Rate Your Story is currently open to submissions from 2021 members and Speed Pass users. The Submission Window for Members is currently January 1st - December 15th, 2021. 

We recommend a schedule of two submissions one month, and one the next (these can be rewrites as you can submit a manuscript up to three times), but feel totally free to submit whenever needed/necessary. As you might expect, we would appreciate it greatly if everyone does not wait until the last minute to submit. We will make our best effort to have all submissions returned to you by December 21st and then the Judges will get to enjoy their winter holidays. Any unused submissions do not roll over to the next year. It is a separate enrollment -- we do hope you will have used your submissions effectively and will return for a new year. 


Please note that Speedpasses WILL be open during this time if you have an urgent need.


It is my job to juggle the needs of the Membership, as well as the Judges, and I hope you can all see that this was an important and necessary tweak. 

Also, due to circumstances beyond our control of Members submitting many manuscripts at a time, all within hours of the deadline, we have had to come up with a new policy. It includes a have put a cap on how many submissions can be sent in per month, which I will put at four per month (1 per week) and no more than one manuscript in the first two weeks of December. You will have 50 weeks, then, within which to submit 17 manuscripts and two weeks to submit the last one if you have not used them up.

You will need to adhere to the guidelines below in order for your manuscript to be read and rated. 

*SPEED PASS users—please read our guidelines below and follow the instructions at checkout to ensure that your manuscript is quickly sorted and distributed.


All Rate Your Story Submissions must be made electronically through our currently listed submissions email on the contact page.  We do not rate hard copies, nor will we visit your website to read and rate a submission.  Please follow the guidelines below.

Header (for all Member Submissions)

As an addition to this, we now require that you number your submissions. For example:

[#1 of #18] Moldilocks and the Three Scares (F/PB) by Lynne Marie 

If your manuscript rhymes, that should be noted in the subject line as well. Possible genres include:

PB - Picture Book

CB - Chapter Book

MG - Middle Grade (Up to 2000 words)

YA - Young Adult (Up to 2000 words)

R - Rhymer

F - Fiction 

NF - Non Fiction 

S - Synopsis 

Q - Query Letter 

GN - Graphic Novel, Please note: at this time we are not accepting Graphic Novels

Length (for all submissions)  

Fiction Picture Books 1,000 Words or Less 

Non-Fiction Picture Books 1,250 Words or Less 

Chapter Books/Novels 2,000 words or less. 

No exceptions, please.


File Type  

.DOC, or .DOCX PREFERRED, but will accept PDF or story pasted in email body (please note if you submit as PDF or in the email body, various judges who offer bonus comments on the manuscript will not be able to do so).



Double-Spaced, Size 12, Times New Roman or Arial font, black text.

Email Subject Line For SPEED PASS 

See instructions for Member Header, however, of course  you won't have to number your submission. It would be appreciated, however, if you would note how many times you have sent the submission to RYS and the Code Name for the Judge that had rated it, at least in the body of the e-mail. You can note whether you would like the same or different Judge, however, we cannot guarantee that we will honor your request. Of course, we will consider it, if possible! 

Sending Multiple Submissions 

Due to too many people taking advantage of this option, this is now highly frowned upon. You are welcome to send another manuscript one week after the first.


Also, you are free to re-submit stories to RYS once they've been revised, however, please remember that a revision submission counts as a regular submission. Furthermore, we politely ask that no manuscript be sent more than three times. It's hard for our judges to see an MS with fresh eyes after that. We highly encourage you to take time (weeks, not days or hours) when revising your work in between submissions.

Guest Guru Submissions:

If you wish for your submission to be considered for the Guest Guru, please send early on in the month. In that you can only send one submission in the first week, please send your best, most targeted work. Please note in the body of your e-mail that you wish to be considered for a Guest Guru Rating and Feedback. We will try to get to as many people as we can. 

Auto Response Message

When your email reaches our inbox, you will get an autoreply as confirmation that your email has been received. Note: If you send more than one email with the same subject line or if you send more than one manuscript in the same month, you might only receive one auto-response.



Any genre of story–including humor, fantasy, satire, sci fi, flash fiction, fable, retold folk tales, etc.  It can be a board book text, picture book manuscript, short story for adults, teens, or written for anyone in between. Poetry is allowed AS LONG AS it tells a clear story (such as a rhyming picture book) with plot and characters. Non-fiction stories are allowed AS LONG AS they are written in a story format with a beginning, middle, and end–such as a short memoir. Query letters are allowed as long as they fall within the word count limit. No articles, please.


Not Allowed

Explicit adult material (including overly erotic love scenes, distasteful use of curse words, extremely violent or threatening material, or anything deemed overtly discriminatory, racist, or prejudice against any group of human beings). We reserve the right to delete any submission that we deem 'unratable' without notifying the sender.



  1. Prepare your submission as directed according to guidelines above.

  2. Visit our contact page. Write down the current Rate Your Story submissions address listed.

  3. In your submission email, be sure to include the subject lines as listed in the SUBMISSION GUIDELINES above. 

  4. Within the body of the email, feel free to include any pertinent information the judge should consider when rating it (i.e. target age group, written for a particular market, "I'm from Australia, not the USA").  Do not say, however, "this is a work in progress" - we judge all stories as finished stories! Although I can't guarantee each judge will give proper time to your email or cover letter, they may.

  5. We prefer that your manuscript is an attachment (see: File Types above).  If you are having problems, you may copy and paste your story into the email body.  Keep in mind that most formatting will be lost and your rating may be affected (lowered) by the interruption of line breaks to the person reading it. DO NOT SEND A LINK to a webpage, Google Doc, or other download.

How long will it take?

Average wait times are 1-3 weeks for members. Please feel free to send it again or inquire about the status of your critique rating if you do not hear back by three weeks.  Your submission may not have reached us. Please pay attention to whether or not we are open or closed to submissions, as this will affect response times. We will do our best to get back to you; times will vary based on submission volume! Thank you for your patience.

By submitting your work to Rate Your Story, you represent that you have read and understand our Terms and Conditions as listed here: