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Rate Your Story logo by Dana Atnip   © 2012-present

2019 Awesome Openers Writing Contest

How strong is your hook?

 

*The 2019 Rate Your Story Writing Contest is CLOSED for submissions. Thank you to all who entered.

To view contest results, CLICK HERE.*


Welcome to the annual Rate Your Story Awesome Openers Writing Contest!

 

Last year, RYS was proud to raise money for Room to Read and The Environmental Defense Fund. This year, a portion of all contest proceeds will be donated to both Room to Read and The Ecological Society of America. Please take a moment to learn more about these wonderful organizations below:

 

Room to Read:

"Room to Read seeks to transform the lives of millions of children in low-income communities by focusing on literacy and gender equality in education. Working in collaboration with local communities, partner organizations and governments, we develop literacy skills and a habit of reading among primary school children, and support girls to complete secondary school with the relevant life skills to succeed in school and beyond." Click HERE for more.

The Ecological Society of America:

"The Strategies for Ecology Education, Diversity and Sustainability program is the flagship award-winning education program of the Ecological Society of America. Its mission is to diversify and advance the ecology profession through opportunities that stimulate and nurture the interest of underrepresented students to participate, and to lead in ecology." Click HERE for more. 

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Our judges will accept manuscripts and award prizes in three categories. Please read below for all contest details, restrictions and guidelines. If you have any questions, please feel free to contact us at rateyourstory@gmail.com.

Good luck!

CATEGORIES:


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.

Nonfiction Picture Book - Text only, no art. Nonfiction only accepted. Rhyme, free verse, or prose picture book manuscripts accepted. Stories should be geared for today's children. Submit the entire picture book manuscript or the first three chapters of a longer work. 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 and judges will be basing their evaluations on the main text of the manuscript. 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 (NONFICTION), and intended age of audience at the top.

Novels - Submit only the FIRST THREE CHAPTERS - of a completed Middle Grade or Young Adult novel (fiction or nonfiction). 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 (NOVELS), 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.**

 

PRIZES:

First Place winners in each category will receive:

  • Skip the slush pile passes for Sarah Rockett, editor at Sleeping Bear Press and Adria Goetz, agent at Martin Literary Agency.

  • 1 Rate Your Story Annual Membership for 2020 (non-transferrable) 

  • 1 Editorial Critique from a Rate Your Story judge

Second Place winners in each category will receive:

  • 1 Editorial Critique from a Rate Your Story judge

  • 2 Rate Your Story Submissions

Third Place winners in each category will receive: 

  • 2 Rate Your Story Submissions

RULES:

  1. Writers are allowed to enter as many manuscripts as they'd like in ONE category. For example, if you are submitting a fiction picture book, you may submit as many as you'd like, but will then be ineligible to submit to any other category. 

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

  3. To purchase a pass, read all of the guidelines and then click the button at the bottom of this page. Please note that if you plan to enter more than once, you must checkout separate times for each contest entry. 

  4. If you ARE a current 2018 Rate Your Story Member, you automatically receive 2 free contest entries with your membership. If you wish to purchase more entries, please follow the directions below for non-members. 

  5. If you are NOT a current RYS paid member, we welcome non-members to enter the contest. You must first purchase a non-refundable contest entry pass for $15.00. To avoid 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, in one category.

  6. In order to avoid 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.

  7. 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@gmail.com. Please follow the submission guidelines below.


SUBMISSION GUIDELINES:


In the subject line, put the word CONTEST first. Then, type the category (PB Fiction, Nonfiction, Novels) 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:
 

CONTEST, Nonfiction, THE ANATOMY OF AN ATOM
CONTEST, PB Fiction, WITCHY'S BIRTHDAY SURPRISE 
CONTEST, Novels, YOU JUMP FIRST

2. 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. 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 THREE 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@gmail.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.
 

DEADLINE:

All entries must have been received by 11:59pm EST time on August 31st, 2019. Entries received before August 1st, 2019 or after August 31st, 2019 will not be accepted.

READY TO CHECK OUT? CLICK THE BUTTON BELOW:

1 Contest Pass 
Single Entry $15.00

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