While the below links will remain active, RYS has moved to a new website. You can now find all RYS info, blog posts, and more at: WWW.RATEYOURSTORY.ORG
Basically, you write a story (perhaps you have already written one...or ten), and submit it to Rate Your Story. Published writers volunteer their time to read and rate your story.
Want to know more?
Rate Your Story is a service to help writers on their journey to publication. RYS offers one-time use SPEEDPASSES as well as year-long memberships for writers who have multiple manuscripts to submit, and want the freedom to submit on a flexible basis. Submitted manuscripts are read and rated by traditionally published professionals who graciously volunteer their time and expertise to evaluate your work honestly and constructively.
Rate Your Story is an option that not only allows your work to be seen by professionals, but it saves you time. In a critique group setting, writers often have to critique multiple manuscripts from other authors in exchange for getting feedback on their work. Rate Your Story offers a delightful one-way service.
What's the point?
Good question–glad you asked. Writers (and aspiring writers) often work in a vacuum of sorts. What sounds good in our heads doesn't always translate well when someone (other than Grandma, hubby, or 5-year-old child) reads it. Having an outside opinion–from someone who sells work to actual publishers–may prove invaluable. Even if you have a critique group, objective beta readers come in handy.
Before you send your picture book to a publisher or your story to a magazine, before you enter that writing contest or rush to self-publish your masterpiece...why not have someone else take a peek and rate your story?
Who uses Rate Your Story?
A wide variety of writers utilize our services and/or subscribe to our newsletter. Some writers are already agented and published, and use our critique rating service for feedback on their current work-in-progress. Others are pre-published and just getting started. Writers who benefit most from our services might be:
- writing in multiple genres/categories
- working on many manuscripts or already have completed several different stories
- preparing to or in the stages of submitting work to agents, editors, and publishers
- seeking to work on their craft
- participating in a critique group, but in need of beta readers
- hoping to publish books in the UK, US, or Australia
- unable to attend writing conferences as frequently as they'd like
- needing a professional eye or outside opinion on their work
RYS judges read and rate manuscripts by children's writers as well as those writing for teens or adults. Visit our submission guidelines for more information on the select few genres/categories we will not read and rate.
Sorry, we're not a publisher. We will not publish any stories. As for sharing, our judges sign a non-disclosure agreement and all stories are immediately deleted after they have been read/rated. We respect your work, and would never publish any excerpt of it without your express consent–so if for some reason we really, really, wanted to post something from your story on our blog, we'd have to get in touch with you first.
Will you rate any story?
No. Submission guidelines are posted on our website. Please read them carefully. If you don't, we don't guarantee that we'll rate it at all. It's good practice for submitting to real publishers to make sure you know the rules before submitting anything. We'll take stories for adults or children, as long as each submission adheres to the guidelines.
How long does it take?
That may depend. If you haven't gotten a rating in two weeks (14 full days), please feel free to resend your story, as it probably got lost in cyberspace. If we're really backlogged, we'll let you know via auto-responder to expect longer wait times.
Will you steal my story idea?
Although ideas can't be copyrighted, we respect your intellectual property and handle it professionally. All of our judges have signed non-disclosure agreements with Rate Your Story. All Rate Your Story volunteers have agreed not to infringe upon the copyright of authors they encounter through judging manuscripts at Rate Your Story. So there's your answer, no. If you're still skeptical – don't submit it. Our volunteer judges are doing this for free, remember! This is a simple website offering a simple service. We like simplicity and honesty.
What if I totally disagree with the rating?
Tweet about it. Post it on Facebook. Tell the world how unexpectedly high or insultingly low yours weighed in at Rate Your Story. Maybe we got it all wrong. This is a very subjective business.
Although Rate Your Story volunteer judges seriously read and assess your manuscript, you're free to disagree with us. Take it or leave it. And prove us wrong (or right) – make sure you let us know when a story gets published!
Can I submit more than one story?
Sure. Submit as many as you'd like–just make sure you read the submission and membership guidelines first.
Who rates my story?
When you get your rating, it will not come with a specific name of who read and rated it–for their protection and yours. Some judges choose to reveal their identities when critiquing a manuscript they've invested a lot of time in, but please don't expect to know. You may ask, and we may - or may not - tell you.
Sorry, but you cannot request which author rates your story. You'll be matched with whomever is available or the first to volunteer of our pool of writers. Please direct all inquiries about Rate Your Story to the contact email on this site, not the authors directly (unless requesting an in-depth critique).
Please use consideration and do not contact any of the volunteer authors about Rate Your Story outside of this site, unless you've decided to work with them for a more in-depth critique and they've requested your contact. Also, a high rating from Rate Your Story is NOT a recommendation or referral. Please don't tell a publisher or editor that Rate Your Story (or any of the authors associated with it) recommended that you send your work to them. The rating is primarily for YOU, the author.
What if I have more questions?
Visit the Rate Your Story contact page.