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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 - Keep practicing! We recommend studying writing and storytelling conventions.

         Read 50-100 mentor texts and writing craft books to improve your skill.


9 – Keep at it! Embrace the feedback. Use what you’ve learned and write another story!


8 – A good attempt, but more work needs to be done. Use the feedback to make it better!


7 -  This is a good start.  You have elements to work with. Keep revising with feedback in mind.


6 - Your idea has merit, but several elements are not working or are missing.

Focus on the feedback and try again!


 5 – A decent story.  Better than average, but still needs attention and effort. Merits some reworking and/or revisioning.


4 - A good story! Issues to be addressed. Revise accordingly.


3- A very good story! Has potential to be great. Focus on flaws, revise and polish.


2 - A great story! Focus on the feedback to polish and get it ready for submission.


1 - Great story! In this judge’s opinion, it’s ready for submission.


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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