for Free - Submissions Open October 1, 2011

Wonder if you've got what it takes to be a published writer?  Is that story sitting on your hard drive any good?  Was Grandma just saying your story was adorable because you are, my dear?

Find out!

Rate Your Story is a new website, with submissions opening on October 1, 2011.  You can submit stories–up to 2,000 words–in just about any genre or category, and receive a "score" from a published writer or author.

Who can get their story rated for free?
Anyone who has written a story that meets the Rate Your Story guidelines and is able to use email.

What does a story rating mean?
It's just a number, so don't take it too seriously–but it's a score based upon a published writer's reading of your manuscript.

When can writers get their story rated for free?
Beginning October 1, 2011.

How can writers get their story rated for free?
By following the submission guidelines on the Rate Your Story Submissions webpage.

Where can writers get their story rated for free?
Right here, at Rate Your Story -

Why should writers get their story rated for free?
Because to pay for a simple score doesn't make a lot of sense.  But getting a free rating that might encourage you–or let you know it's time to revise–may save you a lot of time, worry, or rejection in the long run.

What else does Rate Your Story offer?
Mostly, we offer the free scoring service.  However, on several of our pages and blog posts, great tips on writing and links to writer's resources such as how to get a professional critique or join a critique group are offered for you.

Enough letters.  Let's see some numbers.  Contact us to Rate Your Story (starting Oct. 1)!

By the way– if you like this site, please share it.