2021 Annual Summer Writing Contest
Does Your Story Shine?
About the Contest:
Our seasoned team of Rate Your Story Contest Judges will accept manuscripts and award prizes in three categories PLUS honorable mentions. Please read below for all contest details, restrictions and guidelines. If you have any questions, please feel free to contact us at RYSSpeedpass@gmail.com
with CONTEST QUESTION in the subject line.
About the Categories:
Picture Book Fiction - Fiction text only. Rhyme, free verse, or prose accepted. Stories should be geared for today's children. Submit the entire manuscript. Judges will evaluate text and choose winning entries that shine from the start, show originality, overall quality, appropriateness for the intended audience, and readiness of submission. Submit as a .doc or .docx attachment.
Nonfiction Picture Book - Non-fiction text only. Rhyme, free verse, or prose accepted. Stories should be geared for today's children. Submit the entire manuscript. If you have back matter available and you would like to include it, feel free to include it. However, please note that back matter is optional and judges will base their evaluations on the main text of the manuscript. Judges will evaluate text and choose winning entries that shine from the start, show originality, overall quality, appropriateness for the intended audience, and readiness of submission. Submit as a .doc or .docx attachment.
Novels - Submit only the FIRST TWO CHAPTERS or NO MORE THAN TEN (10) PAGES - 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 or .docx attachment.
**All entries must be the original work of the author and not previously published or under contract at time of entry. Any submissions that do not follow the guidelines will be disqualified.**
First Place winners in each category will receive:
One skip-the-slush-pile submission pass for Kelly Delaney, editor at Alfred A. Knopf Books for Young Readers
*To read more about Kelly Delany and her wishlist, click here.
A complimentary one-hour Zoom Consultation with Owner and Administrator Lynne Marie
An editorial critique a RYS judge (full picture book manuscript or first two chapters of a novel)
Note: One First Place Winner will also be declared a Grand Prize Winner and will be awarded a 2022 Rate Your Story Membership and a $50 Amazon Gift Card, and 1 PB Critique up to 1000 words from Author/former RYS Owner and Administrator Sophia Gholz.
Note: The Winners will also get a complimentary Zoom Session with PB, MG and YA Author Linda Joy Singleton.
Second Place winners in each category will receive:
A complimentary forty-five minute Zoom Consultation with Owner and Administrator Lynne Marie
2 Rate Your Story Speedpass Submission passes
Third Place winners in each category will receive:
A complimentary one-half hour Zoom Consultation with Owner and Administrator Lynne Marie
2 Rate Your Story Speedpass Submission passes
Honorable Mention Winners in each category will receive:
A complimentary fifteen-minute Zoom Consultation with Owner and Administrator Lynne Marie
Selected Winners Will Receive Bonus Prizes
A signed book from one of our talented and generous Rate Your Story Judges OR Query Critique
These prizes include:
A Travel Guide for Monsters by Lori Degman
Maye’s March for Women’s Votes by Amy Houts
Don’t Call Me Fuzzybutt by Robin Newman
Aliana Reaches for the Moon by Laura Aronberg Roettiger
The Polio Pioneer: Dr. Jonas Salk and the Polio Vaccine by Linda Marshall
Moldilocks and the Three Scares by Lynne Marie
Let’s Eat! Mealtime Around the World by Lynne Marie
The Star in the Christmas Play by Lynne Marie
The Ant Farm Escape by Heather Macht
You May Just Be a Dinosaur by Heather Macht
Rex...the We-Don’t-Know by Heather Macht
Home for A While by Lauren Heller Kerstein
A Query Critique by Non-Fiction Author Mary Boone
A Query Critique by Fiction and Non-Fiction Author Lynne Marie
Writers are allowed to enter as many manuscripts as they'd like in each category. However, an entry fee must be paid for each. Please see our "SUBMISSION GUIDELINES" section below for manuscript formatting guidelines.
To purchase a contest entry 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 check out separate times for each contest entry.
If you ARE a current 2021 Rate Your Story Member, you automatically receive
free contest entry with your membership. If you wish to purchase more entries,
please follow the directions for Non-Members. Non-Members must first purchase a non-refundable contest entry pass for $15.00. To avoid confusion, please attach your receipt with your submission. You may purchase passes and enter the contest as many times as you wish but each must be a separate submission and receipt.
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.
Once you have purchased your non-refundable entry pass (or if you are a member using your free pass), you may submit one manuscript per receipt to RYSSpeedpass@gmail.com. Please follow the submission guidelines below.
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:
Remember that Rate Your Story Members each get one (1) Free Submission in the contest. These should be marked in the Title:
CONTEST/RYS MEMBER, PB Fiction: BEST SUMMER, EVER
CONTEST, Nonfiction, THE ANATOMY OF AN ATOM
CONTEST, PB Fiction, WITCHY'S BIRTHDAY SURPRISE
CONTEST, Novels, I'LL JUMP FIRST
2. Do NOT put the word "Submission" in the 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. HOWEVER, winners will be announced in the October RYS Newsletter. Please be sure to be signed up to receive the newsletter, which will provide a winner’s list, as well as information on how to redeem your prizes. www.tinyurl.com/getRYSnews
4. As an attachment - a .doc or .docx file only - please send the entire picture book (including back matter for nonfiction) or THE FIRST TWO CHAPTERS of your novel AND a copy of your payment receipt [if you are not sending a Member Free Submission]. 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 RYSspeedpass@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.
While the contest officially runs August 1- 31st, we will be open for early submissions starting July 15th, so don't fret if you are away in August!
All entries must have been received by 11:59pm EST time on August 31st, 2021. Entries received after August 31st, 2021 will not be accepted.
READY TO CHECK OUT? CLICK THE BUTTON BELOW:
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Last year, RYS was proud to raise money for The Environmental Defense Fund.
This year, a portion of the proceeds will go to Childhood Brain Tumor Organization
in the name of Cassidy Stocker, daughter of RYS Judge / Author Shannon Stocker
To Breast Cancer Research Foundation in the name of Stacie Sturgis,
Daughter of RYS Judge / Author Brenda Reeves Sturgis.
In addition, we will give back to our writing community by granting e-books to our weekly Tinker and Talk Book Chat. We know many of you have limited access to books and even less access to the newest, best and most talked about books, so we offer a FREE chat on Sundays from 6:30 - 8:00 PM EST with replays available to those who can make it.
ALL ARE WELCOME: Tinker and Talk Book Chat by The Picture Book Mechanic