The Rate Your Story Rating Scale is unique. Although scores are given within a familiar 1-10 range, 10 is the lowest score. So, when you get your story back and it's rated a 2–don't be bummed!

Here's what the numbers mean:

10 - This is a good first try. Read books in your genre to get a good sense of it.
9 - Consider this story as practice. Use what you've learned and write another! 
8 - If at first you don't succeed...write, revise or re-vision again.
7 - Your idea has merit, but the story needs a lot of revision.
6 - Not a bad attempt, but the story still doesn't work or doesn't stand out.
5 - Better than average, but still needs attention and effort.
4 - A decent story – merits some reworking and/or re-visioning.
3 - Good story –  Plot/character issues to be addressed. Revise accordingly.
2 - A very good story - with the potential to be great. Focus on flaws, revise and polish. 
1 - Great story!  You should consider submitting this.


NOTE: It is essential that you not only write, but READ in your genre. We get many, many submissions where we can tell that the person submitting is not actively reading in the genre. If you are a picture book writer who is having trouble finding books, you may want to consider joining our weekly book chat. For more information, get our newsletter.

What we look for when rating a story:

Most stories have similar elements–whether you're writing a picture book about a toddler turning two or a dark fantasy story for vampire enthusiasts. There's character, plot, conflict, and resolution. Your diction, or word choice, will be considered. If there is dialogue, how realistic is it? Your genre and target age group/audience, if known to us, will also be taken into consideration. Formatting and technique counts–so don't be sloppy or use pink font. If you're not sure what makes a good story, please visit Aaron Shepherd's webpage entitled "What Makes A Good Story?"  If you don't know how to format a manuscript, you can visit Holly Lisle's site for general guidelines, or see our submissions page.

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