2017 RYS CONTEST!

*The 2017 Rate Your Story Contest is now CLOSED*

The contest theme is "Awesome Openers" 
How strong is your hook? 

The 2017 Rate Your Story Writing Contest is 
open for submissions at 12:01am EST on 7/15/17 and 
closes to submissions at 11:59pm EDT on 7/31/17 


CATEGORIES:

Our judges will be accepting manuscripts and awarding winners in four separate categories: Picture Book Fiction, Picture Book Nonfiction, Middle Grade & Young Adult. 

Picture Book Fiction - Text only, no art. Fiction only accepted. Rhyme, free verse, or prose accepted. Stories should be geared for today's children. Submit the entire picture book. Judges will evaluate text and choose winning entries that hook the reader from the start, show originality, overall quality, appropriateness for the intended audience, and readiness of submission. Submit as a .doc attachment only. Remove your name from the manuscript and include only the title, category (PICTURE BOOK FICTION), and intended age of audience at the top.

Picture Book Nonfiction - Text only, no art. Nonfiction only accepted. Rhyme, free verse, or prose accepted. Stories should be geared for today's children. Submit the entire picture book. If you have back matter available and you would like to include it in the text, feel free include the back matter. However, please note that back matter is optional. Judges will evaluate text and choose winning entries that hook the reader from the start, show originality, overall quality, appropriateness for the intended audience, and readiness of submission. Submit as a .doc attachment only. Remove your name from the manuscript and include only the title, category (PICTURE BOOK NONFICTION), and intended age of audience at the top.

Middle Grade - Submit only the FIRST TWO CHAPTERS - of a completed novel. Judges will evaluate text and choose winning entries that hook the reader from the start, show originality, overall quality, appropriateness for the intended audience, and readiness of submission. Submit as a .doc attachment only. Remove your name from the manuscript and include only the title, category (MIDDLE GRADE), and intended age of audience at the top.

Young Adult - Submit only the FIRST TWO CHAPTERS - of a completed novel. Judges will evaluate text and choose winning entries that hook the reader from the start, show originality, overall quality, appropriateness for the intended audience, and readiness of submission. Submit as a .doc attachment only. Remove your name from the manuscript and include only the title, category (YOUNG ADULT), and intended age of audience at the top.


**All entries must be the original work of the author and not previously published or under contract at time of entry.**


ENTRY FORMAT:

Please see our "SUBMISSION GUIDELINES" section below for manuscript formatting guidelines.


WHO MAY ENTER:

RYS Members may submit two manuscripts for entry at no charge. For additional entires, regular contest fees apply. Submissions are unlimited per person. 

Non-members are also able to enter the contest. There is a small $15.00 fee per manuscript to enter the writing contest. These fees cover prizes and administration costs. Please see below for the entry purchase and checkout buttons. 

*In order to avoid any conflict of interest, individuals affiliated with Rate Your Story as a judge (past or present), freelance writer or illustrator, or any other compensated position are ineligible to enter this contest. Exception: Guest bloggers and interviewees who have not been compensated for their work are welcome to enter the contest.


PRIZES:


First Place in each category will win:
-One query pass to literary agent Jill Corcoran, of the Jill Corcoran Literary Agency
-One Manuscript critique from a Rate Your Story Judge

-A Pre-taped webinar pass from Kid Lit College
-A 2018 Rate Your Story Membership

Second Place in each category will win: 
-"An Insider Look at Agent-Client Relationships", a pre-taped webinar from 12x12 with author Julie Hedlund and literary agent Erzsi Deak, of Hen & Ink Literary. For more about Julie and 12x12, click HERE
-Two free Rate Your Story Submissions

Third Place in each category will win:
-Two free Rate Your Story Submissions


HOW TO ENTER:

Annual Rate Your Story Contest Entry Pass - 2017

PURCHASE ENTRY HERE:  Add to Cart View Cart

1. If you ARE a current 2017 Rate Your Story Member, you automatically receive 2 free contest entries. If you wish to purchase more entries, please follow the directions below for non members. 
If you are NOT a current RYS paid member, you must first purchase a non-refundable contest entry pass for $15.00.To avoid any confusion, please checkout using the email address you will use to submit your manuscript or clearly indicate in your email submission that you are using a different email. You may purchase passes and enter the contest as many times as you wish.

*
PLEASE NOTE THAT IF YOU PLAN TO ENTER MORE THAN ONE MANUSCRIPT IN THE SAME CATEGORY, YOU WILL HAVE TO CHECKOUT SEPARATE TIMES.

