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The Story Behind Rate Your Story


About thirteen years ago, Rate Your Story began as a concept brought to life by the talented prolific author and now Literary Agent Miranda Paul.

The idea was for aspiring authors to submit their manuscript to Rate Your Story and receive a rating and feedback from a published author who is giving back / paying forward to further the writer on its path to publication.

Here's a glimpse and just who Rate your Story was created for, from the original mission statement: A wide variety of writers utilize our services and/or subscribe to our newsletter. Some writers are already agented and published, and use our critique rating service for feedback on their current work-in-progress. Others are pre-published and just getting started. Writers who benefit most from our services might be:

  • writing in multiple genres/categories

  • want to start off on the right track

  • working on many manuscripts or already have completed several different stories

  • preparing to or in the stages of submitting work to agents, editors, and publishers

  • seeking to work on their craft

  • participating in a critique group, but in need of beta readers

  • hoping to publish books in the UK, US, or Australia

  • unable to attend writing conferences as frequently as they'd like

  • needing a professional eye or outside opinion on their work

RYS judges read and rate manuscripts by children's writers as well as those writing for teens or adults.

Rate Your Story is an option that not only allows your work to be seen by professionals, but it saves you time. In a critique group setting, writers often have to critique multiple manuscripts from other authors in exchange for getting feedback on their work. Rate Your Story offers a delightful one-way service.

Writers (and aspiring writers) often work in a vacuum of sorts. What sounds good in our heads doesn't always translate well when someone (other than Grandma, hubby, or 5-year-old child) reads it. Having an outside opinion–from someone who sells work to actual publishers–may prove invaluable. Even if you have a critique group, objective beta readers come in handy. Before you send your picture book to a publisher or your story to a magazine, before you enter that writing contest or rush to self-publish your masterpiece...why not have someone else take a peek and rate your story?

Such a great concept for getting fresh eyes on your work -- eyes that achieved the publication success that your manuscript is striving for!

After five years, Miranda passed the Rate Your Story torch to another talented and prolific author Sophia Gholz. For five years, Rate Your Story remained relatively the same -- Members had up to 18 submissions for Ratings and Feedback and received a monthly newsletter. Sophia added annual contests, as well, which have continued with prizes to help writers even further on their paths.

In 2020, Sophia passed the torch to me -- Lynne Marie, a multi-published picture book author. As a former Member and Judge, as well as an Author Coach and Mentor (, I brought many new ideas and changes to the table. One was an updated look for the website and logo:

Of course, I kept the foundation of this concept...

18 SUBMISSIONS AND FEEDBACK: Now everyone gets 18 Ratings and Feedbacks on submissions, without having to be a returning Member or Early Bird. However, our Membership is limited, so be sure to sign-up early and grab one of the slots.

But I've added some important building blocks, and reinstated some, as well...

KIDLIT CREATIVES MEMBER FORUM: One of the changes was the addition of a chat / information Forum on Facebook which evolved into our Membership Page and our Resource Page. This year, we are improving on that with a dedicated Mighty Forums Community for our RYS Kidlit Creatives which combines both pages and adds a NEW Member Critique Forum!

KIDLIT CREATIVES CRAFTY WEBINARS: Members will enjoy one Crafty Webinar per month (The Story Skeleton, Putting Your Ideas on Trial, etc.) and Bonus Webinars (Intro to Rate Your Story, First Pages, etc.) and Replay available (for the Membership Year). No stress having to worry about replays disappearing just before you get a chance to watch it!

MENTOR TEXT TALK: Weekly Mentor Text Talks allow Members and Guests to enjoy book chats and special Ask an Author Sessions via Zoom. However, only Members get the Replays, which will be posted in the KidLit Creatives Member Forum.

MEMBER HELP DESK: Once Per Month Member Help Desks to meet with other creatives and discuss struggles.

ALL GENRES: When I first took over Rate Your Story, I made the choice to limit the genres to picture books. But for this year, given my internship at The Seymour Agency, I have decided to open back up to Middle Grade and Young Adult Novels on a limited basis. We will have a limited number of spots available for these based upon the # of qualified Judges, so please reach out to check with me on availability (

OPTIONAL REDUCED RATE CONSULTATIONS AND MENTORSHIPS AVAILABLE: These are for those particularly dedicated and invested Members who want to use the year to focus on learning and growing and moving forward.

But these are just a few of our Membership inclusions for the Membership Year 2024. Feel free to check out to see the others, and if you have any questions, please feel free to reach out to me (Lynne Marie) at Membership is open now, but remember that slots are limited.

And for those who don't know me -- here's a little bit about me and just some of my knowledge and experience:

I hope to be able to assist you in your journey to publication in 2024. I care about you and your path and am always coming up with new and improved ways to help you and your writing progress! Lynne Marie

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