2019 Contest Winners

We'd like to thank everyone who participated in the fourth annual Rate Your Story Awesome Openers Writing Contest. Our judges have spent weeks reading and deliberating over each of the three contest categories. We're excited to finally announce the results. If you'd like to read more about the contest itself, click here. For contest results, scroll down.

Congratulations to all!



First Place: GENIUS CAMP by Vivian Kirkfield

Second Place: PRESI-DENTAL by Angela Calabrese

Third Place: HATS OFF TO HARRIET by Jennifer Grolemund

Honorable Mention: BORN FOR THE BLUES by Sherry Howard

Honorable Mention: STEP BY STEP by Julie Murphy

What the RYS judges had to say:

"This was the best group of manuscripts I've ever read and judged! Each of our selections were chosen for their creativity, uniqueness, kid-appeal and submission-ready writing. ALL of the entries were interesting and fun to read!"



First Place: ESCAPE THE ROOM by Sandi Van Lieu

Second Place: THE GRAYS by Mary Jolley

Third Place: THE KEY TO TIME by Cathy McKelway

Honorable Mention: SORAIDA’S ELEPHANTS by Jolene Gutiérrez

Honorable Mention: HAUNT ME by Cathy McKelway

What the RYS judges had to say:

"There were so many great entries this year!"

“Escape rooms seem to be a hot thing these days, and the author of Escape The Room perfectly captures the suspense of escape rooms while giving us characters who we care about. There’s depth and poignancy in the protagonist’s story as well as a compelling voice.”

“I felt the author of The Grays kept the tension and stakes high through the chapters, and I really wanted to read more. The author also did a capable job of weaving in the structure of the dystopian society and other world building details while moving the story forward—a huge challenge in speculative fiction.”

"The Key to Time is an intriguing dual-POV that portrays two characters in two absolutely opposite lifestyles. Hinting at romance, familial love, and potential magic, this was a concept dealing with hardcore issues without sacrificing character development."



First Place: UNDERCOVER DONKEY by Carrie Kruck

Second Place: BEE & BEE by Katelyn Aronson

Third Place: WILLIAM LOVES WORDS by Kaye Baillie

Honorable Mention: ALPHABET STEW by Sandra Jenkins

Honorable Mention: DANCIN’ DILLY PIE by Betty Matthews

What the RYS judges had to say:

"Undercover Donkey is chock-full of hilarity. All of the judges enjoyed this fun and unique story about a donkey P.I. who can’t keep his tail out of the tale."

"Bee and Bee—a pun for Bed and Breakfast—proved a fun and lively read. Well-crafted characters run a hotel in this clever rhyming story. When the *big bug* comes to stay, they rise to the occasion to provide a stay that's fit for a queen and delight readers with this tale about their bug hotel."

"William Loves Words is a beautiful and fresh spin on the life of a historical figure. This lyrical story stood out among the stiff competition."

"Alphabet Stew is brimming with humor, fun, lively characters, and delicious rhymes! There’s so much to love about this group of hungry witches churning their pot of Alphabet Stew!"

"The language, characters, and setting in this sweet and humorous story are truly unique! The judges enjoyed the fierce competition and one-of-a-kind group of pickle-making possums in Dancin’ Dilly Pie."


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