2. Once you have purchased your non-refundable entry pass (or if you are a member using your free pass), you may submit one manuscript to rateyourstory [at] gmail [dot] com. 

**CONTEST SUBMISSION GUIDELINES:

1. In the subject line, put the word CONTEST first. Then, type the category (PB Fiction, PB Nonfiction, MG or YA) in the subject line. Then, type the TITLE of your work in the subject line.


For example, your email subject line will look something like these examples:
CONTEST PB A FUNNY FROGGY FINDS A FEATHER
CONTEST MG THE WITCH HUNT 
CONTEST YA STELLA'S TEARS


2. Important: Do NOT put the word "Submission" or your name in the email subject line! This will cause your submission to go in the wrong filter or be disqualified. Please put the word "Contest" in the email subject line. (See Rule #1)


3. In the email body only, please put your name, the category, title of your work, and preferred contact information (email or phone that we will use to contact you if you are a winner).

4. As an attachment - a .doc file only - please send the the whole picture book (including back matter for nonfiction) or THE FIRST TWO CHAPTERS of your novel. Please do NOT include your name on the manuscript, only the CATEGORY, TITLE, and AGE/GENRE information requested at the top. Please make sure that your title on the manuscript matches exactly the title in your email subject line! Also, only one contest entry per email. We will be checking pass receipts and member lists to the entries to verify eligibility. Do not send a link to a Google or Dropbox document, or any other file format than a .doc or .docx attachment for your submission. Do not submit the same manuscript more than once (or a "corrected" version if you realize later that you had a typo). Email all contest entries to rateyourstory (at) gmail (dot) com.


5. Please follow all category guidelines above, and read our regular submission guidelines page for best practices in formatting a manuscript professionally. Though we don't want to do so, we reserve the right to disqualify entries that do not follow submission guidelines. We also will not be able to offer refunds for contest entry passes, nor can we accommodate requests to update a version of a manuscript submitted in error, etc.


6. Submit any questions to us at rateyourstory (at) gmail (dot) com BEFORE you send in your entry.


DEADLINE:

All entries must have been received by 11:59pm EST time on July 31st, 2017. Entries received before July 15th, 2017 or after July 31st, 2017 will not be accepted.

PLEASE NOTE THAT IF YOU PLAN TO ENTER MORE THAN ONE MANUSCRIPT IN THE SAME CATEGORY, YOU WILL HAVE TO CHECKOUT SEPARATE TIMES.


51 comments:

  1. Hurray! the 2016 Rate Your Story Contest! After my experience last month with my little #50 Precious Words Contest, I appreciate even more the tremendous amount of work that goes into putting on something like this. THANK YOU!!!! I will spread the word.

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  2. I've been wondering when you'd announce the contest! Thanks for the opportunity!

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  3. Would historical fiction be submitted in the fiction category, even though based on fact? Thanks!

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    1. Hi, Jarm! Unless written specifically as a nonfiction book, your manuscript would be considered fiction. Good luck!

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  4. Are the winning entries published in full on the blog?

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    1. Rate Your Story does not publish, share or quote your manuscripts whether for the contest or any other type submission. We treat your written work with care. When we do announce contest winners, we put up the winner's name, a photo, some brief bio lines and a coupe of pitch lines to explain what your story is about (written by the winner themselves).

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  5. Thanks for another exciting contest!

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  6. Can you submit 2-3 manuscripts under the SAME email address? I know that I'll have to check out separately but do all submissions have to have a different email address?

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    Replies
    1. Yep, that's no problem at all. You can submit as many submission as you'd like (in each category) under the same email address. Good luck!

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  7. For contest entries do we include our email address in the MS header just like you ask for in you general submission guidelines?

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    1. No, please leave your email off the MS. We'd like all submissions to be anonymous when our judges read them. We'll be using the title of your manuscript to respond to you after the contest. So please be sure your title on the MS itself, is the exact same as the tile listed in the email subject line when you submit your MS. Thanks!

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  8. If we are a pro member, do we just email you the documents, or, do we need to checkout with PayPal as well. I can't find a screen were we can 'purchase' an entry for no charge.

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    1. Hi, Jarm, you can simply email in your contest submission. Follow all submission guidelines as listed for the contest, but don't worry about purchasing a pass. As a PRO member we already have you on our contest list.

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  9. Hi Sophia,
    TY for this contest. Psyched. Read all the info re:subs, understand subject line, etc, BUT, do we submit as stated under the Contact Page to RateYourStory@gmail.com? Thanks.

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    Replies
    1. Thanks, Kathy! Yes, all submissions can be sent to our submission inbox at rateyourstory@gmail.com following contest guidelines above.

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  10. Excited for the 2017 Rate Your Story Contest! Thank you so much for continuing this fun challenge!

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  11. Yeah! Love this competition. Glad to see it back this year.

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  12. Looking forward to entering this year!

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  13. Will these stories or any part of them be put online?

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    1. Not at all. If you win or receive an honorable mention, we ask for a short synopsis or pitch to go with the title that we share on the winner's announcement blog, but this is entirely optional. Also, all of our judges have signed NDA with RYS that include guidelines for handling submissions. If you'd like, feel free to email us any questions or refer to our "About" page for more info here: http://rateyourstory.blogspot.com/p/about-rate-your-story.html

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  14. I have a nonfiction PB I'd like To submit. It is slightly over 800 words. On 1st page of instructions say to submit first 800 words only. However on page 4 of the instructions say to send the whole PB including back matter for nonfiction. Couc you clarify for me? Thank you?

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    Replies
    1. Hi, Laurie! For nonfiction, word count applies to the main text only (back matter is not included in the word count). So don't worry about how much your back matter might add. Back matter is also not vital to the contest submission, since our judges are focused on the main text itself, but it can help our judges better understand a manuscript. So feel free to include your back matter or leave it off. Thanks!

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    2. Perfect and thank you so much for your quick answer and this wonderful opportunity.

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  15. Do you know when winners will be announced? I couldn't find it in the article or previous comments.

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    1. The contest closes to submissions on July 31st. As of right now, we're planning to have winners announced by mid-late August.

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    2. Excellent! Thanks for the quick response.

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  16. Rookie mistake- deleted name from header, etc but forgot to delete from page 1 of mss. Will I be disqualified or will someone just black that out and move forward. Sorry about that, you'd think I'd have caught that, right...

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    Replies
    1. You won't be disqualified. Just resubmit the contest entry and add *resubmission* in the email header along with everything else. Thanks!

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  17. Are chapter books (14,000 word younger MG novel) allowed? If so, would it be categorized under Middle Grade? Thanks for your help!

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    Replies
    1. Yes! Please submit them to the Middle Grade category and list your target audience on the top of your manuscript.

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  18. Should I include the author's note for a historical fiction ms (entered in the fiction category) if it adds meaning to the text, but causes the ms to exceed the 800 limit? Thank you.

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    Replies
    1. Hi Julia, You may include an author's note with your email. That said, the judges will be focused on the actual text and content of the story.

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  19. So, I'll assume since I am a member, I just send my ms in directly without a pass?

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    1. As a RYS member, you have 2 free contest entries. Just send in your manuscripts following the formatting above. If you would like to enter additional manuscripts, the regular contest fee will apply.

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  20. Can board book manuscripts be entered for this contest?

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    1. We don't have a separate category for Board Books, but you are welcome to submit your manuscript for the Picture Book category if you feel it's a good fit.

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  21. Hi guys! Just wanted to give you the heads up that when I entered, my contest receipt says "The contest is now open to submissions and will close to submissions on JULY 15." I freaked out a bit and then went back to check and make sure that submissions were open until July 31. So, you might want to correct that date in your auto-response form:)

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  22. Question before submitting: Will all contest entries receive RYS feedback (a la "Speedpass" feedback/critique), regardless of whether or not they are winning entries?

    If so, what is the time frame for receiving that once the contest closes?

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    1. The contest is separate from a typical RYS submission. Assigned judges will read the contest submissions for contest placement, but there will not be feedback given on the contest submissions. If you'd like critique feedback, our Speed Pass options are always open and many of our judges also provide critique services outside of Rate Your Story. That said, a few of our contest prizes are critiques from RYS judges. Should your manuscript win, prize details (along with critique details) will be provided then.

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  23. Thank you, RYS for this awesome opportunity!

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  24. Thank you so much for this contest and all your RYS services! It certainly takes a village and we appreciate all your extra effort!

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  25. Is the 2017 contest closed? It's 9:41 PM When I tried to purchase a non refundable contest entry pass, the notification came up "no longer available." I'm disappointed, but thank you for the contest.

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    Replies
    1. The contest is open to submissions until midnight tonight (7/31/17 EST). Please try again and feel free to send an email if you have any further difficulty: rateyourstory@gmail.com.

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  26. I missed the announcement of the winners. Is it posted in the tweets or facebook?

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    1. Hi, Robin, you can find the list of winners on our blog or by using the link below:

      http://rateyourstory.blogspot.com/2017/09/2017-writing-contest-winners.html

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